Of Badgers & Men (& Censorship)

The reason for my blog being censored by WordPress was because of a post about ‘Sir’ Howard Newby, I have not been told this in an email or any such civilised notification but I found the post had been altered by WP admin and was the source of me being barred from my own blog. If you want some background on ‘Sir’ Howard check out Derek Wall, Ecologics & Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS. It appears he is very sensitive about his time as vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England and the firm Carter & Carter of which he was a non-executive director, all of which is in the public sphere in various publications, for example this is from the Guardian

The use of management consultancy firms linked to both Sir Howard and his wife, assistant vice-chancellor Lady Sheila Newby, also caused concern.

“They were private companies with no idea about university or academe telling us how to do things and what to do. People got upset because he was running the university life a little fiefdom and giving very big contracts to his mates,” said one academic, who preferred not to be named.

Such big publications with deep pockets were apparently not troubled but he had the University of Liverpool’s (where he is now Vice-Chancellor) legal department in the guise of one Mr. Kevan Ryan, Director of Legal Services go after the low lying blog fruit, which also caught the attention of Index on Censorship. This pushed my anti-censorship button and I made a humorous post that largely concerned itself with how trustworthy ‘Sir’ Howard was in regards to his moral conduct with badgers. But apparently WordPress err on the side of extreme caution when a lawyer and the UK’s libel laws hove into view (or maybe it was something to do with badgers, you never can tell). Consequently I realised I had to find other hosting arrangements for my blog if I am to be independent of people that do not value free speech or my own brand of what we shall loosely call ‘wit’. This has taken some time which is all down to my own procrastination but as we speak, thanks to the generous help of a friend of the blog, a new site is being prepared that is hosted in a far off land, details to come soon. If this post causes another act of censorship please refer to my Twitter feed for updates.