Wednesday 29 December 2010

Quotes of the Year: Super-injunctions

Daily Telegraph on the lifting of the John Terry injunction: "The decision of the High Court to lift the injunction preventing newspapers identifying John Terry, the Chelsea and England captain, as the footballer alleged to have had an extramarital affair marks an important step away from the imposition by the back door of a privacy law on the British media."

Charlie Brooker in the Guardian: "Even if Terry had been caught ­having sex with a Cabbage Patch Doll in the window of Hamleys, he'd still be a better role model than any tabloid newspaper. A child who idolised the tabloids would grow up to be a sanctimonious, flip-flopping, phone-tapping Peeping Tom who thinks puns are hilarious and spends half its life desperately rooting through bins for a living. If I had a child like that, I'd divorce it. Or kill it. Whichever proved cheapest."

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop on sales of his magazine reaching an 18 year high: “It seems the Eye’s circulation figures are a bit like John Terry’s shorts. In the past they may have been down – but now they are firmly up again.”

The Guardian
in an editorial on the Trafigura injunction:
"Trafigura is an unappetising company which purchases smooth PR (it was the official sponsor of the recent British Lions tour) with the same no-expense-spared approach as it has to buying silence. It has threatened to sue journalists in a number of European countries and is even now involved in another aggressive libel action against BBC2's Newsnight. It is rather shameful that British judges should have spared the company's blushes by handing down secret injunctions."

Lord Steyn: "The effect of such injunctions is to outlaw publication of the very fact of an injunction having been granted. Possibly the most notorious is the super injunction granted to the oil traders Trafigura: Guardian, Saturday, 17 October 2009, My understanding is that a high level inquiry will deal with this subject. I hope the result will be that super injunctions will never, or virtually never, be granted."

Press Complaints Commission chair Baroness Buscombe: "The most benign thing that can be said about the recent Trafigura injunction fiasco was that it showed a touching naïveté on the part of the highly paid lawyers advising the company. But it was a revealing moment. It has illustrated to the public how the law is being used by the rich and the powerful to try to keep information private - just as many warned would happen during the passage of the Human Rights Act over ten years ago. The idea that a judge who may be no expert in the field can dish out so-called super-injunctions - preventing us from even knowing that he or she has restrained publication - is insulting to the public and anathema to democracy."

Charlie Brooker: "For the sake of all mankind, I sincerely hope that in future, any corporations trying to cover something up would do the decent thing and simply start strangling journalists and bombing their offices. Same results, less paperwork. Dead men tell no tales. And even if they try, Carter-Ruck can probably issue a gagging order that follows them into the afterlife and kicks their larynx off its hinges."

Quotes of the Year:
Blogging and Bloggers;
Ethics and entrapment;
WikiLeaks and Julian Assange;
Paywalls, Rusbridger and Murdoch;
The General Election;
The Regional Press.

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