Tosser of the year

January 23, 2013 6 Comments
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No, not me. Not iDave, Blair or Obama.

………..

Personally, I don’t care if Colin Murray is a tit or not, whether he’s a bad presenter or not because I’ve no television.

What I do care about is this:

Forgive me if you think that lets Murray off lightly, but I choose my words carefully. The last time I wrote about Murray, in Oct 2010, during the early weeks of his Match of the Day 2 tenure, I was quickly contacted by the law firm Schillings.

If you’re a celebrity, and you want to sue a newspaper, Schillings are who you go to. But what became clear over the five rambling, increasingly jaw-dropping pages of their letter was that Murray was less interested in securing punitive damages for defamation than he was in mending his broken heart.

Given conservative estimates of four hours’ legal consultation and drafting of the letter, and a rate of around £500 an hour, Murray essentially paid £2,000 for a therapy session.

One can only hope he does not spend his free weekends DJing. Bizarrely, point five of the Schillings letter addressed Murray’s DJ sets, which I described as “pedestrian”.

“Our client takes great exception to this,” thundered the lawyers. “Our client is very proud of his DJ sets and goes to great lengths to ensure that his sets are lively, imaginative and distinct from other performances.”

So how did my legal battle with Colin Murray end? The case never went to court. Instead, we sent him a detailed letter rebutting every single one of his points in some detail.

Now let me get this right. The person who wrote the lukewarm review on Colin Murray was a reviewer, right? He does reviews for a living or did I get that wrong? He writes his opinion in what is known as an Opinion Piece. So what do lawyers have to do with any of this?

Or are there to be no reviews for fear of litigation? And did Lieuw have any basis for his opinions?

Instead, we sent him a detailed letter rebutting every single one of his points in some detail.

It would seem so.

I’ve had some terrible things said about me over the last few years of blogging, the most bizarre being that I smack young ladies’ bottoms – that was accompanied by a pic of an old codger with a damsel across his knee. LOL. Our resident ad hominator here, Greg, regularly gives me a pasting. And what? Do we toss our toys out of the pram, do we take our bat and ball and go home?

There is a line, of course. That bit about the spanking could not have been taken as anything but a joke. Greg’s expostulations are just Greg. They’re not assertions of actual wrongdoing.

However, that has been done by others and that is actionable. Sometimes I simply ask the tosser to either put up or shut up, to show the evidence or write a retraction. Most of the time I just ignore it – life’s too short.

It seems to me that as long as it is not a patently false statement and it conforms to someone’s blogrules, than the rest is fairly open slather. Schillings, of course, beg to disagree.

As would my candidate for toss pot of the year – Colin Murray.

………..

No, no – wrong!! I forgot all about Lynne Featherstone:

I cannot tell you how much I dislike this stupid, two-faced and dangerous politician. People say there are no good causes left worth fighting for. Not true in my humble opinion. Removing Lynne Featherstone from office is as noble a cause as you could hope to find.

I must declare an interest. Featherstone intervened during the recent hullabaloo about the “transphobic” polemic by Julie Burchill my newspaper the Observer ran a few weeks ago. Featherstone demanded that we should fire Burchill and fire the editor as well.

I have worked through the worst days of Bernard Ingham and Alastair Campbell’s manipulation of the media, but I have never before heard a minister in a democracy call for writers and editors to be fired for publishing an opinion, however offensive and controversial it may be.

That the minister in question calls herself a “liberal” means that Featherstone is not just a menace but a hypocrite too.

Yep, she’d have to be right up there.

6 Responses to Tosser of the year

  1. Greg Tingey
    January 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Something HORRIBLE with your post.
    The HTML has escaped!

    • January 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Thanks Greg – shall fix it now and have a bit to add.

  2. Harry
    January 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Can’t agree with you on this one I’m afraid James. My ‘candidate for toss pot of the year’ would be the writer of the Telegraph piece, Jonathan Lieu. He quite rightly gets a kicking in the comments for what is a snide and unnecessary article. Murray isn’t that bad, in fact I quite like him. As for the litigation attempt I’d like to see the original piece before rushing to judgement.

  3. Viscount Rectum
    January 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Did I read that correctly, a Minister for Democracy?

    • January 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Minister for Democracy

      Great concept, eh?

  4. Twenty_Rothmans
    January 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Rod Liddle wrote about the lefties tearing themselves apart with loftiness. Cohen, whom I unfortunately pay thanks to my subscription to the Speccie, must have missed Rod’s article.

    His North London Jewish leftie rant made my day.

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