Sunday, 10 July 2011

Politicians vs Journalists

The News of the World scandal has no bearing on Tommy Sheridan's perjury conviction, leading QC Paul McBride says. (Full story here.)

Personally I would consider both Sheridan and the now defunct NotW both as bad as each other over matters of ethics and truthfulness considering their past records! It would be rich if the NotW used 'phone hacking' or other dubious methods to discover Sheridan's 'club visits' which eventually lead to his perjury conviction!

But then again, the rich and famous are keen to use super-injunctions to stop us knowing of their peccadilloes, so why shouldn't journo's use 'phone hacking' to expose them? Well BOTH are wrong!

  • Unless somebody (star, politician or whatever) is taking a strong moral stance or suchlike, why should the general public be treated to details of private affairs? The public might be interested in a prurient manner, it may sell newspapers, but it is not real news and I don't think we need to know!
  • Super-injunctions are bad, people should know when other people are trying to stop something from coming out. And companies using them to hide news of their bad (but not illegal) practices in the 3rd World is totally unconscionable. (See this article). And if the government ever use them, God help us all. It will make 'Comercial in Confidence' or 'National Security' excuses look totally reasonable!
  • Busting into people's e-mails, texts, voice-mails, etc. to expose sexual misdeeds or other unimportant things which may sell a few more copies is very, very wrong. If it was to expose a criminal conspiracy or government cover-up, it may, just, be morally justifiable (if still probably illegal).
Politicians and journalists have been arguing about privacy issues for years, off and on. Politicians seem to be broadly in favor of privacy laws and regulations (not really surprising due to the number of them that have been bought low by sex scandals and corruption revealed by the press), while the press seem more or less against against (paparazzi photos and 'who bonks who' sells papers). The judiciary, who are caught in the middle, are being forced to make up case law on the hoof based on the present defamation laws and the Human Rights Act! 

This can not be right. Britain needs it's privacy laws properly debated, clarified and, if needed, updated. And we need to loose these super-injunctions!

(Note: I am fully in favour of good, clean investigative journalism.)

(Unless this is all a plot by the UN Super-Government to hide their contacts with the aliens from Beta Recticulai II and the plot to .... )

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