“Injunctions don’t work, they’re completely pointless and unbelievably expensive.”
Jeremy Clarkson might not be known for his wisdom, but his comments in 2011, when he asked the courts to lift a super-injunction against his ex-wife, should have been heeded by the couple at the centre of this week’s controversial injunction.
The reality is, if they hadn’t tried to prevent their names being released, the story would likely have come and gone; a flash in the pan, seedy tabloid fodder.
But now it’s escalated into the story of the year. Because, as Ryan Giggs found out the hard way due to his disasterous super-injunction in 2011, if there’s one thing we’re all interested in, it’s what we’re not allowed to know.
And it’s a nonsense to impose an injunction in English law while the internet (and Scottish press) can say whatever it likes – if by some miracle you don’t know who the couple are, a quick Google will enlighten you.
In media relations, we sometimes have to make a call. Is this the time to fight, or is it the time to hunker down and wait for the story to go away?
This couple may have wanted to prevent intrusion and harassment by fighting, but by poking the hornet’s nest – and trying to impose an unenforceable ban – they’ve only succeeded in amplifying it.