The UK is still the place for the wealthy to oppress others through the courts

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As the Guardian reported last night:

The Guardian is to defend robustly a legal action seeking to force the disclosure of the documents that formed the basis of its Paradise Papers investigation.

The offshore company at the heart of the story, Appleby, has launched breach of confidence proceedings against the Guardian and the BBC.

In legal correspondence, Appleby has also demanded that the Guardian and the BBC disclose any of the 6m Appleby documents that informed their reporting for a project that provoked worldwide anger and debate over the tax dodges used by individuals and multinational companies.

Appleby is also seeking damages for the disclosure of what it says are confidential legal documents.

It has, of course, always been the favoured trick of those who despise the state so much that they try to avoid any regulation that it imposes to resort to its legal protection whenever they might. But it's telling that the action is only being brought against the BBC and Guardian and only in the UK. And that's because the fact is that UK libel law still stacks the odds against the telling of truth in this country. And that means the law becomes a weapon for the rich and powerful to use to suppress tales of abuse of all sorts.

This has been used to prevent the publication of many stories that have caused untold personal harm and long term suffering.

On this occasion the UK's legal bias towards those with wealth is being used to support the organised offshore abuse of the democratic right of countries to tax.

Not only do Appleby's deserve to lose heavily, the point has to still be made that even after recent libel law changes the UK is the remaining place for such litigation, as this case proves. And that has to change. Not that I see much chance of that given the cover ups that will be required to make it look as if any aspect of Brexit might work.