The private lives of the rich and famous influence privacy laws – is it right to protect these fallen heroes?

twosteps legal and accountancy blog post

Ok so Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the IMF and French Presidential hopeful, and Sir Fred Goodwin former head of RBS are not really heroes in the traditional way but, certainly to many financiers around the world, they were figureheads.  More obvious megastars are ‘Arnie’ and Tiger Woods, they more readily fit the mould as fallen heroes after their private lives have been splattered across the world’s press.

The only one that I know of to have taken out a ‘super injunction’ is Sir Fred Goodwin but many more celebrities (35 in past two years) in the UK have reportedly done so to protect their privacy from being invaded having, of course allegedly, been caught up to no good or with their pants down.

Lord Acton’s famous quote from 1887 apparently still rings true:

‘All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority’.

Of course I do not mean this literally and neither am I suggesting that any of these individuals is either corrupt or bad just that many powerful people tend to allow the power that they hold to give them a bulletproof belief in their own invincibility and right to do as they please.

How much does the general public contribute to this?

Well we put these people on a pedestal and the higher you climb the harder you fall, they live a life of wealth and luxury and in a world very few people will ever inhabit but whose fault is it?  There will always be leaders and followers and that is human nature and these people for good or bad shape the way that the world turns and we could not lead our lives without strong and successful leaders.  Businesses, governments and iconic superstars succeed on the law of absolute supremacy, and we follow.

So while they succeed we bow to them but when they fall we crucify them, is it important for us to know what they get up to at home? Not really, and most of the time we could not care less, but there is a big difference from a paparazzi shoving their telephoto lens in their private bedroom, which is wrong, and supposedly squeaky clean world leaders trying to protect themselves from actions where us mere mortals would be crucified.

These stories are in the public interest and should stay there.  Privacy laws should protect all and not just the few who can afford to pay the legal fees to get the injunctions and enforce it.


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