What triggered this of course was the use of taxpayers' money by the chief executive of Carmarthenshire County Council, Mark James, to counter-sue blogger Jacqui Thompson.
Nearly four weeks later, Mr James has put pen to paper to set out his side of the story once again in the latest stage of his victory parade which has featured articles on the council's website, the council's staff newsletter and the Carmarthen Journal as well as what can only loosely be described as an interview on Radio Carmarthenshire. Who knows, perhaps we can also look forward to yet more on this subject in a future edition of the council's newspaper, Carmarthenshire News.
The Western Mail piece takes up most of a page (it is not yet available online) and repeats most of what we have heard so many times before. This was a "six year unlawful campaign of harassment, defamation and intimidation", Mr James tells readers.
Well, no it wasn't, but there is no point in going through the detail of the case now. Suffice it to say that if justice is to be served, the case will go to appeal and the verdict will be overturned.
Mr James goes on to say that all three political groups on the council, and "all three group leaders in particular were of the view that this individual had gone too far, [and] that the council should defend itself vigorously".
The three group leaders are Kevin Madge (Labour), Pam Palmer (Independent) and Peter Hughes Griffiths (Plaid Cymru). As far as we know none of them has made any sort of public statement about the case or said whether they supported the use of public money to bring libel actions.
There is something distinctly disturbing about an unelected official telling the public what the views of elected representatives are. Perhaps readers may like to write to the three leaders to get an opinion at first-hand.
Mr James then says that the case re-affirms where the law has been for some time to allow public bodies such as councils to indemnify "one of its employees" to bring an action for defamation.
The Local Authorities (Indemnities for Members and Officers) (Wales) Order 2006 specifically prohibits indemnities to bring libel actions, but that minor inconvenience is overlooked.
The most breathtaking claims are left to the end, where the chief executive turns to the subject of costs. Whatever the final bill is, he says, the likely cost to the council will run into "tens of thousands of pounds"(hundreds of thousands may be the real total) - "money which could and should have been spent on schools, elderly care, highways, leisure, libraries, etc."
No expense was spared by Mr James in fighting this case:
- The council engaged some of the most expensive legal expertise in Britain.
- Teams of very highly paid people shuttled backwards and forwards between London and Carmarthen for more than a year
- Mr James and his entourage travelled first class to London and back
- The entourage included the council's press manager and other "essential" personnel
- The council's limos were pressed into service to convey Mr James and his entourage to Swansea in order to catch the London train when the trial was in progress
It's also worth remembering that what sparked the battle in the High Court was a letter which Mr James wrote to the Mad Axeman blog. Mr James manages to avoid mentioning that it was he who wrote and sent the letter, and goes into the third person to say merely that a letter was sent on behalf of the council, before using the royal we:
This was the first and only time we had set out the council's position.
Whether "we" consulted the council's elected members before sending the letter and landing the taxpayer with a huge bill is quite another question.