Casting the net – Another enquiry and human dignity? Pah!

10:41 am - November 30th 2007

by Aaron Murin-Heath    

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It was another bad-news day for The Labour Party. So, at the risk of this review becoming awfully tedious, we’ll have a *quick* look at some of the blogs discussing the referral of the funding scandal to the police [BBC], and then some ‘link ‘n quote’ highlights covering other stories.

A glorious day (as long as you’re not a Labour supporter)
Grimmerupnorth was the first blog to pop its head above the parapet (excusing the Tories, naturally) following the crushing news that the police have been called in, and explains that while those involved represent a “small, elite coterie at the top of New Labour”, it’s the rest of the Labour Party and its supporters who’ll suffer, and goes on to ask “God knows what the next round of opinion polls will bring.” Well, very bad news according to today’s YouGov/Telegraph poll.

Bernard Salmon (Lib Dem) is “intrigued” as to why David Abrahams gave money to more than one candidate in the Dep. Leadership Election. And fellow Lib Dem’r, Nich Starling, comments that “minister after minister has been wheeled out in front of the press for the last four days telling us that their own internal investigation was all that was required, and that calling the police was just opportunistic and playing politics by the opposition parties.” He goes on, describing the unfolding story as “some sort of slow and lingering death.”

Labour MP Caroline Flint appeared on last night’s Question Time and seemed to be building the government’s barricade out of support for the “thorough enquiry” into the affair. Political Hack UK is concerned about the damage done to the party, and demands that any such enquiry is “No whitewash, no half-truths, because it will be uncovered. The original crime doesn’t always end careers, but a cover-up will.” And finally, Bop Bob Piper (who assures us he doesn’t like conspiracy theories) has a conspiracy theory.

Other highlights
Butterflies and Wheels – Dignitas: Okay, you tell me – what does the phrase ‘human dignity’ mean? […] Why do I consider it meaningless? I suppose largely because it doesn’t seem to refer to anything real. What human dignity? I don’t consider humans to have much dignity. We’re too mortal, too fleshy, too fragile, too clumsy, too weak, too dim to have dignity. It’s not a word it would occur to me to use about human beings; it’s not even an abstract noun it would occur to me to attribute to humans. (Norman Geras disagrees.)

Head of Legal – The worst legal system in the world? Version 2.0: The charging of Gillian Gibbons is a disgrace not just to Sudan, but to Islamic legal systems all over the world. I’m afraid that, until legal systems like this, and like the Saudi one, are abolished, nothing that calls itself Islamic law can really be taken seriously as a fit system for any society to live by.

Unknown Conscience – One Lefty Woman’s Perspective: Let’s have those face to face conversations. I don’t care if you come to the bloggers piss ups or not – that’s up to you. But if I am at a conference and you want to claim I am supporting imperialism, a racist and the war in Iran – come up to my face and tell me so – and we can have a calm conversation about it – and I can explain to you why none of those things are true.

Padraig Reidy/ – Pakistan: Coping with censorship: Having shut down every broadcasting station but state run television, Musharraf’s government proceeded to raid the offices of independent news channels such as Geo News and Aaj television. Phone lines were cut, some stations reported jamming, and there were threats of long jail terms for broadcasters who would not comply. Hundreds of journalists were arrested. But two independent news channels continued to broadcast live.

Eathpal – Bali: Climate conference: I guess we can expect some disharmony and a certain level of obstruction from the usual suspects but on the upside, we did recently lose a key obstructionist because of John Howard being booted out of office (yay!) and being replaced by the much more Kyoto-friendly Kevin Rudd.

openDemocracy 50.50 – Whose side are we on?
Greg Palast – Brown’s Fixer Explains How It’s Done: Jon Mendelsohn and the Secret Tape
Cicero’s Songs – The Liberal Democrat Leader
Sinclair’s Musings – ‘Liberals’ conspire against the Public Sector Rich List
Skipper – Impressive Political use of Internet by US Democrats
Conor’s Commentary – Why we should not confine early learning to the middle classes
Paul Smith’s Blog – The difference between socialism, communism etc
yourfriendinthenorth – Saving Ulster from science
The Yorksher Gob – The Process of Argument

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About the author
Aaron Murin-Heath is an occasional contributor. He is a writer based in Newark-on-Trent and Tallinn, Estonia. He is both socially and economically liberal. Aaron blogs at
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Reader comments

Note to self: Stop using phrases like “[h]ow in the name of monkey bollocks” if serious blogs are going to link to you


Srsly: thanks *smooch*


Made me giggle, but then again, I’m exactly the sort of person who would.

Aaron, much as I would have wished that Mr & Mrs Piper had named their second son Bop sadly I’ve learned to live with being called Bob. Still, for someone with a name as significant in the rock world as Aaron, I should cut you a bit of slack.

Bop! Brilliant.

Changed. te hehehe

Bop Piper- definitely too cool to be at the liberal conspiracy!

Thanks for linking to Matt’s piece responding to mine- that’s a good fisk I’m going to come back on it over the next couple of days but I think one thing at the LC we ought to do is note and encourage and respond to intelligent and interesting rightwing challenges to what we say- afterall we can all learn from that process!

Am I alone in finding Bob Piper’s conspiracy theory a bit disturbing?

P.S. Am thinking of changing my blog’s name to “Bop From Brockley”.

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