Sunday 5 March 2023


To interested parties this is the short version aimed only at assistance nudging forward a feature film. Perhaps funding to write the book, at last, too. At the time - 2006, I was offered a book deal but I wavered as in fact I wished to only focus on the fullest parenting, undistracted, of lassie.

To super simplify.

And it is a feature film as I was many times told 2003-6 by many in the media it has all the ingredients of a splendidly griping melodrama: MOVEMENT (travel), arrest, Midnight Express type slammer,  love, etc...

Someone gets it right and who knows. One of my very favourite movies made a 40 times return on investment. Not 400%  - for a million bucks put in they got 40 million back.

The famous 2006 test case.

It is in one respect  - the key respect, similar to the famous 'longest case ever'  that became a very dull movie  said to have been officially viewed - screenings and streaming, 5 million times.

Our cases were both 'anti establishment' 'truth to power' (in all this i prefer the lexicon anti the SYSTEM - which is the cabal of establishment and vested interests) and KEY: voluntary.  Helen Steel could have ignored a damages bill from McDonalds following their fairly innocuous 'campaigning'  and kept her head down and they would not have pursued her. After  9 months of a new tv career (tongue in cheek)  - December 2003 - autumn 2004, I received a bizarre gagging order (FAR more serious than the McLibel case - gagging orders are High Court Injunctions which carry up to 4 years slammer if broken - 2 years technically but weirdly no get out at half time, so it is 4 in reality). However i had already sorted out ALL i cared about - my daughter living with me, and I didn't much enjoy my media career. So it didn't actually 'matter' to me as a person (the gag).


There is one major difference though. Apart from that film simply being so inadequate in failing to  help show one MUST have some light relief - find the fun in it all - have real life-force and spirit or one gets ill from exhaustion (as she did), it is this:

McLibel was a routine civil (financial) claim in the civil High Court system. One judge  - acting as a HIGH COURT judge - essentially a mid ranking solo judge. (even if eventually they took aspects of  it to the European Court that is somewhat irrelevant) 

Anything interesting at the conclusion - the official judgement at the end made by the one High Court judge, is not legally that important.

Mine however...well....different story.

2002ish to 2005 there were a range of (useless) 'campaigners' from across the justice world, including officers of a 3 decade established highly  respected charity called Families Need Fathers, court officers, judges, even parliamentarians who were bleating about the draconian blanket secrecy connected to any case going through all 'family' courts - maybe 100,000 cases ongoing any year - these include the hardest cases of child removal etc ('public law' - social services cases). And be clear we knew from the days of Cathy Come Home that county councils and many in authority can be brutal cruel Nazis. 

yet all said the 'openness' or more properly put - need for the disinfectant of sunlight, or access to the media  - the DEMOS - speaking openly in the town square,  - since Ancient Greek times or earlier,  THE essential check on power  was IMPOSSIBLE to have within these courts...  (essentially Diplock courts) 

They bleated, but not one did anything about it. They even had two government consultations on this one issue in the first half of the 00s. Which were damp squibs.

In 2005 after an application to the absurd High Court judge to remove my gag (all matters being over) , which did NOT affect my real life, I made a mad decision. I still don't know why exactly, because i was the shyest quiet private person ion the world - living happily and soulfully with my lass atop a high Hill - on Hay Bluff in The Brecon Beacons, I said to myself over a few weeks (August 2005) "this is bonkers.. this law that allows these gags [very common in many areas of civil law] is nuts... especially in our case - fully televised [quite happily] 2003- 4  maybe I should appeal.... but that's big boy law.."

Everyone - all the aforementioned campaigners and many top legal minds though i had actually gone mad. All said " don't bother no one beats the secrecy system"

Here is the key difference between myself and the Mclibels

Within a few months of my bonkers application to the Appeal Court

 (this was before the Supreme Court existed so in  reality the Appeal Court was the very highest rung on the judicial ladder, as only cases of parliamentary law would go to the House of Lords after the Appeal Court stage- technically then the very highest court, but rarely used except by government) 

In late 2005 Lord Justice Wall in my stage 1 - just me and him in a dingy Royal Courts of justice basement hearing, set up a 'test case' - WITH 


to quote





(please note ALL official write ups are so badly written its a joke - especially on one key matter the 'film'...laughable)

What this means -

 as with all UK uncodified law one gets 3 different answers from 5 gathered lawyers, but of my case there is no disagreement - if two Lady /Lord Justices or more are gathered on a case, it goes STRAIGHT into UK primary ;legislation...i.e. supersedes parliament - whatever is the current law one is 'testing'.

I got THREE hahh fact the 'President' of the division maybe even counts as 2 x Lord Justices..?

(to my utter shock... having no legal training, no assistance at all - none of my fellow campaigners would help me as they though i had gone mad, and even turning up to London stage 1 of the appeal having to sleep in Acton in my camper van  the nigh before, having no dosh for hotel or the like...)

In other words the day the judgement is made (July 2006) it is automatically new, real, full on... LAW..

and even in my name 

(the other Clayton took no part ever - this was ONLY me vs the system - only the government lawyer,  Jubb QC appeared on the day to fight me at the final stage of the appeal) don't get a nice new set of family photos taken by the Daily Mail's offal photographer, that day, if you are some wonky miscreant... or misogynist creep...they find out who you are for god's sake 

(2006 day after judgement - FAR more important: day after BBC were blackmailed by me " my price, unlike the judges i cannot be bought, except.... well.... maybe there is a price,  to come on your show ... ...  2 tickets for lass and I to go see The Bard in Cardiff....on the way down... after all she is named out of his greatest unknown song  ")

And incidentally, during 100s of hours chats with ONLY the senior female journalists of the time - as the female journalists all ruled the world of domestic news,  (and Frances Gibb of The Times chief UK law writer honcho), ALL of them knew and we discussed at greatest length how this was a fundamental 'feminist'  issue. Meaning that if publicity (never mind legal precedent) was given to a man sharing fully childcare, no matter what [unless of course he is in the extreme minority of nasty dangerous peeps], then the mother is freed up to follow career and the interests. Already the 'science' so brilliantly written up in 2007 book Affluenza was clear - that if young children are shipped out to nurseries or even primary school before the age of five, or even better six, they are TRAUMATISED...  in your rat race of everyone needing to be seen with a three hundred quid pram rather than a 20 quid one i satisfied our needs with, even after divorce the ONLY best carer is the other parent, thus liberating mum to go and earn her way...
Grown up women i had the privilege of many hours chatting with for their broadsheet stories, knew this inherently 
Never mind as they shared "we know that the courts have far far far more women lying hurtfully..than men... this just makes us ashamed" which made me sad as a father of a young female... because necessary change to pure equality must only come by fair means. Or it is no victory at all.