Saturday, May 14, 2011

Newsnight debates injunctions

BBC's Newsnight had a debate about injunctions.

The Daily Mail's report of the BBC programme commented on actor Hugh Grant's defense of injunctions and the robust "we love the fees" argument by lawyer Charlotte Harris. In the corner for free speech was Helen Wood, an ex prostitute who has injunctions against her (apparently - we have never seen them) who did her best to articulate her concerns that women were being gagged by rich men.

The debate missed a number of points. We all have a right to privacy under laws prescribed by Governments - not Judges who are interpreting the Human Rights Act the way they see fit. Gagging orders and injunctions are blackmails and threats to the media not to publish stories they have proof are true.

This is censorship.

"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

"A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad." ~Albert Camus

The Daily Mirror have this to say. They also report in an opinion poll that 8 out of 10 people think injunctions are used by the rich. That means 2 out of 10 must think they are used by the poor.

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