WALTHAM FOREST: Labour slammed for 'stealing' blogger's photo

WALTHAM FOREST: Labour slammed for 'stealing' blogger's photo

The Labour Party leaflet.

The original photograph taken by 'Freewheeler' in Chingford.

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A PROMINENT Walthamstow blogger and Green Party supporter has said he is outraged after the Labour Party used one of his photographs in its election campaign without permission.

The owner of the 'Crap Cycling and Walking in Waltham Forest' website, who operates under the pseudonym Freewheeler, has demanded an apology after his image of a street in Chingford was used in a leaflet distributed to thousands of households in Walthamstow.

Freewheeler, who uses his site to regularly criticise the council's leading Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition for its “poor” treatment of cyclists and pedestrians, said the use of the image amounted to a “blatant infringement” of copyright.

He told the Guardian: “I think it's outrageous that they can lazily steal from my website and then think they can get away with it.

“I’m planning to vote for the Green Party, and as a Green Party supporter I bitterly resent photos on this blog being pilfered by the local Labour Party and misused to attack the Lib Dems.

“They have trimmed my photograph of Westward Road in Chingford in order to attack what they call ‘the Lib Dem failure on parking’.

“But Westward Road is not in a controlled parking zone. My photograph was designed to show how the policy of allowing cars to park on narrow pavements degrades the walking environment and can result in obstruction. It has nothing whatever to do with the Liberal Democrats or their policy on Controlled Parking Zones.

“It was the Labour Party which created these street conditions, long before the party ever formed a coalition with the Lib Dems.”

He added: “It shows that they do read my blog, but I wish they would pay as much attention to the words as they do to the pictures.”

Labour Party Walthamstow campaign worker James Butler said: "We take great care in ensuring that all our photos are taken by ourselves or are copyright free.

"It appears in this instance that one of our design team has made an innocent error which we regret."

Comments (12)

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8:41am Thu 22 Apr 10

Tom Thumb says...

The Labour Party quite obviously has taken its photograph from this blog.
The link is here http://crapwalthamfo
rest.blogspot.com/20
10/04/waltham-forest
-labour-party-has-ch
eek.html

I'm not surprised Freewheeler is cheesed off. The Labour Party must be getting desperate!
The Labour Party quite obviously has taken its photograph from this blog. The link is here http://crapwalthamfo rest.blogspot.com/20 10/04/waltham-forest -labour-party-has-ch eek.html I'm not surprised Freewheeler is cheesed off. The Labour Party must be getting desperate! Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

8:42am Thu 22 Apr 10

Techno2 says...

The Labour Party are so used to having a parasitic relationship with the peoples and resources of Waltham Forest that I am not surprised that they would feel free to do this kind of thing. They sometimes behave as if think they own everyone and everything.

They also regularly take over our schools and public buildings for their polticial activities without so much as a by-your-leave to anybody, happily using photos of our school-children to promote their party-political agendas. I am therefore not in the least surprised that someone would do this to freewheeler, nor that they would be 'surprised' when he complains - not because they don't know they do these kinds of things, but because they are so arrogant as to assume them no-one will ever ask them to explain themselves.
The Labour Party are so used to having a parasitic relationship with the peoples and resources of Waltham Forest that I am not surprised that they would feel free to do this kind of thing. They sometimes behave as if think they own everyone and everything. They also regularly take over our schools and public buildings for their polticial activities without so much as a by-your-leave to anybody, happily using photos of our school-children to promote their party-political agendas. I am therefore not in the least surprised that someone would do this to freewheeler, nor that they would be 'surprised' when he complains - not because they don't know they do these kinds of things, but because they are so arrogant as to assume them no-one will ever ask them to explain themselves. Techno2
  • Score: 0

8:50am Thu 22 Apr 10

Tom Thumb says...

Techno2 wrote:
The Labour Party are so used to having a parasitic relationship with the peoples and resources of Waltham Forest that I am not surprised that they would feel free to do this kind of thing. They sometimes behave as if think they own everyone and everything. They also regularly take over our schools and public buildings for their polticial activities without so much as a by-your-leave to anybody, happily using photos of our school-children to promote their party-political agendas. I am therefore not in the least surprised that someone would do this to freewheeler, nor that they would be 'surprised' when he complains - not because they don't know they do these kinds of things, but because they are so arrogant as to assume them no-one will ever ask them to explain themselves.
I agree with every word of that, Techno.
[quote][p][bold]Techno2[/bold] wrote: The Labour Party are so used to having a parasitic relationship with the peoples and resources of Waltham Forest that I am not surprised that they would feel free to do this kind of thing. They sometimes behave as if think they own everyone and everything. They also regularly take over our schools and public buildings for their polticial activities without so much as a by-your-leave to anybody, happily using photos of our school-children to promote their party-political agendas. I am therefore not in the least surprised that someone would do this to freewheeler, nor that they would be 'surprised' when he complains - not because they don't know they do these kinds of things, but because they are so arrogant as to assume them no-one will ever ask them to explain themselves.[/p][/quote]I agree with every word of that, Techno. Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

9:02am Thu 22 Apr 10

Tom Thumb says...

Also the blogger's photo originally appeared in a piece on his blog about the Westward Road area traffic scheme in Chingford. That's the one which this paper recently reported was rejected by 65 per cent of local residents who didn't want the proposed change on their street. But despite this "consultation" it is going ahead anyway. Yet more arrogance by the council.
Also the blogger's photo originally appeared in a piece on his blog about the Westward Road area traffic scheme in Chingford. That's the one which this paper recently reported was rejected by 65 per cent of local residents who didn't want the proposed change on their street. But despite this "consultation" it is going ahead anyway. Yet more arrogance by the council. Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

10:33am Thu 22 Apr 10

fabster says...

Oh deary me... never mind the sheer laziness of nicking an online jpg when they could have easily sent someone out with a digital camera to take their own photo.

Incredibly, they've also distorted its context by misleading us with an image which bears no relation to parking charges on a street which is not even in a controlled zone.

Labour demonstrate to be behind the times if they think bloggers and online commentators will not catch them out. Gone are the days where they cannot be held accountable or remain unexposed. Now anyone who keeps abreast of local issues can set up a blog and tell it as they see it.

Indeed, we are fortunate in the borough to have several great bloggers who enlighten us with an alternative view to the biased editorials that pretend to be news in the Waltham Forest 'Newspaper'.

We await to see how the local Labour party comment to this revelation which can only be embarrassing for their canvassers, since the Labour Councillors are beyond arrogance, I think this is mostly going to be water off a duck's back for them.

In recent facebook communications with Stella, she tried to mislead me about Kier's street cleaning contractual services, contrary to what I've seen with my own eyes. That's when I realised without Neil Gerrard, it's time to sweep up & bin Liaquat, Stella & crew.
Oh deary me... never mind the sheer laziness of nicking an online jpg when they could have easily sent someone out with a digital camera to take their own photo. Incredibly, they've also distorted its context by misleading us with an image which bears no relation to parking charges on a street which is not even in a controlled zone. Labour demonstrate to be behind the times if they think bloggers and online commentators will not catch them out. Gone are the days where they cannot be held accountable or remain unexposed. Now anyone who keeps abreast of local issues can set up a blog and tell it as they see it. Indeed, we are fortunate in the borough to have several great bloggers who enlighten us with an alternative view to the biased editorials that pretend to be news in the Waltham Forest 'Newspaper'. We await to see how the local Labour party comment to this revelation which can only be embarrassing for their canvassers, since the Labour Councillors are beyond arrogance, I think this is mostly going to be water off a duck's back for them. In recent facebook communications with Stella, she tried to mislead me about Kier's street cleaning contractual services, contrary to what I've seen with my own eyes. That's when I realised without Neil Gerrard, it's time to sweep up & bin Liaquat, Stella & crew. fabster
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Fri 23 Apr 10

maltesers says...

As "Freewheeler" chooses not to allow people reading his blog to either comment on his posts or email him directly, how can anybody ever contact him to obtain his permission?
As "Freewheeler" chooses not to allow people reading his blog to either comment on his posts or email him directly, how can anybody ever contact him to obtain his permission? maltesers
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Sun 25 Apr 10

Another High Street Resident says...

Freewheeler does some excellent work and doesn't deserve to have it nicked and misused in this way. I seem to recall the council played fast-and-loose with some of Hal Satterthwaite's '1000 Faces of Walthamstow' photographs a few years back. Anyway, I've looked on his cycling website and noted many images of drivers using mobiles plus details of vehicles and numberplates but haven't noticed any of cyclists on footpaths - the scourge of pedestrians in this borough. A little hypocritical perhaps? I once mentioned this to the 'spy car' which had upped-periscope nearby as cyclist rode past on the pavement. When I asked why they didn't do anything about it the reply was "because they don't have numberplates", which is fair comment I suppose - as far as it goes. Perhaps Freewheeler could also persuade the cycling fraternity to use the new rank of cycle stands outside Blackhorse Road station and desist from using the railings.
Freewheeler does some excellent work and doesn't deserve to have it nicked and misused in this way. I seem to recall the council played fast-and-loose with some of Hal Satterthwaite's '1000 Faces of Walthamstow' photographs a few years back. Anyway, I've looked on his cycling website and noted many images of drivers using mobiles plus details of vehicles and numberplates but haven't noticed any of cyclists on footpaths - the scourge of pedestrians in this borough. A little hypocritical perhaps? I once mentioned this to the 'spy car' which had upped-periscope nearby as cyclist rode past on the pavement. When I asked why they didn't do anything about it the reply was "because they don't have numberplates", which is fair comment I suppose - as far as it goes. Perhaps Freewheeler could also persuade the cycling fraternity to use the new rank of cycle stands outside Blackhorse Road station and desist from using the railings. Another High Street Resident
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Mon 26 Apr 10

livedheretoolong says...

maltesers wrote:
As "Freewheeler" chooses not to allow people reading his blog to either comment on his posts or email him directly, how can anybody ever contact him to obtain his permission?
I agree with maltesers.
I am a keen cyclist and have followed Freewheeler's blog for a couple of years. Whilst I don't agree with much of what is said I admire his/her dedication to the cause and the hard work that must go into maintaining the blog with such a huge amount of material on a daily basis.
Freewheeler loves to criticise all around for the state of cycling in the borough but if he/she wants to have real influence and power then he/she needs to engage with like minded folk in order to build up more support. He/she like to regularly boast that councillors like Bob Belam read his/her blog but so what? Bob may not be with us after the next election so who will read his blog then?
In the end it all seems a bit pointless. It does not encourage anyone else to have their say and contribute to the debate which seems to me like a waste of a great opportunity.
[quote][p][bold]maltesers[/bold] wrote: As "Freewheeler" chooses not to allow people reading his blog to either comment on his posts or email him directly, how can anybody ever contact him to obtain his permission?[/p][/quote]I agree with maltesers. I am a keen cyclist and have followed Freewheeler's blog for a couple of years. Whilst I don't agree with much of what is said I admire his/her dedication to the cause and the hard work that must go into maintaining the blog with such a huge amount of material on a daily basis. Freewheeler loves to criticise all around for the state of cycling in the borough but if he/she wants to have real influence and power then he/she needs to engage with like minded folk in order to build up more support. He/she like to regularly boast that councillors like Bob Belam read his/her blog but so what? Bob may not be with us after the next election so who will read his blog then? In the end it all seems a bit pointless. It does not encourage anyone else to have their say and contribute to the debate which seems to me like a waste of a great opportunity. livedheretoolong
  • Score: 0

1:16am Wed 28 Apr 10

Techno2 says...

livedheretoolong wrote:
maltesers wrote: As "Freewheeler" chooses not to allow people reading his blog to either comment on his posts or email him directly, how can anybody ever contact him to obtain his permission?
I agree with maltesers. I am a keen cyclist and have followed Freewheeler's blog for a couple of years. Whilst I don't agree with much of what is said I admire his/her dedication to the cause and the hard work that must go into maintaining the blog with such a huge amount of material on a daily basis. Freewheeler loves to criticise all around for the state of cycling in the borough but if he/she wants to have real influence and power then he/she needs to engage with like minded folk in order to build up more support. He/she like to regularly boast that councillors like Bob Belam read his/her blog but so what? Bob may not be with us after the next election so who will read his blog then? In the end it all seems a bit pointless. It does not encourage anyone else to have their say and contribute to the debate which seems to me like a waste of a great opportunity.
'It does not encourage anyone else to have their say'

Er, what are you doing now?
[quote][p][bold]livedheretoolong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]maltesers[/bold] wrote: As "Freewheeler" chooses not to allow people reading his blog to either comment on his posts or email him directly, how can anybody ever contact him to obtain his permission?[/p][/quote]I agree with maltesers. I am a keen cyclist and have followed Freewheeler's blog for a couple of years. Whilst I don't agree with much of what is said I admire his/her dedication to the cause and the hard work that must go into maintaining the blog with such a huge amount of material on a daily basis. Freewheeler loves to criticise all around for the state of cycling in the borough but if he/she wants to have real influence and power then he/she needs to engage with like minded folk in order to build up more support. He/she like to regularly boast that councillors like Bob Belam read his/her blog but so what? Bob may not be with us after the next election so who will read his blog then? In the end it all seems a bit pointless. It does not encourage anyone else to have their say and contribute to the debate which seems to me like a waste of a great opportunity.[/p][/quote]'It does not encourage anyone else to have their say' Er, what are you doing now? Techno2
  • Score: 0

1:20am Wed 28 Apr 10

Earle Martin says...

As a cyclist in the borough myself and as someone who has talked to councillors a little bit about cycling issues I've often wanted to comment directly on Freewheeler's blog. It's a pity.
As a cyclist in the borough myself and as someone who has talked to councillors a little bit about cycling issues I've often wanted to comment directly on Freewheeler's blog. It's a pity. Earle Martin
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Wed 28 Apr 10

livedheretoolong says...

In reply to Techno2:
'It does not encourage anyone else to have their say'
Er, what are you doing now?

The point I was making (which I'm sure you understood) is that you can't comment directly on Freewheeler's blog.
This is unlike another local blog called "archipelago of truth" run by a local activist who calls him/herself "technomist". I was struck by the similarity of this bloggers name and your own!
This fellow "technomist" seem to be a bit of a lib dem supporter so its possible they were upset about my reference to Bob Belam possibly not being around after the next election.
So, I would like to make it clear that I would be very pleased to see Bob win his seat after all the dirty work that has been going on in his party.
In reply to Techno2: 'It does not encourage anyone else to have their say' Er, what are you doing now? The point I was making (which I'm sure you understood) is that you can't comment directly on Freewheeler's blog. This is unlike another local blog called "archipelago of truth" run by a local activist who calls him/herself "technomist". I was struck by the similarity of this bloggers name and your own! This fellow "technomist" seem to be a bit of a lib dem supporter so its possible they were upset about my reference to Bob Belam possibly not being around after the next election. So, I would like to make it clear that I would be very pleased to see Bob win his seat after all the dirty work that has been going on in his party. livedheretoolong
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Wed 28 Apr 10

livedheretoolong says...

The other point I forgot to mention was that by making a comment I was trying to raise the general awareness of Freewheeler's blog to other readers of the Guardian who might glance at the list of stories and be curious as to why so many comments have been made about a particular article.
And in case anyone reading is still wondering what all the fuss is about all you need to do is to type "crap cycling & walking in waltham forest" into Google or other search engine and then click on the link to the site.
Happy reading!
The other point I forgot to mention was that by making a comment I was trying to raise the general awareness of Freewheeler's blog to other readers of the Guardian who might glance at the list of stories and be curious as to why so many comments have been made about a particular article. And in case anyone reading is still wondering what all the fuss is about all you need to do is to type "crap cycling & walking in waltham forest" into Google or other search engine and then click on the link to the site. Happy reading! livedheretoolong
  • Score: 0

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