Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ban this filth!

Someone who likes to be known as Colin Pike isn't happy about your Reaper having the impertinence to write about the ETK injunction recently...
"You have mixed stuff up. Free speech and FREE GOSSIP are very different. You belong to the latter. I'd say shut this gossipy website DOWN. Twitter got so many wrong mate. I work the patch - so I know........... THINK. Mr Reaper is no better than any tabloid trying to sell their stories FALSE OR TRUE........ hmmmmm.... So Mr Reaper (whoever he/she may be) goes to destroy lives of innocent people. Good luck. It has nothing to do with a free speech but all to do with speculation and GOSSIP. Wasn't that exactly an issue of Soviet Union?"
So, does he have a point about this blog? Or is he just a twat who can't write properly to save his life?

Answers, please, in the comments section.

Perhaps an occasion when an injunction would be justified...

In the last few weeks, we have seen a number of Twitter users creating accounts and using them in order to breach a number of injunctions. One became well-known simply because he or she had posted a false tweet about Jemima Khan and Jeremy Clarkson, where Clarkson had apparently taken out an injunction to prevent "intimate" photographs of the two from being published in the press. It led to a farcical situation where the press could deny something if it was false, but could say nothing at all if it were true.

Here's an occasion for you when a privacy injunction might be the best way forward. Believe it or not, but your Reaper does think the use of an injunction can be right and proper in some cases. Let us imagine that we had a serving Prime Minister who had previously wated no opportunity in using his own children for political advantage. This went on for many years, and was even remarked upon by Leader of the Opposition. All of a sudden though, that stopped.

Suddenly, the children were to be kept as far out of sight as possible. Perhaps because of some problems within the family. We then discover that one of the Prime Minister's children has attempted to commit suicide. Think I'm making this up? Apparently, this has happened in the past, and it was in the United Kingdom. I'm not going to name the Prime Minister, in question nor the child. I consider myself a responsible blogger and one has to be especially careful with a subject as delicate as suicide.

The closest the story of the family's difficulties got to being reported in the British media was when a close confidante and friend of the Prime Minister let slip in an interview that the PM had considered resigning earlier that year for domestic reasons. Again, I can't reveal the name of this person either for legal reasons, but this Prime Minister had to endure considerable speculation for the rest of his days in office that he was going to have to stand down for private reasons.

In this case, I think an order preventing the media from reporting on something as private as this is absolutely justified, though I don't think it should last forever. There's been a lot of speculation on the internet that a D-Notice was placed on this story when this man was in power, so I don't know whether there is an injunction in existence. In this case, reporting could have been extremely intrusive and could have helped push the child in question over the edge.

So I think it would have been justified, and the facts the parents were narcissists who used their children at every opportunity for political advantage doesn't change that. This case is especially different to the ones of cheating footballers - would this child deserve to be "outed" on Twitter? I think not.

The only problem, of course, would be the same problem as always exists when it comes to injunctions. There's always a chance their contents could be leaked at any time, but I'm afraid that is what must come with the territory nowadays.

The Injuncted Kingdom?

Quick question from your Reaper here. Let's say that the high court in London grants a celebrity an injunction to prevent reporting of details in their privta lives. The injunction applies to England and Wales automatically, as both countries are governed under English law.

What's the situation in Scotland and Northern Ireland? I've been trying to find out, and I am still nowhere closer to getting an answer than I was when I started. The Sunday Herald obviously thought the Ryan Giggs/Imogen Thomas injunction didn't apply up in Scotland, hence why they published his picture in an edition of the paper. Yet I keep hearing that courts elsewhere in the UK are bound by the rulings in England and Wales.

I even emailed Guido Fawkes to see if he knew. His answer wasn't completely clear - though he pointed out that Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own seperate legal systems, he also told me it's far safer to be over the border in the Republic of Ireland - like Guido is himself.

I'm really confused...

No swearing please, we're shopping

When writing about the plan by the police farce in South Yorkshire to dole out fines of up to £80 to people who utter expletives in public, the mystical figure that is the Daily Mail Reporter needed someone to tell him what they thought. Ideally, it needed to be an opinion which stated the paper's view. What's a journalist with a looming deadline to do?

Ah yes. Ask Tory MP for Shipley Philip Davies for a short and snappy quote that will fit into a small article. Mail reporters seem to have the man on speed dial, such is the frequency of his quotes in their newspaper. Anyway, Davies said of this...
"A lot of people are put off going into town centres because of yobs swearing..."
Goodness me! Your Reaper has just had a revelation in his head. I always thought that the reason people didn't go into town centres was because they were all full of crap, identikit shops selling crap for extortionate prices. I also thought it was because councils seem to think it's their divine right to charge a small fucking fortune just for the privilege of getting to park your car in the town centre.

It turns out I was wrong. The great Philip says it's because of all those yobs swearing. I wonder if Davies would consider your Reaper to be a yob, as I happen to swear occasionally. Perhaps if we all stopped swearing, we'll see a transformation in the fortunes of our struggling high streets.

And if you believe that, you'll believe anything.

* I haven't even mentioned the double standards here. Whilst Dacre rails against swearing and bad language in his organ, he's notoriously known for calling everyone a cunt at the Mail's morning meetings. But I won't mention any of that...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sharon Shameless and a mea culpa

"Look at me, look how happy I am. £500,000 in compensation, here I come!" >>

Earlier on today, your Reaper posted something where I quoted from an article written last week by Diane Abbott for The Guardian. I wrote initially that I agreed with her view, and that ministers were right to act the way they did. Since then, I've had another think about this issue - and I've concluded that I may have got it wrong this morning.

Allow me to explain. Ministers were correct in their view that she was tainted goods and should no longer head children's services at Haringey Council. Had she behaved in a manner which was more remorseful and concillatory - admitting that things had gone badly wrong would have been a start - there just might have been a case for her remaining iin post. The thing is, there wasn't. She pretty much talked herself out of a job by being so incredibly arrogant and pig-headed during the media storm.

I was glad to see Shoesmith sacked, I honestly was. That said, the manner of her sacking greatly worries me when I think about it. Under the law laid down by Parliament, employers must follow certain rules and regulations if they want to get rid of people from various positions. That includes giving them a right of reply to allegations made about them within their line of work. Not to provide such an opportunity is illegal. Any employer who ignored these rules and sacked someone without a right of reply to allegations made or without following the regulations would soon find themselves having to answer for their actions in court.

Which is why I've changed my mind about the Ed Balls debacle in this case. Far from him behaving sensibly, he acted in a thoroughly reckless way with no regard to the law which he helps to create. It's no wonder Shoesmith was able to get this verdict in her favour.

Had he left things alone, Shoesmith would have found herself out of a job anyway. She wasn't exactly doing a good job of defending herself against the numerous accusations heading in her direction at the time.

At best, Blinky took a sledgehammer to crack open a nut. At worst, he deliberately and willingly disregarded the law simply in order to gain approval from a baying media mob and an angry public.

Ed Balls, rather than this being a moment of sensible decision-making on his part, is now an even bigger cunt than he was before last Friday. Only a completely stupid cunt could say he would make exactly the same decisions again after a court have just ruled them to be illegal. Yet he won't get criticised for any of this, since the tabloid press is completely on his side.

Enjoy the compensation that you'll soon be getting, Shoesmith. Because even though I've just condemned Edward Michael Balls in this piece, rest assured that none of that changes the fact you don't deserve one penny in compensation.

The effrontery of Sharon Shameless

Your Reaper was going to write about this one the other day, but forgot. I've been busy over the weekend, so I just haven't had the time. I'm talking about the Sharon Shoesmith fiasco. She's just won an appeal in the high court, who have said she was the victim of unfair dismissal. Compensation payments as of yet undisclosed will soon be liable to be paid out as a result.

It shows just how bizarre it is when I can read this quote...

"Am I the only person to think that there is something inappropriate about Sharon Shoesmith, the London borough of Haringey's former head of children's services, standing on the steps of the royal courts of justice giving the appearance of someone who thinks that she has been vindicated over the death of Peter Connelly, also known as Baby P?

All along, Shoesmith has appeared to think that it is wrong she should ultimately take responsibility for the death of that little boy. She seemed to believe that she earned her £133,000 salary through the elegance of her report writing alone. And she appears to have no notion that the buck should stop with her and that there should have consequences."

...before not only noticing it was written by Diane Abbott in The Guardian, but then going on to agree with every word she said. The Grim Reaper agreeing with Diane Abbott? Strange times we live in.

UPDATE: Fuck it. I've changed my mind on this. See here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hugh Bonneville's arse? Oh kay... who's the pervert?

Earlier today, your Reaper was looking at the Feedjit tool on the right-hand side of the home page. It appears on every page on the blog in the same area and details everyone that arrives and departs from the blog. It also tells me if they came from a search engine and if so, what query it was that actually sent them here in the first place.

From time to time, I get some arrivals which could be described as rather bizarre, but this one probably has to be the most curious and intriguing for quite some time. Just over an hour ago, I came across this particularly disturbing arrival from the search engines. Because it's such a wide picture, I haven't been able to show it in its entirety here, so feel free to click it to see the full size version. Expect the unexpected, that's all I'm saying:

Well, there's definitely no pictures of Hugh Bonneville's derrier on this website, so I have absolutely no idea what this particular person might have been looking for. Perhaps the 195-carat actor has a bottom as fine on him as his acting skills, I couldn't possibly know. His wife may well be able to tell us, although I'd prefer if she didn't. Mind you, they could well have been looking for something else about the famous family-orientated married actor, of course.

Sorry to disappoint, I suppose.

About THAT married former executive's gagging order

It appears that a former chief executive of a high-profile public body may or may not have been a naughty boy. The gist of it appears to be as follows. The man in question was working until last month.

Officially, he had decided to retire. Not so, according to the Mail on Sunday. They say that he decided to quit a "junior colleague made a formal complaint about his conduct". It appears the two of them had been "close friends" and that the relationship later broke down. A temporary injunction has been granted until the case goes to trial.

The Mail provide loads of clues about the man in question, as they often do in these cases. According to their report, the man is in his 50s, has been married for over 30 years, is a father of two children, took early retirement from the public body that he worked for last month, and worked for an organisation that is "deeply involved in law and order". He appeared to be on a salary of around £180,000 per year, and "was awarded an OBE last year and lives in a £1million house in Hertfordshire".

However, can the Mail's account of this be trusted? I wouldn't say so. Your Reaper has a piece of evidence which suggests they might not be telling the full truth. Last week, the Daily Mail was accused of "deliberately flouting" an injunction that had been obtained by Fred Goodwin. Just over a week ago, the Mail published an article (which has since been deleted from their website) that included a profile of the woman that Goodwin was alleged to have been bonking. Hugh Tomlinson QC, the shark representing Goodwin and the woman in question, told the high court last week that the Mail had committed "blatant contempt of court" with the article.

Not true, replied the Daily Mail. Understandably so, but then came an admission from Jonathan Caplan QC, who was fighting the right-wing daily's corner. After denying that the paper "intentionally" flouted the court order - an interesting choice of words, if ever there was one - he told the court that the woman's present position at RBS was "slightly obscured" in the article. In other words, they were either exaggerating or just making something up. Why? It was to "throw the scent off", as he put it. It was to cover their own arses in the event this ended up in court, your Reaper puts it instead. Incidentally, Goodwin lost in this particular battle.

Funnily enough, none of this has ever been reported in the Daily Mail, nor on the website. I wonder why not. Perhaps it might be that they're up to this trick again today, having got away with it previously?

Just a thought.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

No blogging for Saturday

And don't complain. You've had plenty of reading material churned out
by your Reaper in the past week or so. Go and read some of that, if
you haven't already.

In the meantime, I'm off to have something that is called a life. A
concept that probably terrifies readers of The Grim Reaper Writes, I
know. Anyway, I'm off to the Slane festival down in County Meath for
the day. I'll be surrounded by about 80,000 people listening to bands
such as Kings of Leon and Thin Lizzy in the open air, leaving
ourselves at the mercy of the hopelessly unpredictable Irish weather.

I'll have one motherfucker of a cold come Monday morning, methinks.
Normal service resumes when I've dried myself off. If you're lucky.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Adele wants to have it all. And why not?

It appears that Adele, the singer who Miss Reaper thinks has one of the worst voices in pop music today, has gone ahead and committed a serious mortal sin.

Well, when your Reaper says sin, he means it in the smug, Guardianista sense of the word. It seems she's gone and upset the high-tax brigade with these words:

"I'm mortified to have to pay 50% [in income tax]! [While] I use the NHS, I can't use public transport any more. Trains are always late, most state schools are shit, and I've gotta give you, like, four million quid – are you having a laugh? When I got my tax bill in from [the album] 19, I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire."

Your Reaper can only agree wholeheartedly. A tax at this kind of level is a punishment for success. So, Adele has made around £8million from her latest album, and has to give £4million of that to the Government. And for what?

So that Cameron and Clegg, Cuntmasters Extraordinaire that they are, can spend yet more of our money on funding India's space programme. These people are almost as bad as Labour at spending money, so I'm amazed the economy's doing as well as it is.

Naturally enough however, some people have taken issue with her words. None more so than Rob Fitzpatrick, blogging for... The Guardian. What a fucking surprise. Linkage, please!

No mention, of course, of the fact that the Guardian Media Group are amongst the biggest tax-dodgers in the media world today. This is the media company which used an entirely legal tax dodge in 2008 to avoid paying over £60million worth of corporate taxes. That's 15 times the sum that Adele is talking about, yet here comes a Guardianista to foam at the mouth in a way which would leave even Paul Dacre looking embarrassed.

Your Reaper isn't going to advocate that Adele buys a gun and then randomly opens fire in the general direction of Rob Fitzpatrick, being the peaceful creature that I am. I would, however, suggest that Adele buys a gun and then repeatedly jabs and pokes Rob Fitzpatrick with it.

The MP, the call girl and a blogger's intrigue

<< So, who's the dirty bastard then? He's hiding away here somewhere...

Helen Wood is probably a name that frightens a number of celebrities out there. Not much else could explain her claim, made in yesterday's Spectator magazine, that she had "many famous clients" during her time working as a prostitute. She also revealed that intriguingly, there is an MP out there whom a friend of hers charges for sex. The friend in question emphasises that compromising pictures from the events will never be released.

Funnily enough, when your Reaper read about this, he was immediately reminded of a post that recently appeared on the Guido Fawkes website. It confirmed that at least one serving MP has managed to get hold of an injunction. Guido knows it, because he was served with it. I'm just thinking out loud here, but are these two possibly connected? As I must repeat, I don't know. Just thinking out aloud. Here's the link to the page I'm talking about.

Is this what the MP in question was trying to hide? Or are there other MPs who have obtained gagging orders we don't know about?

The NHS, Nick Clegg and a feeling of utter indifference

<< Nick Clegg looking stupid yesterday.

Time for some serious political stuff now - well, serious by the abysmally low standards of The Grim Reaper Writes, anyway.

Your Reaper is despondent to learn that Nick Clegg has been doing that thing which he does rather too often these days. Namely, opening his mouth and contributing to global warming by emitting incredibly hot air from his direction.

The man who would previously do absolutely anything to keep David Cameron on-side has done a complete volte face since the elections earlier this month, and now wastes no opportunity telling Cameron what he's doing wrong.

Yesterday, he was at it again, telling Call Me Dave what he could and couldn't do in regards to the Health Bill currently being fervently debated in political circles, and fervently avoided everywhere else.

A number of reforms have been proposed for the NHS, an institution that appears to spend more time being reformed by politicians than it does looking after the patients within its hospitals. Nick agreed with himself that many of the proposed reforms, designed to increase the independence of the NHS from the Government, were necessary. Nick then went ahead and signed a white paper which proposed these reforms, suggesting to even the most uninformed of commentators that he approved of its contents. Either that, or Nick signed it without actually reading it.

Now, Nick is trying to claim that he doesn't actually agree with many of the reforms proposed. He wants to make changes to the bill, the one he used to agree with, to make it into whatever he agrees with for the next five minutes. Nick is also doing this for the simple reason it annoys the hell out of Tory MPs - which your Reaper doesn't especially mind, to be honest.

It appears that Nick is trying to use the same strategy as he did over the issue of tuition fees. The context is slightly different but his responses are surprisingly similar. Whilst in opposition, he signed a pledge saying he would vote against any increases to tuition fees during the lifetime of this parliament. Whilst in government, he mysteriously changed his mind and kept saying it was necessary, though he emphasised he regretted it was necessary. Presumably regretted that it was necessary for him to make a prat of himself.

Over this issue, he signed a white paper and was probably photographed doing it. He's now claiming the reforms aren't needed, but that something else is needed. He's going back on his word - again. Nick is making something of a habit of this. Quite frankly, he's a political character whom I cherish. You never have to make up anything with Nick, because Nick gives you everything that you couldn't make up in the first place.

How long until he capitulates to the cunning politician that is David Cameron and is on TV explaining why he's changed his mind yet again? It would be the first instance in a long time of Clegg actually keeping to his promises, yet he would have to be outfoxed in order to do it. As Richard Littlejohn often says in his column, you couldn't make it up.

Nick Clegg really is the political equivalent of the gift that keeps on giving.

An open letter to Schillings

Hello there. You don't know me, but The Grim Reaper certainly knows you and is looking forward to the day he finally gets to meet all of you lawyers who work there.

That, and I've also heard of you in the news recently. Apparently, you got an injunction out for a footballer who claims he was being blackmailed by a woman he had an affair with. It was meant to protect him from harassment and presumably, to make sure we didn't find out about his dirty little secret.

You certainly did a good job of keeping his name a secret. It's been all over Twitter for nearly three weeks, and he can now be named as Ryan Giggs following the disclosure of the name in the House of Commons. You've not only managed to fail miserably to keep his name out of the press, but also failed abysmally to make sure the dirty little secret doesn't come out.

Every cunt who's had an internet connection has been able to find the name for weeks. Yet you've somehow managed to wring out over £150,000 in legal costs from Giggsy, so either you're very good at getting celebrities to spend a lot of money, or Giggs is a twat. Or both.

Of course, I also notice you're now changing your line. The injunction, having effectively been shot to pieces, is now designed simply to prevent Giggs from being harassed. Well, by whom? By the alleged blackmailer that is Imogen Thomas? Or from journalists who are now daring to ask questions about what the hell he was up to?

Your client appears to have instructed you to try and sue Twitter. It seems you are trying to work out who is behind that account which was responsible for revealing the names behind your injunction, as well as a few others alongside the untrue Jeremy Clarkson and Jemima Khan one. How many people you're going after, we don't know. Only you do, and I can't imagine you're going to tell us. My view? I think what you're doing is disgusting and is the equivalent of bullying individuals who can't always defend themselves. You must be, as established bullies, quite proud of yourselves.

I now see that Twitter, far from being the defenders of free speech that they proclaim themselves to be, have actually capitulated to your threats and say that they WILL hand over the details of people who have supposedly broken this crap injunction. Their chief executive said: "If we're legally required to turn over user information, to the extent that we can, we want to notify the user involved, let them know and let them exercise their rights under their own jurisdiction.". Music to your ears, eh?

It shows them in an astonishingly bad light and that they are no better than anyone else. It shows you lot, from my perspective, in an ignorant light. You clearly have no idea how the internet works.

This user who revealed the existence of several injunctions - how are you so sure you'll be able to prosecute them? For all we know, this person could have sent the tweets from a proxy address. They could even have been sent from an internet cafe. You're not going to look so pleased with yourselves if you discover that, are you? This could yet backfire on you, so it's not too late to change your minds and use different tactics.

Such as advising your married client not to chase attractive ladies in a skirt in future, for example.

Kind regards,
The Grim Reaper.

* One other thing. How long do you reckon you'll be able to keep the identity of ETK a secret? His name's already got out. Then again, you lot are shameless enough to think you can keep it hushed up, aren't you?

Sorry pet, I've no idea what you just said

Many of you may consider this to be tittle-tattle, and you wouldn't be wrong. That said, your Reaper is enjoying the fallout from the revelation by the surprisingly accurate TMZ showbiz website that Cheryl Cole has already been dropped from the USA's version of The X Factor. Apparently, one of the reasons she was ditched because the Yanks couldn't understand a word that the Geordie lass said. Why aren't I convinced by this line of argument?

To say the least, it's a ridiculous argument. As far as Geordies go, their accent is no easier or no harder to understand than most other parts of the UK. It's also pretty patronising to assume that Americans can only understand someone who speaks in the Queen's English.

If you want someone who's really hard to understand, find someone from northern-most Scotland, or try sticking in someone from certain counties in Ireland - I can't understand a word that those from the really southern counties here say, and it's not for want of trying.

No, I don't buy this argument at all. I think the real reason for Cole being ditched is one that's not even being mentioned in the press, such is their indignation right now. Cheryl Cole is a woman who they love to feature - mostly because she's pretty damn sexy - but they do love to give her a kicking. Which is why I almost feel compelled to come to her defence here. Almost, but not quite.

I think the reason is the criminal conviction that nobody really speaks of anymore. In case you don't remember, Cheryl Tweedy - as she was known back then - was convicted in 2003 of assaulting a toilet cleaner at The Drink nightclub in Surrey. She was initially charged with racially aggravated assault, having supposedly called Sophie Amogbokpa a "Caribbean jigaboo" and a "black bitch", but the jury cleared her of this. She's always denied being a racist - and marrying a black man kinda proves her point, methinks - but it was only a matter of time before this issue was raised in the USA. Fox executives were almost certainly aware of it, and I'm surprised they let it get this far.

There's also the fact that she was suspended twice during her time at the Walker Comprehensive School in Newcastle. The first time was after fighting with another pupil, the second was after swearing on a bus. Misdeeds from the past? Perhaps so, and your Reaper certainly can't claim he's never got things wrong in the past. But I can't help but suspect what's really the problem here is the American media's hopelessly unrealistic expectation that we're all going to be whiter than white in our dealings through life.

Cheryl fails that test, in the same way that everyone would fail it. That, I suspect, was the real reason why Fox have dropped her so quickly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speaking of abortion...

...as your Reaper did in his previous post, something unusual has
happened. I appear to be in agreement with a piece written by Laurie


Strange times we live in. I don't think much of the way Laurie seems
to think she represents everyone who is against the worrying
developments within government on abortion policy, but in this piece,
she's got it spot on.

Go read it.

Far East Movement and the question of the day

Perhaps someone can answer a question for your Reaper. It's been baffling me for some time now.

What exactly is a G6? And if you know, how do you get to feel as fly as a G6?

Let's solve this mystery once and for all.

Abortions? Up. Whinging? Up even more

Your Reaper is hearing of reports that the number of women having repeat abortions is on the increase. The figures I've got show that 189,574 abortions were carried out in 2010, a marginal increase on the 189,100 abortions conducted in 2009. In the year 2000, 175,542 were carried out. This equates to a rise of around 8% in the past 10 years.

Looking at the 189,574 figure specifically and breaking it down brings up some interesting details. I simply mention these as they interest me and make no comment on them.

Roughly half these abortions were carried out on women with unmarried partners - the figure amongst married women is 16%, whilst just over a quarter were conducted on single women. They also reveal that whilst it's younger women who still have the most abortions, the number of women over 35 having one was 27,046 last year. 64,303 abortions were carried out on women who'd already had at least one abortion - out of these, around 300 women between 25 and 29 years old had already had at least four previous abortions before even including the 2010 one.

I should declare that my source for all this is the Life News website at this point. The link follows here:

Why is The Grim Reaper using such an obviously biased and contentious source, I hear you ask? I'll explain myself shortly, though I should point out these are the same figures that appear elsewhere. First though, let's get to my personal view on abortion. Your Reaper is of no religion, but is probably closer to Catholicism than anything else due to Miss Reaper being a Catholic herself. So don't try and play the religious card after I've expressed my view on this one, please.

Abortion? My view is I don't like it. It not only results in a lot of babies not getting to discover the joy of life, but it can also be extremely traumatic for a woman. Hence why I get very worked up when I hear "pro-life campaigners" talking utter bollocks about abortion being as easy as eating Smarties. It's a downright insulting and false statement, and one that we really should move beyond. This kind of tabloid-esque argument helps no one.

That said, just because I don't like something is no reason to ban that something. I would far prefer, therefore, to see abortion legal. At least when something is legal, it will then have to be done to certain hygenic and medical standards, and a certain amount of post-abortion care (for want of a better phrase) will have to take place. We do not want to go back to the days when abortions took place in back-alleys, or by unlicensed and often unqualified individuals. I also happen to think - and this never goes down well when I mention it here on the Emerald Isle - that abortion should be legalised in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Doubtless it's because I'm supposedly "English". I'm not, but it's always a convenient tactic for shutting down debate in Ireland and one of few things I truly dislike about this country.

Now, back to the question asked previously. Why did I use such an obviously biased and contentious source as Life News for this post? Well, it's pretty simple. They're trying to make an issue out of the number of repeat abortions, as is shown in the headline "UK Sees Abortions Rise in 2010, Repeat Abortions Still High". By my own admission, they're not the only media source doing this, but they are one of the most open about it. Is it really something we should be delving into, though?

I would certainly feel uncomfortable doing so, mainly because attempting to generalise in this kind of area seems somewhat inappropriate to your Reaper. Every woman is going to decide to have an abortion for entirely different reasons and in entirely different circumstances. It's something very personal in the end, and I wouldn't be prepared to criticise anyone who chose to have an abortion, such is the rawness of this issue.

Hence why I don't understand why anyone feels it appropriate to have a go on this. From what I can see, much of the opposition seems to come from religious pro-life campaigners, who oppose abortion in pretty much all circumstances.

Recently, I attended a mission along with Miss Reaper. One evening, a eucharistic service was taking place and those who had ever had an abortion were invited to "repent" for their "sin". Quite frankly, I thought it was disgusting. If God really is as loving as people say, he would be one who respects the decisions of individuals, surely? Or is it, like so many aspects of religion, simply about controlling people?

Nor do I accept this insulting argument often perpetuated that getting an abortion is "easy". It requires the consent of two doctors and any woman who has had an abortion will probably take issue with that statement, to put it mildly. Like so many issues of our time, abortion is one that's very much polarising. By the way the news about these figures has been reported, I see little chance of that changing anytime soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Does Obama REALLY have it in the bag?

Last night, Miss Reaper said something quite intriguing about Barack Obama. She is not the most politically-minded of individuals in the sense that she talks about the subject far less than your Reaper does, but what she does say is often interesting to me. She said the following:

"I think that Barack Obama has got the next election in the bag, to be honest. Take the Irish-American vote. They're going to love seeing him in Ireland. Then take the anti-terrorism vote from the success at catching Osama Bin Laden recently. Those two things will only do good to his popularity."

Intriguing. Whilst the phrase "anti-terrorism" is a little bit too simplistic for my liking - who would you consider as "pro-terrorism", for example? - I get the point that she's making. The Irish, and those in exile and living in the Land of the Free, will indeed love seeing pictures of Barack Obama drinking a Guinness. And yes, the death of Bin Laden won't do him any harm in the short-term.

Now, readers of this blog probably know I don't especially like Obama. I consider him a statist who thinks that spending huge amounts of money is the answer to any problem, and I also think he's had a pretty easy run as President, mostly because the Republicans are providing an unbelievably useless opposition. Hence the amount of time Donald Trump spent pathetically going on about whether Obama was really born in the USA, or Republicans generally feeding nonsensical theories that Obama was actually a Muslim. If they can only question the man and not his politics, that's always a bad sign.

I tried to contest her theory, but I have to honestly admit that I struggled to do so. Thinking about it a little further, I've make little headway in finding counter-arguments, other than to say that the Presidential Elections don't take place until November 2012 and that there's still 17 months to go. The Republicans will have to put someone pretty formidable up against him - the candidacy of Donald Trump was a running joke, and the chance of Sarah Palin going for it is nowhere near as high as some people make out. Where on earth are they going to get their candidate from?

The only thing I think could cause serious headaches for Obama is his own country's economic difficulties. The USA recently revealed that it had maxed out its credit card, and that it owed over $1.4trillion altogether. Not only that, but it couldn't borrow any more money. That means spending cuts and possibly tax rises may have to be introduced, and both are measures that could cost Obama dearly.

Yes, I'd say his second term is fairly safe at the moment, but I don't think it would be wise to be complacent. The Republicans may yet unite behind one candidate as events start to unravel. A year and a half is a very long time in US politics, after all.

So, was it right to name Ryan Giggs?

Your Reaper has been writing about the subject of this particular injunction for quite some weeks now, despite occasional protestations that nobody cares about this kind of "tittle-tattle".

The blog statistics for posts on this subject - getting readerships around five times higher than normal pieces - gives the game away on that one. Ryan Giggs' name has been out on Twitter for the past fortnight, at the least, and he's finally been outed in the House of Commons.

We're all aware by now of the jokes that have been doing the rounds. Don't pretend you're not. We've become accustomed to jokes such as: "Imogen Thomas is reported to be embarking on a new singing career. Apparently, she's doing giggs all over Manchester." and "I'm about to download the Imogen Thomas sex tape. It may take a while - it's 11 Giggs". (11 is a reference to his shirt number, non-footy fans)

It's raised the highly peculiar situation where it's both legal and illegal to name Ryan Giggs in connection with this sordid business. It's legal as we are only using the name that was given in parliament, under that wonderful device that is parliamentary privilege. It's illegal to give his name as Mr Justice Eady has refused to lift, or even modify, the injunction. He says it exists in order to protect Giggs and his family - this despite the fact his name has been all over the place for weeks now. Technically speaking, we're all breaking the law by discussing this right now. That's millions of people who'll have to be jailed for contempt of court, Mr Eady...

However, was it right for John Hemming MP to use this ancient privilege to name the footballer and thus break an injunction which Giggs has supposedly spent around £150,000 obtaining? Much debate is doing the rounds, and a number of prominent figures have suggested it wasn't. I heard Tom Harris MP talking about this yesterday, and he said the only reason Hemming did it was because he was a "self-publicist". He'd have got massacred in the comments if he'd wrote that nonsense on his defunct blog, put it that way.

You'll probably be unsurprised to discover that I totally support the decision to name him. Your Reaper believes that it's inappropriate to use injunctions to prevent reporting of affairs - that's not what they are for. I think anyone using injunctions for this purpose should be named, and it's only because I believe in the rule of law that I'm choosing not to publish their names. (and no one else is publishing them in my comments section either, by the way)

There's a number of reasons why I think his naming is right.

I came across some interesting arguments from Scrumptuous Crumpet (@MsCrumpet) on Twitter on Monday night. She was against his naming and believes that it was an orchestrated witch-hunt against a man who had made a mistake. I'm not convinced by this at all.

If the man thought he had made a mistake, surely he wouldn't have tried to cover it up? A man who's genuinely ashamed or remorseful tries to put things right, not hide from it by running to ambulance-chasing lawyers. He doesn't seem like a man who's admitting his mistake to me. Nor am I convinced by the witch-hunt idea, although I readily concede Twitter does have a sheep-like feel to it occasionally.

Miss Crumpet also claims that this is a private matter, saying to me last night "It's not your problem? It's not your business in the first place. It's for him and his wife to sort. Not us.".

To a certain extent, I agree. If Giggs and his stunning wife Stacey want to work through this and try to re-build their marriage, I wish them luck. He wouldn't be the first man to have an affair, and nor will he be the last. I also agree that the kids shouldn't suffer, and that the media should be careful to make sure they don't.

That said, I don't think that absolves Giggs in any way. This is a man who has a fairly carefully cultivated "family man" image. Admittedly, it's not as well-crafted as that of John Terry, who put out a number of press releases pointing out he'd won a Dad of the Year award, or David Beckham, who wastes no time in telling us how much he loves his family, but it's there. If you're in the public eye, married with two children and you then embark on an affair, you deserve all that you get. The kids don't, and the wife doesn't either, but Giggs deserves all that's coming to him.

Besides, the press coverage yesterday morning was appallingly modest. The reason for this is thanks to that friend of free speech, Mr Justice Eady. Despite his name now being a matter of public knowledge, he still refuses to even modify the order, never mind lifting it. That means that the drip-drip of revelations is simply going to continue. Giggs is still getting some legal protection even now as a result, though nobody can say he's getting his money's worth out of Schillings.

My main problem, though, is that Giggs had decided to start going after Twitter users, trying to find out who had leaked the information so that they could be prosecuted. When you start picking on people who aren't able to defend themselves, then that's tantamount to bullying, and that's something you've got to be held to account for. There's no point trying to claim it was all your lawyers doing and that you were simply following their advice - Giggs could have stopped it. He could still stop this madness right now, if he wanted to.

No, I think it was absolutely right to name him. I don't think it's especially fair that he should be able to hide away in the dark whilst Imogen Thomas has to face the music, not to mention some truly horrid verbal abuse in the process. Yep, the woman's a home-wrecker, but it takes two to tango. And if two can tango, two can deal with the fallout.

Fiona Pilkington and the stench of police failure

This story makes me feel a mixture of immense sadness and considerable anger when I first read about it yesterday. Even this morning, your Reaper still feels much the same complex emotions. I'm talking about the case of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francecca. The facts in this case are pretty damning, and I'll just go through them as quickly as I can here.

Fiona Pilkington was a mother trying to do her best for her kids, like any mother should. For around a decade, she along with daughter Francecca and son Anthony suffered at the hands of a truly appalling campaign of abuse and violence at the hands of some truly vile individuals, all of whom are probably laughing their heads off sickeningly as they read about the details of this story. That's just one thing which makes me very angry.

Over the years up to 2007, they made no less than 33 phone calls to the Leicestershire constabulary, whose response has been dismissed as "inadequate" in a report that's just been released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Over the ten years or so of this campaign of hate against them, the police did nothing. Francecca had a disability and as such, crimes like this should have immediately placed them within the vulnerable families category. This did not happen. Indeed, in one incident in 2004, Francecca was the subject of truly disgusting abuse concerning her disability from these criminals.

In October 2007, Fiona Pilkington had simply had enough of the abuse and could not take any more. In what seems to me like an act committed in a moment of total despair, she set fire to her car whilst she was sat inside it alongside her daughter. Anthony has since had to live without his mother, which must be difficult even for a man now in his 20s. Since these tragic deaths, the IPCC has looked into the years of abuse and their report does not make for comfortable reading for Leicestershire Constabulary.

Four officers are set to face misconduct proceedings, which could result in final written warnings that will remain on file for up to 18 months. Nobody is going to lose their job over the matter. Your Reaper, quite honestly, is speechless. How the hell can mind-boggling incompetence on such a large scale and with such devastating consequences not merit at least a few individuals losing their jobs? I'm not in favour of a witch-hunt, but this does seem like yet another case of someone claiming systematic failure.

Which means that the same people who have previously failed to do their jobs properly will continue to work in the same system which has itself failed so disastrously. Why am I left with the feeling that, amidst all this, nobody has really given a second's thought to giving justice to the Pilkington family? That said, they say via their solicitor they welcome the report, so let us hope they are able to re-build their lives after all this.

And let us also hope that at least some of the bullies who perpetrated their abuse over the decade might someday see the error of their ways. I'm not holding my breath though, sadly.

You either love it or hate it

Your Reaper thought he was going mad when he first came across this. I thought I'd better take another coffee, because I'm clearly not awake yet.

It appears that Denmark have banned Marmite. Yep.

Never mind Gordon Ramsay's father-in-law and his alleged love-children, never mind Barack Obama's so-far-so-good visit to the United Kingdom and previously the Republic of Ireland. This is the big story of the day.

Naturally enough, your Reaper's libertarian antennae is stung by this news. I may not agree with Marmite, but I will defend to the death your right to eat it.

Well, maybe not to the death...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hugh Bonneville versus large breasts

Not Hugh Bonneville yesterday, but rather Amy Childs posing for FHM recently. >>

Those of you watching the Baftas on Sunday night will know that in the only award voted for by the public, the unimaginatively titled Audience Award, the winner was The Only Way Is Essex.

Many luvvies are devastated and bemused by the news. They expected that the winner would be Downton Abbey, starring that fine actor Hugh Bonneville.

Come to think of it, your Reaper did see footage of Bonneville sitting down at the Baftas, looking slightly uncomfortable. It almost looked like something had been up the man's arse at times - some of you must know the feeling of discomfort I'm talking about, surely. When you just can't get comfortable in your seat...

I also notice that he, once again, was not accompanied by the love of his life, the Volvo-driving Lulu. Then again, Bonneville is not a man to give much away, as his My Secret Life interview recently demonstrated.

But I digress.

Much as predicted, the Daily Mail has managed to get a piece into the paper decrying the "vulgar" show where the cast "have the IQ of plankton". I couldn't possibly comment, as I've never even seen the show, and nor will I be tuning in anytime soon. That said, Claudia Connell makes an interesting comment in her piece which really cannot go unchallenged:

Connell must be referring to Mail Online. This is another one of those instances when the website and the paper are almost in parallel universes. The newspaper would never print pictures of any of The Only Way Is Essex people "falling drunkenly out of nightclubs", yet their website publishes at least one new article about the show each day at the moment.

I just assumed that the Mail's online editor has a thing for Amy Childs. She seems to appear almost every day, and is normally included for much the same reason as Kim Kardashian. (yes, I know, some of you have no fucking idea who I'm on about right now) Mainly because she is a woman with a good figure and large breasts. Now, your Reaper isn't complaining about that, you understand - he constantly publishes posts featuring... well, women with a good figure and large breasts.

And let's face it. Hugh Bonneville might be a thespian of the acting world, but... he just doesn't have a good figure and large breasts to go with it, does he? Play nicely, everyone...

"The Only Way Is Essex owes its success to a youth audience, a youth vote and incredibly good PR that ensures that the Day-Glo cast are never out of the headlines, whether they're falling drunkenly out of nightclubs or making bitchy comments about one another in interviews."

Richard Littlejohn - a truly great journalist

There's a very interesting comment made today by Mr Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail. As I'm in the canteen at work during my break, I'm copying this quote off the print edition - online link will come up later today, with any luck. (UPDATE: Here's the link in question) He's talking about the use of injunctions generally, and comes out with this rather curious paragraph:

"IMHO, (as I believe they say on Twitter) everything which appears on so-called social networking sites is either wrong or motivated by malice. So I take any information I read on the internet with a malt shovel full of salt, unless it comes from a trusted source."

Your Reaper has always thought that Richard Littlejohn is a truly great journalist. I think he's one of the best in the history of British newspapers. I think his columns are always original, week in week out, and that those who criticise him are wrong on every issue, all the time. His colums are constantly well-researched and thought-provoking. Above all, he is well and truly worth the £800k or so that he gets paid every year to write his intriguing, brilliant articles.

Of course, none of this will count for anything in Richard's eyes. I doubt he would consider The Grim Reaper Writes to be a trusted source. And of course, this blog also has a Twitter feed, which means that everything that appears here will be "either wrong or motivated by malice".

Oh well. Let's just go back to calling Richard a cunt. That's not "motivated by malice", it's motivated by the facts. Though Richard would say otherwise.


Monday, May 23, 2011

A perfect example of forward thinking

Your Reaper got this in an email sent to me via the delightful Miss Reaper Click for the large version:

No, that ISN'T the Government's job...

On Newsbeat this morning, your Reaper heard a report about Slimming World. This grabbed my attention, as I know a few people who are currently taking part in this programme. In case you haven't worked it out, it's a private weight loss programme in which some foods are categorised as free (which means you can eat as much of them as you like) and others are classed as being Syns. (that's their way of spelling it) For example, a rich tea biscuit is the equivalent of two syns, or a Dairy Milk Caramel bar is the equivalent of twelve syns. You're allowed a certain number of syns each day.

How do I know all this? Let's just say that if someone near you is doing Slimming World, they won't stop talking about it. Inevitably, my brain has soaked up some of this, being the sponge that it is. The reason this is in the news is because the Government are paying people to go onto weight loss schemes like Slimming World, and research has just been released showing that the Slimming World diet does work. The research was commissioned by... Slimming World. Hmm...

Anyway, your Reaper doesn't understand why Radio 1 gets such a bad press. Granted, it's not the best of radio stations, but the commercial alternatives out there are a million times worse. At least they try to vary their playlist, instead of forcing us to listen to Cheryl Cole warbling on twice an hour. I also quite like Newsbeat. It's a pretty good bulletin that tries to explain complex issues to people who may feel other news outlets just don't speak to them. It
doesn't talk down to people, unlike some news programmes I could name.

That said, there's one thing about Newsbeat which grinds my gears. Whatever the issue, they almost always take a line of reporting which leads to them asking about the government's role in something. Today was no exception. No questions whatsoever were asked about how appropriate it is for government to be paying people to lose weight.

In my view, weight is an entirely personal issue and not one that politicians - a lardy bunch, if ever there were one - should be involved in. You want to lose weight? Fair enough. Just don't expect someone else to pay because you've been self-indulgent.

As it happens, I've nothing against Slimming World. Speaking to those I know who are on it, I do hear a lot of good things and it does seem to work - though there is much debate about whether cutting out syns altogether helps or hinders weight loss. However, there's a slight difference here. They all pay for membership of the programme from their own pockets. They don't expect taxpayers to stump up the cash.

And that is my main problem here. Newsbeat played a recording of an interview with a woman called Debbie, pictured here. She used to be a size 20. The Government paid for her to attend Slimming World classes. At the end of the course, she was a size 12.

Now, your Grim Reaper isn't a curmudgeon, so let's acknowledge that is a good thing. If Debbie is happy with being a size 12 - and God only knows that sounds very healthy to me - then I'm pleased for her. Unfortunately, I have to question her assertion that she would still be a size 20 were it not for the Government paying for it.

Why wouldn't you be prepared to pay for it yourself? It's not the Government's job to help you lose weight, you know. They're just doing it to stop you becoming a burden later on in life. It's not out of the goodness of their own hearts, you know.

I'm looking forward to being dismissed as cruel now...

Did Gordon tell the truth for once?

It appears that he may have done. Speaking last Thursday to a journalist who asked if he wanted the IMF job, he said:

"I am not interested in looking for that job"

No-one believed him, of course. He said for years that he didn't want to become Prime Minister, until he admitted it at a time when it was convenient. Yet it seems your Reaper may have been wrong to assume Gordon was lying this time.

Yesterday, William Hague revealed that:

"We have never received any public or private communication in the Government from Gordon Brown seeking to be a candidate for this position."

In other words, Gordon didn't submit his job application in time. Oh well. Perhaps he'll now be "getting on with the job" of giving parliamentary representation to the people in the constituency of Kirkcaldy and Fife, the job he gets paid around £65k per year to not do at the moment...

They may need a Schilling the way they're carrying on

<< Would YOU want to hide the fact you'd slept with this woman? Seriously?

This morning's Daily Mail asks a fairly clear question on its front page. The question is "does ANYONE still not know who they're talking about?".

If anyone's not sure what they're referring to, they are talking about injunctions, one of your Reaper's favourite topics of discussion at the moment.

Yesterday, a Scottish newspaper called the Sunday Herald made the decision to publish the picture of the man that I must refer to as CTB. (despite this injunction now being utterly pointless, I am choosing to obey it as I don't have deep pockets)

He was on a front page they did which led to a piece about our privacy laws. The gist of it was that Twitter was making a mockery of these injunctions and that we had to go back to using injunctions for their original purpose - which was to protect families from intrusive reporting, and not to protect philanderers.

Even my granny knows the identity of the man, and she doesn't even use the Internet, for crying out loud. Surely that must tell you something? I'm just amazed there hasn't been more criticism of Schillings, CTB's law firm of choice, amidst all this. Their client's name has got out, so what do they do? They try to sue Twitter for letting it leak. These people clearly have no idea how the internet works. Once it's out there, it's out there. You'd be better advising your client to keep his cock inside his underpants in future, methinks.

I'm also astonished that nobody is pointing out that Schillings are showing themselves to be truly monumental in the stakes of cuntishness. It appears that another footballer - one who wields not one, but TWO injunctions - has had his name outed by a journalist on Twitter. I'm not allowed to tell you who it is, but I will state they work for one of the more serious newspapers.

From what little research I've done, this isn't even correct. The name of the player in this case emerged about 48 hours after the granting of the order. The player is represented by Schillings as well. And what are they doing? They're trying to prosecute the journalist for daring to name the cheat in question. They really are determined to make this story as widely known as possible, aren't they?

I honestly have to wonder if Schillings are ever going to learn. Not long ago, I heard one of their lawyers talking on the BBC. As I'm typing this on my BlackBerry, I don't have a link right now, but will look for it later. He was asked how it was possible to enforce injunctions on the internet. His reply was very telling? He effectively admitted that such enforcement was impossible, and that it would depend on voluntary compliance by bloggers and tweeters. Clearly from the above actions, Schillings have changed their line. That moment of rare humility has been replaced by the bullying which this law firm is well-known for.

With any luck, this will all lead to a lot less business for the likes of Schillings. The past few weeks have shown them to be thoroughly useless lawyers who couldn't run a bath, let alone keep someone's name a secret.

Bankruptcy? Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of cunts.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lord Judge: I judge thee to be a cunt

Speaking about "persons unknown" who have been so impertient as to break some injunctions on Twitter recently, the Lord Chief Justice said:

"We have to find ways, do we not, to prevent the misuse of modern technology."

You tell me, Judge. What have you got in mind?

"Modern technology is totally out of control. I'm not giving up on the possibility that people who peddle lies about others through using technology may one day be brought under control, maybe through damages, very substantial damages, maybe even injunctions."

If it were lies that were being perpetuated, I'd agree with you. Social media, such as Twitter and blogging certainly shouldn't be used to spread malicious or false information about people, that much is true. Thing is Judge, much of the info you're referring to isn't false. Take this CTB stuff, for instance. Anyone with an internet connection will be able to find out the name of the footballer who has been playing away with Imogen Thomas. That information is true, and court papers in the public domain prove that neither party disputes that an affair did occur. Should they be treated the same way?

Oh sorry, you want to say something else. Go ahead there...

"We found ways to stop the circulation of pornographic pictures involving children and hunt down the people who purveyed the material"

What?! What the hell does a couple of people naming cheating footballers, an actor who likes having dildoes shoved up his arse, and a comedian who likes to attend BDSM sessions have to do with child pornography?

If that's what you're saying, then you really are an unmitigated cunt. And no court in the land would injunct anyone from saying that.


Is Mandelson about to make yet another comeback?

Looking around Twitter last night, your Reaper hears that David Cameron is due to nominate Peter Mandelson as a possible candidate for the new head of the International Monetary Fund. Naturally enough, I'm horrified. I'm sure we don't need to be reminded of Mandy's chequered career, do we?

It also shows Cameron in an astonishingly bad light. I knew that the man was utterly stupid, but this has truly surprised me.

Still, here is my reasoned response to finding out that Gordon Brown has not been nominated for the job.


That is all.

The USA - living on borrowed time, but no longer on borrowed money

Amidst all this talk of super-injunctions, Amy Childs (if you don't know, don't bother asking) not knowing where London is on a map and Pippa Middleton's arse, your Reaper somehow managed to miss this significantly more important story that could already be affecting us far more than anyone yet realises.

Via The Independent, I discover that the USA's debts have actually increased to such a level that the country cannot borrow any more money. In other words, the nation's credit card has been maxed out, and no more can be borrowed until repayments begin to be made. As I'm typing this on my BlackBerry, I don't have the exact figures in front of me, but the country's debts have gone up to around $14trillion or something crazy like that. If only everyone's credit card had that kind of limit and such a low interest rate for repayments, eh?

This is extremely serious when you think about it. A number of countries have reached this level and have then had no choice but to go to the IMF for help. Ireland has had to do so, Greece has had to do so and Spain will probably have to do so soon. It's widely believed that a country like the USA is too big to fail, that it cannot possibly default due to its large size. This piece of common wisdom, like most common wisdom, is wrong. In this case, it's also quite arrogant.

The USA has pursued a strategy of trying to cut taxes for the lowest paid whilst increasing it for the highest. Similar to the UK, you might think. However, Obama has generally kept the taps turned on. Those he has touched have only been turned down slightly. He's essentially a believer in the New Labour philosophy that all problems can be resolved if you throw enough money at them.

The result? His country has maxed out, and has to stop spending. Cue a programme of spending cuts that will ultimately see him thrown out of the White House. Voters tend not to vote for austerity, despite austerity often being the right thing. People are ever so curious like that...

It just goes to show what would have happened if Gordon Brown had remained Prime Minister. This would have been our country's fate. Your Reaper honestly believes it's now only a matter of time before the USA defaults on its debts. Whilst the Coalition may not be making anywhere near the level of cuts in public spending that this country needs, at least they are going in the right direction. They deserve praise even if it is only for that fact.

Barack Obama was the new Messiah, we were told. They said he would be the man to restore the USA's reputation in the world after the less than illustrious reign of George W. Bush. The way he's now going, he could be the one to bankrupt the USA. I never believed the baloney about the man Obnoxio The Clown hilariously calls the Teleprompter Jesus, but who'd have foreseen his stock falling so low?

The real losers in all this, however? Take a guess. Yep, you and me. Us little people. What a surprise...

Sympathy for Imogen? That's one thing not covered by an injunction

Readers of this blog will almost certainly be aware of the affair
Imogen Thomas is supposed to have had with... oops, nearly forgot, I
can't tell you his name. There's a bizarre injunction in place which
means she can be named, but he can't. It's an injunction which has
been widely ignored, and Schillings are now chasing up several Twitter
users who have breached it. Cunts.

Your Reaper can tell you the affair lasted somewhere between three and
seven months, depending on whom you believe. He can also reveal that
the footballer's wife has since found out about his cheating. She is
said by friends to be "heartbroken" but that is all I have been told,
unfortunately. It's not clear whether he has been dumped.

I've found this state of affairs very curious. It's okay to name her,
but not him? I don't understand that. If you name one, it's only a
matter of time before people work out who the other person is. Anyone
with a bit of know-how could have worked this out. Not that it makes
much difference in the end - in the case of ETK and X versus News
Group Newspapers, neither who were cheating have been named, but their
identities have already been leaked online. Hence why anyone with a
basic knowledge of how to use Google, Twitter or a couple of blogs
knows the name of the rat who Mr Justice Eady is protecting from

Either name both of them, or none of them. Naming just one makes no
sense. It only adds to the charge that injunctions are there to
protect mostly young men who don't want the public knowing the truth
about them. Surely we were meant to be moving towards a law that
provides equal protection to both sexes? If the case of the man who
paid for sex with Helen Wood (and reportedly had a dildo shoved up his
arse at the same time) and cannot be named is anything to go by, it
appears not.

Considering the show he stars on, I find it deliciously ironic. But I digress.

On Monday, Eady revealed more about the story, revealing a number of
things that previously had not been disclosed. He had heard testimony
saying that Thomas was trying to blackmail the player. It was a case
of give the player £100k in hush money, or she'd go to the press,
according to the accounts he had heard. It was also revealed that the
player doesn't deny the affair went on, but that he disputes how long
it was. Why on earth was this information not released at the time the
injunction was granted?

Perhaps understandably, Imogen's not best pleased at being made out to
be a liar and a blackmailer. That's fair enough. I wouldn't want a
court to be told that I was blackmailing someone without an
opportunity to respond to the claims being made against me. Thomas
going onto This Morning yesterday, therefore, to refute the claims
made some sense.

And yet... I struggle to have much sympathy for her. Granted, the
footballer in question is a selfish, weapons-grade cunt for having the
affair in the first place, but it takes two to tango. The player is a
well-known name, so she must have known that he was a married man and
probably not the best of men to be sleeping with as a result. He's as
much to blame as she is, but your Reaper still can't help but think
it's very difficult to have sympathy for a home-wrecker who seems to
be increasingly resorting to attention seeking in order to justify the

Under the terms of the injunction, Thomas is banned from saying
anything which could result in his name being revealed. Seeing as all
the press and anyone with an internet connection can now easily get
the name, that doesn't seem as much of a deterrent. The thing is, that
still allows for a lot to be said that couldn't be used to be identify
Mr Anonymous. This claim of hers that she cannot defend her own name
"because I've been gagged"... I don't know why, but it doesn't quite
wash with me.

Mind you, I think all this proves what I've been saying in a lot of
injunction-related threads. Namely that if you don't want to be
branded a home-wrecker in the press or want to be the subject of a
kiss-and-tell story, there is quite a simple but effective answer.
Don't have an affair in the first place. You can't place an injunction
on something that never happened, after all...

Sent from my mobile device