Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Lido Shuffle revisited

It was with some unbounded glee that I read THE article in Wednesday's Manchester Evening News. And it got me to a thinking, which regular readers of this blog will know is nearly always a bad thing. First thing first. Some might be surprised to learn that Hall and 'Five Lane' Graves have decided to seek permission to appeal the decision of the Honourable Mr Justice Eady in the Court of Appeal. Mr Justice Eady is probably the most distinguished and eminent senior libel judge in England. I have submitted my rebuttal.

Reputational damage?

The libel claim launched by the dynamic duo was premised upon protecting the reputation of the University which Hall and Graves alleged I had damaged through my online scribblings. Mr Justice Eady was quite clear and agreed with me that the libel claim as laid out by Ian Austin acting for the University, demonstrated no tort against the University. Readers may recall that Mr Austin sat on the University governing body and chaired their Audit Committee at the launching of the proceedings in the High Court. From the perspective of the University, this was a real shame because quite a considerable sum of University money was spent on legal fees for a case that was thrown out be a senior High Court judge AT A PRELIMINARY STAGE! Who, I wondered, would be footing the bill for this appeal: Hall and 'Five Lane'? Or would it be the University? Maybe the Salford UCU President Chris Sheehy would like to follow this one up with Vice Chancellor Hall in light of the recent attacks on staff redundancy payments and pay protection rights?

Information is a wonderful thing

On to the meatus of the matter. As luck would have it, they've just released information showing the costs so far of their High Court reputation protecting spendings. They currently stand at around £150,000 including VAT. Yes £150,000 spent to be cast out of the courts AT A PRELIMINARY STAGE! It appears that the vast bulk of this money was paid to legal firms for whom Mr Austin was working. Indeed a rather sizeable sum was paid to Heatons LLP. Mr Austin is currently a partner for this firm. Readers might also note that as evidenced by Heatons' website, at the date of publication of this article Mr Austin is still advertised as being the Chair of the Audit Committee at Salford and on the University governing body. According to the University's website,  he isn't.

Who worked for Halliwells LLP, HBJ Gately Wareing
(Manchester) LLP and Heatons LLP? Answers
on a postcard please

What price the reputation now?

I posed a question to myself. And I liked the answer. I re-read the report in the paper. It's alleged that a similar incident happened prior to this most recent altercation. It was serious enough for the police to be involved. I then mulled over what is alleged to have occurred between Graves and A.N.Other in the vicinity of the University swimming pool, adjacent to the water within the deep and heady miasma of the chlorine. I then drew a link between the spending of somewhere in the region of £150,000 and the recent removal of Graves from University grounds and the concomitant investigation against this less-than-lacklustre-libel-launcher. I then  factored in the most recent 'a seeking of permission to appeal the decision of Eady J' to the Court of Appeal by Hall and Graves in order to continue to protect the reputation of the University. Finally, I cross-referenced all of this against the report in the Manchester Evening News. This I managed to achieve with simple tools: an old buff-ended Crayola crayon covered in deep settee fluff, my eyes and a wizened Rizla. I fed this raw data into the REPUTOMETER. What sort of results would manifest themselves I wondered? I was worried. I didn't hang around to find out.

Maybe I should start my letter to Professor Hall 'what price the University's reputation now?'

Notes and Resources 

Usual disclaimer: This work is and expression of opinion on a matter of public interest and contains the opinions of the author. It is intended to report current events that are of public interest and public concern. The reproduction and use of any documents, photos and video images herein is to provide humour and accuracy in order to avoid civil litigation and claims of misquoting. In reporting current events they are used within the context of Fair Dealing or Fair Use. The author is happy to provide further acknowledgement if requested (email below). The author also suggests that before embarking upon expensive civil actions for libel, contact the author. We have reams of documentary evidence which we are happy to provide. A right of reply also operates. We are also happy to make corrections and if necessary provide an apology. Email