Saturday, 12 July 2008
To The Barricades, Comrades - A Rallying Cry In Defence of Harry's Place
Arise, muscular liberals, for the enemy is at the gates in the form of Mohammed Sawalha, President of the British Muslim Initiative and his dastardly legal threats against Harry's Place.
Having been caught red-handed promulgating anti-semitic smears, this supporter of and fund-raiser for Hamas has launched a doomed legal action against that esteemed internet outlet for its reporting of quotes attributed to him by an entirely separate website in an attempt to intimidate the near-defenceless corporate lawyer David T. into silence.
These bullying tactics are a disgusting abuse of the legal process and English defamation laws, which should be reserved for only the most serious breaches, such as those occurring when Guardian writer David Edgar points out that Nick Cohen is full of shit or Some Guy With a Website says something nasty about Oliver Kamm.
Rest assured that this chilling suit is merely the tip of the iceberg. If Harry's Place is silenced for reporting the truth and backing it up with solid evidence, then the era of the Will-You-Condemn-a-Thon is officially over and, with it, muscular liberalism itself.
A movement which bases its worldview upon quotes ripped out of context, wild and highly defamatory speculation over the motives of its enemies, dubious anecdotes, Decent Telepathy, viscious two-minute hates and baseless, hysterical accusations of proto-fascism will surely shrivel up and die the instant it is dragged under the microscope of the judicial process.
Just think - all that good work poured into dissecting Ken Livingstone's public statements and extrapolating near-Hitlerian levels of fascism... Gone in a firestorm of white-hot litigation!
Those extended hate-harshes against academic unions attempting to boycott Israel, and all of those maniacal insinuations about their outright jew-hatred... Blasted into smithereens by bewigged legal assassins!
Those countless celebrities, columnists, politicians, journalists, writers, thinkers, film-makers, bloggers, broadcasters, and religious figures constantly depicted as jack-booted fascists, hankering ravenously to devour democracy itself... Why, any one of them could stand up and insist that any and all muscular liberals take full legal responsibility for their actions.
Unthinkable! If I choose to defame a minor public figure as a genocidal fascist with exterminationist tendencies who propagandises for terrorists, then it's up to that person to refute my arguments, and also the mendacious counter-arguments I'll deploy ad infinitum thereafter.
So I urge all of you to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Harry's Place on this issue. Remember, these are the same courts that refused to find against George Galloway, on the pitiful grounds that his accusers couldn't produce any reliable evidence against him.
Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to disparage whoever one likes in a consequence-free environment, and that applies just as much to known anti-semitic scum like Sawalha as it does to thousands of random political opponents we don't like.