The Law isn't always an ass!
I'M sorry I missed a good day in the High Court today and I imagine, a good drink with friends afterwards. Mr.Justice Eady struck out the libel case being brought by Tower Hamlets Tory activist Johanna Kaschke against journalist and blogger David Osler.
He did so on grounds of "abuse of process".
I'm not well up on law, and won't attempt an interpretation of this. I did attend court the other week when the lawyer acting for Dave Osler made application for the case to be struck. Judge Eady suggested to Ms.Kaschke that since the differences between anything she had said and anything Mr.Osler had allegedly said about her were slight, and as he had been prepared to withdraw anything that was wrong, it seemed pointless to go to the expense of a jury trial.
Kaschke replied at some length, saying she had already devoted time and expense to bringing the case, that her business had suffered, and so on. She did not accept the judge's suggestion that this was good reason to stop now. Later, she seemed to question whether Dave Osler had referred accurately to an article from Der Spiegel which had appeared, then disappeared, from her own blog site. Claiming her link with fundraising for Rote Hilfe, which assisted members of the Baader-Meinhof group, had only come about through her musical interests, she went on to refer to details of a police raid and court case in Germany, which, as the judge pointed out happened thirty years ago.
It sounded interesting but I could not understand its relevance to the present case. Nor I suspect could Mr.Justice Eady, though he listened with patience, as I suppose is his job.
Anyway, you read the full details of his decision at:
Johanna Kaschke is needless to say, not a happy woman, as she makes clear amid her rejoicing at the advent of David Cameron's Tory-Liberal Democrat government, though she finds comfort in Judge Eady not having issued an order forbidding her from pursuing further cases:
"A gagging order would make it clear to the world, that if my name was added to the banned souls in the British legal system that there is no fair justice in this country. the Left are already allowed to run havoc with people’s reputation and get away with whatever they like; is it any wonder that Karl Marx chose London as his second home when the Germans had thrown him out".
The odd thing is, well one of the odd things about this case, that three years ago when Dave Osler was supposed to have libelled Johanna Kaschke, he had no reason to think she was not one of those Lefties whom she now complains are running around, protected by British justice. (Karl Marx, incidentally, was the bringer of a successful libel suit, not the subject of one).
It all started when then comrade Kaschke had obtained but one vote, having offered herself to be shortlisted as a Labour parliamentary candidate (With Bethnal Green and Limehouse both now having returned Labour MPs, just think what we have missed!) Upset by rejection, she joined George Galloway's Respect, and then a Communist Party, before moving on to.. the Tory party! All in one year.
But meanwhile, having offended her, Dave Osler offered her the right of reply, as he said was the custom within the Left and the labour movement. In court the other week, Johanna Kaschke cited this to argue that he had not really offered her the right of reply, as she was not a socialist.
Indeed, not only has Kaschke included speeches by Margaret Thatcher about socialism on her blog,
but she has taken exception, both in court and her blog, to the accusation that she ever had connections with left-wing extremists.
"..., there is no evidence whatsoever in the extensive paperwork I provided that I was ever accused of links to left-wing extremists by the German authorities. I have got a letter from the German Attorney General to proof that point. I do not know why Eady J chose to ignore that evidence".
(note that emphasis, it is in the original)
That might be misinterpreted, but I will leave it to Ms.Kaschke to keep on digging. She has some more cases pending.
Last time I blogged about Johanna Kaschke I was impressed by the number of committees for which she managed to find time, but also by her wide-ranging knowledge of subjects including the Knights Templar, and significant numbers. I'm surprised she did not notice that yesterday was the 13th.
As it is, suggesting that blogger Dave is some kind of media Goliath, she has commented ruefully: " I think it is amazing how well Mr Osler’s publicity machinery is organised to give interviews after the hearing and put it on YouTube straightaway, for that extra bit of publicity".
Yeah. Amazing what some people can do with a laptop and/or a
I wonder, though, without any of this litigation, how many people would have noticed, let alone remembered what Dave Osler said in a blog, three years ago about an obscure East End character, and a long spent German court case? Far from silencing him, the case has amplified the issue through a large number of other blogs and into the news media. Maybe this will give some others reaching for their libel writs pause for thought.
Jack of Kent: What the Osler Decision Means