Simon Caplan's slander watch: day 1

“Please can you stick to the issues and not hide behind your anonymity to slander employees at the council who are doing their best to communicate information to the public and playing their part in promoting road safety,” whines city council PR boss Simon Caplan in the comments section of this blog.

Ooh, er missus!

I think Carole might be whingeing because the Blogger’s drawn a lot of attention to his management of one of the worst public relations campaigns in the entire history of humanity – the council’s pisspoor effort to spin the closure of Prince Street Bridge as some kind of lifesaving service to cyclists.

But slander eh? That’s quite a serious allegation isn’t it? From a senior officer of the city council and an objective public servant too. It certainly wouldn’t just be a load of hot air, bluster and bullshit from an overpaid and underperforming senior officer at the Council House desperately trying to disguise their manifest incompetence would it?

Now never being one to duck a direct challenge – or pass up the opportunity to turn a local laughing stock in to a national laughing stock in the High Court – the Blogger has responded to the hapless PR boy by inviting his legal team to email me immediately at I’ll happily supply a name and address where they can serve a writ for defamation if they can just explain what the fuck is actually slanderous about this article in the first place.

As a service to you – the public – the Blogger will be keeping you fully updated on what promises to be the most sensational legal case this city has seen in years. Or not.

This entry was posted in Blogging, Bristol, Cycling Demonstration City, Environment, Harbourside, Journalism, Local government, Media, Transport and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Simon Caplan's slander watch: day 1

  1. Simon Caplan says:

    How do you know the Simon Caplan post in comments is genuine?

    This one isn’t.

  2. thebristolblogger says:

    From the IP address.

  3. redzone says:

    real genius simon caplan mk2, not 😕
    can’t wait for the proceedings to start, or not, which is the more likely case 😀

  4. Amelium Celer says:

    Didn’t seem like the real Simon Caplan in the comments, there wasn’t a single F word in the whole thing.

    That said, I think it’s actually good that council officers are getting out onto the web and talking to real Bristolians at last, rather than building dodgy ‘discussion’ websites that no-one uses, just to enter them for every award they can find.

    The fact he’s got the reception he’s got on here shows how little the council as an organisation (as opposed to councilors) has in reality engaged with Bristol’s online community so far. Charlie Bolton, Gary Hopkins and Jon Rogers may get stick from time to time, but they also get respect for being prepared to talk to real people and answer real questions.

    So, come on the council, scrap the safe (and bizarre) online spaces you’ve built for yourselves and come and talk to real people in places that haven’t cost tens of thousands of pounds to build!

  5. inks says:

    “From the IP address.”

    All that’ll tell you is it was from a BCC connection I’d have thought.

    Take care with that Bristol Blogger. One day someone may decide to trip you up, don’t make it easy for them.

    If that reads a bit threatening, it’s not at all meant like that. It’s sincere advice – it’s a good blog you’ve got, I wouldn’t want to see you take a pratfall.

  6. SteveL says:

    -As well as the IPAddr, there’s the history of other postings from that same address, and the referrer: tag which can often be used to work out which email source a link came from. I don’t know if bristol citizen has that data, but if the clicklogs are retained, that info is there, ready to be datamined. I hereby offer a 32-node apache hadoop filesystem and mapreduce engine for this purpose, to show that we can out datamine local government.

  7. Pete Jordan says:

    “out datamine local government”

    That’s a pretty high bar you’ve set yourself there, Steve; you sure you can hack it? >;)

  8. SteveL says:

    Pete, no, it won’t be hard, not even if they sneak into the lectures I am giving this term at Bristol university of the topic.

    I am trying to convince the Bristol traffic planners to give me access to some of their data, such as the arrival/departure events from all the car parks, or the complete speed camera/red light camera statistics of the city, which apparently count the number of vehicles seen, always. I could use that data to build up better information on road use than they have today, which appears to be based on some click-counter monitoring done from time to time and then fed to a simulation program written in 1982.

    The data I’d really like is (anonymised) ANPR number plate data, so you could work out how many cars drive from Wales or Swindon into Bristol; when they go home again. Central government is collecting that data, but they are wasting it on antiterrorism and police projects that will massively infringe on personal freedoms (if you drive from Bristol to London the same day a suspect does, you too may become a person of interest), yet do nothing useful for the country’s and cities’ traffic planning, where it would provide more detailed and accurate statistics than anything that has ever gone before.

    Because if you are going to build a police state by instrumenting society, we should at least use that data to benefit society itself, rather than just keep it secure “for the duration of the emergency”

  9. Slander? Correct me if I’m wrong but as I understand it, and Wikipedia seems to confirm it -” slander refers to a malicious, false, and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images.”

    So, as you haven’t actually “spoken” the words that the man doesn’t like he can’t do you for slander.

    He can’t even get that right. Allegedly…

  10. Matt says:

    If you want to check an ip address and you think you know who they are, copy their URL (website address) or IP in to this –

    Also – Media Mouse has wind of this…

    [It seems that the Bristol Blogger (again) has got under the skin of the Bristol city councils press department.]

  11. Pingback: Media Mouse: Bristol CC PR goes head-to-head with Bristol Blogger! : PR

  12. Jon says:

    press officers are bafoons – more so when they work for the council or police. It makes them even more jumped up. Just try ringing Avon and Somerset police press office.

  13. David Cooper says:

    I’m an emergency services press officer and it’s my job to obstruct everything the press want to do because I’m a self important fool who thinks it’s my duty to be overly precious and protect people who are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. I can’t write and basically I’m a failed journalist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *