Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Mass Libel Reform Blog – Fight for Free Speech!

This week is the first anniversary of the report
Free Speech is Not for Sale, which highlighted the oppressive nature of English libel law.

In short, the law is extremely hostile to writers, while being unreasonably friendly towards powerful corporations and individuals who want to silence critics.

The English libel law is particularly dangerous for bloggers, who are generally not backed by publishers, and who can end up being sued in London regardless of where the blog was posted. The internet allows bloggers to reach a global audience, but it also allows the High Court in London to have a global reach.

You can read more about the peculiar and grossly unfair nature of English libel law at the website of the Libel Reform Campaign. You will see that the campaign is not calling for the removal of libel law, but for a libel law that is fair and which would allow writers a reasonable opportunity to express their opinion and then defend it.

The good news is that the British Government has made a commitment to draft a bill that will reform libel, but it is essential that bloggers and their readers send a strong signal to politicians so that they follow through on this promise. You can do this by joining me and over 50,000 others who have signed the libel reform petition.

Remember, you can sign the petition whatever your nationality and wherever you live. Indeed, signatories from overseas remind British politicians that the English libel law is out of step with the rest of the free world.

If you have already signed the petition, then please encourage friends, family and colleagues to sign up. Moreover, if you have your own blog, you can join hundreds of other bloggers by posting this blog on your own site. There is a real chance that bloggers could help change the most censorious libel law in the democratic world.

We must speak out to defend free speech. Please sign the petition for libel reform.


  1. If you are sued for anything you post on your blog, you deserve it! I am a complementary therapist who practices one of the disciplines you 'tear apart' in your blog. I find it disrespectful and totally unfair of you. If I didn't know better, I would suspect you of having a career or interest in traditional general medicine, a drugs company or some other field in danger of losing their income due to the (thankful) rise of complementary therapies - many of which do in fact work extremely well - even though many have not had scientific examination. Personally, I have testimony after testimony from clients of mine who have benefited enormously from my treatments - a treatment you dismiss as being potentially rubbish. There can surely be only a financial or other sinister motive for this blog, that's for sure. Why else waste time writing this stuff, haven't you got a life?

  2. Hi, Anonymous!

    Here's an idea. Tell me who you are, I'll write something about you, and then you can sue me. Yes?


  3. @Anonymous- it can be a bit of a glib mantra, but once more, the plural of "Anecdote"* is not "Evidence".

    The thing is, many (most) CAM therapies have had scientific examination. often, this is not exactly in-depth, as they are so bonkers as to not warrent spending time and money investigating them.
    Others, such as big ones like homeopathy and chiropractic, have had vast amounbts of very good research done- that shows no benifits. CAM practioners choose to ignore this and cherry pick poor studies with positive results.

    *your testimonies are anecdotes.


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