Why the Untrusteds are not the custodians of the memory of Leni Farrer

At breakfast on the road to Bingzhonglou, Yunnan Province, China, June 2009

At breakfast on the road to Bingzhonglou, Yunnan Province, China, June 2009

This is why the Untrusteds won’t be allowed to hijack the memory of Leni Farrer

Leni Farrer was the real name of the poster on Comment is Free who went by the moniker of afancdogge. She has posted a few times on this site and I have had a number of quite civil exchanges with her on CiF and the Untrusted. She once complimented me on the photograph that heads this piece and that’s why it’s there.

When she posted here from a hospice in London on 28 March it was clear she was very seriously ill and close to death and this was confirmed when she left the hospice and went home just a few days ago.

This site has hosted a number of tributes and messages of support to Leni and in an email to her eight days ago I wrote saying she was very welcome to use this site as a conduit, while she was having difficulty connecting with others. Among other things I wrote:

You won’t be surprised that I’ve checked our few exchanges on both the UT and CiF and was surprised that they’ve always been most civil even when we’ve disagreed, although you did once call me a “silly man”.  To that extent you are unique among your Untrusted colleagues. 
I hope you are one of the considerable number of people who recover sufficiently to come out of your hospice and that you continue to use my site as a conduit, if that is what you need and want. I haven’t joined the online discussion about your situation, as doubtless you’ve noticed,  for very good reasons. 
Wishing you well,
When Peter Jackson died there was a concerted attempt by the Untrusteds to claim him as one of their own, even to the extent of denying that on many issues he held views that were diametrically opposed to theirs. Many of Peter’s posts that illustrate this can be viewed here.
One of the issues that concerned Leni in her later years posting on Comment is Free was “the demise of long posts and interesting discussions” and the rise of the two line irrelevant and inconsequential post.  As a tribute, the poster kyushuchaos posted the following eulogy to this sentiment of Leni’s, with one of her earlier posts on Comment is Free:

When I first came to CiF long posts and interesting discussions were the norm – I learned a lot in areas I had little experience of and in some cases came to understand why others held views opposed to mine . I might not have come to agree with them but could see why they believed as they did . The aim of the discussion then became to try to bridge the gap .

But – all gone . We seem assailed on all sides by trite nonsense – I say this as someone who values the role of nonsense and silliness in our lives – in addition to the serious and thought arousing . I love the creative and the ponderous both . In short I am disappointed in CiF.

At 9.50pm and presumably when she was less than sober, BeautifulBurnout / CalamityJane123 posted the following:

How very disturbing, then, that on the day this lovely woman died, Kyushuchaos decides to comment-mine like he has always done in his various disguises to quote out of context (as usual) a comment with which he seeks to portray her in an equivocal light.

Leni was a peacemaker, a builder of bridges, someone who sought to bring people together onto a common ground of mutual respect and humanity.

Those who seek to divide, cast asunder, obfuscate, lie and create discord, and who seek snidely to sully her memory are not fit to lick her shoes.

Anyone who cares to go to Leni’s original post will see that Kyushuchaos has posted her two paragraphs verbatim.

If anyone is sullying Leni’s memory it is the ignorant MrsB.

But this didn’t stop hermionegingold tramping in with the following:

@CalamityJane123 –

i am so glad you said this. i wrote a response earlier and decided not to post it as i knew it was just fuel to his fire… but to use leni of all people (and i am on the radical wing of trivia and we got on just fine) to make a point about cif was indeed disgraceful.
if it walks like a nasty piece of work, sounds like a nasty piece of work it is….
she was & is above such things.

I suppose Hermionegingold’s problem is that even I would find it difficult to locate anything worth re-posting in all the years she’s polluted CiF with her nonsense.

And like Peter Jackson, Leni Farrer held many views that were diametrically opposed to to the views of the armchair anarchist MrsBurnout , as Kyushuchaos, in a second post made quite clear with several more of Leni’s contributions in the years she visited Comment is Free.

So here’s Leni contemplating her own future and that of humanity back in June 2012:

I am unconvinced that in the great scheme of things human survival is paramount. We obviously all think our own survival and that of our loved ones is and (for) most of us but is the survival of humans as a species important ?

We deplore mass human death through war and famine – these are always accompanied by the deaths of many animals and environmental damage – some of which takes decades to recover.

Perhaps we first have to decide whether there is in fact a ‘great scheme of things’ which demands human survival; or perhaps just the survival of life in some form ; or perhaps the deaths of planets is foretold in the scheme itself.

Or are we all here by accident ?

I hate to see the extinction of species – I include plants and insects in this. There is a sad loneliness about being the last of your kind – but is that just my humanity responding ? Would hate to be the last person alive on the planet.


In due course I’ll be posting some more of Leni’s memorable posts so that those who think they knew her well can come here and say they agree or otherwise.

Update 1

frog222 posts on the Untrusted site:

I confess to becoming a little annoyed that the hypocritical bth ( who I usually think of as ntf — nibblethefingers) was posting on YTU from Leni’s archive, when the little sod had been meanly and dishonestly attacking her only a few weeks before . Kicking self, because I should have saved his nastiness.

So I snapped, got modded, no sweat !

Hello Jane

Interesting that Leni signed off her 2AM mail to me on the 27/3 with these words —

” Nn and bless — avoid, at all times the lunatic negativity that is bitey.

Strangely enough the Evil One had quite recently posted one of his typically unpleasant personal attacks …. on LENI !

So just to set the record straight, Leni posted on my site on March 23 to wish Sara well after her mugging experience and Sara replied the same day.

101 replied with some advice for Leni on how to access the internet from the hospice.

Then on 28 March Leni returned to complain that I had misquoted her in the dispute that took place on the Untrusted when Turminderxuss called PaulBJ a NIGGA.

Leni replied to Desde the same day

101 replied to Leni – in a post with which I agree;

I doubt anyone on this site seriously believes that you are a racist (I for one don’t) the condemnation against you was more geared to your lack of censure to the blatant racist words of the poster “hank” (I’m sure that you would rebuke, and rightly so, any poster on this site who used such language)

In short Leni, you are so enthralled with the clique of the UT that you are willing to put aside your principles and find excuses for an attitude you would find unacceptable here.

I then quoted verbatim the thread from the Untrusted

So the question for you to answer Frog is do you also feel that calling PaulBj or anyone else a NIGGA, isn’t racist?

A simple yes of no will suffice.

And just to prove that 101 was correct about Leni, here she is on You Tell Us, 14 August 2012:

i am in two minds about leaving hate speech in situ – on the one hand it shows us just what we are up against but on the other it can also spread false and vicious ideas and win more adherents.

As threads on CiF – on many subjects – become more hateful I am moving towards a position where I feel it should all be modded. It gives courage to people to express their hatred and helps bigotry and racism to take hold in the public sphere.

What we do about people who think/feel so much hatred – who will suffering and destruction on their fellows – I do not know.


Update 2

CalamityJane123 / BeautifulBurnout 26 April 2013 7:07pm


The plan had been to send a copy of this thread to them. Alas, some people are so vile, and will use any excuse to goad and gloat – including the decease of a woman who was by anybody’s interpretation a million light years ahead of them spiritually, morally and intellectually – that they think nothing of of using a tragedy as a childish, spiteful weapon. I sincerely hope and pray that none of Leni’s family are reading.

Perhaps you ought to have a word in his ear.

Had been?

You mean you on behalf of the Guardian and its readers have decided otherwise?

I have posted what I and others consider to be some great posts of the late Leni Farrer which demonstrate the kind of person she was, what she considered important, what she believed in and what she cared about. They are a fitting tribute and there will be more.

And your contribution MrsB?

Not a single memorable post from Leni but just carping and self-publicity for you and your fellow partner in calumny HankScorpio. If anything is vile MrsB it is your and Scorpio’s false accusations of paedophilia, which I am certain Leni would have condemned out of hand. Just read what she says about hate speech in her post above.

Update 3

Kyushuchaos has now been banned, or to use the Guardian’s terminology – Commenting has been disabled for this account.

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