I don’t know about you but have you noticed how it is very hard to sue and win in an action for libel or slander? And if you win you also lose too? and then costs that are awarded can be so paltry it would have been best to ignore it.
Why do you think that is?
It seems an unwinnable thing really. Today the former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell lost his High Court libel action over the “Plebgate” incident.
What is a pleb? A Pleb (from the Oxford English Dictionary) is a mid 17th century word: originally as plural plebs, from the Latin plebs ‘the common people’.
Whether he called the policemen “plebs” or not in the long run is not the real issue I am looking at here. Why has it been taken further? Do you remember taking something beyond the edge – when it really was time to stop? I think we all have done that. Just in this case all the lawyers won and now it really looks like he did say that. If Andrew Mitchell had not taken it further it could be ascribed to a misunderstanding – now though…..Giving his ruling, Mr Justice Mitting said: “For the reasons given I am satisfied at least on the balance of probabilities that Mr Mitchell did speak the words alleged or something so close to them as to amount to the same including the politically toxic word pleb.”
Sometimes don’t we all wish we could turn back time…..this must be one of them…..and make sure we don’t have our own costly “plebgate” errors in future. …..