Alright: why is there quite so much interest from the x-RCP crowd in the fight over animal testing that’s going on here in Oxford? I mean, I’m all in favour of building the animal facility, turned up (briefly) at the demonstration last Saturday, and think that the animal rights people who issue death threats and go round setting things on fire should be locked up for a very long time. But when the Mick Hume gang piles in, you begin to wonder whether you’ve got completely the wrong end of the stick.

So: of the seven advertised speakers at the march last week, one was the local MP, Evan Harris, and one was my Magdalen colleague, John Stein, and a third was the 16-year old chap who founded Pro-Test.

All four of the others have got some kind of link with the Extended World of Mick Hume. It’s perfectly possible (likely in some cases, I’d have thought) that these people don’t know that they’re dealing with post-RCP institutions and, basically, following an x-RCP script. But here we go, anyway:

— James Panton (photographed in yesterday’s tehgrauniad) has written for spiked and done quite a bit of work for the Institute of Ideas (esp. for their Battle of Ideas events).

— Kristina Cook has written for spiked on the animals issue, and — surprise, surprise — she thinks that this has got something to do with a “climate of fear“!

— Tipu Aziz has spoken at an Institute of Ideas debate on the topic. And I also see that he’s in today’s graun saying that it’s OK to test cosmetics on animals, which is, I’m afraid, exactly the kind of thing you’d expect the x-RCP mob to be saying.

— Simon Festing is listed as a trustee of Sense about Science, an organisation which SourceWatch reckons orbits in the Mick Hume et al solar system.

And if you want to follow the Pro-Test movement in the mass media, then you can read something by Mick Hume himself on the subject in the Times last week, or this piece by spiked’s Brendan O’Neill (with long quote from Cde Panton) on the protestors over at the BBC, and O’Neill returns to the subject with a page in this week’s New Statesman, asking a classic RCP question, “That Oxford demo: where was the left?”, which concludes – you will be amazed to hear – that “it was hard to resist the conclusion that the anti-testing demo was a reflection of the state of the old left, drowning in cynicism and moral relativism, while the pro-testing demo was new and surprising, an attempt by forward-looking young people to define themselves as progressive and humane. The left has been left behind.” My goodness.

In other x-RCP news, Dave Renton’s been reminiscing about his time in the RCP. And if you need background on just why some of us are pretty suspicious of anything to do with the RCP / Institute of Ideas / spiked-online / LM, et cet. ad naus., then try over here, here, here, or here.

UPDATE [five minutes later]: Oh look, here’s another organisation with all the tell-tale signs of being another x-RCP front, which gives me a few more names to conjure with: Josie Appleton (in spiked), Bill Durodič (in the THES) and Dolan Cummings (in spiked).

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