Monday, April 18, 2011

Murdoch Super-Injunctions and Other Stuff

We used to call it treason when I was younger. Now the bright young things call it lobbying.

HACKGATE DAY 92: Murdoch’s head on block says lawyer…

….but beware the double-edged sword.

Rupert Murdoch’s past behaviour suggests that he prizes monopoly ownership far higher than press freedoms. Indeed, it is the horrible reality of having so much of the press in the hands of shadowy characters that brings with it the danger of censorship. The Newscorp/Murdoch mentality has always been ‘do what it takes to get the story’. You can’t have off-limits press freedoms with that kind of ‘no limits’ ethic: that’s why we need to get Roop and other unelected exiles out of our media lives. The cruel irony is that failure to do this will give an excuse to the elite – both political and judicial – to introduce draconian publication limits with the cheery admonition, “Remember Newscorp”.

As The Slog has posted previously, the elite that stood by looking the other way while liberal journalists and right-wing blog writers nailed this scandal would not even blink at the hypocrisy of doing such a thing. So top marks to The Guardian (and in Slogger’s Roost, we don’t say that very often) for starting right now to highlight the danger. Given Britain already has disgraceful restrictions on Court reporting in some sectors – a disgrace compounded by New Labour’s unwillingness to change that state of affairs – the last thing we need is grubby ambulance chasers with yet more flimsy excuses to protect their powerful clients.

The Guardian’s piece looks at the super-injunction trend, and gets LibDem MP John Hemming (who is launching an inquiry into possibly unlawful secrecy) to go on the record about a new type of super-dooper injunction designed to gag investigative journalists.

Hemming said the new breed of gagging order – used in relation to a case in the high court in London last week…anyone know which one? – meant journalists could face jail simply for questioning innocent victims of illegality. “It has the effect of preventing journalists from speaking to people subject to this injunction without a risk of the journalist going to jail. That is a recipe for hiding miscarriages of justice,” said the MP, “It puts any investigative journalist at risk if they ask any questions of a victim of a potential miscarriage of justice … I don’t think this should be allowed in English courts.” more

Gordon Brown is a practising paedophile whose activities are known not only to the British, American and Israeli intelligence services, but also by Rupert Murdoch and his senior editor at the Sunday Times.

No comments: