Detestable, beneath contempt – Cure supporter’s latest vile tactic

I doubt I have seen a more vile, cowardly thing.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a sick, and sickening, incident in which a ‘Cure the NHS’  (Cure) member or sympathiser had attempted to blackmail a university into silencing one of its students, who had been drawing attention on Twitter to the weaknesses and inconsistencies of Cure’s claims and behaviour.

This student has a criminal past – one not to be proud of, and of which he is not proud – consisting of a single, and now spent, conviction. But it’s a past which is absolutely irrelevant both to his studies at the university and to the validity of his comments about Cure’s claims and behaviour. But a letter was sent to his university, threatening to ‘out’ the case to the media if the university did not muzzle the student.

I called this tactic malignant and cowardly – as it unquestionably is. But it started a debate via the comments function on the article, in which a couple of individuals took issue with my condemnation of the tactic and tried to browbeat me into accepting that I was wrong to consider that a person’s history has no bearing on the rightness of their comments.

One in particular had an especially poisonous feel to it. These comments (on a couple of Cure-related posts), by someone calling themselves ‘Loki’, made assertion after assertion and claimed that I had not answered his (or her) questions even when I had, and tried to get me to reveal the names of witnesses whose identities I had promised to protect.

In the last few days, this same person has materialised on Twitter (now styling himself ‘the reluctant Loki’), similarly asserting that I am wrong and criticising me for not apologising. The exchange quickly became poisonous, and ended with an obvious threat. But before we look at that, let’s look a little more closely at this Loki character.

Loki is the name of a god from Viking mythology, a god of mischief, but of a particularly malignant type. It seems evident that this person had that intent when he (or she) created the account a couple of weeks ago, as this Twitter comment, made to another person, shows:


Then there were a few provocative messages to me on Twitter today, leading to a barely-veiled threat. First this:


To which I responded, and then the threat:


I answered ‘Sounds like a threat’, to which there was no response. But this evening, the student contacted me. A reporter from The Sun newspaper (or excuse for one) had been knocking on his door before leaving a note

asking me if I would contact him to explain if it was appropriate for someone with my previous convictions should be researching

his subject of study.

It appears that this ‘Loki’, who had taken exception to my comments, decided to lash out ‘more publicly’ by contacting an odious rag of a newspaper to ‘out’ someone who has done nothing worse to Cure than challenge its opinion. Mischief is not the word.

When I first read this, I was so livid I could barely speak that someone could stoop so low simply because he’s unable to win an argument by reasoned debate. But now I feel a rage as cold as ice.

This ‘Loki’ – according to his email and IP addresses a doctor based in the north-east of England – is a pathetic coward who is beneath contempt and who has to hide behind a fake name in order to find the courage to voice his vile opinions. Unlike myself or the student, who make our comments under our real identities.

I challenge this coward to come out of hiding and to reveal his identity, so that we can express our contempt to him (or her) directly, and that the student victim can decide whether or not to pursue legal remedy against him.

And I challenge Julie Bailey and Cure the NHS, via Twitter and/or the comments section of this article, to unequivocally and publicly repudiate the actions of their supporter. If they fail to do this, then we can only assume that they condone or even encouraged this weak, nauseating individual in his (or her) despicable course of action.


  1. Dreadful, utterly dreadful behaviour, and from, if your suspicions are correct, someone with little or no link to the mid-staffs era,

  2. I find this totally abhorrant. This vile individual should have the courage of his/her convictions, IF they think they are in the right and come forward, instead of bringing in the dubious press to harrass the poor student. I am disgusted.

  3. Truly Vile … the problem with ‘Cure’ is they had no end game. There comes a time when people should accept they’ve made their point and leave the table. They have nothing else to offer except more bile.

  4. It would appear that trolls such as Loki believe they have the right to shout out reasoned debate and argument. Hiding behind a anonymous pseudonym does not give anyone the right to criticise those who do not agree with them. Courage in ones conviction should be enough to be open. I’m sure every totalitarian regime used similar tactics to silence their critics and opponents. Well done Steve for standing up to these people. Maintain your courage and know that there are people with you on this and other themes. Bravo! Tim.

  5. My god – what sort of a society are we now living in – if you can’t win an argument then you lash out at someone who is not in a position to defend himself. Any sane, reasonable person knows that there were problems at Stafford – for many and varied reasons – but the vitriolic condemnation of anyone who dares to disagree with the “perceived” truth of what actually happened is just nonsensical and dangerous. No wonder you were furious Steve – any right-minded person would be. Keep up the good work.

  6. If this Loki person is a doctor and he’s aligned himself with the Cure campaign AND if Julie Bailey is genuine about her moral concerns about poor treatment of patients then she should also have a moral concern about this abusive treatment of people who raise legitimate concerns about Cure. IF he’s a doctor he should have to answer questions about professional misconduct himself.

  7. I see “Cure” as a particularly cynical part of the secret right-wing plan to destroy the NHS and replace it with unaffordable private health care. I see the Stafford “scandal” as part of this process. Even so, this appalls me!

  8. Steve, I’m pretty sure if you told people what your friend’s criminal conviction was for, they’d find good reason to doubt his credibility, most would run a mile and you know it. I have no desire to go down that route, as I’ve made plainly clear on a number of occasions.

    Further reading on said individual reports serial bullying, harassment and suggests strongly that the alleged victim is not a very nice person. It is an overreach in reporting his version, or your version, of the facts? You seem to be in denial about this persons past, but it does paint a very different picture to the hapless and alleged victim you have him down as. If you have looked into him, then it’s even more incredulous that you’re acting on his behalf, he is anything but an innocent victim, and by that I don’t just refer to his criminality, but a whole series of web-based references to his frankly shocking behaviour.

    You’re hung up on the spent nature of his crime, that’s a legal term under the rehabilitation of offenders act 1974, but doesn’t imply that the person is now credible, or an upstanding member of the community.

    You receive an ambiguous, at best, Tweet which is followed by an unsubstantiated claim of media intrusion and portray this as fact. Given the well documented nature of the alleged victim anyone with the facts of the man would rightly question his credibility, I question yours for supporting him unconditionally.

    You make repeated attempts to claim that Cure, or supporters of Cure, are responsible but perhaps, just perhaps, the alleged attack on this individual is part of a concerted and sustained attempt to vilify, bully and harass Cure by making them look guilty of behaviour that hasn’t happened or they’re not responsible for. This looks and feels like a hate campaign.

    As before, we await some evidence that a letter was sent to the University soliciting blackmail, a following police investigation and the rightful arrest and conviction of the guilty party. We also await the story to appear in the Sun at some point, given that this is the implication of the threat. Only then should we accept that any of the above has happened. Until then it’s just one notorious individual’s word, and unsubstantiated claims made by yourself, versus common sense.

    I await the bombardment of bile and accusation that will undoubtedly follow, but nothing I’ve said is unreasonable. Nothing I’ve said is beyond the realms of possibility, and nothing I’ve said is an apologist for these actions (if they truly happened.) If they happened then it’s truly despicable, but the proof that they happened is simply not there. When it is I’ll apologise to you Steve and I’ll apologise to the alleged victim.

    1. You’ve never had any bile or accusation from me, David. I’m not going to start now even though you’re obfuscating to defend the indefensible.

      1. David, knowing something happened and being able to show the evidence without making a case like this worse are two very different things.

        You’re still assuming your conclusions, I see. I’m going to delete your comment once I post this, as you still insist on including information and accusations that I’ve told you will not be allowed on this blog. Any more and I’ll just mark you as spam so nothing will get through, so it’s your choice whether you continue to have a voice here.

  9. I made very valid points that are all proven, at no stage did I mention specifics about the individual other than the known facts. There was no way to trace info back to said individual, neither was there an attempt to do so.

    You delete because you know full well that supporting this man, with his past, is something that any person on either side of the debate would find very challenging. It discredits him and it discredits your continued credibility of him as a hapless victim, he is anything but, you know it, you don’t see it, or you choose to ignore it. These are strange days in which we live.

    Marking as SPAM is just another threat to silence someone that is holding your accusations to account, as they should be held to account due to the seriousness of the accusations. You make some very bold claims, claims you can never back up.

    1. David, you posted details of the offences, which anyone can then lookup and identify who the victim is. It’s not an attempt to silence your opinion, or I’d have done that long ago. But I’ve made it perfectly clear where the no-go area is on this blog. Breach it again and I’ll carry out what I’ve warned you will happen.

      As for the rest, you’re grasping at straws. Believing someone’s statements should be judged on their content and not their personal history is – in my opinion if apparently not in yours – a basic tenet of decency.

      1. I did not post details of the offences, that is an outright lie and is starting the build the disinformation feeling.

        You could not find or locate the person based on anything I said. The irony is I was only 80% sure of the identity of the individual. You provided the other 20% to make it abundantly clear who he was. So following the law of unintended consequences you’ve done as much to confirm peoples suspicions as anyone with your 2x blogs about him. Well done, he has in part you to thank.

        Basic tenet of decency? Please. You cannot in all honesty believe someone with a serial habit of lies, bullying and harassment and base your view only on content. Credibility is not related only to the alleged facts, but also the person that tells them. You must have skipped “The Boy That Cried Wolf” lesson at primary school if you believe they’re not intrinsically connected.

      2. A reasoned argument is a reasoned argument. To attack the bringer of the reason shows that you can’t attack the argument and is an admission of defeat. I’ve seen this happen over and over, whenever I or others have said anything Cure and its friends don’t like.

  10. I fully appreciate, as mentioned, the challenges in showing the evidence. My point is, and has always been, that if you can’t prove the allegations then you shouldn’t make them in your blogs until such time you can, or until such time it’s appropriate to do so.

    That, to me at least, seems like a very honourable thing and best practice for any investigative journalism of any description. We will agree to differ on your approach, but you should respect my right to disagree with you, unless you’re only interested in having nodding-dogs that agree with all you say within your blogs. I have not been particularly rude or offensive to you, I have not posted anything that is illegal or inappropriate. All I’m doing is holding you to account for what I believe is a house you’ve built on very unsound foundations.

    1. Nonsense, David. As a journalist I simply have to know the evidence exists so the story is solid. The culprit has now confessed anyway, to writing both the original letter (by email) and to contacting the press, so your points are, well, pointless.

      I have a question for you, though. Very soon after the original article condemning the sending of the letter to the university, you were here on the comments and knew all about who the person was and what the criminal record was about.

      How did you know all that so quickly? Answer honestly, please – where did you hear the information you evidently had?

      1. Somebody posted something related to the person on Twitter, I did a little digging as I was concerned, and had a right to be. That’s when it became virtually clear about his past, or at least 80% clear, you completed the picture with your two blogs on the person.

        Nothing more sinister than that I’m afraid, just like to know who I’m getting involved with when the debate is emotive.

  11. Steve

    “A reasoned argument is a reasoned argument. To attack the bringer of the reason shows that you can’t attack the argument and is an admission of defeat. I’ve seen this happen over and over, whenever I or others have said anything Cure and its friends don’t like.”

    A reasoned argument can only be based on reason, we agree on that. Where we disagree is the subject of the complaint. I have evidence that would cast a very poor light on him, in short he has previous, and I’m not referring to the convicted criminality. He has previous for bullying and harassment. I therefore, within this reason alone, question anything he has to say, that isn’t to say that all he says are lies, but it is to say that I would need more proof to believe him. This may be cynical, for that I make no apology, but its a fact of life.

    1. Given your classification of my posts as bullying, I’m sceptical about your judgment on the matter when it concerns someone else. But if you want to email me what you’re referring to rather than posting it here, I’ll take a look at it.

      1. My inclination is to say yes, but I’m going to decline. I have no desire to name the person, to you or others, we both know to whom we refer and a Google search of his given online persona which he uses elsewhere, plus his real name including the prefix gives you all you need to know.

        I’m unsure how you would use the info, so best you get it yourself and make of it what you will.

      2. Well, since it’s unfeasible to search through thousands of tweets etc, I’ll stick to my original verdict, thanks.

  12. I admire you Steve and please don’t let this Dave bigot upset you as we all know what you represent and that is the facts & not fiction.. Dave whoever you are leave the NHS alone and the same goes to Loki and Julie Bailey. I
    had a stroke last year & couldn’t fault the treatment I received from the NHS and I have just had surgery last week & again I cannot fault the NHS.. Steve always gives us the bare facts and leaves us to make up our own minds as to whether we agree or disagree & I for one would not know half of what is happening in our country if it wasn’t for Steve and other bloggers.. I also think to resort to the underhand tactics that Cure has sank to, is below contempt and shows just what kind of nasty people you really are hiding behind the mask of caring..

    1. Hilary, hardly worth bothering with you if you receive half of your wisdom via blogs. Try books, old fashioned I know. I have zero axe to grind with the NHS, show me one sentence that suggests that? Also, defending people against unfair criticism is hardly the act of a bigot.

      Believe it, or not, I like Steve’s blog and I’m sure Steve is a thoroughly decent chap. I just choose to disagree with some of his blogs and some of his tactics. Not in a particularly rude way.

      So stop the petty name-calling and stop inventing stuff I haven’t said, your opinion if that’s your approach is worth very little to the debate.

  13. Amen to that Steve!!! We admire you for all you do and write here without yourself, and the likes of Mike on Vox and Johnny Void keeping us informed with everything which is going on in our country, from the horses mouth so to speak, we have never known you to be otherwise and trust your word and as Hilary says leaves us to make up our own minds as to whether we agree or disagree & I for one would not know half of what is happening in our country. With every respect keep on doing what your doing Steve, never let anyone tell you otherwise. In Solidarity Lizzie 🙂

  14. Steve, on the research ignore Twitter and look at other websites. Easy to find and I refuse to allow you to use the information I could provide. You’re an investigative journalist, investigate. It will take 30 minutes at the most.

    1. There are plenty of hits. If he’s supposed to be abusive to someone else, then it will be in an interactive site like Twitter or in a comments field somewhere that won’t come up in the search summaries. Not that interested, since I stand by my opinion of what’s right.

      1. Ok, that’s you prerogative but as an investigative journalist I would have thought you’d like to know about your “sources” before you believe everything they claim. Obviously I’m very much mistaken and you don’t dig half as deep ad you claim. Amateurish but your call.

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