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Because he was going after ordinary people

Answering questions as to why he named the twitter footballer today, but not before John Hemming said

"When he sued twitter it was clear what he was doing. He was going after the ordinary people who have been gossiping about him on twitter. To prosecute someone for contempt of court is quite a serious step. It comes with an up to two year jail sentance."

"I have spoken to people of ordinary means who have received these injunctions. I have also spoken to people who faced jailing in secret hearings and who were subject to anonymity orders themselves. This is a really oppressive system.

"So on one side you have a footballer upset that people are gossiping about him and on the other side you have ordinary people facing the threats of a two year jail sentance. I think it is wrong that he has the power to do this, but at least if he is going to do this let him be held to account."

"Before he sued twitter there was no public interest in naming him. However, when his lawyers decided to go on a "search and destroy" against the ordinary people who gossip on twitter he had taken a step that should not be done anonymously."

"In Thailand they jail people for criticising the King and people here are up in arms. Here they threaten to jail people for criticising a footballer and the lawyers say I should not name the footballer."

ENDS

Comments

Tony said…
It's all very laudable standing up for the 'ordinary people' but Mr Hemming appears to have made his mind up about the case without access to the facts.

It is alleged that the 'affair' was in fact a monetary transaction and the judge was minded to maintain the injunction because there was a strong suspicion of blackmail.

In such cases the court seeks to frustrate the blackmailer or else it becomes an accessory to the crime.

All those on Twitter, in a Scottish newspaper and now one misguided MP should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for being so arrogant as to promote blackmail behind the pretence of protecting free expression.

Mr Hemming himself said that this was a trivial matter, if it is so trivial why could it not be left to rest until the circumstances were properly investigated?
Malc said…
Will John Hemming now use Parliamentary privilage to name the new identities of Jamie Bulger's killers?
michelle said…
to previous comments - get a grip!! this is a footballer who has occupied far to much time with his seddy affair - any person who was not guilty would have commented to the fact when the accusation was made!! How is it ok to suggest strong suspician of blackmail - what proof is there of that? the world has gone made and yes it is of public interst when it is taking up so much of everyone's time when there are real issues! Ryan Giggs along with many others who have sort injunctions to cover seedy affairs have done this to themselves - in some cases -Fred Goodwin, we may never know the real cost of the damage to the taxpaying public - his mind should have been soley on the job - not over the table! John Hemmings is quite right to disclose so that it will hopefully now go away - as well as the fact that members of the public are not privvy to information in the injunction so how can we know what we are not allowed to say. I for one would not trust anyone who sort the need for an injunction - obviously whatever it is they have something to hide - footballers aside - anyone in power should not have the means to be a hidden rat!! To Malc - not that I have any feeling whatsoever for them but nobody is going to try and kill Ryan Giggs or Fred goodwin (maybe wives) however if the id of killers were given then yes I believe people would commit crime that they could not if the information was released - so really not comparable in this discussion topic!!
simon said…
It is double standards to consider an ethical point of view when you decide to abuse your position as an MP. One mans twitter beccomes another mans House of Commons, Clumsy and not of the required political standing of a man representing government.

very poor conduct, very arrogant and now you have exposed a 'trivial' issue to the media let us now witness the cauldron atmospheres of football grounds up and down the country. you are a clumsy man totally oblivious of what you may have instigated for the player and fans of Manchester United. This is a horrendous abuse of your ministerial privelege.
simon said…
It is double standards to consider an ethical point of view when you decide to abuse your position as an MP. One mans twitter beccomes another mans House of Commons, Clumsy and not of the required political standing of a man representing government.

very poor conduct, very arrogant and now you have exposed a 'trivial' issue to the media let us now witness the cauldron atmospheres of football grounds up and down the country. you are a clumsy man totally oblivious of what you may have instigated for the player and fans of Manchester United. This is a horrendous abuse of your ministerial privelege.
Tony said…
You're quite right Michelle, if you ever suffer the misfortune to be blackmailed and look to the courts for protection I'm sure you'll be delighted for Mr Hemmings to trample your rights.

He'll be happy to oblige, don't worry that he'll waste time worrying that he may be abusing parliamentary privilege to aid and abet blackmail.

What do the judges in their courtrooms know anyway? All that petty preoccupation with the law, testing evidence and all that petty nonsense.
Hywel said…
JOhn - is Giggs suing Twitter? I thought it was merely a request to disclose users names?

Could you confirm whether you have access to all the information that has been put before the Judge in this case?
Mark said…
You did a great job today by making a mockery of the stinking, corrupted system and have highlighted how ludicrous it all is.
Mark said…
Today you did a great job in highlighting how twisted the so called British "Justice" system really is! Thank you John!
Kevin said…
David Cameron et al have been going after ordinary people for the last 12 months. When you going to stand up and talk about that?
freddie_w1 said…
Your comments are a disgrace. Perhaps it is time to challenge parliamentary privelige. You say you stand for press freedom yet say nothing as the press ignore the spanish protests... a footballers affair is obviously much more important. Another nail in the coffin of your dying party
Shenaz said…
Mr. Hemming.
Completely off topic and out of the debate itself, you might want to check in with Metro (free (dare i call it) newspaper) who have quoted you saying (allegedly to them) that 'In Burma, they jail people for criticising the king and people here are up in arms. Here, they threaten to jail people for criticising a footballer.'
While I think your argument is valid, and it is a very good point you make - Burma does not have a king. I'm glad to see that you have posted the correct country that follows the lese-majeste law on your blog, but it did make you seem a bit ignorant during this mornings commute.
Rob said…
What a total abuse of office. The only person you represented in this footballer affair debacle was yourself. And nothing you might say will ever rescue your reputation. May you fall on very very bad times.
biodian said…
Well Mr Hemming, you have made a name for yourself haven't you? Not a very sensible thing to do really was it? You and your family will now be scrutinised and hounded for mis-using your parliamentary privilege in this despicable way. What you have done undermines the legal system of this country and will ultimately lead to removal of MPs Parliamentary privilege. You have mis-used this right to try and get a name for yourself and it will backfire on you big time..
biodian said…
Mr Hemming. What a plonker... this abuse of your privileges will come back and bite you big time......

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