Over on CiF, Jack Valero has written about his experience of appearing on the Beeb's Big Questions defending the Pope's record of tackling sex-abuse. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the programme, it's one of those Sunday morning hangover shows. Host Nicky Campbell throws a piece of controversy to his audience, allows some poor sod a few seconds worth of comment on whatever the issue is, then stands back and watches while the assembled company stage a fit. I believe this is called a "studio discussion".
Anyway, Jack said that after the show,
"two representatives of the Protest the Pope Coalition told me menacingly I had 'no right' to defend Benedict XVI's record on abuse."
In fairness, since I wasn't there I've got no idea how the er, exchange of views took place, or whether the anti-Catholic duo were as menacing as Jack says they were. They may just have been a touch intemperate or merely animated. But if some loudmothed pipsqueak with more front than sense were to tell me that I had no right, forsooth, to express my opinion, I'd probably unleash a stream of furious invective at them. With the Anglo-Saxonisms discreetly removed, my oration would go something like this: "aaah shuddup and go and indulge yer stormtrooper fantasies somewhere else but don't even think about policing my public discourse, cos it aint that kind of party, oh kay?"
But that's me.
At least Jack got some column inches out of it, I suppose.