Some might argue that Max Mosley had a lot to live down. Although his father
was a much misunderstood man, he is still regarded by many as notorious, and only slightly less disreputable than Adolf Hitler. Max Mosley is the youngest son of Sir Oswald, by his second wife, and while his father's passion was politics, Max Mosley's has been motor racing. And spanking. What? SPANKING. S-P-A-N-K-I-N-G.
That might raise a laugh nowadays, but in an age when homosexuals not only aspire to
but sometimes even achieve high office, it shouldn't. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes is no one's business but their own, and spanking won't give you AIDS. Mosley's big mistake was that instead of engaging in these antics with his wife, he did so with women who were paid to both administer and receive spankings. These women, or some of them, have been referred to as prostitutes, but the use of that term is debatable.
Even so, no harm would have been done if the gutter press hadn't somehow gotten wind of it, and entrapped him. Although he was understandably angry about having his private life splashed all over the papers, what annoyed him most was the attempt to put a Nazi spin on the story. He brought a case against the late and unlamented News Of The World
, and was awarded £60,000 damages at the High Court.
His outrage at the media was even greater after his son died from a drug overdose
, something that he said was not suicide. He blamed the News Of The Worl
d for this. In November he testified to the Leveson Inquiry
, and on Wednesday he was back there
. In his submission he said the cost of litigation was prohibitively expensive for most people, and it was essential for justice to be affordable. He advocated a new system of press regulation, getting rid of the Press Complaints Commission, and for people to be given the opportunity to challenge the press before a story is broken where privacy issues are concerned.
The new body, the Press Tribunal, would also have the power to fine newspapers. This suggestion will obviously not go down well with the tabloids, but Mosley said what he called Rolls Royce standards of civil justice are pointless or even unfair if only a tiny minority can afford them. One is reminded of that classic saying that all men are equal before the law, which forbids the rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges, begging in the streets, and stealing bread. And of course allows them to defend both their privacy and their reputations with civil injunctions at around £10,000 a throw.