Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Freedom Zone event

I shall expand this post tomorrow (especially the moment when Mad Nad met your humble Devil), but it is good to see that one of the organisers thought that it was a worthwhile event.
The most entertaining event of the day was "Freedom and the Internet" with Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes, Dizzy Thinks, Devil's Kitchen and Nadine Dorries, Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire.

It wasn't the day's best attended event - that accolade went (I think) to "Heffer's Half Hour" with the Daily Telegraph's Simon Heffer - but I enjoyed it because it was the one event that attracted plenty of laughs from both audience and panel. The chemistry was good, the session passed very quickly, and the audience was left wanting more (always a good sign).

Indeed. It took a little while for us to warm up, I think; your humble Devil—being a vain man—enjoys being a talking head, although I was, on this occasion, slightly wondering what distinguished me that I should be talking to others who may be far more politically savvy than I (and who, indeed, might think that The Kitchen was a load of old bollocks).

However, Dizzy and Guido have been occasional drinking buddies for a couple of years now (and Iain, of course, I met through 18DS) and there was a good rapport, I think. We all differ in our politics (although very little as regards most things) but we do believe that blogging is A Good Thing.

Anyway, more tomorrow: for now, slumber...

UPDATE: The Devil and Dorries

We were hanging around the discussion area of the building before the event. Having caught up with Dizzy and Croydonian, I was busy stuffing sandwiches into my face and making a Flu-Strength Lemsip to carry with me into the event, in order to try to clear (at least briefly) the cold that assailed me that day. (You'll have to forgive me, as a consequence of my head being somewhat stuffy, any reported conversation will be the gist of what was said.)

Wandering over, I saw Nadine talking to Dizzy and overheard her say something like, "I suppose that Devil's Kitchen person isn't here yet."


Dizzy turned to introduce me, and Nad and I shook hands. "I'm not talking to you," she said, "You called me a liar."

"Well, yes. But you did lie."

"I got those figures from [such-and-such] a hospital."

"It was rather more the Hand of Hope picture that I was referring to."

"It was a great picture."

"Yes, but the point is that it didn't depict what you said it did. The actual surgeon who did the operation said that the child was anaesthetised and that he pulled the arm out. The baby did not reach out and clutch onto his finger."

"They are doing that operation more and more. I am going into my local hospital to see it done: I hope to get some pictures."

"That doesn't alter the fact that that picture did not, and does not, depict what you said it did."

And so on and so on; having rehearsed this circular argument for some time, we bloggers wandered out for a cigarette and Mad Nad and I didn't really talk much after that, or nothing more than desultory pleasantries. There seemed very little point...


Panopticon Britain said...

Wish I could have been there. Hope to make the LPUK AGM though.

TheFatBigot said...

I enjoyed it very much.

I wasn't there, but I enjoyed the thought of you meeting Little Dorrit.

Next instalment awaited with eagerness at FatBigot Towers.

Anonymous said...

Devil - isn't it time to drop references to the word "freedom", and some of the lip quivering usually associated with this loaded term ?

Whenever I hear it, it immediately conjures up images of Mel Gibson in an ill-fitting wig [and even dodgier Scottish accent] shortly before the cinematic recreation of the Battle of Stirling.

Of course the killjoys are straining at the leash to spoil the bun fights we love to indulge in on the net.
I suspect this might be because blogging is one of the most vital and informative mediums for expressing ideas, different points of view, or arcane theories.
The abuse is little more than a litrary form of jousting, and it all adds to the fun - yet the killjoys seem unable to grasp this rudimentary fact, for some reason.

Even so, is this a good enough to behave like a latter day William Wallace, howling, "they mey tek oor ISP addresses, boot they'll nivir tek oor FrrrrrrrrrEEDOOOOOOOM" !!!!!!!

Devil's Kitchen said...

"Devil - isn't it time to drop references to the word "freedom", and some of the lip quivering usually associated with this loaded term ?

Whenever I hear it, it immediately conjures up images of Mel Gibson in an ill-fitting wig [and even dodgier Scottish accent] shortly before the cinematic recreation of the Battle of Stirling."

Exactly! That's why I referred to Dave "Freedoooooooom" Cameron in an earlier post. Perhaps liberty is a better word, but it might become a little overused given the number of times that I would need to employ it...


BenSix said...

Pahaha, considering the epithets that you employed in that post I'd have expected that being called a liar would have been the least of her worries.


Dick Puddlecote said...

She doesn't like smoking much either looking at her voting record. When you went out for a puff, she was probably making it known to all that would listen that you were outside killing more children.

Won't somebody etc. ad inf.

Katy Newton said...

They are doing that operation more and more

The "shake hands with your foetus" operation? Yes, Nadine, of course they are.

Trixy said...

It's a new approach for politicians bored of kissing actual babies, I suppose.

Tim said...

On a similar note, Iain Dale has recently retro-moderated his 'rules' page and now states that you can be banned from his website for calling him a liar and/or proving him to be a liar (he describes it as "spurious allegations or namecalling").

No wonder he and Nadine get on so well.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Ha! I shall update this post a bit with more about the actual event.

Still, since Tim's brought it up, I'll restate my comments policy...

1) I don't ban anyone.

2) I don't delete comments unless they are
a) spam, or
b) I am credibly threatened with legal action (this has only happened once and concerned comments by other people on a piece not written by me!).

3) Comments are emailed to me, and I read every single one.

4) I don't often respond these days, simply because of time pressures (and opportunity pressures -- i.e. I can't respond now and the conversation has moved on by the time that I can respond).

5) I will try to engage if someone has misunderstood me (often my fault) or cites something that I know to be wrong.


Tim said...

Well, you have better standards that some publishers.

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