By blatantly twisting the facts regarding the identity of Webdiary’s notorious fraudster and liar, Eliot Ramsey, who as C. Parsons was banned from commenting at Webdiary, Fiona Reynolds has exposed herself as a manipulative deceiver.
Many Webdiarists were – and indeed, still are – disappointed that Webdiary did not ban Eliot Ramsey when he appeared at Webdiary very shortly after C. Parsons had been banned when it was so obvious that Parsons and Ramsey were one and the same person. Despite protestations from a number of Webdiarists, including myself, Kingston decided to allow this right-wing propagandist and fraudster to continue using Webdiary for purely propaganda purposes based solely on the fact that Ramsey had simply denied being Parsons when he was asked by Kingston outright whether or not he was Parsons. Ramsey, of course, denied that he was Parsons. He lied and everyone knew he lied.
I wrote to Reynolds asking what was going on. Reynolds wrote to me trying to fob me off with the same kind of pseudo-legal claptrap she is trying on now at Webdiary saying that because Ramsey had denied being Parsons that somehow Kingston’s hands tied implying that Kingston now had some sort of legal obligation to allow Ramsey to comment since he said he was not Parsons. This, of course, is complete nonsense. There is no legal obligation whatsoever. All Kingston needed to do was ban him anyway. Ramsey would certainly have had no legal recourse to pursue the matter through the courts.
No. Fiona Reynolds is just trying to be smart in attempting to use her legal credentials to deceive Webdiarists into believing that there is some kind of legal issue here. There isn’t.
However, there is a moral and ethical issue. When I say ‘everyone knew he (Ramsey) lied’, that includes Fiona Reynolds. I had assured Reynolds confidentiality regarding what she wrote to me about this matter but in the light of her ignoring her moral obligations to Webdiarists, I have no problems in exposing her for what she is by ignoring that assurance. Reynolds wrote to me saying:
Margo, as you may have noticed, asked ER whether he was C Parsons. A stupid question, and surprising given both her legal and journalistic experience. The correct question was: ER, have you ever posted on Webdiary under the name of C Parsons? Now, think about ER's response - that according to the nametag his mum had sewn on his undies, he was indeed ER. Now, If ER is ER's real name (ie., if CP were the pseud) then his response was veridacious and there is bugger all that Margo can do. If ER is NOT ER's real name (though the email matches - not that that's hard to fix) then Margo painted herself into a corner and can't do anything.
As for how it makes Webdiary look - please remember that we are all human and, thus, fallible. In my opinion, regulars are well aware of the double identity and, if anything, regard it with derisive amusement - the derision being directed towards ER/CP, given that we know that he knows that we know .... and so ad infinitem. For newcomers, I don't think it makes any difference. Perhaps more germane is the fact that ER is being taken on to good effect more often than not - though I doubt that that will deter him - yet. A gadfly, but one who may eventually come to regret his policy of "remorseless ridicule".
In my opinion, the important thing is that Webdiary continues to be an active site with many different voices contributing in various ways to the contest of ideas. I see my role as one of the moderating team to keep the debate as civil as possible (at times a pretty big ask), but the vital thing is to keep the discussion going. Otherwise it would die.
Reynolds concedes that they all knew that Ramsey was Parsons but, despite knowing this, kept him on for the sake of ‘keeping the discussion going’. Then why ban him in the first place? It seems that Webdiary’s continued existence takes precedence over any moral or ethical issues that may threaten Webdiary’s functioning.
Providing a platform for debate is one thing but deliberately providing a platform for proven liars, fraudsters, warmongers and fascists to push their vile propaganda while banning the likes of Bob Wall and others is something else.
Reynolds is attempting to detract from Webdiary’s considerable moral and ethical shortcomings on this issue by trying to persuade Webdiarists that there are some kind of legal implications. There simply aren’t any. Reynolds has exposed herself to be as big a fraud as Ramsey is.