Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Anne Atkins on the Dobrowski murder: Can you help me?

I am grateful to the 3Ps for alerting me to Anne Atkins' "Thought for the Day" on BBC Radio Four this morning.

I oscillate between Our Tel and Moylesy in the mornings, so I avoid "Thought for the Day". Although I cannot think of many things more wonderful than listening to the Rabbi Lionel Blue, the thought of actually having to listen to the voice of Anne Atkins, dentist-drill like, at 7.50am is one that reduces me to an imitation of one of Munch's Screams (see here if you want to relive one of them).

Fortunately, we have Auntie Beeb to thank. They provide a transcript of each day's "Thought for the Day". Joyous news! We have at our desktop the ability to print out and textually analyse the words of Ms Atkins without having to hear her voice and without having to press stop/play/reverse on the mediaplayer.

So here is the full text of Anne Atkins' "Thought for the Day" on BBC Radio Four this morning.

It's a corker. 'Pick the bones out of that', as they say. She seems perfectly fair and logical for the first two paragraphs but then seems to do cart-wheels and backward flips with her logic.

I have to say that, having read it, I am too confused to actually argue with it, without the benefit of several nights' sleep and a few fingers of Glenfarclas 105 (a top-notch Speyside Single Malt Whisky - for the uninitiated).

We have, reading LibDem blogs, a veritable diaspora of talented logical thinkers and legal minds. I would be grateful for some help in piecing together a liberal response to Anne Atkins' piece. I think one is needed.


  1. Atkins believes that everybody deserves an eternity in hell, whatever they actually do. She more or less admits this. But members of the christian club can be let off.

    To call this justice, never mind perfectly objective justice, boggles the mind.

    To her, crime, justice, punishment, reconciliation are theological concepts, only superficially similar to the everyday meanings. All crimes are equally bad because they offend God, not different because they cause differing harm to other people. Etc.

    Now there can be a reasonable debate over whether hate crimes deserve longer sentences, and she alludes to one of the arguments. But she expresses it in terms of her warped theological view of justice.

    So the first step in responding should be to distinguish justice from what Atkins calls justice.

  2. Since you listen to the likes of "Moylesy and "Our Tel" you wouldn't understand Anne Atkins was simply talking about impartiality. Sorry to be so tardy, just happened across your burblings.
    PS: tardy means late.