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Anorak | The Naked Truth

The Naked Truth

by | 31st, March 2004

‘IF the little child who pointed out that the emperor was naked in the Hans Christian Andersson story were here today, chances are that he would be locked up for his temerity.

Not for sale in Britain

At the very least, he would lose his job, joining his fellow whistleblowers languishing in disgrace while the emperor continued to strut around without a stitch on.

When a book by an American writer which seeks to probe the special relationship between the world’s two most powerful dynasties – the House of Bush and the House of Saud – cannot be published in Britain because of our absurd libel laws, does anyone suggest it is time that those laws were changed?

Of course not – instead we blame the author, the publisher, the lawyers, the woman who does the cleaning at the lawyers’ office…

And thus we find ourselves in the absurd situation where we in this country cannot even judge the credibility of author Craig Unger’s argument, despite the fact that the book is already a bestseller in the United States.

And despite the fact that the principal characters in the book are not British, do not live in Britain and have no real reputation in Britain to protect.

You’ve heard of sex tourism, well, Random House, the giant publishing house, tells the Guardian that the growing incidence of ‘libel tourism’, as well as huge ‘success fees’ paid to libel lawyers, prevents it from publishing in this country.

Random House deputy chairman Simon Masters said it is disgraceful that wealthy foreigners can use Britain’s draconian libel laws to stifle free expression.

It is disgraceful – but easily resolved. We could change the law. Sorry, silly thought…’



Posted: 31st, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink