Thursday, 21 February 2013

Publish and be damned

It is now clear that Lord McAlpine (the former Tory Party Chairman) is going to pursue Sally Bercow for her potentially Libelous 'Tweet' following the Newsnight programme, which wrongly claimed that the senior Ex-Conservative politician was a paedophile.  
Mrs Bercow, who had 57,000 Twitter followers at the time, tweeted after the broadcast: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*.”   Mrs Bercow, a Labour Party activist, is married to The Speaker of the House of Commons, who was a Tory before taking up armed neutrality as the independent Speaker.

This might be seen as a form of revenge by the Tory Party establishment against the family Bercow.  When elected to the Speaker's Chair, Gordon Brown remarked "It is said that you have now cast aside all your past political views - some of us thought you had done that some time ago." This was a reference to his journey from the Right wing of his party to becoming a neo-socialist. 

Once he became speaker his wife embarked on a career of shameless publicity both embarrassing to her husband and more importantly to the Office he holds.  Any way we are now spared the worst as she has closed her Twitter account after taking advice from her lawyers and generally has disappeared into the shadows.  Although the impending trial will change all that.

What does this mean for the rest of us engaged with social media - I suppose the main point is that without an 'in-house legal team' to approve our content we all have to have a degree of common sense and remember the lines from Shakespeare's Othello

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him

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