LA News Release, Daily Telegraph Says "Fuck Off!" to Criticisms of "Free Country" Campaign, 7th May 2002

Share this

London, Tuesday 7 May 2002
For Immediate Use

Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb 07956 472 199,
Also Dr Chris R. Tame, 07957 644519,
For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message


Responding to criticisms of his media group’s “Free Country”campaign, a Telegraph journalist has told Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance to “fuck off”.

The Libertarian Alliance, which is Britain’s most radical civil liberties and free market policy institute, has criticised The Daily Telegraph’s “Free Country” campaign on the following grounds:

+ That it lacks focus
+ That it consists of short, unconnected articles unlikely to shift pubic opinion
+ That it lacks the passion and commitment of campaigns run by the leftist media
+ That, despite talk of “building alliances”, no effort has been made to recruit allies for the campaign from outside the Conservative shadow cabinet and a few “well-connected mediocrities”

Dr Gabb, a Libertarian Alliance Executive Committee member, made these criticisms in an article sent out on the Internet on Monday the 6th May 2002. He sent copies with a covering letter to various journalists working for the Telegraph group. His covering letter reads:

Dear Sir,

I send herewith an account of a debate between me and your Editor.
Though the debate was cut to pieces before being broadcast, the
account has been posted all over the Internet.

Yours ever,

Sean Gabb
6th May 2002

Posting at 8:15am, Patrick Barclay, who is football correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph, e-mailed as follows to Dr Gabb

Dear Mr Gabb,
Would you please fuck off?
Yours very sincerely,
Patrick Barclay

Commenting on the e-mail, Dr Gabb said:

“This is a surprising communication from a media group that claims to uphold certain standards of civility in journalism. I have no doubt, however, that it is the only response I shall get. I also believe it accurately reflects the general attitude of the Telegraph group to criticism from its readers”

Also commenting, Dr Chris R. Tame, Executive Director of the Libertarian Alliance, said:

“While we have no objection to even robust media treatment, this sort of foul-mouthed response to a very polite e-mail is unacceptable from a media group that is always willing to denounce others for impoliteness. The message was sent from an official Telegraph e-mail address (, and must be taken as an official Telegraph response to our criticisms. We call on Mr Barclay’s manager for an explanation and apology.”


Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is the author of ten novels and ten other books, plus about a million words of journalism. He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at

His latest novel, The Break, has been nominated for the 2015 Prometheus Award.

His recent book, Freedom of Speech in England: Its Present State and Likely Prospects, is a defence of freedom of speech without exceptions. 

Or his book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, explains how its current ruling class has turned England into a totalitarian police state, and how this ruling class can be overthrown and utterly destroyed.

Or another of his books, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power, explains how the current "war" on smoking has nothing to do with making individuals healthy, but everything to do with enhancing the power of a totalitarian ruling class, and enriching its relevant client groups.

You can see other books by Sean Gabb here.

Extended Contact Details

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain's most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Tel: 07956 472 199