Wednesday, 8 August 2018

AC Grayling: when eccentricity becomes malevolent

For those who don't know who AC Grayling is, he is a classics professor, apparently of some note. I'd never heard of him until he became a de facto leader of the continuity Remain effort on Twitter, particularly the "FBPE" movement.

He is especially famous for inferring that Theresa May sent a Type 23 frigate to the far east in order for it to be sunk to take the sting out of bad Brexit press. More recently he's been in the news for grovelling to Guy Verhfostadt, pleading for Brexit to be made more painful. A man so ridiculous there is even a parody account of him on Twitter - where you would struggle to tell the difference between it and the genuine article. And just watch his humiliation as he is taken apart by Andrew Neil for making claims with zero evidence.

When he's not doing creative mathematics to de-legitimise the Leave majority, he's denouncing Brexit as the rebirth of the Third Reich and calling leave voters fascists and xenophoes. There can be few more risible individuals in the public domain.

Being that he is a public figure he is no stranger to ridicule. He just lacks the self-awareness to wind his neck in. If there were a second referendum, he's given us leavers all the ammunition we could ever need to paint our elites as aloof, snobbish, out of touch and absolutely contemptuous of democracy.

Ordinarily such lunatics would not occupy too much of my time since this blogger has bigger fish to fry. He has, though, become something of a problem. He's suing me.

Those who tune into my Twitter account are used to my somewhat abrasive approach and my South Park sense of humour. That's why they follow me. They know what to expect. Some find it a bit rich for their blood so they unfollow me within moments of following me. One such example of this humour was a tweet poking fun at the good professor in response to a tweet by Alexander Nekrassov.

The point, as if it were not obvious, is that remain figures feel perfectly at liberty to tar Leave voters as racist. The tweet is a parody. The tweet is so ridiculous that no reasonable person could possibly interpret it as a serious allegation, and indeed, no-one did.

Ordinarily it would have passed unremarked, not least since with my rate of tweeting it would have disappeared off the feed inside of about six hours. But then one forgets Twitter is the domain of censorious ghouls and grassers - and weaponised indignation is the weapon of choice for the FBPE crowd. That's how we can tell this is a set up. Here is an example (cited by Grayling's lawyers) of feigned outrage from "A50Challenge". A50 being Article 50.

In the particulars of the complaint, Graylings lawyers are lying to the court by the looks of it.

As much as the tweet is merely provocative humour, Grayling has suffered no harm at all. There were no headlines reporting a serious allegation, not least because there was no serious allegation. He has since been a headline speaker at a number of events and no doubt will be able to swan in and out to meet with senior figures in Brussels any time he likes. He also pens articles for a number of pro-Remain vessels. Were there a serious allegation in the public eye then that simply wouldn't happen. It would have been reported.

What further gives it away as a nasty piece of mischief is the supporting "evidence", where again Grayling's lawyers have attempted to mislead the court.

The "Femi" account is not that of a human rights advocate in this context. Rather he is a fellow FBPE cultist - a law student who dropped out with the stated intent of campaigning against Brexit. He is first and foremost a remain activist and everybody in this game knows that.

Far from being a casual outraged observer, he is a prolific tweeter and campaigner who speaks at the same events as Grayling.

The only reason my tweet did any mileage at all was because Grayling's acolytes took it upon themselves to share it far and wide as part of their "pile on" strategy. A favoured tactic of Twitter bullies - very often by high profile accounts with tens of thousands of followers.

In this, Grayling's lawyers make no mention of Grayling's status within the remain campaign, instead describing his academic accolades rather than his role in the remain campaign for which he is more famous. They are attempting to mislead the court presenting this as though it were an unprovoked attack on a private citizen rather than a political leader and Remain celebrity.

What this is, is an attempt at a political assassination. As it happens, I have no idea why he's even bothering since I have zero profile outside of Twitter and have no links whatsoever to the official Leave effort, and in fact find myself at odds with all of the leading Leave figures. The fullest extent of my media exposure is a couple of talking head slots on foreign television. I'm actually flattered he thinks I'm important enough to sue.

The real aim here is not to defend his reputation. His reputation is not in any way tarnished except for the damage he has done to himself by way of his Brexit Derangement Syndrome. The aim here is a vindictive attempt to bankrupt me and if possible silence me purely because I am a Leave campaigner.

There was no complaint made in person. I might have apologised for the crass nature of the joke had he done so. Instead, though, likely through having poison whispered in his ear, he went straight to the lawyers who sent a demand for a sum of up to £5000. In the spirit of Arkell v. Pressdram I told them their client could go fuck himself.

The reason being that I do not have five thousand pounds and I've never even seen five thousand pounds either. The most I have spent on anything was £3k on a ten year old Audi A4 which proved to be the worst investment I have ever made. After several serious electrical faults the engine blew up. It really makes no difference whether it be five thousand or fifty thousand. It's money I do not have and there are no assets to take either. Unless Grayling is hell bent on getting his hands on my battered collection of model aeroplanes he's shit out of luck.

I will, of course, be defending this claim, though I'm not going to waste money on a solicitor. We know how this goes. This is a very obvious stitch up but there is likely some or other technicality the judge will rubber stamp and subsequently find me guilty how ever well the case is articulated. We do not have a justice system so I'm not going to gratify it by pretending we do.

Really this is a rich man's game and I've been dragged into since libel laws as they currently stand are a means by which our elites can silence the plebs, even bankrupt them, simply by taking offence at a joke. That's really what this is about and we can expect to see more of it. Being that the courts are little more than speak-your-weight machines it is wide open to this kind of systemic abuse by the likes of Grayling.

This is all part of the ugly side of Brexit, where the technical concerns, which this blog is normally more concerned with, take second place to an ongoing culture war between high society and ordinary voters. Normally just ganging up to have someone's Twitter account suspended is how the FBPE crowd play it, but in moving the game into the courts, they have made this an all out war. A libel case is a tactical nuke.

As to how this plays out, your guess is as good as mine - but we are now seeing just how low they will sink. There is no limit to the vindictiveness. Grayling's eccentricity has just crossed the line into malevolence. Brexit can only get uglier from here.

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