So, the super injunction story rumbles on. Obviously the media have wanted to keep it alive as long as possible because it’s in their interest for all of us to think the injunctions are a waste of time, and we’ve been happy to help them out because, lets face it, we all love a good gossip. Super injunctions, too, make that gossip all the more juicy because it’s forbidden and forbidden fruit always tastes so much more succulent. In fact, we have been so desperate to have our chins dowsed in the sweet flowing liquid of prohibited celebrity knowledge that we have all buried our faces in the trough of twitter, sluiced by the ancient rumour mill.
To be honest, I don’t really care. I don’t care which footballer shagged which TV star, which performer had an affair with their sound engineer, or which Olympic Athlete was caught with their trousers down in the penguin enclosure at London Zoo. I don’t think any of us should care. I don’t think it is important or even that interesting. Yet, like a car crash on Las Vegas’ strip, the gaudy tragedy has been hard to ignore.
Partly what I am concerned about, amid this circus of loud silence, is the damage and hurt the innocent parties must be due to suffer, the children, spouses and parents. I worry that these people, who have done nothing to bring such a media spot light upon them, now become hounded to the point where they can no longer live their lives without fear of being splashed over the front page of The Sun or The Mirror.
However, my worry about those innocent parties is dwarfed by my sheer outraged panic at the fact that MP’s appear to have decided they are above the law. Like them or not, the Super Injunctions that have been granted, are currently law. That law can be changed if it is seen as unjust, but right now it is the law and MP’s are subject to the law like any other citizen. They are not above it; I thought the whole expenses thing had shown them that.
Look, I understand the reason to protect MP’s against what they say in parliament because, I truly believe, they must be allowed have the freedom to argue against laws without fear of reprisal. Parliamentary privilege is a good and proper thing that is needed in a functioning and just state to ensure it stays as such. Our MP’s need to feel comfortable that they can stand up and raise any issue against any laws they see as wrong, without fear of reprisal.
However, that’s not what is being done here. There is not being a discussion about super injunctions to see if they are just or not. Parliamentary privilege is not being used to protect a man voicing his opinions about the injunctions; it is being used as a loophole so the law itself can be broken.
How is the naming a footballer as the subject of a super injunction is in the public interest, other than to feed our hunger for other people’s disgraces? I cannot see, other than a publicity stunt to raise the MP’s own visibility, why it needed to be said. You could argue against the injunctions without the subject of them being revealed.
The super injunction might be a bit silly by now and it might be a bit annoying to the press that even though everyone knows about it, they still can’t put it in print, but it is not of major national significance. It is not something that HAD to be said in parliament because the MP truly felt, if they did not say it, it would bring about Judgement Day (if a few days late).
Parliamentary privilege is not there to allow MP’s to do what they like; it is there to make sure the things that HAVE to be said are said. It is there to make sure our representatives can protect us against a rising dictatorship or serious constitutional transgressions. It is there for the public good and, frankly, if knowing a footballer is a feckless philanderers and failed to respect their wife and children has become that important to the people of this country that Parliamentary privilege needs to be called upon, then I’m not sure we deserve to have it at all. We don’t deserve anything.
If we are blinded so much by the slurry being pumped into our fetid and scum encrusted trough that we think these things are actually important in life, then I suggest we all push our heads right in, take one last deep breath, and drown ourselves in our own celebrity’s filth.