Friday, August 31, 2007

ConservativeHome Editor threatened with defamation papers?

Two rather odd comments appeared on ConservativeHome last night it seems. In the "Tory Fightback" thread a commenter called GH said to the Editor, Tim Montgomerie,
"I hear you are about to be served papers for defamation?"
This was then followed up by someone called Syed who said
And yes I believe Tim you are about to have a very nice man deliver you the papers for defamation.... see you in Court".
However this comment was then overridden by the Editor stating that it was the same person as GH - presumably based on an IP address. A deliberate flame-bait slur lacking substance? Or something more substantial? Who knows. Odd thing to say though.

It's worth noting that other bloggers like Iain and Guido have been told in their comments that papers are going to be served on them which have then never materialised. This sort of threat I think will become more commonplace over the next year.

Update: As someone has pointed out in the comments, you can't just "server papers" without going through a particular process in law first. It's interesting that the person (or persons) making the threat don't give any more details. Like I say though, this sort of thing is, I think, going to become much more common over the next 12 months.

Update II: The Deputy Edtior of ConservativeHome has told me that as far as they are concerned there is no basis to this claim made in their comments. So I guess it probably was just another of those random idle threats that get made.


Anonymous said...

You can't just "serve papers" for defamation (unless you are going/have gone for an interim remedy - i.e. an injunction to have the offending statements removed temporarily) because you have to go through the pre-action protocol and give notice of an intent to take action and give the publisher a chance to correct/remove the alleged defamation.

The world of political blogs seems particularly highly populated by nutters who have a knowledge of the law gleaned from reading Charles Dickens.

Mountjoy said...

I suspect that it is a Labour supporter who is particularly rattled with the "fightback". It is a pity that such comments get posted, as one can most of Conservative Home's threads without having to be moderated.

I can understand why Iain Dale and some other bloggers moderate most of his threads, then.

Anonymous said...

This kind of thing needs to be published and highlighted each time it happens.

This ConservativeHome item along with the Facebook fiasco last week needs to have the IP address of the troll published, and if necessary handed to the Police.

Political intimidation is out of order, and I think only shows that NuLab have nothing left to offer, except negative campaigning.

Anonymous said...

Actually, anonymous, you don't have to follow the pre-action protocols. It is just that if you don't you could find yourself on the wrong side of a costs order.

Generally, the courts are very lenient to litigants-in-person who are rarely even aware of the protocols. They exist to control us litigation hungry leeches, erm, lawyers.

If there is anything in these fatuous threats, I imagine they are from members of the green ink brigade who would be unable to comprehend that courts have procedures, let alone that one is expected to follow them.

Chris Paul said...

Tory spokesman Nimby Nick he say Not In My Back Yard and I have linked to a comment on Mr Montgomerie's blog re the very same. Comment basically says David Davis is too soft and too liberal and must be replaced immediately.