Several people are linking to an ill-informed post by Mike Smithson at Political Betting entitled Is Labour about to clamp-down on the blogsphere? about possible reforms to the UK defamation and libel laws. I have no idea what Mike's source is, but mine is open and to the point. Padraig from Index on Censorship attended a Westminster Hall debate this week and wrote it up for Liberal Conspiracy.

He, and I, are very hopeful about the results of the debate, and the Govt has agreed a consultation that will pay specific attention to libel and the internet. As this is something I've been calling for for some time, it's great to see progress being made. My comment to Mr Smithson is below the cut for those that don't like wading through 350+ off topic tangents about unrelated subjects and discussions from previous thread:

ETA, before the cut, Padraig's posted an update on LC, definitely worth a read for everyone that allows open comments and talks about, well, people on their journal.
ETA2: John Hemming MP also agrees on comment screening—"In the mean time (and rightly) we have the odd situation that someone who moderates comments can be liable for libel, but someone who doesn't moderate comments cannot."
Summary of why Mike Smithson has got the wrong end of the stick )
I added a link to the Eady case as it's important, other useful links are:
Defamation
Basic Libel for Idiots

All three have been in my 'to post' folder for far too long. Really should remember that a quick knockabout post with links is frequently more effective than articles so well researched they never actually see the light of day.
Today, I are mostly been sleeping. Then I did a lot of digging and wrote a post at Liberal Conspiracy about a certain Brian Coleman, London Assembly member and sexist git.

I first heard about the tedious cock in that post of [livejournal.com profile] liadnan's, a long time before I moved up to London, and he's done nothing to impress me since. For quite awhile, my old post about him was top Google result for his name, it's fallen now to seventh. But I think he's more than a cock now, he's an expensive ignorant sexist git who deserves as much opprobrium as possible. So, given I no longer live in London, I don't have AMs or MPs to complain to. So I figure I'd hurt his rep on Google a bit instead.

If you fancy joining in, and have a publicly accessible website that's indexed by search engines, especially Google,
copying and pasting the below might assist in adding to the amusement—LC already has a good placing in search engines, but so do other sites that mention him. If lots of people link to that post with his name as the anchor, it should float to the top quite nicely...
Gah! I finally wrote another post for Liberal Conspiracy, proof read it, spell checked it, added some paragraph breaks, then hit post. I just came back to it, and found the last paragraph read:
Or will the Republicans, like the post ‘97 Conservatives over here, fail to understand the depths of their own failure and be condemned to decades of opposition as they fail to understand the way modern America is truly rejecting their failed position?
Do you think I may've got a bit too attached to the word 'fail' there? FFS

*goes to edit*
Finally got around to writing my first post on Liberal Conspiracy, pretty sure it'll appeal to [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat, [livejournal.com profile] daweaver and [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe, as well as anyone else who was annoyed by that execrable Kay Burley interview.

Liberal Conspiracy » Kay Burley on Sky News—Incompetent, ignorant or just malicious?

I had planned my first post to be a general 'this is what I'm about' post but that'll take too much time to research and put all the links in. Feel free to go read, comment, etc.
Reasons why Mat should pay more attention to those messages he's got marked as "reply to when you've time"...
Liberal Conspiracy

That contributors list? That's a who's who of left-of-centre British blogging. Some I virtually always agree with, some I vehemently disagree with on most things. Suspect it'll be an interesting site. And I can pretty much guarantee that a fair few of the contributors will fail to understand Chris Dillow on more than one occasion. There are far too many people out there that think support for markets=right wing. Guys? It's the Tories that are supposed to be Stupid, remember? Except the liberal ones, who really ought to realise they're in the wrong party.

I barely have time to read my friends page, let alone comment, or update here. So why am I thinking of contributing to two super-blogs and maybe starting something else as well? Given the huge number of half-started projects on my to-do list...

Oh, wait, it's because I'm a lunatic. We knew that. Sleep? What is this sleep thing of which people speak?
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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