- McLibel -

I believe that every person in a free democracy have the right to free speach.

Posted by: Kalvin Chapman ( London, England. ) on February 15, 1999 at 18:24:42:

In Reply to: Why no-one takes Dave and Helen seriously posted by Harry on February 11, 1999 at 16:25:38:

Harry,

I believe that every person in a free democracy have the right to free speach. I believe that you are entitled to your opinion. That would be a faire thing to say, would it not?

Well, before you start throwing rather grandious accusations around, look at the points of appeal first.

You'll find that what we are advocating is the same as the Reynolds case. This case, in a nut shell, was The Times newspapers ability to critisise the Prime Minister of Ireland, Mr. Reynolds. It was argued by The Times that they had the right to critisise a political leader who affected many people. The Court agreed. It is now law that public debate surrounding politics is legal. If they print something maliciouse the politicians have the right to to sue for being malicious, but not for libel. That seems fair to most people.

Now, the part of Dave and Helens argument, which does have a lot of evidence, is that every member of the public has the right to be able to hold public debate regarding a company that affects almost every person in this country. McDonalds, rightly or wrongly, through advertising and promotion, have an effect on the lives of a lot of people (such as the 33,000 workers employed in teh UK, and 1 million customers per day.) They are not saying that people should be allowed to say anything and everything, but they are saying that a company that has such an effect on the better part of society should not be allowed to sue for libel when they are debated publicly.

If McDonalds are allowed to affect us to the extent that we exposed to their advertsing several times a day, we should be able to discuss what we are told by them. At the moment if you do that McDonalds have the freedom to spend 10 - 15 vmillion sueing you. And you are not allowed legal aid to defend that. You either have to stand up for what you believe in and fight yourself without legal help, or, apologise when you don't believe a word of what you have said.

To say that Helen and Dave have no evidence, and that they want the court to accept what they say, because they said it, is ridiculous. If you pop along to court you will see on either side of the court many stacks of lever arch files. There are literaly millions of pages of evidence, for both sides. Also if there is no evidence, no court in this land would allow a case to go on for 313 court days, covering 3 years. Also, because they are so busy, no Court of Appeal would alloow an appeal if there is no evidence.

Although I belive you have the right to say what you did, I think next time you should check what you say first, epcialy if it is so flawed.


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