June 18th, 2009

Time to End Anonymous Times Leader Columns

Times Masthead

When Guido started back in 2004 he tried to be an anonymous blogger until he was outed by the Guardian duing the 2005 elections (a Labour party employee had traced back the fax number).  A major part of the reason for that was to save my wife embarrassment.

nightjackNowadays the third person anonymity on this blog is just a stylistic device, for Richard Horton it was for essential career reasons, blogging policemen are breaking regulations. The Times claims public interest is behind the reason for outing the Orwell prize winning Nightjack blogger. Mr Justice Eady, who fancies himself to be a legislator as much as a judge, ruled that the mere fact that the blogger wanted to remain anonymous did not mean that he had a “reasonable expectation” of doing so or that The Times was under an enforceable obligation to him to maintain that anonymity.  He is clearly correct in law.

The Times journalist says he wanted to discover the true identity of the author of blog,  for with that knowledge he would be able to judge the standing and authority of the author.   The Times has daily leader columns, these famously thunder out the considered view of the newspaper on the issues of the day and seek to influence the direction of the country. It would enable Guido and the rest of us to better judge the standing and authority of those leaders if they were signed rather than anonymous.   Was the recent leader on Investment v Cuts,  which was so favourable to the Shadow Chancellor’s arguments, written by a former work colleague and friend of George Osborne?  It would be nice to know.

Which employee of BSkyB supremo James Murdoch argued for a smaller BBC and against giving licence fee money to Channel 4?  Who wrote the last leader calling for interest rate cuts?  Was it Rupert Murdoch himself?  All News Corp’s newspapers worldwide argue without exception for interest rate cuts.  Hardly surprising when you know  News Corp struggles to service interest payments on $14 billion of debts…


  1. 1
    Ivor Biggun says:

    Should there be a question mark on the end of your heading Guido?

  2. 2
    Ivor Biggun says:

    Having re-read it, no – I read the first word as Times, not Time!

    Completely agree with the sentiment though!

  3. 3
    Little Red Riding HOON says:

    No, because he’s making a valid statement, not asking a question.

    Back to school you go. “Edukashun, edukashun, edukashun”

  4. 4
    UncleVanya says:

    This is all allegedly of course – Maybe the ‘Times’ is Pa Broone’s Faithful Glee Club…. in outing the Internet Handle and ID of this Geezer.

  5. 5
    oldrightie says:

    14 billion debts. How do these guys fuck up all our lives whilst being so stupid with money? As for The Times outing this poor guy, there is no approbation possible.

  6. 6
    Ken Dodds Dads Dogs Dead says:

    Excellent idea. Doesn’t the Times also have someone called Baby Barista? Who is that then? Will the readership be told now?
    Let’s see Danny Finklestein wriggle out of this.
    Just stop buying the Times, that’s the only way to hurt them

  7. 7
    Steve Expat says:

    Spot on Guido.

    There is a big difference between “The Public Interest” and “What the public might find interesting” Surely the whitleblowing legistlation should act in the policeman’s favour here. It’s still unclear exactly why the Times decided to out him in the public interest

    The Times leader about the Media mentioned every media company in the UK except Sky. If they had mentioned Sky they would have been forced to say that they share a common owner in Murdoch (News Int).

    PS Keep up the good work Guido, any news on what might have been behind the McBride question at PMQs today?

  8. 8
    Call me Infidel says:

    Public interest my arse. I never bought the Times anyway, but it is no longer a site I will frequent. Up yours Rupert.

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    Boring, that’s the radio version…. If you’re going to spam Guido’s blog then at least do it with the album version!

  10. 10
    Posh Tory says:

    I don’t understand some of these people with anonymous online personalities…. :-)

  11. 11
    Joe Gormley's Grandson says:

    Well it seems that Murdoch has the recession and his part of the world already mapped out.

    He gave some pointed indicators to his staff back in February which hinted of things to come.


  12. 12
    Ewanme says:


    THEY are desperate to know who I am but I’m clenchin hard an ain’t gonna spill the beans , honey x .

    Bein outted is such a bummer an ruins the mystique an illusion of intelligence IMHO .

    E x .

  13. 13
    Moley says:

    An anonymous letter on HoC notepaper purporting to represent the views of a group of Conservative MPs disaffected about the expenses issues and critical of DC was copied to all Conservative MPs.

    It has Mc Bride’s fingerprints all over it.

    Read about it on Conservative home.

    It appears that no-one was taken in .

  14. 14
    Samee says:

    Good point Expat. Anyone who has tried appealing against withheld FOI requests will be familiar with the difference between ‘The Public Interest’ and ‘interesting to the public’. Guido states ‘The Times journalist says he wanted to discover the true identity of the author of blog, for with that knowledge he would be able to judge the standing and authority of the author.’ – surely it would have been sufficient for The Times know the name for their own judgment of his blogs, without revealing it publicly. By releasing the identity, they have changed the ‘standing and authority’ of the author, thus negating their supposed reason for doing so.

  15. 15
    Nigel Singh says:

    Look, love. We already know that you are Rowan Williams. Get a life, saddo.

  16. 16
    Grex. says:

    Grex too has dumped The Times from his regular reads. Shame, because Matthew Parris is well worth reading, but The Times actions were unforgivable.

    Grex runs a local news blog, and has already found the local MSM stealing his stories and headlines. Word for word in the latter case.

  17. 17
    Samee says:

    You are:
    Charles E Hardwidge
    Charles E. Hardwidge
    Charles Harwidge
    Chuck E Hardwige
    Charles E etc. etc.
    and I claim my £5

  18. 18
    Moley says:

    The question to ask is ;

    “How did the activities of Nightjack conflict with the interests of the Times and the Murdoch Empire?

    Any ideas?

  19. 19
    P.C. Filth says:

    Times leaders are just an exercise in pure pretentiousness, sir. Journalists trying to make themselves seem important when, in fact, we know they are just a waste of fresh air. Journalism is the sanctuary of the lazy, the feckless and the egotistical. Got a worthless degree, sir? Too stupid to be a politician. Come and write drivel for our paper then, sir. Over.

  20. 20

    I made clear my feelings on this matter to the hypocritical ”Times” that they were below the pale in no uncertain terms.
    My respect for this particular paper and it’s so called excuse for journalism has taken it’s last vestige of interest.
    And thats saying something from a news loving junkie like me……..

  21. 21
    dirtyden says:

    From the outing of the plod blogger all the way to News Corps’ $14 billion debts. That’s quite an article, GF. As in quite bloody excellent.

    Speaker Martin Lied In His Last Speech

  22. 22
    Steve Expat says:

    Good question. Not sure of the answer but you must be along the right lines. What did he say to piss of the Times or Murdoch?

    Murdoch & NI is a BIG empire you’d never want to cross – he could keep you in court on some triviality every day for the rest of your life if that was his wish.

  23. 23
    DT Editor says:

    I totally agree with P.C. Filth, who is in the process of being moderated, that journos are almost the lowest form of life. BTW, Miss Botha- we never questioned your intelligence and you are welcome back to our site anytime in the distant future. Check us out at http://www.telegraph.co.uk . Nice.

  24. 24
    P.C. Filth says:

    I got bounced, sir. Amazing what you can’t say these days. Yawwn. Over.

  25. 25

    Dear All

    I am obliged to yield agreement to ‘our Guido’ on this issue. Ha!

    The purpose of blogs, such as mine which is preeminent in the area of human rights watching, is to highlight injustice and corruption in Britain.

    Anyone who pops up on the radar as wicked or dishonest should be reproached as an evil-doer or hypocrite. This is easier done when the inquisitor can hide themselves from the menaces or revenge of the mighty whose reputation is questioned.

    Finally, being poor the worst that could happen to me is that they lock me up. That means three square cooked meals and a bed for the night.

    And since I can’t cook and like reading I will be reasonably happy although my social life might take a bit of a hammering.

    No point in being righteous if you are not willing to go to jail for your beliefs.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  26. 26
    Titus Finckter says:

    Anonymität ist das Opium für das Volk.

  27. 27
    young boys network says:

    they can remove the voice but they’ll never remove the thought…

  28. 28
    Alan Mullet says:

    Who cares? The press are all up their own fundaments. A journalist is just a politician that didn’t have the balls to stick it’s head above the parapet. How do you spot a journalist in a room full of politicians? Easy. The journo is the one fighting off the politicians to get first lick at it’s own arsehole.

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    I suppose this judgement means that newspapers will have to stop using expressions like ” a senior figure in the government” or “sources close to Number 10″……….from now on in the law says the public should have the actual name…you know, to judge the standing and authority…..whadya bet the judgement will only apply to bloggers, not to “proper” newspapers

  30. 30

    Well put, Guido. Either that, or just attribute everything to Foster, let him take the shit-storm like he is keen on inflicting on others.

  31. 31
    Col. M.T. Kernel (retd.) says:

    Sir- I know who are madam and if I may so bold as to mention the small, but not inconsiderable, sum of fifty-five guineas outstanding, you may be in the running to polish The Kernel’s stump once again, one wouldn’t wonder, sir.

    Yours, what’s this Geedo chappie on about this time, Col. M.T. Kernel (retd.)

  32. 32
    Anonymous says:

    I notice The Times has a photograph of Night Jack…….isn’t there a law about photographing policemen?

  33. 33
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    As usual well argued Guido and interesting points raised.

    Murdoch’s low interest rates so he continues to live the life of a megalomaniac have contributed in no small measure to my current financial embarrasment.

    Why no licence fee money for Channel 4 from the Bloated Broadcasting Corporation? Its typical of all these free marketeers that once they corner a certain percentage of the market they become monopolists. A natural tendency I’m afraid.

    Though I must say that in the case of Investment v cuts they were on the right track. The ditherer of Downing Street is trying to lie his way out the huge debt he has saddled all of us with.

  34. 34
    Dave Figgley says:

    Ha ha Kernel, mate. I’ll polish your stump, son. What’s this thread about, geezer? Who gives a toss. Self publicity is a fine art.
    Must shoot- the JJ Moons lock-in is about to become a throw-out. *Burrp*

  35. 35

    Perhaps we should also have cross media ownership rules of the kind they do in Mr Murdoch’s native country.

  36. 36
    Ewanme says:

    Hiya K x .

    Still skint , honey .

    Later E x .

  37. 37
    Obit scribbler says:

    Should I be sharpening my pencil Mrs. Botha?

  38. 38
    Carol Thatcher's Brain says:

    She’s a gonner, surely?

  39. 39
    Ewanme Botha says:

    LMAO scribbler !!!

    It’s Miss to you , hun x .

    You can take a runnin jump , Brain , petal .

    I ain’t goin nowhere .

    E x .

  40. 40
    Dig Sprightly says:

    What is this thread all about though?

  41. 41
    Night Watchman says:

    Fuck off to bed, the lot of you.

  42. 42
    Aiden o'fovit says:

    Totally agree,both with yourslf,and with the intentions of Guido’s article.

    Seems to me that the reason such blogs exist is as a way of criticising Establishment actions which are unpalatable to the public at large,which is NOT ADVISABLE NOWADAYS.

    Perhaps if we had the freedom of speech we keep being told we have,people wouldn’t think they needed a cloak of anonymity

  43. 43
    Text Us Hold Em says:

    Hi Gray. Nugget blind says you’re reading this shite. Good BBQ weren’t it?

  44. 44
    Jack the Smiling Black says:

    Patrick Foster is the name of the Times media correspondent that outed NightJack. Think he’s just shot himself in the foot.

  45. 45
    FatBigot says:

    My dear Mr Fawkes, High Court Judges are either “Mr Justice” or “Mrs Justice”, they are not “Justice”.

    And, it doesn’t matter whether a female High Court Judges is married nor whether the surname she uses for work is her maiden name or her married name.

    Yes, it’s a bit silly but it is what it is; and what it is in the context of this article is Mr Justice Eady not Justice Eady.

  46. 46
    Michael says:

    Beyond the pale, not below

    Edumacation is a oneduful thing

  47. 47
    Liam says:

    The ruling is perfect for the mainstream media, but puts pressure on them to show the kind of openness they are demanding from the medium currently showing them to be irrelevant and slow. The MSM maintain anonymous leaders as some kind of lofty, high-brow tradition, but this is barmy and hypocritical if they want to maintain the high-ground and monopoly on comment.

    My introduction to blogs came through the many written by doctors, nurses, and police officers, who just wanted to carry on a job they loved with the right to comment on how they saw their working days as openly and honestly as circumstances allowed. This ruling puts some form of closure order on openness and honesty. And that is something the MSM should reflect on…

  48. 48
    A Blogger says:

    Quite right Guido – the Times is clearly feeling sensitive on this issue as they stopped allowing comments on the articles in question once they saw how critical commenters were. Will the Times now out writers who publish under pseudonyms?

    I thought not.

    Like many others, I will not be buying the Times again…

  49. 49
    JOHN T PRIOR says:

    are you a schoolteacher? if so fuck off, and if you are not a scoolteacher you can fuck off as well, you only refer to the judge as Mr if you are in court, this is a bolg so you can fuck off again

  50. 50
    JOHN T PRIOR says:

    AND, you never start a sentence with “And”

    get your own house sorted out before you start dishing out advice – i bet you are Scottish

  51. 51
    Johnny says says:

    “Justice Eady, who fancies himself to be a legislator as much as a judge …”

    As a judge surely he is. Precedents provide the backbone to our system of common law.

    Night Jack knew the risks when he started blogging and ought to have been far more careful about the details he was publishing and the people he was in contact with. Should his desire (not right) to remain anonymous while making public statements override the freedom of anyone to name him, whether they are a newspaper or fellow blogger? The risks of being outed were there when he started blogging not when The Times decided to out him.

    In his case, was it right he wanted to deny The Times their freedom (and presumably anyone else who wanted to name him as well) to protect him from the consequences of his own decision? No.

    There may be plenty of anonymous or pseudonym writers in the press but there is nothing to stop anyone else naming them.

  52. 52
    Catosays says:

    He’s already been outed…do keep up!

  53. 53
    Ian Brown says:

    You criticise Eady in one breath as fancying himself as a legislator, and then in the next admit he was correct in law – how else is a judge supposed to decide cases?

  54. 54
    City of Vice says:

    A thoroughly disgusting, narrow, ‘status quo’ based ruling. But shame on the Times for taking the action in the first place.

    I’m not sure that the ruling would stand up if challenged, with all this Human Rights guff, given that the police already have their own procedures for dealing with these matters. The judge’s decision seems to be taking things beyond that. This Justice Eady character probably doesn’t know one end of a blog from the other; its merely sufficient, apparently, that they ruffle the feathers establishment.

    As Guido points out the Times should be careful about the pandora’s box they’re opening up here. Are journalists now obliged to disclosed their sources and the real authors behind pen named articles?

    The MSM, are for the most part, hypocritical scum.

  55. 55

    As an anon blogger I fear for my life too. Excellent analysis, GF, re the editorials in newspapers.

  56. 56
    City of Vice says:

    Big deal. Who really gives a shit? Haven’t you got an urgent trainspotting appointment to get off to? Fucking idiots everywhere these days.

  57. 57
    Doctor Mick says:

    It’s not so much a statement as a conclusion.

  58. 58
    Doctor Mick says:

    They should buy Manchester United.

  59. 59
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    I stopped buying the Times when they started putting news on the front page.

  60. 60
    Lord Mandy of Pandy says:

    I think you all know who I am. I certainly know who all of you are.

  61. 61
    Anonymous says:

    One’s personality shines through the anonymity. :)

  62. 62
    Canary Wharf Rat says:

    Absolutely. Sauce for the goose…….

  63. 63
    Doctor Mick says:

    He is supposed to interpret the law as it stands not to create new law to suit.

  64. 64
    MI6 says:

    Police officers should be allowed to write Blogs. At least we might then find out who the Mr Big is that importing the 6 billion pounds worth of Drugs into the country.

  65. 65
    Dogger says:

    Blair knew of torture policy. As he could have stopped it he was therefore complicit with torture. In many people’s eyes he will now justly be seen as no better than a torturer – or possibly worse as he oversaw the process from a great distance, avoiding getting his hands covered in blood or having to physically exert himself in the labours of wrenching out fingernails. And while this churchy, sly murderer was overseeing torture, his dreadful, dreadful, dreadful, ghastly whore of a wife was doing a supermarket sweep of Australia and scamming flat purchases.

    Ultimately, every last detail; of this traitor’s work against Britain and against humanity will have to be exhumed, until then a lot of people will be strumming the piano wire with their fingers.

  66. 66
    Rexel 56 says:

    Expenses on line!!!!!!!

    Crushing disappointment to find that VAT numbers of suppliers have been blanked out…….

    And names……

    And addresses….

    And, in some cases, what has been supplied…

    Other than that, MPs couldn’t have been more open and transparent…

  67. 67
    William says:

    And since I can’t cook and like reading I will be reasonably happy although my social life might take a bit of a hammering.

    It won’t be your social life that takes a bit of a hammering!

  68. 68

    He likes to make law from the bench. Dacre made a good speech about Mr Justice Eady, privacy and freedom of the speech.

  69. 69
    Churchill's Cattleprod says:

    Does the same opinion that “It’s my blog therefore I can do whatever I want on it” apply to newspapers though?

  70. 70
    The Admiral says:

    By definition, what is on their front page hasn’t been “News” for many years and certainly not since www. and blogging…..

  71. 71
    Stronghold Barricades says:

    yes, and not even the beginning of the debate, but its destination

  72. 72
    Stronghold Barricades says:

    So did I, and it exposed their journalism

  73. 73
    Stronghold Barricades says:

    O/T but thanks for moving Piers on, it is safe to have breakfast now

  74. 74
    F. Officer says:

    I redact therefore I am.

  75. 75
    Lord Stansted says:

    I never bought “The Times” – even when it was supposedly read by “top people”.

  76. 76
    Talwin says:

    You can so.

  77. 77
    Anonymous says:

    Guido – The Telegraph had a pop at you today in a piece entitled:

    NightJack: When the blogging biter’s bit
    This is the comment that I have sent them which I doubt will be published so I copy it here-

    Your comments regarding MSM and the expenses data are economical with the truth sample data was released (J Smith) by both MSM and bloggers some weeks previous to the data being published in the Telegraph. This data was released as a trailer to whet the public’s appetite and make the data a highly saleable proposition. Guido Fawkes did try to get a fund proposal together to bid for the data but the Telegraph paid a far price as they had larger coffers to dip into. It is irrelevant to suggest that MSM have a huge advantage over independent bloggers when they have their own agendas to pursue. The Telegraph is no exception to this and is demonstrated by the action of it and it’s owners the Barclay Brothers (defenders of freedom in Sark, not) in the legal action to take down Nadine Dorries blog. So please do not get self-righteous with the British public.

  78. 78
    Lord Stansted says:

    No. Beyond the Pale referred to the land outside the Norman remit of Dublin. Since Cornwall is below Dublin then below the pale is correct.

  79. 79
    United Ireland says:

    Why do seagulls in Belfast have wings?
    So they can beat the Romanian gypos to the tip of course.

  80. 80
    £92K BBC bint says:

    justice for fannies!

  81. 81
    Newt lover says:


  82. 82
    Lord Stansted says:

    Are there any humans at Glasgow University?

  83. 83
    Talwin says:

    Thing is, if the author of such a blog is knowledgeable, intelligent and articulate, as Nightjack appears to be (I believe he’d also been an accountant); and if you assume a fair degree of honesty, then guys like him are more likely to give it to you as it is, whether it’s the cops, NHS, social services or whichever in the public sector.

    The alternative is to listen to the local chief superintendent or an assistant chief constable spouting platitudinous bollocks about serving the community where, invariably, everything is rosy.

  84. 84
    My MP charged me for a "CHAINSAW FOR LOGS" says:

    Okay that’s fucking IT!

    Had a look on the expenses website;

    My MP – James Arbuthnot – wealthy than the wealthiest,bought a house for £900K without a mortgage being needed,charged you and me;

    £183.39 for a “chainsaw for logs”

    Holy fucking cow – there we have it – and we are told to shut the fuck up and be quiet while they screw us for every penny.

    Sounds like we will have the Hampshire Chainsaw Massacre this weekend……

  85. 85
    Talwin says:

    Hasn’t law-making and precedent been superceded by the Court of Public Opinion in New Labour Britain?

  86. 86
    Allan@Aberdeen says:

    Nightjack’s activities probably had no conflict with The Times and News Corp. but blogging and bloggers do because it exposes journos for the lazy, thick, ignorant illiterates that they are. A blogger such as Nightjack gave insights into policing in the UK that a ‘journalist’ either couldn’t get or couldn’t be bothered to get. Did it not occur to the ‘journalist’ that, after having verified for himself the bona fides of Nightjack, he could have collaborated with Nightjack in a responsible and legal manner? Probably not, hence lazy, thick, ignorant as appropriate adjectives.

  87. 87
    Susie says:

    Indeed. These judges trash Parliament, who elected them?

  88. 88
    Tin Arsely-Arex says:

    you should be glad on two counts:

    a) Your MP knows what a chainsaw is used for.
    b) He’s using it for logs, rather than anything else.

  89. 89
    The Admiral says:

    ….and not your B&Q cheap jobby either…….

  90. 90
    Trough Mixture says:

    I sent a gallon of Bile to Foster’s employers yesterday over this. Unfortunately I’m completely unable to keep a clean tongue in my fingers(?) on such occasions, so it’ll not make print.

    Horrid dream overnight. McTwat had rigged the GE and decided to have a cabinet position for ‘visiting talent’. The extra unelectable was appointed Communities Sec. and in this case was Ann Coulter! The scry bit was that there was a budgetary document in plain view in front of her and what appeared to be ring-fenced funds marked ‘Ordnance’. No more cheese for me last thing…

  91. 91
    Zzzzzzzzzz whoops,there goes his head says:

    I have a use for it but I would be put in prison (if there’s any room).

  92. 92
    My MP charged me for a "CHAINSAW FOR LOGS" says:

    You should read his gardening bills – MONTHLY for £800 including mending the filter on his fucking swimming pool.


  93. 93
    Steve Expat says:

    They’ve not published your comment yet, but they did publish:

    What is the difference between a whistleblower blogging on the internet, and a whistleblower feeding stories to a friendly journalist?

    Says it all really, more about protectionism than the genuine public interest.

  94. 94
    Bordeaux Binger says:

    You miss the point. The reason for the outing is to frighten other police bloggers in order to protect the Home Office. They are pushing like mad to get Chief Constables to identify and stop police officers telling the public the true reasons that policing in this Country is so abysmal.

  95. 95
    ForGodsSake says:

    So in order to accurately “judge the standing and authority of the author”, the Times will now publish the identities of the authors of anonymous political briefings.

    Like for instance the names of those who were briefing the media about the imminent replacement of Darling with Balls.

    Of course they will, won’t they?

  96. 96
    Soon to be Outed Blogger says:

    When i see on Sky news,the often quoted “Sky news sources tell us” about a story involving the police, i wonder at the origin of those sources. Is it another way of passing on gossip and rumour, or do Sky give retainers to serving police officers for tip offs? Should’nt the same rules of openness apply to all?,not just when it suits Rupert.

  97. 97
    CrossBenchCleaner says:

    Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m still clearing up the mess after last nights hanging..

  98. 98
    True2Type says:

    The MSM don’t like it up ‘em and are beginning to ‘fight back’ against bloggers rather than deal with the issues bloggers have raised. Like newlabour, their tribal interests – access and power – are too important for them to be denied – as is a good 5 hour lunch down the Dog and Duck!

  99. 99
    Stronghold Barricades says:

    Cross hairs are required and a different judiciary then?

    Policeman blogger (not within the rules of his contract) is just a side issue?

  100. 100
    Court of PublicOpinion says:


  101. 101

    You are a lawyer?

  102. 102

    My gratitude to our learned friend for the correction. I unreservedly withdraw my discourteous addressing of Mr Justice Edcase, who is the second most inappropriate person in Britain to rule on public interest, after James Harding, the editor of the Times – who wouldn’t know public interest if it bit him on the backside.

  103. 103
    Stronghold Barricades says:

    Without names, do they really exist?

  104. 104

    Do what they did in Peterborough – get your mates together, dress up in swim gear, and knock on his door and ask to use the pool you’ve paid for. Makes a nice photo and doesn’t upset plod too much as people wearing flippers, waving snorkels etc. do not really present a threat. This works best if you can get gurrls in teeny weeny itsy bitsy bikinis to come along. It’s going to be nice and warm this weekend, the perfect weather for taking your clothes off.

  105. 105
    Read & Weep says:

    there exists a growing conflict of interests between jurnos and bloggers – if you have struggled up the greasy pole from local rags, to tabloids, to broadsheets, have sucked up to local Police and local councillors to get the inside brief and now find your industry and job (profession ?) under threat you are going to absolutely hate a blogger who has the inside track, writes well, wins awards etc….

  106. 106
    Passer By says:

    Remember the Harry Redknapp raid?
    Journo’s outnumbered rozza’s on a “surprise dawn operation.

  107. 107
    Read & Weep says:

    Amen !

  108. 108
    GS London says:

    Yes. Perhaps this should become your next point of campaign – having sucessfully managed to bring exposure to the MP’s “accounts” it would seem sensible to drive for further accountability in the media. I would even argue that the infuriating “a backbencher tells me” so oft seen in comment articles should be done away with – for it is spineless and ignorant.

  109. 109
    Johnny says says:

    That law affects you too. You are free to name the real people behind unattributed articles, write under assumed names or even wite anonymous blogs. Had Night Jack been successful with his injunction you would have to make the case for naming them rather than being free to do so.

  110. 110
    Johnny says says:

    The difference is obvious – a whistleblower publishing on the internet is not a protected source but an author and as such is not protected. The answer is really very, very simple – provide anonymous information to another blogger you trust exactly as the rest of the media acts as outlets for whistleblowers.

  111. 111
    Disco Biscuit says:

    To be fair to Guido, he did publish his own Thunderer contribution under his own name.

  112. 112
    Anonymous says:


    You forget one major aspect – the Times, or at least the editor and HR knew who Nightjack was anyway. Not only had he written for them before but the Times offered him a column.

    I don’t know if that was before or after the Orwell prize but you know HR and terms of contract etc, so why didn’t the junior just ask if he was so desparate to know?

  113. 113
    Damo Mackerel says:

    He was outed because the dead tree press journalists know that bloggers are a threat to their position. This exposure of nightjack was done in a fit of jealousy and spite.

    Besides, the DTP have scored an own goal here. How many bloggers, fearing of being exposed, will act as whistle blowers now?

  114. 114
  115. 115
    Mr Justice Eady Says says:

    I am a Hoon.

  116. 116
    A Silent Emission of Bowel Gas says:

    Fuck The Times and Rupert too,
    Fucking those who whistle blew,
    Fucking all who try to shop
    Those who clearly need the chop.
    But what it does is show their fear,
    Of trash like us, who post on here.
    So here’s to Guido and his kind,
    Pushing truth up their behind.

  117. 117
    Thats News says:

    This is a disgraceful thing for The Times to do.

    Didn’t their sister paper the News of the World get upset when their Fake Sheik was exposed?

    So we must now presume that News Group/The Times have changed their minds? That it is now open season on exposing Times/News of the World undercover journalists?
    Fink -for that it what he is- gives his ‘reasoning’ as to why he thinks his newspaper is right in exposing this police officer to the danger of possibly losing his job. Makes you proud that, does, it Fink? The Times can get stuffed!

  118. 118


  119. 119

    OH has blogged about this. I will not forget Foster for doing this.

  120. 120

    I’d rather the above than what passes for ‘entertainment’ on TV these days.

  121. 121
    Stronghold Barricades says:

    …and presumably not to hold to “embargoes” either?

    Unless they are “d” notices or other similar?

  122. 122
    Man_on_Richmond_Bridge says:

    Details of what The Pale was is at the link below


  123. 123
    John Prescott's skidmarked pants says:

    So presumably journalists will out their “sources” in future as well? Seems to me the dead tree pack are just miffed at how bloggers are driving stories. Look at Iran. The print press are irrelevant. It’s the bloggers and Twitterers that drive the 24 news cycle.

  124. 124
    Drogbas Rant says:

    They used to own 10% of Man U before the Glazers bought them out

  125. 125
    Peter Jukes says:

    He isn’t the only one top be outed.

    Guilty as charged, M’Lud.

  126. 126
    jgm2 says:

    Cheap chainsaw. He’ll regret it. Should have got a Husqy.

  127. 127
    Peter Jukes says:

    You are an infidel.

    Delighted to oblige, old chap.

    Toot toot!

  128. 128
    The Master says:

    The Gorgon is visiting the Thames Barrier at lunchtime today. Flood alert!

  129. 129
    The Dark Lord says:

    Piss off

  130. 130
    Paperchaser says:

    At this point we can just assume they’re all signed ‘Murdoch the indebted futurephobic’ and move on with our lives. Without ‘The Times’ in them.

  131. 131
    The Wasp says:

    The Times are very cowardly for doing this and you have to ask what they really got out of it? Is there more to this story than we think? Have they done someone a favour?

    A foreign-owned media company has effectively helped to destroy yet another small piece of freedom for us natives.

    To me, their actions are as bad as The Sun’s tasteful comments about Hillsborough.

    I will NEVER buy a copy of the Times – nor visit its website.

    I never forgave Murdoch’s empire for cancelling Futurama – but that’s another story.

  132. 132
    jgm2 says:

    And why the rush to release all the censored expenses data today? And why is the top business news the fact that Fred Goodwin will be getting a slightly lower pension than he’d originally hoped for?

    What piece of news were they seeking to wipe off the front pages?

    Step forward…


    Suitably well hidden.

    The economy is fucked but all news will be filled with chainsaw receipts and Fred’s buckling in the ‘court of public opinion’.

    Job done.

  133. 133
    The Wasp says:

    Or foistering Star Wars episodes 1-3 onto unsuspecting fans either.

  134. 134
    It's all Balls says:


    But has there ever been such a low life unprincipalled scheming liar in the office as our PM?


    Everything he does and says and lies about has one objective and one only – retaining his grip on power. He will shit on his own side and the electorate and anyone else who stands in his way.

    Let me know the date for the march on Parliament.

  135. 135
    resurgemus says:

    Social life implies you associate with other people – don’t believe it

  136. 136
    Old Nick Heavenly says:

    Apologies Guido, bit of topic.

    Mrs H just had a brilliant idea.

    If the staff of BA are being asked to give up one month’s salary to save the firm why do the MP’s not give up one month of salary also.

    The United Condom is bankrupt after all.

    We (not my idea) have a telly again, with BBC 1.

    We saw the Empty Gourd and Mrs H said to me:

    ‘ Il est PD, lui! Tu peux le voir comme il bouge!’

    He’s Gay! You can see it in the way that he moves.

  137. 137
    Old Nick Heavenly says:

    Would the fact that Mrs Thatcher’s first, very first act, as PM was to sack about 600 customns officers give you a clue!

  138. 138
    Old Nick Heavenly says:

    Above comment for MI6

  139. 139
    Jon Forest says:

    The Telegraph didn’t publish my comments either. Was that because the last line read something like: “The Times has behaved as badly as the Telegraph did when its reaction to Guido’s breaking of the email smear scandal was to publish a Government-inspired spoiler”.

  140. 140

    Dear George Laird clone

    Thanks for linking properly to my blog.

    I will probably need some tech help at some point, are you available to help out?

    This is to do with outing scum and making life unpleasant for them in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

    Keep up the good work, there is no such thing as bad publicity and if you could get the gang to post comments on my articles I would be grateful, help me with feedback.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  141. 141
    Ben says:

    Please compare with this, just out
    “A journalist does not have to hand over her notes to the police, the High Court in Belfast has ruled.

    The PSNI was trying to force Suzanne Breen to hand over material linked to articles she had written on the Real IRA. ”


    So the law protects terrorists, but not policemen?

  142. 142
  143. 143

    Dear Resurgemus

    You hate me, thanks, I hate you too. We will never be pals; we will just have to accept that.

    I have no money and I am at the bottom of the social and finanical heap.

    Life is shit.

    On the bright side even I have a few good people who look out for me.

    But I feel okay dealing with pond life such as you as well.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  144. 144
    bergen says:

    Can’t see that Eady could have done anything else but that doesn’t excuse the Times for running the story.Nightjack was exactly as he described himself.I wouldn’t wrap fish and chips in a Murdoch rag and haven’t bought one for years.The Times is just an upmarket Sun.I hope this Foster has a short and inglorious career.

  145. 145
    Where's the news? says:

    I stopped buying The Times AND The Sunday Times when the price shot up, and they expected me to read New Labour propaganda and New Labour press releases, and had celeb nonsense like what David Beckhams haircut was this week – in the times, even worse, as a FRONT page story. Where is the REAL news in The Times?

  146. 146
    Alibarbs says:

    Does anyone else just hit the page down button the moment they see the words “George Laird” these days? I know I do.

  147. 147

    I had an email from the Sunday Times yesterday requesting my help in tracking down an Email regarding Baby P

    I am doing some research on Haringey council, Baby P, etc and one thing I am trying to locate is a communication from Cecilia Hitchen to Clive Preece which allegedly says that no further children should be given care orders due to cost considerations. Someone mentioned that you may have had sight of this?
    Are you able to help at all?
    Thanks for reading this.
    Daniel Foggo, senior reporter, The Sunday Times +44 20 7782 7730

    Hi Daniel,

    Do your own research. Oh, and fuck off.

    Old Holborn
    An anonymous blogger

    Cheeky fucking hoons

  148. 148

    Is that the Mr Justice Sir David Eady QC who lives in Tenterden, Kent (192.com) and whose house I can see on Googlemaps?

  149. 149

    […] it: Guido is right… Thursday, June 18th, 2009 GUIDO has launched a campaign to force The Times to halt the time-honoured practice of anonymous leader columns […]

  150. 150
    Olaf says:

    I do, Laird is a tedious prick. Simple as that!

  151. 151
    hissy fit says:

    Looks like this tosser has issues with your excellent site Guido.


  152. 152
  153. 153
    Prince Rupert says:

    I stopped buying the Times when it started slagging off the Queen, back in the late 80’s, bunch of Republicans, and oxbridge retards.

  154. 154
    Sir Mufbourne-Harbor says:

    Comments in the Times is too pro europe for me and anyway it was Murdoch ‘wot won it’ (Sun ZaNu Labour victory) which is unforgivable

  155. 155

    Dear Olaf

    You are such a wank!

    Thousands of sperm died so you could be produced.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  156. 156
    Paperchaser says:

    Oh my god, that was him? Am I allowed to write ‘prick’ in this blog’s comment section?

  157. 157
    Anonymous says:

    Ian Hislop already qualified for the pub quiz bore of the year award on last week’s HIGNFY by defining this for us (which we already knew) so spare us this – please.

  158. 158
    resurgemus says:

    Dear George

    you support the SNP

    It is SNP policy to make every one else in the UK hate the Scots, so we wish you would leave.

    Stop the self pity – If you were a student in England you would have to pay your fees at university and borrow your living costs. In Scotland you don’t, so who really has it tough ?

    Since I have never met you, I do not hate you, but I am very comfortable in my big british pond.

  159. 159
    Dr Nuts says:

    Agreed – the law will extend only to the Bloggers, as the Judges will consider the Journalists to be professionals, trained with Journalism qualifications, so names are not important, indeed the only name that is important is the newspaper ‘name’.

    Love the hypocricy.

  160. 160
    Dr Nuts says:

    We did!

    Murdoch got an exception from Labour! Guess who wanted who’s backing!

  161. 161

    I’ve got to say, I don’t agree with you on this one, Guido. The editorials are the opinion of the paper, not one person.

    In the United States, newspapers often endorse certain candidates before elections with well-considered editorials. How would this work if the New York Times, say, had to print, “Well, Thomas Friedman endorses X, while Maureen O’Dowd endorses Y”?

  162. 162

    Dear resurgemus

    I do support the SNP as they are the party of public service in Scotland.

    The party is firmly committed to help those at the bottom of society up.

    Their aim is not just a hand out but a hand up.

    They have no polocy to make everyone in the UK hate the Scots.

    Finally; you say that;

    “I am very comfortable in my big british pond”.

    It’s an English pond, there is no Britain except on paper.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  163. 163
    resurgemus says:

    Look at an Atlas

    the island you are sat upon is called Britain

  164. 164
    Thick as theeefs init. says:

    Does that mean Gordon Brown imports the brown and white stuff from our Colomubian friends??

  165. 165
    Jon Forest says:

    Err …surely it is Scotland that is a made up country.
    Based on a myth created by the likes of Sir Walter Scott 200 years ago.
    Much of lowland Scotland, including Edinburgh, was part of the Anglo Saxon kingdom of Northumbria and the area benefited from a bigger influx of Anglo Saxon and Viking immigration than almost anywhere else in the UK.
    Given that almost all the descendants of the original Highlanders are now living in England or Canada, what exactly is Scotland’s claim to nationhood, apart from some made up tartan heritage and short-term greed over the oil found on the northern flanks of Britain.
    Scottish nationalism rose with North Sea oil and will no doubt die with it when the Scots realise they would be bankrupt without England.

  166. 166

    […] Finkelstein has responded to Guido Fawkes‘ suggestion that Times leader columns are signed. Finkelstein argues “If the leader was […]

  167. 167
    Caribbean lover lover man. says:

    I only wish to know your identity so i can send you all my money in exchange for marriage and a visa.

  168. 168

    Dear Jon

    “Scottish nationalism rose with North Sea oil and will no doubt die with it when the Scots realise they would be bankrupt without England”.


    When Scotland regains independence we might be poor but the difference is we will be looking forward.

    You can keep your BNP Pals.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  169. 169







    TO Notable Scythian {Fenius Parsa}




  170. 170
    Johnny says says:

    The law protects sources not publishers.

  171. 171
    Anonymous says:

    Police officers tend not to know things like that.

  172. 172
    Anonymous says:

    Customs were quite efficient at catching drug smugglers when Thatctcher was in power. It was Blair/Brown that disbanded that effort.

  173. 173


    YU KAN SINE YORE Corporal Blairmonty of Basra KASELODE OFF IN





    Evry Boddy WELLQKHUM



  174. 174
    Fucking delicious! says:

    You can fuck off pal; it’s Scotland’s oil, and we’re Scottish not British.

    This will be proved come the next election and, for sure, it will be…

    Fucking delicious!

  175. 175
    Silvio Vinoveritas says:







  176. 176

    […] HarrisMP agrees with Guido that as the Times dislikes anonymous articles so they should cease thier anonymous leader columns, I’m not sure I’m entirely convinced and mr Finkelstein certianly isn’t utterly […]

  177. 177
    Kit England says:

    Aside from the journo/blogger wars, the real problem here is that whilst journos do ‘investigative journalism’ and get credited, bloggers get fired/disciplned for exactly the same thing. Is that not slightly hypocritical? The Blog ‘The Local Government Officer’ just had a post on this.


    If it’s not whistleblowing but general criticism, where’s the public interest in restricting that, or revealing people’s identiy? Surely the public has a right to know the detailed workings of the agencies they pay for, including its (many) problems?

  178. 178

    […] Fink responds to Guido’s call this morning for leader writers to lose their anonymity.  Tom Harris agrees.  Not sure this is a […]

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