Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek billionaire who wants to buy Arsenal football club, is a scumbag.
Why? Apart from his criminal behaviour in the past — for which he was imprisoned — because he got libel lawyers Schillings to take down Craig Murray’s blog after Murray used it to write uncomplimentary things about Usmanov.
As Lenin puts it:
Craig Murray, as former ambassador to Uzbekistan, has raised these claims on his website and was followed by a number of other blogs and message boards. Evidently, Usmanov feels threatened by them, and has employed the libel lawyers, Schillings, who have applied pressure to service providers to pull the websites in question – before a single thing has been tested in court. The issue as it now stands is not whether the allegations against Mr Usmanov are correct, but whether you should have a right to hear about them and whether the promise of the internet can be shut down by an affronted oligarch. It is one thing to expect a single post to be withdrawn, although even this is unconscionable if it results from straightforward goldplated bullying by a plutocrat. But to take down the whole site is outrageous. Fasthosts is not a free service: you pay to register the website, and you to pay for the web hosting. Whatever contractual stipulations they might use in their defence, Fasthosts ought to be compelled to defend the internet access of their customers and specifically to restore the websites in question. (Update: looking through the Google cache of some of Murray’s articles mentioning this, I see that the service providers repeatedly edited his posts after threats from Schillings).
Update: this is all over the UK blogosphere, e.g. Chicken Yoghurt, Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harry’s Place, Tim Worstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric (who suggests dropping a line to the FA about Mr Usmanov), Mike Power, Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devil’s Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots (and another), Pitch Invasion, Wonko’s World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia (with a list of Craig Murray’s articles that are currently unavailable), Obsolete, Tom Watson, Cynical Chatter, Reactionary Snob, Mr Eugenides, Matthew Sinclair, The Select Society, Liberal England, Davblog, Peter Gasston Pitch Perfect, Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe, Lunartalks, Tygerland, The Crossed Pond, Our Kingdom, Big Daddy Merk, Daily Mail Watch, Graeme’s, Random Thoughts, Nosemonkey, Matt Wardman, Politics in the Zeros, Love and Garbage, The Huntsman, Conservative Party Reptile, Ellee Seymour, Sabretache, Not A Sheep, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, The People’s Republic Of Newport, Life, the Universe & Everything, Arsenal Transfer Rumour Mill, The Green Ribbon, Blood & Treasure, The Last Ditch, Areopagitica, Football in Finland, An Englishman’s Castle, Freeborn John, Eursoc, The Back Four, Rebellion Suck!, Ministry of Truth, ModernityBlog, Beau Bo D’Or, Scots and Independent, The Splund, Bill Cameron, Podnosh, Dodgeblogium, Moving Target, Serious Golmal, Goonerholic, The Spine, Zero Point Nine, Lenin’s Tomb, The Durruti Column, The Bristol Blogger, ArseNews, David Lindsay, Quaequam Blog!, On A Quiet Day…, Kathz’s Blog, England Expects, Theo Spark, Duncan Borrowman, Senn’s Blog, Katykins, Jewcy, Kevin Maguire, Stumbling and Mumbling, Famous for 15 megapixels, Ordovicius, Tom Morris, AOL Fanhouse, Doctor Vee, The Curmudgeonly, The Poor Mouth, 1820, Hangbitch, Crooked Timber, ArseNole, Identity Unknown, Liberty Alone