A duel at sunrise
Seriously. Cristina Odone must feel very sure that Richard Dawkins won’t sue her for libel, or she wouldn’t say “Richard Dawkins is responsible for peddling a lot of lies about faith” in her blog at The Telegraph, and the Telegraph wouldn’t let her, either. She wouldn’t just casually risk a money-devouring and time-devouring lawsuit just for the hell of it, or for the tiny fun of accusing Dawkins of peddling lies in a Telegraph blog. She writes for the national press in the UK, so she can’t possibly be unaware of the UK’s insane libel laws and how they are used. She can’t possibly be unaware of Simon Singh and the BCA and the word “bogus” – so it’s surely fair to say that she simply would not use that word if she were not very confident that she and her paper would not be sued when she did. That’s fair isn’t it? I’m not being uncharitable? She can’t have thought “Risky word – libel – lawsuits – Singh – two years – hundreds of thousands – better not – oh what the hell, I’ll risk it, because it’s worth it.” Can she?
No. So she must have felt safe. How could she have felt safe other than because she knows Dawkins was part of the campaign against the libel laws and for Singh’s right to say what he said? Or perhaps because she knows more generally what his principles are. At any rate she clearly did feel safe, and feeling safe, she went right ahead and accused him of lying.
She’s not a good person. She is apparently a “good Catholic,” in the sense that she is blindly loyal to the Catholic church and will stoop to almost anything to defend it – but she is not a good person. She takes advantage of other people’s principles in order to defame them.