Jack Chick of Kent
Among the comments which caught my eye on Odone's much-discussed Evan Harris post, was one by Überblogger and Westminster Skeptics in the Pub convenor, Jack of Kent.
"Odone used to be such a good writer," he began, sounding like a teacher chastising a once promising pupil.
"What she wants to do here is make Dr Evan Harris (in fact, a good and compassionate man) seem like Drs Shipman or Mengele ('Dr Death'), even though there is nothing to substantiate the link."
Er, no. What she was doing was referring to Harris by his affectionate nickname, Dr Death, so given because of his views on abortion 'n' euthanasia.
She also seeks to prioritise the claims of religion (in fact, the catholic brand of Christianity ...
Whoah! Wait a minute. How the hell did that get in there? Where did Cristina say or suggest that religious views should be prioritised over anything?
... which it is sensible even for apologists like Odone not to mention aloud at the moment)
... above that of secularism.
That word really ought to be placed in inverted commas.
"Lets see she how she does. 'Dr Harris believes in euthanasia – and, I mean, really believes' – but nothing Odone says actually substantiates this serious Mengele-like description; so this is just poor and alarmist blogging."
I think she's referring to Harris's voting record. Ok, so you and he say physician-assisted suicide, Cristina and I say euthanasia. We could just agree to disagree on this one.
"'But as the subject turns to the ethical or religious issue of the day – faith schools, say, or teenage pregnancies…'
Again, poor writing. Ethics and religion are distinct; and just shoving a hopeful “or” in there does not mean she is able to conflate these issues."
Oh Lor', the pedantry of it all. Spare me.
'“The Lib Dems are now the most secular party in the Britain – and not in a good way. There’s something sinister about a movement that, in my view, doesn’t hold all life precious; that thinks that less than perfect lives can be dispensed with on grounds of “compassion”. Remember that creepy side of the Lib Dems next time you see Clegg bouncing with vitality.”
Again, “less than perfect lives” suggests Mengele; and again utterly no substance."
Um, no. It suggests that those, like Harris, who advocate euthanasia, oh ok, physician-assisted suicide if you must, see those in pain at the end of their lives as living such imperfect lives that they are worthy candidates for propulsion into that long good night. That is all.
"This really is all nasty; but it is actually very weak stuff.
Pots and kettles, sweetie.
But wait for it, Jack of Kent is building up to his peroration.
"And given the ethical failings and inhumane conduct of her own “movement”, I would like to suggest that Evan Harris has more decency and compassion than the entire leadership of her own chosen ethical guardians."
He's not a fan of the Whore of Babylon, as you will have guessed.
On his blog he conveys his hostility to the Catholic Church by daringly styling the Bishop of Rome's title with a lower-case "P".
Not to mention by the casual assertion that "the Roman Catholic church has long sought arrogantly to put themselves beyond the reach of the civil authorities."
Admittedly he didn't allow his prejudices to colour his opinion of Ditchkins' proposal that His Holiness should be tried, convicted and strung up: "such fantasies must yield to the fundamental liberal requirements of due process and the rule of law," he pointed out not unreasonably. Yet he also declared that, "watching the pope do the 'perp walk' - perhaps handcuffed to some surly female police officer - would be satisfying to those, like me, of a strong atheist and anti-clerical temperament."
Atheist and anti-clerical temperaments are all very well - incidentally is one born with a predisposition to them or are they traits shaped by exposure to other Atheist anti-clericalists? - but when you suggest that left-footers should be skulking in the shadows cowering with shame and slam every single bishop of the Church because a Catholic blogger had a bit of a go at your idol, your temperament has got the better of your reason.