Imagine you're a multinational firm facing the following question being asked in Parliament:
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
Do you (a) realise that few people pay much attention to what happens in Parliament and that even if it is reported in the media, not too many people will actually read the reports, or (b) get a gagging order against a national newspaper which tries to report the story, thereby giving the story real legs and encouraging websites across the world to publish the details and thereby highlight the absurd lengths you're going to in order to suppress a story of legitimate public concern, in the process trampling on centuries of parliamentary freedom?
Answers on a used injunction to Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors, please.
I'm delighted that the Lib Dems have realised the importance of this issue and are tabling an urgent question about it.
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