is back online!

This is an open thread for anyone wishing to leave messages of support, but we ask you to consider the circumstances under which the site was removed before commenting; Boris was an innocent bystander in this affair, and we’d like to keep it that way until he sees fit to intervene beyond this statement:

“This is London, not Uzbekistan. It is unbelievable that a website can be wiped out on the say-so of some tycoon. We live in a world where internet communication is increasingly vital, and this is a serious erosion of free speech.”

The strongest level of comment moderation has been enabled (all comments must be read and approved prior to publication), but we hope to soften this line, at least to the point of immediate publication for trusted commenters, within a few days.

Thank you.

Tim Ireland

29 thoughts on “ is back online!”

  1. London it may be, but one has to ask ‘permission’ of our servants, the police, before reading out the names of soldiers killed in Iraq within 1km of the Houses of Parliament. Anyone for a Police State?

    I only wish Boris were running for PM. Still Mayor of London is a good start.

  2. Let us celebrate the return of the sorely-missed Boris Blog with a serious discussion about EU Directive OJ L 328, 24.11.2006, R/2521/75 JUR 149, regarding the Retail Sale of Animals (Domestic/Aquatic).

    A bloke goes into a pet shop and asks for a goldfish.

    The assistant plunges a net into the tank, pulls out a couple of fish, and asks: “Would you like an aquarium?”

    Customer says: “I don’t care what star sign it is.”

  3. To keep up the momentum, another topic for serious discussion – the EU Sale of Alcohol Directive OP M 447, 13.60.2006, R/2439/75 JUR 98

    A tramp goes into a hardware shop and asks for a bottle of methylated spirits.

    “I’m not selling you meths,” says the ironmonger. “You’ll only drink it.”

    “Certainly not!” says the tramp. “I only need it to wipe up some spilled paint and clean my windows.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Absolutely certain” says the tramp.

    The ironmonger hands him a bottle. The tramp cradles in his hands.

    “Err… do you have a cold one?”

  4. Yes, Boris, it is good to know that this side is back. I am thinking of supporting you active in your campaign in Redbridge. Are you happy with a German supporter, who has big interests in Russia and Uzbekistan, but of course first of all in a better life in London? You propably remember me from our meeting in Westminster last summer!

  5. Tim I sympathise completely.

    Welcome back Boris – the blogoshere without you is like a hug with no warmth.

  6. In this climate, it seems like so little is required for a website to be taken down, maybe its time for a distributed backup system where people can offer backup hosting for blogs (and other sites) that get taken down.

    I’d be happy to offer backup hosting for boris on my server, but i take it much more stable and less censor-happy hosting has been found.

    I may not agree with everything he says, but he’s intelligent, opinionated, and passionate, and those are characteristics British Politics (and british culture period) needs.

  7. “This is London, not Uzbekistan,” the former Spectator editor and MP for Henley-on-Thames said.

    mm, very impressive sounding. What is London exactly? The website? The other (craigmurray) website? The other websites that went down?

  8. Comment moderation? Oh noes, there go my pearls of wisdom!

    Welcome back. Given that all affected sites were nuked merely upon the unsubstantiated claims of defamation, I presume that you’ll be looking for redress. Interfering with the lawful operation of a business is a crime in Canada, and presumably in the UK as well. Sic ’em.

    Why should the untried and uncorroborated word of a single man be enough to silence multitudes?

    Oh, right.

  9. Joking apart, I have just read Andrew Grimson’s conference sketch in today’s Telegraph. All those who fall for Brown’s soothing patter should read this…

    Gordon Brown’s vision: UK as a work camp

    …and the vital thing, as the Prime Minister pointed out, is to defend our British way of life.

    The British way of life used to include a place for the bumbler, the idler and the joker and used to value freedom and spontaneity over state control and regimentation.

    We are told that people in the olden days used sometimes to laugh at authority and liked to sit down for a cup of tea and a chat, and even thought it a good idea, at the end of the day, to relax with a pint of beer and a cigarette.

    But that almost unimaginably barbaric era is over and so is the ridiculous notion that the answer to some of our problems might be to give people more freedom, not less.

    I’m beginning to like this Andrew Grimson. Another snippet, from a different sketch…

    The banality of Mr Balls’s opening observation is such that we can hardly bear to repeat it, for we fear it may echo in the heads of our more impressionable readers like some infuriating tune.

    Stop reading now if you are sensitive, for here is what he said: “I start this statement with a proposition on which I believe every member of this House and every parent and grandparent in our country can agree: every child matters.”

    Those three words are the same cloth-eared piety that Ruth Kelly used to inflict on us when she was education secretary. It is supposed to show how humane and egalitarian the speaker is, but actually suggests a fathomless hypocrisy.

    Every child matters to whom? And does any child matter anything like as much to Mr Balls as his own three children? Of course not, but here he is, pretending to himself and everyone else that his abstract love of children is somehow comparable to his real and profound love of his own children.

    Mr Balls’s newly coined title – Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families – is totalitarian in its presumption. The state cares for you: this is what it seems to say.

    To sum up: As if they haven’t done enough to wreck the Great Britain we knew and loved, New Labour (and don’t kid yourself it’s gone with Gordon) now want to take over the role of child-rearing and abolish idiosyncrasy. An exaggeration? Just you wait…

  10. I was expecting a video of you singing along to ‘I’m the leader of the gang..’ with a strong chorus of ‘Did you miss me when I was away..’, but maybe such things are considered verboten in these politically correct times. Being of a liberal lefty persuasion myself, but having a secret admiration of all things Boris, I was delighted to see the Guardian making common cause with you when they found you had been silenced.

    But now you are back !! If you are having second thoughts about running for mayor, I understand there may soon be a managerial vacancy at Stamford Bridge..

  11. Why is a website allowed to be taken down because of accusations of libel, but newspapers are not forced to stop printing (or take down their websites)? Do websites come under different laws?

  12. Glad to hear the web site is back! I was surprised it was down for so long!

    Something similar happened a few years back when I use to read and contribute to a financial forum / blog which also part of the web presence of a highly recognised newspaper dedicated to finance. It was on house prices and after a while some senior people in the paper found that opinions expressed were conflicting to that of the newspapers high profile journalists.

    It was decided that moderators would see what was fit for the forum / blog and that was when we got dumbing down. Whole pieces of salient text were butchered out and paragraphs were shortened as to not cause offense. It was also like having a debate through a translator who suffered partial moments of amnesia. Therefore some of the most informative , passionate and enjoyable debates that raged were quickly snuffed out.

    I sincerely hope that blogging, this great tool of communication, will continue to work as effectively as it did in the beginning. At the moment I cant help feel cynical…

  13. Perhaps all British politicians who wish to blog should be accommodated on a government server, isolating them from the murkier fields of political blogging (sorry Tim), and giving immunity from such closure as seen of late.

  14. Oh here I find myself again, drunk as anything,

    I was going to post something on the last thread but the website went bananas so I’ll post it here (as I saved it).

    “The Future of Belgium”

    I didn’t buy the Telegraph last Thursday so this is the first time I’d read that. I went and cracked open a bottle of wine especially, how can you expect any self-respecting Brit to take seriously an article entitled ‘The Future of Belgium’, I’m still laughing now!

    I suppose there is a serious side to this. We find ourselves in a strange political situation. In England the local government map is pretty much blue, 26% votes cast in favour of Labour in the May 2007 elections. Labour has lost Scotland to the SNP/Lib Dem coalition. Labour only has direct local control in Wales, traditional Labour heartlands and loony-left inner-city boroughs. All of these have their gripes with the war-mongering, big-business friendly new-Labour party too.

    Labour’s solution? More legislation, more bureaucracy, more quangos. Replace the embarrassing unelected regional assemblies with unelected, but much more popular, regional development agencies that people are used to, and, more importantly, naturally associate with more jobs, not more politicinas and more importantly not more tax.

    Divert attention from the constitutional vandalism taking place over the “West Lothian Question” with soundbites and ‘new’ initiatives.

    Promise to ‘end child poverty’ (again). Promise to build more things for young poorly-educated folk, that don’t stand a hope of competing with fully-grown Eastern European men for a starter job, to do instead of get drunk on cheap cider and shout “Better start eating your 5-day lardarse” at fat people who walk past.

    Promise ‘British jobs for British workers’ (imagine what the BBC and manistream media would have said if Redwood’s economic policy review had included that as a soundbite).

    Paint a picture of economic stability.

    “Our commitment to stability has been tested again and again over ten years: the Asian crisis; the Russian crisis; the American recession; the trebling of oil prices. And in the last month a wave of financial turbulence that started in America and then Germany and has impacted on all countries including the United Kingdom and tested the stability of our financial system. Yesterday Alistair Darling set out how we will continue to respond with the same calm vigilance that he has demonstrated over recent weeks. And it is because of the strength of the British economy that we are able to steer a path of low inflation, low interest rates and stable growth.” (Gordon Brown, Labour Party Conference 24/09/2007)

    But whatever you do don’t mention the phrases ‘consumer debt’, ‘national debt’, ‘budget deficit’, ‘balance of payments’ or ‘trade deficit’. Try not to remind anyone that the inflation target was switched from 2.5% RPI to 2.0% CPI before that last election, that RPI is currently 4% and West Texas Crude has just broken through the $80 barrel mark.

    The fact remains that even the grassroots labour movement and trade unions are up in arms about having no say in anything anymore. Local councillors are pretty much bound and gagged by quangos and central government using a complex system of stick and carrot (legislation and funding).

    The Tory solution? I guess they will annouce it at their conference, however I would wager a few quid that Brown will overshadow it and annouce a general election before he loses his grip.

    UPDATE, out drinking tonight I managed to make one more Northerner understand the relationship between Brown’s political interference in economic polciy and the 4% RPI rate we are suffering and Northern Rock.

    Every little helps.

  15. @ k: no, they don’t. Web hosts just prefer interfering with people’s rights of free speech to possibly later defending themselves in court. Rather than stick up for the right of anyone to say something prior to its being proven defamatory, they simply fold, on the grand scale.

    I suggest a motion to change the common term “webhost” to “Quisling-in-waiting.” Who’s with me?

  16. Are we allowed to mention the name of the tycoon in question? I can’t believe he has gone to these lengths to cover his backside. Glad things are getting sorted on the site front now.

  17. I hadn’t checked this site until recently. The Tycoon has done you a good turn in terms of PR Boris! London will be tough what with Red Ken’s propaganda machine in full swing (LondON etc etc) but I really hope you can do it.

  18. I’d no more vote for Boris to be Mayor than eat glass for tea, but it’s good he has his blog back.

  19. Hi Boris,

    Sadly for Mr Alisher Usmanov the story about the removal of Craig Murrays blog caused me to do a google for the info which I would not have bothered to otherwise.

    All I will say is I that I expect to see him announced as a major donor to the Labour Party any day now, he has all the right credentials.

    Good luck in the London election.


  20. How about a private Member`s Bill to clarify the whole vexed question of potential libel and web hosts or web editors? It is my understanding that Boris is in a safe position legally if he exerts no editorial function but becomes at risk potentially if anyone does check items before posting. Americans know London as Sue City because of the perversity of our libel law especially regarding the Net.

  21. Cue computer science – if we can’t get legal protection for hosting providers, I’m up for developing a BitTorrent-like service to smear political blog content onto thousands of machines all over the Internet. Unless one’s been developed already, anyone know?

Comments are closed.