Cry libel! And let slip the dogs of wingnuttery

It would appear that Tim Ireland is having another spat with Guido over this post in which he alleges that Guido has been making free with other people’s copyrighted work – and using storage space/bandwidth at Messagespace to do some it, not to mention leeching off their bandwidth, even after seeming giving an undertaking on the latter issue to behave himself, all of which has prompted Guido to cry ‘libel’ and start spitting out threats of litigation.

I don’t really have time to go over the full ins and outs, Tim’s posts, and what can be seen from Tim’s side of the email conversation with Guido’s lawyer (more on whom shortly) cover all the relevant points of contention, the bottom line here is that Guido appears to have responded, in the first instance, by claiming to have appropriate agreements in place to cover the use of the material in question and if that’s an honest claim he’s making then the resolution to this whole situation is a simple one – post the fucking things on his own blog for everyone to see and ask Tim to make the requisite apology and remove the ‘offending’ posts from his own.

Simple. Transparent. Honest. End of Story.

That Guido has chosen, instead, to go squealing to a laywer, can create only one impression, that his claim to have covered himself by all the appropriate methods and channels is a steaming pile of bullshit – and it certainly doesn’t help his case when one of the artists he claims to have an ‘informal arrangement’ with has indicated that no such arrangement ever existed and that he’s prepared to testify to that effect in court.

Oh and about that laywer – Donal Blaney.

This would presumably be the same Terence William Donal Blaney who specialises, according to the Law Society, in commercial litigation , insolvency and bankruptcy and
international law (non EU) (specifically overseas tax law) and who appears to be working independently (i.e. not engaged by a law firm) at present time…

…not that Donal is unemployed, in fact if its same Donal Blaney that I have in mind (and the dates of his becoming a solicitor match up) then he’s a rather busy man as, according to Wikipedia, he works for Doughty Media Limited (that may or may not be out of date given that there have been a few changes) and is also described as ‘prominent contributor’ to ConservativeHome as well as being the first Chairman of Conservative Future, a former Conservative Councillor, and a founder of the Young Britons’ Foundation, the latter activities having brought Donal some, perhaps, unwelcome media attention, to whit:

William Hague is under pressure to sack the newly appointed head of the Tory youth wing over allegations that he is running a racist campaign against political refugees.

Conservative Central Office confirmed yesterday that it has opened an inquiry following a complaint from the Commission for Racial Equality about the Fulham Homes for Fulham People campaign led by Tory councillors Donal Blaney and Greg Hands.

One leaflet accused the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham of denying a council house to a “local mum” whose place had been taken by “asylum seekers”.

“The council couldn’t care less whether you’ve lived five minutes or 20 years in Fulham,” it said.

Blaney, a 25-year-old lawyer, was appointed by former party chairman Lord Parkinson to head Conservative Future, the new organisation set up by Hague to draw thousands of young professionals into the party, fulfilling his boast that by the next election, half the membership will be under 40.

When he was appointed last April Blaney promised a clean break with the now defunct Young Conservatives, who had suffered from chronically declining membership and spats with their elders. He called them “a bunch of social rejects… coming across as raving nutters and anoraks”.

Insiders say Central Office staff quickly became disillusioned with Blaney’s performance. His demands for more funds for the new organisation were rejected and there were clashes with the party’s vice-chairmen, Archie Norman and Peta Buscombe, over arrangements for electing officers. They accused him of being primarily interested in keeping himself and his friends in office.

One insider said: “All the serious work of recruiting young professionals has been done by the network set up by Peta Buscombe. All Donal does is demand more money so that he can waste it on lunatic ideas.”


A new right-wing youth organisation – the Young Britons’ Foundation – has been accused of plotting a “Militant-style” take-over of the party’s youth wing, Conservative Future, by senior Tories.

Disquiet about the group is such that the Conservative’s chief whip, David Maclean, recently told its chairman, former Tory MP Patrick Nicholls, to rein in its activities, Guardian Unlimited has learned.

The foundation’s website claims it exists to “help develop the talents of the young conservative-inclined political activists”, but senior Tories say it has been infiltrating Conservative Future, and even running a slate in its recent elections…

The founder of the Young Britons’ Foundation, Donal Blaney, is also a controversial figure in the Tory party – he faced accusations of racism, and a complaint by the Commission for Racial Equality, when he ran a Fulham Homes for Fulham People campaign while a councillor in the borough. But Mr Blaney does have some influential friends; the foundation’s parliamentary counsel contains the former Conservative party chairman, Cecil Parkinson, Tory MP Gerald Howarth and shadow deputy prime minister, and likely future leadership contender, David Davis.

They might, however, be alarmed by what appears to be another throwback to the campus battles of the 1980s; the foundation’s pledge to expose “left-wing bias” in Britain’s universities and take legal action against “abuse of powers” by academics.

Mr Blaney told Guardian Unlimited that it is compiling a dossier cataloguing examples of “socialist PC” bias on every course on every campus in the country. And he insisted that “all the stuff that gets fed back to us shows that the bias on campus is getting worse”.

The foundation’s website also says: “Leftists and their failed socialist ideology have run riot, in some cases literally, at campuses up and down the land for over 30 years.

“As a result non-political students or students who are conservative in outlook have been discriminated against in their grades and in their treatment by the authorities.”

The site also promises that the foundation will help any student who wants to bring legal action against “abuse of powers by colleges, universities or students’ unions”. But the shadow education secretary and Tory moderate, Damian Green, today dismissed claims that left-wing bias is widespread and rising on Britain’s campuses.

“I don’t think it is one of the more serious problems in UK universities, unlike in the United States,” he told Guardian Unlimited.


A new rightwing student group is meeting this week to offer “intensive training” to students on how to tackle “leftwing bias” on campuses.

The three-day seminar, which begins on Thursday at an undisclosed location, is being organised by the Young Britons Foundation (YBF), and aims to give students “an opportunity to hear arguments they may not have been exposed to before”.

An investigation by Manchester student newspaper Student Direct found YBF members were encouraged to report examples of left-wing activity on campus and to attend the weekend seminar for “intensive training”.

While posing as prospective group members, Student Direct contacted the organisation to report examples of so called left-wing bias at the University of Manchester – such as a professor who “forced” students to chant Karl Marx during lectures, and various “biased” articles from past issues of the newspaper. The YBF contact said the incidents would be added to a database of complaints being made across the country that would go into a report to be presented to the government next year.

Student Direct reporters were also encouraged to attend a conference offering training to “all right-wing and conservative-inclined” students, covering subjects such as holding my students’ union to account and challenging biased lecturers. The aim of the event is to ensure activists leave “better trained and enthused to take on the Left in all its incarnations.”

An official explained that the foundation aims to stop what it refers to as the indoctrination of students in “socialist PC ideology,” by exposing “left-wing bias” on university campuses. It also promised to help students take legal action against offending academics and institutions.

YBF’s executive president, Donal Blaney, claims on its website that the group – launched in July – was founded to “fight the Left’s tyrannical abuse of its power” at schools, colleges and universities around Britain.

What possible connection could there be between Guido and an American-trained raving right-wing ideologue who specialises in setting up offshore tax shelters but otherwise seems not to be engaged in regular legal practice, let alone possessed of any substantive experience in libel law?


Oh, and should any of this happen to upset either Guido or Donal they are welcome to forward any correspondence on the subject to the following address:

Guido’s Colon, c/o Guido’s Rectum, London

  • How long will Central Office put up with depending for their entire web operation on someone who doesn’t believe David Cameron “is a conservative at all”?

  • Cheers, Unity.

    Hey, do you remember all those times Staines (and Dale etc.) pretended that I was not objecting to what they were doing, but who they were? (e.g. I was a Blairite, a Brownite, a stalker, jealous of their success, etc.)

    I dimly recall most of them banging on about how wrong that was… when they were pretending that it was happening to them.

  • Blaney is something of a throwback to 1980s FCS days: he even echoes the old “Hang Nelson Mandela” rhetoric with a comment that “maybe someone should be placing a rubber tire” around the neck of the Mandela statue in Westminster (although be careful what you write here: some 1980s “libertarian” types get very litigious if you ascribe “Hang Mandela” sentiments to them. Staines himself, in a fit of self-criticism, says: ‘I never wore a “Hang Mandela” badge but I hung out with people who did.’).

  • Martin

    While I can undertand your dislike of Blaney, you’re being maliciously misleading about that comment.

    The full excerpt:

    And maybe when visiting Mandela’s statue, you might want to reflect on those killed by the ANC – including by the barbaric method of the “necklace” – whereby a rubber tire, filled with petrol, was forced around a victim’s chest and arms, and then set on fire.

    Instead of laying a garland at the feet of Mr Mandela’s statue or about his neck, maybe someone should be placing a rubber tire there instead?

    This can hardly be described as evoking ‘Hang Mandela’ rhetoric

  • Ah. ‘Burn Mandela’ rhetoric instead, then.

  • Sorry, I maliciously thought it was obvious Blaney was making a reference to ANC necklacing.

  • Oh, yes, right: I had forgotten that it was only Nelson’s wife, Winnie, that ever necklaced anyone, right? Fuck me, you guys are pathetic. Whilst Nelson Mandela may have been fighting for the right cause, anyone who thinks that his tactics were those of Ghandi is either ignorant or stupid.

    As for the Messagespace server issue, I really think that you are on to a hiding to nothing here. Oh, no, wait, you are on a hiding to nothing.

    Unity, you post far too infrequently: to return with this tired old rhetoric, based on an incomplete knowledge of the business matters concerned and blogging as defined by a very few people is just a waste of your time.

    Can we get back to the politics rather than the meta-blogging navel-gazing now, please?


  • Why am I not surprised that the Hull BNP wallah, Paul Staines/Guido Fawkes and twice failed Newsnight interviewee, should be in cahoots with a racist lawyer, Donal Blaney, who’s right wing extremism used to leave me cringing whenever he appeared on 18DS?

  • I did see Blaney not being too bad once. On Palestine. I may have missed some nuance. Like a dog walking on its hind legs … worth a comment so I blogged about it. I had no idea that he undertakes work as a defamation adviser/enforcer. I’ll bear that in mind.

  • Ah this is why ZinZin called me up yesterday to put a message of support up for Tim Ireland

    I shall attend to it when I get chance this weekend

    One is rather busy tidying up as I need a mountain of paper shifted but rest assured Tim I support you

  • Have you tried reading some of D. Blaney’s outbursts?

    I especially like his post about Brian Paddick. Speaks for itself really.

  • Henry:

    1. Thank you.

    2. I just finished organising a decade’s worth of paperwork myself. Every scrap of paper worth keeping has passed in front of my eyes and been filed appropriately. 4 standard file drawers, about half a dozen boxes. It took ages and I’m f**king exhausted… but my office looks great!


    This is lovely, isn’t it?

    Even Cassilis (Iain Dale’s web designer) pulls him up on it under comments.

    Still, at least he didn’t play the ‘gays are paedos’ card like some people I could mention:

  • its up with a link to this in the comments

    I better get on with the filing

    Oh GOD it is terrible trying to file 7 months worth of paper

  • Whilst Nelson Mandela may have been fighting for the right cause, anyone who thinks that his tactics were those of Ghandi is either ignorant or stupid.

    And this is for some reason a reaction to something I wrote? And it’s “Gandhi”.

  • ricardo

    American-trained, you say?

  • No, Bartholomew, it was not a reaction to something you wrote: you may have quoted it, but that’s something different.

    And I note that, although Staines has got a lot of stick for the Oaten/paedo thing, Recess Monkey is barely mentioned. Can anyone say, “agenda”?


  • One tires of the Ireland grab for Guido’s notoriety crown.

  • DK: Hilton had to good grace to apologise, and enjoyed less noise as a result. But you can see my piece from the time does not ignore his role:

  • The fascists back in play? Up to their old tricks? Causing trouble, nothing new.

    jailhouselawyer’s comments (below) should be followed up:

    “Why am I not surprised that the Hull BNP wallah, Paul Staines/Guido Fawkes and twice failed Newsnight interviewee, should be in cahoots with a racist lawyer, Donal Blaney”.

  • Chris Baldwin

    ‘But the shadow education secretary and Tory moderate, Damian Green, today dismissed claims that left-wing bias is widespread and rising on Britain

  • While posing as prospective group members, Student Direct contacted the organisation to report examples of so called left-wing bias at the University of Manchester – such as a professor who