As footballer Ryan Giggs has seen his faith in the legal profession less than amply rewarded, there has been a tendency across the blogosphere to claim credit for breaking the “superinjunction”, rubbish lawyers – and especially Schillings, who represented Giggs – and portray an air of defiant courage. And no-one has done all three better than the Guido Fawkes blog, home of Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole.
Right from the off, the Fawkes blog has named names, while putting the boot into Schillings – especially head man Keith Schilling and partner Rod Christie-Miller. There was even discussion of the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically Article 8, with the conclusion – probably right – that this was designed to stop Governments spying on their own citizens (as was routine, for instance, in the former East Germany).
So it might be thought that Staines and Cole are two fearless individuals, who will publish and be damned, without any hesitation or deference. And, given the Fawkes blog’s characteristic dismissal of the abilities of the supposed “Dead Tree Press”, that publication would be done first in the blog, with the rest of the Fourth Estate struggling to keep up with the dynamic duo.
Sadly, that thought would be misplaced, and once again we have Private Eye to thank for shedding a little of the sunlight so beloved of Staines and Cole onto the subject. After the Fawkes blog claimed the scalp of Pa Broon’s former hatchet man Damian McBride back in 2009, the Eye, in issue 1235, revealed that Staines was, in fact, of less than perfect courage.
“Congratulations to blogger Paul Staines on his spectacular scoop with the McBride/Draper emails. Congratulations too for his belated realisation of the superiority of the ‘dead tree press’ in choosing to print not a word from them on his own ‘Guido Fawkes’ website and hand them over instead to the Sunday Times and News Of The World” observed the Eye.
The article continued “That allowed Rupert Murdoch’s lawyers to take on the legal risks and potential costs over which the fearless Fawkes had been fretting for some time”.Just fancy that!