“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Libel

The Web And Super-Injunctions.

leave a comment »

The Beeb has a good article on how the web is defeating super-injunctions:

“Injunctions have allowed entertainers, sport stars, actors and many more to protect what they see as their right to privacy from the press.

And this has left many in traditional media, from The Guardian and The Daily Mail to The Sun, furious about what they can, and what they cannot, report.

But on the internet, especially on social media, rumours about who the proceedings could be about circle and grow without any fear of legal reprisal.

Just the simple use of a search engine often brings back hundreds of results, each reporting (though unconfirmed) they know who the person is and naming the identity of those guarded by law. “

Breaking News, Dave Osler Wins!

with 6 comments

Regular readers will remember how David Osler, John Gray and Alex Hilton were subjected to a vexatious libel from Johanna Kaschke.

According to a tweet from Dave, the final appeal has finished!

We shouldn’t forget that this has been incredibly exhausting for Dave, John and Alex.

It has gone on for years, even when it was apparent that Johanna Kaschke’s case was exceedingly flimsy and merely vexatious.

Well done, Dave!

Written by modernityblog

02/03/2011 at 13:43

Johanna Kaschke’s Appeal.

leave a comment »

According to the Index on Censorship:

“Lady Justice Smith today refused blogger and activist Johanna Kaschke the right to appeal against a judgement which deemed her suing of David Osler an abuse of process.

In 2008 Kaschke sued the labour blogger Osler for libel, reacting to a post on his site which referenced an article in leading German news publication Der Spiegel. This article reported her wrongful arrest by German police in 1975.”

Update 1: This past post hopefully will provide some background, Jack And Johanna.

Update 2: There is a long history to this case and the posts below should help clarify the issues:

John Gray, Alex Hilton And Johanna Kaschke’s Libels.

The Implications.

Jack’s Shorter Version.

The Judgement.

Dave Osler Has Won!!

Jack And Johanna.

with 5 comments

One time Respect activist and latterly a convert to Toryism, Johanna Kaschke has lost her vexatious libel actions against Dave Osler, John Gray and Alex Hilton.

Despite the obvious cost, stress and strain this is a good outcome not only for the individuals concerned, but for bloggers in general.

Jack of Kent points us to the judgement.

John Gray has his own thoughts on the matter.

Alex Hilton hasn’t posted on it yet, but you can keep up with him here.

Johanna Kaschke’s considered views can be seen from her blog, The Last Cherry:

John Gray has become a fat ponze.

I would, er, recommend her post on The Freemasons and mathematical concepts, if you are in need of a laugh.

Written by modernityblog

24/07/2010 at 12:55

John Gray, Alex Hilton And Johanna Kaschke’s Libels.

with 3 comments

Jack of Kent has provided a very useful summary of Johanna Kaschke’s libels, which involved Dave Osler, John Gray and Alex Hilton.

It should be read by every blogger.

Update 1: Other related posts can be found here.

Update 2: According to Jack of Kent’s status on Facebook, “Victory – Libel Claim against Alex Hilton and John Gray struck out! Kudos to Robert James Dougans (with a little help from me 🙂 ) ”

Well done, a deserved outcome.

Written by modernityblog

23/07/2010 at 13:07

The Implications.

with 2 comments

The implications of this judgement are explained by Dave Osler’s brief:

And Dave himself explaining it:

Update 1: Thanks to Stroppyblog, here’s the press release from Bryan Cave:

“In an important judgment handed down today in the High Court, Mr. Justice Eady ruled in favour of Bryan Cave pro bono client David Osler, a well-known journalist and blogger, who was defending a libel claim brought against him by Johanna Kaschke. London associate Robert Dougans represented Mr. Osler and acted as the advocate at the hearing. Mr. Justice Eady ruled that the claim against Mr. Osler was an abuse of process and should be struck out.

This significant case clarifies the position in respect of bloggers and the online media in relation to the liability they face in respect of old postings still available in their archives. Dougans advised on the recent landmark libel case win for Dr. Simon Singh brought by the British Chiropractic Association, which has been one of the causes of a campaign to reform England’s libel laws.

The Osler case arose out of a blog post written by Ms. Kaschke in which Ms. Kaschke stated that she had been wrongly arrested in Germany in the 1970s. Mr. Osler linked to, and summarised her blog post, which caused Ms. Kaschke to sue him for libel. However, Ms. Kaschke did not issue the claim form until over a year after Mr. Osler’s blog was posted on the web. Mr. Osler applied to the court to strike out the claim on two grounds, namely that the claim was an abuse of process and that there was no evidence of any publication after the expiry of the 1-year limitation period.
In the light of this decision, it is clear that real evidence of publication of such material is required, and that it will not lightly be inferred by the courts.

Dougans successfully convinced the court that the claim brought by Ms. Kaschke fell within the situation envisaged in the case of Jameel v Dow Jones [2005] QB 946, and should be struck out as an abuse of process. Mr. Justice Eady held that there was very little difference between what the claimant had put into the public domain and what Mr. Osler had published on his blog. In the circumstances, damages could only ever be very minor and a trial was simply not worth the time and expense that would be incurred. On these grounds, Ms. Kaschke’s claim was struck out as an abuse of process.

“This is a rare occasion where the Jameel argument has actually succeeded in striking out a claim. This argument is often run, but rarely succeeds” Dougans said. “Mr. Justice Eady’s decision today ought to clarify exactly when it is appropriate to run this argument, and give clarity to both Claimant and Defendant lawyers as to the type of dispute, which should be allowed to proceed by the courts” Dougans added. “This is not just my victory. My thanks go to the excellent William McCormick QC, of Ely Place Chambers, and David Allen Green, Of Counsel at Preiskel & Co; both played a key role in assisting me in this case, particularly in the development and expression of the key arguments, which were successful on the day. Further thanks are also due to Tooks Chambers’ Joel Bennathan QC and Martin Huseyin, who offered their time to represent Mr. Osler at trial, should it have been necessary, on a pro bono basis. It is a privilege to have been able to work with such a team.” “

[My emphasis.]

Update 2: Sense About Science covers it too.

Update 3: has a piece:

“Allen Green, who has acted pro bono along with solicitor Robert Dougans, reproduced the post on his own blog yesterday, but disabled the comments facility.

Green reported on Twitter that Kaschke had threatened a new libel claim against him: “I have just been formally THREATENED WITH A LIBEL CLAIM by Johanna Kaschke,” he wrote. “I am just the latest of dozens of bloggers/journalists threatened/served with libel by Kaschke.” This, Green said, is why he and Dougans acted pro bono in the Osler case.

Kaschke has also brought a libel action against LabourHome blogger Alex Hilton. Hilton failed to get the case struck out of the High Court last month. Hilton writes today: “Readers may well be aware that Ms Kaschke has a similar claim against me, running now for two years, on the basis of something written by a Labourhome contributor. I sincerely hope I will be able to follow Dave Osler’s route out of this mess.”

Update 3: Stroppyblog does a follow up post, David Osler libel case, the impact on lives.

Update 4: There’s a snippet on V3 on the case and the Internet message boards.

Update 5: The Press Association has more:

“The judge said he was quite satisfied the posting did not link Ms Kaschke to terrorism in the sense of suggesting in any way that she was directly linked with it or that she approved of the extremist activities. Mr Osler, he added, was merely choosing to highlight an unusual event in the history of someone who was at the material time active in politics in London.

Striking out the claim, he concluded that if a jury found in favour of Ms Kaschke, the damages would be very modest and out of all proportion to the time and money spent on the cost of a two-week trial.

He commented: “It is an important consideration for the court to have in mind on any abuse application that the fact of being sued at all is a serious interference with freedom of expression.

“That may be appropriate in the majority of libel actions, where it is necessary to countenance such interference in order to vindicate the rights of another person in respect of whom a real and substantial tort has occurred.

“But the court must be vigilant to recognise the small minority of cases where the legitimate objective of vindication is not required or, at least, cannot be achieved without a wholly disproportionate interference with the rights of the defendant.”

Update 6: There’s more coverage from East London Lines, Digital Spy, Robert Sharp and Peter Risdon.

Update 7: John Gray has his own thoughts on the matter, and is the subject of a libel act from Ms. Kaschke at the moment:

“It is practically unheard of for libel cases to be knocked back for this reason which shows how completely daft it was in the first place.  In a nutshell Kaschke is a German born national who in her youth in the 1970’s had been wrongly arrested and detained on warrant for several weeks by the German police on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities.  She was released without charge and later given compensation for wrongful detention. Despite posting this information on her own blog and being offered a full right of reply she decided to sue Dave for posting about her own admissions.

Check out the links here, here, here about the whole sorry silly tale of how a former Labour Party member who failed to be a Parliamentary candidate defected to Respect then turned to the Communist Part of Great Britain then the Communist Party of Britain then the Labour Party again and finally (for now) joined the Conservative Party – all within a few months. Who then went on to waste tens of thousands of pounds of public money by taking out multiple libel actions and court applications that were doomed to fail. There has probably by now been millions of pages of documents wasted and thousands of hours of court administration officers and officials time used up. An incredible number of different expensive direction hearings, applications and appeals. Imagine how much Royal Court of Justice Masters and Judges are paid per day and how much nonsense they had to read and listen to!

Dave is a professional journalist and has suffered the stress and uncertainty of if he was to lose this action being made bankrupt and losing his home for the past 3 years.  Check out his Partner Stroppy account of the stress and strains this has caused. “

Update 8: The Times is running with it:

“A political activist today failed in her libel action over a journalist’s blog which referred to her “Baader-Meinhof” link.

In a ruling that gives bloggers some protection against libel actions, Mr Justice Eady rejected a claim by Johanna Kaschke , a Tower Hamlets-based Conservative, against David Osler, a Labour Party member, over an article that was written in April 2007.

Ms Kaschke claimed that some of the comments linked her with terrorism. The judge at the High Court in London, however, struck out the claim as an abuse of process. “

Update 9: Tim Worstall, I know I disagree with Dave Osler about everything…

Jack’s Shorter Version.

with one comment

Jack of Kent has an excellent short summary of Dave Osler’s win:

“This morning the High Court struck out the entire libel claim brought by Johanna Kaschke against Dave Osler.

This was a stunning and indeed commendable ruling by Sir David Eady.

The case report is here. (I plan to post an analysis at the weekend.)

The claim was struck out for Abuse of Process.

She has to pay costs.

Sir David Eady also refused permission for Johanna Kaschke to appeal.

The great Robert Dougans was the solicitor “on the record” (see Press Release).

Robert also did all the advocacy.

He and I shared the six months’ legal work required for the defence and applications pro bono, assisted recently by the ever-excellent William McCormick QC.

Robert and William, of course, acted for Simon Singh in his successful defence against the similarly misconceived claim brought by the now discredited British Chiropractic Association.

(Before the hearing I also received a libel threat from Johanna Kaschke in respect of my blogpost of yesterday. In accordance with good blogging practice, she can of course have a right of reply, but else I will refer her to Arkell v Pressdram (1971).)

As Robert Dougans rightly said in court, Johanna Kaschke has long “thrown libel writs like confetti”. A number of bloggers and journalists have been threatened or served with libel claims by her.

Accordingly, Robert and I will be applying for a restraining order (a sort of ASBO for vexatious litigants) against Johanna Kaschke at the earliest opportunity.

This is a great victory: it is rare for an entire libel case to be struck out for Abuse of Process.

Dave Osler has two years’ stress and loss of time for a blogpost which simply was not actionable.

Until today he also faced personal bankruptcy in the event of a subtantial award of damages after a full jury trial which was to take place later this year.

I repeat, today’s decision shows that the blogpost was not actionable in the first place.

These two years of litigation, and the six months of extensive pro bono work (which otherwise would have cost Dave tens of thousands of pounds at least), show this to be a “fail” for English libel law.

It was only because of the expertise and time spent of Robert, William, and myself, that we were able to identify the technical bases for the application to strike out; there was no way that any lay person could have realistically done this. This case would have proceeded to trial.”

[My emphasis.]

The Judgement

with one comment

Below is a full copy of the judgement in the Johanna Kaschke vs. Dave Osler libel case, as a matter of public record:

Neutral Citation Number:  [2010] EWHC 1075 (QB)

Case No: HQ08X01628



Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date:  13 May 2010 

Before :



Between :








The Claimant in person

Robert Dougans (Solicitor Advocate instructed by Bryan Cave LLP) for the Defendant

Hearing date:  23 April 2010



Mr Justice Eady : 

  1.  These proceedings were begun by the issue of a claim form on 28 April 2008.  Ms Kaschke sues Mr Osler in respect of an article on his blog at published on 7 April 2007, and to some extent thereafter, under the headingRespect member’sBaader-Meinhof link’” alongside a photograph of Ms Kaschke.  The blog was in these terms:

Johanna Kaschkerecent defector from New Labour to Respectwas in the 1970s held in custody in her native Germany, charged with support for the ultraleftist Baader-Meinhof terrorist group.

Ms Kaschkepictured leftdenies any wrongdoing, although she admits to having organised some sort of benefit gig:

All I ever did was organise a music concert in the University of Würzburg Mensa.  This got me sacked from my job in the University bookshop Schöningh and I also then lost my home.

She has recently launched a complaint against leading German news magazine Der Spiegel for an article it wrote three decades ago, naming her in this connection.  Rather than trying to hide any of this, Ms Kaschke has commendably chosen instead to post a copy of the story on her own website.  She goes on to write:

I can safely say I never met any of the other persons mentioned in the article and got released after three months of prison on remand and was paid compensation for wrongful arrest and imprisonment two years later.

If we take this account at face valueand I have no reason not tothe worst she stands accused of is youthful folly.  After all, many young attracted to far left politics in the 1970s were passively sympathetic to groups such as the Baader-Meinhof gang.  Most have subsequently been rehabilitated.

Former Angry Brigade suspect Angela Mason these days boasts an Order of the British Empire gong and sits on quangos.  Even I used to wear a Brigate Rosse T-shirt, as modelled by Joe Strummer.  Ms Kaschke appears to have come to political terms with all this:

Frankly I cannot understand how such educated university graduates like the Baader Meinhof people fell for this illusion that the state is only a paper tiger and they can win an urban guerrilla war against them.

Now with al Qaeda again we have people believing they go to paradise after they blew themselves up and that they are good Muslims if they cause a lot of destruction.

Terrorism is the enemy of all Socialism as it creates exactly the opposite reaction, it makes the state more right wing and is likely to destroy all Socialist advances made by peaceful negotiation.

If I knew of someone planning a terrorist atrocity I would definitely report them to the authorities because it’s not right.  I believe that people being put up to those guerrilla activities are being used by some people for exactly the purpose to create a right-wing movement.

The thing is, she may find that not all of her new colleagues in Respect share her stance.  Respect MP George Galloway, for instance, believes it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to kill Tony Blair. 

Posted at 23:58, 7 April 2007.

  1.  The article in question attracted a certain number of comments which were posted shortly after the original publication.  The Claimant also sues Mr Osler in respect of some of these comments as having been displayed on his blog.  They include the following:

Surely something can be morally justified while being tactically disastrous?  

The assassination of Tony Blair is a clear example of this

Posted by Daz 00:29, 8 April 2007

I’d be very dubious about someone, like Kaschke, whosuddenlydiscovers Labour are a bunch of bastards.  I wonder if it could be connected with any realisation that her background would never allow her to be a Labour candidate in the way that any trivial conviction or even hint (or smear) of any illegality would bar anyone from being a main party candidate.

Maybe Respect will provide the next path for her career (although she has to be a Brit, Irish or a Commonwealth citizen to be an MP).

I guess now Kaschke is a member of Respect sh[e] will realise that the best way to have fought US imperialism in Germany was for the Baader Meinhof to have killed lots of Catholics, at random.  In the hope of a backlash making the country ungovernable.

Posted by tim 11:34, 8 April 2007

She gets mentioned on page 6 [of Der Spiegel].  Under suspicion of supportingcriminal grouping, was also bookseller Johanna Kaschke, arrested on July 10th (1975), because she was involved in the anarcho organisationsRote Hilfe’andSchwarze Hilfe.  She was observed with two other left-wingers near to a weapons depot, she was also supposed to have been involved in organising bank robberies.

Of course, as she says, she got compensation for wrongful imprisonment, but the article reflects the news at the time (when she was in custody).

Posted by Daggi 12:20, 8 April 2007

Whatever her company does, I hope (for her clients’sake) that it’s not involved in the field of webdesign and the rest of her site suggests she might be one cherry short of a piece of Schwarzwälderkirschtorte.

Posted by Daggi 12:20, 8 April 2007

‘She was observed with two other left-wingers near to a weapons depot, she was also supposed to have been involved in organising bank robberies.

What’s the next bitis somebody sayingwe’re starting to hear names nobody’s ever heard of’?

Widen the net enough and that’s just what will happen.

SPP is horribly confused with regard to this one, but I think it’s worth making the point that head-banging pseudo-leftist nutters are entitled to legal representation and decent conditions –…

Posted by Phil 10:28, 9 April 2007

…  By which I meant, if that’s what Johanna K was doing inRed Aid’and/orBlack Aid, she hasn’t got much to be ashamed of.  Embarrassed about, maybe.

Posted by Phil 10:37, 9 April 2007

…  (Kaschke seems to be using web-design as a form of terrorism now.)

Posted by andy newman 13:15, 10 April 2007.

  1.  Ms Kaschke stated in her particulars of claim that she noticed the above comments on 25 May 2007 and asserts that they connected her to terrorism.  She adds: 

“The whole flavour of this article was positively assertive of terrorist activities and connected the Claimant to it.  

  1.  Only recently, Mr Osler has been advised by Mr Dougans, who represented him before me at the hearing on 23 April 2010.  Mr Dougans has taken the view that the original defence served by Mr Osler was unsatisfactory and, accordingly, an application was made to substitute a completely newAmended Defence.  This unfortunately came very late in the day, since the trial was due to take place before a jury the following week.  For various reasons, it became necessary for me to adjourn the trial.  TheAmended Defenceraised defences of justification (on a very limited basis), fair comment, qualified privilege and limitation.  I would be inclined to give permission for the defence to be served, in order that the real issues between the parties can be properly identified and resolved.  This is clearly unsatisfactory, but the explanation proffered by Mr Dougans for the delay was simply that his client had not, until very recently, had the advantage of legal advice.
  2.  Mr Dougans also applied for the claim as a whole to be struck out as an abuse of process and, in the alternative, at least in part, on the basis of limitation.  He submits that the claim should be confined to any publication which can be proved as being attributable to Mr Osler after 27 April 2007 (i.e. within the 12 month period leading up to the issue of the proceedings).
  3.  Further or in the alternative, Mr Dougans submits that certain passages complained of in the particulars of claim should be struck out, since they do not refer to Ms Kaschke and/or are incapable of bearing any meaning defamatory of her.  He also relies on part of the words complained of as having been published with Ms Kaschke’s consent (since the words in question are said to derive from her own website) and should be struck out for that reason in any event.
  4.  It is probably unnecessary to introduce the parties in any great detail, beyond saying that Ms Kaschke is a naturalised British citizen and is politically active in Tower Hamlets.  She has from time to time changed her allegiance, politically, and has, as I understand it, contemplated standing for office.  Mr Osler is a journalist and active member of the Labour Party.  He too is resident in East London.  
  5.  It is Mr Osler’s case that he only posted the material about Ms Kaschke because he had seen an article published by her on her own website, at some stage prior to 7 April 2007.  Indeed he provided a link to this, but unfortunately the article does not appear any longer to be available on the Internet and Ms Kaschke herself has not disclosed it.  It appears that she attached a copy of an article published in Der Spiegel in September 1975 by way of background.  This is of some significance, having regard to the proposed defence of consent, since it makes reference to Ms Kaschke in these terms (as translated):

Suspected of having assisted acriminal gang’is also the bookseller Johanna Kaschke, arrested on 10 July, while she worked in anarchistic organisations likeRed Help’andBlack Help.  Near a weapons depot she has been seen with two left accomplices, and she is under suspicion of having planned bank robberies.  Names appear, says a police officer,that we have never heard before.

  1.  I should make it clear that it is no part of Mr Osler’s case to suggest that Ms Kaschke was in any way herself involved in bank robberies, violence or terrorism, and he accepts that although she came under suspicion and was imprisoned for a time, she was not guilty of any criminal offence.  In due course, she was paid compensation in Germany for the wrongful arrest.  Ms Kaschke produced in the course of the hearing the original German prosecutor’s document, which makes no reference to the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group.  Contrary to what is said in Mr Osler’s blog, she was neverchargedwith supporting that body orlinkedto it.  
  2.  It is now pleaded in theAmended Defencethat there is a defence of accord and satisfaction.  This is based on the proposition that an agreement was entered into between the parties by way of an exchange of emails on 26 May 2007.  Ms Kaschke was undoubtedly at that time given a right of reply, but Mr Dougans goes so far as to suggest that there had been a concluded agreement that she would not pursue a claim against Mr Osler by way of consideration for theright of reply.  At all events, the publication of theright of replyis a relevant factor to take into account when assessing the application based on abuse of process. 
  3.  What appeared on 26 May 2007 was the following:

Johanna Kaschke:  right of reply

Johanna Kaschke (pictured) –the woman who defected from Labour to Respect after not making the Labour parliamentary candidate shortlist in Bethnal Green & Bowhas emailed me, following an earlier post on Dave’s Part highlighting her arrest in West Germany in the 1970s as a terrorism suspect.

In line with best practice for leftwing publications, members of the labour movement subject to criticism on this blog have the right of reply:

Dear reader

Please accept my humble apology for bombarding you with press releases lately but this is mirroring my emotional state of shock and dismay over the untrue, recent allegations in the press that I had once been accused of being a member of the Baader-Meinhof gang and that has been blown right out of proportion by the British and German press including some online blogs.

The reason for my emotional response is that I am a simple and poor person, living partly on disability related benefits and also because of some smear campaigns I obviously lost customers, and so do not have the money to either seek legal advise [sic] before I make statements nor to employ a lawyer to defend a libel case, as unfortunately the legal system does not provide legal aid for defamation cases, meaning the poor are not protected against press smear attacks.

Therefore I spend £50 out of my own benefits trying to get a High Court judge to stop a particularly nasty blog appearing on Google, visually connecting me with Baader-Meinhof and also displaying their RAF symbol.  Those who think it is funny to report in this manner are seriously misguided.

I particularly object to this gutter press reporting and cyber bullying because it is simply that, sensationalist reporting, playing on the fears of the ordinary people and reporting about things, which are completely unimportant, who would possibly want to know that I had been wrongly arrested in 1975 and gotten compensation for it, here in the UK whilst it would have been very important if Der Spiegel had reported that fact besides their unrealistic reporting about me in 1975 being sold on the Internet for 30 years.

In fact I would not even object if just this simple little fact was reported without all the guerrilla paraphernalia around it, which in fact promotes it.  I object to the promotion of guerrilla warfare as it is not in the interest of the people right now.

We are suffering a right-wing renaissance and any talk of guerrilla, Baader-Meinhof, Al-Qaeda only serves to fill the people with fear and to urge the governments to put in more repressive measurements to prevent, freedom of movement and freedom of speech.

I do not deny there is a class-struggle going on and there was one going on in Germany in the 60s and 70s but I would strongly suggest you read the explanation in Wickipedia [sic] about Baader-Meinhof, which I think is a fair one, if you want to know about it.

I consider myself a victim of cyber bullying in this matter to create a smear campaign to discredit my life and reduce it to this.  I strongly object to being visually, verbally or connected in written form to Baader-Meinhof as I personally never met a single one of them and neither did the arrest warrant mention the word Baader-Meinhof, it mentioned criminal association.

Was accused of beingneara storage area, which contained one toy pistol and other legal items.  The German justice system found it reasonable at the time to lock up ordinary citizens on flimsy suspicions such as this for 3 months in total isolation.  My arrest warrant never mentioned anything about participation in a bank robbery like Der Spiegel mentions.

I want to especially express that the worst of the smear campaigns originate from a New Unison Labour blog and I am especially disappointed that a Labour and Union supporter can make such smears and misguide people by wrongly informing them as I have been a strong supporter of the recent Unison campaign for council housing. 

The most prolific of smear campaigns is from Private Eye who also mentions my name;  want to create a connection between Baader-Meinhof and Respect.  I strongly object to this gutter press sensationalism playing on people’s fears, trying to create the impression that Respect is sympathetic of guerrilla warfare by using the terminology.

The ordinary citizen has enough to cope with being in fear of Al-Qaeda attacks, which I strongly oppose, they indiscriminately kill ordinary citizens anywhere anytime and so the people are rightly in fear about them but now to put them under even more fear by creating a Baader-Meinhof smear campaign about me is totally unreasonable.  

I have contacted each and every publication I know of who exploits this gutter press reporting and asked them to remove all mention of Baader-Meinhof with my name, I also have written a warning that I consider prosecution of each publication mentioning me in connection with Baader-Meinhof and I am hoping to bring legal action against those who think they can earn easy money out of misguiding ordinary citizens with their Baader-Meinhof smears.

Please note, I have never ever in my life been convicted of any crime ever.  I can be a member of any left-wing political organisation as it is my democratic right to do so as a citizen.

I am a member of the GMB Union, the Respect Party, the Communist Party, I support Defend Council Housing, I support any legal people’s movement, which is in the interest of the people but I totally object to the attempts to criminalise people’s movements and left-wing political parties, which is really what is behind the smear campaigns of the gutter press.

Yes I am aiming to pursue those people writing rubbish about me and mislead the public for compensation and I could use that money for my political work and to compensate me for the damage that has been done to my reputation by the libellous press reporting.

I can only apologise that I was unable to far [sic] to take legal action but this is due to the very bad rule that there is no legal aid for defamation, which in fact opens the floodgates for rubbish press reporting, defamation and sensationalism because the press know that if they write about poor people they are very unlikely to press for action as lawyers are very expensive and some charge as much as £500 per hour.

I tried what I could to create a counter effect to the misleading reports about me and hope to put an end to it once and for all once legal action has commenced if I find a lawyer who believes in justice and can pursue the case for me.

Thank you for reading this, which has been written as personal information and is not meant to represent any political party.

Johanna Kaschke [Telephone number]

Although I believe the story to be both factually accurate and within the realms of fair comment, I have decided to unpublish it as a gesture of goodwill to Ms Kaschke.

Posted at 19:32, 26 May 2007

  1.  What is more, Mr Osler made it clear in the course of the hearing that he would be prepared to join in any reasonable and proportionate statement reaffirming his acceptance of Ms Kaschke’s innocence.
  2.  In another email dated 26 May 2007 Ms Kaschke wrote to Mr Osler, inter alia:

You can write Johanna had been arrested within the national hysteria whereby the state arrested everyone meeting their suspicious criteria and threw them into jail.  Johanna was one of them.  In her case she was accused to be a member in a criminal gang with the aim to commit terrorist offences.  However her release and subsequently compensation paid to her for wrongful arrest cleared all suspicion.

It seems clear that she was troubled by the identification of thecriminal gangas being the Baader-Meinhof group.  It is thus necessary to focus on the distinction between the general and the specific, since this would appear to be the nub of her complaint.

  1.  It is suggested by Mr Dougans that there is nothing of substance to be gained from these proceedings by way of giving Ms Kaschke any greater vindication of her reputation, if such was needed, than that already obtained three years ago by the publication of her response on 26 May 2007.  He submits that, in all the circumstances, the case falls within the doctrine explained by the Court of Appeal in Jameel (Yousef) v Dow Jones & Co Inc [2005] QB 946.  It is said that there is no realistic prospect of a trial of these issues yielding any tangible or legitimate advantage, such as to outweigh the disadvantages for the parties in terms of expense, and the wider public in terms of court resources, and thatthe game is not worth the candle.
  2.  Following the right of reply, it appears that Ms Kaschke did not resurrect her complaint about Mr Osler’s posting until 28 March 2008 (i.e. after a lapse of ten months).  Although Ms Kaschke is not prepared to admit that she posted the Spiegel article, or exactly what she herself posted in relation to it on her website, the evidence of Mr Osler seems clear enough.  His article derived from her posting rather than from his own independent research or some other posting.
  3.  Mr Dougans has summarised the overall effect of Ms Kaschke’s posting, in the light of Mr Osler’s recollection.  I do not think that Ms Kaschke herself quarrels with the accuracy of the summary, which is to the following effect:
    1.  Ms Kaschke suffered prejudice because she had played a minor role in organising a benefit concert in aid ofRed Help, which provided legal assistance to left-wing radicals in Germany at that time.
    2.  She was arrested in Germany in July 1975 and suspected of links to left-wing extremists.
    3.  This was mentioned in the Spiegel article.
    4.  She was released without any finding of guilt and compensated for wrongful arrest and imprisonment.
    5.  Ms Kaschke was never involved in violence and did not meet any of the supposed extremists mentioned in the article.
    6.  She is firmly opposed to terrorism.
  4.  Mr Osler accepts that the Spiegel article does not actually mention anylinkbetween Ms Kaschke and the Baader-Meinhof group and also that her criminal proceedings made no mention of that group.  On the other hand, from the context of German political life in the 1970s, it would be clear to most readers that the Baader-Meinhof group was one of the main sources of left-wing extremism at that time.  Most people would assume, therefore, that funds collected for theRed Helporganisation would be likely to be directed, at least in part, to the assistance of members of that group.  In other words, according to Mr Osler, it would have been implicit to any reader of the Spiegel article that her arrest would have been based on some suspicions linking her with that group.  He suggests that there is little substance in the distinction drawn between being suspected of involvement with acriminal gangin the 1970s in Germany and being suspected of links to Baader-Meinhof in particular.
  5.  It is clear from Mr Osler’s wording in the offending post that he was quite prepared to accept Ms Kaschke’s denial of any wrongdoing and the fact that she had been compensated for wrongful imprisonment.  I am quite satisfied that the posting does not link her to terrorism, in the sense of suggesting in any way that she was directly linked with it or that she approved of the extremist activities.  He was merely choosing to highlight an unusual event in the history of someone who was at the material time active in politics in London.  He was, in effect, taking her own assessment of the situation at face value.  He went on, as a matter of comment, to point up the irony that she was now linking herself with another political grouping, the Respect Party, which contained members who thought (at least according to Mr Osler) that terrorism or assassination could in certain circumstances be morally justifiable.
  6.  The headline, taken by itself, would appear to suggest alinkwith Baader-Meinhof.  But it is necessary to have in mind two matters.  First, it is clear from Charleston v News Group Newspapers Ltd [1995] 2 AC 65 that the reasonable reader should be taken to have read beyond the headline.  Secondly, Ms Kaschke is not named in the headline and no reader would understand it to refer to her unless he or she read into the article.  (Moreover, the headline puts inverted commas around the wordlinkand any such reader would assume it was an allegation that had originally been made by someone else.  Thus it could be seen as akin toreportage.  That would not necessarily afford a defence in itself, but it is certainly a relevant factor to take into account when assessing the meaning of the offending post and the degree of gravity to be attached to it.)
  7.  The question arises, therefore, whether in the light of what actually appeared on Mr Osler’s posting, in April 2007, and in the light of the right of reply published on 26 May 2007, there is anything to be gained from the continuation of these proceedings by way of the legitimate objectives of any defamation action, namely the vindication or restoration of the claimant’s reputation.  Is there anything requiring vindication?  Needless to say, that question has to be judged by reference to any marginal damage that may have been done to Ms Kaschke’s reputation by Mr Osler’s posting over and above the impact on it of her own posting coupled with the republication of the 1975 Spiegel article.
  8.  In Jameel, the Court of Appeal addressed abuse of process in the context of defamation in the following passages:

40. We accept that in the rare case where a claimant brings an action for defamation in circumstances where his reputation has suffered no or minimal actual damage, this may constitute an interference with freedom of expression that is not necessary for the protection of the claimant’s reputation.  In such circumstances the appropriate remedy for the defendant may well be toseek to strike out the action as an abuse of process.

.An abuse of process is of concern not merely to the parties but to the court.  It is no longer the role of the court simply to provide a level playing field and to referee whatever game the parties choose to play upon it.  The court is concerned to ensure that judicial and court resources are appropriately and proportionately used in accordance with the requirements of justice.  If Dow Jones have caused potential prejudice to the claimant by failing to raise the points now pursued at the proper time, it does not follow that the court must permit this action to continue.  The court has other means of dealing with such prejudice.  For instance, appropriate costs orders can compensate for legal costs unnecessarily incurred and relief can be made conditional on Dow Jones undertaking not to raise a limitation defence if proceedings are now commenced in another jurisdiction.  

. There have been two recent developments which have rendered the court more ready to entertain a submission that pursuit of a libel action is an abuse of process.  The first is the introduction of the new Civil Procedure Rules.  Pursuit of the overriding objective requires an approach by the court to litigation that is both more flexible and more proactive.  The second is the coming into effect of the Human Rights Act 1998.  Section 6 requires the court, as a public authority, to administer the law in a manner which is compatible with Convention rights, in so far as it is possible to do so.  Keeping a proper balance between the Article 10 right of freedom of expression and the protection of individual reputation must, so it seems to us, require the court to bring to a stop as an abuse of process defamation proceedings that are not serving the legitimate purpose of protecting the claimant’s reputation, which includes compensating the claimant only if that reputation has been unlawfully damaged.

. If the claimant succeeds in this action and is awarded a small amount of damages, it can perhaps be said that he will have achieved vindication for the damage done to his reputation in this country, but both the damage and the vindication will be minimal.  The cost of the exercise will have been out of all proportion to what has been achieved.  The game will not merely not have been worth the candle, it will not have been worth the wick.

.It would be an abuse of process to continue to commit the resources of the English court, including substantial judge and possibly jury time, to an action where so little is now seen to be at stake.  Normally where a small claim is brought, it will be dealt with by a proportionate small claims procedure.  Such a course is not available in an action for defamation where, although the claim is small, the issues are complex and subject to special procedure under the CPR.

. [Leading counsel for the claimant] submitted that to dismiss this claim as an abuse of process would infringe Article 6 of the Human Rights Convention.  We do not consider that this article requires the provision of a fair and public hearing in relation to an alleged infringement of rights when the alleged infringement is shown not to be real or substantial. …”

  1.  This jurisdiction to strike out as an abuse of process, on the basis that the claimant cannot establish that a real and substantial tort has been committed, has been exercised in relatively few cases since the decision of the Court of Appeal in February 2005.  Examples are, however, to be found in Williams v MGN Ltd [2009] EWHC 3150 (QB) and Lonzim Plc v Sprague [2009] EWHC 2838 (QB).  In each of those cases, very different on their facts, the court applied the test of whether or not areal and substantial torthad been committed and also considered the question of whether any damages recovered might be so small as to be totally disproportionate to the very high costs that any libel action involves.  It is an important consideration for the court to have in mind on any abuse application that the fact of being sued at all is a serious interference with freedom of expression.  That may be appropriate in the majority of libel actions, where it is necessary to countenance such interference in order to vindicate the rights of another person in respect of whom a real and substantial tort has occurred.  But the court must be vigilant to recognise the small minority of cases where the legitimate objective of vindication is not required or, at least, cannot be achieved without a wholly disproportionate interference with the rights of the defendant(s).
  2.  Mr Dougans submits that this case falls within that small minority of cases.  He says it is a case ofno or minimal actual damage” (see Jameel at [40]).  That is primarily for the reason to which I referred earlier;  namely, that the marginal impact of Mr Osler’s posting, as compared with the revelations to be found on Ms Kaschke’s own blog prior to 7 April 2007, would be insignificant and, therefore, likely to attract a very small award of damages (assuming all the defences fail).  He prays in aid a number of considerations:
  3.  Mr Osler made it clear that he saw no reason to reject Ms Kaschke’s protestations as to her innocence of any implication in violence or terrorist activity.
  4.  Accordingly, the only possible defamatory imputation of any substance is that, at one point in the distant past, she came under suspicion by the German police in the troubled climate of the mid 1970s (albeit subsequently vindicated by the recognition of wrongful imprisonment).  To that extent, and to that extent only, the defamatory imputation would, on her own admission, be true.
  5.  The only new material introduced by Mr Osler would appear to be the reference to Baader-Meinhof.  Most reasonable readers would know, however, of the active involvement of that group, rather loosely defined, in political extremism at the time.  It is a name which would, accordingly, spring to mind purely from the contextas it seems to have done in Mr Osler’s case.  It has to be remembered that it is not suggested that Ms Kaschke had any direct involvement with Baader-Meinhof.  The specific reference to that group, therefore, can in practical terms add virtually nothing to the suggestion that for a period she came under suspicion of involvement with extremist activities.  It merely identifies one particular group within that broad category.
  6.  It is true that Mr Osler added the comment thatthe worst she stands accused of is youthful folly.  That is not a particularly serious allegation in any event, but in context it plainly relates to the activities (whatever they were) which led her to be arrested and (albeit wrongfully) imprisoned.  He refers tomany young people attracted to far left politics, which he assumes is an apt description of Ms Kaschke’s standpoint at that time, but he is not even suggesting that she waspassively sympathetic to groups such as the Baader-Meinhof gang.  It is a general comment about young people of the period who have become subsequentlyrehabilitated.
  7.  If there had been any sting in the original 7 April posting, it would surely have been drawn for practical purposes by theright of replypublished three weeks later.
  8.  The reference to the possible assassination of Tony Blair is one to which Ms Kaschke seemed to attach particular importance in her submissions, but it relates to other members of the Respect Party, with which for a time Ms Kaschke became associated.  It cannot be taken to suggest that she herself would have anything to do with political assassination.
  9.  It is necessary, therefore, to try and assess what a jury would make of the alleged injury to Ms Kaschke’s reputation against the background I have described.  If the jury came to the conclusion that none of the defences raised could succeed, I cannot imagine that the damages would be other than very modest.  I would take the view that any such award would be out of all proportion to the time and money spent on this litigation and, in particular, to the cost of a two-week jury trial.
  10.  In the circumstances, I have come to the conclusion that this is indeed one of those unusual cases in which the doctrine of abuse of process, as discussed by the Court of Appeal in Jameel, should be applied.
  11.  In case I am wrong about this, I should next address Mr Dougansalternative arguments.  First, as to limitation, it is clearly right in principle that Ms Kaschke should be confined to any publication(s) within the 12 month period preceding the date of issue.  That being so, it becomes yet more apparent how disproportionate the claim is.  
  12.  No solid reason has been advanced to justify disapplying the tight limitation period Parliament imposed for this form of litigation in the Defamation Act 1996.  There was, for example, no question of concealment and it is clear from the exchange of emails in May 2007 that Ms Kaschke was well aware of the post by then.  
  13.  An argument that Ms Kaschke touched upon in this context was that of a possible disability on her part.  It would seem that the only disabilities contemplated by the statute are minority (infancy) and mental incapacity, neither of which seems relevant:  see s.38(2) of the Limitation Act 1980.
  14.  It would be for Ms Kaschke to demonstrate that Mr Osler was responsible for some repeated or continued publication during the relevant 12 month period.  She cannot rely on any presumption to that effect.  His evidence (which I see no reason to reject) is that the posting was by 28 April 2007 off the front page and only accessible to an active searcher looking for it in the archive.  Furthermore, as he put it, the article wasunpublishedby the time of the reply on 26 May 2007.  In those circumstances, it seems to be clear that the law would require Ms Kaschke to identify any specific examples of publication:  see e.g. Al Amoudi v Brisard [2007] 1 WLR 113.  Mr Dougans submits that there was only one comment on the post subsequent to 28 April 2007 (by someone using the nameAlex’), and this in itself does not demonstrate that the person concerned actually dug out the original posting after that date.  It is at least possible, for example, that he relied on memory or, alternatively, was making a comment on earlier comments.
  15.  Ms Kaschke has put forward aBundle Cto seek to show that the post of 7 April 2007 was read after 28 April.  Assuming she is right about that, for the purposes of the present application, the number of publications after that date would be very small and would still fall within the Jameel doctrine.  To pursue the claim in the hope of achieving additional vindication in the eyes of that small group would not beworth the candle.
  16.  Reference was also made to a Mr Ted Jeory, who sent an email on 25 May 2007, saying:

You seem to be getting it from all sides.  There was something similar on Dave Osler’s blog as well.  What’s all this Red Aid and Black Aid stuff he says you are/were a member of anyway?  (Sorry, I know next to nothing about that period in germany.)”

This does not amount to very much.  It does not, in particular, demonstrate that Mr Jeory saw the offending post prior to 28 April 2007.

  1.  I turn briefly to the defence of accord and satisfaction.  Although the decision to offer Ms Kaschke a right of reply was commendable, so far as it went, I see nothing in the email exchanges to support the proposition that a binding agreement had been entered into that it was to be in full and final satisfaction of any claim she might have.
  2.  Because Ms Kaschke chose to set out her complaint in the particulars of claim by reference to individual selections from the material on the website, Mr Dougans addressed these individually also.  He argues that some of them should be struck out as being in themselves incapable of bearing a defamatory meaning.  I shall address these in turn.
  3.  Mr Dougans referred to the George Galloway comment as thethird extract.  I agree that this is not capable of referring to Ms Kaschke in a defamatory sense.  It is merely making the ironic observation that she should at that time (albeit innocently) find herself joining a political grouping some of whose members are alleged (rightly or wrongly) to have sanctioned political assassination.  It does not accuse her of espousing similar views.
  4.  By thefourth extractMr Dougans is referring to the comment about Tony Blair immediately after Mr Osler’s posting.  It makes no allegation against Ms Kaschkesimply a rather poor joke about the view attributed to George Galloway.
  5.  Theseventh extractrefers to another comment on the blog (not by Mr Osler) which consists simply of a translation of the Spiegel reference to Ms Kaschke.  She chose to post this herself on the Internet.  Thus it does not appear to go beyond allegations to the publication of which she had by then already consented (i.e. to the world at large). 
  6.  I would therefore accept Mr Douganssubmission that these passages are incapable of being actionable in themselves and should only remain (if at all) as part of the context.
  7.  Because of my decision on the central issue, relating to abuse of process, there is no need for the amended defence to be served.  Otherwise, I would give permission.
  8.  Likewise, it becomes unnecessary to make an order for further disclosure of documents.  I would otherwise order that Ms Kaschke should give disclosure of her own posting, as to which Mr Osler has given evidence and on which he based the words complained of.  If she no longer has it, she would have to provide a witness statement indicating her best recollection of what happened to it.
  9.  I was also invited to order consolidation of this action with a claim brought by Ms Kaschke against a Mr Hilton.  Strictly speaking, that claim is not before me, although Mr Hilton himself attended the hearing and indicated his agreement.  The plan would be for him to be represented by the same legal team.  There would be much to be said in general terms for resolving the similar issues at the same time with a view to saving time and costs.  But in view of my ruling it would not now be appropriate.

” Crown Copyright ©

Dave Osler Has Won!!

with 5 comments

According to Jack of Kent’s Twitter feed, Dave Olser has won the libel case brought against him by Johanna Kaschke.

Well done, I always thought it was a vexatious libel and completely unnecessary, here’s Jack of Kentsbackground post:

“Let me introduce you to Dave Osler.

You will like him.

He is a professional journalist and author, and his blog is perhaps the best and wittiest left wing blog in the UK.

It is extremely well-written and engaging.

It is a favourite of mine, and of hundreds of others.

But for the last two years Dave Osler has been living under the threat of a libel suit for a blogpost, which I now re-publish in full below.

This threat will continue, depending on what the High Court says tomorrow.

If he loses at trial, he will be bankrupt.

This is serious.

So what is it about?

As you will see, Dave’s blogpost was prompted by an earlier blogpost by Johanna Kaschke, who was – and is – active in local politics.

She was then in Respect, and she is now a Conservative.

Dave summarises her blogpost and links to it at least twice. It is a sympathetic piece. The linking is in accordance with best blogging practice: anything he says can be checked and sourced against what she wrote about herself.

However, Ms Kaschke took exception to this blogpost.

Dave offered a right of reply and, as a courtesy, he took down the blogpost.

Then, at some point and for reasons which remain unclear, the earlier blogpost of Ms Kaschke is somehow deleted.

And then, over a year after Dave’s original blogpost was published, Ms Kaschke sued Dave for libel.

She sued him not only for his blogpost, but also in respect of comments on the blogpost.

And, of course, Dave cannot refer back to her original blogpost, of which his blogpost was a gloss, because it was deleted.

Ms Kaschke maintains that she has no copy of that original blogpost.

In these circumstances, of course, it is almost impossible for Dave to properly defend himself.

The deletion of the original blogpost is really like a carpet being pulled.

For the last six months, Robert Dougans (also solicitor for Simon Singh) and myself have been assisting Dave with his defence on a completely pro bono basis. More recently we were supported by William McCormick, now a QC and one of Simon Singh’s barristers.

And last month Robert Dougans spent a day on his feet in Court 13 before Mr Justice Eady.

Robert argued that her claim should be struck out (1) as an abuse of process, (2) as being outside the year limitation period, and (3) because the right of reply offered should have been the end of the matter.

He had an uphill battle.

Strike outs are rare in English libel litigation.

He is likely to have been unsuccessful.

If so, the full jury trial will be in autumn.

In the alternative, he argued that the defence should be completely amended and that Ms Kaschke should be ordered to provide a copy of the original blogpost.

This is more likely, but still not certain.

Judgment on these applications will be handed down at 10am tomorrow.

Any decision may have significance for all bloggers, not least on the circumstances where summarising and linking to material can expose one to legal liability, and the liability for blogposts and comments which are over a year old.

I will post the judgment as soon as I can.

I will tweet the result from outside Court 13.

I now set out Dave’s original blogpost below not as an endorsement or adoption of any alleged defamatory meaning, but as an aid to understanding the significance of the judgment tomorrow.

Readers of this blog will, of course, understand that.

[Dave’s original links are in bold italics.]

Respect member’s “Baader-Meinhoff link”

Johanna Kaschke – recent defector from New Labour to Respect – was in the 1970s held in custody in her native Germany, charged with support for the ultraleftist Baader-Meinhof terrorist group.

Ms Kaschke – pictured left – denies any wrongdoing, although she admits to having organised some sort of benefit gig:

‘All I ever did was organise a music concert in the University of Würzburg Mensa. This got me sacked from my job in the University bookshop Schöning and I also then lost my home.’

She has recently launched a complaint against leading German news magazine Der Spiegel for an article it wrote three decades ago, naming her in this connection. Rather than trying to hide any of this, Ms Kaschke has commendably chosen instead to post a copy of the story on her own website. She goes on to write:

‘I can safely say I never met any of the other persons mentioned in the article and got released after three months of prison on remand and was paid compensation for wrongful arrest and imprisonment two years later.’

If we take this account at face value – and I have no reason not to – the worst she stands accused of is youthful folly. After all, many young attracted to far left politics in the 1970s were passively sympathetic to groups such as the Baader-Meinhof gang. Most have subsequently been rehabilitated.

Former Angry Brigade suspect Angela Mason these days boasts an Order of the British Empire gong and sits on quangos. Even I used to wear a Brigate Rosse T-shirt, as modelled by Joe Strummer. Ms Kaschke appears to have come to political terms with all this:

‘Frankly I cannot understand how such educated university graduates like the Baader Meinhof people fell for this illusion that the state is only a paper tiger and they can win an urban guerrilla war against them.

‘Now with al Qaeda again we have people believing they go to paradise after they blew themselves up and that they are good Muslims if they cause a lot of destruction.

‘Terrorism is the enemy of all Socialism as it creates exactly the opposite reaction, it makes the state more right wing and is likely to destroy all Socialist advances made by peaceful negotiation.

‘If I knew of someone planning a terrorist atrocity I would definitely report them to the authorities because it’s not right. I believe that people being put up to those guerrilla activities are being used by some people for exactly the purpose to create a right-wing movement.’

The thing is, she may find that not all of her new colleagues in Respect share her stance. Respect MP George Galloway, for instance, believes it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to kill Tony Blair.”

Written by modernityblog

13/05/2010 at 12:41

Strike Out The Cherry Libel.

with 2 comments

Dave Osler’s long and protracted libel case may be struck out tomorrow.

Supporters, or those just curious, may wish to attend:

Friday, 23rd April 2010
At half past 10
Jury List
TLJ/09/0316 Kaschke v Osler

Dave has more.

Written by modernityblog

22/04/2010 at 16:05

Dave’s Off To Court.

with 3 comments

Dave Osler is off to the Royal Courts of Justice on Friday 23rd April 2010 to try to strike out the vexatious libel action forced upon him by the Tory, Johanna Kaschke.

Good luck Dave!

Written by modernityblog

19/04/2010 at 22:37

A Tory, One Respect Activist Comments

with 14 comments

Alex Hilton, Dave Osler and John Gray were sued for libelled by a Tory activist, Johanna Kaschke.

She attacked three bloggers for making legitimate comments, and these cases have gone to the High Court.

They are still progressing but Ms. Kaschke has seen fit to comment on an old thread at John Gray’s, which reminds me of my previous post on the topic, One Cherry Short Of A, Support Dave Osler, Part 2 and Support Dave Olser.

Not forgetting Libelled By A Tory.

Here’s Dave Osler’s Kaschke libel update.

Update 1: Whilst I remember here’s Ms. Kaschke’s YouTube channel and very funny it is too.

Update 2: Hangbitch’s old post on these silly libels.

Update 3: Not forgetting Ms. Kaschke’s two blogs, the blogger one and at Woprdpress where she discusses the cases, which is strange as I thought that was ill advised? Who knows?

Update 4: Readers will notice that having gone from being a one-time radical member of Respect that now Ms. Kaschke extols the virtue of private medicine over the NHS and isn’t too keen on workers at British Airways being able to strike. No surprise there.

Update 5: Ms. Kaschke’s entertainment value only increases with her post on The Freemasons and mathematical concepts, if you can read it and not laugh I will be very surprised.

Written by modernityblog

28/03/2010 at 21:53

One Cherry Short Of A….

with 3 comments

I offer no comment, but I’ve covered it before, the Indy says it all:

Kaschke, complaints and kirschtorte

*Alex Hilton, star of the Labour blogosphere and Labour candidate for Kensington & Chelsea, won a minor victory in the High Court this week, in a case which illustrates how easy it is to get sued for libel in the UK. He owns the website Labourhome, on which another Labour blogger, John Gray, wrote about a political activist named Johanna Kaschke, who left the Labour Party in 2007, to join George Galloway’s Respect Party, then joined a communist party of some description, and since autumn 2007 has been an active Conservative. In 1975, Kaschke was falsely suspected by the German police of links to the Baader Meinhof terrorist gang. She was arrested, but eventually released and awarded compensation.
She objected to having this old story dug up on LabourHome. Hilton removed the post and offered right of reply, but she decided to go to court. She lodged five complaints, but this week, the court struck out four. One point m’learned friends may yet have to deliberate, seriously, is whether it is actionable to describe someone as “one cherry short of a Schwarzwalderkirschtorte”.

(Thanks to John Gray.)

Written by modernityblog

19/12/2009 at 23:10

Support Dave Osler, Part 2.

with 2 comments

Dave Osler was taken to court by a Tory activist, Johanna Kaschke. He needs our support. More on his blog.

Update: John Gray and Alex Hilton are also being attacked by Ms. Kaschke.

Written by modernityblog

09/10/2009 at 14:19

Nicholas Kollerstrom – Sue Me.

with 6 comments

The Morning Star decided, for some strange reason, that Kollerstrom, the well known neo-Nazi with a Phd, had written an excellent book on the 7/7 attacks.

Now anyone with an ounce of sense, familiarity with the subject, access to Google or basic antifascist skills would know why that was a bad idea.

Nick Kollerstrom is essentially a neo-Nazi.

Kollerstrom has long been exposed by various blogs, Blairwatch, Ministry of Truth and others.

Kollerstrom is a good friend and ideological partner of Lady Renouf, roving ambassador for Holocaust denial, chum of David Irving and stout supporter of Ernest Zundel.

I don’t know why the Star couldn’t have seen all of that with some elementary journalistic research.

Perhaps they should have read my slightly tongue-in-cheek guide For UCU Activists – How To Avoid Re-posting from Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan or White Power Web Sites.

Update 1: Dave Osler covered it too.

Update 2: It seems that the Star has finally taken down that awful review.
Update 3: Bob covered this neo-Nazi last year.

Update 4: Tom Gross posted on Kollerstrom before:


Marking a welcome departure from the recent policies of other British universities who have invited Holocaust deniers to address students (they claim, on free speech grounds) University College London last week withdrew a researcher’s fellowship after he published an article claiming that the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed.

The university’s move came after one of its academics, Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom, 61, posted an article, “The Auschwitz ‘Gas Chamber’ Illusion,” on the website of the revisionist “Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust.”

Dr. Kollerstrom wrote: “The only intentional mass extermination program in the concentration camps of WW2 was targeted at Germans.”

“Let us hope the schoolchildren visitors are properly taught about the elegant swimming-pool at Auschwitz, built by the inmates, who would sunbathe there on Saturday and Sunday afternoons while watching the water-polo matches; and shown the paintings from its art class, which still exist; and told about the camp library which had some 45,000 volumes for inmates to choose from, plus a range of periodicals; and the six camp orchestras at Auschwitz/Birkenau, its theatrical performances, including a children’s opera, the weekly camp cinema, and even the special brothel established there.”

Dr Kollerstrom, of St John’s Wood, north-west London, said “I don’t understand why they are calling me a neo-Nazi. I have some very good Jewish friends and I have always belonged to the Green Party, CND and Respect.” [All three are mainstream leftwing movements in the UK.]”

Update 4: Kollerstrom’s publisher, Progressive Press, certainly has some explaining to do, but a cursory glance at their web site reveals a nasty, unhealthy mix of anti-politics, 9/11 paranoia and racist conspiracy theories. One example, their NWO (New World Order) page:

“What is the “New World Order?” In fact this name really belonged to our Founding Fathers and their Constitutional Republic. The name, too, has been stolen by the criminal cabal who have cloaked themselves in so many names.

Now of course “New World Order” has become doublespeak for an old, feudal order imposed by ancient tricks of intrigue, enhanced by modern means of indoctrination. Divide and conquer, bread and circuses, the imperial formula.

Who are they? All the names for them – Illuminati, CFR, Bilderbergs, Trilaterals, Elders of Zion, Freemasons, Jesuits, etc. – conceal as much as they show. Quite simply, the masked elephant in the room is the Anglo financier mafia – the bankster oligarchy, heirs of the British empire, who pretty much run this planet. “

I hope readers will see the pattern?

Update 5: Dig around Kollerstrom’s publisher, Progressive Press and you begin to see common themes, one “author” claims:

“Hitler was a British Agent, by Greg Hallett.

Covers Hitler’s psychological training in Britain during his missing year (1912) and how this was used to steer him as a puppet of British intelligence, carrying out the Anglo empire’s plan to destroy the European powers, particularly France, Germany and Russia. Based on KGB sources.”

Greg Hallett, along with Kollerstrom, has few hang-ups and I’ll bet reader can guess who he ultimately blames? Here’s a snippet:

“Most of the British Royal family are illegitimate, including Queen Victoria, Prince consort Albert, King Edward VII and his son Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill was first cousin with Adolf Hitler’s father and uncle to Anthony Blunt, King Edward VIII and King George VI. Adolf Hitler’s grandfather ran the Rothschild Bank, the Bank of England, and was the first Jewish MP in British Parliament. “

Yep, Greg Hallett blames things on Jews, as if you were surprised?

Update 6:
Previously AVPS covered this very ground, and Johnny Void is good too:

“The troothers are currently tearing themselves to pieces on the ‘was the jews what done it’ forum.

After we spoke to Conway Hall about the upcoming event featuring holocaust denier Nick Kollerstrom we were accused of working for the MOD/MI5/MOSSAD. This was based on meticulous research by the intrepid Daniel Obachike.” “

Written by modernityblog

04/08/2009 at 14:29