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Thread: Common sense settlement in McAlpine libel case

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Default Common sense settlement in McAlpine libel case

    Lord McAlpine row: George Monbiot reaches 'unprecedented' settlement | Media | guardian.co.uk

    The Guardian columnist George Monbiot has reached what he called an "unprecedented" libel settlement with Lord McAlpine, pledging to carry out three years of charity work as recompense for Twitter messages that wrongly linked the former Conservative chairman with an allegation of child sex abuse.

    Monbiot repeated that he was "extremely sorry" for the erroneous tweets sent in November last year and said he would carry out work amounting to £25,000 on behalf of three charities.
    In a statement Monbiot said:

    "I accepted the suggestion immediately and without reservation. I feel the proposed settlement reflects very well on Lord McAlpine, who is seeking nothing for himself, but wants to see work done which could be of great benefit to others.

    "I am currently working on finding three charities to whom I can be useful and with whom I can build a good relationship, with a particular emphasis on groups helping dispossessed or abused or destitute children, groups helping children to reconnect with nature and groups seeking the restoration of damaged ecosystems. I am also investigating creative and interesting ways of generating value or raising money for them.

    "I have been prompted by Lord McAlpine's admirable proposal to do the right thing – something I should have been doing all along – and I hope very much that I am able to do it well."
    Good to see. I'm all for pursuing websites/papers for financial damages, but in cases like this, where the libel is due to idiocy as opposed to maliciousness or profit making, a full apology with appropriate public service seems a good way to make repairs.

    McAlpine has his good name back, a public and full apology, the culprit learns his lesson and 3 charities will benefit. Good stuff all around.
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    Could a similar case ever conclude as quickly in Ireland?
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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutingIsLeadership View Post
    Could a similar case ever conclude as quickly in Ireland?
    Most times in Ireland we don't get this sort of thing with Twitter and repeating libel do we? Most people have more sense. This was kind of an outlyer due to the circumstances surrounding the story and the multiple BBC muckups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    Most times in Ireland we don't get this sort of thing with Twitter and repeating libel do we? Most people have more sense. This was kind of an outlyer due to the circumstances surrounding the story and the multiple BBC muckups.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to relate it specifically to Twitter. Is it not more likely that people wait until they are on the steps of the High Court before they magically agree a settlement?
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    Politics.ie Member SilverSpurs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    Lord McAlpine row: George Monbiot reaches 'unprecedented' settlement | Media | guardian.co.uk



    In a statement Monbiot said:



    Good to see. I'm all for pursuing websites/papers for financial damages, but in cases like this, where the libel is due to idiocy as opposed to maliciousness or profit making, a full apology with appropriate public service seems a good way to make repairs.

    McAlpine has his good name back, a public and full apology, the culprit learns his lesson and 3 charities will benefit. Good stuff all around.
    Is it possible to be libelled by Monbiot on the basis that he isn't believable after the codology he spun about 'climate change'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverSpurs View Post
    Is it possible to be libelled by Monbiot on the basis that he isn't believable after the codology he spun about 'climate change'.
    Off topic and nonsense.

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    t's basically a payment of £25k spread over three years, and he gets to spread his word among an audience he feels he should have been reaching with his evangelising.

    Monbiot is not a cheap speaker by any means (I know of one organisation who refused to deal with him after they saw the accumulated costs of getting him to the venue in an eco-friendly manner.

    It looks to me as if he can speak to a local school or five for "free" while claiming his normal fee against the £25k figure.

    He makes quite a bit from his current gig, but has no particular aadience among the audience he promises to target, so that won't cut into the earnings from his target paying audience, and then saw his fee for the talk).

    Hell, if he really wants to cut the costs to himself all he has to ask of the organisers of the next speaking engagement is: "While we have the venue, do you think we could do maybe two presentations for kids, one on the afternoon of the event and one the following morning?"

    Forgive my cynicism, but I'm minded of a soccer-player in the past who received a few hundred hours Community Service for some reason. Turned out that an hour at the local school training their players counted for over a hundred hours as a result of preparation time,number of participants. As a result of his fame, in essence.

    I should point out tha I agree essentially with Monbiot's core message, but this will cost him relatively little money and time, it's spreading a message to an audience he previously hadn't targeted, and I'm thankful that this is a civil rather than a criminal decision.

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    Does anyone have any clue as to what Des Quirell is on about above?

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    Quote Originally Posted by meriwether View Post
    Does anyone have any clue as to what Des Quirell is on about above?
    The £é(k and the "three years" are entirely arbitrary figures and mean nothing in practice

    Monbiot won't pay a penny or lose a penny.

    The deal is merely PR puff for him and for McAlpine

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    Default Deliberate Libel

    It should be noted that the BBC (and Monbiot) libelled Lord McAlpine on the word of Steven Messham who had already been exposed as a fraudster in a New Stateman article in February 1999 written by UK cultural historian Richard Webster. Incredibly the article was entitled "What the BBC Did Not Tell Us" but it refers to a BBC programme broadcast 13 years before the McAlpine libel.
    What the BBC did not tell us

    This is what Webster wrote about accuser Steven Messham in 1999:

    The next witness to appear on the programme was Steven Messham. He said that on one occasion, when he had been in the sick-bay with blood pouring from his mouth, he had been buggered by Howarth as he lay in bed. He said that on another occasion he was asked to take a hamper of food to Howarth’s flat, where he was buggered by Howarth over the kitchen table.

    What the BBC did not tell us was that Messham claims he was sexually abused by no less than 49 different people. He also says he has been physically abused by 26 people. In 1994 the Crown Prosecution Service declined to bring his allegations against Howarth to court. None of his allegations has ever resulted in a conviction. In 1995 one of his most serious sexual allegations was rejected by a jury after barristers argued that it was a transparent fabrication.


    Why didn't the BBC Google Messham's name before broadcasting their latest libel? Wny didn't George Monbiot? And what are the chances that either of them would have made a "mistake" like that about Arthur Scargill say? McAlpine was targetted because he had been an adviser to Margaret Thatcher.

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