Is there less to this than meets the eye?

Trust Peter McKay to tease out the flaw in the great campaign against That Injunction. "A trivial, sordid story," his Daily Mail column called it. "Bleating about being prevented from airing it is pathetic."

Trust Libby Purves to point out that this is hardly a cause celebre. She thunders in The Times that the press freedom battle needs to be for the sake of worthier stuff than "irrelevant tittle-tattle from affronted strippers".

Trust The Guardian to point out that Mr Justice Jack was governed by the PCC code on privacy which the press itself lobbied to incorporate into the Human Rights Act.

In fact, the Sunday People was not inhibited from giving a page apiece to the first-person stories of Miss C and Miss D.

Half-masked portraits rendered them identifiable to any who know them. So all that was left to reveal was the name of footballer Mr A. Is that what all the fuss amounts to?

The judge certainly established a precedent that sexual relationships amount to a contract for confidentiality. (How was it for you, darling? – Mind your own business.)

And there has been much extrapolation to suggest that such a ruling could have blocked exposŽs of assorted royals and politicians. But circumstances alter cases, otherwise the courts would be empty.

Critics denounce the ruling as a Love Rats’ Charter. Did their knees jerk against the Blackmailers’ Charter offering a nice little earner to ex-lovers of temporary celebs?

We need to preserve the right to expose those whose behaviour ought genuinely to be exposed. But we are surely not struggling for the right of any suburban freesheet to expose local footballers’ away games.

Our awesome power should be reserved for the outrageous antics of such as David Mellor, that scandalous Home Office minister who had the nerve to warn the press it was drinking in the Last Chance Saloon.

How nifty of him to join the great campaign by acknowledging that the hit list had properly included him (though that toe stuff was a fabrication) and properly ought to include press barons. Considerate of him not to add in editors and commentators.

This latest battle in the unending war for press freedom began with a bang. Would it end with a whimper?

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