Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sally Bercow shows everyone should be careful .



Only this week whilst web searching  foe this Blog I almost included a piece that was potentially libellous because it seems there were two Conservatives in Wales with the same name.  So It ocurred to me that the recent  libel verdict against  Sally Bercow  after the high court ruled that she defamed the Tory peer Lord McAlpine by falsely suggesting on Twitter that he was a paedophile is a lesson for us al
The Commons Speaker's wife had always defended her tweet – "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*" – about the former Tory treasurer in November last year, following allegations on BBC 2's Newsnight about an unnamed high-profile politician and immediate speculation on the Social Media  ended with  Mr Justice Tugendhat, ruled that the tweet was seriously defamatory of McAlpine and had falsely tarred him as a paedophile.
He said in his judgment:
 "I find that the tweet meant, in its natural and ordinary defamatory meaning, that the claimant was a paedophile who was guilty of sexually abusing boys living in care. If I were wrong about that, I would find that the tweet bore an innuendo meaning to the same effect."
Its  a lesson for us all . There may have been many worse accusations and even clearer liable by other Social media users but it seems  unless McAlbine ,seeks to pursue them she was singled out for her  media prominence.

So unless McAlpine ,solicitors are now firing of letters to be firing of letters to other social media users demanding some kind of settlement  this unfortunate affair which resulted in a innocent man accused  of a crime which carries a huge social stigma may end.

It shows the difference between Libel and Slander. Worst may be said in the workplace or pub but when it is in print it is not only easier to prove but open to far larger numbers.

However what this case shows is that everyone should be  careful of making speculations  or repeating it,

However it also shows that  the likes of McAlpine  has the wealth to to seek redress in the courts or simply the use of aggressive lawyers who can force apologies and redress with a single letter.

Saly Bercow  may have innocently thought it was  McAlpine who was the unnamed politician  following allegations on BBC 2's Newsnight but she got it wrong and should have apologised immediately .

Meanwhile the doors of the High Cpirt remain open for the rich or who are backed by their employers .Whilst closed to the rest of us unless we are defendants.

Meanwhile the rest of us will have to put up with even more implicit accusation that came from Sally Bercow ,and be very careful of what we say about those with money even in cases where our accusations are accurate .

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