The question for the court at this preliminary stage was not whether the words complained of would be understood to refer to the Claimant, but whether they were reasonable capable of being understood to refer to him.
Where a claimant was not named in a publication, the court should consider whether the words complained of would lead persons reasonably acquainted with the claimant to believe that he was the person referred to by the publication – Morgan v Odhams Press  1 WLR 1239 per Lord Morris, Knupffer Express Newspapers Ltd  AC 116 per Viscount Simon LC.
The Claimant had not identified any publishees who had understood the words to refer to him, nor had he identified any facts which might be known to any particular publishees beyond that he was the Chairman of the English Democrats. In his letter before action, the Claimant had identified potential claimants as himself and all other publicly identified officers of the English Democrats.
Tugendhat J ruled that the case was indistinguishable from the House of Lords’ decision in Knupffer v Express Newspapers Ltd  AC 116. In that case, the court had ruled that a reference to ‘Mlado Russ’ (‘Young Russia’, a political party of ‘fascist ideology’, whose membership comprised 24 in Britain) was incapable of referring to the party’s leader. In Knupffer, the House of Lords stated that it was not sufficient that readers of the article thought of the claimant as the leader of the party in question – there was nothing in the article itself which ought to suggest even to his acquaintances that he was referred to as an individual.
Moreover, the common law had long recognised the right to freedom of expression, most recently enshrined in Article 10 ECHR. It was of the utmost importance that democratically elected public bodies and political parties should be open to uninhibited public criticism without fear of political censorship – Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd  AC 534 and Goldsmith v Bhoyrul  QB 459 applied.
In this case, there was nothing which suggested that the blog posting referred to the Claimant. Indeed, to the extent that any individuals were the targets of the allegation of racism in the blog, it was more likely to be understood to refer to the two alleged former BNP individuals identified in the blog, rather than the Claimant. There was also a risk that discussion of matters of public concern could be inhibited if the law was too ready to hold that an attack on a political group identified an individual who was not named.