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UK Super Injunctions prove #altnews is the premier source of real news

By Dark Politricks

The Super Injunction fiasco just goes to show once again that the lame stream media cares more about bikini snaps of Pippa and Kate Middleton than any kind of real investigative reporting. Once again it is left to the #altnews sites on the web to report the stories that the mainstream media would rather you didn’t know.

Whilst the Middle East is up in arms with dictators and Arab leaders assassinating dissidents our papers are full of Royal weddings and snaps of their relatives on holiday in skimpy swimwear.

Whilst NATO planes bomb disabled schools for children with Down Syndrome in Libya and whilst Palestinians are on the brink of reconciliation between Gaza and the West Bank. Our papers are engaged in stoking up strife for the coalition by leaking ancient stories about Chris Huhne to avenge the story that he had attacked the Tories during cabinet over their No to AV campaign posters.

Whilst nuclear reactors in Japan leak deadly radioactive waste into the air with people now linking the accident to the Stuxnet virus our news is full of insignificant guff about Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole in the USA starting a new X-Factor show.

Whilst the lame stream media laps up every word the President says about the death of Bin Laden the press don’t seem that interested in querying why the White House is telling more lies than Pinocchio about the Pakistani raid that supposedly led to the death of the worlds most feared terrorist.

Our media is more interested in the right to sell kiss and tell stories than the right to question why the worlds most feared terrorist and important intelligence asset ever known was assassinated whilst unarmed and then dumped in the sea rather than captured alive and questioned about possible future attacks, links to the ISI and the structure of the almost mythical al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.

It was interesting to see yesterday morning on the 24 hour news channels that the journalist brought out on BBC breakfast to defend “free speech” (as the UK Press likes to call paparazzi snaps of the vaguely famous) was from the Guardian newspaper rather than the News of the World.

Not that there is much difference between the two apart from a supposed air of respectability that the Guardian carries but it would have been interesting to watch a reporter from one of Murdochs rags currently embroiled in phone hacking scandals try and sell themselves as defenders of free speech.

The accusation that we now have a privacy law by the backdoor has suddenly been brought to a head by a number of factors which include:

  1. The fact that the details of the people supposedly involved in these super injunctions have been leaked on the internet.
  2. The current trials and tribulations of the Murdoch Press which has been caught bang to rights hacking into celebrities voicemails and is currently being sued by numerous victims.
  3. And Max Mosely, a recent victim of a News of the World sting operation, who has just attempted to create European wide law that would force newspapers about to ruin peoples lives by printing salacious gossip to warn them first before exposing their private live, warts and all to the all too eager to snoop British public.

Due to the UK’s subservience to European law and our lack of a privacy law or Bill of Rights enshrining our right to free speech such as the one that exists in the USA. It has been left to the UK courts to create a situation in which people with money and a penchant for sexual scandal are granted privacy by paying expensive lawyers to enact injunctions on the media from reporting and the papers lose out on a titillating headline.

These people, after being rumbled by the paparazzi or tipped off before being exposed by the gutter press, are using the UK courts to block details of their affairs from coming to light in the UK media. These injunctions not only prevent the UK press and media from revealing the people involved they also prevent them from informing the public who brought the injunctions in the first place.

The papers claim that this privacy law by the back door infringes on the public’s right to know about the private lives of the rich and famous. Their freedom to make money by printing gossip and sexy shenanigans is being put at risk due to their victims right under article 8 of the Human Rights Act to respect for one’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence” as well as protecting ones “private and family life”.

Of course the argument the press is pushing is a false one and as anybody who reads British tabloids should know it is being used by the papers to paint themselves as defenders of free speech sticking up for the common man’s right to know who Jemima Khan has been sleeping with rather than the peddlers of filth and irrelevant nonsense they really are.

The recent snaps of the Middleton sisters are a case in example. Even if their legal action is successful the pictures are out in the public sphere, the public have had their fill of bikini shots and any damage to their reputation has already been done. Even with a front page apology and a big fat settlement the genie cannot be put back in the box so to speak.

Max Mosely himself has said a number of times to gain an injunction in the UK courts is pretty hard and the burden of proof is on the person seeking the injunction to prove that the allegations about to be published are either false or serve no public interest and would severely affect the persons right to privacy under the Human Rights Act.

Instead of preventing legitimate stories of political corruption from being published as is claimed the press would only lose out on all those oh so important kiss and tell stories that are the mainstay of certain fleet street publications. As Max Mosley said:

“This is just about whether the newspapers should have the right to publicise very private aspects of people’s lives which there’s no public interest in at all – it’s just purely for titillation and to sell newspapers,” he told the BBC.

Today the judges in Strasbourg agreed that the publication of the story involving his “Nazi Orgy” resulted in “a flagrant and unjustified invasion” of Mosley’s private life. However they also ruled that, under the European Convention on Human Rights, the media was not required to give prior notice before printing a story.

They said in the UK the right to a private life was already protected by self-regulation of the press, access to civil courts to seek damages, and interim injunctions where applicable.

Therefore unless our government enacts a law covering our right to privacy that is balanced with our right to free speech it seems we are left with the unworkable situation which we have at the moment in which a press that cannot be trusted to regulate itself will be in constant battle with the courts.

Whilst judges issue injunctions that prevent the UK print media and TV news from running certain stories someone with Internet access can easily find out all the information regarding the injunctions if they so desired. The papers might be blocked from telling us who Rooney or Giggs has been screwing lately but overseas papers, the blogosphere, and social media sites like Twitter continue to satisfy the needs of those people who give a shit about these things.

The Tory Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said Parliament, not judges, should make decisions about privacy issues and that it was a “crazy situation” that super-injunctions were banning newspapers from publishing stories which were freely available online. A former Lord chancellor Lord Falconer also repeated that Twitter had now rendered super-injunctions “pointless”.

For those of us who care about real news stories this is just a sideshow that distracts everybody from stories that actually matter instead of those that do not.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if the person or persons behind the Twitter accounts that are leaking the super injunction info are not far removed from the papers themselves.

Once the information is out in the public sphere there is less chance a judge will grant an injunction in the first place and the Internet is the perfect place to anonymously post gossip and then use the fact that the information is now public knowledge to say to the courts “either grant a worldwide injunction or crackdown on the Internet”. The first option is impossible to achieve and the second is already being advanced upon piece by piece.

So for those people who care about the freedom of the press to invade your privacy and tell the nation about your sexual activities, kinky fetishes and print photo’s of your semi naked body then today’s ruling in the EU Court of Human Rights should come as a happy moment.

Mad Max couldn’t get his law implemented so the only recourse for those people affected by such public attacks in the press is to continue down the road of obtaining injunctions, receive printed apologies on page 2 after the information has already been revealed and receive payments from civil court fines if they have the money to take them to court.

Until our elected politicians, some of which are rumoured to have their own super-injunctions, enact a law to draw a line in the sand between privacy and free speech then we will have to rely on the Internet for our gossip as well as our real news and analysis.

Sooner or later the government is going to step up and it will be interesting to see who’s side they take on the issue.

Your right to shag whoever you want without it being front page news or the right of the gutter press to print whatever they like about you and then debate the facts after the damage has been done.

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Posted in Civil Rights and Privacy, Dark Politricks Articles, Freedom of Speech, Legal Matters, Public Figures.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Is the UK journalist who broke the Super Injunction asking for a test case in court? « Dark Politics linked to this post on May 23, 2011

    […] seems I wasn’t far from wrong in my last article: UK Super Injunctions prove #altnews is the premier source of real news when I said: It would not surprise me in the slightest if the person or persons behind the Twitter […]

  2. UK Journalist breaks Super Injunction – Is he asking for a test case? | Hot to Spot linked to this post on May 23, 2011

    […] By Dark PoliticksIt seems I wasn’t far from wrong in my last article: UK Super Injunctions prove #altnews is the premier source of real news when I said:It would not surprise me in the slightest if the person or persons behind the Twitter […]

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