18 September 2008

Councillor Kalashnikov or legal beagles vs bloggers again

There is no rest for a blogger who tries to eke his humble Internet existence by humbly biting a knee here and a hand there. Hardly had the virtual blood of Harry's Place dried, and there is another blogger being picked upon by another pride of the eternally hungry lawyers. This time the victim is a British politician and blogger Kezia Dugdale.

The story starts with a Glasgow SNP Councillor Jahangir Hanif. The man, apparently, has some Middle Eastern roots and, also apparently, has some habits that could not be satisfactory handled in the stiff and well-mannered environment of Great Britain. He suffers from the urge, you see, to shoot a semi-automatic rifle, namely Kalashnikov, at something or other from time to time. Since this craving cannot be indulged in Glasgow or its environs, he has to do it in Afghanistan (don't ask me why). Not only that, but he wants his family, including his little kids, to partake in this sport.

It so happens that Mr Hanif is one of the two sides in the quite a messy divorce. Acrimony spilled over from a married couple to the children. One of the children, one Noor Hanif, decided to complain about dad's rather quirky tastes in firearms and other behavioral traits to a political luminary - the SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. She send him a rather long letter, complaining about this and that. More on the story here, there and in other blogs.

As it happens, the full and unabridged text of this letter found its way to the general public, and some bloggers, including Ms Dugdale, published it in full or in part. As a result, Councillor Kalashnikov is mightily pissed off and has instructed his lawyers to take steps. Lawyers, of course, readily took steps. First of all by sticking their poisonous talons into the bloggers (they obviously understand that tacking a newspaper will be much more difficult). Ms Dugdale issued a brief statement after removing the letter from her blog. Suffice to quote this:

The firm of Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France and Co., gave this site 15 minutes to remove the letter.
I don't know whether it was really necessary to publish the whole letter. There are some pretty personal things that are better left alone, or for the divorce courts. But after so many people published it, the business of keeping it under lock and key becomes not only impossible but plainly stupid. And the Streisand effect will do its work. I, myself, will not publish the letter here - it's quite long and frankly, a bit tedious. But I shall happily send it to anyone who requests it (look up our e-mail on the right side of the blog). But not before quoting Councillor Kalashnikov on that famous Afghanistan (or was it Pakistan) outing:
He was saying “Look at these people, my friends, I could have anyone shot”.
All in all, the letter shows a fairly loathsome dude. A loathsome dude with some attack lawyers at his disposal to boot.


Via Alwyn ap Huw aka Miserable Old Fart.