Yesterday morning I received a particularly unpleasant email from Martin Gradwell, which you can read a little further down this post. I asked him to refrain from emailing me immediately and to never contact me again. I warned him that I would reproduce his emails on my blog if he ignored my request. Yesterday evening I received a further email from Martin Gradwell, so here goes.
A week ago I posted So, Farewell Then Lib Dems. I was quite blunt about my dislike of the Lib Dems but that's life. Unfortunately a Morecambe Lib Dem called Michael Gradwell took it personally, or just wanted a fight, I'm not sure which. His comments became personally abusive and unpleasant so I told him that I would no longer publish them. I dislike censorship but am not prepared to have my own blog used by people who wish to be personally nasty and vindictive towards me, there are limits.
Then up popped MT Gradwell. Not being sure whether it was or wasn't Michael using another email address, I rejected the comment. That's when the bile and nastiness reached record levels. It turned out to be Martin, Michael Gradwell's brother. Just as nasty if not worse.
So I posted a song by The Cure called Boys Don't Cry, I was being tongue in cheek after getting his brother to have a go at me. I continued the tongue in cheek playground analogy by saying something like 'my dad's bigger than his'. Sadly I can't link to that post as Blogger was down yesterday and recent posts on all blogs have disappeared. But oh dear, that lit the blue touchpaper and Martin Gradwell sent me the following email. You see, now I won't publish their comments they are emailing me, or at least Martin is. Sad but there you are. Following is the unabridged email:
You vile, vicious little worm! How DARE you bring our dad into this?
Do NOT even think of doing so again. If you are typical of your
family, then when he was alive my dad was bigger than the whole of
your family put together; but I'll assume you are not typical, because
the thought of a whole family of misanthropes and misfits like you is
just too horrible to contemplate.
If only you could grow up to the point where you start behaving like a
five-year-old, that would be a vast improvement.
I am "starting to sound seriously obsessed"? Really? I have submitted
a grand total of 1 (count 'em .. 1) comments to your shitty excuse for
a blog, which of course you haven't published because you are too much
of a coward to deal with criticism openly and honestly. I ask you
serious questions about your accusatory anecdotes, and you respond
with "Boys don't cry" and a claim that my brother put me up to
responding to you, as if I can't think for myself. Plus, you claim
that WE are the ones attempting to cause a fight, and bringing a
"nasty personal element" to your blog. I'm sorry, but there is only
one nasty personal element in your blog, and it is in charge of it.
There is only one bright spot in all of this - your claim that you
"have no intention of corresponding any further with somebody like
you". Please remain in that frame of mind. I have no intention of
corresponding any further with you either. I have only done so because
you insult my brother, you insult our church by professing to be a
member of it, and now you insult me. If you can refrain from doing two
of those three things in the future, then there's no reason why we
should ever correspond again, thank God. I mean, I expect you will
continue to insult the Church by professing to be a member of it, and
you will insult libertarianism by pretending to be a libertarian, and
you will insult Liberal Democrats by insulting Liberal Democrats. I
would like to do something about these issues, but there is nothing I
can do since you refuse to engage in open and free discussion. Just
refrain from insulting myself or my brother, and, to emphasise this
point in case you are tempted to forget it, do NOT bring our father
into this. Again, in case you are tempted, do NOT bring our mother
into it either. That is all.
This came after an earlier email, a little less nasty and vitriolic but for the sake of fairness I am copying below:
Dear Mr. Beaman,So, ignoring my request to cease communication Mr Martin Gradwell yesterday evening sent me the following email. He is certainly sounding more and more obsessed which is quite unnerving, but I've never been one to give in to bullies:
I submitted a comment to your blog, and I subscribed to the associated
post so that I would be informed if and when my comment was published.
Unfortunately, this resulted in my inbox being polluted by the piece
of vile rubbish quoted at the end of this email.
I believe that my brother can read properly and that it is in fact you
who have difficulties comprehending your own writing. "Why talk of
hatred?" you ask him, as if it wasn't you who started the ball rolling
by expressing your eternal detestation of the way Lib Dems portray
themselves, among other things. Were you not aware of any similarity
of meaning between "detest" and "hate"?
And now you write "At no point in this post do I profess detestation,
and certainly not hatred of another person". If you wanted to
parenthesize the 'and certainly not hatred' then you should have used
actual parentheses, or at least an additional comma after hatred. As
it stands, this unfortunate sentence implies that "At no point in this
post do [you] profess detestation" when in fact you profess not just
momentary but perpetual detestation. of not just one thing but of
Furthermore you might say that you don't detest actual people, only
abstract qualities about them and the way they present themselves.
However, many people would define themselves by their attributes. Take
away the "niceness" of a nice person, for instance, and what is left?
When you attack a person's cherished attributes, you attack that
person. As you do when you call them "fool", or call them "liars"
because their opinions differ from yours, or when you make up garbage
about them and try to convince the world that this garbage is true, or
when you refuse to publish their posts but nevertheless selectively
quote from them, and endlessly mock the selective quotations.
I suspect that you have serious anger issues. I agree with my brother
that you should examine what you write more carefully, and I would go
further. You should examine yourself more carefully, and maybe engage
some professional help in that task.
This leaves me with a serious dilemma. I still want to be notified if
and when my comment gets published, but I don't want my inbox to
become further polluted. In other words, I want my encounter with you
to be as brief as possible, in accordance with the description of your
blog. Perhaps you could oblige me either by publishing my comment and
getting the ensuing discussion over with as soon as possible, or by
letting me know definitively that there will be no publication, so
that I can safely unsubscribe from the vile and wretched post.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Dear Mr. Beaman,There you are MARTIN Gradwell. I haven't just published your comments, I've given you a post all to yourself. Perhaps you'll stop mithering me now.
I am not at all surprised that you would consider posting my private
email to you while refraining from posting my public comments to your
blog, since it is abundantly clear that that is the kind of person you
are. Accordingly, I wrote the email with that possibility in mind.
While it contains more intemperate language than I would normally use,
I believe that this language was fully justified by the circumstances,
and publication of it would not harm my reputation in any way.
Indeed, it would say far more about you than it does about me.
Of course, I don't expect you to post my email in its entirety. Even
someone as crazed as you appear to be is still likely to possess
enough animal cunning to be aware of how bad an idea that would be. I
expect you to post and snipe at one or two short phrases taken out of
context, as is your custom. I am prepared for that too.
I am intrigued by the offer to post a link to my blog. If I had an
active blog then I would certainly take you up on that offer, since
such a link would be a good way of publicizing it. However I must
decline, since I unfortunately do not currently have an active blog,
though I am tempted to start one. You seem to be persisting in
confusing me with my brother, despite repeated clarifications.
I am also intrigued by your notion of contacting my ISP, since I am
fairly sure that my ISP is not common public knowledge. I can guess
that yours is (REMOVED) because you use their email, but I use gmail
from Google. Is gmail what you are referring to, or do you have some
notion of contacting blogger.com and explaining to them about how you
persistently get confused between different people, and they should
take action against my brother because you refuse to publish my
entirely reasonable comment and you instead state your intention to
publish my email? Good luck with that.
I should have known, when you said that you had "no intention of
corresponding any further", that you had every intention of
corresponding further. I should have known it was too good to be true.
Actually, I did know. Even though I have only glanced cursorily at
your blog, it was abundantly evident just from the small parts that I
read that you would be a particularly sticky piece of dog-muck, one
almost impossible to wipe from the sole of my shoe once stepped in.
Believe me, I take no pleasure in any of this, but I will take
whatever measures are necessary in order to deal with it, whether that
involves starting a blog of my own, or borrowing the use of a page on
my brother's blog, or emailing you, or whatever. If you really don't
want me to contact you again then it is up to you to make it
unnecessary for me to do so.
P.S. I know, I know, no amount of persistence on my part will make the
slightest difference since you are incorrigibly dense, but that's
MARTIN Gradwell. NOT Michael Gradwell. My email address is (REMOVED)
Update-The bizarre Mr Gradwell has been in touch again today. He is starting a blog about me apparently. His obsession is now becoming slightly spooky.