In between battling a flu bug, the NHS who want to dump an old lady,
mentally damaged by her GP’s neglect, back home tomorrow with only 24 hours
notice, and Newham Social Services who must surely be the world’s worst, I have
been reviewing what I am supposed to have done to harass Councillor Maxine Fothergill.
Although she has included in her complaint BiB’s 2015 reports of her Code of Conduct charges I am discounting those.
By late January 2016 I was coming to the conclusion that Councillor Fothergill may have been stitched up by Conservative Councillors who had reason not to be pleased by her activities.
She seized the opportunity and we met at a secret location way out in Kent where she asked me to remove the blogs about the complaint that had been made against her, a complaint that wasn’t even in writing as legally it should have been.
Removing factual blogs is rewriting history and not something I would ever want to do and the compromise reached was that relevant blogs would be prefixed with a message proclaiming Councillor Fothergill’s innocence.
The prefix has gone through two revisions since then but the message is basically the same. There had been a miscarriage of justice. In the 16 months the message has been on line no one has complained about it and bearing in mind the meeting and the agreement made with Councillor Fothergill I cannot see how there could reasonably be a complaint now.
I have also read through all the more recent blogs and don’t see any cause for regret. For the most part they draw attention to publicly accessible documents as exhibited in Court.
Where UKIP Bexley linked those same documents to the corruption they see within Bexley Council, BiB went out of its way to point out that it could see none in Fothergill’s case.
The day after the Court ruling against Councillor Fothergill, BiB said that the news will be “deeply troubling” to Councillor Fothergill and there was a fine balance between reporting news and making her situation worse than it was already. It said once again that the Code of Conduct business two years earlier was probably a political stitch up, not what one would expect of someone hell bent on harassing her.
Just four days after the libel news first broke, BiB decided that publishing the Court documents and evidence produced in Court was as far as it was necessary to go. It published Councillor Fothergill’s agreed Apology nearly two weeks later but that was it; the story was all wrapped up.
Then there was the solicitor’s letter which brought Maxine Fothergill back into the headlines but her solicitor made no request to withdraw any blog content. Presumably he recognised that no line had been crossed.
Jump forward another ten days and Councillor Fothergill was badgering the police at a fourth police station perhaps because she had worn out her welcome at the other three. All the blogs were well within the guidelines kindly provided to me by Bexley police designed to prevent any breach of the law.
Why the police never look at the evidence before getting heavy I have no idea. If a newspaper had published the same story, even if it had offered an opinion, would the police be threatening their journalist with arrest?
What does Councillor Fothergill hope to achieve? If she succeeds in having me charged with harassment the libel case she wished to keep out of the headlines will likely ‘go viral’. The record of more than 5,000 unique web visitors in one day set when John Kerlen was maliciously prosecuted in 2011 has never been beaten. If there is one way of ensuring that everyone knows Councillor Fothergill’s business, getting me into Court must surely be it.
Whilst UKIP’s website went much further than BiB did with its reporting of the libel case, as far as I am aware, Fothergill has not gone after them.
Someone she has gone after though is the unfortunate Kent police officer who at first sided with her over the unjustified arrest of Hayley Warnes but eventually came to realise he had been sold a pup. Information received from Kent Police is that Fothergill has put in a complaint about him too. Vindictive? You might think so but I couldn’t possibly comment.