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Chancellor Berdryn was forced onto the defensive yesterday, after the Court of Prestations granted his application for a gagging order against blogger Calder Dirk.  Initially, the Chancellor’s office responded confidently to media requests for comment with a brief statement about purveyors of rumour and lies having no right to hide behind the shield of free speech.  However, the Chancellor’s spokesman got shirty when it became clear that no one in the media had ever heard of Calder Dirk, or had any idea of what Dirk had said that justified a gagging order.  ‘Look, he’s just some squirt that wants to spread muck about the Chancellor,’ she said.  ‘Let it go.’


Needless to say, the media didn’t let it go.  Dirk was tracked down to an anonymous suburb of Prestix, where he refused to leave his house or comment.  One reporter did, however, manage to glean some information from one of Dirk’s children as she returned home from school.  The child let slip that Dirk is a member of the Aspersion Covenant, before her mother dragged her inside the house.


So far, no one has been found who remembers ever reading Calder Dirk’s blog, or is even aware that he had one.  However, his neighbour Stramfled Udger had this to say:  ‘Calder’s a rum fellow, and no mistake.  Obsessed, he was, I reckon.  I never had much to talk to him about, but I’d pass the time of day if I saw him, like, just to be neighbourly, although my wife always says I shouldn’t talk to him.  “Nice day, Calder!” I’d say, and he’d reply with something political like, “Not so nice if you’re a duty servant in the Department of Education.”  Or, “Yes it is, and even nicer if you know things about the Chancellor’s mother like I do.”  And he’d tap his nose and wink as if I was meant to understand what he was on about.  Harmless, I always thought.  But now I’m not so sure.’


Blog host Qnet also refused to comment, saying only that it had taken down Dirk’s blog in accordance with the court order.


The Court of Prestations’ order offers few clues, disclosing only that the court, ‘on being satisfied that it is on the balance of convenience appropriate to do so, decrees that any person publishing the views or comments of the said Calder Dirk, shall be liable to subjection.’  Chancellor Berdryn’s application has not been made public, so the basis on which the court made its decision is unknown.


What is known is this:  two days ago no one paid any attention to Calder Dirk’s ravings, but now the race is on to scoop the story of what it is he said that so worried the leader of the planet’s greatest democracy.

Chancellor accused of censorship