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Privacy? What privacy?

Categories: McKennitt v. Ash +
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

With the naming of Ryan Giggs under parliamentary privilege yesterday, the dam has finally burst and English privacy legislation is now fully revealed as the contradictory and costly shambles that it is. Giggs’ name was chanted from the terraces during Saturday’s game against Blackpool, for goodness’ sake, and Twitter had long since “gone Spartacus”, with everyone and his grandmother tweeting his name…

And still… And still Mr Justice Tugendhat has not lifted the injunction! His reasoning is that if this were a “government secret” now outed, well, that would essentially be that, the fait would be jolly well accompli. But a person’s private life is different, he says, because it is about intrusion; in other words, the injunction stays to stop the press camping out on Giggs’ doorstep or harassing Imogen Thomas, the footballer’s alleged lover.

A laudable sentiment, one might have thought, but one that does not detract one iota from the surreal and blood-soaked circus that results when the law, the internet and Her Majesty’s press go full steam ahead in opposite directions.

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