McDonald's Libel Action

The Scotsman, 8 January 1996; Scotland

Helen Steel - Letters Page

Press Index

Sir, - Mike Love, for McDonald's complained (Letters, 28 December) of an, "inaccurate and misleading" article by Tariq Tahir about the current McDonald's libel action. Obviously, as a defendant in the McDonald's libel action, I disagree with Mr Love's analysis of the effect of the evidence given in court, and also with the reasons he gave for bringing the case, but I am writing in particular to challenge some of the statements he made.

  • Mr Love says McDonald's only brought this case after ten years of trying to settle the matter out of court. Ten years before the company began the action I was only 15, still at school, and, as amazing as it may now seem, I don't think I had heard of McDonald's.

  • Mr Love implies the article was wrong to suggest that McDonald's was surprised by the length of the trial. If, as he claims, McDonald's "always knew this would be a long case", perhaps he can explain why, during its application for a trial without a jury, Richard Rampton (McDonald's QC) told the judge he expected the trial to take three to four weeks (as correctly reported in your article).

  • It was entirely McDonald's choice to withdraw the daily transcripts of the trial.

    McDonald's wanted us to give a written undertaking which, among other things, would have prevented us from showing or reading any extract of any transcript to any journalist. No such restrictions applies to McDonald's, or to anyone else who [urchases the transcripts. When we refused to give the undertaking, McDonald's withdrew the transcripts.

    Helen Steel

    London Greenpeace
    Caledonian Road, London