18 May 2011

Thinking Paper # 7: Imaginary Super-Injunctions – A way forward.

By Tim Massingberd-James


With the news that an imaginary super-injunction hasn't been imposed by the Hon. Mr Justice Peter Talling to prevent the publication of non-existent pictures of the George Osborne engaged in an intimate act with a Mute Swan, the IIPBA looks at the blight of imaginary super-injunctions, and whether the prevention of publication of imagined news is healthy, in a modern democracy

Imaginary Super-Injunctions

The IIPBA is the nerve centre of modern politics, and as such is aware of countless non-existent court cases which ban publication of imagined facts about well known celebrities.

We feel we have a duty to report these facts, and as such this paper will examine the circumstances surrounding the following unreal news stories, which are common knowledge amongst Westminster illuminati:

  • David Cameron is a Minotaur
  • The BBC's Huw Edwards sleeps on a bed of fennel
  • Sir Paul McCartney has kept a frozen weasel heart in a golden box in Dusseldorf since 1967, believing it to be the source of his musical power
  • Channel Four's Rick Edwards once raped his own reflection
  • Tim Henman once ate a lollipop stick whole without chewing

Whilst these stories are all manufactured by our elite team of pastry chefs, the individual words they contain are real words, except Huw, which is actually spelled Hugh.

However, imaginary super-injunctions are big business, with city law firms earning between £0 and £4.8m per case, and celebrities queuing up to pretend to take them out.

We must ask, however, whether the imagined gagging of the press is a notional infringement on the right to free speech, and whether we should allow these pretend injunctions to take place, when a quick Google search will normally provide spurious lies and gossip about any famous person you can imagine.


The IIPBA believes that media outlets should have the right to print anything they like, providing they make it clear that the stories they print are partly or entirely fictional.

A version of this process is referred to as yellow journalism and is practiced by many newspapers who pretend to be factual tomes whilst actually peddling rubbish.

To end the bureaucratic legal system which can be extremely costly for yellow journalists, we propose all newspapers should be required to carry an imaginary disclaimer on the 42nd page identifying which stories are factual, and which are imagined.

^Picture from fotopedia by Cyril Blazy^

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