Comments policy

The comments policy is currently under review, and is working on an ad hoc basis. Depending on future comments, the facility may be discontinued due to libel restrictions.

7 thoughts on “Comments policy”

  1. Just to be aware of the legal meaning of innuendo, as well. The context of mentioning a person can cause an otherwise harmless statement to be defamatory. For example, there is a case going back to the 1920s which held that having an ad for Fry’s chocolate beside a report about an amature golfer called Fry was enough to suggest that he had slipped into commercialism.

    This was very bad then.

    And I’m not sure that allegedly is a get out of jail free card, either.

    And, pace Hedley Byrne, I am of course no expert in this matter and shouldn’t be relied on in the absence of proper legal advice.

  2. I know sure, there are so many things going on with the libel laws its hard to know what to do, but one can only try one’s best. Is there any chance that some legal person in Ireland could formulate advice or guidelines for Irish bloggers so as to remain entirely ‘legal’?

  3. Always tell the truth and ensure that all contributions have known reliable sources. This is called in subsequent court proceedings (!) “justification”. Unless the proceedings are for criminal libel, a criminal action, being able to prove that the words are true, substantially, means that no damages are paid and plaintiff is responsible for costs.

    If you can prove it. Best way to shut you down? Give you something that is true, but flawed as in the proof is unavailable to you at time of trial…. See Dan Rather for that one….

    If plaintiff dies before trial starts or possibly verdict is rendered, then action dies with him. Make some strange friends…..

    Pick on a pariah. General Spiedel served with some distinction in second WW but on the losing side and had held Nazi Party membership. You could say whatever you wish about him…. No reputation left to lose….

    Justification is risky as it means you do not apologize immediately, actually an unsable statutory defence for a newspaper, but it is not only polite it is politic too, to grovel lavishly. And you may get to repeat the libel: when I said that the member (of House of Commons) had the manners of a pig, I was wrong. He does not.

    Private Eye used to beg for funds… useful publicity for the old blog Gavin!

    Best though is to divest yourself of all assets, for a fee I will take on that burden, as they will not waste their time to sue a man of straw… A legal invention, John Doe and Richard Roe, both useful parties as they could never be found and therefore always lost to the defendant….

    One advantage to blogging and libelling is that there is no printer involved so he, she .it cannot lose their press which I am told is often quite expensive, and for fear of that they usually ensure that you stop publishing….But not you, Super Blogger! They have to take on the entireinternet!
    Few precedents on libel and internet, which is surprising in one way as every other blog is libellous, but perhaps they have very little perceived effect. So keep readership figures down and they won’t dare give you any more prominence!

    Get a good lawyer. That way the bastards can’t use him against you. M’learned ladies are poxy….at libel for some reason, the best barristers is blokes! If you can’t buy one blackmail him!

    US publications (but not if read in Ireland?) are not libellous unless maliciously untruthful. Not so in UK and Ire. Ire. Well named! Lots of libel money in the ould sod.

    End: don’t allow publication unless you want to lose all assets even if it is true: the law is a wonderful instrument of oppression in the right hands.
    Seriously. If it worries you, they have you by the pubes.

    1,000 guineas in used guineas, eh, keep away from the taxman….

  4. By engaging these Gaiaguys, see below, the OTO appears to elevate the articles on the site. I can’t comment on the accuracy of the site. They are being sued by an apparently satanic order. Any reputation to lose? Perhaps.

    Libel! is the cry used to shut up liars and truthsayers alike. You will want to begin a database on this action, if it ever comes to court. It need not as the plaintiff is in charge and may seek to merely intimidate.

    As TV is recognized as a permanent medium, then it is libel. Hence no slander on the internet. Slander does not presume damage in all cases so harder for plaintiff.

    You should get an old or new book on Torts from Library or pal or look up on internet. Law settled soon after duels were made illegal, but developments in case law do occur roughly once every 20 years in the centuries since then. 1961 important year for Ireland: Defamation Act and Civil Liability Act. Again access these. You will soon be able to write your own monograph on libel and internet. Most lawyers are lazy greedy bastards anyway. I could never take it seriously enough.

    Libel is one of the few civil matters where there is an audience, sorry jury, for histrionics on both sides. Juries can be wonderful and will defend the just no matter what the judge may instruct them to do. Sadly the yanks allow judges to verrule juries in some places.

  5. One form of innuendo, there are many, hence the size of my fees, concerns the identity of the person being libelled. For once this may favour the putative defendant. YOU!

    You paste several dull, factual reports containing no speculative comment whatsoever. No comments allowed on any of these.

    In another section of the blog or another blog altogether, a rendition of what might have been involved and who did what to whom and how much it cost, could be set out in any style but particularly perhaps in the style of the wonderful “Hall’s Pictorial Weekly”. A resident cast of characters, not too readily recognizable, changing as governments come and go, with a generic gombeen type for the carpoet bagger making the dosh and paying off those in power. No direct linkage between the two, but obviously topical. Women characters are few hence greater care with them… as always with the fairer sex.

    Anyone suing appears to confirm that they are the one being lampooned. They thereby increase the effect of the blog which is the end in mind.

  6. I would suggest that for a blog such as this Gavin you may be much better off to take the commenting off-site altogether, to a location such as QuickTopic [1] for example. AFAIR BoingBoing and others used to do this in the early days.


  7. US corruption used to blackmail politicians….

    I hope that none of these parties took place on St Patrick’s Day.

    One of the “dogs in the street” told me years ago, that one of our industrial entrepreneurs used to take associates including political backers, to South America for cheap “fun”. Hope no one took polaroids…….

    I never got invited, which is why I mention it…….

Comments are closed.