Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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Media manipulation from Hillsborough to Leveson

Soho Skeptics

7/11/12

Chris Atkins is probably best known for his documentary film Starsuckers and he told us a bit about how it came to be and some of what’s happened since at the first Soho Skeptics event last week.

Chris pointed out that his talk could probably be summed up by one story that was doing the rounds that day – that of Brian Cox supposedly slamming the BBC for not letting them listen for alien transmissions live on air, lest it conflict with editorial guidelines…

But moving on to the talk for real, we started with documentaries. What is their purpose? They should communicate truths to the audience. Chris cited 3 of his favourites as Fog of War, Man on Wire, and Inside Job. However, he likes to do the opposite; tell the story through lies in order to expose people.

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John Maddox Prize 2012

Comments on this post are now closed – thank you to all civil contributors!

Last night I was lucky to be at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for the annual Sense About Science reception.

I am a member of Voice of Young Science, which is a network set up and supported by SAS that allows young scientists to get involved with pro-science activism. Through this group, we are able to participate in public-facing discourse about science and challenge common misconceptions. This takes the form of supporting campaigns (such as Libel Reform) and contributing to publications. For example, I picked up a copy of Peer Review: the nuts and bolts last night because I joined discussions about its content and aims. Anyone young scientists who’d like to, definitely sign up!

Many of us London-based VOYS members went along last night to show our support for SAS and the RPS, and to find out who won the first John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science. Sir John Maddox was a long-term editor of Nature and helped expand Sense About Science as a charity, supporting and encouraging its work, as well as helping to establish programmes like VOYS.

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Libel Reform update: 3 years on

Background

A couple of years back I attended a Skeptics in the Pub meeting in Holborn at which Dave Gorman and Prof Brian Cox came to support Simon Singh. He had been served a libel threat by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) for criticising claims from chiropractors about curing colic in babies and so on. A dangerous claim to make, and, as Simon put it, a “bogus” one.

Fortunately, Simon won his case. Others haven’t been so lucky, and more threats are being issued.

There are many problems with the UK libel laws – lots of background information can be found here at libelreform.org and I’ve written some posts over the years (really rather a lot of posts actually), if you’re interested in past events.

Essentially libel laws are often used to silence fair, necessary and important criticism. People without the money to fight these hideously expensive cases tend to just give up. Individuals are bullied by large corporations, medical debates are stifled, unethical behaviour is hidden.

The libel reform campaign has been set up and run by the three charities, Sense About Science, English Pen and Index on Censorship. Two years ago there was the Big Libel Gig, to fundraise for victims of libel threats.

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Burzynski

I think it’s time for me to say something on this subject. It is after all very closely related to my current… vocation (if one can call it that, being a PhD student still!) and impacting directly on some of my friends.

One of those friends is my co-host of our long-neglected podcast, Super Duper Woo-Fighting Duo (With Capes)! – Rhys Morgan.

Edit: even BoingBoing is on it this evening!

Background

Feel free to scroll down to ‘The Threats‘ and ‘Some Interesting Correspondence‘ sections if you know all this…

The subject is one Stanislaw Burzynski, based in Houston, Texas. He offers an experimental treatment (though to call it that is probably a bit generous) to cancer patients called “Antineoplaston Therapy”. These antineoplastons are claimed to be peptides (bits of protein – though they’re generally not, technically – see comment 11 for more) found in urine. When a difference between cancer patients’ and healthy individuals’ urine peptide profile was found, an assumption was made that cancer sufferers were lacking these protein chunks and therefore replacing them should be an effective cure. A list of his patents and publications can be found here. This NYT article is extensive and demonstrates the shocking wealth accumulated:

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The 3rd Perspective

In the spheres of skepticism and alternative health there are two main perspectives we encounter:

The ‘good’ and the ‘bad’

1)      That of the incredulous skeptic who insists all is bullshit, gets angry at the quacks and tries to stop them peddling rubbish at gullible people.

2)      The alt med proponents; be they sellers or consumers, they aggressively try to persuade you that it works and big pharma/your doctor are lying to you and the global conspiracy has suppressed all the ‘natural cures’.

Of course there are various severities of those views, stronger and milder, but they’re the most prominent types.

The Ugly?

However, there is a point of view that receives less attention. The sufferers of chronic incurable conditions whose friends and family, often merely out of care and concern, insist on telling them about this or that treatment/remedy/ritual/product that will make them better or even cure them.

Once or twice these suggestions can be laughed off or you can humour the person, but after a while it becomes more difficult to ignore.

One of my best internet friends (we’ve never met but have talked for years) has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a rare genetic disorder that affects connective tissue and causes frequent and painful dislocations and many other complications, depending on the exact mutation involved, that can make life very difficult.

Recently she’s expressed extreme frustration at all the people sending her articles about things that will cure or make her feel better. She suffers from other conditions as well, including Crohn’s disease, which gives the obsessive alt medders even more ammunition. I’m going to use her words (with her permission) because they convey the feeling better than my commentary would.

Here’s your anecdotal evidence

“I now have three people trying to convince me that eating right (read bizarre hippie stuff) will “cure” my EDS. Yes cure the syndrome I have, which is caused by a faulty gene I was born with.

I’ve to boil a chicken for at least 24 hours, until the collagen in its joints breaks down, because consuming that will cure me. To think I’ve wasted all this time going to doctors who’ve only studied the condition for years and know how genes work. I should have been chatting to this woman who read a page on the internet! It had nothing to do with EDS but her logic is sound.

Until this cure kicks in, I’ve to make an “elixir” of grains which have been fermented in raw milk from a pastured cow, raw honey, chillies, vinegar and mixed aromatic spices, which has been left to stand in a dark cupboard. I’ve to make it on the night of a new moon and allow it to brew until the next new moon. I then swallow a few spoonfuls several times a day. This will build up my strength, prevent pain and stop me from catching any viruses. It’s been proven to work. The guy whose website it’s on has posted several testimonies from people who tried it (the ones who didn’t die one assumes).

I’m only in pain though because I take painkillers (amazing how that works, I thought I didn’t start taking them until I was in pain!). Oh and my genetic abnormality (that I was born with) was caused by my being fed that poison called baby milk and getting the rubella vaccine (after I was born).

Another concerned friend enlightened me with the fact that if I consume large quantities of raw milk, raw butter and raw eggs, again from those “pastured” animals, along with “good meat”, more fermented grains and fermented beans, I will cure both my Crohn’s and psoriasis pretty much immediately. She has a friend who did it and cured herself and all her children. Those idiot doctors are just trying to make money so they hide the truth from us. There are several websites that prove this too.

Yet another friend knows of an homeopathic pill which will also cure my psoriasis. Yup, expensive water on sugar pills, plus fermented beans, will cure my autoimmune diseases.”

(To jump in here myself – my friend is obviously very sensible and intelligent, she knows all this is nonsense. But not everyone has that advantage and there are a lot of vulnerable people looking for advice and support online, including very seriously ill individuals…)

Dangerous advice

“A woman posted on a forum looking for advice. She has breast cancer and breastfeeds. She’s about to start chemo and radiotherapy so has to stop feeding her baby this way. Her baby refuses to take a bottle though and frequently uses the breast for comfort but won’t take a dummy. What should she do to help him adjust? Well these educated women leapt in to help:

DO NOT go for chemo or radiotherapy, it kills more people than they let you know. Instead, go to this website or that website where they have “proven” you can cure cancer with the right diet. All you need is this combination of supplements and drink lots of vegetable juice. Don’t go back to your doctor, this man has a Facebook page that explains how to cure cancer naturally.

The best one?

You have lots of time before you need to worry, don’t trust your doctor. It’s much safer to use this diet.

Apparently, just by reading some website she trundled across one day, this woman is able to asses the progression and stage of your cancer and determine how much danger you’re in. Since she obviously knows more than any oncologist (well have you ever heard of one with this amazing skill?) I think we should all listen to her. Damn the big pharmaceutical companies and their sinister plot to suppress this life-saving knowledge. All it takes is some fermented grains, the tumor will evaporate and all remaining cancerous cells will reverse-mutate into happy ones again.

Seriously there were so many people claiming this stuff. It was scary. I hope this poor woman has the sense to ignore them. How vile can you get?  They are risking the life of a woman, with very young children, a woman they don’t even know! All because of their paranoia and their hatred of doctors and drug companies.

Oh and don’t get me started on their claims about what chiropractic can do. So many, Americans especially, believe in chiropractic and homeopathy. I wonder if they have ever actually looked at how these “treatments” are supposed to work? It’s the most surreal nonsense ever. Someone did say I should go to a chiropractor for my Crohn’s once. Of course, it’s obvious, cracking my spine is sure to stop my immune system from attacking my gut.

I know people on Facebook who take their newborn babies to chiropractors. It’s madness. Why the hell would you trust some glorified massage therapist to manipulate your baby’s spine? At best it’s painful and scary for them. God knows what they could accidentally do.

Then there are my ‘real life’ friends who keep trying to convince me I should let them do Reiki on me. It’s so logical, have someone hold their hands somewhere near you while they think really hard. I bet I can stop taking my pills after just a couple of sessions.”

I’m not stupid

“I know it comes from them wanting to help but I think it’s also that they want to show how much they “know”. They’re also saying that they know much better than me, the person who has to live with these conditions, and implying that I haven’t bothered to do any research. If I had, then of course I would have come to the same conclusion as them.

If anyone dares challenge their opinions, it’s claimed that you just haven’t done enough research. Apparently doctors do not use evidence based information in their treatments. I had one person tell me that some people want to heal themselves, others just want to treat the symptoms. Basically saying that my choice of conventional medication and therapies is stupid. I actually get pitied for trusting the doctors who have specialised in my disease for most of their lives. Who have seen thousands of people like me and have been able to compare their histories, eating habits and symptoms.

It’s draining and sometimes offensive. I don’t want to upset anyone by asking them to shut up about this stuff, so I bite my tongue but it gets to me after a while. I am not an idiot and I’m not naive. I am doing what I believe is best for me and for my family. I’m sick of the attitude and frustrated that they don’t respect my choices. Especially considering the stuff they choose to believe is based on bizarre, illogical claims.

At best their repeated claims are annoying and frustrating. At worst they’re downright dangerous. I don’t have an annoying cramp or a case of the runs. I have a very serious disease which almost killed me. It will not go away and there is every chance my life will be in danger again. If they hadn’t gotten my immune system under control, it would have destroyed my bowel. Now imagine that I had been determined to not take any of these “toxic” drugs. My body could have been so badly diseased that I couldn’t recover, that’s if I didn’t starve to death.

The only reason I am able to eat now is that I take two different pills, three times every day, which stop me rejecting everything I eat and drink. Trying to digest pulses would be so dangerous for me. Yet these people insist it’s what I need to do to get better. Thank god I know enough about my body and my disease that I haven’t tried it.

What if I didn’t know that? What if that poor women with cancer isn’t smart enough to immediately dismiss everything she was told? It was all presented as fact.

She also has issues with the amount of prayers people are offering, something I agree with but not everyone will and not as potentially dangerous as the kinds of things discussed here – so I’ll leave that out for now. Another popular one, especially on Facebook, at the moment is chemtrails. Sigh.

Not only risking yourself

While the stories of people choosing woo to treat their own conditions is sad in itself, worse still is people forcing it upon their children, potentially risking their lives.

“One of my ‘friends’ daughters developed a severe rash, really nasty. It seemed allergic. She decided not to get it treated at all. Instead she dabbed breast milk on it and left her body to fight it. She actually risked her daughter, not herself. Refused to get it checked even though it was horrendous. She posted photos of it in her blog. It spread over her entire body, which was all swollen. Her face swelled badly, closing her eyes.
She knows better than any doctor though. The breastfeeding, no-vaxing mothers all talk about how amazingly healthy their children are…”

In addition, not only do these attitudes endanger them and their children, but other people’s as well. Declining herd immunity means we have seen resurgences of whooping cough and measles, for example.

Yet now, people are trying to promote recovery from Andrew Wakefield‘s fraudulent claims in the form of publicly-available written accounts, our libel laws are once again an impediment – fascinating and disturbing that the solicitor who paid Wakefield is also the director of the Society of Homeopaths, considering homeopathic measles ‘vaccines’ have been under scrutiny of late (on Newsnight, for example). Just sayin’.

We’ve a very long way to go.

I consider myself a very tolerant person but it is so so hard sometimes. When I’m repeatedly confronted by this idiocy it weighs me down. The religious nonsense is very hard. Even the ones who are otherwise nice people are tainted by their faith. They’re closed-minded, judgemental, bigoted, condescending and rude. Not to mention completely irrational and illogical, willing to dismiss extremely obvious facts if they even slightly contradict the doctrine.


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One Year On: Libel Reform Update

December 2nd 2010 at the Free Word Centre: an update on the progress of the Libel Reform

all-important refreshments

campaign.

Hosted by Jonathan Haewood of English Pen, John Kampfner of Index on Censorship and Tracey Brown of Sense About Science.

English pen have their photos from the evening on Flickr; I managed to avoid being in any of them this time!

From the literature distributed at the event:

The One Year On event follows weeks of further revelations of the impacts of the libel laws:

- Plastic surgeon Dr Dalia Nield was threatened with libel action by the manufacturer of a ‘Boob Job’ cream for saying she was concerned the product was potentially dangerous*

- A survey of bloggers and online forum hosts found that bloggers are particularly affected by the libel laws as they work without the support of a large company so suffer an inequality of arms, particularly where they are writing about companies, institutions and products.

- Yahoo!, AOL (UK), Mumsnet and the Internet Service Providers Association told Prime Minister David Cameron that the current laws make ISPs liable for content hosted by them and means material can get taken down in response to a threat when there may benothing defamatory about it.

* This is in reference to Rodial’s product, a cream called “Boob Job” – covered by Ben Goldacre, and we also mention it in Episode 7 of Super-Duper Woo-Fighting Duo!

Introduction

We were first assured that people’s counter-arguments have led to modification of positions and proposals within the campaign – differing interpretations have been taken on board and the aims of the campaign modified accordingly (in true skeptical fashion!).

It has sparked the first serious public discussion on libel in the UK; no insignificant achievement.

More MPs signed the libel reform EDM than any other in parliament. All parties made a commitment in their manifesto. A Libel reform bill has also come through the lords.

And, of course, Simon Singh won his appeal! Leading to the “Fair comment should be strengthened and clarified” resolution.

In addition, Jonathan has written:

In a year’s hard campaigning we’ve seen a lot of activity – but nothing has actually changed. We are now looking to the Government to produce a Bill that protects the public interest and recognises our changed media environment. We are commmitted to upholding free speech, reputation and access to justice – we just hope that the Government is too.

However, there have also been worrying trends. Scientists, publishers and bloggers are still  regularly being threatened with libel writs.

At the very least we can probably accept that everyone wants to:

- protect free speech

- recognise the importance of reputation

- maintain access to justice

Richard Allan

(Director of European policy, Facebook)

He states the importance of being able to talking with people as freely as possible, then mentioned the “Twitter bomb threat” (which prompted me to tut loudly; people need to stop calling it a ‘bomb hoax/threat’ because it wasn’t) – speech issues are on the agenda in both the public and political spheres.

In his view, the objective is: legal support for speech (as long as that speech isn’t illegal; i.e. recognise the existence and [lack of] implications of casual talk or ‘the Pub vs. the public) – let’s have a better environment.

They don’t want to have to respond to solicitors’ casual threats of libel. Instead:

- The complainant should go to the author first

- Obtain documents from court to say it’s a genuine complaint

Internet companies take content down first and ask questions later! (Once bitten…)

There needs to be a single publisher rule; a limitation of 1 year; long enough for someone to take action if it is in fact actionable.

Facebook is globally accessible but libel tourism isn’t acceptable.

We need to respect that people have views on things – they do and will continue to discuss them in public fora, including online.

Unless this is understood, it is simply “an accident waiting to happen” – will it take a few solicitors to pick it up and run action to have dramatic chill, before things change? Let’s get legislation now rather than fix it after the fact.

Emily Cleevely

(Head of Policy, Publishers’ Association)

Emily started by asserting the value of publishing and why it’s in the government’s interest to protect it, having generated £4bn revenue in the UK in 2009; up 2.6% in 2010 – in the current market. If we’re to get out of the recession, surely we should be supporting growing industries?

Is publishing the key? It also aids with social mobility e.g.  in the form public libraries.

Creativity should be protected – authors must have freedom of expression without great fear of libel action. Not just trials but also the threat of libel, the chill, that convinces too many that silence is a safer option.

Emily gave the example of Wayne Rooney’s book, which apparently had a lot of things taken out/changed. Not sure anyone was too impressed with this point, particularly Matt

The PA will continue to be active in politics and media regarding Libel Reform.

Most interestingly, Emily gave some stats from a survey conducted in October this year regarding the effects of libel on PA members (which will be published in a January 2011 report): 100% (of the 65% total membership that participated in the study) said they had modified content or language in a book prior to publication to avoid the risks presented by current UK libel laws.

Richard Mollet, CEO of the PA, said:

The Publishers Association has been campaigning for libel reform for many years and is concerned about the chilling effect which the current law has on freedom of expression. The results from our survey demonstrate that libel law as it currently stands is a huge burden to many publishers in the UK and may act as an obstacle to growth, innovation and freedom of expression within the sector.

Tom McNally

(Minister of State, Minister of Justice)

[Most of the time he was speaking, I kept wondering what he was fiddling with in his jacket pocket. Anyone else??]

Having only been a minister for 6 months, McNally wanted to quote the ‘Dick’ Crossman diary (1964) on ministerial duties [roughly, as I couldn’t quite write fast enough!]:

One of the curious features is that one cannot distinguish day from day or night from night

[I think that’s the case with plenty of jobs, to be honest!]

He did say we “should have a Draft Bill in Spring” (which means sometime before June 1st 2011)

Going from the Lords to legislation is a slow process and the importance of “future-proofing” whatever we do was emphasised.

In my notes I then have something about ‘the next parliament March 2012′ – even after reading some Wiki on our parliament, I don’t know what he/I meant by this (please comment if your memory and political/legal understanding is better! This is not difficult to achieve, mind).

McNally implored us to continue:

Don’t stop! … This is the end of the beginning for your campaign

The Draft Bill is a rough outline of what the government will commit to. When it comes out, we may not like phrasing and bits might be missing..!

He then addressed Simon Singh:

My son is 17 and doing Maths, Physics and Chemistry in St. Albans – your ordeal was very rough but you’re a hero to young scientists and have inspired a lot of young people in science

Which, I think, we all very much agree with.

Having read Douglas Hurd‘s paper on communications, focussing on “Quality, Diversity and Choice” – he wants to ensure we have that in our media, unrestricted by the libel laws.

Questions

Q (DAG): Do the activists only come in after bill publication – can’t we input now? [Tom A: wait a bit!] You said ‘hopefully’ there will be a slot in 2011/2012 – does that mean there might not be one? [Tom A: No minister can commit to anything in the preceeding financial year]

Q: Have you considered vulnerable writers (like the disabled) and the use of sensitive/offensive terms – legislating on which are acceptable, and how does one defend one’s reputation? [Tom A: regarding hate crimes, the issue hasn’t come into libel reform yet] – I think the general opinion here was that this was a bit of an irrelevant/off-the-mark question.

Q: (Simon) – Interview in Aus with Questions: regarding homeopathy – threat of London libel. Someone blogged anyway. People someone quoted have asked to be anonymous for fear of libel. [Tom A: Contrasting legal advice: is the Master of Rolls looking?] From the audience: “At every stage…” – some ramble that didn’t mean a lot, from where I was sitting!

Comment: (Síle Lane) – from a Sense About Science survey, of the editors of scientific journals (in all subject areas):

- 32% have been threatened with libel action

- 44% have asked authors to modify articles

- 38% have refused to publish due to fear.

Tom A: We’ll try! We can’t go into detail; we need laws to protect science discussion and criticism. Legislation needs to be right, not flawed and open to criticism. Then a comment about public opinion/support that I missed – perhaps, the public generally supports making sure scientific claims & criticisms can’t be silenced by legal threats? I don’t know if there have been any surveys on this.

Q (Evan Harris): A claimant lawyer can make their case (and have it rejected!) –  we need to create a public interest defence; incorporating a ‘threshhold’ of damage caused to reputation (in this country), given what is published abroad. [Tom A: Something about the Lester bill and 2 sides interacting, that I missed. Plus, there’s another chill for people with ‘media intrusion’, who are met with “don’t like it? See you in court”]

Response (Evan): Individuals need to be able to sue. Companies, less so. [A: this must be looked at.]

Comment (Nigel Tait – Carter Ruck (!) ): ‘Please don’t worry about us lawyers!’ – because they’ll keep making money regardless, basically. Which is true.

Q: (Tracey Brown) – Is it a good thing (economically) that London is a litigation centre? There are other ways though;  so that we would not be blocking world discussion, but leading it.

Q: (Matt Flaherty) – The recent Supreme Court case that replaced “fair comment” with “honest comment” – how big a deal is that?

- we didn’t get an answer to Matt’s question, sadly, even though it was arguably the best one (but perhaps we’re just biased ‘cos we love Matt. Still, it’s a shame no one offered a response).

Q: I want to bring up the elephant in the room, or perhaps the country; I’m sympathetic to PA and Facebook but what about people exposing military abuse; will you allow Assange to stay in the UK? – people chuckled at this a bit.

Richard makes a joke and someone says “Assange is not a subject for mirth”.

(Richard): Sorry, World insanity causes me to resort to black humour! When you hear of people ordering assassinations for something the person has said, that’s just insane.

A (Tom): I Can’t answer this! Ask the attorney general. Q: What’s your view of the leaks? Patience! – is all I’ve got in response to that, but I can’t remember if any more was said.

Comment: The burden of proof is not actually biased to the claimant (I had a semi-drunk argument/discussion about this – the unfairness of the law re: the accused who makes the libellous comment – in the old London SitP pub, then about 2 weeks later I bumped into the guy at Westminster Skeptics and he said I was right and he’d been talking rubbish. Always nice to know!).

Q: One of the main reasons for libel tourism is that our lawyers charge 40-50x fees! No one can afford this! Would the lawyers really want to remove this source of income?

A (Joanne Cash): – Yes we will go against our paychecks! “If you need any help, you know where I am!”

Comment (Emily): People ask about the value of science vs. creative works and biographies. Science must be critiqued. Perhaps there should be a seperate – legal, if I recall -category for science?

Audacity! We use that for Superwooduo

Hey, Audacity! We use that for SDWFD(wc)

Personally I don’t think I agree with that. If you start treating science as a really special case, this could potentially damage an already shaky relationship with the layperson. Though evidence-driven criticism is especially vital in science and particularly medicine, I don’t see why such criticism should be actively discouraged (with such great effect as the current libel law has) in any field.

Closing comments

Tracey: When we started, we heard “don’t bother” because: it’s too complicated; you’re small; the government is uninterested.

Remember this is as much about the public right to read as for people to speak. Uncertainty leads to debate and often uncovering the truth.

For example, take the case of Peter Wilmshurst as one that gives a simple perspective (we  want the public to be made aware of things that might be dangerous, rather than people deciding not to speak out to protect others, for fear of losing their house, their job, their livelihood).

When small people say things to power sometimes things happen

I’m sure many of us still like to think that could be true.


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Libel Reform is ongoing

Hello all. It’s been a horrible week for free speech in the UK; look into Paul Chambers’ #twitterjoketrial (and #iamspartacus!) for the main example.

Sorry I do not have time to do a more personal take on this at the moment, but do read and pass this on because it’s important and I’d love you more if you did :)

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 at
http://www.libelreform.org/sign

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 at
http://www.libelreform.org/sign

 

Thank you!