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Rights to privacy and the like

Some wise person once noted that we have all done or said at least one thing that would look truly horrible on the front page of the News of the World. I know I have. Anyway, a Canadian folkie, one Loreena McKennitt, has succeeded in keeping sundry elements of her life out of a biography: "The Court of Appeal upheld an injunction preventing Miss Ash from publishing specified passages in the book..They included, for example, references to Miss McKennitt's state of health following a bereavement; "household minutiae" about her Irish cottage; and "something which happened in a bedroom in a hotel in Hawaii..However, Miss Ash was permitted to report "passing references to friendships with various men"; the "general background" to the death of Miss McKennitt's fiancé in 1998, as opposed to her emotional reaction to bereavement; and the fact that from time to time she had gone busking in London". Source.

I am struggling to seee much by way of a golden thread connecting the allowed and one connecting the disallowed. I consider those who kiss and tell to be fairly odious creatures, although if this 'right' can only be made fact through litigation, inevitably it will only apply to the rich and those on legal aid. As such enforcement becomes the issue, and it is unlikely that any except the very well connected would be able to get gagging writs in advance against the News of the World, Private Eye or our old friend Mr Fawkes. As the author points out, the future of biography, where it involves the living, is heading towards the untenable. Doubtless the book could be published elsewhere, Spycatcher style. We shall see. Should we accept, per Scott McNealy, 'You have no privacy. Get used to it' or is there a line that can be drawn that will not serve to muzzle legitimate journalistic / literary inquiry?

On a completely different topic, I urge people to read the obit of the recently deceased Lord Mowbray and Stourton in the Daily Telegraph today. The gentleman's life gives the strongest argument possible in favour of the hereditary principle .
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Anonymous newmania said... 10:29 am

On the other side of the coin C the way the vultures flutter down the moment someone is dead is fairly unlovely.
I think privacy is a matter of technology and prurience combined. We have seen what journalists have been up to , the Police are following oyster cards around and most convictions are obtained by mobile phone evidence it is all available.
Recently there were convictions for data thieves running out of an office in North London it was remarkable easy for them to find our anything and sell it.

Edward and Wallace Simpson conducted their affair in public for years without it being known to anyone but a few hundred, in the know.

Partly this was deference. Wallace was seen at the Palace Window on film but nonetheless the papers self censored. The public would have been riveted however and in today’s world it would have got out and been sold.

I haven`t read the obit yet C but I am pleased to see you supporting the hereditary principle . I have little time for it generally but would like to see you embrace the traditions of this country in the shape our wonderful Queen. At you ripe old age this wilful attachment to republicanism is becoming unseemly .

Like wearing an earring .  

Anonymous Suttonian skeptik said... 10:36 am

Vive la Republique!

Odd fact: Wikip has 47 items under "Politics of Croydon."

More, later, on the Swiss presidency.

P.S. Of course there's no DIANA cocer-up. The Establishment say so.
Voila tout.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:50 am

Must say I do not give a good goddamn about the private lives of celebrities, but find those of our elected officials endlessly amusing. Structurally, that makes me no better than one poring over tales of Big Brother contestants in the red tops, so I cannot make a land grab for the moral high ground. I would be very worried if we returned to Wallis days, or the French pattern whereby everyone in the chamed circle knew what a vile man Mitterand was, but the 'proles' were not permitted to know. Neither earrings nor tattoos for your humble narrator, by the way.

Vis a vis Her Maj, I have said before that she is a blameless individual who has dedicated her life to public service and undoubtedly discharges her duties to the best of her abilities, but we have had some utterly rotten crowned heads.

SS - Who is to know? Doubltess there is much going on over at alt.conspiracy.princess-diana, but I cannot summon the interest to check.  

Anonymous newmania said... 10:59 am

Progressed from Wooster to Emsworth...I can see why you like him C. How amazing to be descended from a signatory to the Magna Carta . It is still in the British Library. Not a showy document it was meant for us and there are several copies.

Exactly why it is so importnant I am a bit fuzzy on. Does it have any relevance to Liberty today ?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:08 am

N - Absolutely. Herewith some clauses:

+ (39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

+ (40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

(41) All merchants may enter or leave England unharmed and without fear, and may stay or travel within it, by land or water, for purposes of trade, free from all illegal exactions, in accordance with ancient and lawful customs.

(45) We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well.

Full text here  

Anonymous newmania said... 11:23 am

Thats extremely kind of you C.This appeared in the newmania times ( Iz Gazette) on the British Library

"Inside, you can examine priceless treasures like the Magna Carta and Leonardo da Vinci's notebook - or catch a peek at scribbled Beatles lyrics if that's more your cup of tea."

I think I feel a letter coming on........brilliant !!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:28 am

Go get 'em Floyd.  

Anonymous Sutton conspiracy theorist said... 12:17 pm

Nulli...differemus...justitiam. (Article 40). To none will we delay justice. So why does Mr Al-Fired have a 10 year wait for an inquest? It's an open-n-shut case, right?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:20 pm

Good point well made SCT.

Note also the clauses on cheating the Jews in the Charter:

* (10) If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.

* (11) If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly.  

Anonymous verity said... 1:56 pm

I cannot believe you alluded to the death of Lord Melton and Mowbray yet not to the tragic death of Frank Johnson! What a superb writer and acute wit. The Spectator will never again be as good as when he was editing it. RIP Frank Johnson.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:12 pm

V - I wasn't aware of Frank at the time, and Dale's done him now...  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:14 pm

talking of debts and jews has any of you ever read the boigraphy of squire john mytton?
If not lured a jewish lendor to a badger dig with the local parson who was in need of a loan then set a badger onto the money lender in order to secure a good rate of interest for the parson.
He also used to keep a pet bear that he road like a horse after dinner to entertain his guests , until one da it savaged a servant so he had it bludgeoned to death (quite a job ,Bruin fought back)  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:15 pm

talking of debts and jews has any of you ever read the biography of squire john mytton?
If not lured a jewish lender to a badger dig with the local parson who was in need of a loan then set a badger onto the money lender in order to secure a good rate of interest for the parson.
He also used to keep a pet bear that he rode like a horse after dinner to entertain his guests, until one day it savaged a servant so he had it bludgeoned to death (quite a job, Bruin fought back)  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:20 pm

Sounds quie the character. More here

An example to us all: "Mytton was also a drinking man and could drink eight bottles of port wine a day with a helping of brandy".  

Anonymous newmania said... 2:48 pm

That would give you gout which I think they got from using lead tankards. It is as if PHITCH has been reborn.

You do know some wierd stuff Peter  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:55 pm

Mr Mania
I got that book many years ago from a bookseller who having met me a few times said
"this is for you, a kindred spirit!"  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:59 pm

I have a pewter tankard in front of me (empty) it belonged to my grandfathers uncle Marshall  

Anonymous verity said... 3:09 pm

I am terribly depressed about Frank Johnson. I don't know why. I never met him. His writing was just so witty, yet without the cruel barbs that often go with incisive wit.  

Anonymous newmania said... 3:36 pm

Can I take that as an undertaking to foreswear cruel barbs from this moment Verity ? I hope not .....so long as it isn`t me .

I only read him latterly Verity and I think he must have been weakening .I wonder if a working class chap like him would get anyhwere the Alist today depsite his obvious talents  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:16 pm

I will admit to having tended to do no more than skim him in The Spectator of the late. I suppose I preferred his more pointed work.  

Anonymous verity said... 4:20 pm

I agree, he hadn't been as funny as before, but apparently he had been suffering from cancer for the last seven years. Difficult to view the world lightly under the circumstances. At his best, he was outstanding.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:50 pm

How I miss Auberon Waugh, at times I would cry with laughter whilst reading his column  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:58 pm

I have a signed Waugh book - inscribed as being 'from a grateful author'. Which is nice.  

Anonymous newmania said... 5:06 pm

Peter I so agree , I loved Auberon Waugh for years. His father was married to a woman named Evelyn which must have been confusing.

You know I think he is the only columnist I ever felt that way about. I find Jan Moir very funny sometimes but its for girls really so a bit embarrassing

(You are exactly the same age as me by the way...must have been good year ..vintage in fact)

I have a book signed by Boris Johnson to Newmania. Which is nice  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:24 pm

Have to admire a man who managed to machine himself and live to tell the tale  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:24 pm


Anonymous verity said... 7:04 pm

Newmania - Have you ever read Mark Steyn? Sometimes I can't continue to read for the tears in my eyes from laughing. I wish I could remember some of the puns but they are wickedly clever. steynonline.com

He's actually a serious political columnist, but terribly funny with it.

Have you ever read the American humourist (or perhaps that should be humorist) Dave Barry? He is consistently very funny. He once wrote ran a poll for the worst pop song ever and I could barely finish it from laughing. My sides were aching. Then he followed up a couple of weeks later with the results of the poll, and that was also laugh-out-loud helplessly funny.

You can subscribe to his column free at miamiherald.com  

Anonymous verity said... 7:06 pm

PHitch - Boris Johnson machine gunned himself? Are you sure?  

Anonymous newmania said... 8:05 pm

Mark Steyn I think must appear elsewhere because I have come across him but Dave Barry is new to me. Thank you Verity that is really very kind. I will follow up.
Irwin Stelzers Lead article in the DT was terrific recently. He is an American Neo Con I believe .

I find it decidedly embarrassing when British provincials (like me) feel they can look down their nose at Americans who they caricature as fat hamburger eating barbarians . The Americans I have met have been extremely cultivated . One who I knew a little personally was Michael Doneghy , a poet who taught a course I once attended. You would have laughed at the great tact he had in explaining to me that I was utterly talent less without upsetting me .His efforts were a little wasted as I was well aware of the fact. He died very recently , quite young . I always remember his soft accent saying things like

“xxxxxxxx now there are good things in this”

“ Could you add to this by taking things away..?”  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:44 pm

Verity (+:
Auberon waugh
No doubt given access to a machinegun Boris could achieve the same result , his pants would probably also fall down as he did it.  

Anonymous verity said... 9:16 pm

Mark Steyn is a Canadian who lives in New Hampshire and used to do a weekly column for The Telegraph and The Speccie.

The Telegraph group says they didn't fire him, but I think they did, when the Barclays took over. Mark himself isn't talking. But he has lots of other regular gigs all over the world. He's very witty and a great political commentator. He writes for an Ozzie paper as well, I understand.

Dave Barry is very-funny to laugh-out-loud funny - most of the time. There's an occasional dud. Reading the poll for the worst pop songs of all time, I had my head down on my desk laughing.  

Anonymous newmania said... 10:19 pm

Hmmm , now I would not have guessed that pop music was much your thing Verity.. You have after all achieved a the enviable state of utter ignorance of "Bono".

PHITCH I thought you were out at the ball this evening ? Gout playing up perhaps  

Anonymous verity said... 1:05 am

No, I'm not interested in pop music, but none of us can remain isolated from the pop music that drenches supermarkets and so on, and that was a terribly funny column, as was the follow-up of the winners.

(I sincerely do not know who Bono is or any of these people's names, including that one who went on a TV talk show once when I had returned, briefly, to Britain, with some "rain forest" - aka "jungle" - tribal who had a bone or something through his lower lip and was clad in his native couture, - i.e., not much. It was side-splittingly funny, but I don't know who he was.)  

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