March 19th, 2013

Hacked Off Funded By Billionaire Russian Oligarch

Before the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee this morning, representatives from Hacked Off  refused to comment on Guido’s exposing of their donors. They got a comprehensive kicking from most of the MPs present though:

The elite club of multi-millionaires with an axe to grind have confirmed however that they are “due to receive soon a grant from the Journalism Foundation of over £20,000″. The Journalism Foundation was former Indy editor-in-chief Simon Kelner’s £600,000 vanity project bankrolled by billionaire Russian oligarchs and Indy owners Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev. The former KGB agent set up the Foundation to promote “free and independent journalism”, pulling the plug on it after less than a year. Seemingly not before they channelled a chunk of the cash to those freedom lovers Hacked Off…


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:



    • 3
      Pawn Sandwich says:

      *shocked* or *innocent*? :)


      • 18
        Anonymous says:

        Issue is newspaper and blogs aren’t politically neutral. Almost all major newspapers are owned by very rich people. There is a big question whether these papers are owned to promote their interest and to have a go against people they don’t like.


        • 23
          Anonymous says:

          When Rupert endorse any party or party leader its worth millions for the party.


        • 25
          Lord Stansted says:

          ditto the BBC. The difference is you’re forced to buy the latter if you want a telly.


          • Anonymous says:

            BBC cannot go and endorse any party or do party political broadcast for one and not another.

            If BBC is not neutral people or parties can complain, by law they are not allowed to endorse any party.


          • Anonymous says:

            I agree about BBC licencing fee. In my view BBC should generate its own income by advertising, selling programmes, etc.


          • Oh Jesus says:

            “by law they are not allowed to endorse any party”

            But they obviously do.


          • Anonymous says:

            Yes you’re entitled to complain, and they will write back telling you why they are ignoring it, and have to take it three levels before you MIGHT reach someone independent.


        • 41
          A Blogger says:

          Governments do not have a right to demand ‘political neutrality’ from private citizens.

          This ‘charter’ is the kind of fucking disgrace that Stalin would have been proud of.


          • Uncle Joe says:

            Comrade how right you are! And I’ve not had to shoot anyone to achieve this! Just think what can be done with a little ‘persuasion’


          • Anonymous says:

            If an origination is putting news out you should be politically neutral. Otherwise don’t call it a news origination.


          • A Blogger says:

            I don’t call it an ‘origination’. I call it expressing my opinion. Poeple using made up words to silence other people can fuck off.


          • Keep Our Press Free says:

            If I disagree with the politics of a newspaper, I don’t buy it.
            It’s a fairly simple concept.

            However no-one has the right to stop me reading what I want.
            I will not be dictated to by the grubby little cabal of Hacked Off
            and it’s multi-million pound celebrity backers.


          • Mr Assange says:

            I,m sure someone will name these mysterious backers, why not hack hacked offs phones to see who they are talking to.


  2. 2
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    Thats strange.

    “The Kremlin-funded broadcaster Russia Today described the guidelines as a “threat to press freedom””


    • 6
      Casual Observer says:

      Looking forward to what Pravda are going to make of it…


    • 11
      Lord Stansted says:

      I think Dr Goebbels would have said the same as Russia Today. It’s called attacking the enemy.


    • 32
      albacore says:

      Cue the James Bond theme and a few damp squibs
      They can’t have the Kremlin telling such fibs
      Send 007 on his roller skates
      To remonstrate with those degenerates


    • 59
      Napoleon says:

      Not OK to share bank accounts with them in Cyprus, but OK to let them dictate UK press regulation. Hmmm


    • 81
      Wanda Ringhands says:

      The Russian’s have an excellent record of free speech, 100% of those complaining said they were fully satisfied and they were in error when dangled over the side of an office block


  3. 4
    Pj says:

    One of the directors of the now defunct journalism foundation was Helena Kennedy. – she is also a trustee of Media standards trust ( they set up hacked off). Small world


  4. 5
    пизда says:

    I don’t care that (non-GCHQ) hacking is illegal anyway. Let’s restrict freedom of speech even further. Vote Staggers! Vote Graud! Vote Beeb!


  5. 7
    no-one tells me what to read says:

    Is Simon Kelner married to that top EU woman Cathy Ashton?


  6. 8
    Garks says:

    Why this constant need to attack hacked awf ?

    And before you all start I’m no h grant et al fan but does it actually add anything other than an opportunity for bile?

    There are after all some very wealthy individuals on the other side of the coin.

    And RT ? not really news about russia is it….


    • 51
      Anonymous says:

      I think its the hypocrisy that annoys people, when the luvvies are promoting their latest film or book, by and large they inflict themselves on us talking about their lives and families etc, to me you cant then start complaining when it goes too far, as you have let the genie out yourself. Its human nature to think you know these people when they have been in your house on TV chatting away and people are interested.


  7. 9
    Jezza says:


    • 19
      Fran From Frome says:

      Guido. You posted yesterday that Clarkson donated to Hacked Off.

      Are you using the same source as the DM
      I Clarkson lying/ partial trothing?
      Is your source right or wrong?
      Are you facing Exemplary damages from Mr Clarkson?


      • 31
        John says:

        Oh dear – has Guido done an Eoin Clarke?

        *awaits 12 paragraph apology*


        • 38
          Dave, Ed, Nick and Hugh says:

          Front page apologies from now on, plus exemplary fine, plus Mr Clarkson’s costs plus financial ruin and all your staff on the dole.


          • Ignorance is strength says:

            I fear that after this blog put unfavourable light on Great Leader Un, Political asylum in North Korea is now unlikely for Guido, there’s still room in the lobby of the Ecuadorian embassy though.


    • 21
      Casual Observer says:

      Would be wise to check the source on that. Jezza could be the t’rd in the punch bowl so to speak of apparent donors.

      Any hard evidence ?


      • 26
        The Knives are out for the Guido Blogging Corporation says:


        • 53
          Casual Observer says:

          It is a minor mistake if the claim was false, however the source should be double checked. Timing is impeccable though, like the further claims yesterday.

          If it was the same for all the publishers, then several possibilities:

          i) The source is correct: This does not seem very credible though from the way that denial was presented.

          ii) The source is wrong: This seems more credible from the way that denial was presented.

          If the source had provided evidence beyond hearsay, that can be checked by the publishers. The late publishing of these details suggests the information only became available recently so due diligence may have been skipped.

          It is likely that the source is compromised or overtly hostile, especially if the source purports to source from inside this group.

          The group will likely have fishing lists to do two things:

          i) Make the case for their cause. If this story is false the job is done.

          ii) Detect leaks. People with access to what they think are the donor lists will see real names mixed with a few credible but false names, to help identify leak sources. One false claim published would be enough to destroy any further claims which may be true.

          This pressure group have demonstrated they are adept at manipulating UK Government, and are well versed in techniques of coercion, social conditioning and certain aspects of intelligence / counter intelligence.

          What is not clear is where is the Triple X ?


          • Ambridge says:

            That’s how they did it on the Archers. Passed lists on to each leaking suspect but each list was different by one name. And Joe Grundy’s your Uncle the leaker was identified.


          • Casual Observer says:

            And the beauty of the libel law is, with a bunch of rich donors and one spoiler, when the credibility of the source and publisher is brought in to question, one of the real donors with money can step forward and litigate reasonably safely.

            Even more easily under the new Charter set up.

            This of course will have the effect of making it much harder to whistle blow, as real evidence will be required rather than rumor.


          • Quiet Bat Person says:

            I bet the source is Richard Hammond.


    • 27
      Twitter is for Twats says:

      JC uses Twitter?? Nooooooo!


  8. 10
    Penfold says:

    So Hacked Orff wants transparancy and accountability, but is not prepared to be accountable and transparent in its own dealings.

    Must be the Russian connection, statist, elitist and controlling. Makes you wonder if Vladi (The Putative Impaler) Putin has been channeling some Greek Cypriot monies around.


    • 17
      EU Watch says:

      I think you will find the is the EU connection.

      Russia is quite open by comparison these days.


      • 73
        Who are these people? says:

        Why have the names of these foreigners and super rich backers of Hacked Off only been released AFTER state control of the press has been agreed.
        This whole affair stinks and has made us a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.


    • 93
      Elaine Decoulos says:

      Hacked Off is definitely not transparent and I know from personal experience they are not genuinely for victims of the press either! They dictated to LJ Leveson just who was going to be a victim Core Participant in the Inquiry. Leveson let no one in unless Hacked Off supported them. Just see his judgments against me, some in fact of which are defamatory!

      The free Arbitration System, an alternative to going to court, is limited and mostly for celebs and other public figures. If you are seeking damages you can use the free arbitration service, but only for ‘news-related material’, defined as news, current affairs, opinions about either or gossip about celebrities, other public figures or other persons in the news. This is what it says in the amendment passed to the Crime and Courts Bill.

      Now, if the article or story you wish to arbitrate over does not fit into the ‘news-related material’ category as defined, you have no cost free redress! It’s outrageous. We all know the tabloids publish all sorts of stories that do not fit into that category. However, for celebs and public figures this is a jack pot and a privacy law thru the back door without needing to pay any legal costs! This is all thanks to Hacked Off.


  9. 12
    PeckhamPete says:



    • 16
      Leroy Davies from Lambeth says:

      Once a Huhne always a Huhne man .

      Does not matter how much you got in the Bank , Honky.


  10. 13
    EU Watch says:

    Not altogether off topic, but a good write up on the history of Cyprus and the Russian connection, oh, and significantly that bail-ins usually portend failures:

    If the theft of depositors money goes ahead, perhaps then Labour will have a case for ‘bedroom tax’. That being when the government try to do it here it will be a tax on mattresses.


    • 22
      Lost in Clacton says:

      Very interesting .

      When are we going to tax the Falkland Islanders ?


      • 33
        Pawn Sandwich says:

        Don’t you get tired of the word “tax”, tax for this tax for that, tax for driving on roads that we have paid for, bedroom tax, mansion tax, millionaires tax.

        Tax is theft. ask the Cypriots.


    • 30
      Lord Stansted says:

      Zerohedge is on the ball – as usual. That website should be read by everbody.


  11. 14
    Jack Jones, Arthur Scargill, Harold Wilson and Ted Hill says:

    Russian money interfering in our democracy? Well I never!


  12. 15
    Get Rid and Start Again says:

    Hacked Off’s supporters are, by and large, the kind of people who make ones skin crawl, just at the mention of their names. No wonder they are so naturally attractive to our political class of liars, looters and control nazis.


  13. 20
    Jimmy says:

    What reason could any donor possibly have for not wanting the papers to have his name? It’s certainly a puzzler.


  14. 24
    Anonymous says:

    Presumably those MPs who voted against press freedom will no longer be writing for that press.


    • 69
      Curly says:

      Let us hope that the relevant editors have noted the names of their traitorous contributors and/or columnists and cancel their contracts forthwith.


  15. 28
    The man at the back with the awful jumper - yes you sir says:

    Pravda is the Russian for ‘truth’, as any fule kno. Now why should Russian billionnaires (who of course came by their billions entirely legally…) want to shackle our press (shurely ‘set up an independent body to oversee the media’?). Of course they are gernerously and selflessly giving their vast amout of legally-earned dosh to ensure that our citizens receive fair treatment from a responsible press.

    By the way, it’s quite comfortable here in the Lubyanka…


  16. 29
    John Wellington Wells says:

    This effete hegemony which is the current Parliament should take heed. Beware the middling sort, the grammar school educated, the preservers of long-held (and hard won) freedoms. The ghost of Cromwell will stir.


    • 40
      Lord Stansted says:

      Christ, I wish to hell it would. Tell him to get a move on.


      • 57
        Uncle Joe says:

        The ghosts of the past are stirring but it won’t a Cromwell that you’ll get I’m afraid. Still I’ll get your lumpen proles working and I’ll get rid of all that scum you’ve let in.


  17. 42
    Blowing Whistles says:

    Conor Burns MP:-

    “The champions of openness that is Hacked Off refuse to name large private donors in non-answers to my questions” …

    Remind me – What did P Eye say about Burns’ racism?


    • 47
      Blowing Whistles says:

      p.s. I have made a comment about Gus O D and Sue C’s book over on the God blog – about Sue C’s book “The Cheating Classes”. Worth a read

      Guido ought to give a copy of it away in the caption comp on Friday. Just a suggestion mind.


  18. 43
    Richard Baron says:

    This is not exactly on the topic of donors, but a bit of history is interesting. The provisions on exemplary damages are simply a way to make a turbulent press too expensive. We have been here before, with stamp duties on newspapers. Let us hope for equally heroic resistance this time round:


  19. 60
    Truth said says:

    One wonders who else is having a say in the running of Our Country because it certaily is not the People and soon will not be the Newspapers. This all smacks of treason and it is time that we enforced it, we should also revert back to the Death sentence for treason which Blair changed.


  20. 61
    A casual observer says:

    Both Milliband and Clegg have been played for the fools they are; Cameron and co are too bloody weak and lacking in intellectual clout to call them out on it. A stinking disgrace – but it will fall flat on its face as only the Independent and Guardian will sign up to this nonsense.


    • 70
      Curly says:

      Have the Guardian been charged with perverting the course of justice yet over the hacking lies they issued?


  21. 62
    Anonymous says:

    tell these self-congratulatory fools here then – all thrilled with themselves in the comments


    • 65
      Richard Baron says:

      I have just left the following comment on that Hacked Off page:

      The Hacked Off campaigners have just sacrificed the essential liberty of all of us, for the sake of a little temporary security. To make it concrete, the victims of thalidomide (a long time ago) and of toxic waste dumping (more recently) – real victims, unlike celebrities – and all we taxpayers who were robbed by MPs’ expenses claims, depended on a tough, annoying, unregulated press. Stop rejoicing, Hacked Off, and hang your heads in shame.

      My comment is awaiting moderation. Let’s see whether it appears.


  22. 74

    Oh! Hucking hell, it’s a game innit?


  23. 75
    Earl of Croydon says:

    Off topic but if for example the goverment set up a website that contained all of the job vacancies that would normaly be in the Guardian, does anyone think that they would struggle to fill these jobs?
    Id imagine a pretty penny would be saved if this were to happen.


  24. 84
    Anonymous says:

    I used to know Evgeny Lebedev around the turn of the century when he lived in Trevor Place, Knightsbridge. The man was constantly off his tits on heroin and could barely string together a sentence at times. This didn’t stop him from shagging one of my mates, a lettings negotiator at Hamptons Estate Agents down the road, although she did say that he had trouble getting it up. Shame, because she had a smashing pair of tits.
    Nice to see him all grown up now.


    • 86
      Hacked Off's Ministry of Truth says:

      We know who you are Anonymous.
      We’ve just seized all your assets and you will be locked up without trial for 20 years followed by a period of re- programming at a Common Purpose educational facility.


  25. 87
    Dick the Butcher says:

    Shami’s been unusually quiet lately.
    Come on girl – tell us what you think.


  26. 91
    Ivan Denisovitch says:

    It comes as no surprise to me that Lebedev would be so keen on ‘free and independent journalism’ considering his KGB background and it’s long tradition of supporting such principals.


  27. 92
    Jerked Off Behind the Sofa says:

    Has the Find Madeleine Fund made a donation to Hacked Off and/or is it paying Gerry McCann’s expenses to peddle their mutual agenda?

    At the end of 2011 (after Rebekah Brooks had already blackmailed/persuaded DC to set up the Met review into Madeleine’s disappearance), amendments to the articles of association of Madeleine’s fund were made. Among the list of ‘Powers’ is this little nugget:

    ‘alone or with other organisations seek to influence public opinion and make representations to and seek to influence governmental and other bodies and institutions’. This can be found on pg13 of the following document

    It’s not difficult to imagine Dr McCann’s answer were the above question put to him but quite frankly, if that man told me the time I’d ask for a second opinion.
    Also, the esteemed doctor will be a hell of a lot more than Hacked Off if our press covers proceedings in an upcoming libel trial, due to take place in Lisbon within the next four months where lots of unhelpful details can be freely reported – that is, if he and his wife don’t back out of it altogether. They have already tried to settle (very unusually so given that they are the claimants) but their opponent has by all accounts told them where to shove it and wants to proceed to trial.


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