Jabba the Cunt
There's more from Chicken Yoghurt.
UPDATE: this issue has united the British blogosphere. As usual, Mr E has a great piece on this, from whom I have also pinched the current list of bloggers who have addressed it.
Freedom of speech is not a luxury but a basic minimum standard of any healthy liberal democracy. Blogs and bloggers are hardly the most important voices in the national conversation; if my blog got pulled I suspect the great British public would, after a suitable period of mourning, get on with their lives. But this ugly development demonstrates that blogs are vulnerable to big bullies with bigger sticks. We can't defend ourselves the way a magazine or newspaper can. There's no legal budget for us to dip into.
And let's be clear on this point; these blogs are down not because Usmanov has been libelled, but because he says he's been libelled, and has a room full of paid monkeys sitting at typewriters firing off theatening letters to that effect.
I don't give a shit about this character, or Arsenal FC (no offence to any Gooners out there); nor do I share all or even most of Tim Ireland or Craig Murray's politics. But that's far from the point. If you can be silenced for calling a businessman a crook, then you can be silenced for calling a politician a crook, too. Then it's everyone's problem.
Justin is the go-to guy on this, in the absence of Bloggerheads itself. And there's more from Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harry’s Place, Tim Worstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric, Mike Power, Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devil’s Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots, Pitch Invasion, Wonko’s World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia, Obsolete, Tom Watson.
With any luck, Mr Usmanov will have a fucking heart attack. Or, who knows?—perhaps we could raise enough cash to have him shot like a reporter, i.e. in the head in a lift in Moscow...
UPDATE 2: The Reactionary Snob and The Grauniad are also on this.
P.S. By the by, this is why—despite obtaining the devilskitchen.me.uk domain, in case I should ever move—I continue to host The Kitchen on Google's servers, in the US, and do not host it on the servers which carry my professional sites...