The detail, horrendous though it is, matters less to me than Labour’s willingness to destroy libel reform. Be in no doubt that it exists. Lord Falconer and Harriet Harman’s “people” told me they would rather see reform die than back down.
If it dies, the bill’s proposed ban on corporations, following the example of McDonald’s, suing individual activists will die with it. If it dies, the proposed limits on the libel tourism racket that have allowed Russian, Ukrainian and Saudi billionaires, Icelandic bankers and African dictators to punish their critics in London will die with it. If it dies, the new public interest defence for contested speech, which is essential for bloggers and small publishers as well as investigative journalists, will die with it. If it dies, the planned defence of “honest opinion” that would have allowed the Simon Singhs of the future to criticise alternative health quacks without risking a £500,000 bill will die with it.
Labour doesn’t care