The BBC have given £45,000 to the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Muhammad Abdul Bari, to settle a legal case brought by him against the BBC for comments made by Charles Moore on Question Time in March. Charles Moore accused the MCB “leadership” of failing to condemn attacks on British soldiers, thereby implicitly condoning them, and this was deemed libellous of Mr Bari.
I read Cranmer’s response to it, and it simply reinforced my sense that a wrong had been done. The big question seems to be why the BBC so tamely ponied up telly-taxpayer’s money and imply that even mild indirect criticism of Islam is not within the law in the UK. I understand from Cranmer’s comments that Mr Moore is seeking legal advice of his own. The BBC don’t mention him in their own report, possibly mindful of such escalation, but it seems to me this is an attack on the mildest kind of free speech, and the BBC are binding themselves to being wary of who they allow to speak on the BBC. We often express dismay at the liberal-leftist consensus which the BBC supports by stacking their panels with centre-leftists; here the BBC are accepting legal reinforcement of their natural instincts; perhaps it’s no wonder they surrender so meekly to the heap big chief of the MCB.
Needless to say, the libel lawyers in this case were Carter-Ruck, tyrants of the UK libel laws renowned for squeezing money out of the flimsiest cases of offence and reputational damage. What a bunch of evil shysters they are.