When Sir Elton John released Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, Katie Hopkins was just one year old.
I clearly remember hearing it for the first time, as plain old Elt, as he then was, larked around with Morecambe and Wise on their Christmas special.
I can only think that poor old Katie was already tucked up in her cot by that time, finally quiet for once.
Certainly the song’s message hasn’t resonated with her four decades later.
Lol all the people wanging on about free speech re this case.
“Sorry” would have been free speech.
Like literally, free.
— ❄Jack Monroe (@MxJackMonroe) March 10, 2017
Her refusal to apologise to food blogger Jack Monroe yesterday cost her £130,000 – and counting.
Rather predictably, Monroe’s victory has meant she is now having to fend off accusations that she is somehow stifling free speech.
Well said, Jack.
And then there is another debate. Over whether remarks made on Twitter should be taken as seriously by the law as those contained in permanent, considered news articles.
Media law trainer David Banks doesn’t think so.
In an interesting Twitter thread, he argues that it is an “obscenity” that Hopkins should now be facing a bill of what might end up at £300,000.
Twitter is the saloon bar, full of blowhards whose pronouncements mean naught and we should grow up and treat it thus…
— David Banks (@DBanksy) March 10, 2017
Not everyone agreed.
Warning: Some Rude Words On Their Way.
If I started doing the odd bit of unqualified brain surgery on the side, I’d be prosecuted to fuck.
— David Whitley (@mrdavidwhitley) March 11, 2017
I wouldn’t of course put it so forcefully as travel journalist Mr Whitley.
But I do agree.
If I stage a fireworks display for my family in my back garden and a stray rocket sets a neighbour’s house on fire, I’m no less culpable that the organiser of a public extravaganza at the local football ground.
There’s no difference to me, particularly when people like Hopkins have such huge numbers – nearly 700,000 – of followers.
So, no, the libel law shouldn’t be changed.
And yes, Ms Hopkins should pay up.
That’s the cost of making damaging and unsubstantiated accusations. And of not saying sorry.