Another libel lawyer’s letter arrived late this afternoon from Clarke Willmott for the Quilliam Foundation, funded by your taxes (if you are a UK taxpayer). As with their first one and their email, I give it in full so you can see their side of the story:
They now acknowledge that they only filed their accounts six days after I blogged that they had not filed them – a fact they left out of their first letter. They do say that they had an extension to file late from Companies House. That seems their one good point. The rest is easily refuted. I have replied thus:
Dear Michael Clarke,
I refute your points entirely. My blog posts are part of a wider political debate surrounding the Quilliam Foundation Ltd. The view that Mr Husain has swung from one extremist view to the opposite has been very widely reported and deplored in blogs and on newspapers. Anyone who one year supports Islamic terrorism, and the next year supports the invasion of Iraq and the occupation of Afghanistan, cannot be fairly described as stable. Indeed the one thing both viewpoints have in common is a support for killing people for political ends.
The view that the Quilliam Foundation is counterproductive in achieving its aims and thus a waste of taxpayers’ money, and that its Directors are over-remunerated, is also so widely expressed as to be the received wisdom about the organization. Indeed in paying a social parasite like a libel lawyer, it seems only to confirm that Quilliam has more taxpayers’ money than sense.
I am very sorry that you wish to waste more taxpayers’ money in trying to defend Quilliam’s non-existent good name. Of course you will profit personally: why should you not get on the taxpayer funded gravy train too? If you wish to claim this particular action is financed by other donations, I refer you to the concept of fungibility.
I view your proposed action as an appallingly illiberal attempt by a government funded organization to silence an outlet for political dissent in the UK.
I also insist that you tell me whether you had advance knowledge of the plan for Mr Ed Jagger to telephone me falsely pretending to wish to be able to make a donation, apparently in order to attempt to elicit financial information. If you do not refute in simple terms any involvement, I shall report you to your professional body. Please tell me if that is the Law Society or the Bar Council. I expect you have an obligation when asked to give information on where to direct a professional complaint.
If you wish to serve papers on me, you will find me for the next three weeks at C878/3, North Ridge, Accra. After that I shall be at home at 30 Whitehall Gardens, Acton, London, W3 9RD. My wife is now there alone with our young baby, and any action by you or your clients which upsets or harasses her before my return is something which I will take very, very seriously indeed and I would take every possible and imaginative action within the law to ensure that you would greatly regret.
Thank you for recommending me to get a solicitor. Sadly unlike your clients I am not rolling in taxpayers’ cash and I have no money for a solicitor. As Mr Jagger telephoned me to offer a donation, perhaps you might ask him if he could fund a solicitor for me? That would be kind.
I have nothing more to say to you and will enter no further correspondence with you, nor read any further correspondence by you. Please stop this pathetic and futile attempt at bullying and go to court. I have no doubt that Jack Straw (who you will be aware sacked me as British Ambassador precisely for not holding the views your clients are so well paid to propagandise) will make sure you get allocated a judge entirely on your side.
The only sad thing about this episode for me (other than the waste of time and energy and a certain distress to my family) is that the general opinion of Quilliam is so low, this appalling behaviour can’t make them much worse thought of.