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Nobody has any right to know about the sex lives of footballers and incompetent bankers

But such is the obsession with these things that only 1 in 5 agree

By on Monday, 23 May 2011

Sir Fred Goodwin, former chairman of RBS (Photo: Press Association)

Sir Fred Goodwin, former chairman of RBS (Photo: Press Association)

Do you know the name of the footballer who had an affair with a very pretty young woman described as a “Big Brother star” or “Welsh model”? Well, if you want to, all you have to do is fish around on Google and you will soon find out (it took me two minutes). And once you do, where will that get you? There seems to be a general consensus these days that we have a right to know these things (Sky News ran a poll, which found that 79% of the population are against the protection of privacy by “super injunctions”, only 21% are opposed): but on what is that opinion based, apart from natural prurience? Journalists themselves don’t necessarily support this supposed right: Dominic Lawson, for instance, has argued against it. He points out that most of those journalists, like the former editor of The Sun who go on most about absolute freedom of the Press come from those newspapers (i.e. the redtop tabloids) who make most money by publishing scandals about the sex lives of famous footballers and other celebrities. In other words, all the high-minded talk about Press freedom is so much rank hypocrisy: what The Sun is really interested in is selling newspapers.

Well, I know the name of the footballer now, and also some of the reasons being given on a certain Spanish website —(in the comments from English correspondents—mostly admiring, “lucky b****r, says one of them—under the story, with its photo of the personable young woman involved)— for why he ought to have had his privacy respected. One argument is that if his name had been revealed before now, his football team would have had its performance affected: it is pointed out that when the affair of a footballer called John Terry became a press scandal, he was sacked as captain of Chelsea (is it?) and the team did less well as a result. But what do I know?

But do we have a right to privacy? According to the Human Rights Act we do: and this is not judge-made law, incidentally, it’s a law passed by Parliament. We are told that we have to balance this article of the Act with another, which insists on the freedom of the Press: but what’s the argument for that, except in a qualified way? Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun newspaper points in a starry-eyed way to the first article of the American Constitution, which means among other things that someone accused in America of a serious offence has no sub judice protection against press speculation about his guilt or innocence. Do we really want that?

The fact is that whatever our legal right to privacy, we surely have a moral right to it. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, as it happens, has quite about to say about that: it teaches (§2489) that “The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known …. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have a right to know it” . This recalls Newman’s argument (in the Apologia pro Vita Sua) that “an untruth is not a lie where there is a just cause… veracity is a kind of justice, and therefore, when we have no duty of justice to tell truth to another, it is no sin not to do so. Hence we may say the thing that is not, to children, to madmen, to men who ask impertinent questions [my italics]”.

The CCC argues also that

“2491 Professional secrets – for example, those of political office holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers – or confidential information given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Even if not confided under the seal of secrecy, private information prejudicial to another is not to be divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.”

And

“2492 Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons’ private lives. Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the common good and respect for individual rights. Interference by the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.

The CCC argues also that “Civil authorities should punish any violation of the rights of individuals to their reputation and privacy”. These rights to privacy used to be one of the things we all used to take for granted. The CCC doesn’t produce any supporting argument when it insists on these rights; it simply assumes them as axiomatic and takes it for granted that we will too.

But there has been a huge shift in the public mind on these things. We have apparently reached such a state of collective prurience that according that Sky News poll, 4 out of 5 of us are opposed to the courts protecting the right of individuals to keep their sex lives private. But why? What, for instance, does the now famous affair of Sir Fred Goodwin have to do with us? What is the ‘public interest’ in our knowing that it happened? There is none at all. I have heard it argued, surely ludicrously, that it may have rendered him (presumably in a state of advanced erotic stupor) inattentive to his duties as Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland. But this is absurd; the downfall of the RBS was brought about by his greed and faulty financial judgment, not his personal life—the self-righteous comments of some papers about which are simply nauseating. Consider the following, from The Daily Mail:

“What is truly appalling…. is the way we are belatedly learning about Sir Fred’s [extra-marital affair]: it is not because the judge who originally granted the injunction came to his senses, recognised the public interest and lifted the gagging order.

“Rather a Lib Dem peer and an MP, both shocked to discover what was being kept secret, used Parliamentary privilege first to reveal that Sir Fred had an injunction then, yesterday, disclose most of its contents.

“Given the absurdity of this situation, the Mail and other newspapers went to the High Court to request the injunction be lifted, so the full truth could be known.

“Sir Fred, with little left to lose, consented. Yet the courts — which have used Labour’s Human Rights Act to create a backdoor privacy law — last night still refused to allow us to name his mistress.”

This is ludicrous, of course; there is no “public interest”; and the courts have created no “backdoor privacy law”: it is Parliament which enacted that privacy is a human right. The judges have a duty to enforce that. And the name of his mistress is no business of ours, any more than Sir Fred’s adulterous behaviour was. We have a right to know about his greed and faulty judgment, for that led to his failure as a banker and to the burden laid on us as taxpayers as a result: about his concupiscence, we had no right to be told anything whatever. I am sorry that we were. And I am even sorrier to be living in a society where, apparently, so few people agree with me.

  • Horace Zagreus

    Well said, Dr Oddie. And one could make the same point about prurient muck-rakers in the Church, too, who go about stirring up and spreading scandal, such as “outing” priests they believe to be living an immoral private life (though how they gain evidence of this is perhaps a question best left unasked).

  • Cjm1957

    I do agree with you Dr Oddie. Frankly, I don’t know why people want to know about other people’s private lives, any more than I want to watch so called ‘reality’ television programmes such as Big Brother. I seem to recall Jesus saying to the accusers of the adulterous woman, ‘He who has not sinned may cast the first stone.’

  • ms catholic state

    I disagree…..I think the courts have no right to keep a person’s wrongdoing out of the media….especially if the person is in the public eye.  It is like a law protecting hypocrisy. Since when do judges take it upon themselves to protect the guilty…..I thought they were meant to extend themselves in protecting the innocent.  Silly me!

    And if anyone thinks the wrongdoer or the judges are interested in the slightest in protecting the welfare of the children involved….well that’s just about as naieve as it gets….because they aren’t.

  • Ken Purdie

    I don t know why anyone could care less. 

  • Chrysostom

    Read a brilliant blog on this subject by Lord Tebbit on DAILY TELEGRAPH  blogs –

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/normantebbit/ 

  • http://twitter.com/dove600 Daniel

     ms catholic state, who are you to call someone a wrongdoer when he or she has not committed a criminal or dare I say civil offence? Mother Theresa of Calculta.

    And besides there can be an argument (not neccesarily by me) that the judge has the right to protect individuals from potential slander (potential, here is a key word) , as in the case of John Terry, the very tabloid who printed the allegations came out to apologize that the allegations were false anyway. check this link http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade+football/john-terry . Imagine going through what john terry went through, just to be told ‘ah, the allegations were even untrue’. who is the fool in this case?  me for wanting to know at all cost or the newspaper for feeding on my desperation.

    You are also talking about children welfare, are you related to any of the accused? why do you need to know?

  • ms catholic state

    So what do you suggest I call them then?!  The judge has no right to protect anyone from the natural consequences of their wrongdoing.  That’s not the function of judges.  Adults must take responsibility for their actions and are not entitled to be protected from the consequences.  That’s ridiculous

    I don’t need to know….but the wrongdoers don’t need to be protected either. 

  • Roon Goggs

     Just wondering why you feel the need to describer the young adultress as ‘very pretty’ and ‘personable’?  What on earth does that have to do with anything?

  • Mr Grumpy

     ms catholic state, I agree with Dr Oddie and disagree with you.

    In saying that it is the job of judges to protect the innocent, not the guilty, you confuse moral and legal guilt. It is not their job to ensure that adulterers get their just deserts – unless we actually want to make adultery a crime.

    Adultery and hypocrisy are both moral evils. So, however, is prurience. The fact that celebrity x is guilty of evils 1 and 2 does not mean that I will make the situation better by indulging in evil number 3.

  • Philip

    There is much that I agree with in here but the title and the description of the issue is not logical. Nobody is arguing that people have a “right to know”, they are arguing that people (including journalists) should have a freedom to speak – the two are quite different and not enforcing freedom of speech as an absolute principle has certain consequences (which is why the concept is regarded as so important in Germany). I am not saying that your conclusion is wrong but that the issues are more finely balanced when accurately described. Regarding Fred Goodwin, I am afraid that if it is the case that the affair was with a senior staff member (or relative of a senior staff member) so that it laid him open to the potential for blackmail or the possibility of him treating that staff member differently when it came to making judgements about multi-billion pound decisions then it can certainly be argued that this was a material fact that should (according to FSA and stock exchange regulations) be revealed to shareholders. I have no idea who the affair was with but in those cicrumstances, concealing it is very problematic.

  • ms catholic state

    It’s not the job of judges to protect (rich) adulterers from getting their just desserts either. Adulterers etc should be left to the natural consequences of their sin.  Everybody else is.

    And gossip jokes etc at the expense of an adulterer are part of human nature.  To stop these is profoundely perverse…and against natural justice.  Ridiculous.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Chrysostom, I have read Lord Tebbit’s piece and my verdict is that he gives his punitive instincts more weight than the protection of the innocent. Of course if a celeberity cheats on his wife he bears the primary responsibilty for the hurt done to his children. That, however, does not mean that the media or we the consumers of the media can wash our hands of responsibility for compounding that hurt by publicity that serves no legitimate public interest. I do not greatly admire Chris Huhne as a politician, but I did not need the revelations about his private life in order to make that judgment.

  • chiaramonti

    Absolutely right in every respect. The calls by Tessa Jowell, for example, for a “public enquiry” into the sexual antics of Fred the Shred is particularly ludicrous. Should we also have a similar enquiry in to the antics of the former Deputy Prime Minister who was having a sexual affair with one of his civil servants, presumably during working hours? MPs seemed to have forgotten that they passed the Human Rights Act which gave us all a qualified right to a private life.  As Oddie says, this is not judge made law – the judges are only interpreting the law as laid down by Parliament according to the particular circumstances of each case. It is wholly disingenuous for the likes of John Hemming MP and others to pretend that the judges are ‘making it up as they go along’.  Hemming is appropriating to himself the decision which laws he will obey and which he will not and is acting to undermine the rule of law.

  • Anonymous

     The profession of footballers and entertainers is to be good entertainment, or good at playing football. The job of a priest is to teach the moral standards of the Church. If they fail in their personal morals they are being total hypocrites. 

    I am not for public humiliation or ridicule of priests that fall short – but to compare the lives of celebrities and footballers; is simply not comparing like with like.

  • Anonymous

    The motive of the personal applying for the injunction may not be to protect his children. This does not mean that there is not a responsibility of the courts to protect the vulnerable and entirely innocent children.

  • Anonymous

    ‘an untruth is not a lie where there is a just cause’

    Ha, I love this one! An untruth is obviously a lie, but one that can be excused depending on the situation. The battle to protect absolute ideas (lies are immoral), is beyond be. The Church always criticises utilitarian ideas, and then uses them in her own teaching – but under another name.
    Or under the guise that an untruth is not a lie!

  • ms catholic state

    If the courts really had the interests of children at heart……they wouldn’t grant quickie divorces.  These privacy laws have nothing to do with the welfare of children…and are purely perverse….for protecting wrongdoers and adultery.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever happened to the good old days where the sin of detraction kept us in order?

    But maybe it isn’t all as cut-and-dried as it seems?
    Maybe there is a public interest on occasions?
     
    …suppose we placed the same paradigm onto Church matters?

    Now please note this is an utterly hypothetical situation so please don’t presume this is a ‘smoke’ for anyone to infer there’s a fire…[bearing in mind that it's the worst kept secret that most of our hierarchy are boringly grey and their major thrills are chocolate hobnobs while watching countdown - so we needn't worry]

    What if we had a senior cleric who had a prolonged thoroughly morally disordered lifestyle?
    …and those who knew continually looked the other way?
    The motives mixed among ‘for the good reputation of the Church’ vs ‘I’d get crushed like a flea if I tried to reveal the affair’ vs ‘I have too good a cushy number in the present set up to risk disrupting it’ vs ‘it’s not doing anyone any harm’?

    ..and throughout it all we live with the sword of Damocles that the newspapers might find out, or maybe it’s well known but they don’t think it’s a viable story [at least not yet - so put it on a back-burner], or worse a little ‘quid pro quo’ blackmail might ensue? A government saying ‘we’d prefer if you didn’t publicly oppose X, Y or Z’? Or a cleric/quangocrat in the know ensuring they maintain their job or gain promotion for themselves or friends?

    What would it do for the Church’s reputation and the trust of the faithful if it all did come flooding out – and everybody turned on the staff/administration/hierarchy and confronted them with the plain and simple fact that they all knew for a long time – yet did nothing?

    Sometimes when we say ‘it’s nobody else’s business what anyone else is up to’ we’re deludely naiively and optimistically clutching at straws that the stains on the dirty laundry don’t show through the white cover-sheet
    and we’ll not get caught for doing nothing about it.

    What if someone felt compelled to do ‘the right thing’ [if it is the right thing?]
    How would we treat the whistleblower?
    Or worse – how would we allow the whistleblower to be treated?
    Would we allow them to become victims of injustice? That they should fall on their sword ‘for the good of the Church’?

    Ok – well what about the Birmingham three?
    Why aren’t we doing something?

  • Anonymous

    Ignore Newman – he was going too far in order to emphasise his point [and not the first time either] and this is not supposed to be inferred as a doctrinal position – his first premise was right – but the consequence is not axiomatic and is frankly forbidden UNLESS there is a grave direct imminent threat which is contrary to justice – otherwise lying is intrinsically morally disordered and normatively sinful. We’ve had more than enough popes go over this ‘jesuitical’ scenario for us to be fully aware what Catholic teaching is. Truth is the Person of Christ and we treat it accordingly – and we can lie through our back teeth to DEFEND that Truth – but we cannot resort to lying to either promote or uphold it – whereof we are commanded to fall silent. We’re commanded to not bear false witness – we are not told to be utterly [and occasionally utterly uncharitably and unjustly] ‘honest’ – which on occasional can be almost contrary to the Truth.

    Yet again the new Catechism buggers up with the florid language – unless there are ‘grave and proportionate’ reasons and ‘maintaining a fair balance’ are NOT explanations of the moral teaching – how is that supposed to aid the faithful or inform their conscience?

  • ms catholic state

    Funny how nobody knew or wanted to know about this footballer…..until he took out a superinjunction.  Then everybody knew about him….but not for his football.

    LOL….natural justice at work methinks.

  • Ratbag

    You know, it is easy for people to say ‘we couldn’t give a monkey’s donut’ about the goings-on in the lives of those in the public eye – but, hey! We do, don’t we? Admit it!

    These super injunctions have nothing to do with protecting anything or anyone but the person who has asked for it. I have been told that the reason why some people in the public eye do such reckless things like adultery is because they like the ‘excitement’ or the ‘thrill’. Grief! Why don’t they go parachuting, bungee jumping, white water rafting etc. … with their spouses and children!

    Don’t believe the bison droppings about protecting the person’s family etc. His or her public image has been sullied – therefore it would impact on lucrative contracts, loss of credibility etc. It is quite simply self-centredness.

    If that is not an admission of guilt, then I don’t know what is.

    Then again, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Lady and the Saints should be our role models, our examples. They don’t not disappoint.

    Humans do because… we are human!

  • Anonymous

    An awful lot of the judgements we make every day, have there basis in a utilitarian form of thinking.
    I believe that many of these action can be justified – although the officially Church denies this.

    Paul if someone you know asks you what you think of their clothing, and you think that they dress very poorly, buy you know that they are sensitive about the issue, and have made an effort to look nice – what do you say?

    I would openly contradict the teaching of the Church and say that it is best to lie – in order to protect the feelings of the person – whereas you, if you follow Church teaching, would have to say what you felt. Because judging someone’s appearance could hardly be called ‘grave direct imminent threat which is contrary to justice’.

    Under the Church I have sinned, whilst my intentions were to not hurt my friends feelings. I cannot see my actions as wrong – rather the best I could have done in the situation.

  • Anonymous

      Simply because the person in question does not have the intention of protecting his/her family, does not mean that the court granting an injunction in order to protect the family would not be a perfectly good idea.

    The public punishment or humiliation of the person in question (which may or may not be justified), is of NO importance compared to that of protecting the wife and children – who will be entirely innocent.
    I think it is only right and Christian to make sure our first priority is that those who are innocent and vulnerable are protected.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone knew of Ryan Giggs. What do you mean by natural justice?
    Is this not the same ‘justice’ that has lead people to lynching people of a different skin colour?
    A kind of ‘mob-rule’ justice? Or do I have the wrong end of the stick?

  • Anonymous

    Divorce law comes from the legislature; law which the courts must interpret. Go blame the legislature if you are not happy that people can divorce.

    These privacy laws may not have been MOTIVATED to give protection to the children and family – but this does not diminish to need protect the innocent.

    You would agree that we NEED some system to protect the vulnerable and blameless wife and children, no?

    Otherwise we are putting the punishment of one person; above the protection of those that have played no part in any wrongdoing. Do you believe that is a good state of affairs?

  • Ratbag

    Well, the naughty perpetrators should have thought about their spouse and children before ‘playing away’ in the first place, shouldn’t they? Knowing that they are in the public eye should have made them use their commonsense – if they loved, considered and thought about their nearest and dearest at all!

    Then there would be no chance of any scandal or pain for the innocent parties.

    Clearly, these ‘celebs’ who use superinjunctions are whingeing,spineless, cowards with the memory and commonsense of something lower down the food chain.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Mr Oddie,
    If you believe you have no right to know the identity of an adulterous footballer, why did you spend two minutes of your life fishing around on Google to find it out?

  • Anonymous

     No – the ‘lie’ as you call it – the ‘white lie’ is recourse to ‘dishonesty’ for the sake of a greater truth.

    There is misrepresentation [a moral disorder] and there is false witness [either an intrinsic morall disorder or an objective evil depending upon gravity and circumstance]

    we are absolutely forbidden from recourse to false witness unless we are in situations where it is ONLY  an intrinsic moral disorder and ONLY in the prevention of a direct objective evil…

    The ‘white lie’ is not good-in-itself – BUT it can be deemed right action when used within the strict remit of the double-effect – where ‘honesty’ would be callous and ultimately an enemy of truth – there is permissible recourse to being in-dishonest by misrepresentation…not telling the whole truth.

    Not telling the whole truth – even as an opinion – can still be sinful if directed towards its own end – the double-effect remit gives protection.

    do you like my dress?
    you look terrific!

    you’re being doxic [expressing an opinion which is less than the whole truth]
    when it is NOT an opinion and depends upon a belief [epistemic] it is an intrinsic part of yourself and demands defence. A lie in this regard is NEVER an option – one must remain either remain silent or state the truth

  • Recussant

     You have it the wrong way round Dr Oddie – nobody has the right to know these things, but to prevent them from becoming public we would have to be prepared to send the lmistress to jail if she talked about it publicly. A country where people were sent to jail for saying something true in public would be a chilling place to live.

  • AdelaEz

    I completely agree with you in that we have no right to learn about public personalities’ private lives. However, I do believe somebody’s private life can affect his/her judgment in public functions, and not because they are public functions, but because they are this person’s functions.

    We are a unit, we cannot separate our public life from our private life (which is not the same as saying our private life is to be made public).

    Sin weakens your will, and if you accept to commit adultery, greediness at his level, and with his responsibilities, probably looks like a lighter fault than if you didn’t commit mortal sin.

  • Anonymous

    So for you the punishment of the person is more important than the protection of the children and family?
    That is what you are saying.

    The moral case for revenge; over protection of a family is very weak I feel.

  • http://twitter.com/dove600 Daniel

     My problem with your premise (not that you are not entitled to it) is that  there no need for right to private life. It exists in all constitutions but if the judge cannot say because this particular matter is private (even if it is a misdemeanor) and should not be in the public domain. Then parliament should get rid of everyone’s right to private life altogether not even try to qualify it.

    And by the way (on a separate issue) now it is now public; I just think John Hemming as a publicity seeking opportunist, even if everyone knew (including myself and i technically twitted on it on Saturday “This Gagging order story has been on radio almost every hour since last night & On a separate issue, I expect to #RyanGiggs to score tmw.”) he should not use his privilege to grossly flout a court order, rather he should try and change the law.

  • ms catholic state

    No…..it’s the kind of natural justice that follows when someone is found out for a wrong he has done to his wife and family.  It’s not life threatening…..but it’s humiliating and all his own fault. 

    As they say….do what you like…and pay the price.  So stop trying to protect people from the natural consequences of their sin.  Unless of course you approve of adultery!

  • ms catholic state

    Why do you think I want a Catholic State then?! 

    The blameless wife needs to be honoured by her husband….not cheated on.  Nothing can repair this once it has been done….and all wives will want their husband punished in some form.  Not to do so….is to condone adultery.  Punish the wrongdoer…..don’t protect them.

  • W Oddie

    Simply to see how easy it was to do it. 

  • W Oddie

    Just background information, that’s all. 

  • ms catholic state

    All wives and most children will want their errant husbands and fathers punished…..it is an acknowledgement of the grevious wrong done to them.  Then will have had some form of retribution and justice.

    To sweep it under the carpet is to add insult to injury……not to mention the corrupt judges actually protecting these men and their nasty acts!  Perverse and unjust!  But hey….I guess that’s what you can expect in a pagan culture.

  • Anonymous

    I was interested to see whether anyone would mention the sin of detraction – only one – Paul Priest  – did.  I wonder if you asked the average Catholic what they knew about detraction – I suspect nothing would be the answer.  Has anyone heard a priest preach on the subject?  Sorry I forgot they do not preach about sin in case it embarasses someone in the congregation.

    As a lawyer who was around when  “Data protection law” was introduced  from the Continent it seemed to me that it did not fit in well as English law had no proper comprehensive privacy law.   That lack has now had to be filled in on an ad hoc basis by the Judges (who have always enacted law and have the right to do so – pace certain people who object to this) and if Parliament does not like this then they should draft and pass a statute to protect privacy.

  • ms catholic state

    So if tittle tattling about someone’s adultery is to be against the law…..then so should adultery be against the law.  Pffft….

  • Anonymous

    But you must have known that this information was online, and therefore easily available to anyone who knows how to use a search engine. It’s also likely that you read in the papers that thousands of Twitter users had already accessed it, so it’s obvious that it’s no great feat of espionage. It therefore wasn’t necessary for you to emulate a lot of nosey Twitterers in order to write an article criticising such prurience, any more than it’s necessary to hack into a celebrity’s phone-line in order to research an article condemning phone-hacking.There remains the question of why you felt the need to test your personal ability to discover information that you admit you have no right to know. Do you ever eavesdrop in restaurants just to test your hearing?

  • Anonymous

    Well actually adultery is unlawful as a matter of English law but not criminal.  However I do believe there should be some protection of one’s private life.  I do not know what the current law is but at one time there was no law against somebody using electronic devices to eavesdrop or even to film what went on in one’s house.  Suppose someone was able to film what happened in your bedroom.  If one is committing adultery should that be something that others should be able to record so as to hold you up to shame and contempt?  What’s that bit about “He who is without sin…”?  Supposing you were filmed doing something innocuous such as kneeling to say the rosary or making use of your chamber pot should publication of that be legal?  I believe that unless there is a real public interest (and I do not just mean curiosity) then one’s private life should be protected by the law.

  • ms catholic state

    Yeah….but if there is protection of one’s private life….then there should be protection against adultery!  You can’t have one without the other.  Fair is fair and all the rest.

    If tittle tattle is to be made criminal…..then so should adultery! 

  • ms catholic state

    Doing something innocuous is not the same as doing something that harms another person!  And we are not talking about filming….we are talking about criminalising gossip.  For crying out loud….how totalitarian can you get!

  • Anonymous

    I do not think it is correct to say that you are criminalising gossip.  In these cases the Court is granting an injunction.  Breaching an injunction gives rise to a claim for damages by the injured party and that is a civil and not a criminal matter.  The quantum of damages is going to depend very much upon the circumstances and I think one would have to prove damage. 

    By the way there seems to be an emphasis in some of the replies on punishing people for adultery rather
    than forgiveness?  And cannot one imagine circumstances where adultery involves very little moral culpability (although always sinful) and certainly not deserving of being blazoned across the national press?

  • ms catholic state

    There’s no need for injunctions……it is protecting adulterers and adultery.  And it does amount to criminalising gossipers….but protecting adulterers.  Totally unjust and evil.

    Adultery is always a sin….but can always be forgiven….by the victims!  And I disagree…if someone is making their living by the paying public….then their sins need to be public too….so we know who we and what we are paying for. 

  • Anonymous

    Blimey!  It seems that the Woman taken in Adultery was lucky in only having Christ to deal with!

  • ms catholic state

    Yeah….notice how it was only women caught in adultery that were stoned.  Thank God for Jesus Christ…..He made things fair for women!

    Unlike present day judges.

  • Mr Grumpy

    There’s a big difference between talking about something and publishing it in a newspaper (or at least there was before we had Twitter – and there’s the rub), and I don’t feel particularly chilled by the thought of newspapers being unable to publish tittle-tattle about people whose business is not mine. The sanctimony on display in today’s papers is truly nauseating.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    There is a huge difference between the sordid affairs of footballers and models (about which we need not know) and the affairs (sordid or otherwise) of those in a position of trust: politicians, journalists, police chiefs  - and yes, senior bankers.  Where we are asked to trust people because of their office, we surely do have a legitimate interest in knowing if they lack integrity in their private lives.  Someone who thinks it trivial to deceive his wife (or her husband) and break marriage vows is not somebody in whose political judgements/journalism/justice/economic pontificating I trust – for he or she has proven himself or herself untrustworthy.  That is the issue, it seems to me…

  • Ratbag

    No it isn’t, paulsays.

    t looks like you are on the side of the adulterer.

    THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY is one of the 10 Commandments…. not the 10 suggestions, as secularists would like to call them.

    The adulterer/ess will have to answer not only to Almighty God (revenge is ONLY HIS) but to the heartbroken spouse and children they have hurt and the lives he/she has ruined.

    In the public eye, they like to blame their bad behaviour on their lack of brains and the ineffectiveness of their haberdashery rather than their culpability.