Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Criminal Affair

Regular readers will know all about the criminal campaign of harassment that has been waged against me ever since my critical review of a book by a pro-war hedge-fund trading blogger called Oliver Kamm appeared in the Daily Telegraph in December 2005. The campaign has taken various forms. At first Oliver Kamm published a series of posts on his blog making untrue and highly defamatory statements about me, in a blatant attempt to jeopardise my journalistic career and get me into trouble with those who employ me. Such tactics, as I've mentioned before, were not new for Oliver Kamm. Oliver Kamm's postings were then emailed under an alias to editors who commission my work, in a clear and non-too subtle attempt to stop them from commissioning me again. Needless to say, the emails were treated with the contempt they deserved, but the point was that the attempt to stop me writing was made- and has been made on repeated occassions.
It was to stop this clear and blatant attempt to prevent me from earning a living that I was reluctantly forced to take legal action against Kamm, but as he did not consent to the case being heard in the County Court, I had to drop the action, as I lacked the funds to start the case in the High Court. (With his characteristic mendacity, Kamm has sought to portray himself as the victim in the affair- and claim that I tried to silence him!)

Another aspect of the campaign of harassment was to repeatedly vandalise my wikipedia page. One of the main culprits in thsi endeavour was a certain 'Elena Zamm'. Ms Zamm only ever edited three wikipedia pages: my page, the page of Oliver Kamm and the page of Oliver Kamm's mother. I probably don't need to tell you that Ms Zamm was far more kindly in her editing of the pages of the latter two individuals than she was with mine. One can't say that Ms Zamm didnt't take her job seriously- she was even busy editing my wikipedia page on the evening of the 25th December.

Another tactic has been to post links to the blogger's defamatory postings and the defamatory postings of his accomplice, on comments threads, wherever my work appears.

This happens every single time an article of mine is published online.The aim is quite clear: to try to draw the defamatory postings to the attention of readers- and the editors of the publications in question-and to try to intimidate me into quitting journalism for good. The pseudonymous posters believe they will eventually tire me out; I'll get so bored of checking websites that my work appears on for defamatory comments that I'll eventually decide there are a lot less stressful ways to earn a living. But they have, I can assure you, picked on the wrong person. The attacks, far from disheartening me, have only spurred me on.

I wrote in September on how the case had now entered a new, more serious phase. The continued and repeated nature of the attacks, after almost two years, clearly constitute criminal harassment. Given the incredible malice of the persons involved, I am not surprised that despite my latest post on the matter, the attacks have continued, most recently on the website of the Spectator magazine. But those behind the harassment ought to understand one thing very well. As I said in September, I will not rest until those responsible for such cowardly, malicious and utterly dishonest attacks are standing directly opposite me in a court of law. A recent landmark legal judgement held that websites are now under a legal duty to provide the IP details and email addresses of those who post anonymously, or pseudonymously, defamatory comments about others in public forums. I suggest that the persons responsible for the campaign of harassment against me should study that judgement long and hard.

In this battle, there will, I can assure you, be only one winner.

11 comments:

David Lindsay said...

Your work appears regularly in the Guardian, the Spectator, the First Post, the Australian, the American Conservative, and the Morning Star.

Where does his appear regularly? Or even occasionaly these days?

As I've said to him elsewhere this afternoon, if he needed the money, then I'd advise him to emigrate, although I'm not sure to where.

Neil Clark said...

That's why he's so bitter, David. Despite all his best efforts he hasn't succeeded in stopping people from commissioning me.

As you say, the only place he appears, is very, very occasionally, in The Times- and that's only because the paper's comment editor Daniel Finkelstein is a fellow neo-con. He still ludicrously likes to style himself a 'Times columnist'- Ms 'Elena Zamm's' wikipedia edits of his page were very keen to have that put in!), even though the paper has a list of its columnists and his name does not appear on it.

The man is beyond parody. And as I've said before, someone who is a very, very disturbed. What ordinary member of the human race would spend the best part of two years harassing a journalist for critically reviewing a book he had written?

John Gray said...

Sorry Neil, I think all provocative political bloggers have had these sorts of comments and while they are pretty horrible and personal, you are being a bit daft taking this “criminal harassment” and “see you in court” attitude.

You will only provoke other people to have a go at you in a similar way in the future. There is very little mercy in the blogosphere.

If the bloke having a go at you is a cretin then either just ignore him or take the Mickey back.

Neil Clark said...

John, I have no problem with people having a go at me- I do allow comments in this blog which is more than a few bloggers do (the blogger in question allows no comments by the way). But this is not about someone just hurling abuse- it's about a clear attempt to prevent me from earning a living. Posting abusive comments about another blogger on your own site is one thing, but the posts of the blogger in question weren't just about abuse- they were aimed at getting me into trouble with those who employ me. The system is always the same; said blogger posts untrue and defamatory comments about me, and then, mysteriously, shortly later, said bloggers post end up being emailed, under an alias to my employers. (and in one case the email was cced to the blogger in question).

ovaskainen said...

Neil, you keep using the word "defamatory", and have been doing do for some time, but I've yet to be convinced that a court would actually agree with you.

I'm pretty familiar with the various "defamatory" comments made about you, and they either seem to be clearly evidence-backed (or at least you haven't produced any evidence to counter it) or equally clearly fall into the realm of fair comment.

John Gray is absolutely right - unless the comments are unambiguously libellous (drugs, paedophilia, campaigning for Tony Blair), by far the most sensible thing you can do is rise above it. They're only provoking you to get an entertaining reaction, and you're obliging them to the hilt.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Times columnist. What a joke! As you say, if it weren't for his mate Finkelstein he'd be languishing as the lawn bowling correspondent for some provincial paper. I check his blog for laughs. Half of it is about his "great victory" against Neil Clark. The other half is indigestible "militant liberal" rubbish. The man clearly has very little going for him. He probably feels he has some family reputation to live up to. Have you ever noticed that he is always dressed in a suit? That's because he is such an important figure........

Neil Clark said...

ovaskainen: with respect, you're wrong.
to falsely claim that a book reviewer did not read the book he was supposed to review and to accuse him of taking money under false pretences is defamatory.
to falsely claim that a journalist lied to his/her editor and deliberately represented one of his/her sources is also defamatory.
to falsely claim that a journalist is a 'fraud' as the pro-war hedge fund trading blogger has done on several occasions, is also defamatory. I could go on.
The blogger in question has printed a series of untrue and defamatory statements about with with the express purpose of jeopardising my journalistic career. Let me ask you a question: if someone posted untrue and defamatory statements about you on his/her blog and then links to those comments were emailed, under an alias, to your employers, what would you do? And what would you do if links to the untrue and defamatory commments were posted on the newspaper/magazine websites, anonymously or pseudonymously, every time an article of yours appeared. Do you think this is acceptable behaviour, which ought to be simply ignored?
Or do you think, as I do, that those responsible for such clear harassment, should face the full legal consequences?

Andrew Kinsman said...

Where would we be without the UK's Official Best Blogger (democratically elected) to pprotect us from these neocons and warmongers? Probably in a nuclear confrontation with Norway, Uruguay and Laos. Neil, I think you should NAME AND SHAME this libellous neoliberal extremist. Show us what REAL JOURNALISTS are made of!!!

Dan, portsmouth said...

Neil,
I'm not sure why you were not been able to bring him to court, I suppose you can file a claim in the small claims court. and if he didn't attend or respond you win, and he can appeal from there to the high court. it worth looking at this possibility again.

I also wish to draw your attention that the internet service provider, suppose not to allow defamatory or illegal use of their internet service, in other words, if someone who is defaming you was reported to his internet service provider, they must cut his service or be accomplice to the illegal actions they are doing.

Similarly if he published this on a website, paper...etc, you must tell this website about the defamatory contents, if they agree to it, they became an accomplice. and they have to apologize and remove the defamatory contents, Needless to say this person will be suspended from the website or paper. if he repeated such illegal action, no company wish to be frog-marched to court.

I wanted to take someone to court for libel, I prepared the case against him and his company for giving him internet facility to defame me since he posted the material from work.
I stopped when I found he was working for a big company and likely to lose his job if a letter from me was sent to the company. that would have been very harsh action from my side, he still thinks he won, without realizing he has got his company involved and I was merely saving his job.

Anonymous said...

Neil,

In an earlier post (Sept 28) you described Oliver Kamm as a 'hedge-fund trader cum-blogger'.

I can't quite go along with this description; I think the words 'hedge-fund' and 'trader' are superflous here...!

Actually, where I come from we would cut right to the point and say: "Kamm is an utter shit".

(This is really all that needs to be said...)

Anonymous said...

Neil, have you seen this? Go to the following link and have a read. It's very interesting, posted by a wikipedia editor called 'Kato':

http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=11810

"Kamm has edited his own biography before.

Curiously, Kamm, an awful British neo-conservative gobshite and one man smear machine, made his last edit to the talk page of Philip Cross and it stated:

QUOTE
I'd like to draw your attention to a note I've just put on the user page of [[User:SlimVirgin|SlimVirgin]], as it refers to you too. Thanks.[[User:OliverKamm|OliverKamm]] 13:01, 5 July 2007 (UTC

But I can't find the note to SV as it has been predictably removed. Reading between the lines it seems to involve a now deleted article on Kamm's nemesis, writer Neil Clark. SV dismisses Clark here saying "it would be a stretch to call him a journalist". Presumably her involvement is politically motivated yet again, as Clark is "strongly opposed to the neo-conservative war agenda".

I think this is worth following up. There appears to have been a very nasty conspiracy to trash your wikipedia page, one which Kamm was clearly involved in.

Reading everything you have posted on this affair, and reading this too, I think you have a very strong case for criminal harassment against him. His attacks have been repeated and show no sign of letting up and I think the only way you will stop him is by involving the police.