Fred "the shred" Goodwin, who presided over the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland and is now collecting a £200,000/year pension at taxpayer's expense (over and above his £3m bonus) for his work in helping to destroy one of Britain's great financial institutions, has secured a "super-injunction" prohibiting the press from discussing his affairs. The injunction also prohibits the press from disclosing that it exists (hence "super-injunction") and from mentioning any facts about Goodwin's life, up to and including the fact that he is a banker.
The super-injunction came to light when a LibDeb Member of Parliament (who is covered by Parliamentary privilege which exempts him from the injunction) asked a question in the Commons about it. The Telegraph lists more rich, powerful people and corporations who've gotten these gag-orders, including a philandering "sportsman" and a TV personality. The hearings at which courts award these super-injunctions are sealed, so the press can't report what evidence is presented in favor of the official censorship.
He said: "In a secret hearing Fred Goodwin has obtained a super-injunction preventing him being identified as a banker.
"Will the government have a debate or a statement on freedom of speech and whether there's one rule for the rich like Fred Goodwin and one rule for the poor?"
Leader of the House Sir George Young said a forthcoming Westminster Hall debate would explore freedom of speech, adding: "I will raise with the appropriate minister the issue he has just raised."
The terms of the injunction are so strict that the Daily Telegraph cannot reveal the nature of the information that Sir Fred Goodwin is attempting to protect.
(via Charlie Stross)