Right to Know: Paul Martin has a fool for a client

This entry was posted on
Monday, April 11th, 2011
11:09 am and is filed
under Christ…, Tories! Tories! Tories!.

Right to Know presents itself as a “pro women” campaign and argues that women have a right to know about certain ‘facts’ before they proceed with an abortion. It further accuses those charged with caring for these women of deliberately keeping these ‘facts’ from them because of what they describe as a “financial vested interest”; they claim and imply quite starkly that named health care providers/organisations care more about the money they can generate from abortions than they do about the women who seek their help.

Perhaps these accusers see a financial vested interest as the only possible source of corruption, because the group Right to Know has a hidden vested interest, and is keeping that information from these same women while basing their entire argument on their right to know about such things.

The blogger Unity has already covered in detail the plan by fundamentalist-led Christian groups to reduce access to abortion through a series of seemingly secular arguments, and how Right to Know fits into this:

The document, a Powerpoint presentation produced by Dr Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship for the Lawyers Christian Fellowship in 2007, indicates that Dorries’ current campaign and amendments are part of long-term strategy put together by an alliance of prominent anti-abortion organisations with the overall objective of securing the complete prohibition of abortion in the UK on any grounds, including rape, serious foetal abnormality and even serious risk to the life of mother. (source)

The priority of these groups is the prevention of what they see to be the murder of the foetus, not the welfare of the mother. This priority should be obvious in the stance their leading campaigners take on biblical scripture (e.g. calling the Church of England ‘cowards’ for not acknowledging as literal passages from the Bible that they claim supports the idea that life begins at conception), but these same people are also on record as whining that “if you mention God in an argument in the UK, you lose” (source/more). One assumes this is a major reason why these people have decided to keep this information from the same women they insist have a right to know about vested interests that may influence their level of care (but if this is the case, they fail to understand or refuse to acknowledge that there is a difference between not mentioning a god in your argument and lobbying secretly on their behalf).

The people running the web presence for the Right to Know campaign have been asked via Twitter if they will declare who is funding/supporting their efforts, but they have declined to answer. They have also been asked via their YouTube account to provide some scant information about who is working the pumps, but have responded by deleting every such question without answering, and disabling comments on their campaign videos so these questions might be hidden from the public.

Further, a WHOIS lookup for the relevant domain name revealed that the registrant had violated the terms of service of the provider (Nominet) in order to hide their identity; they used a generic description in place of a name (‘Web Officer’) and hid the registering address from public view with a false claim that the site was the work of a private individual.

The registrant has so far refused to update the details to bring it in line with Nominet’s requirements, but last week Nominet did exercise their right to withdraw the privacy settings on the address, which revealed the following:

Domain name:

Web Officer

Registrant type:
UK Individual

Registrant’s address:
7 – 8 Grays Inn Square
Right to Know Campaign
United Kingdom

(Psst! To be clear: the following appears to be what Nominet revealed about the original registration details after revoking the registrant’s ‘private individual’ status – on or about 4 April – so I do not think the registrant ever intended to have this information appear in the public domain.)

At this address is the office of the law firm Cooke Matheson, part of Wellers Law Group.

None of the people I spoke to initially at Wellers Law Group knew anything about any of this until Paul Martin popped up to theorise that it had not been registered by anyone in their organisation, but had instead been registered by a client:

“We have not registered anything! I think the client, for whom we are the R/O probably did this” – Paul Martin, Wellers Law Group

[I assume R/O = registered office]

From here, a position of “all the work we do for clients is confidential” prevented Wellers Law Group from naming the client.

Here, I congratulate the registrant for the sturdiness of their final rampart… but I suspect they fail to appreciate that their identity shouldn’t be a secret at all.

Right to Know bases their entire argument on the position that women have a right to know about vested interests that influence the information they receive, and yet they do so without declaring their own interest(s).

I do not need the name of the client in order to see the extraordinary lengths they have gone to in order to disguise themselves while shouting about what lies behind Green Curtain No. 2… but I invite you to make an educated guess anyway, based on the following:

– Nadine Dorries fronted an earlier campaign to reduced the abortion limit to 20 weeks for ‘scientific’ reasons, and was recorded on camera explaining how much she relied on the work of Andrea Williams and the organisation she led; Christian Concern for our Nation. (Andrea, a self-described fundamentalist Christian, wrote the amendments that Dorries presented to the House in an attempt to pass them into law.)

– It was only after the campaign that Dorries admitted that the relevant website “was registered and created by CCFON (Christian Concern for our Nation) members, a fact not mentioned on the site” (source/context)

– In 2008, Christian Concern for our Nation hosted an event where the two key speakers were from Wellers Law Group:

CCFON screengrab

– Hosted by Andrea Williams, the event presented the speakers’ biographies as follows:

Paul Martin is a partner of Wellers, based in London and Bromley, Kent. He has recently published the Christian Charities Handbook – a guide to all things concerning the governance and management of charities. He travels widely and has a client base of both national and international organisations. Paul has considerable expertise in dealing with UK and non-resident charities as well as “not-for-profit” concerns, and is a director of two international charities.

Jane Whitfield is a Solicitor with a considerable expertise in the charity sector. She has been on The Law Society’s Wills and Equity Committee for a number of years and is a member of the Charity Law Association. She is also a Trustee of ‘Hope in the Community’, a Christian charity.

– When approached with the WHOIS data, Paul Martin initially offered “more information”, but then declined to answer any questions about his relationship with the Lawyers Christian Fellowship and Christian Concern (the shiny new face of Christian Concern for Our Nation).

Now, revealing a lobbyist as an active member of a Christian movement/group may have the potential to undermine the credibility of what they claim to be a secular argument, but that is not what destroys the argument in this instance.

What destroys the argument in this instance is that ‘Right to Know’ do not actually believe that you have a right to know; they do not offer the same transparency they demand of others, which reveals the very foundation of their argument to be a sham.

To paraphrase the only book some of these people appear to have read; it is a foolish man who builds his house upon the sand.

In fact, Nadine Dorries and her secretive fundamentalist backers will want to take a closer look at all of Chapter 7 of the book of Matthew, especially if they claim to stand by the Bible’s every word as if it is the word of God:

Matthew 7

Judging Others

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

(Psst! Just to save some needless shouting; I do not interpret the Bible as these people do, and I do not claim to obey its teachings… plus, I have no hidden vested interests, despite what Dorries and her supporters may imply. So I dare to judge, and have no fear of being similarly judged.)

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