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September 26, 2007

Comments

Paulie

"...what if an entirely decent rich man wants to come to the UK in a high-profile business venture?"

Anyone in mind Chris? Arsene doesn't seem to need the cash this season

;-)

Chris Williams

The UK a magnet for the world's chancers and crooks? How dare you, sir, insult the land that has nurtured Robert Maxwell, Conrad Black, Mohammed Al-Fayed, Lackshmi Mittal, Thaksin Shinawata, all those lovely Yeltstinian oligharchs, and, um...

I'l get my coat.

dearieme

If you can devise a libel law that makes it harder for the rich to bully the press, while also making it harder for the press to bully the poor, that would be a service to mankind. Or Britkind.

john b

@ Dearieme - the US libel law would be a good start. If you decide to make yourself into a celebrity (legally, a Public Figure), you forfeit the UK-style libel protection granted to ordinary members of the public.

So you can sue over anything you like, as in the UK - but Robert Maxwell can only sue over terrible slurs that the publisher knew or should have known to be false, rather than honest mistakes or trivial nothingnesses.

Eamonn OL

"Reports about him will be bland simply because he's a decent man. But readers won't know this. They'll read the reports as meaning that he's a ruthless criminal."

Oh come on, this argument rests on the assumption that libel laws create a sitution where it is impossible (or even prohibitely costly) to convey 'good' from bad' - this is rubbish. Reports will simply become more sophisticated & will require a discerning eye to interpert. Libel laws only influence what is said, not how it is said, or what remains unsaid. Combining these two tools any intelligent journalist to seperate the 'good guys' from the 'bad guys'.

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