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Why I dont like Giggs and other musings about super injunctions

By Billy the Dog McGraw – our legal correspondent.

By and large I don’t like censorship.  But I find myself writing on a site that is now censoring comments and have to admit that I see the need sometimes. (At the moment we have the issue of people who come onto the site, look at an article and then write about something else.  Despite the fact that we have said time and again that this is not on, they still do it.  Odd really.)

Anyway, generally speaking I think that rich footballers who fool around (as the saying goes) deserve what they get in the papers.  But then I know if my private like (which is of course spotless and whiter than the driven white stuff) was splashed around on the papers, I’d be upset.

But for the Giggs fellow is a special case, because it seems to me he has been very happy to be part of a PR campaign in which he has been described as purer than pure – the wonderousness of the modern footballing man – kind, gentle, hardworking, honest….  Ah yes, honest, that is the problem one.

That’s really the point.  I’ve never set myself up to be any of those things.  In fact if ever asked (which of course is rare because no one gives a toss about me) I generally state that I see myself as a bit of a prat with a minor talent for planting cabbages and talking to imaginary friends.  As such if I cheat on the good lady wife, that’s my problem and her problem, and the problem of the third party.  No one else much would get involved.

But the Giggs is different.

My dislike of Mr Giggs comes from the fact that his PR is untrue, but successful.  He is presented as the great ambassador for Wales, and yet he refused year after year to play friendlies for his country.  In fact he went nine years without playing a single friendly for Wales, and didn’t play his first away friendly until something like 2006.

Ah, but I heard you shout, isn’t that hypocritical on my part given that I have written from time to time how much I hate all internationals, particularly the useless, pointless, pathetic, childish friendly?  Well, up to a point.  But you see Mr Giggs presents himself as Mr Honest, Mr Honourable, Mr Clean, Mr Wales.   But in fact he is more Mr Manipulating, manipulating the media to suit his image – an image that has been created so that when the footballing is done, he can pick up a life as an ambassador, and an advertiser – always being Mr Clean.

So, what happened?

Well the silly man had an affair.  Bad move.  But having manipulated the media over the fact that he doesn’t turn out for Wales if he doesn’t fancy the game, he thought it would always work in his favour, and so went to court and asked for an injunction to stop newspapers writing about the affair.  Bad move as it turns out, because not satisfied with that he asked the courts to rule that the newspapers not only could not talk about his affair, they could also not talk about the injunction.

He’s not the first to do it – in fact in England it is becoming common place.  But in this case it all went wrong – for several reasons.

First, the word got around and people started to talk about it on Twitter.   Then a judge said that you can’t have Twitter breaking the law, and demanded information from Twitter on all the tweets that had been doing the round.

In response half the Twitter account users interested in football talked about Mr Giggs, and effectively said, ok arrest me too.  I reckon something like 500,000 UK citizens got involved.  I don’t think we have enough prisons.

Then a member of the House of Lords mentioned that it was Giggs hiding behind the super injunction.  MPs cannot be prosecuted for what they say in Parliament, but since Parliament is broadcast live on TV all the time, anyone watching would have known.   Then a Scottish newspaper ran the story saying the injunction only applied to England.  Oh silly lawyers!  How we laughed.  Mr Giggs paid them millions and they completed the wrong legal form or ticked the wrong box.  Ho ho.

Then an MP in the House of Commons (the lower house in the UK parliament) said “It was Giggs” just in case anyone missed it.

Next Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that the injunction preventing the naming of the Giggs was still valid even though the media had reported that he had been named by John Hemming in the Commons.

As the judges declared war on Parliament, the judge added, just for fun, “this is not about secrecy this is about intrusion” – meaning, while the Giggs fellow had been named as a dirty cheat,  developing the story by trying to obtain information from Imogen Thomas, the lady involved, was still not allowed.

Next up six reporters who were camped outside the Giggs Mansion were beaten up and had their equipment seriously damaged.  Oh naughty Man U supporters.  I wonder if they are going to be arrested by Man City supporters?

The judges now say that whatever the Giggs has done he is a victim.  I find this hard to take, as much as I find it hard to take that Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of RBS, a bank which basically took the UK economy to the edge of utter collapse with its insane policies, should have been able to get an injunction to prevent reporting of an alleged affair with a senior colleague.

How can Giggs be a victim?  His wife and his children might be the victims, since they are the victim of his relentless PR drive to be Mr Clean when in fact he has cheated on his wife.  OK billions of men do it, but most of them don’t set themselves up to be Mr Clean.
Just for fun the Sun, that most awful paper, went to court last week, arguing the lady in the case had the right to tell her story to the Sun under article 10 of the Human Rights Act which covers free speech and self-expression.

In response Mr Justice Eady  said that there was “ample reason not to trust” the young woman, which seems a bit tough, when in reality there are ample reasons not to trust R Giggs – especially when talking about injuries that stop him playing friendlies for Wales.

Meanwhile those rather jolly lawyers, Schillings, have attempted to get another court order to force Twitter to erase tweets that named Giggs, and to hand over all the information about everyone who had mentioned him.  I am sure they are jolly good legal chaps who know their stuff, but I am not sure about that ploy.  We will see.

Meanwhile the Giggs is not only not playing for Wales, but also seemingly not training all the time for Man U.  What a turnip.

Does this have anything to do with Arsenal?  Not really.  I just don’t like R Giggs.

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27 comments to Why I dont like Giggs and other musings about super injunctions

  • FinnGooner

    Thanks for telling about this… I had been wondering about all the Giggs tweets (I don’t live in UK nor have I been reading sport news apart Arsenal stuff lately).
    I think if you choose to have a job that makes you famous then there is some prize to pay (that being media intrest in your private life). So if you don’t want newspapers writing that you cheated your wife there is simple way to avoid it do NOT cheat.
    I would be interested to know how they could punish all the people who tweeted about Giggs as I’m sure some of them might not be living in UK so they don’t have to do as UK law says. And for those in UK can they really punish you if you broke the law without knowing it (Did everyone who tweeted know about the super injunction).

  • Ian

    Great post. What I find appalling is that his legal guys named Imogen thomas and left her to deal with the media. She couldnt afford 50 grand for her own injunction. Its about time they got rid of this elitist law.

  • Stevie E

    Being a Welsh man myself, it’s surprising to see that somebody outside my green & pleasant land has noticed what a lazy arse glory boy Giggs is. We disowned him years ago, even in the games he could be bothered to play in, he never turned up. So now he’s gone and shamed my people by having an affair with another daft Welshy who we’ve also disowned (I realise I’m disowning people on behalf of a country, but I’m sure nobody will mind), and proved to the world what we in Wales have known for a long time… Ryan Giggs is a prat.

  • Simon Bailey

    These super injunctions are a disgrace. I personally dont give two figs who shags who, but I am very happy that because Giggs is so famous, this issue is now being discussed more widely. I first became interested in these injunctions when i read about a uk firm called Trafigura who whilst in the process of ‘cleaning’ crude oil whilst in transit, they ended up with some serious toxic waste products. They didnt want to pay the dutch to dispose of them so they ended up unloading it into tankers in the Ivory Coast and had it dumped at landfills. In such poor countries, communities of people live and make their living on the land fills. as a result hundreds of people were very seriously injured or died. this company tried to use a super injunction to hide their shame, but ultimately failed when they were outed by a member of the house of lords, after they had tried to gag the members there.
    The point is is that whatever these half assed celebrities get up to, we dont want people like trafigura to be able to hide from us.

  • Lanz

    Nice post. He was going to retire with that Mr. Clean, Mr. Nice image but providence caught up with him just in the nick of time!

  • nicky

    Brilliant post.
    I won’t forget his lofty attitude towards his national side over many years…..not a good enough side for him to fight for.
    As his footballing ability declines, this season I’ve noticed his increasing habit of sly fouling, very much like Scholes. He is clever enough to hide much of it from the referees, of course.
    On the personal behaviour matter, the so-called Mr Clean has been sussed out and I hope he is having to answer for his treachery towards his wife and family….like Rooney is having to do.

  • Sam Nnaji

    Great Post
    Pathetic from the man we all believed jumped down from the skies. Sad!!!

  • A Casual Observer

    This, I think you’ll find, provides a facinating insight into the situation:

    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2011/1232.html

  • walter

    In my country, outside the UK, the whole story included with pictures and dates and different girls he has dated (now that is nicely put I would say) is published on the internet.
    So maybe they can stop it inside England and Wales, but the whole world outside knows all about it.
    How silly. 🙂

    I must say that I don’t care with whom Giggs went or goes to bed but if you want to paint a better picture of yourself in the media to show what a great person you are, you should realise that when this image goes down the gutter because you are not who you pretended to be then I think the media has every right to expose you as what you are.

  • So that’s why you don’t like Giggs? The fact that he plays for Manchester United was enough for me. And, for your information, “Mr. Wales” is Tom Jones — who’s had similar issues. And also has Stoke fans mangling one of his better songs.

  • Mandy dodd

    Great article I am not so keen on him either He has been a great player but the media seem to have gone overboard in bigging him up, as they have a certain manager soon to face serious tax charges and a ginger team mate who regularly tries out his latest potentially career ending tackles. Not to mention John Terry who was recently acclaimed dad of the year, or Kerry Latona mum of the year.
    Gigs response smacks of arrogance but I guess he is used to being protected by a club with a long history of bullying the media. Sorry for his family but glad he got his comeuppance in the most public way.

  • Ryan Giggs, the nice man, as an image, is worth a huge amount of dosh. As a product, with very clearly defined lines and messages, he is sold. This makes him an investment worth a very considerable amount of money.
    Obviously it’s a huge idea that this product can be protected by the law, and then this law can be put onto all of us so we are protecting Mr Giggs, the squeaky very clean product, we are protecting Mr Giggs, who shags around, from Mrs Giggs, and we are protecting ourselves from finding out whatever might be called ‘ the truth.’
    As a mate said, ”Ryan Giggs thinks the whole world should shut up to protect him.”
    Obviously, playing for ManU, you expect a return on the intimidation.

    Funny isn’t it that Ryan Giggs doesn’t seem to know anyone who says to him, ”Ryan, you’re taking on all the world, think about what you’re doing.”

  • Adam

    This is parliament using Giggs promiscuity to have a swipe at the law makers of the country, The Lords & MPs do not give a sh#t about Giggs, what they care about is the judges creating precedents that will become law and this is an opportunity to embarrass the judges, Giggs has just been bent over by the Lords & MPs “justice really”. Get that taffy a woolly jacket.(BAH).

  • mike in Atlanta

    It seems from the link provided by “ACO” that the England and Wales High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) paid a blind eye to an extortion attempt while they were busy cooking up a hold-that-publicity injunction. You guys have some lopey laws.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I just don’t understand celebtities and their insatiable urge for publicity and then feigning ignorance and innocence.In the end they are shown for their lack of class and sheer stupidty – in this case greed on the part of ” She who we will not name”.
    It reminds me of an old joke – a man goes up to a pretty woman at a bar and asks her ,”Will you sleep with me for a million bucks ?”, and after thinking for a while she is agreeable to the idea.Then he asks her if she would sleep with him for ten bucks.
    She retorts ,”What do you think I am ?”,to which he replies ,”We
    already know what you are -we’re just haggling over the price !”

  • walter

    LOL Brickfields Gunners 🙂

  • Do you know, this is one of those rare events where no one had to be kicked off the discussion for wandering off the subject.

    Amazing.

    Thanks for everyone’s input, and as Walter said, thanks to Brickfields for the joke.

  • Shard

    Also related to this, should be mentioned the disgraceful behaviour of the Knight of the British Empire, Sir Alex of Kastle Fergus (as bob would say) in trying to ban a reporter for asking a question about Ryan Giggs and his importance to the team. This is how the man has operated for years. Ask the questions I want, print the stories I want, show the programs I want, or I will ban you and I will face no consequences because the football authorities will not apply the rules to me.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/13521267.stm

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks Walter and Tony – very few if ever laugh at my jokes !

  • serves the gig so ACE right!

  • Bannerman

    Wow you dont half

    It is rather strange that no matter how many times one says comments have to be linked to the subject matter of the original article, that one gets comments that are not. Odd isn’t it.

    This one is removed.
    Tony

  • bob

    Nice work! Here’s an Arsenal connection: Arsene’s reported affair becomes fair taboloid game, but “the Giggs” (I love your title, cheers!), presses onward to force the genie back into the bottle. Perhaps the Gigg’s legal team can install Howard Webb as a special magistrate to officiate. Surely we’d get an even-handed judgment, a cleaner sheet (so to speak), and Sir Howard would join Sir Alex in the peer-age, as they await the ascension of the Giggs as their 20th looms…

  • Sagalout

    There is a difference ‘tween news & gossip. Footballers sleeping around is gossip. MP’s who could be blackmailed etc sleeping around is news. But wouldn’t it be interesting if writing about ‘celebs’ sleeping around wouldn’t it be interesting if they had to admit to any infidelities both themselves and or their editors had.

  • bob

    @Sagalout: but Giggs is more than a footballer sleeping around. He’s a self-made and media-abetted cultural icon who kommands respekt, if you catch my drift. Putting a spotlight on his brand of hypocrisy (a public disservice) is more than gossip-mongering. It serves a public good – cheers and a biscuit for Billy the Dog McGraw!

  • TommieGun

    You got it all wrong. I didn’t like Giggs because of the goal against us, but now (and after seeing what’s this Imogen girl is all about) I kindov have lots of respect for the guy.

    ;-D

  • menace

    Come on Wenger learn from this !! We need strikers like Giggs that score both HOME and AWAY. ;-D

  • prick

    Menace, that’s a proper joke 😀