The Nightjack verdict is getting a lot of press. As it should, because in my opinion Mr Justice Eady has got it wrong. As ever, Tom Reynolds writes intelligently on this issue so I’ll offer a few thoughts and let you visit Reynolds’ blog.
This blog is not anonymous and was never intended to be. It’s primarily a sounding board for me to highlight lack of Clue, anti-DPI campaigns, discuss some cricket and write on a few business issues here and there. Not all blogs have subjects for discussion where people can freely identify themselves. Not all internet forums have topics where people can freely identify themselves. Not because those people are doing anything illegal but because those people are fearful of mindless prejudice and witch hunts.
People struggling with gender, sexuality, trauma, mental illness or faith problems. People who want to blow the whistle and highlight malpractice not through any desire to profit from such disclosures but because they care about where they live and work.
I’ll quote Tom Reynolds here because this paragraph is how I feel:
Anonymity provides a protection against vindictiveness from management who would rather do nothing than repeat the party-line, or lie, that everything is perfect, there is no cause for concern. Having seen management do, essentially illegal things, in order to persecute and victimise staff – anonymity is a way of protecting your mortgage payments
I’ve had little confidence in the judiciary since my university days when we found out just how hard it was (and maybe still is) to sack a judge. Damn near impossible (if memory serves) even if all that judge’s marbles have fallen out of his pockets and rolled down the London sewers. I’ve also seen a lot of bad management so don’t think for a minute that such victimisation doesn’t happen.
I’d be interested to know just what Mr Justice Eady knows about blogging and the internet in general. One can only make an informed judgement when one understands the contexts of the case. It Mr Justice Eady doesn’t know that much about blogging and the internet then could it be argued that his judgement wasn’t fully informed?
Mr Justice Eady may well have opened a door to actions and witch hunts that he cannot hope to understand, at the same time protecting malpractice and sub-mediocrity. As Reynolds says
Instead I’m mindful that a lot of exceptionally interesting, thought-provoking blogs might now come to an end. What is to stop companies and public bodies from hunting down people who may have been negative about them. What blogger, with bills to pay and mouths to feed, is now going to take the chance of lifting the lid on mismanagement, badly though policies or idiotic governmental decrees when there is the very real chance that their identities can be revealed for nothing more than a lurid headline on someone’s chip wrapper.
And a few words for The Times. I don’t care if Mike Atherton’s writing for your cricket pages. You no longer deserve my patronage, coverage or support.