Oh dearie, dearie me. It seems at least one Liberal Democrat is revealing himself to be a very sore loser.
The former MP for Cheltenham – one Martin Horwood – has taken issue with Beastrabban over a blog article stating that he is understood to work in the charity sector employing ‘chuggers’, street canvassers paid on commission only, so they may not see a penny for the work they do, while their employer (Mr Horwood?) picks up his full salary. The beast offered the opinion that this behaviour is exploitative.
Needless to say, Mr Horwood contacted the Beast and requested a retraction, claiming the comments were “actionable”. Oh really? The Beast responded with the obvious question – are Mr Horwood’s street canvassers employed in these terms or not? He added:
I would further wish to add that, as the article points out, I formed this opinion based on information I had received, and understood to be correct. If it is true that the street canvassers employed by charities are paid on commission only, then it is certainly not libellous for me to point it out, nor to condemn this as exploitative. As I said, it is my opinion that this is so, which is protected under British law. If Mr Horwood can reassure me that they are not paid by commission, I will be more than happy to amend my comments.
That’s very magnanimous if it’s his opinion that is at issue – as that would be ‘fair comment’ based on the information he had received.
Mr Horwood had better be able to provide cast-iron evidence that his ‘chuggers’ aren’t being exploited, otherwise he’ll have made himself look even worse.