Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Just like Coulson's comment that the game's up when the spokesman himself needs a spokesman, there's something striking about the journalist's story becoming its own story.

Marr's revelation that he successfully took out a super-injunction has certainly made the headlines -probably indeed made more headlines than had he just allowed the truth to be reported a few years ago.

It raises many more questions than it offers answers -every interview he's ever done where he's even touched on privacy laws or infidelity is surely now being pored over by his fellows hacks. And not with a view to supporting him I'd imagine, because the fourth estate is nothing if not rigorous when it comes to screwing over one if its own. His comment that he would make no further comment is, therefore, hopeful at best.

The broader issue is much more important though.

There is something deeply disturbing about injunctions so overwhelming that even their very existence cannot be reported. And from the perspective of the super-rich, there is something so utterly and obviously attractive about them, that left untouched, their popularity can only soar.

I see that the Lib Dem MP John Hemming today tried to ask a question in the Commons about an injunction, but was stopped. Good for him for trying; bad for us he wasn't allowed to receive an answer. When even Parliamentary privilege isn't quite good enough, something has gone wrong in the balance between public disclosure and privacy; and in the Judiciary's attitude to the boundaries of the law.

In communications terms, there is a clear divide -on the one hand, a few judges and some stonkingly rich celebrities with rapacious libidos. On the other hand, pretty much everybody else.

The danger that the defenders of these super-injunctions run is that they become seen as the guardians of excess without responsibility or repercussion. If I were they, I wouldn't be so keen on that role.

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