Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was quoted in British press yesterday speaking in support of the need for information to be restrained in the case of high-profile people attempting to keep their public personas intact.
“Of course, if people behaved morally there would be no need for super-injunctions. But how many of us actually would be comfortable about the ceaseless scrutiny of every aspect of ourselves?
“This is a culture so obsessed with transparency that it can confuse that, I think, with this universal miasma of gossip and prurience.”
Six different celebrities in the UK were embarrassed earlier this month when they were named in separate anonymous tweets as having sought super-injunctions for information they wanted to suppress. (The Times of London: ‘Judges humiliated by one little tweet‘) Naturally, the information they wanted suppressed was also in the tweets. Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Parliament’s concern is more for the free flow of information than the protection of it. So there’s some of your context.
But let this live at the level of what has transpired over the past several days – the Slee memo over gay bishops and the attendant fallout – and its irony comes thick and fast. It’s not a good week for leaders of the Anglican Communion – much less one of the Archbishops at the center of the story – to try making the argument that suppressing information is in the public interest.