Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, whose report on super-injunctions is out today, will help determine if Britain is to have a free press or not in the future.
Lakshmi Mittal is the richest man in Britain, he has given the Labour Party over £2 million in donations. Since 2008 it has been an offence punishable by imprisonment to even say he has a super-injunction. Why? What is it about? You shall not know. Editors fear his wealth and the wrath of judges. Do we really want a country where journalists fear imprisonment for writing the truth?
In 1948 Britain helped draft the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 declares:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
No judge should presume to dare to take away our rights in order to protect the privacy of the rich and powerful. If France had less stringent privacy laws and a less craven press, Dominique Strauss-Kahn might not have got away with doing what he has done for years. The freedom of the press is a check on the powerful and a restraint on them. This is not about Ryan Giggs’ sex-life, it is about knowing the truth about the powerful. Remember Lakshmi Mittal when privacy advocates attack “tittle-tattle”.