The ex-Editor in Chief of the deservedly defunct “fake news” outlet Exaro, Mark Watts, has been openly fomenting a malicious campaign of intimidation and vilification of me since October 2016, in concert with his German anti-Semitic chum and other conspiraloons.
The Times columnist David Aaronovitch called attention to this in late February last year, when he thundered at Watts:
How dare you? How dare you cite that anti-Semitic creep in your campaign against Barbara Hewson who was as right about all this as you were disastrously wrong? Have you no shame Watts?
Given that Watts’ former flagship, Exaro, called critics and opponents “paedophiles” and “paedophile-apologists” as long ago as 2014, the smear-op almost certainly goes back much earlier. And it’s a massive exercise in sour grapes.
There’s a reason why the incomparably stupid and malicious Watts broke cover in 2016. Operations Fernbridge and Cayacos were toast, Operation Midland had tanked earlier that year, and Operations Conifer and Ruffle were not looking promising. Watts and his troll army – the German Dame of Miele, the blonde ICU nurse in Salisbury, the Baker in Merseyside and their sock-puppet crew of hardcore conspiracyloons – were desperate to regain lost ground.
Except: it never seems to have dawned on these idiots that I could not possibly be blamed for these failed operations (though one of their socks has recently tried to do just that!). Now, when I appeared at court last year to report on a matter in which Watts is heavily invested, Watto – as I shall have to call him – simply blanked me.
Well, Mr Watts, you and your unenlightened conspiracy theory milieu (I’m being kind here) decided to go after me. There is a price to be paid for that. And it will be paid later.
But let’s recount what happened this week. I turn up at a certain elegantly constructed court in the West Country. Mirabile dictu! Watts sits down on the very same bench in the court corridor as I do. Given that Watto usually hurries away when I hove into view, I found this interesting. No fewer than ten hacks were in attendance, so this was some big gig.
I hope you will understand that, given the reams of malicious attacks and bare-faced lies that Watts’ online coterie have directed at me since 2015, I had no wish to hob-nob with this man. And indeed all I did was to post a tweet on my locked personal Twitter account, revealing that he wore a pink tie with grey stripes.
I can reveal….
Well, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, is it not?
This led to a merry quip from a follower, which made me laugh out loud. You have to laugh sometimes, don’t you?
So I decided to reveal, in the interests of transparency, that Watts was also sporting a blue suit.
The next day, Watts appeared wearing a pink shirt and a green patterned tie. I communicated this very important news to my followers, as any conscientious hack must.
The interminable arguments – most of which which I had already heard, not once, not twice, but THREE days already – continued! What’s a girl to do? By then, the hack-quotient was down to eight: no doubt some brave souls, losing the will to live, had broken free.
The judge voiced a muted protest. Things have proceeded at a stately pace, he said. This is a simple case with a simple defence. Evidently, he wanted the legal representatives to giddy up.
The Court rose. A bundle for the jury (already sworn in) was in preparation, so it was said. They do like to leave things until the very last minute, do they not, in the English criminal courts?
The court IT system was down, as I gather is the norm these days. Experienced men of the press gathered in a cluster, speaking in tiny, inaudible whispers. I suppose they didn’t want their penetrating observations being caught by the electronic recording equipment.
I was the sole woman left, as the BBC lady had bolted. Given the hotel we were in, I ca’n’t say I blame her.
But then there was a stir. Counsel came back into court. The jury was called in.
Sadly, there is no longer a stentorian clerk who shouts ALL RISE in deafening tones. It is all rather subdued, though (thank goodness) Her Majesty’s judges in criminal matters come properly robed and wigged – none of this modern regalia.
Defence counsel indicated to the judge that the defendant wished to be re-arraigned. The client had reflected further over-night, the court was told.
Would you Adam and Eve it? The case started all over again.
Count 1. [reads out] How do you plead? Guilty. Guilty! repeated the rather splendid court clerk, in a silver bob, emphatically.
Count 2. [reads out] How do you plead? Guilty. Guilty!
Count 3. [reads out] How do you plead? Guilty. Guilty!
Count 4. [reads out] How do you plead? Guilty. Guilty!
Count 5. [reads out] How do you plead? Guilty. Guilty!
Count 6. [reads out] How do you plead? Guilty. Guilty!
And then it was all over, and I was walking out into the sunshine.
You can never anticipate what will happen, can you?