'CND IS REFUSED COURT BAN ON CRITIC'S SPOOF'
By Hugh Davies
Daily Telegraph – 18 February 1983
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was rebuffed by a High Court judge yesterday for trying to use the law to restrain political controversy. Mr Justice Warner refused to grant CND an interim injunction to stop Dr Julian Lewis, one of its sternest critics, illustrating an anti-CND leaflet with a red hammer and sickle superimposed over the peace symbol.
The judge held that injunctions should not "in general" be used to inhibit free speech.
A jubilant Dr Lewis, 31 year-old Research Director of the Right-wing Coalition for Peace Through Security, and a graduate of St Antony's College, Oxford, left the court holding high his group's latest poster.
It carries the disputed emblem with the caption: "CND – COMMUNISTS, NEUTRALISTS, DEFEATISTS".
CND claimed that the Coalition's parody of its symbol infringed copyright because it was lifted from an illustration on the pamphlet "Thirty Questions and Answers about CND". The Coalition's leaflet – "Thirty Questions and Honest Answers about CND" – altered the motif to include the Russian emblem. The document argued that CND closed its eyes to the Soviet threat.
The judge said CND was asking him to limit the weapons available to the Coalition to attack its cause:
"It would, I think, be a surprising thing for a court to use the remedy of an injunction to achieve such a purpose."
The action was brought by Mr Peter Kennard, 34, a freelance artist who has also worked for the Polish Solidarity campaign. His counsel, Mr David Micklethwait, stressed that CND was not trying to act as a censor, but merely to stop infringement of copyright. After the judgement, he said that consideration would be given to pursuing the main copyright action. The decision had to be taken by CND "in a rather communal way".
Meanwhile, over at CND's 25th anniversary party in the Central Hall, Westminster, where [Labour Party leader] Mr [Michael] Foot watched chairwoman Mrs Joan Ruddock blow out the candles on a giant birthday cake, it was disclosed that the organisation had launched an appeal for cash to fund a major advertising drive.
Mrs Ruddock said it is in response to the Government's anti-CND campaign which centred on "the worst kind of propaganda technique". Mr Foot, in response to Mrs Thatcher's what-if-Hitler-had-the-Bomb speech last weekend, said:
"If the nuclear arms race continues, it is the Hitlers of tomorrow who will have the Bombs. The only way we can stop this is by disarming."
The Labour Party was determined to put its anti-nuclear policy into effect, he said:
"I believe the coming General Election will be more influenced by the nuclear arms debate than any previous election."
[NOTE: Foot was quite right – Labour's unilateral nuclear disarmament stance led it to a landslide General Election defeat in 1983.]