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Show of Hands October 28, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Law, Lovely people.

‘The Law is the true embodiment
Of everything that’s excellent.
It has no kind of fault or flaw,
And I, my Lords, embody the Law.’

– The Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe, lyrics by WS Gilbert

Techie Towers has turned somewhat into a hotel for various people’s younger sisters plus entourage – Katie’s was up a few weeks ago, Alex’s is on the sofa downstairs as we speak, and my ever-magnetic Midge was here over the weekend – hence the lack of updates, the lack of work and the lack of attention span.  (If you get the chance to see Fantastic Mr Fox while it’s in the cinema – do.  And sit next to someone who’s a parent.  It’s double the amusement, I assure you.)  I miss having her about, now.  Durham is a completely different place when you’re in it with someone you have to entertain, but also look after a bit.  I miss mornings in cafés talking about everything.

The fact of the matter is that my sister is now at the age where she’s growing up a bit – she’s just discovered boys, alcopops and neat vodka.  You remember it, I’m sure.  Not that she’s in any way abusing any of these, just discovering them, and it sort of makes me nostalgic for the days when that was all new to me as well.  In some ways I think it was good to be terrified by all these new things that affect your head and make you do things you wouldn’t otherwise have done.  Everyone else was terrified too.  It was exciting.  I made such a hash of it first time round.

Went to see Show of Hands at the Gala on Saturday night with Midge and a few others.  (T, I’m terribly sorry for not inviting you along but we didn’t actually have a sofa free at that point and there’s only so many people you can fit in a house intended for four people.  Hope you don’t mind too much.)  It was spectacular.  Not only in the professional skill (we counted a good fifteen instruments on stage between three people – Miranda Sykes was with them and my god, what that woman can do with a double bass), but also the showmanship.  Midge pronounced it ‘Fi music’, partly as a result of it being two middle aged men with guitars.  I would have said so myself if I were her.  But to be honest, there aren’t many occasions I’m going to find myself in the same room singing along with the sort of people I was in the same room as, singing along with, on Saturday night, and I loved it.  I thought it was electric.

The guy behind me was pissed out of his skull.

Having finished with the catch-up, then, I thought I’d share this with you:

I’m reading a case at the moment for a tutorial next week.  It’s called R (ProLife Alliance) v British Broadcasting Corporation and it’s about the 1997 elections, where the BBC wouldn’t let the ProLife Alliance show pictures of just-aborted foetuses, among other things, on television in its Party Political Broadcast.  It’s a very interesting case.  It’s a difficult issue, and there are a lot of other very difficult issues jostling to be noticed and acted upon that shouldn’t be noticed and acted upon.  There’s also a description of the images that weren’t allowed to be shown.  It’s not an easy case to read and it’s not an easy case to read objectively.

In the event, ProLife Alliance were, of course, allowed their four-minute slot on TV for their election broadcast.  They just weren’t allowed to show any of the images – the screen was left blank and only the audio was used, and the House of Lords found with a majority of four Lords to one that that was okay.  I can’t quite think about it properly – I’m usually as forceful an advocate of freedom of expression as you could hope to find.  But this… it was a tough decision for ProLife to make, for the BBC to make and for the courts to make.  I’m interested to know what you think.



1. Dickie - October 29, 2009

” R (ProLife Alliance) v British Broadcasting Company ”

That’s interesting, as I thought the British Broadcasting Company ceased to be in 1926 when its operations were incorporated into the newly-formed British Broadcasting Corporation, that we know and love today :-p

Anyway, in that instance I think the correct decision was made, depending on what time the broadcast was due to go out.

2. stitchthisdarling - October 29, 2009

You’re quite right, of course, I just can’t spell at eleven o’clock at night… bugger… changed it! Think I was concentrating too much on whether ProLife had a space in it…

3. Dickie - October 29, 2009

Heh, fair enough. I’m probably just a bit too pedantic sometimes…

4. stitchthisdarling - October 30, 2009

Pedantry makes the world go round. True fact.

5. T - November 3, 2009

Of course not my darling, practicaliy makes slaves of us all. As long as I visit/am visited by you before the end of the year my quota of thee shall be tolerable.

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