Let’s Abandon Britain. That’s the conclusion to reach after reading the Daily Mail today. And this is not the conclusion of some weedy pinko – but the only rational response to the paper’s campaign against the growing nonsense of shagging celebrities using gagging orders and superinjunctions to cover up their infidelities (see page 3 today: TV Celebrity wins court order gagging his ex-wife).
It’s easy in particular to moan about superinjunctions, which seem to be granted by the day (there’s been a run of Mail stories on the subject prompting this comment earlier in the week). Their aim is to prevent even the slightest bit of reporting on a topic – indeed their existence itself is supposed to be a secret. And occasionally their purpose is justified (there is one around at the moment connected with a well known news story whose intent everybody on Fleet Street can at least understand).
Yet, their use by agressive lawyers trying to cover up inconvenient truths is another matter. If we are to have a privacy law, preventing any sexual infidelities in the press, then it ought to be decided by Parliament. Why judges get to do it is a quirk of our legislative system, and perhaps the justices should be obliged to declare whether they have had any affairs themselves before they are allowed to decide in such sensitive cases. We ought to know what their prejudices are, after all.
This, though, is obvious stuff. The real point is that is surely time for resistance to head offshore. Who is going to set up an offshore website where it is possible to publish details of superinjunctions that apply to the UK? Anybody out there…