Alf gagged on his corn flakes and whisky this morning when he spotted criticism of plans to give MPs more protection against being sued if they make defamatory comments.
We’ve given ourselves so many other perks that it seems downright petty to try to say enough’s enough and that MPs should be bound by the same libel laws that bind everybody else in our society, including the likes of David Farrer, Whale Oil and Cactus Kate.
As things stand, we MPs enjoy a special privilege when speaking in Parliament that removes those shackles. We can’t get away with murder, but we don’t have to worry about irritating consequences like defamation suits if we drop a bit of bullshit into proceedings and subject some poor sod to a bit of hatred, ridicule or contempt.
Trouble is, we have this freedom to speak our minds – no matter how addled those minds might be – only during parliamentary proceedings.
Just think what Alf Grumble could say in these posts if he could pepper his prose with calumnies and lies or ignore court orders, immune from some pesky prick popping up to claim damages because he or she has been defamed.