Mosley gives a weak defence

Max Mosley, Red Bull, 2006, 270150

Max Mosley has given an interview to the Sunday Telegraph – whose F1 correspondent Kevin Garside was just about the only journalist to stick up for the FIA President following the sex scandal story in the News of the World. Mosley made his position on the matter quite clear:

I think what happens is they think ‘what can we get at him, ah yes, we can say he’s this Nazi. Is there any basis for Nazism? Not really, but we can kind of invent something and then focus on the family name.’ The whole thing was quite deliberate from that point of view because it adds to the story.

He continued to insist that the majority of people within the FIA support him, despite very few having said so in public.

For every letter I’ve had from a club president saying ‘I think you should step down’ or ‘I think you should consider your position’, I’ve had seven, slightly more than seven, who said ‘you’ve absolutely got to stay, don’t give an inch’, and ‘this is the most outrageous invasion’, and suggesting that there’s more to this than meets the eye, which of course there may be.

Mosley was dismissive of the criticism saying:

None of the heavyweights have said anything, the people who really are the opinion formers in Formula 1. There’s a few ex-drivers.

Which is simply not true. Are BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Honda not heavyweights? Is Mark Webber an ex-driver?

The Nazi angle is irrelevant

It’s becoming clear that there are two key matters that lie at the heart of the whole sordid debate.

The first is the ‘Nazi’ thing which, as I wrote in my very first post on the subject, seems like a dubious connection as it is one that British tabloids are fixated with.

If Mosley does have as many supporters as he claims to I think they’re standing by him because they don’t believe the Nazi angle.

But even if the Nazi thing isn’t true, the News of the World have given Mosley more than rope to hang himself with, and he’s grasped it with both hands.

The fall

That’s because of the second point: the President of the FIA has been revealed to be someone who gets a sexual thrill out of punishing people. Last year he levied an unprecedented fine against a team led by a man who we know Mosley does not like.

Can we honestly now say with any confidence that Mosley handed out that punishment because he thought it was the correct thing to do and not because he got a kick out of doing it?

What about when Eddie Irvine appealed against a one-race ban in 1994 and it suddenly became a three-race ban – a move that stunned many in the sport? What about Toyota’s expulsion from the World Rally Championship in 1995?

These were all controversial cases that led to severe punishments. The FIA president must be able to hand out these kinds of punishments when they are deserved. What we now know about Mosley makes it impossible to believe he can act with impartiality in these matters.

The moral argument

Mosley is trying to make the debate all about the ‘Nazi’ element and ignore the wider question of whether you can be considered a fair judge when you admit to being sexually aroused by administering punishment.

The reason he’s doing that is because the meeting on June 3rd to decide his future will surely have a lot to say about this clasue:

According to Article 27 of the Statutes of the FIA:

The World Motor Sport Council may directly impose the sanctions provided for in the International Sporting Code, and where appropriate the World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism may impose fines on or demand the exclusion from FIA bodies or international sporting events of licence holders, executive officers or members of ASNs or ACNs:

5) who by words, deeds or writings have inflicted moral injury and loss on the FIA, a World Council, their Members or their executive officers.

By focussing on the ‘Nazi’ part of the revelations he is trying to distract attention away from the heart of the matter – the real reason why he can’t stay in his job any more, and why every day that passes with him still in that role damages F1 even more.

NB. I’m sure you’re all as sick of this sordid story as I am – I’ve got some ‘proper’ posts on the way shortly.

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100 comments on Mosley gives a weak defence

  1. D Winn said on 20th April 2008, 20:59

    I suspect that the number of MMs’ letters of support are as credible as the lot of complaints’ he had about the McLaren garage position in Bahrain.   Ref:
    http://timesonline.typepad.com/formula_one/2008/04/the-mclaren-g-1.html

  2. Dave Jones said on 20th April 2008, 21:03

    Facts are facts and Mosley IS a pervert.
    I doubt any proper court would have imposed a 100 million dollar fine on Mclaren when there was NO proof that they did anything wrong.

  3. Lady Snowcat said on 20th April 2008, 21:12

    I am just worried that the NOTW may have managed, by printing salacious stories of private activities, which apparently have no Nazi connotations despite their suggestions of this, to effectively blackmail the WMSC into possibly sacking Max…

    The same guy who was litigating against a sister paper…

    Max was foolish and unwise in his personal life but many people are… that doesn’t make them less suited for their jobs… unless the activity is related to their job…

    If there really were no Nazi connotations why oh why is everyone quite so exercised…

    Or is it just a case of "We don’t like Max and don’t care why he’s going, he should just go!"… if so I am disappointed as that is irrational and just asks for the NOTW and other Murdoch papers to do this again, and again and again….

    That would be wrong….

    PS I am not a particular fan of Max’s but would want him ousted for the right reasons not the wrong ones…. 

  4. D Winn said on 20th April 2008, 21:23

    Fireblade Mosley will defend his position on the basis that the case against him is founded on illegally-obtained material. McLaren made a similar plea when they faced the FIA last summer after being accused of a different kind of cheating in the Stepneygate saga. The response, published by the FIA in their transcripts of the hearing, was unequivocal: "The World Council’s only concern is whether that list is accurate and truthful. We are not concerned with whether there are issues over how that is obtained. Unless there is evidence that it is forged or inaccurate, we will take it on its face value. We do not enter a debate about Italian law; we have neither the time nor the skills for that." And the author of those quotes? Yup, you guessed it, none other than Mr Max Mosley. As you say – “I smell double-standard fumes…"

  5. To be honest any reason that ousts Mosley is the right one. There have been enough "right" reasons in the past that haven’t done the job, and I think at this stage most people with rightly take any reason going.

  6. Oliver said on 20th April 2008, 21:38

    I think in the past people have been forced to resign from positions they held because they either gambled, drank or took drugs. All things that had to do with their private lives, but still felt as compromising the position they held. And in Mosley’s case, its been found that he is a sick individual. Even if "half the world" did it, that doesn’t make it the correct for of sexual stimuli. According to the story, he got turned on by inflicting pain and also receiving same, beating someone till they bled? you call that normal?

    The real issues here are not that Max had his privacy invaded, its just that he has shown his hands to be a hypocrite and a self centered individual who is oblivious to the damage he leaves around him. As I stated in a previous post some days back, if he derives pleasure from inflicting physical pain, he will also derive pleasure from inflicting emotional pain, because he is a psychopath.  His actions, have been responsible for many teams going under. Imagine if a poor team like Super Aguri really had to build their cars this year to meet the regulations, they would have wasted even more money as they will then have to build a fresh car the following year.

    All manufactures in the sport and and those wanting to come in, have always asked for a stable regulation. With a stable regulation they can plan out incremental performance steps probably over many years as it may be possible for a team to use the same cars for several years. But as it is now, a new regulation change almost certainly requires the construction of a new car or expensive modifications to an existing car. This was the same man who wanted the use of slimmer tyres  in 1995 because he felt drivers were not flying of the track and crashing, thus there was not enough spectacle.

  7. Lady Snowcat said on 20th April 2008, 21:56

    Hmmm….
    I see that the force against the guy is strong… and you believe he is from "The Dark Side"…. but I still think that on this…. you guys are not quite rational…
    And I think you’ll find it’s a case of "Be careful what you wish for…it might just happen"…. and it won’t be at all what you expect…

    But no doubt we’ll see pretty soon now…

  8. D Winn said on 20th April 2008, 22:01

    Lady Snowcat, do you imply that we may end up with TWO gnomes running F1 ?

  9. Oliver said on 20th April 2008, 22:03

    I may also want to include the Mclaren fine fiasco into this argument. The FIA (Max) had just imposed a penalty of $100 Million on Mclaren. Despite that, he still left a the possibility of inflicting further punishment on the team if the FIA at a later date discovered that Mclaren had actually used the Ferrari information. In other words, he was already looking for ways to keep punishing the team for the same offense over and over again all through the season. This was not just and issue of being right, it was hatred, and basically he could punish Mclaren and Mercedes at the same time because, he hates Ron Dennis for the fact he was a mechanic who made it into the aristocratic world, and also Mercedes were the key instigators of the GPMA or a potentially rival, car manufacters based alternative to F1. He could not resist the opportunity to inflict pain on both parties. Not saying the Renualt allegation was base less, but he was almost apologetic in dismissing the case against Renualt, without first hearing evidence.

  10. Fireblade “3-The writer seems not to be living in Europe where hiring prostitutes is legalized. “

    And even if YOU DO live in the EU at best that statement is disingenuous. Every facet of the “profession” isn’t legal, in fact it’s illegal for a “potential client to solicit persistently, or solicit from a motor vehicle in the U.K.”

    Do YOU have specific and verifiable knowledge Mosley wasn’t persistent in his solicitation of the five girls?

    If so state it and give a source of your knowledge.

    Fireblade“4-Why did the objective writer not investigate the persons and interest groups who are standing beside this set-up crime?”

    Have you? You seem to imply there has been a set-up by someone, who did it? An “objective writer,” to use your terminology, wouldn’t make assertions without some type of proof, where’s yours?

    Fireblade, you’ve also noted the release of this filmed sordid episode and his right to privacy. While true he has that right the key question is who filmed it. Do you know for fact it wasn’t Max himself for his use at a later time?

    While the paper may be held culpable at some point for releasing it to the public, if Max had anything to do with the actual filming he’s in violation of English law that states it must have a basis of “perceived literary merit.” The film obviously fails that test and is illegal under the law.

    An “objective writer” would have noted that, you didn’t Fireblade, why not?

  11. It is beyond all belief that anyone with a whit of common sense can defend the "personal" acts of Max Mosley as not having an impact on his public decisions.

    When will society stop defending the rights of morally defective personalities in office when the public in general suffer the consequences? He’s got to go, end of story.

  12. Lady Snowcat said on 21st April 2008, 0:13

    Oh dear…. so my views on privacy are beyond belief GK…

    Perhaps a lack of imagination there…. and as Max hasn’t insisted I take part in his "activities" then the only consequences I, or any commentator here has suffered are that the NOTW have tried to make us believe it’s important… when it just isn’t…. neither is it relevant….

    I don’t rate joining in a witch hunt as common sense but then perhaps I am just not used to stepping back in time like that….
    I had thought burning at the stake had gone out of fashion …but perhaps not….

    And as to the filming…. I suggest you read the Telegraph article in full folks….

    And finally… McLaren were guilty guys…they even had to admit it in the end…. bringing it up now suggests a bias in the matter rather than a balanced view….

    But in the end… if you are so wound up about people’s private passions and find them relevant to motorsport then I am sure nothing I say will change your mind….

    I guess you really, really couldn’t stand James Hunt or Eddie Irvine, not to mention many of the revered latter day heros of the track either….

  13. Rabi said on 21st April 2008, 0:34

    Lady Snowcat you are talking absolute rubbish, sorry but it has to be said. Privacy is all fine and well but people’s privacy is violated on a daily basis with no consequences handed out to the persons who conducted the violation in the first place.

    You are absolutly missing the point the guy was involved with prostitutes and was stupid enough to get caught. Surely you read the paper or remember an ounce of history within the UK and should realise what happens to people that are caught red handed with prostitutes. It nosedives!

    Case in hand read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Allan_Green
    That person was also a barrister, and was head of the Crown Prosecution Service, so again just as an important – if not more so – position than Max.

    I suggest you stop defending him there is sufficient evidence that he was doing what the NOTW were claiming. Talking in German, prisoner apparrel and a prison guard uniforms, also with his parent’s being two of Britain’s most notorious Nazis it doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

  14. Fireblade said on 21st April 2008, 0:52

    Well said Lady Snowcat!
    By the way…As I mentioned before…I want anyone to critizise his work..not his private life…so why did the whole blog switched to mute mode when i asked for the critizism of Mosley’s work attitude?
    The best jokes I have heard on this blog,where the far-fetched illusions of some daydreamers that Martin Brundle or Ron Dennis should be Mosley’s successor…
    well press zero and continue daydreaming!
    P.S:Do we have anyone on this blog who honestly thinks that the FIA treated McLaren in an unfair manner during the spy-scandal….?

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