High Court judges made to look pretty silly

I have written on here before about the lack of free speech in this country and the stupidity of super injunctions. Now we have the unedifying spectacle of the Scottish banking boss who cost English taxpayers billions in the biggest corporate bail out in our history hiding an affair with a work colleague from public knowledge. He cost us a fortune and we are entitled to know all the facts behind what happened. What right does a judge have to stop us knowing?

Then there are massively overpaid soccer players who rely on their wholesome family image for part of their commercial income. And when this image is a lie they get super injunctions to protect the lie. This is quite simply outrageous. In America Tiger Woods could not get similar court protection. But in America they have freedom of speech.

Fortunately there are two mechanisms to undo the judges’ foul deeds. The first is parliamentary privilege. Basically MP and members of the Lords can say anything they want within the debating chamber without legal recourse against them. This is essential to maintain our democracy. And some parliamentarians see what the judges are doing now as being undemocratic, so they are naming names. Which is excellent, I wish one of them would stand up and read out a list of all the super injunctions, it is what should be done.

The second mechanism is the interwebs. Basically the judges cannot stop stuff being posted there, nor can they effectively remove much of  it. I could go into an internet cafe and in an hour I could post a list of all the super injunctions into the comments section of about a hundred blogs. Pick blogs that are authored and hosted outside the UK so as to make the judges impotent. And it would be totally anonymous and untraceable. There are many other online methods of ensuring free speech such as proxy servers. All well beyond the powers of a High Court judge.

So the pronouncements that these judges make now carry no power. They may reduce sales of Fleet Street rags as the public get their scurrilous tittle tattle online, but that is about it. And what the judges are doing is profoundly unpopular amongst the British public. Not because we want to know about the misdemeanors of celebrities but because we want freedom of speech, a basic human right. The politicians really do need to get their act together and sort this out, if you add our libel laws, terrorist legislation and super injunctions together we have less freedom of speech than most dictatorships.


  1. Twitter sued by footballer over privacy

    Very interesting. Twitter believe in freedom of speech and have lots of money, but what chance do they have in a London court that has been made to look silly? Also Twitter have no control over their content and it impossible for them to have, so how can they be held responsible? It is like suing a paper manufacturer for what has been written on their paper.


  2. Article 19, United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


  3. First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is the law Twitter abide by as an American company:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    We could do with this in Britain.


  4. Now the truth about Fred the Shred is out we are getting some action: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13469295

    Royal Bank of Scotland is set to confirm that it is liaising with the Financial Services Authority on the question of whether Sir Fred Goodwin’s alleged affair with a colleague in any contributed to the collapse of RBS in 2008.

    Or to put it another way, the FSA is trying to learn whether the former chief executive’s alleged relationship with a colleague was a matter it should have known about.


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