LONDON: Just to prove that there are some that can and some that can’t, the three judges who banned the David Bailey documentary on Andy Warhol actually sat down and looked at what they’d stopped the public seeing.
It was the first time the judges, who banned the television programme without seeing it, put their innocence in jeopardy by exposing themselves to the documentary film about the pop artist and movie maker.
For this treat, they left the boring old Appeal Court, where they spend about 30 per cent of their lives. And just to prove that he didn’t mind risking being corrupted by the ATV programme he’d got blacked out, Ross McWhirter, the rugby commentator and record book compiler, who has ambitions for political office, went along too. He’s behind the Master of the Rolls, Judge Denning (centre, front row).
Now that McWhirter has battled the Bailey documentary to a guarenteed high viewing figure when it is finally shown, he intends to take on the Attorney-General at the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the Government committed an illegal act by making Britain join the Common Market.
He’s a versatile campaigner, who even the Daily Telegraph put down as someone who ‘has set himself up as a legal watchdog on Governments and public bodies’.
In the past he’s failed to get elected to Parliament as Conservative candidate for Edmonton (1964), accused James Callaghan, the Labour Home Secretary, of jerrymandering (1969), and finally settled out of court for £250 costs.
The fact that not only the judges, but also McWhirter were allowed to see the television movie demonstrates that in the eyes of the law some can be corrupted, and some can’t. Those who can’t are judges and their friends.