Arsembly in Golwg 12/4/2007

It's been mentioned in a number of comments but not in an actual Blog Post!

Here is a translation of what Golwg had to say about Arsembly. Translated without permission on the grounds that if Arsembly isn't worth suing for libel, I'm not worth suing for breach of copyright.

A website that criticises Welsh politicians and prominent BBC newscasters is treading dangerous ground, says a prominent lawyer.

Amongst the most contentious arguments made on the Arsembly website was the following about the behaviour of Assembly President Lord Elis-Thomas

Word going around the Assembly is that the Presiding Officer was drunk-in-charge-of-proceedings last Tuesday afternoon.

Dafydd Elsi-Thomas didn't wish to make any comment about the claim. But he said that he was willing for Golwg to refer to it if "it helped to highlight web misuse".

The Presiding Officer confirmed that he would not be taking legal action against Arsembly. But an expert in libel law suggested that the PO would have a strong reason to bring such a claim. The suggestion that the PO was drunk whilst performing such an important office is clearly libellous said Meryl Evans, who has specialised in libel law for 15 years. The suggestion is that he isn't fit to do his job. A dangerous claim to make without evidence that he was drunk.

Many of the attacks have been targeted at Plaid Cymru officers and politicians, including Adam Price. Many prominent members of BBC Wales' political team are also subjected to his lash, including political editor Betsan Powys and Parliamentary editor David Cornock

Many members of the BBC newsteam have spoken to Golwg suggesting that a member of the department has been passing on information to one or two people.

According to one journalist who didn't wish to be named "his job will be in jeopardy if he is caught".

Golwg understands that a parliamentary candidate who has a very close friend working at the BBC is behind the website.

Meryl Evans confirmed that it is possible to take a libel action against a website, but that it is an extremely difficult process.

An USA ISP hosts the Arsembly site, which began posting in February.

It becomes more difficult if they use a foreign web service said Meryl Evans in relation to taking action against the site. It depends on the laws of the country in which the site is hosted, if you can bring a case against in that country. You are in expensive territory, without any knowledge that the individual at the end of the trail is worth suing


This is not the first blog to attack others in a personal way by far. The blog NatWatch use to make consistent dirty attacks on Plaid Cymru and the SNP, raising the suggestion that its author was a researcher within the Labour ranks.

In response Welsh nationalists created British-Nats-Watch in order to attack Labour

The appeal of a blog, an abbreviation of web log, is clear. It's easy to run, costs nothing and if you want to harm a political opponent you don't need facts. Arsembly NatWatch and the other malevolent blogs depend more on prejudice than opinion to a large extent.

Remember if you wish to comment on this post - it isn't mine - I'm just the unauthorised translator!!


  1. He's been called the "Welsh Guido", a bit of an exageration.

  2. Shame Golwg didnt name the Parliamentary candidate or the BBC insider.
    Isn't it common knowledge that it's Alun Davies, the Labour candidate?
    And I hear the BBC insider is being lined up for a disciplinary by Mark O'C (the head honcho at BBC Wales news) after the May elections, when things have quietened down