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Saturday, February 28, 2009 

Weekend links.

All the big talk online is about the Convention on Modern Liberty. The Graun has an entire section on it, while Alix Mortimer is providing an essential commentary on the speakers. The Heresiarch also contrasts Philip Pullman with the completely blase attitude of David Aaronavitch.

Elsewhere we have the usual mixed bag. Paul Linford comments on the cancellation of prime minister question's and the very short suspension of usual hostilities, Chicken Yoghurt covers the cowardice and contempt of David Miliband and Jacqui Smith, Tim Worstall more than justifiably calls Frank Field a grotty little fascist, Anton Vowl notes the typical hypocrisy of the Mail, Neil Robertson (longlisted for the Orwell bloggers' prize, along with the Heresiarch, Alix Mortimer and Hopi Sen amongst others) identifies the ultimate conclusion of the utter lunacy of drug prohibition, and Hopi Sen drafts Gordon Brown's speech next week to both houses of Congress.

From the papers, Peter Oborne continues his fine form by declaring the Blair years the most morally squalid of recent history, Marina Hyde notes the staggering chutzpah of the super-rich in demanding tax breaks so they'll donate more to charity, Rory Bremner continues the liberty theme, and Deborah Orr quite rightly states that the blame game doesn't end with Fred Goodwin.

As for the worst tabloid article, we must first note something quite amazing: I agree with something Amanda Platell says in her usual customary submission, although I was always inclined to be rather sniffy about the way in which Jade Goody's husband has been treated by both the system and the press. Someone who would usually be regarded as an unrepentant yob who viciously attacked a 16-year-old with a golf club has instead been feted by the media and treated with kid gloves, first having his curfew lifted and now it seems likely to have his tag removed also. The perks of having a former racist who now happens to be dying as your wife. The winner though is Bel Mooney for her stomach-turning "personal letter" (a personal letter also published to over 2 million readers is quite a concept) to the Camerons, especially the open paragraph which makes reference to the snatched long-lens intrusive shot which the Daily Mail disgustingly splashed on its front page on Thursday, all feeling their pain while profiting from it.

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