Today, 23rd February at 9:45 a.m., Simon Singh's supporters are gathering outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL. Anyone can go along; and anyone can hear the appeal, which takes place at 10:30 - just under 3 hours from now.
Simon is in remarkably good spirits, tweeting about the London Word Festival (which looks fun!), and thanking people for their support. (I love Twitter.) I admire his bravery. The boss I was describing yesterday also attempted to take me to court for "theft", i.e. sending one or two e-mails to my friends during the 7 months I was lucky enough to work in his office with permission he subsequently denied giving me. Even that piece of petty idiocy was terrifying. But then I was only 18. It's wonderful the strength people can develop. The British Chiropractic Association say that Simon has rounded up a bunch of malicious supporters to get revenge. I, and I'm hardly alone, say that Simon has turned their mean-spirited and illiberal repressiveness into a wonderfully positive campaign, a campaign that seriously needs to happen in view of the English Libel Laws. It is mortifying that the wealthy can pop along to our country to sue people halfway across the world, and that the burden of proof is on the defendant. This had to change - and it is now changing!
For the latest news, Jack of Kent and Crispian Jago have, as ever, written great posts with, as ever, varying degrees of seriousness. And (update) here's a wonderful article in the Times: "Test medicine in the lab, not in the court" by Raymond Tallis. This wonderful sentence jumped out at me: '“Tested in court by the most powerful lawyers” is not an exactly reassuring statement on the patient information leaflet.' Whoopee!
Sense About Science, among so many others, have done a wonderful job in raising awareness. And Simon has had an idea to send more ripples of awareness through the population. I understand we're well over 30,000 signatures now . . .
Please sign the petition to reform libel laws. Doesn't matter if you're English, or live in England, or not - they are currently available to be hijacked by anyone of any nation, regardless of whether or not this is suitable or just. And good luck Simon today!