Living off their writs

The Islam Channel employs a ‘‘rapid rebuttal service’’ run by top libel lawyers. Why?

Only alert readers will have noticed the revival of the old fight for freedom of speech in Britain. The threat of a writ so alarms the mainstream media that it barely discusses the increasingly angry arguments around what the United Nations rightly described as the “scandal” of England’s suppression of plain prose and investigative journalism.

The case for reform is not being made by what we used to call Fleet Street or the broadcasters but by Index on Censorship and Private Eye, small journals that are more willing than most to make a stand. A heartening coalition of MPs from all parties is offering critical support, but the strongest push is coming not from editors and politicians but from writers in Britain and abroad, who are infuriated by the ability of rich men to use our authoritarian libel laws to suppress unfavourable reports.

Read the whole piece at Standpoint here

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