Does today’s judgement really impact on “free speech”?
In his response to today’s judgement the ex-MP, Phil Woolas said the ruling had created uncertainty about what election candidates could and could not say about each other adding that “That is not good for a strong democracy”.
But is this the case? For a close reading of the detailed judgement, which I recommend, shows the extraordinary lengths the judges went to distinguish between the rough and tumble of campaigning and what Phil Woolas did.
This was, I believe, an almost totally one-off case and I cannot point to any campaign in recent times which gets near to equalling it.
If anybody believes that there are parallels then please put them forward.