Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 30 September 2007

Alisher Usmanov - an update

I wrote about a week ago about the attack on free speech successfully carried out by lawyers acting on behalf of Alisher Usmanov and followed it up with a related post a few days later.

It seems clear now that Mr Usmanov is edging ever-closer to owning sufficient shares in Arsenal football club to give him a 'blocking stake' in the company. I have, as I have written before, no interest in football so its ownership is of no interest to me. Whether Mr Usmanov is a 'fit and proper person' to be in control of a British company is another matter. On the other hand there are many other British companies whose ownership is in the hands of people of questionnable character both British and foreign, so Mr Usmanov, if he is indeed such a person (and I do not assert this - although there seems to be compelling evidence), would hardly be the sole member of such a group. In any case, attempts to block commentary on their client by Schillings have backfired badly - it was even carried on the national news earlier this week as a result of the storm created in the British 'blogosphere'!

However, one aspect of quite a number of the articles posted by other bloggers that detracts, in my opinion, from the value of this campaign are negative comments on the physical appearance of Mr Usmanov who, from photographs I have seen, is not slim (and this is not yet, even in NuLabour's Britain, a crime); frankly this is the kind of schoolboy playground taunting that is hardly conducive to anyone taking seriously protests by bloggers about the very grave attack on freedom of speech which Mr Usmanov and his lawyers represent.

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