Archive for March 11th, 2009

Freedom of the press?

I don’t care what people get up to in their private lives, subject to the usual caveat of adult consent –  so Mr Mosley’s private amusements over the past 45 years, pruriently reported in graphic detail with video in the News of The World, is to my mind a matter between himself and his hooker / dominatrix.  It is not my responsibility, nor anyone else’s,  to make decisions for consenting adults…  so the ludicrous statement by The Daily Mail that Mosley somehow degraded five women who thrashed his backside with a cane until it bled is just ridiculous.

The Daily Mail reports the extraordinary activities (At the Select Committee), complete with a ‘smirking barrister’,  and I am therefore relieved of the responsibility of replicating their purple prose. Here is their report. I was amused by one comment made  by Mosley…  that his fascist leader father, Sir Oswald Mosley (who knew Hitler) and had a taste for jackboots and dictatorial dreams, “may have overdone it.”
I do, however, care about freedom of the press to report on matters of ‘public’ interest. The emphasis is on the word ‘public’. As far as I know, save for some responsibility for a sporting interest, Mosley does not sit as a judge, he does not sit in parliament governing our lives and his private affairs and amusements should not be blazened across the tabloids for profit. Let’s be honest.  There are several million adults in this country, at the last stroke, sorry… count…  who enjoy sado-masochistic sex and fetishes.  There are millions of gays (who in days past were criminalised) who now, because of change in the law and social attitudes,  enjoy their lives without fear of being arrested for being gay.  Surely our society is mature enough to allow adults their pleasures without behaving like kids drooling over soft porn behind the bikesheds? If so, do we really need the posturing ninnyism of The Daily Mail and The News of The World which, I suspect, are more interested in the revenue than in protecting Mr and Mrs Cravat-Blazer from ‘depravity’.  I’ve always thought it rather odd that to protect middle England from ‘depravity’,  newspapers first have to reveal in salacious detail what that depravity is and then rail against it – preferably with a good pic or video or two.

I do not want to see a law of privacy develop in this country where those in power or celebrities can turn the Press and Media switch on and off at will should they commit criminal offences – but for the rest of their behaviour? – that is their private business and is not  and should not be revealed for the amusement of sloths on Sunday who don’t have the imagination to get their kicks save for reading about the sexual peccadillos of others.

The late, great, Sir John Mortimer QC took up smoking again in his later years as a protest against the increasing tendency of government to intrude in our lives.  Perhaps I shall take up strutting around in odd uniforms, shouting in faux German, brandishing a cane,  and ask if those I drink with down at the Old Dog & Fuck and my mates on Twitter if they fancy whipping it up a bit…

On that note.. in the time honoured fashion… I’m making my excuses and leaving to drink… what else?… RIOJA.

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11th March: Daily News, blog update and podcast up on Insite Law

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Lawcast 117: Kevin Brown, Manchester University on doing a Ph.D and a career in academe.

Today I am talking to Kevin Brown, an associate lecturer at the university of Manchester as part of my series of podcasts on current issues in legal education and career opportunities for students.  As Kevin is doing a Ph.d I am taking the opportunity to discuss what is involved in doing a Ph.D and what career opportunities there are in the academic world or elsewhere following completion of the doctorate.

Listen to the podcast with Kevin Brown | Podcast version for iTunes

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