The faces behind John Hemming, that odd-looking Liberal Democrat, hardly changed at all. When the footballer was named they maintained that blank, Matins expression we wear when listening to something worthy, knowing it'll be over soon.
Mark Pritchard flickered a little and looked towards the Speaker as if to say, "Is that allowed?" It wasn't, as it transpired. Hemming was flouting. The Speaker wasn't having an MP flout in the House. Then people caught up and there were cries of "Disgraceful!".
Hemming is rich, and he says so. He has a lot of money. I don't mind that, it can give an MP an independence of spirit. He has been a long-term opponent of super-and hyper-injunctions and has never troubled the courts on his own account. And considering his multi-coloured private life, that's another mark in his favour.
He may argue from his own experience that if you don't like the publicity of multiple mistresses, irregular births and a kidnapped cat – then don't go have them, cause them, or marry a woman who goes in for cat-napping. Face up to the consequences of your actions, is Mr Hemming's credo – he's almost a Tory like that.
Anyway. He named this fellow Ryan Giggs. A footballer. Not my area, so you can rely on my impartiality. If Keynes had injuncted Friedrich von Hayek there would have been an uproar I could have joined in with.
On behalf of the House of Commons Hemming declared war on the judiciary. Without wanting to get overly-involved in the arguments – it's good to see a parliamentarian flouting.
The alternative was, as Stewart Jackson described, "a sinister prospect of an unnamed journalist imprisoned by a secret court for revealing the name of a hitherto anonymous person with a lot of money."
That was the other person named by Mr Hemming: Giles Coren. He'd been a sketch writer for six months before going on to write humorous columns. I think I can speak for all sketch writers that we long for him to go to jail, just to show you scoffing lot what a dangerous profession we make our living in.
A Tory called Robert Buckland made a clever point – now that we media are allowed in to hear an application for an injunction, would we be allowed to report the details of an unsuccessful application? In that way, meretricious attempts would be publicised with all filthy details. And very likely the law wouldn't need changing at all. Hayek couldn't have put it better himself.Reuse content