Blogland

A Cautionary Tale

It’s perhaps a little uncharitable to bring this up, but judging from the stats, Trotskyite blog 4Glengate doesn’t attract thousands or even hundreds of readers. Uncharitable but neccessary for this cautionary tale to have teeth.

4Glengate’s creator, Nick, recently attended a Convention of the Trade Union Left. One of the speakers was to have been national Trades Union leader Billy Hayes. Unfortunately Mr Hayes sons birthday party clashed with the Convention and Hayes sent his apologies.

This might normally have been the end of the matter but Nick, steeped in the Byzantine politics of the British ultra-left, thought there might be more to the excuse than first appeared. This is how he saw matters

I can’t believe he’s that poor a parent that he didn’t know, when the organisers booked him, that the event’s date was vaguely familiar… It seems more likely that pressure, perhaps from the TUC or his fellow General Secretaries, has been applied to avoid Billy Hayes giving Bob Crow the apparent support of appearing at the same event on the day that the Labour Party’s ultimatum to the RMT ran out.

That statement – potentially libellous as it is, would be pretty unremarkable. A certain type of ultra-leftist is always uncovering “hidden meanings” behind seemingly prosaic scheduling clashes and there are no shortage of such people lurking in the Blogosphere. Have a look in our comments box if you want some recent examples.

What makes this story unusual (and funny) is that Hayes turns out to be a fully-paid up blog-surfer and unexpectedly turned up at Nick’s blog. Reading the published comments speculating on the reasons he failed to attend the Convention he decided to set the record straight in Nick’s usually-empty comments box.

To say he did so in a blunt manner would be an understatement. But don’t trust me, have a look for yourself.

The moral of this story ? Don’t assume you can get away with publishing defamatory statements about people even if your blog is usually only read by a small number of people. It’s all in the public domain. Oh, and if you ignore this advice and eventually need a lawyer to defend you – send me an email.

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