Beautiful Burnout and a New Legal Expert on Guardian’s Comment is Free

Hampton Court Palace, England

Hampton Court Palace, England

Many expressed their dismay at the loss of the Guardian’s resident legal expert on Comment is Free when Barrister at Law BeautifulBurnout asked for her entire comment history to be removed from its online record and stated that she would no longer post comments.

The newspaper’s collaboration in such an act of censorship was a sad one in its long history of fighting injustice since its origins following the Peterloo Massacre in 1821.

It is therefore pleasing to notice that Comment if Free has now attracted a new legal brain in CalamityJane123.   And although she has yet to announce her legal credentials, she certainly seems to be up to speed on current matters such as Perverting the Course of Justice, Immigration, Asylum, the ECHR and so on.   She even manages to pepper her posts with that off the cuff humour so loved by CiF’ aficionados. Here she is joshing with Ally Fogg:

I expect this is a really good article as always, Ally….. but I didn’t get any further than this…..before I was snorting my tea up my nose. Cheeky wee bugger! Signed, a half-Scot-half-Sassenach.

Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides the right to freedom of expression, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas.

How is the right to receive information and ideas upheld if the Guardian arbitrarily removes several years worth of those ideas from the public record?

Update 1

ursus formerly known as Colinthestoat, a CiF poster since 21 August, 2008, albeit a bit of a one line specialist, and referred to affectionately as Stoaty:

BB, The removal of your posting history from cif seems to have hit our friend particularly hard. One imagines that the many happy hours spent reading your words, perhaps as a substitute for something more tangible, will be a terrible loss.

On the contrary Colin, if you read my article here you will understand that the editor of CiF has defined the comments as – “together they make up the complete picture of what we publish”. But then she allows all those by one of CiF’s major contributors to be wiped, much like the air-brushing of photographs so beloved by the Stalinist regimes; – let’s pretend that Leon Trotsky wasn’t there.

I’d have thought you could have understood that this isn’t so much about the loss of content of those posts, valuable as so many were, but the principle involved, along with the nonsense it makes of what were once coherent threads.

To use a dramatic example it’s a bit like removing Guildenstern’s contributions from Shakespeare’s Hamlet..

Update 2


“Hahahahahahah!! Just looked at the shiteybiteysite and he is attempting to “out” me under my new nick on there. What a hypocritical loser that poor little weirdo is. He needs to add his own name to his list of “censors” now. :D”

What on earth is MrsBootstraps on about, I thought she’d resigned from CiF?

“(And in his zeal, he hasn’t realised that he has just provided something that will fill a key evidential gap in a potential harassment case. Taking a screen dump of it now).

ursus – his behaviour is criminally obsessive. And I use those words advisedly.”

Criminally Obsessive?

Tony Scott & Wesley Snipes – Casting The Fan

After reading the script for The Fan (1996), Wesley Snipes became obsessed about playing the title character, (Gil) a criminally obsessive sports fan, who ends up being shot by the police.

Gil confronts Primo in a hotel sauna and, provoked by Primo’s dismissive attitude, stabs him to death.

I’m having some difficulty seeing the connection here.

Update 3

Ursus asks:   – Why didn’t he download the stuff?

In the early days of Comment is Free there was a quite lengthy discussion after the Guardian announced that it was archiving all the comments. I remember HankScorpio kicking up a bit of a fuss in case his employer found out he’d been posting.

So I assumed that everyone’s posts would be available on their respective threads and through the use of the standard search tools. And anyway much of what some posters post is inane rubbish – rather like MOR’s rhymes, so who would want to keep them?

Update 4

Ursus writes about MrsB’s deleted posts:

Bit sad innit? Now people will assume that every ‘quote’ he uses is just made up.

Quite the contrary as many of the gems can be found recorded in other posts, such as this one:

“Just because rad-fems use the patriarchy as an excuse for not having achieved what they want in their lives doesn’t mean that they are not capable of achieving things if they put their minds to it and put some bloody back into it instead of seeking someone/something else to blame. (And, as a successful woman in a “man’s world”, I am living proof of that, but that’s another story)”

Really powerful testimony to self-improvement that’s an an example to everyone.

Update 5

Just to make it clear what a nonsense the Guardian has made of it’s own archive and the historical record of Comment is Free. There are 504 results from a search on the words “Thanks BeautifulBurnout”. Here’s one of them from that very well known poster Ally Fogg, who posts on his own blog here.

AllyF 16 Jan 2013, 9:27PM

@crazyfatguy – thanks Mr Fat Guy.
For the record, I’ve just noticed that I had a lengthy response to BeautifulBurnout deleted from the first page and I am equally clueless as to why.
The mods move in wonderful ways, their woodwork to perform.

If course if you look for MrsB’s post that Ally is referring to, you won’t find it.


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