OCTOBER 4, 2008
Mosley wants to keep secrets in the closet
FIA President Max Mosley has decided to continue his campaign to increase privacy laws by taking his spanking case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He wants newspapers across Europe to have to tell the subject of a story about any revelations before they are published. Mosley said that a tabloid editor can "destroy a family and wreck a life" without being answerable to anyone. There are some who would argue that newspapers should have the right to draw attention to the sordid activities of public figures who are betraying their wives and families and thus should not be trusted with any form of power, but Mosley clearly does not see himself in this mould as his lawyers argue that he is not a public figure and there is no public interest involved.
The FIA says that its member clubs "represent over 100 million motorists and their families" and that it "actively promotes the interests of motorists at the United Nations, within the European Union and through other international bodies". If this is the case, one has to ask how the FIA can be the represented by someone who is not in a public role.
Mosley's case is actually against British law and he is arguing that his right to privacy under the European convention on human rights is not sufficiently protected by the laws of England, which allow more journalistic freedom than in other countries, where public figures are allowed to get away with all manner of untrustworthy activities in their private lives while pretending to be clean, upstanding citizens in public. The classic example of this was France's President Francois Mitterand, who had numerous extramarital affairs, one of which resulted in a daughter who remained a secret for over 15 years.