EXCLUSIVE – Lord McAlpine Admits to Chip Abuse
This headline is entirely true.
On his own admission Lord McAlpine used to subsist on a diet of egg and chips.
Many people think if something is true, under UK law it can’t be libellous – despite any other implications there may or may not be.
Under UK libel law, if a judge thinks that a statement could mislead someone into believing something damaging, it could be libellous – even if the statement is true.
Sally Bercow didn’t actually write anything untrue about Lord McAlpine – she asked why Lord McAlpine was trending on Twitter – which he was. However, the court decided her now famous tweet implied something much more serious and damaging to Lord McAlpine’s reputation.
In the UK, not even the truth is protection from any wealthy person who may want to stop someone with less money than they have from saying something they don’t like.
And as a result, in the UK just the threat of libel from someone richer than they are will shut most people up.
In fact, UK libel law is such a laughing stock around the world that the US government passed an act specifically to protect US citizens from it, mainly as a result of a case in which US journalist Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote a book uncovering financing of terrorist organisations and was sued by a Saudi businessman in Britain – despite the book never having even been published in the UK and the businessman not being a UK citizen.
The coalition government claims it has put a stop to this so-called ‘libel tourism’. However, the small reforms of the libel law they introduced didn’t include a crucial ‘public interest’ exception and does nothing to protect UK citizens from anyone rich and powerful bullying them into silence – regardless of the truth.
In fact, UK law only gives protection to rich and powerful people like Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith, who both used UK libel laws to prevent anyone even investigating their evil abuse of helpless, parentless children.
So be warned – if you live in the UK – sharing this blogpost could well be libellous.
If you want to see first hand a US libel lawyer’s opinion of the ridiculousness of UK libel laws – read this devastating blogpost:
You can see my original 2011 Lord McAlpine satirical article about his abuse of chips here.
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