HOWE HYPOCRITICAL: Weeping bully Alan Howe hopes to use judges he denigrates to silence critics

In a shock development in our “Howe Offensive” series, we can exclusively reveal that so-called “executive editor” of the Herald Sun, previous criminal offender (found guilty in the Magistrates Court of breaches of the Children and Young Persons Act), Alan Howe intends to sue VEXNEWS and its publisher Andrew Landeryou for saying mean things about him.

Scandalously, we have been threatened with an “interim injunction” unless we remove material critical of Howe.

The self-styled “journalist”– who isn’t much of one – has previously thrashed our courts of law, including judges like County Court judge Felicity Hampel, whom he sexistly disparaged as a “delicate petal” because he reckoned she didn’t like criticism.

HOWE OUTRAGEOUS
Now, in a move some might think somewhat hypocritical, Howe’s turning to the courts to silence criticism of him.

Howe has gone for the doctor, invoking Labor-aligned lawyer Justin Quill, and it really does look like a case of the physician needing to heal himself.

For the amusement of members of the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit – whose flame of freedom we proudly hold aloft for all the world – we provide the correspondence exchanged between Mr Quill, who has previously acted on behalf of News Limited, and us.

HOWE ANGRY
We have only redacted one very small part of it, mainly because Quill’s letter claims that we published a claim we did not publish but by repeating that at this stage, we would be publishing the claim. If you can follow the bush lawyer logic. Hopefully the Supreme Court can, because it looks like that’s where we’re headed. Time to dust off those Rumpole DVDs. The quality of mercy will hopefully not be too strained and will droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Can you imagine the carnage?

More guts than Guthrie, more blood than an overblown London hacking scandal.

Howe has demanded we withdraw our article “SURRENDER MONKEY: Boneless wonder Alan Howe wants to wave white flag to terror”

We won’t be censored by the likes of him. Not now. Not ever.

THE “BIT TOO FAR” DOCTRINE
His lawyer Mr Quill told us over the phone that “we had gone a bit too far.” He reassured us that “compensation” wasn’t an issue. We refrained from laughing.

Quill normally styles himself as a great protector of our liberties and free speech, railing against the rising tide of silly suppression orders and representing the Herald Sun against the offended and litigious. This legal doctrine of a “bit too far” we look forward to exploring in coming days. We don’t think you can really even go too far in speaking truth to power and holding rich and powerful bullying men like Howe to account.

In his letter he claims we made factual errors in our reporting of Howe. He has failed to identify a single one.

Our letter covers most of the issues we think.

GAME ON
This might be a battle to the end. But, oh, what expensive and extensive glory awaits. A noble cause. Menacing evil confronted. We’ve stood up to bullies like Alan Howe before. Isn’t it amazing just how much they squeal when confronted by someone who gives them back their own medicine?

We will slay this dragon. Or give all in the attempt.

Bring it on.

Here are the scarlet letters:

OPENING SALVO
From: Justin Quill jquill@khq.com.au
to: Editor at VEXNEWS
date: Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 6:35 PM
subject: Letter for your attention

Dear Andrew,

Please find attached correspondence for your attention and the attention of vexnews.

Regards.

Justin Quill
Director
KellyHazellQuill
Lawyers

Level 12, 533 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, Victoria  3000
Direct: + 61 3 8681 40XX | Reception: + 61 3 9663 98XX | Fax: + 61 3 9009 54XX | Mobile: + 61 429 899 4XX | Email: jquill@khq.com.XX | Website: www.kellyhazellquill.com.au

If you receive this email by mistake please notify us and please do not use it.  We do not waive any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in this email.

SAY WHAT
from Andrew Landeryou editor-at-vexnews.com
to Justin Quill jquill@khq.com.au
date: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM
subject: Re: Letter for your attention

Thursday June 9th 2011 9:40 AM (2 hours ago)

Dear Mr Quill

I assume it was you inquiring for our fax number yesterday evening, I
believed you were a new source so didn’t press you on the reasons for
your call as sometimes that can unsettle newbies.

If you were calling in your capacity as a lawyer, as the format of
your email suggests, it probably would have been best to state the
purpose of your business as I don’t tend to press unidentified callers
for details over the phone in case that scares off potential sources.

If you are a new source and have merely formatted your data in an
unusual but lawyerly way, my apologies in advance.

After numerous attempts we’re having trouble opening the attachment
you’ve supplied so I would appreciate it if you could incorporate its
text in an email so I can read it. If that’s not possible, it might be
best for me to pop in and collect a print-out of it. Please let me
know either way.

Yours sincerely
Andrew Landeryou
PS Please feel free to contact me on 0415 99 33 26 at any time.

THE THREAT

Andrew,

As discussed today, below is the text of the letter that was sent to you last night.  If you want me to fax it to you I can do so (or if you would like to pick it up let me know).

Also, I should confirm to you what I said on the telephone today, when I rang yesterday I did identify myself and said I wanted to send you a letter.  My apologies for any confusion.

Regards.

Justin.

8 June 2011

Dear Sirs

Alan Howe

We act for Alan Howe, the Executive Editor of the Herald Sun newspaper.

Our client has instructed us in relation to a series of articles concerning him which have been posted on the website – www.vexnews.com. In particular, our client has drawn our attention to the article entitled: “SURRENDER MONKEY: Boneless Wonder Alan Howe wants to wave white flag to terror” published on 6 June 2011 under the by line of Andrew Landeryou.

The article is a malicious attack on our client which conveys highly defamatory imputations including that our client:

* is unemployable
* is a danger to children; and
* [redacted]

The above imputations have caused and continue to cause our client and his family serious damage.

The article is riddled with factual errors ensuring that any attempt to defend it on the basis of a fair comment or honest opinion defences would fail. In addition, the article is part of a sustained personal and malicious attack on our client. Accordingly, even if the article did contain statements of opinon that would otherwise be protected by those defences, the existence of malice ensures those defences would fail.

The above imputations are factually inaccurate and therefore cannot be defended on the basis of a truth or justification defence.

We demand that the article immediately be removed from the vexnews website.

If the article is not removed by noon on Friday, 10 June 2011 (AEST) (or an appropriate undertaking that it will be removed within a reasonable time is not received by noon on 10 June 2011), we will seek our client’s instructions to immediately issue proceedings against you and to seek an interim injunction for the removal of the material.

For clarity, this letter should be taken as a concerns notice under the Defamation Act 2005 (Vic).

Our client otherwise reserves all his rights.

Yours faithfully
Kelly Hazell Quill Lawyers

Justin Quill

FIGHTING WORDS:
Dear Mr Quill,

My five word response: Go ahead make my day.

My lengthier observation is that we won’t be removing the article, no matter how emphatically “delicate petal” Alan Howe sooks about it.

If Howe can’t stand the heat, he really should get out of the kitchen.

Go ahead make my day

As we always have, we shall, in any event, vigorously defend our right to publish news and commentary about high-profile public figures like your client, who enjoys tremendous privilege, while doing so little with it.

Do your worst and we’ll be sure to do our best.

While it is amusingly contemptible that Howe has such a delicate Orrefors-style glass jaw, as you might imagine being a self-appointed champion of free speech like yourself, that there are very important issues of liberty at stake here. And it will be my pleasure to fight for free speech, in full public view, in the courts, in the streets and the barren badlands of the interwebs. It will be quite fitting that Howe, after a lifetime pretending to be a journalist, will remove all doubt as he nears his final curtain. It’s rather sad.

Of course our article – and our coverage more generally – is not motivated by malice in the slightest. Invective is not proof alone. That’s just how we roll. VEXNEWS is a vehicle for fearless and brave news reporting, not malice.  We speak uncomfortable truths to power. I have never met Mr Howe and while having contempt for his views, his low performance in high office and for the way he treats his colleagues, this leads us to feel more pity than anything else. Not malice, however defined.

And it will be my pleasure to fight for free speech, in full public view, in the courts, in the streets and the barren badlands of the interwebs. It will be quite fitting that Howe, after a lifetime pretending to be a journalist, will remove all doubt as he nears his final curtain.

There are plenty of people whom we think ought to be sacked for bad performance, our observation of this or our expression of this opinion is not inherently malicious. We’d call it tough but fair criticism. He’s earned it. I urge you to take time to read his weekly column over the past year. They really are shite.

Simply put, Howe is the schoolyard bully of Melbourne’s mainstream media, tears streaking down his face at the impertinence that someone would dare stand up to his depravity and malevolence. We promise you: there’s more to come.

Mr Howe, I am advised, boasted to colleagues after the publication of which you now complain, that he “won several bets” that his recent attack on my elderly father would provoke criticism from me. Howe really is a small man, in every way. That’s what I mean when I say I feel pity for him. He is consumed with bitterness and psychiatric angst. And it’s hard to feel hostility or malice in those circumstances. Pity seems much more appropriate. When the lawyers are finished, I really hope he gets the help he clearly needs.

The truth is that we had planned our public campaign against Mr Howe’s tenure at the Herald Sun for a long time. I devised the name of the campaign the “Howe Offensive” while sunning my pale self on a sticky banana lounge, under the occasional shade of my clothes line, in summer-time back-yard repose. Not a pretty sight. But a very apt campaign name.

I certainly wasn’t going to let Howe’s craven attack prompt us to alter our plans to publicly campaign for his removal. The “Howe Offensive” will continue.

I can assure you that while I note his previous lame-ass (to use the technical term) attacks on me and others I care about, I am far more troubled by the fact that as a highly remunerated employee, he takes editorial resources away from an otherwise great newspaper that serves its city so well on scarce resources that ought not be wasted. His colleagues can’t say it (publicly), The Age’s criticism will be obviously self-serving, so we think it’s highly appropriate that the criticism come from an unabashed friend of the Herald Sun. So there’s no malice, just concern that Howe’s a parasite on a far too benevolent and sentimental host. Newspapers need to do more with less; the Herald Sun would be so much more with less Alan Howe.

Mark my words, he’ll be gone soon enough.

Newspapers need to do more with less; the Herald Sun would be so much more with less Alan Howe.

This incident alone – his cowardly invocation of high-priced legal stand-over men – makes our case rather strongly, doesn’t it? For that, I thank you.

His reaction, including in written correspondence currently stored on News Limited’s email system, and discoverable through legal process, shows that your description of his distress is based on instructions that can only be validly described as false. Perhaps he was putting on a brave front with the colleagues while drowning out – with occasional dunny flushes – anguished tears of rage in the executive washroom. Or perhaps he lies to his lawyer (to be sure, he’s not the first). Either way, his veracity can be reasonably questioned. And will be.

You go on to say our article makes a number of imputations. I will deal with each of these.

1) That Howe is unemployable.

While we’re not sure that our words conveyed this meaning, he is clearly employable as he is being employed currently at HWT, however unfortunately. We understand that his previous efforts as a “scab” or “strike-breaker” earned him a certain amount of loyalty from the company. We like the loyalty; but we can’t help but want to pick at a scab. However, it is certainly our view that he is unfit to serve as an executive editor of the Herald Sun. We’re not sure we clearly expressed that view in VEXNEWS but happily do so now. Part of our defence will be that Howe in fact isn’t really an executive and isn’t really an editor of anything. He’s a little man with a big title. We hope that clarifies our view.

2) That Howe is a danger to children.

That’s not what we said. Or meant. What we did say – and stand by it – is that Howe was found guilty in the Magistrates Court of the criminal offence of identifying a child in legal proceedings, thereby endangering the child who was identified. That’s why the law is there, to protect vulnerable kids from being media-fodder. Howe did the crime and was punished. I think it’s perfectly legitimate for us to raise Howe’s criminal past, providing we keep it in its proper context. This, we believe, we did. He is not, and nor did we suggest that he is, a danger to children, beyond the offence of which he was found guilty. Only gutter-snipes like Howe make such spectacular false claims based on nothing. We stick to the facts. Indeed, at the time we observed that he took full responsibility for the offence and that was a good thing to do. We’re not so charitable now because we know he doesn’t deserve it.

3) That Howe [redacted].

A more serious claim and simply not what we wrote or suggested in any respect. While it is the policy of VEXNEWS to publish correspondence relating to legal procedings where we’re permitted to do so, we won’t be publishing any reference to [redacted]. Nor have we. Normally, I am not interested in engaging with those who make legal threats but if you could clarify what on Earth you are talking about, I’d be happy to assist on this, if the claim appeared in a comment or in some other undetected form, it would certainly be removed. I made and want absolutely no reference to any such thing. I very much doubt any court could reach a contrary conclusion. Perhaps a guilty conscience is operating here, I’m not really sure. All very strange.

To conclude this lengthy rant, Howe has a weekly column in the nation’s best-selling (I think still) newspaper in addition to holding himself out as an “executive editor” of the Herald Sun.

I note there are many other claims we’ve made about Howe’s odious personal conduct, his grotesquely large salary and the poor quality of his work that – at least at this stage – remain uncontested and undisputed.

If there were factual errors, rather than just a general whine about our criticism, we would certainly respond to any reasonable request to address them. We are very fair about such things.

The issue ultimately is that Howe is remarkably well-paid for his very high-profile public role, even if, as we say, he’s just not very good at it. That claim is not disputed. And, in any event, it’s our opinion, albeit a widely held one across Melbourne and in the news industry, if that’s the correct term for it.

No-one could dispute that Howe presents flamboyantly expressed views, opinions and arguments about a range of contentious matters. He has a pretty big platform on which to do it, too.

Howe dishes out the most astonishing criticism and savage attacks on so many people that it does seem remarkable that he is so thin-skinned. Or glass-jawed. Perhaps he could help pay his salary with an Orrefors sponsorship or promoting the Versailles Hall of Mirrors. My research on his columns- as yet mostly unpublished on VEXNEWS- reveals a racist, viciously anti-Catholic, sexist pig whose expressed views flip-flop better than any politician’s.

Your advice to your client ought to be succinct: grow a pair, little man.

I am entitled to engage in public discourse about those issues, about his bona fides and about whether he is true in his life to the words he uses. This will involve sometimes tough revelations about how he conducts himself. If he doesn’t like it, too bad. Your advice to your client ought to be succinct: grow a pair, little man.

The sad truth is that I’ve gone especially easy on Howe because of where he works and my affection for the great company that is the custodian of a fine institution. However, the days of me refraining from commentary on his lamentable work are over. He should, to use that delightful expression, suck it up.

While your client is accustomed to conducting himself in the manner of an impudent bully around his place of work, those same thuggish and improper ways won’t work with me. I’ve battled and bested much bigger and badder than a puffed-up little self-important “poison dwarf” (as he is unkindly referred to by colleagues).

You should convey to your client that no amount of legal threats or legal proceedings will change this reality. Those proceedings will only serve to draw further public attention to his unsuitability for the high office of privilege and power he currently maintains.

I look forward to working for justice by bringing on his departure, because while he may not technically unemployable, he is most certainly worthy of being sacked by the nation’s finest newspaper. If you sue, I will vigorously defend myself and ensure that Howe’s name will live in infamy.

I will not be easily contactable by email for the next three weeks (at a place of rural enterprise preparing cows for live export) but can be reached by phone 24-7. If you would like to serve a writ or other documents, the most convenient way will be to phone ahead of time either on 0415 99 33 26 and I’ll travel into town to pick them up in person at your premises or wherever else is convenient to you.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Landeryou

PS I should also draw your attention to the fact that, in my opinion, for a variety of reasons that will probably become apparent in the course of the proceedings that I suspect there will be a serious conflict of interests between those of the Herald & Weekly Times and Mr Howe’s, both legally and otherwise. I am sure you are aware of your ethical and other obligations in relation to that.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “HOWE HYPOCRITICAL: Weeping bully Alan Howe hopes to use judges he denigrates to silence critics

  1. Ronnie

    Seriously – why are you posting all this???

    You clearly don’t like Alan Howe. Whatever. I think your mistake, as editor of a political blog, is to assume your readers care about Alan Howe and want to read diatribes about him. No matter how useless he is.

    I don’t. And I’m willing to bet a large chunk of your readership also doesn’t.

    Good luck with the legal claim, but lets move onto something more interesting.

  2. Anonymous

    You lost me after the first paragraph. The fact that he is guily of being a peadophile is enought for me. Hang him!

  3. The Truth

    Running to *cough* thieving bastards *cough* lawyers because he can’t handle the truth. How very small.

  4. Wotever

    If Howe is still employed what serious harm has been done? Howe has only brought more attention to himself. Perhaps The Age wil pick up this story, albeit two week too late!

  5. Lawrence M.

    Reeks of a mutual self-promotion exercise, both jerks suffering relevance deprivation syndrome.

  6. larf

    Howe amusing.

    Stick it to the pompous oompa loompa, Andy

  7. party hak

    What a load of tripe, surely there are bigger fish to fry. Why not do a run on the Politician whose wife smacked a copper andrew and never got charged.
    Perhaps you could get the scoop you wanted as I am sure ICAC will unveil it. And Alan Howe was spot on when he singled out that Rob Hulls love child Facility Hampel. Lets move on and find something more important like the weasel Adam Bandt’s claim today about live beef exports.

  8. Top Shelf Tony

    This is glorious. May Vexnews triumph over all.

  9. Giuseppe De Simone

    I read the cowardly attack by Howes on Hampel.

    Her Honour Judge Hampel is the least of my worries in terms of the Hulls’ feminist appointments. In fact, while she ruled against me in a case, I found her to be a very smart and sensible judge who grasped the issues and gave me a fair hearing.

    If you want to attack really bad appointments, look no further than Hulls’ appointment of Magistrate Hawkins, formerly a lawyer acting almost exclusively for unions, as the chief industrial magistrate for Victoria. Not only does she have a world view that is explicitly anti-employer, she won’t correct her errors when the legislation is put under her nose. She should be sent to Ringwood to deal with traffic and parking infringements.

  10. Jelly-Back

    How many times has New Limited &/OR Alan Howe “done a job” on private Australian citizens? Enumerable.

    And now he cries like a pansy.

    Free speech is only allowed by New Limited &/OR Alan Howe it seems.

  11. Giuseppe De Simone

    Mere vulgar abuse is not defamatory. People call me worse things all the time. I just suck it up as I already have a swimming pool at home.

    I have been threatened with writs by all sorts of hypocrites who can dish it out but don’t like it dished up to them.

    Back in 1979, I was sued for defamation when I said someone was a tax-avoider. I was praising her for arranging her affairs to minimise tax with the connivance of the student union (now defunct) but she seemed to think it was a negative insinuation and made a big deal of it. Suffice to say, I apologised for claiming she had avoided tax by setting herself up as a contractor rather than an employee and the apology was published widely as per her request. A tax auditor was a graduate student at Melbourne University and read my apology which spared no details. The tax office cleaned her up after an investigation.

  12. Howe's Zat

    Howe pathetic, Al. Andy, get the Allen key and dismantle him.

  13. Con (long-time OC and Vex reader)

    I don’t always like vexnews but I defend it’s right to speak out. You play an important role.

    Howe is a disgrace, can’t wait to see his usually pitifully self-justifying column on Monday.

    Sometimes, Andrew, you’ve got to stare evil in the eye and be unafraid. Live standing up or die on your knees.

  14. Bollocks

    Andrew, I have frequently advised you to get rid of your hard disk before some persky lawyer or the police take it away for forensic examination. Imagine you embarressment when all your fake comments on this site are found therein!

  15. anon

    Old Howey prefers to use the rear entrance if you get my drift.

  16. Monty

    I just love the terms “Surrender Monkey”, followed closely by “Boneless Wonder”. Maybe overall a touch stern towards Howe but it’s mostly sticks and stones thrown at someone who professes to be a tough talker and writer in the media. This site and Mr. Landeryou is why the rest of the media stinks so much. Andrew’s a patriot, too.

  17. Anonymous

    I can already hear Andrew’s knackers sizzling in the Howe stew.

  18. Mick

    Howes’ own columns regularly paint him as a jerk, bigot and angry old man in general. Stick it to him Andy.

  19. Bob Santamaria

    I would like to comment about another issue, that of the communist running dog the dalai lama.
    Our socialist Prime Minister should not meet the poor brainwashed man, not because the Communist Chinese would be offended but rather because the man represents another brand of illusion and dellusion. There is clearly only one god and he is on our side, the hippy friendly buddists would do well to try and explain the conduct of some of his previous incarnations, the continual enslavement of many of the Tibetan peoples for hundreds of years under the yoke of the this mantra.
    Julia as an Atheist should refuse to meet this man, attempts by the pro chinese press to push for a meeting should be squashed and ignored.
    The actions of the Communist Party of China in Liberating these poor downtrodden peasants was one of the few positives we saw during the long march. However, the pro Socialist running dogs of the anti-catholic faith still run this story ever time our ageing dictator arrives to scoop up a bit more cash from his Australian Sheep.

  20. Zaf

    Fearless! Allan Jones London Stories next, I presume?

  21. Aseop

    Now that redaction has been discovered on this site one would hope that when similar vile claims are made about Cardinal Pell or Tony Abbott by juvenile commenters that they are also removed.

  22. Alan Howe - in the Magistrates Court

    How can a criminal like Alan Howe be allowed to the “Executive Editor” (like me be the “business manager” of my household) of the Herald Sun ?

    An MP, bureaucrat or some other usual target can’t even get a speeding fine without having their job threatened but Howe was found guilty on 17th May 2006 for breaching the ‘Children and Young Persons’ Act 1989′.

    His crime carried with it a maximum penalty of 2 years jail which he should have got.

    Alan Howe gets a lenient sentence – why’s that not held up as an example of weak courts ?!?!?!

  23. sensible steve

    still Howe is more reasonable than Bolt surely?

  24. a sun burnt media land

    I love a sun burnt medialand,

    a land of sun drenched egos,

    and wide and open legal claims,

    of rugged mountains of talk back
    and racist and sexist pains.

    I love her glass-jawed print media bullies,
    a most rabid bunch of howling dogs,
    who can dish it out but can’t take it,
    from online freedom blogs.

  25. princess

    If you don’t like the Labor party please don’t write shits on vex news coz I love the labor party and I will die for the Labor party. Either resign or piss off.

  26. shcocked

    Like most bullies just a sook

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