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Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Sun Shafts Guido Fawkes

Another week ends, and still the injunction remains in place forbidding the media in England and Wales from revealing the identity of the “Married celebrity couple”, one of whom was involved in a threesome with two other individuals. The Murdoch Sun has been protesting particularly loudly about this impediment to their ability to generate More And Bigger Sales Figures For Themselves Personally Now.
So, in a complete coincidence, honestly, one good friend of the Murdoch press, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, has attempted to break the injunction by claiming that what he has posted to the Guido Fawkes blog originates in Ireland, and is therefore not covered by it. For his pains, he has been threatened by Messrs Carter Ruck. Staines may think he is safe over there in the Republic. But all might not be well for him.

He has told “Guido’s servers are in the United States of America [and] this article is being typed in the Republic of Ireland … There are no physical assets in the UK, there is no digital equivalent of a printing press, no device that can be seized or smashed … Carter-Ruck have now instructed Johnsons, a Dublin law firm, and are threatening proceedings here in Ireland”. Let’s have a look at Esquire magazine’s profile, shall we?

Here, Edwin Smith tells of “The day I spend in the Guido Fawkes office in central London”, while Staines maintains his conceit that “the website is registered in the Caribbean tax haven of Nevis, while Staines is officially a resident in the Republic of Ireland”. But Smith also describes an office with “three monitors and a TV perpetually tuned to Sky News. Behind me, there are boxes with wires spewing out of them, a video camera, ring binders piled on top of one another”. No physical assets, eh?
Carter Ruck might find that information useful. What they might find yet more useful is today’s Sun rant over the paper’s inability to get the injunction lifted before the weekend. “A GAGGING order on the threesome scandal was like trying to “plug a hole in the dyke”, the Court of Appeal was told yesterday … And QC Gavin Millar - leading The Sun on Sunday’s legal team - said such attempts ‘tend to be hopeless’”.

Aw diddums! But do go on: “The newspaper yesterday asked three judges to lift a ban on naming the star and their celebrity spouse at the centre of the furoré … The court is now due to give its judgment on Monday, with the injunction in place in the meantime … Yet the story is available to almost two billion people worldwide after it was published in the US, China, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Ireland and on a popular UK blogging site”.

There you have it: the Sun says, in an article which would have to have been legalled prior to publication, that the Guido Fawkes blog is “a popular UK blogging site”. Paul Staines has been trying to prove otherwise this week. A screen shot has been included, just in case anyone realises what they’ve done and tries to delete the article. The people at Carter Ruck are welcome to use that screen shot in whatever way they wish.

Staines’ pals at the Sun may just have given Carter Ruck grounds to go after him. So I do hope he got the Murdoch doggies to underwrite his costs. Another fine mess, once again.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

A good reason for the law to look at these kinds of revelations from a legal perspective.

Havens and servers and legal loopholes need the same treatment as tax loopholes.

They need plugging.

Darren Leathley said...

Didn't the Sun check this with their Westminster correspondent?

rob said...

One drawback is that who would trust The Sun to get the facts right on anything let alone their own contributors?

Another is that on the other side of the balance sheet there is a liability of that Tea Boy, Wickers, whose insipid brews tend to bring more flak upon themselves than their intended targets (thanks in part to Zelo Street).

Arnold said...

Um, hasn't Zelo Street just told us where to find their names?

Tim Fenton said...

@4

No link to the Fawkes blog was included, to avoid any claim that this post had breached the injunction.

Anonymous said...

I think Arnold is probably right. The exact terminology is not that one must not republish (as posting a link would effectively do), but wider in its scope:

"[A] third party with notice of the injunction, which assists a party to disobey it, may also be in contempt."

http://www.out-law.com/topics/dispute-resolution-and-litigation/injuctions/interim-injunctions/

I'd say it was arguable that by telling readers exactly where to look, you are 'assisting' Mr Staines.

Anonymous said...

How can he make the point without including it?



Arnold said...

"How can he make the point without including it?" He can't but I can't see the law regarding that a valid defence.
The injunction is pointless though, and I'd be surprised if it isn't lifted on Monday.

Perplexed said...

I think I know who its about and I've not visited Staines site.
People gave it out on Twitter.

Anonymous said...

There's a readily available Twitter hashtag which will furnish you with all the details.

Oscar James said...

If this is true : ""[A] third party with notice of the injunction, which assists a party to disobey it, may also be in contempt." then The Sun is bang to rights as well.

Oscar James said...

And if Staines thinks that being an Irish citizen living in the UK somehow exempts him from British law he is a bigger dickhead than we think. I'd love to see him in front of M'Lud expounding that theory.
Two things : News Corp hacks are now so slack they inadvertently dropped Staines in it or he is so loathed by them they did it deliberately.

Anonymous said...

His departure from Sun nation says a lot. No replacement role?

Anonymous said...

How to miss the point.

If he can prove he publish this article while in Ireland, on a site with servers stored in the US, than no, the UK law would not apply, even if he returned to the UK afterwards.

And for Zelo to chummy up to Carter Fuck like this.... you should be standing shoulder to shoulder with Paul.