Fringe Meeting on Blogging 2 – John Gray on Libel

Labour Party

British libel laws need reform. In this video John Gray a Labour councillor in Newham and also a trade union activist for UNISON talks about what he has learnt from his libel case with Tower Hamlets Conservative Johanna Kaschke. There’s plenty of wisdom and tips for any political activist, but the clearest view for me is that cases like John’s should not drag on for so long.

3 thoughts on “Fringe Meeting on Blogging 2 – John Gray on Libel

  1. The libel laws are in need of reform. The Labour Party should have found some time during their thirteen years in government to do something about it.

    If there is any reason for putting Councillor Gray in the dock I would suggest that it should be for his acquiescence in the publication of the Newham Mag. A ‘free’ publication delivered to every household in the borough of Newham which costs us coucil taxpayers £750,000 per year (excluding delivery). This coma inducing magazine exists, it would appear, solely to promote the Mayor of Newham and the councillors. Since issue Number 154 on September 2008 it has contained an average of 5.15 photographs of the Mayor. I saw copies being given away at Tesco’s the other day and there did not seem to be any takers.

    I had a look at John Gray’s blog and found that he is making a bid issue of ConDem cuts – perhapos he should urge the ConDems to cut the Newham Mag instead of public services.

  2. Daniel
    I disagree, surely the electors of Newham are the people who should decide these matters? Last year they gave a clear mandate to Labour and I am pleased to say elected John for the first time.

  3. Mary,

    Surely, it should be a matter for my individual choice which magazines I read. We inhabitants of Newham do need to arrive at a consensus on many matters; it would for instance be silly for me to choose convenient library opening times and for others to decide on different times, the library would be open 24 hours a day. The issue of magazine purchase is not one which needs to be in the political domain because we do not need to co-ordinate our magazine buying habits. Those who want to read the Newham Mag should buy a copy and those who want a publication without photos of the Mayor should choose one and then purchase it.

    Your idea of total acceptance of majority views is an interesting one though. Perhaps we could put it to the test by each of us making a New Year resolution. My resolution would be to stop moaning about the Newham Mag because of the votes cast by my neighbours and yours should be to accept without comment all the nonsense spoken by the Tories in the Europarl because they got more votes than the Labour Party.

    Who will crack first?

    Happy New Year

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