Sir Fred Goodwin of RBS fame is the unlikeliest catalyst for free speech

Not that this was Sir Fred’s intention of course when he took out a super-injunction (gagging order) preventing the press reporting details of an affair with a senior colleague, and even mention of the fact that he was (or had been) a banker.

But Sir Fred, who presided over the near collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland in the 2008 financial crisis, gets up the noses of the British like no-one else.

RBS had to be bailed out with nigh on £20bn of UK taxpayers’ money when Sir Fred’s over-ambitious £47bn deal to buy Dutch bank ABN Amro imploded.

Sir Fred then annoyed everyone further by insisting he hung on to his £700,000 or so annual pension entitlement, subsequently agreeing to halve the figure as the natives began hanging ropes from the nearest lamp post (or would have done if they’d known where he was).

But he was exposed under the cover of Parliamentary privilege by one Lord Oakeshott, a maverick former member of the UK coalition government, who said: “This was the biggest corporate crash in British history, it cost taxpayers billions and thousands of people their jobs.”

Oakeshott said that he wasn’t interested in the sex lives of famous footballers (who have taken out most of the notorious super-injunctions to keep their doings out of the papers) but the wicked Sir Fred was an entirely different matter.

Most Brits would quite like to know who the errant footballers are too (there appear to be enough of them to rival Barcelona).

But it took the hated Sir Fred to blow the second major hole in the super-injunction conspiracy between judges and celebs to cover up their activities (the first was the publication of a number of names on Twitter).

Now all we need to know is the name of the lady in question.

Mindful of her reputation and aware of the notoriety of her lover, she’s probably heading for the courts herself right now, just in case.

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