Tuesday, 23 February 2010

London, libel..... and lunatic fashion

One of the things I love about living near London is the chance to go and participate in group events, demonstrations or protests, all for the price of a train ticket.

Today I went to the Royal courts of justice to support Simon Singh in his appeal against the libel ruling won by the British Chiropractic Association. There were about 70 people waiting to greet him as he went in , from Sense about Science, PEN and with their great banner, suburban pirate. After greeting Simon, as many people as possible squeezed in to Court 71 ( after following the ten line instructions on how to find it). It was gratifying that the court staff had to bring in another 20 or so seats to accommodate everyone, and there were still people waiting outside to get seated.

Having never been in a court, it seems an odd mix of the formal and the informal, and also very British. The two barristers were women, which I did not expect, although the 3 appeal judges were men, which I did expect. Any member of the public can go to the courts and it is worth a visit to literally see the law in action. Lots of the presentation of the case hinged on the differing meaning of the words " happily" versus " happy to" and of the interpretation of the word " bogus". I felt a bit like a tricoteuse because I was stitching a phrenology head to keep my hands busy while trying to understand the legal issues being discusssed.

I had to leave before the end, so am waiting to hear the judgement. This case is an issue that affects us all, not just those who are scientists or writers. Read about the issue, decide for yourself and if you care, sign the petition.

On a lighter note, as I came out of the court, I nipped into the Courtauld Gallery where London Fashion Week is being hosted and saw this bonkers, wonderful quilted dress. London .... love it!

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