Ched Evans: A mirror of our society?

 

 

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Regardless of what’s been said about the controversial Ched Evans case, it does hold a mirror up to all of us and it ain’t pretty.

We’ve all seen very drunk people on the streets after a night out, even been one of them ourselves. I have to admit, that at times, I’ve looked at drunks falling over, vomiting or pissing in shop doorways, with something like disdain. Have you?

This disdain turns into something uglier when young women are the drunks. There’s a residue in society mindset that still thinks it’s somehow shameful. What’s worrying is that’s endemic even amongst those younger than I.

We have to ask what happened to us? Why does a drunk/drugged and vulnerable person, over-ride what should be our natural, human, instinct to help them?

It’s as if a drunk becomes less than human and if they fall under a bus, lie in a gutter choking on their own vomit, or are sexually taken advantage of, it is somehow ALL THEIR OWN STUPID FAULT. We absolve ourselves of our empathy or responsibility to help someone vulnerable, male or female.

If the vulnerable drunk was your friend, your sister, your partner; would you feel differently? Haven’t you ever scraped a friend off the pavement, taken them home in a taxi and made sure that they came to no harm? Did you judge them? Were they suddenly sub-human for having a drink too many?

I didn’t think so.

Let’s imagine we are observing the girl in the Ched Evans case.  She was considerably drunk. She was in her teens. Witnesses said she fell over several times, in the middle of a crowded Kebab shop, in the street and she squatted and urinated in a shop doorway.

I can’t help wondering why no-one had the humanity to help someone in such a state, someone who was so obviously vulnerable. Is it that disdain, again? Who are we to judge? What would we do in that situation?

Unfortunately, she ran into a predatory man. Rather than help, he saw an opportunity. He took her, in a taxi, to a hotel room booked by his friend Ched Evans. She left her bag in the taxi and he had to go back for it. We’ve seen her unsteady on her feet in the hotel lobby CCTV.

Tellingly, the man texted his friend, very simply: “I’ve got a bird”.

If we examine those words, it gets very disturbing. The girl is not seen as a person. She’s already a “thing” that has been “picked up” on a street. She is a “kill”, he’s the successful hunter.

She’s a flesh and blood wanksock that offers no resistance. She’s a slut, fair game.

The man takes full advantage, he says she was willing and enthusiastic. We don’t know. Whatever happened, he treated her with no empathy or respect. She was just an “easy fuck”, so out of it, she remembered nothing waking alone and naked in the morning.

During this sexual act, Ched Evans comes back. He lies to Reception to get a key and lets himself in. He knows his friend is there “with a bird”.

Two other friends attempt to film the sexual action on their mobiles, through the window.

Ched sees the woman just like his friend did, a hole to be fucked. He thinks he is entitled to “hop on” for “sloppy seconds”. She is not a human being. She’s a sex doll.

If she was seen as a person, he wouldn’t assume she was “fair game” being naked and in a sexual situation with his friend. He afforded them no privacy. He assumed the spoils of the “hunt” were to be shared.

Afterwards, he snuck out through the fire escape. His friend left her behind, too.

It’s a horrible, sordid, story.

Empathy, humanity and respect for another human being was conspicuously absent.

Terrifyingly, there are people who see this as a perfectly acceptable situation.

If we imagine the girl had met a different fate, if she had crossed paths with a decent, humane man, woman or group, she could have been put into a taxi and arrive home with nothing but a hangover.

When and why did we lose kindness and respect towards each-other? Are decent, kind people a species of human on the brink of extinction?

The rest of the story is even worse. The girl concerned has been bullied, threatened and publicly humiliated.  Presumably, the men and women expressing such vitriol towards her would find it acceptable if a similar fate awaited them, a member of their family or friends.

But that would be different, wouldn’t it?

 

An open letter to a Tweeter

Dear Spunk Licker @arsefuck

Someone who should know better, retweeted you into my timeline today. Reading what you say and seem to need to let the world see, has made me feel very sad. Before you ‘do a Miley Cyrus’ and tell me I’m a past it old hag that’s simply shut shaming; know this. I would say the same things to your male equivalent “Cock Thrust @Yourhole.”

You’re not even a porn star, or selling sex. I think that photograph is actually you. As are the photographs of various bits of your body, in the level of detail that only a gynaecologist would be interested in studying.

You look young, college age, I would guess and I think you are American, by use of your idiom. For all I know, there might be a lot more to you, than this sad exhibitionism. Maybe there’s an interesting mind and personality that no-one ever gets to see?

By using your own picture, you are making quite a statement to the world. It’s not a positive one. In a year or two, you’ll be looking for people to employ you. Right now, the people on your college campus or at school are talking about you and your reputation.

They’ll not bother to look beyond your arse and crotch shots. They will see you as you seem to see yourself, as a cheap piece of meat of little value. You might get hundreds of retweets every time you show your vagina, but is that what self esteem means to you?

You portray yourself as a hyper-sexual person, but from the frequency of your Tweets, I doubt that is the case. For if you were, in fact, enjoying and celebrating your sexuality; you’d be too busy having sex to be on Twitter so often.

What I’m really saying is that you are not a one dimensional human being. You’re better than that. You will have talents and attributes that people will love you for. You may not get as many retweets as showing pictures of your sex organs, but the responses and comments you get will be about the real you. And they might help you feel a bit better about yourself.

You are doing yourself a disservice. Please think and understand you have many gifts to offer the world, not just sexual ones.

Yours

Scarlet

* original Twitter name not used

Pocket guide to spotting a Narcissist Online

20130926-131257.jpg1. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Arrogance shows up in subtle ways. Look for claims of attractiveness or intelligence that might not ring true. Quotes from the great and the good, philosophic and spiritual intonations that don’t sit right amongst the rest of the material, or the person’s actual background or circumstances.

Excessive flirting. Somatic (looks focused) Narcissists will be overtly sexual, posting photographs of themselves naked or in sexual poses (lots of female narcissists engage male victims that way). Narcissists that think themselves intellectual, will claim intelligence far beyond their level of education and experience. Some combine both somatic and intellectual traits.

Interestingly, a call for pity is a BIG warning sign. “I’m special, but lonely, because no-one understands me” for example.

Some will openly talk about things they want in the hope that generous or entranced people will buy things for them.

If engaged on a one to one level, they will ‘love bomb’ their quarry. Excessive messaging, over the top flattery, romantic stories of things they would like to do if only you could meet. Yearnings to be in love, find the ‘perfect’ man or woman. They will infer that COULD be you.

2. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her

They may show this by attacking someone who is successful in a field they would like to be in, or who is of the same sex and attractive and popular. They may feel that others wish they were as intelligent or as attractive as them. They often find things to envy in their victims and have to poke holes into whatever those characteristics are through extreme jealousy.

3 Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

They are good at pretending empathy, but they will switch any sympathy for you back to themselves. Their issues and problems are always worse and more important. They are often hypochondriacal.

A key red flag is someone who has claimed NEVER to have truly loved or been loved. Because Narcissists cannot relate to any one else’s feelings, they are incapable or love. They may fake it, with learned words, phrases and actions (like an actor) but they cannot FEEL it.

Often Narcissists express they prefer animals to people and may believe they ‘love’ their pets.

Narcissists end up alone, usually and have no or just a few (very exploited) friends. There are often exes around who are used to make the current victim jealous.

4. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

You will not be deemed a friend or lover unless you have something they want. It may be money, gifts, lots of attention, praise, admiration or sex.

Somatic narcissists will immediately put you into friend category if you are not attractive enough for them, but will wilfully exploit and encourage any crushes. They will ‘cut off’ these friends when they cease to be useful or an ego boost.

They get sexual very quickly and need sex for self affirmation. Once they have had sex, they feel disgust for the person they have had sex with and the annihilation process will soon start. They will have had an extraordinary number of partners and a history of very short relationships. They will avoid monogamy because they are always searching for someone ‘better’.

5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

They must be agreed with or obeyed. Any dissension or challenge will be dealt with by dropping people. They like to develop an online fan club that admire them.

Socially, no matter what their background, they think they are special and deserve the best of everything. They may not work and expect other people to pay for them. They may demand their dates spend a lot of money on them. They expect gifts to be sent.

They may be personally unattractive, or in older narcissists, haven’t aged well. Despite this, they strongly believe that they deserve ‘perfect’ and feel defiled if they drop their impossibly high standards. Their expectations of a desired partner are always unrealistic.

6. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.

They may take up other’s causes and claim that they are leading them. They may call others to help them out, without any gratitude or thanks. Favours are never reciprocated as they believe it is their right. Everyone should understand they are ‘special’.

They may think that they are equivalent to famous or talented people, “I am just like xxx” for example.

7. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Whilst maintaining an ongoing fan club, they will single out people that they admire, but secretly envy, because of success, wealth or personality traits they would like to obtain for themselves. When they have what they want from these people, they turn against them.

An example is an under-educated, working class person, thinking they should only associate with professionals or academics, looking down on people of their own background. A form of snobbery.

The seven definitions are from the DSMIV – the mental categorisations used by psychiatrists for diagnosis. These definitions inform a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Malignant Narcissism

Like all mental health issues, Narcissism is on a spectrum. The sad thing is that Narcissism cannot be cured and they respond poorly to therapy. At the extreme end of the spectrum there are Psychopathic Narcissists that are devoid of all fear and feeling. Other people are objects for exploitation. They will even kill and maim to satisfy their own desires. Some serial rapists and murderers fall into this category.

Narcissism is dangerous. If you are involved with anyone expressing these traits, take steps to protect yourself, even if it’s your boss or a family member. My mother was a narcissist, which I only found out years later.

THAT Polanski piece – sin or simplification?

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I’m furious. I am angry for everyone who has been raped, sexually assaulted, bullied, drugged, harassed, exposed, shamed and vilified because someone with POWER decided they were an object to be taken advantage of, something less than human, something to be used and discarded.

Far too often, I feel a stab of pain when a ‘journalist’ or self appointed ‘spokesperson’ talks down to victims, from a position of feigned authority and continues the dehumanisation that so many of us feel; without the compassion of experience or any sign of empathy for the lifelong suffering these crimes cause.

They laud victims for being “brave” and “speaking out” as if that means that the wounds were healed, as if everything is all fine now and we can high handedly show sympathy and understanding for the perpetrator. See, it wasn’t that harmful after all, we can all walk away now, nothing more to see here. We’re so intelligently objective we can feel for the man that did this, poor chap, he had problems of his own.

What gives anyone the right to do this? Unless it was YOUR EXPERIENCE you have no right. What your “even-handedness” is actually doing is minimising someone else’s experience. And it’s not just that individual’s experience you are minimising, you are triggering pain in other victims who are at different points in their recovery. You are perpetuating the myth that maybe, just maybe, the victim doesn’t really count, that the crime was not that bad, that there were extenuating circumstances.

The end result is you are hurting the people who have experienced this kind of abuse.

As ‘victims’. we can come to terms with what has happened to us. Face the pain again and finally accept it was ‘not our fault’, that we didn’t do something that possibly caused it to happen. But it never, ever, goes away. We are not ‘the rape’ or the ‘sexual assault’, we can refuse to label ourselves, but the experience is still part of us, even if we refuse to let it totally blight our lives. Even if we write about it to exorcise the pain, to find some sense of justice. Even if we, ourselves, try to forgive the abuser as part of our healing.

What I find unforgivable is excusing the perpetrators and allowing them to escape justice. It leaves something undone, a door unclosed, a tiny nagging infection in the wound that flares up from time to time. If other people and society at large do not acknowledge the wrongness of the crime, how can the victim feel listened to, supported, understood? What happened to you is somehow diminished.

Fame, talent, abuse in the perpetrator’s own background, is NEVER a defence. Nor is war, culture, circumstance, the way someone is dressed, the fact they were drunk or the thousand other excuses rapists and assaulters make.

The fact is that no one has the right to hurt another human being, especially one who is young, defenceless and groomed. A grown man drugging and defiling a 13 year old girl and avoiding answering to this crime for decades, should never be forgiven or let off because he had a difficult life, or because of his artistic temperament, or that he made a ‘mistake’. He is a predator, the likelihood of repeated behaviour of this type is high and he must face and atone for what he has done. Even if the victim has “forgiven him”.

While we’re understanding Polanski, what kind of man lusts after a child, drugs her and then forces his penis into her anus?Is that a positive act? Is that OK? Isn’t there something there that screams hate and defilement? Don’t those bare facts tell you something about evil? Am I missing the nuances here? Is this a ‘sin of simplification’?

If a crime against you is minimised, brushed under the carpet, unacknowledged, it is a ghost of the abuse all over again. It perpetuates the feeling of worthlessness, of not being believed, of shame and self punishment. Unless you understand this, don’t write on behalf of the victims, or think you have the right to pronounce an ‘even handed’ view of the victim and the perpetrator. It’s condescending in the extreme. It disgusts me.

An analogy is someone who sympathises with the guards at an extermination camp, they were acting under orders, it was war, they would have been shot for not obeying orders. They HAD A CHOICE. Abusers always do. They choose to rape, to hurt, to sodomise, to groom someone so they can practice their own sexual deviance upon them. The victims DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE, the only choice left to them afterwards is to let the experience destroy them or survive, it’s as bleak as that.

Unless you have some understanding, some empathy, don’t think you can speak on our behalf. If you are deliberately taking an ‘alternative’ angle on a rape case for notoriety, you are beyond reproach. It’s not clever, it’s not objective reporting or ‘opinion’; it is damaging in a way you can’t imagine.

I’m proud of everyone that spoke up today. I feel the rage across Twitter from people who know and have experienced rape and abuse edifying and cleansing. We are not powerless or weak and anyone defending perpetuators deserves our approbation, if it makes them think more carefully about dashing off an “opinion piece” without regard for the very real consequences.

Shame on you, or in Twitterspeak, STFU.

A message to a girl

Dear You

You’re going to have to be brave, but you’ll be OK. This will pass very soon.

If you were my little sister, I’d give you a hug and talk to you about how there is an unfair double standard in our society. Even though everyone ‘pretends’ that we can do whatever we like and it’s OK to get a bit drunk and mess about, some people will give you a hard time about it.

It’s not just the old folk that have these strange ideas, it’s girls and boys of your own age, who still haven’t understood how the world is changing.

It’s just not fair, but you need to be aware of it. The people who don’t understand might call you some horrible names. They are ignorant, so you must ignore them and, whatever you do, don’t take their judgement on board. They don’t know you and they are unable to think for themselves.

I expect you feel embarrassed and ashamed. That’s a horrible feeling, but soon you’ll clear that out and get angry. You have every right to be angry. Angry is healthy. I’m angry that those older boys were stupid and irresponsible when they could see you were out of your head; I’m angry with the friends you went with, who didn’t stick together with you, as good friends should. I’m VERY angry with whoever took the photographs and put them on the Internet. They are cruel, ignorant and, the lowest of the low, they are bullies.

I bet you’re feeling like your life is over and you’ll never be able to hold your head up in public again. That’s definitely not true. You made a mistake, it’s part of growing up. I’d bet that every grown up you know has made a mistake by drinking too much or doing something silly in the heat of the moment. We’re all still here. We survived. You will, too.

I don’t know if your mum ever told you this, so forgive me if you’ve heard it before. Us women have sexual needs and desires just like the men. The problem is that some men (particularly those in charge) are frightened by that. Can you imagine? Frightened!

That’s why they want to keep us in our place. They do that in many ways, they on the one hand like girls and women to look sexy, but when they ARE sexy, it freaks them out. Ridiculous isn’t it? So they try to control this by calling women who are acting naturally, sluts, whores and other such rubbish.

You shouldn’t care about ignorant people like that, but be aware that they are around. They will judge you by their own mean standards. You must rise above them.

Now, you have the right to enjoy sex, but you are still very young. You also need to take care of yourself and understand that enjoyable sex will most likely be better with someone you know well and in private. That is because society is old fashioned like this. They are scared that if we all went and had sex anywhere we wanted to with anyone we wanted to, no one would go to work, pay taxes or do much else!! So they try to control us. 🙂

There are an awful lot of women, especially grown ups, that understand how bad it must be for you right now. We’re on your side. We’ll make sure that this all dies down and any pictures are removed. You now need some peace and quiet to get over this. Talk to women you trust, get lots of hugs and do your best to ignore the idiots.

Put this behind you now, as a mistake. It will soon be forgotten. Next time you go to a concert, stick with your mates and have fun.

Have sex if you want to, but have it on your own terms when you are fully alert and know what you are doing and best to do it in private, away from idiots with cameras. Make sure you have birth control as well. You’re too young to get into being a mum just yet, your whole life is ahead of you.

You WILL be OK. We are sending our love and support.

Your sisters in the UK. X

Sexual predator at 13

wpid-Photo-21-Sep-2012-1536.jpgThe case of a paedophile walking away, technically free, after a prosecuting lawyer defamed a 13-year-old girl as a “sexual predator” has catapulted our legal system back decades.

I started to think about what it was like to be a 13-year-old girl, as I grew up in London, the turbulence of becoming a woman and how much of a child I still was. I feel awful for the victim and how brave she was in attempting to prosecute her abuser.

Only 15% of sex crimes are reported and a tiny percentage of those get to trial. Prosecution lawyers routinely try to defame the victim and blame them. She “asked for it”, she had responsibility for her own chastity, she is somehow less than human. She is a woman or a girl.

At 13, I was confused by things that happened to me when I was out in public. Even at that young age, even in school uniform, men saw me as a sexual being, which I wasn’t. I hadn’t even been on a date or been kissed.

I was approached walking to school, my friends and I had a man masturbate over us in the tube, I was flashed, I was followed. I was kerb crawled. The worst of these was a man in a white mini (who I reported to the Police) who slowed down his car and said:
“I’ve been watching you. I know where you live. I’m going to rape you one of these days” and drove off.

I thought that if I was raped, I would die. It was something that scared me more than anything else. I was just an ordinary girl at an all girl’s school, I had no contact with boys outside church and I found the unwanted attention, I inadvertently attracted, frightening and confusing.  It seemed to happen overnight and I had no idea how to cope with it.

As a result, I found myself suddenly crippled with shyness. Even asking for my train ticket from the ticket office man was a trial. I had to rehearse the words in my mind and tentatively deliver them. I hated being anywhere on my own. I used to try to hide away behind a book, never making eye contact with anyone on the train.

My friend and I were sexually assaulted by a gang of younger boys as we walked down Chiswick High Street on a Sunday afternoon. They surrounded us and grabbed at our breasts and crutches and bums. There were loads of them, like a horrible swarm. Passers by did nothing. Adults looked the other way. Just kids.

I got hold of two of the arms touching me and dug my nails in deep. My friend kicked and punched. Eventually they ran off. We didn’t tell anyone.

At 13, we realised that our bodies had somehow stopped belonging to us. We were seen as ripening fruit to be plucked by whoever felt like it. We were stared at. Sexual remarks were made. Unwanted “compliments” paid. I started to carry a screwdriver in my bag to feel safe.

This was in the seventies. The infamous era of Savile and the other celebrities that thought girls like me were fair game. It seemed to be ‘the norm’ in my experience.

I remember that bewildering feeling of blossoming into a young woman and how it seemed to mean I became public property and I wouldn’t want to experience that again. It made me a target. I hated it.

The fact that both a Judge, an abuser and a prosecuting lawyer still think the same way all these years later, saddens me beyond comment.

Twitter CSA War

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Sad to see the current Twitter war between CSA survivors and their supporters. Once united, there seems to be a lot of hurt, anger and opprobrium being slung around.

My view is this rift has been orchestrated to bring the key witnesses into disrepute, to shut up the most vocal amongst the campaigners and survivors and alienate witnesses. Divide and Conquer is an effective method to achieve this.

It started with poor Steve Messham, being paraded on TV, who didn’t name McAlpine, but was subsequently accused of doing so. Some of the other North Wales children’s home survivors were upset and angry, seeing Messham’s engagement with the media as a betrayal which undermined their own experiences.

I think Steve Messham was duped and used to facilitate the whole ‘McAlpine wasn’t actually named but we’ll pay up” BBC and ITV fiasco in order to take the heat off the reality that there has been a high profile paedophile ring in government and the establishment linked to Jimmy Savile, other high profile ‘celebrities ‘, the secret service and multiple children’s care homes.

The BBC is now under right wing government control as a result. Mr. Messham is suffering and ostracised from the other survivors and now the most vocal and brave amongst the abused are hitting out or being hit in a vicious and derogatory online war.

In recent months, new people have appeared to ‘join the fight’ online. This is where my personal suspicions lie as to the agendas and credibility of these ‘viragos’ which, I believe, have aided and abetted the rift.

I have two questions, without naming names, but those involved in the current fracas will understand:

As a child abuse survivor, why would you trust a hack from none other than The Daily Mail? A paper that has THE worst record of discrediting child abuse victims?

As a sexual abuse survivor, with plenty of experience of psychiatry, mental illness, PTSD and other life-long effects of abuse, why would you trust a “professional psychotherapist” who self describes as a MILF, posts erotic photographs of herself and consistently makes overt sexual comments and propositions to males on Twitter, not with a pseudonym, but under her real professional name?

That may only be the tip of the ice-berg, but that is my personal view. I certainly wouldn’t trust either of these two people, just on those points alone. I do not know them personally, but background and behaviour are enough to make me question their involvement.

That’s my tuppence-worth. I am not taking sides or joining in with the infighting. I would just ask all involved to step back for a moment, look at things objectively and ask the question: “Is this helping me or my cause?”

I, for one, don’t think it is. Please don’t let those shadowy forces undermine you. You have waited long enough for the truth to come out. You have waited long enough for justice. Don’t let them divide and conquer and, in the end, discredit you, the way they made Steve Messham a victim over and over again.

A lesson from the Delhi gang rape

When a nation has a history of misogyny, how many generations does it take until its culture accepts the equality of women? That’s a difficult question to answer, because this country, the UK, isn’t there yet. We still have objectification … Continue reading

McLibel – Muzzle for free speech?

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I am,personally, deeply puzzled about the Lord McAlpine defamation case. I wish someone could explain to me the following:

1. Old not hot gossip

As online gossip about Lord McAlpine in connection with children’s homes and child abuse circles has been around since the 1990’s; some of them blatantly casting his involvement in child abuse as fact, far worse that what has transpired since; why didn’t he act on those responsible back then?

There were insinuations about his relative “Jimmie” McAlpine who lived near one of the North Wales children’s homes. He is dead now, but as Lord McAlpine wants to clear his family name – why wasn’t action taken?

The key to this is that had Lord McAlpine taken action earlier, this gossip would not have implicated him or his family when the public were looking for “Senior Tory Paedophiles” following Tom Watson’s initial parliament question on further investigation of “A Paedophile ring with links to 10 Downing Street”.

As there were lots of stories, including an in-depth article from “Scallywag” magazine, now defunct, naming Lord McAlpine and his cousin; we can see this is how his name got into the frame as a “key suspect”.

It also puzzles me that people were twittering about Lord McAlpine before the initial Newsnight programme was actually aired. I expect it was due to the material referred to above.

2. Newsnight

For the sake of clarity, I downloaded the programme that had been fined £185,000 for defaming Lord McAlpine. I watched it very carefully and Lord McAlpine was not named. Nor were heavy hints dropped that could lead to Lord McAlpine being wrongly identified with the accusations.

Why did the BBC settle with Lord McAlpine out of court when they HAD NOT defamed him nor contributed to the material already in existence on the web for many years?

3. ITV

Philip Scofield passed a card to David Cameron on TV, containing names of Tory Party members who had been named on the Internet. No names were mentioned. You could not see the names on the card. I have no doubt that Lord McAlpine or simply the McAlpine name was on that list, as anyone who did a quick search online would come across the old material above. But why is only Lord McAlpine filing for defamation as there were clearly others on the (UNSEEN) list. Again, I don’t understand why ITV was fined £125,000 without going to court to defend the fact that they had NOT PUBLICLY named Lord McAlpine or any of the others on the list.

4. Twitter

The gossip from the large amount of online material that implicated Lord McAlpine and other members of the McAlpine family, obviously informed those that mentioned his name on Twitter.

THIS IS THE MATERIAL THAT IS AT FAULT – NOT ITV OR BBC. Why isn’t Lord McAlpine taking action against the originators of the defamation, not those that were merely repeating it.

Why are Twitter users being expected to settle out of court?

I’m no lawyer, but even a layperson like myself can find information on UK Defamation Law and I would like to draw people’s attention to the following clauses:

(6) Fair Comment and statements made in good faith
Fair comment on a matter of public interest, arguments made with an honest belief in their soundness on a matter of public interest (such as regarding official acts) are defendable against a defamation claim, even if such arguments are logically unsound; if a reasonable person could honestly entertain such an opinion, the statement is protected.

Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true are generally treated the same as true statements; however, the court may inquire into the reasonableness of the belief. The degree of care expected will vary with the nature of the defendant: an ordinary person might safely rely on a single newspaper report, while the newspaper would be expected to carefully check multiple sources.

Could those that named McAlpine on Twitter be said to be making:
A) A fair comment on a matter of public interest?
B) A statement made in good faith and reasonable belief that it was true?

This would have to be tested in a court of law, but it seems that those Twitterer’s may be able to prove a case.

5. Damage to personal reputation

Of course, Lord McAlpine wants to defend his name as he states he is entirely innocent. He also fears that “mud sticks” and that he will always suffer from the distasteful allegations made about him.

May I venture to suggest that MORE damage is being done to Lord McAlpine’s personal reputation in the way his lawyers are going about extracting money from people who HAVE NOT MENTIONED HIS NAME and for threatening to muzzle free comment on social network sites like Twitter.

If I had speculated about Lord McAlpine on Twitter about this case, I would want to go to court because it seems there is more to this than meets the eye and I smell a rat. Free Speech on social networks is important, particularly as our mainstream media owners have both political and business biases that colour their version of the news. We cannot rely on them to give us an even-handed version of the truth or to act in the public interest.

Paradoxically, the Levenson enquiry may muzzle them further so that they would not go near a controversial case like the North Wales Children Home abuse because they might offend people in high places and get sued. I don’t condone phone hacking or paying off corrupt policemen, but I do support gutsy investigative journalism.

I wonder if there is a journalist man or woman enough to investigate WHY the BBC and ITV paid out without a murmur, when the charges were unwarranted and who is responsible for dragging the McAlpine name into the mire originally and why?

I’d like to know. Bet many of you reading this do too.

Child Abuse report branded “hysterical” by mystery Tory spokesperson

    Ah… Here we go again. The level-headed report from the Children’s Commission has been blasted by a mystery Tory. Maybe it’s going to spoil someones’  paedophile fun?  I’ve asked “Dave” for information, but not expecting a response.   … Continue reading