Between late on Wednesday this week and yesterday afternoon, some readers might have noticed that four posts on the blog had disappeared.
At the same time, there was an outpouring of joy and exultation from various websites, message boards, blogs and Twitter users, exclusively, as far as I am aware, of the Rangers supporting persuasion, about the news that I had been served with an “injunction”.
This emphasises to me the need for an accessible blog advising the interested people of Scotland on matters of legal interest – injunctions are English – the Scottish term is interdict. Therefore, the lack of legal awareness justifies my continued blogging!
What happened over the last couple of days was that I had discussions with very courteous and professional lawyers from the firm acting for Rangers. We discussed legalities regarding the four posts in question. Despite us not being in agreement regarding the principles involved, I agreed to take down the posts, and I have done so.
The relevant posts will not be republished by me, so please do not ask me to do so – either on this blog or in my book.
There was no court action raised by anyone against me – no court order was granted – no court action or court order was served upon me.
This was not an attempt by Rangers to “gag” me. I have no issue with the Rangers Football Club Limited, nor with their solicitors, regarding the matter. The issue related to the four specific posts.
I want to make that clear to my readers. There were, as I said, specific and technical issues which were the subject of correspondence, discussion and agreement.That frankly is the way that, wherever possible, legal disputes should be resolved.
I am sure that Rangers as a company is happy to be the subject of robust debate, based on people’s rights to free expression, whilst observing the law.
The matter is now at an end.
The postscript, and of course an issue to which I will never get to the bottom, is how an incorrect story appeared, in connection with a matter which was stated between the parties involved to be confidential, and spread like wildfire.
As Terry Pratchett write in his Discworld novel, “The Truth”:-
“A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”
I am sure that the legal firm involved had nothing to do with the leaking of an untruth.
I am sure that the employees and officers of the Rangers Football Club Limited who were involved in the matter with their lawyers were not party to the false story leaking either.
I am sure that the initial sources for the story will never disclose who told them what was a false tale.
However, posts about the incorrect story have been read many thousands of times over the last twenty four hours, and already the “truth” is out there to the extent that one blogger wrote today:-
“The truth is that the days of blogs like McConville’s and the Rangers Tax Case just spewing out any old tosh on Rangers’ financial matters to a gullible Rangers-despising readership and getting away with it are over.”
I am deeply offended by the suggestion that I write tosh – piffle or balderdash perhaps – but not tosh.
He also adds:-
“There is a real problem for a blogger when he invents the rumour and starts believing it.
“Sadly, all too many of these anti-Rangers blogs contain “information” which is just maliciously invented nonsense to feed the salivating Rangers-haters who read them.
“It is excellent news that Rangers will now take the fight to these malevolent purveyors of disinformation and slap them with interdicts to prevent their propagandising.”
It is a trifle ironic that that blog is referring to a story which could be described, in the author’s own phrase, as “maliciously invented nonsense”!
I don’t speak for anyone else, and despite the comments about organised anti-Rangers bloggers, if there is such a network, then no one has invited me to join it.
Yesterday the same writer ended his peroration, based entirely on a false premise, with the following:-
“Respect and honour are traditional Rangers values. Rangers will show respect and honour to all who merit it. As for everyone else, they will see another traditional Rangers value on display:
“The will to win and crush all opposition.”
Twitter and the internet generally show us, as in the case of the falsely-accused Lord McAlpine, how fast lies can spread.
However, it is of interest, and in a small way yet more proof of the Streisand Effect, that yesterday saw more hits on my blog, and by quite some margin, than on any day of its existence.
That being said, I don’t feel that the extra hits are worth the tide of nonsense mentioned above, so please don’t do it to me again.
Editor’s Note – you will be returned to the regularly scheduled bunkum and claptrap – but never tosh – shortly.
Posted by the Man They Could Not Did Not Bother To Try To Gag