Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Quentin Letts and a Frozen Haddock

The talk in libel and journalism circles is currently about Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts, who is facing a misconceived libel claim from Sir Alan Sugar.

However, one wonderful aspect of this case appears appears so far to have been overlooked.

As followers of this Blog will know, most high profile libel cases are heard by Mr Justice Eady.

And Mr Justice Eady, in a recently released and extremely interesting speech on privacy law (on which I intend to blog more fully), described how judges have been personally attacked in the media for their privacy judgments.

Referring to himself:-

"One [judge] in particular has been accused of "moral and social nihilism", "arrogance", "immorality", "amorality" and of favouring privacy because he is "painfully shy": and of combining all that with being "a frozen haddock"."

So which journalist described Mr Justice Eady as a "a frozen haddock" causing the judge himself to dwell on this slight in a learned speech?

Step forward Quentin Letts.

The now perhaps rather unfortunate article is here.

I wonder to which judge the case of Sugar vs Letts will get allocated...


Andy said...

I think Eady's fantastic.

(just in case)

Ramel said...

Would being refered to as a frozen haddock count is a conflict of interest? Has that question ever been asked at all in human history before this case?

Richard King said...

Matthew Parris does not mince his words and it takes seeing no more than one episode of "The Apprentice" to agree with him.

I have read many of Quentins Letts' political columns and theatre reviews, being rather intrigued with his inventive descriptions as much as anything else.

Jeremy Clarkson got some stick for his comments on the newly enobled Alan's mate Gordon but, unless I have missed something, has not been sued. Maybe ermine has a side effect of reducing skin thickness with some people.

Alice said...

If someone is referred to as a frozen haddock, is that a sign that things are getting a bit fishy? Or is that just a red herring? I think Eady should tell them this is not the time and plaice to carp. I fear they will have had their chips if they criticise him, though . . .

Owen said...


Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Andy: watch it!

fan⋅tas⋅tic  [fan-tas-tik]
1. conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination; odd and remarkable; bizarre; grotesque
2. fanciful or capricious, as persons or their ideas or actions.
3. imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish or irrational
4. extravagantly fanciful
5. incredibly great or extreme; exorbitant: to spend fantastic sums of money.
6. highly unrealistic or impractical; outlandish