Another opinion that isn’t up to scratch

July 24th, 2010 § 4 comments § permalink

This is getting fucking ridiculous.

Surely an opinion is not legally fucking actionable? Calling someone or something stupid is subjective and so not a fact.

When Councillor John Dixon called the Scientologists stupid, that was his opinion. If you put Scientology up against, ooh, I don’t know, any religion I could come up with, then it doesn’t look quite such a stupid thing to be dicking around with. Compare it to atheism and yes, it’s fucking stupid.

The same goes for design. The old addage of beauty being in the eye of the beholder is true. Take a look at this site. It’s Gordon Browns’ place on the web. Y’know, the ex-prime minister.

What do you reckon to it? I think it’s a bit shit and agree with this chap, Luke Bozier

I apologise if I’m blunt, but this website is not befitting of a former Prime Minister. It has an unprofessional feel to it, and doesn’t portray the image of a statesman and one of Labour’s biggest figures.

Some other people think differently, like Tangent One who make the template for it. In fact they like it so much they are threatening to try and find a judge that likes Gordons’ site and fuck Luke for all he’s worth in a libel suit.

What the fuck has happened to make these people and entities think that a subjective opinion is actionable? Isn’t libel supposed to be about the mis-representation of facts? How can a design be factually good? Like hasn’t tried to present Tangent as trying to con Gordon Brown or any of they’re other customers, he’s just stated his opinion that they’re website template isn’t suitable for an ex-prime minister. Luke even states that Tangent make “some brilliant websites for the likes of Levi’s, Channel Five, Cadillac & Borders…”.

Tangent PLC’s executive director…

I really don’t like the prospect of either a public slanting match or legal action, but if I need to protect my company’s business and reputation, I will.

May humbly suggest two ways of protecting Tangents reputation, and hence business…

  1. make better websites
  2. do not threaten spurious legal action over opinion, especially on the internet. It has a habit of er, not going as planned

on trying to increase your membership

July 23rd, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Without mentioning any names (cos I’m a chicken shit and Mrs-O would kill me if I got a nasty-o-gram) why would an organisation, officially recognised as a religion or not in the UK behave in an aggresive way?

The whole point of such organisations, benign or otherwise is to increase membership. Whether that is to spread ‘the word’ and save all the unfortunate souls or to accumulate wealth for the people at the top, litigation is the wrong route to take and self-defeating.

Sueing people or organisations for the slightest er, slight is just going to make it look aggressive, a bully, insecure and have alterier motives that it wants to hide.

Which is probably why the ‘religion’ isn’t officially recognised as a religion.

On the BNP and their constitutional changes to come

October 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Fat Nick caved in

BNP leader Nick Griffin has agreed to ask his party to amend its constitution so it does not discriminate on grounds of race or religion, a court heard.

The UK’s equalities watchdog had argued the BNP broke the Race Relations Act by restricting members to “indigenous Caucasian” people.

The court heard Mr Griffin had agreed to use “all reasonable endeavours” to revise its constitution.

BNP members will be asked to agree to the changes at a meeting in November.

Either the begging letters didn’t raise enough or Fat Nick thought it would be better spent in the upcoming general election.

Will the disgruntled party faithful accept these changes? Who knows, but according to the current BNP consitution (pdf) says…

1) Consideration will regularly be given to changes in this Constitution for the purpose of improving the functional efficiency of the party. Final authority to determine such changes, however, will rest with the elected National Chairman – saving those Sections protected by Section 13, Sub-section4.

So, the Chairman can change most of the constitution as he sees fit. What does Section 13, sub-section 4 say?

Any changes in Sections 1, 4, 5 or 13 of this constitution must be approved by a two thirds majority vote of members attending a General Members’ Meeting.

Follow the number. Follow the numbers.

Section 1 is Political Objectives

Section 4 is Elections to the Party Leadership

Section 5 is Advisory Council

Section 13 is General Members’ Meetings

All the above sections need a two third majority vote of the membership.

Section 2: Membership, doesn’t. Fat Nick, being the Chairman, has the authority to change that section of the constitution all by himself.

So where does that leave the BNP?

Fat Nick has no choice but to change the constitution because the law requires it to be changed and the Chairman has the authority to change it. The party faithful has no say in it. Either the constitution changes or the BNP stop being a legally* legitimate political party.

*Whatever, they will remain a morally illegitimate party.

All this though, will not change the party at all. Consider this, from a report of a public BNP meeting in Cleveleys (via)…

One member offers me a drink as he says: “We’re not intimidating are we? We get a lot of bad press but we’re not thugs.”
But I don’t like what I hear next as around six people put their hands up to request an application form to become a BNP member. One convert shouts: “I’ll have an application form, but not a coloured one!”
It was greeted with laughter by most in the audience, and was a deeply unpleasant reminder of where I was.

While inside the building the recruitment drive was in full flow, it was a different story outside as four people got turned away. All were either black or Asian. There were no members of the ethnic minorities inside.
As I left a security guard told me: “After a while it was getting full up so we decided it had to be members only.”
Strange that, as I was given a seat all to myself and I’m not a member. And I swear there was plenty of space.

Mark Thomas threatens legal action

May 14th, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

Mark Thomas press release (URL may change)…

Today Mark Thomas, political activist, commentator, performer, writer and comedian has instructed his lawyers, Leigh Day & Co to write to the Speaker of the House of Commons threatening legal action unless a full transparent review is urgently ordered into the scandal of MPs expenses.

Mr Thomas has been advised that the approach peddled by MPs in the press that their unreasonable expenses are within the rules is not correct. In fact, the current scandal has been largely caused by attempts by many MPs to stretch the rules far beyond their ordinary meaning and an unwillingness by the House of Commons Department of Finance and Administration officials to rein them in.

The letter requires Speaker Martin, as Chair of the House of Commons Commission to take urgent steps to commence a review of the Department’s actions in dealing with MPs’ applications for expenses. The following steps are set down as the bare minimum requirements:

To obtain and publish independent authoritative legal advice & guidance on the meaning of the MPs’ expenses rules, to be consistent with other guidance applicable to the public where similar words are used
To appoint independent accountants to audit all claims by MPs in the current parliament against the legal advice and guidance obtained
To consider auditing all claims by MPs back to May 1997, applying consistent principles which would be applied in cases of false/excessive claims against other public authorities or the HMRC
To explain publicly what sums have been wrongly paid out to members and to set out proposals for recoupment where overpayments have been made, such recoupment to be no more favourable to MPs than the system for recovery of benefits overpayments or income tax underpayments
To report possibly fraudulent claims to the Metropolitan Police fraud squad for investigation.
The Speaker has been given 14 days to respond, failing which Judicial Review proceedings may follow.

Mark Thomas said:

“MPs are not above the law. If they have wrongly claimed expenses they should be made to repay. If they have acted fraudulently the police should be involved. This is what would happen to all of us as members of the public if we tried to fiddle public money.

Fraudulent benefit claimants are not allowed to form committees comprised of benefit claimants to investigate their misdemeanours. Nor can exposed tax cheats offer to pay back money because they are ‘concerned about how it looks to the outside world’ and then walk away with no repercussion.

If I need to go to court I will be making a public appeal to cover the legal costs of the case, which I’m sure will have overwhelming support! ”

Richard Stein, partner at Leigh Day & Co said:

“The main problem here is not the rules governing payment of MPs’ expenses, but how they have been applied. Many MPs have made claims which do not properly fall within the rules. The rules say that MPs have a responsibility to satisfy themselves that expenditure claimed has been ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred’ for the purpose of performing their Parliamentary duties and that overspent or mischarged amounts may be recovered. The House of Commons authorities must now take steps to make sure this happens”

via norock

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