Gagging for it

Footballers, Actors and Politicians are all rumoured to have had them. No not STI’s or conscience’s I’m talking about injunctions. Is it just me or does every Tom, Dick or random celeb seem to be taking out super-injunctions these days? A super-injunction is designed to stop the papers writing about things that could cause a risk to peoples’ lives. It’s ironic that the super-injunctions themselves are currently making the headlines. They seem to be becoming the latest court order to have, like the new ASBO, and are being slapped around left right and centre to prevent the public finding out who’s cheating on who – assuming we have nothing better to do with our lives.

The most recent to unsuccessfully avoid the press is Andrew Marr. He recently relaxed the terms of his super-injunction taken out to protect his reputation after having an extra marital affair. After being ridiculed for being contradictory as a journalist himself and taking out an injunction, Marr said he was embarrassed and “did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists” (

David Cameron also got involved in the debate over super-injunctions saying “the judges are creating a sort of privacy law, whereas what ought to happen in a parliamentary democracy is parliament … should decide how much protection we want … so I am a little uneasy about what is happening”.

Another twist to the tale involves former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas who has been named as the woman that a Premiership footballer is alleged to have had an affair with. Unlucky Imogen didn’t have the cash to grant herself anonymity, has fallen foul of the super-injunction ruling and had her name splashed around the tabloids. She recently said on ITV’s This Morning “I just wish that my name was protected. I didn’t have £50,000 to get an injunction”. Though perhaps for an ex Big Brother “star” any publicity is better than no publicity as it’s certainly pulled her back from the z list reality celebrities and got her in the news. If it makes her feel any better the press have had a field day trying to put a second name to the story and he has apparently confessed all to his wife anyway.

Surely it would be simpler to not cheat on your partner and save the money, time and effort? At the end of the day the press are going to speculate and possibly make well informed guesses anyway. These super-injunctions don’t seem to be 100% fool proof, so if you aren’t prepared to do the tabloid time, don’t do the crime? Or is that just too obvious? Perhaps they should invest their money into getting good media training to deal with the fallout of their scandalous ways instead…

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