This week the Guardian made the astonishing revelation that a man who is heir to the throne by an accident of birth and who is the representative on Earth of precisely no-one has been enjoying the right of veto over government legislation. I think this might be a good time to strap on our democratic boots and make our way to Parliament.
Don’t be disheartened by the news of Prince Charles’s dubious interventions in the democratic process. Don’t give in to the apathetic feeling that you can’t do anything. You can and you should.
Oliver ‘Kingsolver’ Cromwell
If you are a scientist, you have a particular interest in helping to ensure that scientific matters can be robustly debated in the public domain without fear of the threat of a financially disastrous libel suit.
The law in England and Wales at present makes it too easy for powerful vested interests to silence critics, whatever the evidence. But thanks to persistent work by the Libel Reform Campaign over the past couple of years, Parliament and the Government are on the brink of considering serious and fundamental changes to strengthen freedom of speech.
Draft defamation legislation drawn up by the Government has been scrutinised by a select committee of MPs, who recently reported on changes that are needed. These changes, if implemented, will move things in the right direction but do not yet go far enough.
It is imperative that we keep the pressure on Parliament to remind them that the demand for reform is deep and wide. We must not miss this opportunity. To show your support, please come to a lobby meeting in Committee Room 10 in the House of Commons on Wednesday 9th November at 6 pm (see here for details).
Come. If you’ve never been to Parliament before, you’ll be fascinated.
Come. Make sure to add your voice to the demand for fairer libel law.
Come. Show the king in waiting how democracy is supposed to work.