Friday, 13 July 2012

Maire Stafford, Mike Fortune-Wood and Nikki Harper try to have me arrested!


The title of this piece is not one which I could, in my wildest dreams, have ever thought that I would be typing. Never the less, it is actually the case. Having realised that action against me for libel would be horribly expensive and in any case unlikely to succeed, Nikki Harper has decided to go for the cheaper option of reporting me to the police for supposedly harassing her and her husband on this blog. As readers might know,  Mrs Harper posted a piece on her blog at the beginning of May, naming me and saying some unflattering and untruthful things about me:

http://secondaryathome.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/the-inadequacies-of-mr-anonymous/

Since then, I have made the odd reference to this woman and her husband’s eccentric ways of making a living. Then, a week or so ago, Nikki Harper began coming on here and getting herself worked up into a regular state.

Now of course this is nothing unusual on the internet; spats like that happen all the time. By a stroke of ill fortune for her though, Mrs Harper fell under the influence of that most malevolent of women, Maire Stafford. This is when things took a decidedly surreal turn, as Maire Stafford advised Nikki that she had a duty to beetle off to the police station and report me for saying upsetting things about her such as that she was an astrologer. Mrs Harper duly did so and, it will come as no surprise to readers to learn, she was promptly given the bum’s rush by police officers who have more important things to investigate than this blog; things like murders and rape, for example.

In order to give her the brush-off courteously, they being unwilling to be too brusque with somebody who was obviously distressed and whose mental state was clearly a little fragile, they told her that if I was in the habit of upsetting people in this way, then they would get in touch and have a word with me.

Enter, stage right, Maire Stafford. Readers with long memories will recall that Maire Stafford ran a campaign against me on the HE-UK list a few years ago, after pieces of mine about home education were published in the Independent and Times Educational Supplement. She devised rumours, spread lies, coordinated the online comments on the articles and generally made a thorough nuisance of herself. To give just one example, when Paula Rothermel claimed that Graham Badman had suggested that home educating mothers were suffering from Munchausen’s and also questioned the validity of her research; many parents were annoyed and upset. On November 4th 2009, Maire Stafford posted on the HE-UK list, trying to make people think that this was in some way my fault! She wrote,

And considering it was probably him who told Badman that Paula Rothermel's
work was not sound I think he has an immense amount to answer for. Wouldn't
be surprised if this wasn't the source of the Munchausens fiasco too


She also helped to spread the ridiculous lie that I was a former colleague of Graham Badman’s. Even this was nothing compared to a Tweet of hers in September 2009, to the effect that I was really not a home educating parent at all, but a home education inspector!  I don't suppose for a moment that Maire Stafford believed all this, she just felt that lies like this would make people view me with suspicion. Much of this malicious activity was undertaken on the HE-UK site, with Mike Fortune-Wood’s aid and encouragement. Maire Stafford is a strange woman. The very fact that she describes herself on her blog as being sweet, mild, timid and shy should be enough to alert any objective observer to the probability that she is actually unpleasant and aggressive and so it has proved over the years.

Yesterday, Mike Fortune-Wood appealed for information on his list that might help Maire Stafford to help Nikki Harper to get me prosecuted. The idea is that I have been revealing personal information about people here and attacking them. As a result of what she has been told by Maire Stafford, Nikki Harper is convinced that I  have, 'a reputation for attacking people, making very unpleasant accusations about their children', as she puts it.  I have no idea what these unpleasant accusations are about children, but Maire Stafford and Nikki Harper are currently scouring this blog for them. I will not go into all the things that were said about me on both HE-UK and various other lists and blogs in the past, but I will instead limit myself to remarking that it is a good thing that I was not the sort of chap to feel that he was being harassed online! It is to be hoped that this nonsense will end soon and I shall be able to get back to blogging about home education, which is after all the purpose of this place. I have an idea though that this business has a little way to run yet.

42 comments:

  1. Blimey. It's more exciting than The Archers round here and that's saying something at the moment...

    ReplyDelete
  2. 'Blimey. It's more exciting than The Archers round here and that's saying something at the moment...'

    Ah Allie, tell me that you're not really an Archers fan? My daughter used to be devoted to the programme. Yes, I shall be sure to keep readers updated about all the twists and turns of the path on my way to prison! I wonder if it would tend to exacerbate the harassment if I were to suggest that rather than pursuing me remorselessly, those with children under the age of sixteen might be better off spending their time providing thir kids with a suitable education? On reflection, I had best not say that...

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  3. I have listened to The Archers for about twenty years. It's the only soap I allowed myself once the kids were born - the others were all too full of violence and distress. Obviously, that was before I'd encountered the online home ed world. That seems to deliver a regular dollop of drama and intrigue every few months but I have observed that it all seems to blow over pretty quickly - much like soap opera. I just hope that people don't really get hurt in the fray...

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  4. You vile, horrible excuse for a human being. I also suggested people contact the police, because your behaviour is awful and someone needs to put you in your place. I have quietly sat back and watched, but now I will do anything necessary to help bring action against you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, don't be so silly.

      Delete
  5. 'You vile, horrible excuse for a human being'

    Explains the anonymous author of a poison-pen letter...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm anonymous to you, but hundreds of others will know exactly who I am, I have children to protect and they are more important than you knowing my name.

      Delete
    2. What a cowardly way to respond. If you are going to leave personal remarks then at least have the guts to own them!

      Delete
    3. If you are someone that is respected and well known in the home ed community you would know exactly who I am!!!

      Delete
    4. What a ridiculous comment.

      Delete
  6. I've known Maire online for quite some time now. She is none of the things you accuse her of. I don't quite understand why you feel the need to vilify any of these people and I wonder if you realise how much you're showing yourself up here?

    ReplyDelete
  7. 'I have children to protect and they are more important than you knowing my name'

    To be brutally candid, I have not the least desire to know your name. I was simply observing that you had something unpleasant to say about somebody and were not prepared to sign your name to it.

    I am curious to know what vile and horrible things you believe me to have said in the above article. That Maire Stafford conducted an online campaign against me on the HE-UK and EO lists, as well as on Twitter and other places? That Mike Fortune-Wood has appealed for help in trying to have me arrested? If you can tell me what I have said here that is untrue, I shall cheerfully retract it at once. I feel that after being so rude, you owe us an explanation of just what it was about the above post which caused you to react by dishing out anonymous abuse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is not an article it is a rant, based on a load of crap. I am referring to you as a whole, not the one blog post. You continually choose to bully and harass wonderful respected members of the home ed community. These people who you insist on continually abusing have plenty of people who will support them 100%, you on the other hand I guess have no friends. Simon, I do not know whether you weren't loved as a child, it's one possibility for you acting in such a vile manner. I really think you should spend more time trying to think of ways to fil your little life than worrying so much about other people. I think you need to be careful who you piss off cos the next person may not take it as well. You will one day regret your actions as karma punches you in the face.

      Delete
    2. Ahhh....you obviously misunderstand the concept of Karma.

      Delete
  8. 'I've known Maire online for quite some time now. She is none of the things you accuse her of. I don't quite understand why you feel the need to vilify any of these people and I wonder if you realise how much you're showing yourself up here?'

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that Maire Stafford is not currently trying to gather information so that I can be arrested? You are also asserting that she did not coordinate an online campiagn against me, telling lies and devising rumours? Would it help if I posted the emails, Tweets and so on that she was generating in 2009?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've got more than Maire to worry about.

      Delete
    2. Wow. An Agatha Christie style note. Shame you couldn't cut out letters from the local paper for that.

      Delete
  9. ' I don't quite understand why you feel the need to vilify any of these people '

    Possibly you have a more forgiving nature than me. When somebody sets out to try and have me sent to prison, as Maire Stafford has told one person this week that she hopes to do, and then enlists the aid of others to that end; I am apt to get a little tetchy. This is particualrly the case whent the person now organising this activity was the author of a vindictive online campaign of harassment against me in the past; one that I tolerated, largely with good humour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You deserve to be in prison and to rot!

      Delete
    2. Do grow up.

      Delete
  10. ' I think you need to be careful who you piss off cos the next person may not take it as well.'

    'You deserve to be in prison and to rot'

    ' You will one day regret your actions as karma punches you in the face'

    Now I think that we were discussing online harassment?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not nice is it?

      Delete
  11. 'It's not nice is it?'

    Nice, no; amusingly ironic, certainly. I sometimes wonder if these characters are sock puppets of mine, so neatly do they pop up and illustrate the points which I have been making.

    ReplyDelete
  12. 'If you are someone that is respected and well known in the home ed community you would know exactly who I am!!!'

    Hmmm, well you are an over-excitable and semi-literate person with little understanding of the rules of English grammar. Unfortunately, that does not narrow the field sufficiently to make a positive identification possible. Could you give us another clue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon, I have, on purpose, not worried about my grammar, knowing full well that you are sad enough to bring it up!

      Delete
    2. Thick is as thick does.

      Delete
    3. ROTFLOL. What could that possibly mean?

      Delete
    4. Perhaps you should get up off the floor...it wasn't that funny.

      Delete
    5. It made me laugh! :-)

      Delete
  13. Simon I think the game is up and you need to consider your options. far be it from me to write your posts for you but I have cobbled a few words together that might help save you from the clink

    A well-known member of the HE community and trusted friend needs our help. This person is facing a possible prison sentence and may decide to leave the country very quickly in order to protect himself etc etc

    Incidentally I have a ten pounds off voucher and a voucher for two free coffees for a well known ferry company should you have need for them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 'A well-known member of the HE community and trusted friend needs our help. This person is facing a possible prison sentence and may decide to leave the country very quickly in order to protect himself etc etc'

    You fool! Coded references like that to Martin and Lianne Smith were one of the things that were being complained about. For heaven's sake be more careful, or you too may find yourself being pursued by Marie Stafford et al.

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  15. Homeschool mum13 July 2012 at 12:20

    How do you intend on putting a stop to this harassment Simon?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Home Education at it's finest.... it doesn't get any better than this.
    No matter how much they try to convince you otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HE is great. It's a shame your experience wasn't positive.

      No apostophe is needed in 'its'.

      Delete
  17. 'How do you intend on putting a stop to this harassment Simon?'

    An interesting question. As I have explained in two later posts, since July 30th 2009, when she decribed me as 'Judas' in an unprotected tweet, Maire Stafford has conducted a campaign of online harassment against me. She has done this by using social media, sending emails and making derogatory comments about me in many places in an attempt to damage my reputation and lower me in the estimation of right-thinking people. She is still doing so.

    It would perhaps be a little melodramatic to talk of a conspiracy, but for her to tout for supposed victims on the HE-UK list is sailing very close to the wind. People generally know when they have been harassed; they do not need Maire Stafford to hunt them out like this and coach them in what they should tell the police! I am assuming that we all know that in a case of this sort, an order can be made to produce emails and so on?

    To be fair to Nikki Harper, she did not know any of this when she went to the police. Maire Stafford artfully concealed from her all the things that she had been saying about me, telling her only that I had used my blog to be horrible and that it was time that somebody took action. The original spat with an anonymous person making fun of Nikki Harper took place of course on Maire Stafford's own blog and it was she who suggested to Nikki Harper that the peron commenting was me. This whole schme of getting a police case going is just the latest gambit by Maire Stafford in her campaign against me.

    When somebody tries to organise something of this sort against me, I am hardly likely to remain idle and I might advise any innocent parties not to get caught in the crossfire as I take my own steps to protect my reputation and prevent Maire Stafford arranging what is beginning to look suspiciously like a conspiracy to harm my interests. Mike Fortune-Wood is helping her by allowing her a platform to try and locate people who do not like me and then coach them in what they should say in statements which will then be presented to the police in evidence. This really is a dubious undertaking and is likely to backfire upon her.

    ReplyDelete
  18. So..this is how HE ends, not so much of a bang.
    More of a fart and a splutter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you mean? How is HE ending?

      Delete
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