Michel Harper - wibbler.com

Chance meetings

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s always nice at this time of year to swallow various prides, put aside any differences and cessate any negative feelings. It’s Christmas, after all. And that was precisely my frame of mind as I entered the gym last night, bracing myself for a vigorous workout that usually leaves my legs wobbling festively.
As I ordered a couple of Lucozades over the counter, the man next to me stared. After a few seconds, he piped up, “Just like to say congratulations on your website.”
“What?” I blurted, as I stared at the barely familiar face of a man keen to shake me warmly by the hand.
“We’ve all had a look at your Harper post, and we thought it was spot on.”
I’ve been congratulated by email several times since the controversial post reared its head more than a year ago, but never in person, never from someone that knows the deep workings and views of the people involved and whose only tool of recognition for me was the various photos on this site. I explained that my views were never made on that post – and have never been made public before or since. I was quoting others, and others were commenting on those quotes. The private investigators that subsequently phoned and emailed were only carrying out their job for someone that had plainly decided that free speech was a privilege, not a right.
Still, it was nice that this mystery gym visitor took the effort to speak up in support of the cause. Michel Harper is plainly a man with a good business brain, someone that has generated a lot of income for himself and the town. I’ve heard both positive and negative things about him. It’s true that he puts on a good show – I myself was in his Voodoo Lounge last Friday, although you may think me hypocritical. For all I know, he could be a genuinely good egg, as my good friend is at pains to point out. But this chance meeting led me to think – if so many people are disenchanted with their working experience at those premises, is it likely that they are all in error – or more likely that the one man who is the focus of their palpable anger is at fault?
Mind you, it’s too festive for those thoughts to be swilling around. I hope all those presents are wrapped and under the tree and that you’re all in a suitably merry mood. Hell, send a Boriscard if you want…

Some Lawyerly Advice

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

I’ve been indebted to wibbler.com in many ways since its conception in the womb of my university’s academic syllabus. It’s allowed me to hone the prose, create a diary of amusements to look back on in a dull moment, and to reduce those always badly-timed but very welcome “So, how you doing?” calls from friends. It’s attracted attention from two magazines, spawned subsites that have been more popular than this one, and found its way onto Sky News and BBC News. It’s even got me designing sites for MPs, clothing companies and local firms. It’s frankly been a ball.
But a more negative turn came about this week, when my year-old post about Michel Harper, megabusinessman of Guildford, hit home with several visitors. In fact, a simple Google search for “michel harper” brings the post to the top of the rankings, a fact that please my inner geek, and the content of the comments was brought to the attention of Mr Harper. Cue an email a few days ago, and several calls since, from his lawyers and private investigators, asking me to cease and desist, and give up information on the commenters. In fairness, they noted my cunning lack of accusation in the original post but the visitors comments had to be censored. Not to be outdone, someone’s comments then appeared on the woefully underused wibbler.com Forum. Which is now equally cleansed.
So, the first sign that this blog actually affects the outside world. What next? Do you think I’ll be able to reverse the American election maybe?

Famous Faces

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s been getting a little freaky recently. Only the other day, I thoroughly defeated Damon Hill in a race to a set of lights in Guildford, and just a couple of days before I found myself talking to Chris Evans and Billie Piper (an episode I unforgivably failed to mention on here – I humbly apologise, I really do). Which neatly brings me onto today’s lunch date with my good friend Simon B. He is a networker par extraordinaire, and knows all the right people, so it shouldn’t have come as any shock that both he and a lot of people he and I met that lunchtime seemed to know the guy who recently died sailing with Chris Evans. It was the main topic of conversation, with me vigorously defending the talents of Mr Evans, while many others fought my view with an insinuation that there was ‘something highly suspicious about it all”. And frankly, as I left Simon to his late lunch date with the local nightclub, casino and bar owner (and highly influential bod) Michel Harper, I really shouldn’t have been shocked to bump into entertainment veteran Bruce Forsyth, hurrying around a blind corner with his glamorous wife.
I could get used to this.