• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Nihil Obit

A few days ago I wrote a blog entry following the sudden death of a political activist. The man concerned had featured on this blog several times, due both to his involvement in various controversial political groups that I track, and because of his frequent recourse to litigation against people who had offended him – another keen interest of mine. My post was certainly not  a eulogy, but it was truthful, serious in tone, and did not go into excessive detail about the man’s flaws. My interest, of course, was to put on record some details of his public activities; I was not concerned with his private life.

My blog entry very quickly became close to being the top result on any Google search for the man’s name; this was surprising, as I had expected my entry to have been a small contribution to a larger discussion (a discussion which does not appear in fact to have happened) and there are many other websites which mention him. However, although the man concerned was to some extent a public figure, he was so in an “amateur” capacity rather than as a professional politician. It occured to me that my blog entry having such a high ranking may become intrusive in the months ahead, and it has now been suggested to me by someone who knew the deceased that my post may cause distress to relatives.

Of course, it is certainly the case when someone involves themselves in public controversies, they invite critical scrutiny, and there are many good reasons why such scrutiny should continue even after a protagonist has died. However, in this particular instance, having weighed the potential usefulness of the continued presence of the blog entry to political and legal discussion against how its absence may make life a little easier to cope with for private individuals at a difficult time, I have decided to remove the entry.

2 Responses

  1. Richard, I’ve always appreciated your attempt to be neutral on most topics. If you feel you’ve had to delete something, i can only assume it’s for humane reasons.


    Jonathan from spritzophrenia

  2. I hope that when it is no longer so difficult and painful, when things can be seen objectively by all parties involved, you resume the post.

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