Delingpoled…

Well, there is a bit of hope for the UK after all.

This posting was prompted by an article on WUWT:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/09/james-delingpole-beats-a-press-complaint-from-uea/

Given that they also have an article about another suit against someone having an opinion, it’s pretty clear where “The Team” are headed now. If you can’t win in the court of public opinion, try to shut folks up with attacks via the legal system.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/08/help-asked-for-dr-tim-ball-in-legal-battle-with-dr-mann/

Yes, it would seem on must ask Herr Commissar if you may speak, but at least in this case, the speech commission decided not to whack the peepee of James Delingpole and instead said it is OK for bloggers in the UK to have an oppinion, even if it is counter to the One True Faith of Global Warming:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100083071/uea-the-sweet-smell-of-napalm-in-the-morning/

I wasn’t going to crow, really I wasn’t. But I’m afraid I can’t resist, especially since it’s my last blog post for a while and this is an event of some significance. I’m talking about the Press Complaints Commission’s ruling on a complaint brought against this blog by our old friends at the University of East Anglia. They lost. We won. (And I do mean we: I’m hugely grateful to my legal advisers, as well as to experts including Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford, Richard North and Christopher Booker.)

And while I’m glad to see that he won, when faced with “The Press Complaints Commission”, I am just a bit wondering what folks without “legal advisers, as well as …experts” can do when their speech is whacked with a legal ax? Hmmm?

The simple existence of such a commission that gets to pass judgement on speech is a sin, IMHO.

Basically the UEA were trying to use the PCC as a way of gagging this blog from speaking unpalatable truths about the shoddy goings-on in its notorious Climatic Research Unit.

To its enormous credit the PCC stuck up for fair comment and freedom of speech. This is a massive victory not just for me and Telegraph blogs, but for bloggers everywhere – especially those doughty souls around the world who are battling against Establishment lies, bullying and cover ups to try to reveal the truth about the corrupt, mendacious Climate Change industry.

That’s the problem with such an approach. Natural rights become subject to the whim of the person who packs picks the folks on the commission… and subject to use and abuse by folks looking for a weapon for Political Correctness writ large.

He then lists the ruling, in full. I’m just going to pull out a couple of particularly choice bits. For the rest, hit the link:

The complainants, acting on behalf of the University of East Anglia (UEA), complained that three blog posts by James Delingpole were inaccurate and misleading and contained distorted information in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code. In particular, the complainants were concerned that the blog posts described Professor Phil Jones as “disgraced, FOI-breaching, email-deleting, scientific-method abusing”. They explained that Professor Phil Jones had been exonerated of any dishonesty or scientific malpractice by a series of reviews. They were concerned that a second blog post repeated accusations that had been demonstrated as untrue, concluding that the University’s scientists were “untrustworthy, unreliable and entirely unfit to write the kind of reports on which governments around the world make their economic and environmental decisions”, and a third blog post referred to the scientists’ work as “shoddy” and “mendacious”.

Gee, can we now say that a Royal Commission has found their work to be “disgraced” and “untrustworthy, unreliable, and entirely unfit”? I certainly hope so! ;-)

Kind of like that “shoddy” and “mendacious” too…

The Commission was satisfied that readers would be aware that the comments therein represented the columnist’s own robust views of the matters in question. Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code permits the publication of such comment provided it is clearly distinguished from fact and does not contain significantly inaccurate, misleading or distorted information

How nice of them to allow us to have our own opinions on things…

Through its correspondence the newspaper had provided some evidence in support of the statements under dispute, and the columnist had included some of this evidence in the second blog post under discussion. In relation to the columnist’s description of Professor Jones as “FOI-breaching, email-deleting”, the newspaper had provided extracts from an email from Professor Jones in which he had written “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone”, and another email in which he had written “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?”. With respect to the columnist’s assertion that Professor Jones was “scientific method-abusing”, the newspaper had provided an extract from an email from Professor Jones in which he had written “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline”. In view of this, the Commission considered that there were some grounds for the columnist’s opinion – which readers would recognise was subjective – on these points.

Oh? So the request to delete email was a subjective act? I see… Not yet ready to grasp the truth by the horns in Merry Old England…

The Commission was satisfied that readers would be aware of the context of the columnist’s robust views – clearly recognisable as his subjective opinion – that the scientists were “untrustworthy, unreliable and entirely unfit to write the kind of reports on which governments around the world make their economic and environmental decisions”, and that their work was “shoddy” and “mendacious”. In the circumstances, it did not consider that there had been a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code.

Oh, now that’s a low blow, to accuse him of being “robust”, that’s tantamount to calling him a “model abusing lier” in “climate science” circles! How Could They! ;-)

But at least we can say that: Under the Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code; “the scientists were ‘untrustworthy, unreliable, and entirely unfit'” and “their work was ‘shoddy’ and ‘mendacious’.”

What a world…

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events, Political Current Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Delingpoled…

  1. Sandy Rham says:

    Actually the story here is to do with Moonbat, a Guardian blogger who slagged off Dr. North of EUReferendum. The PCC upheld Moonbat by saying his criticism was clearly personal opinion prominently under his byline.
    When the Dellers thing came up Dr. North showed him the judgment and Dellers was able to use the PCC’s judgment as his defence.
    So in helping Moonbat slap Dr. North the PCC have opened the way for bloggers to be more forthright, shall we say.
    :D:D

  2. Level_Head says:

    The “defense,” using the references to the emails, was as cursory as the “exonerations” were.

    Nevertheless, it is good to see “robust” being “robusted.” As you might have seen, emails WERE deleted as a result of Phil Jones’ request to delete them, and this is now creating something of a stink over the Penn State whitewash.

    They got away with the FOI business only because of an odd, six-month statute of limitations and a most careful interpretation of it.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  3. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I always liked the sound of “mendacious”. ;-) pg

  4. oldtimer says:

    On a point of fact, the Press Complaints Commission is not a Royal Commission, as you seem to imply.

    “Gee, can we now say that a Royal Commission has found their work to be “disgraced” and “untrustworthy, unreliable, and entirely unfit”? I certainly hope so! ;-)”

    The PCC is a self regulating industry body. If it had been a Royal Commission I expect they would have so set terms of reference and so stuffed it with placemen that they would find Delingpole guilty as charged ;)

    Think about the UEA enquiries that found Prof Jones an innocent party and you will get the idea.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @oldtimer:

    As a “Yank” that whole business of what is, and isn’t, a Royal This and That just kind of escapes me. (That’s why I phrased it as a question…) Never really understood why some things are Royal and others are not… then again, we dumped Old George and his family a while ago ;-)

    Yeah, it makes for good theatre, but man, that ticket is expensive!

  6. Rarm says:

    As an ex-ex-colonial (personal joke) who thus has an unhealthy reverence for HM and blood relatives, I must take issue with ‘oldtimer’. A Royal Commission would have been conducted (at least ‘headed’) by a judge, and would, one hopes, have avoided some of the egregious violations of natural justice (I forbear to list them) committed by ‘Russell’ and ‘Oxburgh’. It would not, unfortunately, have helped in the US-centric ‘inquiries’.
    EMS – maybe you shouldn’t have been so quick to get rid of ‘the third of the tyrants and deceivers named George’.

  7. PhilJourdan says:

    You should have stuck with “pack” as that is what it is. Even here (although they have not gotten to regulating speech – yet), whoever wins the whitehouse packs the commissions. Ours are just not royal – unless you include pain in the butts.

  8. tckev says:

    IMHO “free” speech within Europe is very difficult, if not impossible.

    As I see it the volume of so many laws, bye-laws, rules, restrictions, etc., by the EU, then each country, locality, town, parish, village, hamlet etc., enforced by a vast number of agencies, ensures that only the most orthodox “truth” are allowed publicity.
    Coupled to this there are many self-serving, well paid, public officials to whom real truth and openness is viewed as a threat to themselves, and their version of public order.

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