Thursday, August 13, 2009

Irfan Ahmed - this is your fisk!


Readers of 'Liberal Bureaucracy' will be aware that I have had my problems with young Mr Ahmed over the past year. There have been issues regarding his use of language where I have felt it appropriate to register my concerns. For the most part though, I have overlooked a series of faux pas on the grounds that I have no desire to act as some kind of 'school prefect' for the Lib Dem blogosphere.

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceHowever, that came to an end when he decided to launch a salvo at the 'Liberal Bureaucracy' household. I wrote what I thought was an astonishingly restrained response (you will never see my first draft... or the second or third ones for that matter...). Here is Mr Ahmed's response, with some commentary...

I know what many think but the problem is that I don't know my elbow from my as* if I can use the term when it comes to issues that matter to everyone.

Interesting that this doesn't restrain you in any way. However, the problem is no longer yours - it is mine - especially when you bring the Party and a senior figure within it into potential disrepute.

I make comments on issues from time to time that everyone doesn't agree with and after I have made them I notice that it was a bad mistake making them in the first place.

Yes, and then you end debate by closing the piece to further comments and issue a feeble apology. And you only notice because a horde of people descend on your blog to question your judgement and your liberalism. Interesting how you get so little support...

A lot of my views that you don't see as being acceptable are due to my cultural and religious views and the rest are just because I am a naive child on the block.

The first half of that sentence might have some credibility, except that you're not being judged on the basis of your culture or religion but on your liberalism. And as for 'naive child on the block', you've been called for being anti-semitic, homophobic and sexist. At what point am I supposed to conclude that, whisper it gently, you might not actually be a liberal? Besides, you're an adult, the child defence is demeaning to you, and insulting to the rest of us.

The current issue has been understood wrongly, I personally was promoting a whistle blower for writing about issues e.g. how the party claims one thing and does another.

No, you libelled the Party President. There is no scope for wriggling here, no scope for misunderstanding. You still do not understand the gravity of your actions, or the responsibilities you take on when you claim the mantle of a partisan blogger. You are entitled to promote anyone you like, regardless of my personal opinion as to their stance. You are not free to defame without consequence. But because you either do not understand or choose not to, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia...
In law, defamation – also called calumny, libel (for written words), slander (for spoken words), and vilification – is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. It is usually, but not always, a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).
Is that sufficiently clear?

The problem is that we didn't give the Lords who were in the expenses scandal a hard enough time but many will think an 'investigation' is enough but I don't.

Call me old fashioned, but I am led to believe that 'innocent until proven guilty' remains the foundation of English law. I am also aware of the limitations of the power of the Federal Executive and its Chair over either Parliamentary Party. Perhaps checking out both sides of the story might make you a better journalist?

Clearly Mark you and me have a lot of differences but I think its time we settled our differences and worked together as Liberals who want to promote our party.

So, you defame a member of my family and threaten me with physical violence and think that we should settle our differences and work together? You're certainly demonstrating naivety there. Either that or you're insulting my intelligence and sense of personal honour. I'd go for the latter, given your form so far...

P.S. You can get my email address from my blog, please do drop me an email and lets have a civilised conversation about this.

You can take that as a no, I think...

I did respond though, along the lines of 'it'll be a cold day in hell...', which drew the following rejoinder...

I have made my piece offering to you, I have apologised to the people I offended but I think its time to end these games and lets have a civilised conversation and end our problems.

I think you misunderstand the situation. We don't have a shared problem. My problem is you, your actions and your seemingly total inability to understand what you've done and what potential impact it might have.

If you don't want to then that’s your choice but I can no longer carry on with this duel and accept that you have won.

No, this is not a duel. A duel would assume that I intend to seek retribution for a public slight. Luckily (very, very luckily...) for you, I have no intention of seeking retribution, violent, organisational or social. Although, put it this way, if somebody else were to do so, organisationally or socially, I would be happy to act as a character witness...

Two hundred years ago, if you had levelled such a charge, the injured party would have invited you outside and given you a 'damned good thrashing' for your behaviour. Nowadays, I am restricted to giving your character a sound thrashing. It will have to do, I'm afraid...

5 comments:

DC said...

The man's a troll and thats all on't.

If no-one fed him, he would soon go back under his bridge.

Matthew Huntbach said...

A few times I tried to engage Mr Ahmed in a serious debate on silly things he said in his blog (most of his blog is silly things), but it was pointless - he seems to have little sense or knowledge, and at best all you get from him, as you have here, is "oh, I didn't really mean it".

So I have given up on him, and I suggest everyone else does as well. If he does have any sense and is reading this, I suggest he closes his blog down, and spends the time he is wasting on it reading and thinking and developing a greater sense of maturity.

On one point, I would note when he writes "as*", it should be "a**e" or something. The word is "ARSE", not "ASS". I don't like Americanisms anyway, but I have a particular thing about this one, and I'd hate to see that good old English word disappear.

Caron said...

First of all, can I say that I completely agree with Matthew. An ass is a donkey, and the vast expanse of flesh behind me is an arse. Just cos Americans can't say it doesn't mean that we should cow tow to them.

Mark, I think that you have been extremely restrained in all your dealings with Irfan. If I were in the same position and a member of my family had been defamed disgracefully, I doubt I would have responded with such calmness and dignity.

I think you will have the support of the majority of the people who read this. I personally think more action needs to be taken. I'm not suggesting that Irfan is dragged through the libel laws, but we need to think long and hard about whether he is fit to represent the Party in any way.

Like any liberal, I put a very high value on freedom of speech and expression to the point as you'll see if you've read any of my postings on the BNP and No Platform policies. However, there does come a point where it is inappropriate to have certain viewpoints expressed from any sort of party platform and I think we may be close to that point with Irfan.

Andrew Hickey said...

Agreed with Caron, although I'd go further and say Mr Ahmed has gone a long way *past* that point. It's not a matter of disagreements about policy or anything like that - he's libelled the party president and doesn't appear to share *any* of the party's values (not even to the extent that, say, James Graham and Charlotte Gore share values). He's quite simply not a Liberal Democrat, and hugely damaging to the party.

Paul said...

Have just read all this (was on holiday at the time it happened) and I am completely horrified by Irfan's words. I totally support what you have said. I note that Irfan has now removed himself from the LibDem blog aggregator.