I blogged here and here a couple of years ago about the dishonest way McLaren Racing, with Ron Dennis in the lead dealt with the theft of technical information brought to them by former Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney. Failing to contact the FIA, motor sport's governing body, and coming clean about what had happened, cost them dearly. They were chucked out of the 2007 World Constructors Championship and fined $100 million .
They were lucky.
Their behaviour after the Australian Grand Prix is quite inexplicable. What happened on the last lap of that race has been described in detail here. For the sake of a single world championship point, and perhaps more importantly, to prevent their competitors witnessing what a huge error they had made advising their driver Hamilton to allow Jarno Trulli to pass, their Sporting Director David Ryan and team leader Hamilton, decided to lie to the stewards.
Hamilton appears to have escaped lightly. He goes on the tv gets close to blubbing and tells the world he's not dishonest. Rubbish. He's an adult. He's world champion and team teader for McLaren. He was asked to lie to the stewards. He went along with this conspiracy. Why on earth he didn't challenge Ryan before they went onto the stewards meeting baffles me. You've got to be particularly gullible to believe that it was all down to Ryan. In his interview Hamilton claimed he was mislead by Ryan. This is just plain nonsense. Indeed it's yet another Hamilton fib.
So now McCaren are once again up to their shins in it, and deservedly so.
As with the Stepney affair, the team were given chances to put the record straight. But such must be the the culture of dishonesty within the team, they refused. Once again the truth has to be dragged out of this team.
Anyone in any doubt just has to read the allegations McLaren will have to answer at the end of the month.
On 29 March, 2009, told the stewards of the Australian Grand Prix that no instructions were given to Hamilton to allow Jarno Trulli to pass when both cars were behind the safety car, knowing this statement to be untrue.- Procured its driver, Hamilton to support and confirm this untrue statement to the stewards.
Although knowing that as a direct result of its untrue statement to the stewards, another driver and a rival team had been unfairly penalized, made no attempt to rectify the situation either by contacting the FIA or otherwise.
On 2 April, 2009, at a second hearing before the stewards of the Australian Grand Prix, (meeting in Malaysia) made no attempt to correct the untrue statement of 29 March but, on the contrary, continued to maintain the statement was true, despite being allowed to listen to a recording of the team instructing Hamilton to let Trulli past, and despite being given more than one opportunity to correct its false statement.
On 2 April, 2009, at the second stewards' hearing, procured its driver Hamilton to continue to assert the truth of the false statement given to the stewards on 29 March, while knowing what he was saying to the stewards was not true.
These are very serious allegations. At the moment it's difficult to see what defence to them they could mount. For Hamilton and Ryan to attempt to get Trulli penalised is bad enough. But then when faced with the incontrovertible evidence of the radio recording, they still maintained their dishonesty.
The World Motor Sports Council have never had to deal with allegations of such seriousness before.
And bearing in mind McLaren's previous conviction the punishment they will impose with reflect this. This team are in serious trouble.
OK, so Chris Hoy is a good cyclist. But here he's whining that the politicians are "cashing in" on his success
"Politicians want to be involved so that they can get some sort of
association with your success and benefit from the positive feeling in
Yes Chris, but who signs the annual £4 million pound cheques to British Cycling to pay for your training? Yes old son it's the politicians. So remember, when you're using all those wonderful facilities paid for by the taxpayer, if you don't want the politicians to benefit from your success don't take the money. Fat chance!
These days athletes sound as if they have had a month's training in waffle. Just listen to the wretched Paula Radcliffe here. But it's really nice to see when stupidity intervenes. One of "Team GB's" high hopes for a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics is long jumper Phillips Idowu. We are told by the BBC that this athlete, who after he failed to register a legal jump in Athens four years ago, said afterwards "he felt like a failure". No comment is required!
A section of the judgement in in the Mosley v News of the World case (pdf) that appears to have gone unnoticed are paragraphs 82 to 87.They are incendiary Download the judgement and type the word "blackmail" into your Adobe Acrobat reader, it will take you straight to it. At this part of the judgement, Counsel for Mosley, James Price Q.C. is getting his teeth into Colin Myler, the editor of the defendant's paper. He is concerned about the witnesses of the sex sessions and how they were "encouraged to cooperate" with the paper. It is beyond dispute that Myler threatened that if they did not cooperate, their identities would be made public in the paper.
“Q This was a naked threat, wasn’t it, Mr Myler?
A I think it could be interpreted as a threat. I’m not so sure …
Q Come on, Mr Myler, please.
A Well, clearly it could be interpreted as a threat, but I think by this time the girls who took part would have known that the News of the World had the photographs anyway.
Q What’s it called when you threaten to reveal publicly the identity of somebody who has done something embarrassing which they do not wish to become public unless they cooperate with you? What’s it called?
A I think you know what it’s called. You’re talking about the potential use of blackmail.
Q I am.
And it got much, much worse when the paper's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, was cross examined about the same "threat"
Q Let’s be direct about this. There is a clear threat here that if they don’t cooperate they will expose them in the News of the World?
A No, I don’t accept that. I think there was a clear choice here but there was no attempt to threaten them.
Q Let’s get this straight. If the blackmailer says to the victim, ‘Either you pay up or I’ll put your picture in the newspaper’ he’s offering him a very fair choice?
Q There’s no threat?
A No, because I’m asking for something here. Your example states that I’m asking for something in return for issuing a threat.
Q Yes, indeed you are.
A No, I’m offering to give them something. I’m offering to pay them money for an anonymous interview. I’m offering to pay them, not to take anything from them, so in that sense I’m not blackmailing them at all. That thought never crossed my mind. I’m offering them a choice.”
And then the wretched Thurlbeck was gently reminded of the law of blackmail by the Mr Justice Eady.
It seems that Mr Thurlbeck genuinely did not see the point. Yet it is elementary that blackmail can be committed by the threat to do something which would not, in itself, be unlawful.
At this point, I can just imagine the legal representatives of the News of the World hoping that a hole would open up into which their witness would tumble ! A feeling I've experienced many times! I'm sure most criminal lawyers whose clients were up to the shenanigans Myler and Thurlbeck were involved in, would expect a knock on the door from the police.
I've got verging on next to no interest in soccer. But the shenanigans at Newcastle United over the last few months have provided, even me, with entertainment- and that's nothing to do with what the team serves up on the pitch.
Eight months ago, Sam Allardyce, who resembles a heavyweight boxer, was appointed manager. Allerdyce appeared as star of the Panorama investigation " Football's dirty Secrets" broadcast on September 6th 2006. During that programme three player's agents accused Allerdyce of "corruption". One agent, Peter Harrison, was secretly filmed saying-
"If I say, 'Listen Sam, I'll give Craig some money'... he'll say, 'Yeah, OK, we'll do a deal'."
Craig is Allardyce's son. When he was subsequently interviewed, Allardyce senior denied receiving any illegal payments. But Panorama made no such allegation. They suggested that it was his son into whose wallet the cash ended up. The cash involved were illegal payments to secure transfer deals....bungs! Allardyce snorted that he was going to sue the BBC, but he has not done so. His childish reaction was to refuse to be interviewed by the Beeb's reporters after matches in which his teams, Bolton and subsequently Newcastle, were involved.
Joey "The Animal" Barton
By May 2007, Allardyce had signed a three year deal to manage Newcastle who had to pay a substantial sum to Allardyce's former club, Bolton, to buy out the remainder of his contract.
One of his first signings was Manchester City's, Joey "The Animal" Barton.
When Barton packed his bags and left Manchester, he was on bail for assaulting his colleague, Osmane Dado, on the training field. He has subsequently been charged and is awaiting trial for that offence.
Whilst on bail for the Dado assault, he was involved in a serious affray in Liverpool. On 27 December, he was arrested, charged and refused bail. Barton spent this Christmas in jail.
Then, last week, Allardyce left Newcastle with six million quid in his pocket- the amount needed to compensate him for the remaining 29 months of his three year contract.
And yesterday I read that the odds on favourite to replace Mr "Bung" is none other than Harry Redknapp. He was also named in the Panorama programme and is on police bail facing allegations of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.......You couldn't make it up....!
I truly hope that when they read today's grovelling apology(pdf) from McLaren Mercedes, the half witted Jackie Stewart, only interested in selling his dreadful book, Murray Walker the Union Jack waving loon and at the bottom of the pile, Martin Brundle, failed Formula One Driver, they realise just why they were all so hopelessly wrong about the FIA dealing with Ron Dennis' team. It is now even clearer why McLaren were fined that $100 million. Stewart, Walker and Brundle ought to have known that Ron Dennis had been less than frank with the FIA about just what development on the 2007 and even the 2008 McLaren cars came from the information stolen from Ferrari by Nigel Stepney and passed to Mike Coughlan. The letter contained this:
“As a result of the investigations carried out by the Federation
Internationale de l'Automobile it has become clear that Ferrari
information was more widely disseminated within McLaren than was
previously communicated. McLaren greatly regrets that its own
investigations did not identify this material and has written to the
World Motor Sport Council to apologise for this.
Which does not seem to hang together with Dennis' statement back in July
"We have never to my knowledge, and certainly over the past few
months over this period, ever used other people's intellectual
property.It is not on our car. I am sure the FIA will confirm that either now or in the future, and that is the key message."
Unlike the honesty from Renault, the level of cheating at the Woking team had to be prised out of their executives like drawing rotten teeth. One thing McLaren must do now is the give the wretched Ron Dennis his marching orders. I suspect the Team's sponsors are unlikely to want reminding of just how much damage this man has done to the sport.
Listening to the radio and TV this morning I must be the only English resident not queuing at the doctor's in a state of near collapse asking for large quantity of industrial strength Prozac. The cause of this national depression is, of course, England's loss to Croatia in the last of their qualifying games for Euro 2008. I'm rather surprised England has even entered anything "euro". We have spend the last 10 years keeping out of the the Euro .
I'm over the moon England will not be taking part.
There'll be no raggy St. George flags sprouting from car windows. I won't have to listen to so-called experts tell me just how good the national team are until the moment arrives they are knocked out. Hopefully there'll be no xenophobic headlines in the tabloids referring to frogs, krauts and dagoes. and summoning up the Dunkirk spirit. But most of all, I'm happy for Switzerland and Austria who will not be invaded by drunken English hooligans supporters, whose idea of following their national team is, in chronological order, drinking large amounts of booze, singing nationalistic songs then pissing and vomiting in the mediaeval centres of their towns.
I suspect last night, the wind that ruffled the Rambler's curtains when the referee's whistle blew time on England's woeful performance, was the sigh of relief from the inhabitants of Salzburg, Vienna, Klagenfurt, Innsbruck, Geneva, Zurich, Basel and Berne.
Here, I blogged about the new chap in charge at Manchester City F.C. He's wanted by the Thai authorities who think they have evidence to convict him of massive corruption. Alisher Usmanov [Алишер Бурханович Усманов](above) according to the BBC intends to secure a "blocking stake" in Arsenal Football club. I think the Gooners ought to be worried. Today, as usual I logged onto Craig Murray's blog....Firefox told me they were unable to connect. Schillings, lawyers acting on behalf of Usmanov had apparently sent a threatening letter to Murray's web host concerning a piece written by Murray, posted on his blog.This was mirrored at Tim Ireland's Bloggerheads.This action switched off not only Murray's blog but also Tim Ireland's. The article that got the huge Usmanov into a dither concerns his shady past in Russia and his connections with some deeply unpleasant characters in both Russia and Uzbekistan, a country that Craig Murray knows well. Schillings sell themselves as experts in "Reputation and Brand Protection". Their website advises clients:
"We don’t need to tell you about the importance of reputation and brand value, or how vulnerable they are to external events.But we can tell you about the legal tools that can be used to
protect your reputation and brand as part of your communications and
risk strategy. These tools can be used in a crisis."
The problem for those like Schillings' client Usmanov, is that once a piece is posted on a blog, it is most unlikely to disappear. You can read Murray's piece entitled "Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist", here and here and here. As usual, you can rely on Postman Patel for robust comment!