“LET me start,” said Geoffrey Robertson about 10 minutes into his pitch at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, “by saying this.” The London QC of Sydney extraction was having problems with the clock as he called for the Pope to be arraigned for crimes against humanity. The chairman tried warning gestures, civil glances and banged his glass on an empty Schweppes bottle. Nothing worked. Robertson had things to say and could not be stopped. His adversary, Alan Dershowitz, provoked warm applause with his first words: “What I want to do in the time I’ve been allotted for my remarks.”
Robertson tried the same windbaggery last night on Q&A, treating his fellow panelists as mere listening posts, and had to be stopped mid-lecture at least twice by Tony Jones.