23 November 2006
Why Neil Clark launched his libel action - and why he needs our support
Back in March of this year this blog took a strong line against libel actions between bloggers. Neil Clark had threatened to sue one of the more risible of the NuLab wankbloggers and we argued that such tactics only serve to allow the wankist's little friends to crawl out of the woodwork and start a smear campaign. Neil's action has been dismissed by the court, and that is exactly what is happening.
Neil has posted an essay which outlines his reasons for taking the action:
I went to the courts not to silence Kamm's right to make fair comments on articles with which he disagreed, but to prevent Kamm and his neo-con, pro-war associates from silencing me. Their aim was - and still is- to get editors, like Robbie Millen and Daniel Finkelstein of The Times, Tom Switzer of the Australian, Seumas Milne of the Guardian, and Sam Leith of the Books section of the Daily Telegraph to stop publishing my work.
Neil goes on to present an e-mail that was sent to one such editor, so obviously something is going on: put bluntly there does seem to be a campaign to prevent Neil Clark from earning a living.
Frankly, this is something that should worry all of us. For free speech to flourish, people have to be sure that their livelihoods will not be threatened. If that does not happen, then many people will be intimidated out of blogging.
This could be what the wankblogs actually want. Theirs is the NuLab world where people like Neil Clark have to be silenced because what they say runs against the nice, middle class line thatwe are all middle class, now, and only the market can solve our country's ills.
Or it could be that because they have nice, well cushioned positions, it amuses them to cause grief to a man whose only income - an income that he uses to support his family with - is from his writing.
Either way, they are scum, and because they are scum and because Neil's only crime is to write what they want suppressed, we owe him our support. Agree with him or not, if you read a blog you must support the blogger's right to publish without worrying that his employer will persecute him for his offerings.