Wednesday, 15 September 2010

What is Sir Geoffrey afraid of, exactly?

Followers of this blog will know that Geoffrey Robertson QC's broadsides against the Church in the promotion of his book, The Case of the Pope, have met with a robust response from CV coordinator Austen Ivereigh, most recently in the Guardian here.

Robertson was so furious at the latter, that he shouted down the phone at the Guardian CiF editors and demanded a response -- which we reported here.

This morning Ivereigh was scheduled to debate with Robertson on Sky News; but Sir Geoffrey pulled out, Sky News told us, because he "refused" to debate with him (Ivereigh went up against a human rights lawyer instead).

This afternoon, Al Jazeera called to ask if Ivereigh could debate Robertson tomorrow afternoon for half an hour on air. Ivereigh accepted. Al Jazeera told Robertson. Robertson told Al Jazeera that he would debate with anybody from Catholic Voices "except Austen Ivereigh".

CV's approach to the media is to be willing to debate with anyone at anytime, but we think it wrong that Robertson -- who should surely be prepared to argue with his critics -- can exercise a veto in this way. So we insisted it be Ivereigh. "Well, I fear that's that then," Al Jazeera told us.

All of which raises the question, what exactly is Sir Geoffrey afraid of? What intimates the great barrister? Perhaps we shall never know.