Byline: JAN MOIR
FOR the first time, this column would like to say hello and welcome to ryan Giggs, Andrew Marr, Fred the Shred, Mr Unnamed Actor and -- this week's prize adulterer -- Gordon ramsay's father-inlaw Chris Hutcheson.
Over recent years, all of these men have taken out injunctions to protect their privacy -- and, arguably, all of them have ended up in a bigger pile of doo-doo as a result, emotionally, financially, allegedly, reputedly.
No good has come of it at all. What a complete mess.
Hutcheson, outed this week as the kind of serial philanderer who makes Austin Powers look monogamous, takes a special prize for not just having been unfaithful, but for having a secret family, clandestine illegitimate children and a hot-and-cold smorgasbord of assorted mistresses over the years.
No wonder he wanted to keep it quiet. And no wonder Gordon felt it necessary to sack him last year, even if he only did so when financial worries about the company they ran together began to outweigh the pressing and morally dubious issue of his father-inlaw's myriad affairs.
For years, Gordon even kept it a secret from his own wife that her father had a secret family and a secret life.
In this all-boys-together world, it seems an unforgivable breach of trust between a husband and a wife.
HEAVEN knows how poor Tana Ramsay has somehow come to terms with it all. No wonder she is beginning to look as miserable as her new best friend, Posh Spice.
And whatever the truth of the matter, neither Ramsay nor his father-in-law -- both maintaining their position on the moral high-ground -- come out of this tawdry scenario particularly well.
I must say, I come to the entire topic of super-injunctions rather reluctantly. In the light of recent events, it's becoming clear that all of these rich and powerful men have suffered more, not less, by taking out super-injunctions to protect their privacy.
Each and every one of them is about three giggles short of being a total national laughing stock. Bad enough that they cheated on their wives, but can we forgive them for trying to cheat on the public, too?
They used their financial muscle, their bullishness and big-guy machismo to hush up whispers about their bad behaviour. And then several of them found out, to their cost, that this is not something that will be tolerated in the shrill playground of the modern internet world.
And while we ponder the question of what comes next for the super-injunkies I must, oh God, confess to utter dismay and chronic ennui with these corporate stud-muffins and serial seducers who use the courts to gag newspapers and broadcasters from reporting aspects of their private life they want to keep private. Married footballer sleeps with beauty queen. Married journalist sleeps with journalist. Married banker sleeps with banker. Unnamed actor sleeps with vice girl.
Bore, bore, bore. Zzz, zzz, zzz.
Wake me up when someone actually does something interesting; something that perhaps demands secrecy and subterfuge, something actually worthy of a six-figure legal bill.
Not to mention the concomitant public humiliation when that expensive injunction is -- eventually and now almost invariably -- lifted.
Guys, I'm begging you all! If you insist on being naughty, please do gird your tawdry, treacherous loins and do something that wasn't covered in a trashy mag or a 50-year-old episode of Peyton Place.
Something, yes, that might still raise an eyebrow over the braised lamb shanks and Waterford Crystal glasses brimming with supermarket Chablis at dinner parties in Surrey and Liverpool and Edinburgh.
Say what you like about him, but at least Max Mosley had the decency to go for it; to strip naked and be regularly thrashed by a bevy of determined prostitutes in a central London basement.
Good old Maxy didn't just take his secretary out for a lunchtime pizza, a bit of afternoon delight and a half-baked promise when no one was looking. He went the whole buttock-baring hog.
It's the whole suburban predictability of all this adultery and injunction imbroglio that is so dreary.
One could argue about the moral dimensions of super-injunctions from now until the cows come home.
YET whatever you may think of them, the simple truth is that these men tried to hide certain personal habits and behaviours from the world because they thought that exposure would be damaging to their public standing. That is the beginning and the end of it.
No one ever took out an injunction to stop the Press or television stations from reporting on their charity work, their award-winning cabbage roses, or the sheer and utter marvellousness of their latest book/film/profit margins or all-round superduperness.
We can't have a law that seems unfair, operating only for the benefit of rich, male adulterers such as Chris Hutcheson and Ryan Giggs.
The legal process has to be transparent and workable, not some dreadful murky pool designed to make bad men look good.
Its not British. And it's not right.