Sir Robert Jones – Whether one likes or loathes him, no-one would argue that Elon Musk is not an extraordinary creative innovator. That said, wrongly accusing one of the key heroic rescuers of paedophilia in the Thai cave boys remarkable drama made his libel defence seem on face value, an impossibility. But in the event, not so, the jury finding for Musk.
Here’s why the verdict didn’t shock me. The plaintiff, British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth, not withstanding his heroic efforts in an event which gripped the world, frankly brought it on himself.
When Musk announced he’d built a slender oxygen supplied tube to take the lads out through the flood filled cave, Unsworth’s response disgusted me.
Instead of thanking him and pointing out why that wouldn’t work, he sneered and insultingly accused him of show-boating. That was disgraceful and I understand Musk’s hurt reaction, for which incidentally, he subsequently apologised for the “pedo” slur.
But it was only then the world learnt why Musk’s altruistic effort wouldn’t work, specifically the need in requiring the boys to travel, in one part of the submerged caves, through a long narrow but bent portion, thus a stiff metal tube apparatus wouldn’t work.
Unsworth (and his colleagues) life-threatening rescue efforts fully warranted all the praise subsequently accorded them. But it was not that which the case revolved round, rather Unsworth’s (forgive the pun) unworthy sneering of Musk as publicity seeker.
This case will have cost Unsworth nothing but his pride for it’s odds-on a leach litigation funder would have seen it as a walk-in-the park and incurred the heavy trial costs, perhaps a final happy outcome of an amazing drama which held us all spell-bound.