Where is the support for Kez?

On Saturday I mentioned the fact that an SNP councillor and millionaire had threatened the blogger Kezia Duggdale with legal action.

I don't particularly like Kezia's blog - she supports the Labour party - I don't. She says nasty things about Alex Salmond, one of my political heroes, but I respect and defend her freedom of opinion!

Last year there was a blog consensus that the blogosphere would stand up to rich people trying to bully individual bloggers when Asmanov went after Bloggerheads, where is that blog support for Kez?

All of the following blogs were willing to support bloggerheads. Was their support real? Or was it just an opportunistic way of getting a hit on Technorati?

I hope that each and everyone of them will say a word in favour of Kezia's right to freedom of expression - but I won't hold my breath!-

[Justin McKeating], Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harry's Place, TimWorstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric Mike Power (Mike has also produced this video), Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devil's Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots (and another), Pitch Invasion, Wonko's World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia (with a list of Craig Murray's articles that are currently unavailable), Obsolete, Tom Watson, Cynical Chatter, Reactionary Snob, Mr Eugenides, Matthew Sinclair, The Select Society, Liberal England, Davblog, Peter Gasston Pitch Perfect, Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe, Lunartalks, Tygerland, The Crossed Pond, Our Kingdom, Big Daddy Merk, Daily Mail Watch, Graeme's, Random Thoughts, Nosemonkey, Matt Wardman (i, ii, iii, iv, v), Politics in the Zeros, Love and Garbage, The Huntsman, Conservative Party Reptile, Ellee Seymour, Sabretache, Not A Sheep, Bartholomew's Notes on Religion, The People's Republic Of Newport, Life, the Universe & Everything, Arsenal Transfer Rumour Mill, The Green Ribbon, Blood & Treasure, The Last Ditch, Areopagitica, Football in Finland, An Englishman's Castle, Freeborn John, Eursoc The Back Four, Rebellion Suck!, Ministry of Truth, ModernityBlog, Beau Bo D'Or,Scots and Independent, The Splund, Bill Cameron, Podnosh, Dodgeblogium, Moving Target, Serious Golmal, Goonerholic The Spine, Zero Point Nine, Lenin's Tomb, The Durruti Column, The Bristol Blogger, ArseNews, David Lindsay, Quaequam Blog!, On A Quiet Day..., Kathz's Blog, England Expects, Theo Spark, Duncan Borrowman, Senn's Blog, Katykins, Jewcy, Kevin Maguire, Stumbling and Mumbling, Famous for 15 megapixels, Ordovicius, Tom Morris, AOL Fanhouse, Doctor Vee, The Curmudgeonly, The Poor Mouth, 1820, Hangbitch, Crooked Timber, ArseNole, Identity Unknown, Liberty Alone, Amused Cynicism, Clairwil, The Lone Voice, Tampon Teabag, Unoriginalname38, Special/Blown It, The Remittance Man, 18 Doughty Street, Laban Tall, Martin Bright, Spy Blog The Exile, poons, Jangliss, Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From?, Imagined Community, A Pint of Unionist Lite, Poldraw, Disillusioned And Bored, Error Gorilla, Indigo Jo, Swiss Metablog, Kate Garnwen Truemors, Asn14, D-Notice, The Judge Political Penguin, Miserable Old Fart, Jottings, fridgemagnet, Blah Blah Flowers, J. Arthur MacNumpty, Tony Hatfield, Grendel, Charlie Whitaker, Matt Buck, The Waendel Journal, Marginalized Action Dinosaur, SoccerLens, Toblog, John Brissenden East Lower, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Peter Black AM, Boing Boing, BLTP, Gunnerblog, LFB UK, Liberal Revolution, Wombles,
Focus on Sodbury..., Follow The Money, Freedom and Whisky, Melting Man, PoliticalHackUK, Simon Says..., Daily EM, From The Barrel of a Gun, The Fourth Place, The Armchair News Blog, Journalist und Optimist, Bristol Indymedia, Dave Weeden, Up North John, Gizmonaut, Spin and Spinners, Marginalia, Arnique, Heather Yaxley, The Whiskey Priest, On The Beat, Paul Canning, Martin Stabe, Mat Bowles, Pigdogfucker, Rachel North, B3TA board, Naqniq, Yorkshire Ranter, The Home Of Football, UFO Breakfast Recipients, Moninski , Kerching, e-clectig, Mediocracy, Sicily Scene Samizdata, I blog, they blog, weblog, Colcam, Some Random Thoughts, Bel is thinking, Vino S, Simply Jews, Atlantic Free Press, Registan, Filasteen, Britblog Roundup #136, Scientific Misconduct Blog, Adam Bowie, Duncan at Abcol, Camera Anguish, A Very British Dude, Whatever, Central News, Green Gathering, Leighton Cooke (224), , Skuds' Sister's Brother, Contrast News, Poliblog Perspective, Parish Pump, El Gales, Noodle, Curly's Corner Shop, Freunde der offenen Gesellschaft, otromundoesposible, Richard Stacy, Looking For A Voice, News Dissector, Kateshomeblog, Writes Like She Talks, Extra! Extra!, Committee To Protect Bloggers, Liberty's Requiem, American Samizdat, The Thunder Dragon, Cybersoc, Achievable Life, Paperholic, Creative-i, Raedwald, Nobody's Friend, Lobster Blogster, Panchromatica Back off, man..., Dan Hardie, Krusenstern, Brendadada, Freace,
Boriswatch, Fork Handles, Chris Applegate, Christopher Glamorgan, West Virginia Rebel's Blog, Instapundit,
Powerpymes, iDiligence
, Gizmotastic, Demos, Gary Andrews, Neweurasia
, Never
Trust a Hippy
, sub specie aeternitatis, Bananas in the Falklands, The Sharpener, Virtual Light, Stu News, Scraps of Moscow, Danivon, As A Dodo, La Russophobe, PJC Journal, Mick Fealty's Brassneck, dead brains don't dance, A Comfortable Place, Bamblog, Robert Amsterdam, The Customer, No Longer at Ease, Rachel-Catherine, Humaniform, Mike Rouse, Chesus Yuste, anticapitalista, Aderyn Cân, Ulla's Amazing Wee Blog (294), Ross200, Disruptive, Internazionale.it, The Obscurer, A Lefty Down Under, Things I Learned or Made Up, Pickled Bushman, Persons Unknown, Gnus of the World, Postman Patel, Parburypolitica (ii) Miscellany Symposium (306) Omnium (ii), In the Café and the Station, James Cridland's blog, Small Beds and Large Bears, Christopher White, Rolled-up Trousers, Lynne Featherstone, ßench, Random Comments from South London, Chap Sticks, (316) Suraci, UK Politics - Can't Get Enough, Critical Facility Dojo, MetaMedia (IHT), LFCM: Casualty Monitor, IP Democracy, (322) Magna Carta Plus News, Antony Loewenstein, Sports Blog, footballis fixed, Mailstrom,B2fxxx,


  1. Well I signed up to support Tim Ireland who has said nasty things about me because I understood the issue - I don't understand this one, or even taken any interest in it. It doesn't feel as though it has the same level of importance though, more a bag of ferrets fighting. I'll read more...

  2. I think, Alwyn, that we just didn't know in our busy life and this brings it to our attention. Perhaps we should mention it.

  3. I'm inclined to agree with the englishman here

  4. Not quite the way to garner support, but I'll look into it too. Your name really does say it all, doesn't it?

    Perhaps Keva would be better served by a potted explanation and/or a sympathetic and encouraging appeal? I'm disinclined to be prodded in this way over an issue that hasn't come to my attention via my usual reads or friendship networks.

    Thanks for the link though. ;)

  5. Has legal action been threatened or taken against others in this matter? I.E. the newspaper?

    If not then I am inclined to agree with your view.

  6. I have her name wrong, it's Kezia. Apologies.

  7. I don't support party political idiots. The labour blogger can do without my support.

    I hate idiots like Mr Fawkes, and our comrade from Uzbekistan so they get my support.

    My support is not unconditional.

  8. First I've heard of it, sorry.

    I fail to see how the two events can be compared in any meaningful way, but I'm willing to listen if someone wants to explain it to me.

    (If explaining it requires sharing information that cannot be published, then feel free to share via the miracle of email.)

  9. Sorry Alwyn I missed the nuance in your last post.

    I am totally opposed to influential people picking on individuals as I am bullying of any kind.

  10. @ MOF - you would get more support if you re-posted Kezia's statement:


    15 September 2008

    A Brief Statement

    A letter by Noor Hanif (daughter of the suspended SNP Councillor Jahangir Hanif) raised a number of very serious allegations concerning Councillor Hanif's conduct.

    This letter was removed from this site after Councillor Hanif's solicitors intimated their intention to raise a summons in the Court of Session for interim interdict. The firm of Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France and Co., gave this site 15 minutes to remove the letter.

    This site complied with that request.

    We do not have the means or resources to engage in expensive litigation. We can only hope that the First Minister Alex Salmond, who Ms Noor Hanif addressed her said letter to, will have the courage, conviction and responsibility to respond to the allegations raised therein and take the appropriate action thereto.

    Posted by Kezia Dugdale at 21:03
    Labels: Blogging, Labour, SNP

    The original post is still lurking, for the time being, in the caches of online RSS syndication feed aggregators like Bloglines.

    Apparently Noor Hanif is still only a 17 year old student, and her letter describing her father as a domineering, a violent bully, and miser (who is apparently a miillionaire from his property deals).

    Her fears about the gun toting lawless areas of Pakistan near the Afghan border, to which she was taken, and the threats of an arranged marriage, sounds very plausible.

    Her father's weasel worded statement that the AK-47 incident "happened before his time as an SNP Councillor" reported in the mainstream media, belies that fact that it happened only 3 years ago.

    His statement that all the allegations in the letter are false is something which a reader should be able to judge for themselves.

    What is inexcusable is the apparent legal threat from lawyers against a political blogger, even if she is a Labour supporter.

    Note that there are no actual libel proceedings, and no Court Order for the lawyers to enforce, only the threat of expensive legal action and general hassle, being used to silence , not the daughter, but a third party political blogger.

    You could be next, unless and until the wretched libel laws in the UK and "rich man's justice" are utterly reformed.

  11. OK, the anonymous comment just above this makes me think there may be something here. I'm still confused as to precisely what the allegations were/are, however - and I'm not going to support someone in a libel fight if they actually did libel someone.

    Saying "someone's being sued for libel - support them or you're a hypocrite" without saying why they're being sued or why it's wrong is a tad counterproductive, to say the least.

    (The real issue, by the way, is not "Kezia's right to freedom of expression", but that in the UK the libel laws are such that we can't have genuine freedom of expression. Place this in a wider context and let us know why it's important, you'll end up with more support.)

  12. nosemonkey: Saying "someone's being sued for libel - support them or you're a hypocrite" without saying why they're being sued or why it's wrong is a tad counterproductive, to say the least.

    Agreed. Especially when it's the first many have heard of it. It's very offputting.

    anon @ 00:09: Note that there are no actual libel proceedings, and no Court Order for the lawyers to enforce, only the threat of expensive legal action...

    OK, so *now* you have my attention.

    Like Nosemonkey, I'd like to know more.

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  14. Let Me Have A Look First!
    Thanks For The Information.

  15. Well, I think you have a case.

    To be fair to other bloggers though, it might have been worth letting them know about the issue before picking a fight with them. They're generally a fair minded bunch - even to Labour activists :-)

  16. A blog of mine which is now sadly deceased is listed. Thanks to the clues above I found a copy of the letter, and it strikes me this is a genuine appeal for help from Noor Hanif.

    Councillor Jahangir Hanif may be the oppressive bully Noor alleges, or he may not. I am in no position to judge. If the allegations are false, we can just put it down as a spat between father and daughter - the harm done by further publicising them will be minimal. If they are true, then Hanif should be properly investigated, and face any appropriate justice. Half of me sincerely hopes that Noor takes her allegations to the police, the other half wants to help.

    Anyone who openly posts this material clearly has a problem with respect to the libel laws. When I get the opportunity I will re-post the material on the q/t.

    In response to "Where is the support for Kez?" I can see nothing that Kezia needs help with. She has complied with a request from Hanif's solicitor, and the matter appears to have ended there.

    Clearly Alex Salmond is not the most appropriate person to whom serious allegations should be addressed, and there is a danger that someone is playing political games. However, if the police are too busy harassing children searching for conkers they may not have enough time to investigate a millionaire bully boy protected by a Byzantine libel law.

  17. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I agree with Tom Watson. In hindsight, people need to be informed first before they are lept on for not responding.

    I'm totally in favour of free speech, regardless of what is at stake, but this isn't exactly in the same league as Usmanov.

  18. My two posts:



    In summary:

    My position is that there should be “Open Debate” about allegations, rather than their removal due to pre-emptive legal threats based on an alternative set of unproven allegations (i.e., claims that the first lot are defamatory). But I am trying to have the laws around defamation reformed, not to abolish defamation as an offence; there should be proper redress for damaged reputations.

    In this case I think the various newspapers got it right in reporting the “Kalashnikov” part of the story while simply summarising the familial aspects.

    Simply republishing the Noor allegations may indeed constitute defamation.

    So, I support Kezia Dugdale’s right to publish, but I don’t think dumping the entire text on her blog was either wise or necessarily effective. If there is proof of the allegations made by Noor against her father, then it should be a police matter. The exception would be if there was a need for some investigation, when the evidence should have been presented alongside the allegations; in that case, defamation would not arise as the statements would be true.

  19. I too am not sure what lies behind this, a clear explanation and an appeal for support would be helpful.

  20. Having found and read the original letter, it is mostly a complaint against her father and his behaviour towards his children and family.

    Upsetting stuff, but how to substantiate it?

    The pressure should maybe be more on the SNP to be clear that Cllr Hanif is regarded as a fit and proper person.

    The rest is for the police and social services.

    As for censorship by libel law, true the British laws need reform, but blogs are public domain and people should have some protection against the publication of unsubstantiated attacks concerning their private lives.

    The Usmanov business seems to me an entirely different thing.

  21. In fact I had already blogged (*) about this (his suspension by the SNP) by the time I read Kezia's article; after a lot of thought I decided not to do a further post in the light of the letter she published. I have never been provoked into posting articles about something I don't want to before and with respect to you, sir, I am not about to break that habit now.

    (*) http://billcameron.blogspot.com/2008/08/snp-suspends-glasgow-councillor.html

  22. As bananasfk said: "My support is not unconditional." This seems to be a rather different situation, and until you linked to my blog I knew nothing about it. The Usmanov situation was something I learned about from people I know and blogs I trust.