Thursday, 17 December 2009

A Thinly Veiled Threat? Of What Exactly?

Today I received the following communication via email from one of Nottingham City Council's senior solicitors.

"Dear Mr *****,

Nottingham City Council LOLS

I am writing regarding the above, which Nottingham City Council understands is written and/or edited by you and has the following website address:

Nottingham City Council notes that the Nottingham City Council LOLS blog (“ncclols”) contains personal, derogatory comments regarding a number of its councillors and employees that could cause distress to those individuals.

Nottingham City Council requests that you please remove these personal, derogatory comments from ncclols and refrain from posting similar such comments on ncclols or elsewhere on the internet.

Yours sincerely

Jon Ludford-Thomas

Senior Solicitor"

What can they mean?

And my reply -

"Mr Ludford-Thomas,

I'm afraid I cannot agree to your request to remove comments that cause 'distress' nor can I agree not to post further similar comments on ncclols or "elsewhere on the internet".

You see, this is my blog and I will write what I damn well please on it within the confines of the law. I am sure that many of your elected members and employees will find that criticism causes them 'distress' but this is largely due to their inability to understand any world view other than their own combined with their extreme arrogance.

Satire has a long history of upsetting its subjects. Are you suggesting that popular television programmes such as 'Mock the Week' on BBC television should not be allowed to include any material that 'could' cause anybody distress? While I don't necessarily include myself in such lofty company I'm sure you would agree that it would be a very short programme if that were the case.

Satire also has a long history of being used as a vehicle to criticise those in power and to take them down a peg or two. It is in that spirit that I write ncclols and make the comments about some individuals. If that causes those individuals 'distress' I would suggest that is their problem.

Having said that I do take issues such as factual accuracy and defamation very seriously and I invite you to contact me should you consider any of my material to be incorrect or libellous. I would certainly take any allegations of that nature with the seriousness they deserve and would correct or remove such material should I be convinced by your objections. But if you just try and take the piss I hope you'll forgive me if I simply ignore you. In addition, if you engage in baseless legal threats I will treat such actions as harassment and issue appropriate legal proceedings.

Yours sincerely

Andy ***** "

Erm, do the words "PR disaster" mean anything to you?


Anonymous said...

Tell them to stuff it where the sun don't shine.

Anonymous said...

At least you know that they're reading your stuff... and that you're getting up their arrogant, over-large corporate nose.

Must be a very satisfying feeling.

Scouse & Proud #jft96 said...

Andy, what I object to is that they are pissing my tax money up the wall writing to you. Have these overweening idiots nothing better to spend my money on? And, how come they can afford solicitors when they can't afford to ensure that the empty the bins reliably?

Unknown said...

I found this blog thanks to this article (linked on Indymedia). Cheers NCC!

M_B said...

Hmmm, I wonder if NCC would be interested in taking up legal proceedings against Redwatch. They do, after all, deliberately attempt to cause distress to a number of Nottingham's residents, many of whom support the council. I only ask that NCC be noble enough to 'lead by example'. I mean, they clearly don't want people to be 'distressed' by anything that might be read on the internet, right?

Cough, cough!

Niles said...

Refer 'em to Arkell v Pressdram :)

Andy said...

@norfolk that was my general implication but I do like to keep things civil ;)

@Alan it doesn't take much to get up their noses tbh, they're a bunch of fragile control freaks

@Lord M it was one of their own solicitors, all councils have legal teams. But as he's apparently writing on behalf of individual councillors and officers, surely that should count as a taxable benefit for them?

@Chris glad you made it

@M_B I suspect they'd only have a go at Redwatch if they start featuring and senior Directors or Councillors

@Niles I think you probably just have done for me indirectly!

Unknown said...

Good shot!

Neelypeel said...

If they want to take things any further, I would duplicate your posts to, which they couldn't possibly take down...