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Friday 11 December 2020

Toby Young’s Gang Laughed Out Of Court

While the assembled ranks of the punditerati continue their mission to rationalise the looming shit-show that is a No Deal Brexit, pretending that the economic and societal damage is the fault of Rotten Foreigners™, rather than a deliberate and premeditated act of national self-harm, one of their number has found that his latest act of litigation is a campaign that has developed not necessarily to his advantage.

In the true Brexiteer tradition of talking the talk, only to fall over in a heap of others’ ridicule later, the loathsome Toby Young and his pals at the so-called Free Speech Union, which is supposedly non-partisan but just happens to only defend those out on the libertarian right, have been to court to bring the dastardly Ofcom to heel.

Back in June, Tobes told his adoring public that “The Free Speech Union has asked Ofcom to withdraw its guidance prohibiting licensees from broadcasting material likely to undermine public confidence in the Government's handling of the pandemic and said it will apply for a Judicial Review if it doesn’t”. FREEZE PEACH! FREEZE PEACH!

Ofcom declined to endorse pandemic denial and wacko conspiracy theories. So Tobes and his pals went to the High Court. We’d see who’s boss now! But sadly, there was to be no judicial review. Because the FSU’s application for one was refused. But you would not have known that from reading the group’s Twitter feed.

There, they told “The judge in the [FSU]’s case against [Ofcom]’s coronavirus guidance says, ‘The claimants are quite right to emphasise the importance of freedom of expression.’ Thanks to us, [Ofcom] has stopped censoring Covid dissidents. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one thing wrong with this conclusion - it was bollocks.

C J McKinney had the real story. “Mr Justice Fordham dismisses a challenge by the Free Speech Union and Toby Young to the broadcasting regulator's guidance on coronavirus reporting … The argument was that Ofcom's guidance tries to regulate discussion of the policy response to coronavirus. Fordham J found that it doesn't do that: Ofcom is only concerned with misinformation ‘about the disease itself’”. And it got worse.

Mr Justice Fordham did not merely dismiss the FSU claim. Here is what he said about it: “In my judgment, this claim is not properly arguable and in the end is premised on a misinterpretation and mischaracterisation of Ofcom’s Guidance Notes, alongside a number of what in my judgment are untenable arguments in relation to the statutory scheme and the application of Article 10”. Tobes and his pals were laughed out of court.

As James Doleman observed, “Young's ‘Free Speech Union’ ruled liable for all costs … Luckily he has all those subscriptions to pay off the lawyers”, noting that a year’s full membership of the FSU costs almost £50. Doleman was blocked by Tobes for pointing that out, giving the impression that, for Toby Young, reality is a mere state of mind.

But he has one consolation: the national press has declined to splash on his loss. Thus his blushes have been spared by his pals. If only that paid the legal bills too.

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AndyC said...

However bad things are, be it the Govt's mishandling of the pandemic, or the omnishambles of Brexit, there's always Capt Bellend falling on his arse to cheer us up.

Anonymous said...

Young's lies and self-delusion long ago crossed over into a surreal miasma that would have challenged even Edgar Allan Poe.

The fellow's plainly as thick as Nazi pigshit. Enough, probably, to attract more invites from corporate media broadcast "news and current affairs".

He and Kuentssberg are well matched bookends for far right print propaganda bullshit.

Andrew said...

You love to see it

Anonymous said...

Surely as the missing Mitchell brother he should be in mourning over the death of dame babs?

Jez Box said...

Tim your blog has made my day! Captain Bellend? Says it all.

Jonathan said...

You can always rely on Cap'n Bellend to cheer us up amongst the shitshow of his mate Bozza fucking up Brexit..

Johnspartacusanonymous said...

Dumb-Ass Nasty and a head that looks more like a decomposing Potato every day.