Sunday, May 08, 2011

Privacy or the latest protection racket

"Have you ever wished that something in your life had never happened, just call 0800 …today, and we can help you" - this is the kind of advert that we could expect the High Court of Justice to place in the national press any day now.

Confusing privacy, perhaps, with clandestinity, our High Court judges now offer tailor-made injunctions that can conceal the misbehaviour of any celebrity or other well-heeled public figure, who has the wherewithal to pay for this privilege.
Reminiscent of the medieval church practice of selling indulgences for the forgiveness of sins, our courts are now providing much more than mere pardons for human transgressions, they are erasing their very existence - by self-ordained powers, which places members of the judiciary on an equal footing with God.

Recently, our judges have even devised tools that will gag you so effectively that you will not be even able to say that you have been gagged. So, upon having been granted a super-injunction, the supplicant, sporting a cloak of invisibility whenever it suits, will be able to maintain his respectable status as if nothing had happened, while the rest of society will be kept in blissful ignorance of its role models’ real credentials. And, when they have enough finance to pay for the enhanced, premium service – a super- contra mundum injunction, that will rival the ubiquity of God’s powers, can ensure that no one will ever be able criticise them in English or in any other language on Earth.

The sad fact, however, is that our courts are not protecting the privacy of the solitary, the vulnerable or the wrongfully maligned; they are just making the law with a view to protecting the elite from the public exposure that would make it difficult for the law enforcement authorities to keep their eyes closed. (I remember one senior Met officer once telling me, in respect of our complaint, "If the newspapers don’t write about it, it cannot be true".)

The right to freedom of speech and the principle of open justice in Britain seem to come second to the rights of some to sweep their faults under the carpet. The long-term consequences of this state of affairs cannot be yet fully appraised, nor is anybody able to tell when it was that we first started to allow our justice system to go so madly astray.

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