Perle's Before Swine

Earlier this year, some of you may remember how Michael McDowell managed to cause something of a stir with this speech. Although something of a tour d’horizon, much attention was focused on his decision to compare Ireland’s newest daily newspaper, the Daily Ireland, with a German nationalist publication of an earlier era. What veterans of the latter publication made of the comparison is not recorded, but it certainly led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Poleglass. So it was, some six weeks later, that three of DI’s directors caused it to be known that they had, having apparently failed to secure a retraction, instructed solicitors to issue a writ against the Minister.

I was immediately reminded of a series of articles in Slate by Jack Shafer concerning threats made by Richard Perle, a prominent US neo-conservative politician, to seek satisfaction from the veteran correspondent Seymour Hersh who had, he felt, similarly maligned him. Schafer dared Perle to make good on his threat and indeed continued to do so until finally the limitation period expired.

Of course it amy well be that the DI’s directors were entirely serious, but in that case, where is the writ?

  • irishman

    Jimmy Sands once again reveals his pro-brit tendencies. I don’t know why Mick let’s these chip-burdened shoulders write for his site. It only serves to demean its reputation.

  • Napper

    Richard Pearle is not a prominent U.S. politician, Jimmy. He’s never run for any office that I’m aware of and so, he would have had a better chance of prevailing in a lawsuit. You see, in the United States, people of notoriety are more vulnerable to criticism than are private citizens who simply hold low level government positions. I suppose he realized that the truth is a good defense and let the matter drop.

    As to the proposed suit against Justice Minister McDowell, the problem may have something to do with cross border politics. Or it may be because the public would find it unseemly that a newspaper was suing an individual rather than the other way around which is generally the case.

  • aquifer

    Great statement. And good question.

    Where are these poor maligned souls, that despite controlling a newspaper, need to go law to put themselves on record?

    Anybody want to collaborate on a Provo propaganda lexicon:

    No 1 The Counterblast. Very loud, smoke everwhere, when it clears, nothing left.

  • aquifer

    No 2 Sticks not bones If there is a meaty lump of an issue lying on the ground, throw a few sticks into the long grass, its surprising how many will chase them.

  • Jimmy Sands

    IM, I’ve posted three pieces here. Only one concerned the “brits”, and was hardly supportive of them. If you have something to say which you believe would redeem the site’s reputation from the depredations I have managed to inflict on it apparently in the last 48 hours, then e-mail Mick. If you’d rather just whinge about me, that is your privilege too. You could even go completely crazy and address the topic. Or indeed any topic.

  • j5o6hn

    Problem is that the IRA and SF plus the other side are scared of the truth

  • vespasian

    Sue, they should pay him for the free publicity.

    I will never undertand how nationalist/republican paper would want to be funded by a British Government – do principles count for nothing?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Of course it amy well be that the DI’s directors were entirely serious, but in that case, where is the writ?’

    Does anyone know how long it takes to put such a writ together? The basis for the writ, evidence to support it etc. Given that a simple house exchange (in my experience) can run into months, one would think that the procedures for such a writ would be more complicated.
    But then recognising the technicalities of the legal process wouldn’t have allowed a snide opinion piece.

  • Davros

    That’s a reasonable point pat – I mean SF (with it’s Millions behind it) and it’s lawyers still cannot figure out how to issue a writ on the blatently obvious slanders about Gerry and Martin’s alleged pasts 😉

  • aquifer

    No 3 Hammer on Keep hitting the opposition confidently with repeated and new points. You appear in control, it crowds out other commentary, and people rarely go back over the record to check what you said a while back.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    While SF is undoubtedly a wealthy party it would be unreasonable to expect it to pick up the tabs for any libel actions on behalf of Gerry and Martin. The libel is personal and up to them to finance any action out of their own pocket.

    Given than any action would be unlikely to succeed probably better off to keep whatever money they may have.

  • Davros

    While SF is undoubtedly a wealthy party it would be unreasonable to expect it to pick up the tabs for any libel actions on behalf of Gerry and Martin. The libel is personal and up to them to finance any action out of their own pocket.

    LOL – that might play across the Atlantic Pat but it sounds as dodgy as phony Tony’s claims about WMD and Iraq ! Allegations involving the party could of course be perfectly honourably rebutted using party funds. Nahhhhh – It’s taken decades for Gerry and Martin with the best legal advice money can buy and still no writs –
    so either it’s too complex or the allegations are
    impossible to defend …. I know which my money is on!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    ‘I know which my money is on!’

    libel trials are held before a jury. Given that fact it would be impossible for SF or indeed Gerry or Martin to get redress through the courts.
    That statement inadvertently strengthens the argument that minds have already been made up regarding SF and Gerry and Martin.
    Thanks Davros I couldn’t have made it any clearer myself.

  • fair_deal

    Pat

    You can get judge only libel/slander trials.

  • Henry94

    Daily Ireland is such a success it hardly needs worry about McDowells opinions. It would be hard to prove damage anyway when the paper is going so well.

  • Davros

    LOL fair_deal – you would think that after decades of legal advice SF would know that, wouldn’t you ?

    Not to mention, Pat me old mate, plenty of books and newspaper articles have been published around the world – Gerry, Martin and SF could always seek ‘justice’ outside of British Jurisdiction…..

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    the thread where I had an altercation with the increasingly deranged tom luby (the one were I received a red card) perhaps sums up my position on this type of libel case.

  • Davros

    Pat – please address the point – The supposed libels and slanders could easily be taken to court away from the British …..

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    what libels and slanders? Who made these libels and slanders? Where are they from etc etc etc?

  • beano

    Nobody else think this is a cheap publicity stunt from the DI? Surely they could never win a libel case against someone who asked a question about what might happen in the future… I’m no lawyer, but the minister didn’t actually make any claims about the publication.

    What he unwittingly did do, however, was play into the hands of Marty Miller and his Mopey friends at the DI. Everyone’s against us.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Pat,

    Thank you first of all for addressing the point. I know something about the process and the explanation you suggest seems implausible. The alleged defamation took place on the 13th January. The threat to sue came on 21st February by which time it as at least implicit that m’learned friends were already instructed and had been in contact with the DoJ in an attempt to secure a retraction. Over a month later still nothing. We don’t even know precisely who is to be sued, the precise libel, or even the jurisdiction in which this supposed case is to be brought. It doesn’t take this long. If you look at Schafer’s piece you will see he excoriates the press for its complicity in Perle’s PR blitz, by publishing a vague threat of a suit, rather than an actual suit, as if it were newsworthy. The Guardian, along with one or two perhaps more predictable outlets, went along with this.

    Of course I could be completely wrong, and one of our many readers at Teach Basil can give us a progress report on the action.

  • Paul Panther

    McDowell’s ‘Nazi’ comments should be taken with a large pinch of salt. They were condemned by the NUJ for putting the lives of journalists in danger.
    As a fellow NUJ member I was shocked at what he said. I have a few friends working in Daily Ireland who are under loyalist death threat and they’re decent people. Like me, not all of them are republicans.
    I think this thread highlights Jimmy’s anti-Daily Ireland bias.
    For someone who hates the group so much he spends an awful lot of time writing about them.
    Not only that but this story is months old. Perhaps this is another example of Jimmy’s obsession with DI?

  • Davros

    Paul Panther – I myself thought Jimmy was standing up for the V.B 😉 There’s a rumour that the holder of it’s Trademark are considering suing McDowell….

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    JS,

    perhaps you could have given us your experience on these matters as an indicator of the time frames involved.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Precise time frames would depend on where the proceedings were to be brought, something which the aggrieved parties have never, so far as I am aware specified. They claim that they instructed there lawyers to issue proceedings over a month ago and so far no such proceedings have begun as far as I am aware, nor am I aware of any explanation for this. They may simply take the view that it is not a matter of any urgency. We shall see.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Precise time frames would depend on where the proceedings were to be brought, something which the aggrieved parties have never, so far as I am aware specified’

    Read that as ‘I haven’t a clue’. But i’ll just post a load of crap to put the mix in.

    Quality stuff.