Jack Straw and the thin end of a wedge

When Jack Straw was a much younger man he was thought to be a trouble maker by the establishment. A socialist from an Essex grammar school Mr Straw was elected as President of the National Union of Students in 1969, which was a year when students at many English Universities were protesting against interference with their freedom and civil liberties by the establishment. When at Manchester University the Vice Chancellor sought injunctions restraining some students from speaking on a debate about a proposal to occupy administration buildings, many students went on strike and occupied University buildings in defence of what they saw as unfair treatment and interference with their freedom of speech. Mr Straw encouraged us in this and spoke eloquently on freedom to us. Continue reading

When the law makes things worse

When you get into a hole it is a good idea to stop digging, and that is something that the rich and famous would do well to bear in mind, especially when it comes to super injunction designed to make the hole in which you are digging invisible. It sometimes works and injunctions serve a legitimate and useful purpose, but marshalling the might and majesty of the law to stifle free speech is a double edged sword. Continue reading