Lawfare

Defend Alex Higgins!

This is a crosspost by Sunny from Liberal Conspiracy

In his columns he styles himself as a defender of free speech, but when it concerns himself Rod Liddle is happy with making legal threats to shut down debate on his past writings.

Today afternoon Liddle turned up on the Facebook group: ‘If Rod Liddle becomes editor of The Independent, I will not buy it again‘.

There, he started off immediately with legal threats, saying:

Can I just point out that your letter to Mr Lebedev is defamatory, in quite a big way? I think I ought to warn you about that.

So much for that dedication to free speech. Rod Liddle then goes on to defame the creator of the FB group Alex Higgins.

Our proposed Indy ad does not even refer to comments made by ‘monkeymfc’ on the Millwall website.

They only re-publish statements he has already made in the mainstream media and I am happy to stand by all of them.

The only opinionated comment we actually make in the ad is:

He has been arrested for beating up his pregnant girlfriend, made jokes about smoking at Auschwitz and is a climate-change denier. Does he represent the values of progressive, independent minded readers of this newspaper?

The first claim comes from The Times, the second from his discussion on the Millwall site(which he admits to) and the third on the basis of statement he’s made on global warming at the Spectator.

On the basis of that Liddle is calling it defamatory and warning us. What a hypocrite.

Even more absurdly, he then goes on to attack the creator of the group by saying:

You’re another liberal middle class whiteboy who turns into a fascist when his comfortable values are challenged.

For the record, Alex Higgins is a teacher at an inner-city school.

And what does it say about people who start throwing around the word ‘fascist’?

Apparently calling Rod Liddle “racist” is also “way beyond fair comment”. This is despite the fact that his own colleague at the Spectator Alex Massie said:

How delightfully refreshing to see someone trot out the kind of tired, stale prejudice you can find in thousands of boozers across the country! Or at any BNP meeting, for that matter.

Can’t wait for Liddle to try and sue his fellow Spectator blogger. Calling someone “racist” for making racist comments is definitely within fair comment and it was made across many blogs after he wrote that Spectator blog post.

Defender of free speech indeed.

Read the whole debate on Facebook. I’ve taken screenshots in case Liddle deletes his own comments. The Millwall site has already decided to hide many of the threads ‘monkeymfc’ wrote on.

Update: I’ve changed the wording of the ad to say “he has been arrested for allegedly hitting his pregnant girlfriend” – which mirrors the wording of the Times article more closely. But Liddle’s complaint that calling him a racist and sexist is beyond fair comment is rubbish, and what I’d call ‘lawfare’.

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