It’s the big talking point on gossip pages, radio talkshows and glossy magazines…which Premier League footballer did Imogen off Big Brother have an affair with?! Personally, I’m not interested, but the whole issue has really thrust into the limelight the special court order known as the SUPER INJUNCTION! (Which sounds extremely dramatic and a bit daft). Until quite recently this legal ruling was completely unknown to the British public, but it’s now big news.
Watching News Night from the comfort of my leather bean bag on Friday night (I know, I’ll have to slow down one day) I saw Hugh Grant, a lawyer and a girl who apparently once slept with Wayne Rooney discussing the issue. Mr Grant seems to have caused a bit of a stir by stating that the super injunction is a marvellous, if a little flawed, thing.
I have to say, I’m all for freedom of the press as it helps makes our country what it is. For example, I supported the Mail on Sunday when they blew open the story of FIFA’s questionable World Cup voting system. Surely, I said, this is what good journalism is all about: exposing corruption and bad practice to help improve the world in which we live. I couldn’t understand why anyone would prefer to turn a blind eye to what was going on, in the hope that we might have more chance of landing the competition.
However, I do have a great deal of sympathy for stars like Hugh Grant. I’m not sure why it should be in the public interest for us to know about their affairs and indiscretions. That seems to me to be solely a private matter. Clearly, if something genuinely does concern the public, such as the recent case involving Lib Dem MP David Laws, who wrongfully claimed expenses for a room he rented from his gay partner. However true it may be that Mr Law’s motivation was purely to hide his sexuality, it is surely in the public interest to find out about such an arrangement.
But, when a celebrity romps with a mistress or reality TV contestant, I don’t think the public has an automatic right to find out. Ideally, laws should be more clear what newspapers can and cannot print, and limit their exposés to those that genuinely do help improve our society rather than simply provide tittle tattle for the country’s workplaces.
Thanks for reading,