It should be stated openly. Malpoet is, to a large extent, only a contributor in nominal terms and more of a lifetime friend of OutspokenRabbit. Despite his immense intelligence, he does not wish for 'disciples' to be at his beck and call and nor does this bunny have any intention of being such a person to anyone. So Mal and I get on famously, and always have done since the day we met.
Malpoet has been something of a scurge to the former leadership of the Uk Libertarian Party in the last few weeks. He has been the most vocal in calling for an audit of the party's accounts in the wake of Anna Raccoon's 'Libertarian Liberties' blog last month. He was amongst those who made it clear precisely why the NCC's 'investigation' into the affair was inadequate, and covered too narrow a scope. He offered to stand as temporary treasurer and pay for the audit himself, only to see his offer dismissed as 'unconstitutional'. Senior members of the party then proceded to offer jobs on the spot and online to anyone who wanted to apply. My ego thinks for a split second that resigning was a grave error, before the brain takes over and thanks the man upstairs that I did.
However, while hate is a strong word, one can see why Andrew Withers and his friends might have reason to hate Malpoet. He has (in my view quite rightly) been a complete pain in the arse to them, explaining why only transparency will give the party closure on a squalid chapter in its history. Some of the "let's learn lessons and move on" bollocks of the last few weeks has led me to believe that the top-tier of LPUK comprised of former shareholders in Railtrack. Malpoet has been the single most critical voice in exposing this 'under the carpet' technique for what it is and he has clearly made enemies in the process.
The re-emergence of Ian Parker Joseph as a voice on matters LPUK is interesting to say the least, as is his decision to stand squarely in defence of the recently-departed Mr Withers. They make an interesting tag-team, and remind me of 'the Natural Disasters', a clinically obese pair named 'Earthquake' and 'Typhoon' who used to literally squash their opponents into submission.
Between them, they have pursued a quite desparate attempt to find something, anything that might constitute 'dirt' on Malpoet. Eventually, they appear to have found what they thought was something. I'll go through the content of IPJ's blog - LPUK - When the Nutters Take Over - http://pjcjournal.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/lpuk-when-the-nutters-take-over/ on the subject and take the time to address each point separately:-
It has long been said that LPUK attracts the nutters, something that I have tried to dismiss over the years but now… well with all the turmoil, the coup and the agitator in chief Malcolm Saunders calling the shots I have to think again.
Firstly, how long has LPUK been in existence? It was formed in 2007 Ian, am I right? So maybe you'll want to qualify your definition of 'long' - unless your comment was little more than mere hyperbole. 'Nutters' in LPUK terms appear to constiute any person who dares to ask a difficult question. As for a 'coup', Malcolm Saunders had not nominated himself for leader or any NCC role on a permanent basis last time I checked. Some 'coup', Ian!!
Investigate, Investigate, Investigate says Malcolm Saunders. He is not happy that due process has taken place, he is not happy with those in authority over such matters such as the Electoral Commission and the LPUK NCC have followed their processes and found no wrongdoing or case to answer.
The NCC, guided by Nic Coome, defined the scope of the investigation so that the most difficult question (ie that of 'the money') was not on the agenda as discussed here - http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-word-libertarians-and-parties-dont.html. No wonder many, Malcolm and myself included, found it to be unsatisfactory, and therefore could not trust its conclusions. The Electoral Commission may well have figured that with the accounts due to them very soon anyway, they will keep wise counsel for now, By the way, why are LPUK now running a new bank account and why has Mr Withers bailed out just before disclosure becomes a legal requirement?
Investigate he continues to scream. OK, so lets do that. I wonder if Mr Saunders was calling for the same detailed level of investigation into his own background in 2002.
Ok Ian - what have you got for us? Hit me with it...
The Liverpool Echo takes up the story…
MERSEYSIDE fire chief Malcolm Saunders is at the centre of an investigation into sado-masochistic pornography posted on the Internet, the ECHO can reveal.
Interesting how the application of 'innocent until proven guilty' is applied selectively in the mad world of Ian Parker Joseph and Andrew Withers. Moreover, Libertarians surely defend the right of people to indulge in anything sadistic and masochistic as long as it's legal, don't they? Were this anyone else, what price IPJ and Withers would be slating the authority involved for intruding into someone's privacy?
The fire authority has received complaints over sordid material written under the pseudonym “Solomon Gurney – poet and philosopher”.
The author had used e-mail accounts which also appear to have been used for the posting of legitimate messages by Mr Saunders.
Some of the material posted includes scenes of sexual violence and sado-masochism.
No, surely some mistake..
Let me see some of this 'material' and make my own mind up if it is depraved or not - even if it is, this is absolutely none of my business and nothing which the state should be involving itself in, surely? Isn't that what Libertarians believe?
A police spokesman said: “Merseyside police carried out an investigation into matters referred to it by Merseyside Fire Authority relating to the publication of material on an internet site written under the pseudonym Solomon Gurney.
“No substantive criminal issues have been revealed and the matter will now be returned to the fire authority for any action they may deem appropriate.”
So, it seems there was something after all.. but how deep did they dig, how far did they investigate?
So. in short, no charges were brought against Malpoet and there was no evidence of any law having been broken - this after all the available material was made available to the authorities. Of course, the material presented to LPUK's 'internal investigation' was highly selective, with key accounts data still to be disclosed - therein lies the subtle difference. To say with a nudge and a wink, 'So it seems there was something after all' after a man has not been charged is hardly the behaviour of someone with liberal instincts, it must be said.
It is understood that the police did not go on to investigate if Mr Saunders wrote the material, having satisfied themselves that it was not criminal in its content.
Well that's that then - case closed. Of course, the written word, particularly anything creative, is open to the interpretation of the reader. We've established that Malpoet did not break a law that most Libertarians would disagree with anyway.
So, due process completed Mr Saunders would have heaved a huge sigh of relief… but was it enough? should they have continued to investigate, investigate, investigate or should we all consider that the proper authorities had done their job and that was the end of the matter?
Mr Saunders will no doubt be the first to tell you that there was nothing in the allegations, but should we be calling for further and more detailed investigation of this most serious of allegations?
Of course not - after the police had seen all of the relevant material, they decided that there was no case to answer. As stated earlier, most Libertarians would defend the right of people to write erotic, even disturbing material if they wanted to anyway. I haven't seen the 'offending' pieces of literature and I very much doubt either IPJ or Withers have either. Complete disclosure took place in this case and Malpoet was cleared. Partial disclosure took place in the NCC 'investigation' so any declaration of either guilt or innocence is worth not a jot as a consequence.
Oh, and just in case you think I was joking when I called him a nutter, here’s his picture.. borrowed from his own website. Is this the man to investigate LPUK?
Neither Andrew, Ian or myself are pretty boys either it must be said. People in glass houses should probably put their rock down...
and following on from his dealings with internet porn, it seems this champion of the people got a massive payoff from the public purse… ripping off the taxpayers to the tune of £200,000 ….this from the Daily Mail….
A FIRE chief who said it was ‘morally repugnant’ for officers to accept big pay-outs for retiring due to ill-health has been condemned as a hypocrite after doing exactly that.
Malcolm Saunders, who had been off sick from his post as Chief Fire Officer of Merseyside since the start of the year with a nervous illness, was awarded an estimated pound sterling200,000 lump sum and an annual pension of about pound sterling40,000.
Last year, towards the end of a stormy four-year tenure, Mr Saunders strongly criticised the system by which officers can take more on retirement than they had paid into the service’s pension fund.
Strange is it not that the 2 most vocal accusers of LPUK and its officers are ex government employees and both have received massive payouts for the same problem. Susanne Nundy’s payout was £250,000.
The first thing to note here is - do not trust statistics produced by the Daily Mail - a newspaper with a record as long as its right arm of bending the truth to pursue its own agenda. I'd also like to see that full quote from Malcolm in the proper context, and make my own mind up whether he was making a sweeping statement or referring to a specific case as 'morally repugnant'.
The truth is that Malcolm was diagnosed by a doctor with a few medical conditions, including PTSD. Firefighting is a stressful business and no doubt some of the scenes one encounters while doing this weigh heavily on the mind. Having suffered from depression and been on anti-depressants myself, I should add that I don't take too lightly to people poking fun at mental illness. As for the settlement and pension, well it is what it is. Malcolm fought to reduce the grip of the union on the fire service but was severely limited in what he could do.
Having paid 11% of his income into a pension fund then fallen genuinely ill, he was faced with a choice between the offer he got and no pension at all. Malcolm has a wife, children and grandchildren, and imagine their response if he had left them in the lurch by walking away with nothing. Sometimes life presents us with these awkward choices, and there is no easy answer. IPJ's attempts to present this as evidence of rank hypocrisy fall rather flat once you examine the facts. The cheap shot at Anna Raccoon only suggests to me that the damage done by her writing on this subject still hurts immensely.
and I also discover that our Malcolm Saunders is a Common Purpose graduate
Well of course he is - he worked in the public sector, where it was almost as compulsory as being a union member at the time. What exactly is your point here?
Naturally, a few comments have been made on the subject by IPJ, Withers and Nic Coome, although it should be added that Malpoet's attempts to defend himself have been, at least in part deleted. Thus, I felt the necessity to allow the other side of the story to be heard on here. As Malpoet has not been allowed to properly answer some of these posts, I'll do the same to some as I have to the blog that sparked them.
IPJ - Well I certainly don’t think your Libertarian credentials stand up to scrutiny.
Actions such as this are as Libertarian as Tony Blair and his communitarian authoritarians.
Ian, your lack of Libertarian credentials became very apparent when you nudged and winked that there was 'clearly something' despite Malpoet being charged with precisely nothing. Next.
NC - Was this the same Malcolm Saunders who, after allegedly stating that it was ‘morally repugnant’ for officers to accept big pay-outs for retiring due to ill-health, was condemned as a hypocrite after doing exactly that?
Apparently, that Malcolm Saunders, who had been off sick from his post as Chief Fire Officer of Merseyside for some months in 2002, was said to have been awarded an estimated £200,000 lump sum and an annual pension of around £40,000.
Nice work if you can get it.
Nic, are you suggesting that there was nothing wrong with Mal, or that he should have taken nothing and let his family starve on a point of principle? Life is hard and requires us to swallow our pride sometimes. And stats from the Daily Mail tend to be about as reliable as those circulated by a Mr J Goebbels in the 1930s.
But my favourite was:-
AW - I have been feeling slightly ‘ nervous’ recently where do I apply ? Stupid me- I do not work for the State.
Looks like you have to be a very special public servant to get this pay off, IED’s , seeing your mates killed and maimed does not count.
Is PTSD a recognised mental illness ?
I'll answer your last point first Andrew - yes it is. The attitude of some towards mental illness is blind and ignorant to say the least. I just thank the man upstairs that they don't lead LPUK anymore.
And more to the point Andrew, when was the last time you did a day's work for anyone? Scroungers like you should be forced to clean up dogshit at seven in the morning - you could be the first ever DIY parish councillor, fancy that...
But the most frightening comment of the lot actually came as a result of another IPJ masterpiece - http://pjcjournal.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/lpuk-trying-to-make-sense-of-the-mess/. In response to Mal and I reminding him that any declaration of innocence was hollow given the witholding of evidence and narrow scope of the 'investigation' by the NCC, IPJ produced this piece of gold. In fairness, he also answers my other question does LPUK have any money left with what I believe to be total honesty. I've highlighted the bit that most caught my eye in bold.
Daz,has the old LPUK account got any money left? I don’t have a clue and don’t have access to that information.
You cannot find a man guilty or not guilty on incomplete evidence Ian – quite right, that’s why as a Libertarian I always work on the basis of innocent until proven guilty. The work done by the EC and the NCC appear to me to have substantiated that innocence.
Sooner or later someone will have to accept the word of someone in authority or it simply becomes a never ending witch-hunt. Like the traffic cop who is determined to find fault with your car, there will of course always be some who will never be satisfied.
Ok so an honest answer to the question - but how can Ian proclaim Andrew Withers' total innocence if he has not seen the full facts? The NCC did not see the full facts either and defined a very narrow scope to their 'investigation', so their declaration that all is hunky dory is not worth jack shit either.
But think about the part I marked in bold - the former leader of the Uk Libertarian Party - a party that sold QUESTION AUTHORITY T-Shirts online, is now telling us to "accept the word of someone in authority". Don't ask difficult questions, or enquire as to where your money went. Just shut up, speak when spat at and invest your time, money and blind faith in the beloved fuhrer. As I said in response to his blog - Fucking Incredible. In the last fortnight, I've started to believe that the party I joined was a cross between a particularly draconian religious sect and one of those shady pyramid schemes that ruins the greedy and gullible. Nothing that has happened since has caused me to consider that I may have reached this view somewhat hastily.
The attempt to smear Malpoet is nothing more than another classic diversion tactic from two men who do not have a liberal bone or instinct between them. Such has been the focus on the question of 'the money' and where it went, it is only natural for statists to adopt their favoured method of hurling mud at the antagonist and hoping enough of it sticks to damage their credibility.
Withers commented to me today, "Daz, I am still laughing knowing what I now know about the ‘tribune of the people". Well I'm not laughing, Andrew. You're a sick bastard for making fun of mental illness, and by the way haven't you got a parish to serve? Why are you spending the day smearing your perceived enemies instead of doing the job you desparately wanted? Isn't that the reason you upset so many LPUK members by running as an Independent? I'm assuming of course that you didn't use any LPUK money to 'campaign' in an uncontested seat. If you could confirm this I would be most grateful.
It would be immensely sad if any former friends turned on Malpoet as a result of the pathetic and vindictive ramblings of two very bitter and twisted men. Confession time - part of me actually feels sorry for Andrew P Withers. Deep down here is a man scared of taking responsibility for his own life and what happens in it. He didn't trade while insolvent - he was the victim of a fraud. He wasn't justifiably disqualified from being a company director - Peter Mandelson was personally out to get him. Now there is no reason to question the brilliance of his leadership of LPUK despite the party being insolvent - it was only because they stopped accepting memberships and the fees that came with them. Besides which, that bastard Malcolm Saunders (ably supported by his mate Daz) is trying to destroy him. Now would scientists call that a pattern or a trend?
I shouldn't be saying this to men much older than myself but - Andrew, grow up and consider that maybe some of what goes wrong in your life might have at least something to do with you. Ian - please stop encouraging him. As for Malpoet,well he's worth a thousand of either of you. Out of the three, I know who I'd want in the trenches with me anyway...