I know I promised yesterday that I wasn’t going to post about that ruddy Horizon documentary
again but I’m afraid my hand has been forced by Simon Singh.
Yes, Simon Singh as in the popular mathematician and bestselling author of Fermat’s Last Theorem. And also, more germanely to this story, the recent victim of an expensive libel action
brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA). The BCA eventually dropped its action – but not before Singh had run up £200,000 in legal costs. Though some it his lawyers will be able to claim back, he’s still likely to lose £60,000 of his own money as a result of his brave, principled decision to fight the case rather than cave in earlier.
I hugely respected him for what he did. He won a victory (albeit a financially Pyrrhic one) not just for himself but for all those of us who trade in robust opinion and who believe that English libel laws are outrageously biased in favour of vexatious complainants, which is why we have unfortunately become a haven for libel tourists, some of them representing unspeakable causes.