Rod Liddle mistook facts for his own racism


by Sunny
30th March, 2010 at 5:28 pm    

It’s wonderful to be back in London (I got back last night from back-packing around S.E. Asia) and get such a wonderful present on my return.

Yesterday the PCC finally ruled on Rod Liddle’s blog post from December last year where he said London’s African-Caribbean youth were responsible for the “overwhelming majority” of violent crime in the capital and had given only “rap music” and “goat curry” in return.

You can read the PCC ruling here. What’s notable is that Rod Liddle tried to pass off his bigotry as fact, and when questioned the magazine was unable to offer proper evidence to support its case.

The ruling has been called “significant” because it relates to a blog. I don’t think it is – the Spectator was only caught out because the magazine itself is regulated by the PCC. The PCC simply extended its mandate to include online content, as it should do. I doubt this ruling will impact independent blogs because they still have no mandate in this area.

It’s more significant that the PCC actually ruled on a case that did not involve a specific person – as this was a common way for the body to avoid adjudication on complaints in the past. Newspapers would regularly publish false stories about immigrants or asylum seekers and the PCC would remain silent because no one specific was named.

In that context this is a welcome judgement because it stops bigots like Liddle trying to pass off bigotry as fact without an adequate case to back it up.

It’s amusing but not surprising that Liddle is now trying to pass this off as an attack on free speech. This, from a man who repeatedly threatened us with legal action when we exposed his views in a campaign to stop him him being appointed editor of the Indy.

Liddle doesn’t believe in free speech – he simply believes in his right to say what he wants without regard for facts or any blowback. And now it’s been proved as such.

More: Left OutsideRod Liddle: A twat in a new way


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  1. Movement Inc

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  1. MaidMarian — on 30th March, 2010 at 5:47 pm  

    Sunny – you talk about Liddle being, ‘caught out,’ because he wrote on the Spectator website, rather than privately.

    I am actually suspicious that the Spectator did it deliberately to get some attention, knowing full well that Liddle’s comments would likely go viral. All those free hits – including those generated by the PCC
    censure – must be impressive to advertisers.

    Or am I just looking at a conspiracy that does not exist?

  2. Kismet Hardy — on 30th March, 2010 at 5:59 pm  

    This is disgusting. Goat curry originated in the telugu region of India and rap music was invented by Blondie (Rapture) followed by Adam and the Ants (Ant Rap) and Wham (Wham Rap). This Rod chap should be shot for handing black folk credit for things Asians and our white masters invented

  3. Sunny — on 30th March, 2010 at 7:22 pm  

    rather than privately.

    Liddle’s stock and trade is to be a professional troll. Why would be write shit that he is not being paid for?

  4. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 30th March, 2010 at 7:23 pm  

    This is almost identical to the Lou Dobbs ploy in the US, say something racially or politically charged that you know to be untrue, then claim (on national television, or radio in Liddle’s case) ‘stalinism’/'fascism’/'suppression of free speech’ when people point out you’re wrong.

    @2

    Not quite, Sugarhill gang, at least, was 1979 and there was probably stuff before that.

  5. Sunny — on 30th March, 2010 at 8:00 pm  

    Disgusted – yup, following it almost to a T. Liddle the poor, persecuted man.

    I’ve also linked Left Outside’s excellent post on this at the end of mine…

  6. Tom Johnson — on 30th March, 2010 at 9:40 pm  

    As far as I can see all the PCC say is that he didn’t provide statistics to back up his assertion, which is hardly a surprise as getting statistics that show the racial profile of street robbers and rapists is almost impossible – I wonder why?

    Let’s be frank here: the majority of violent crime, which includes robbery and rape, is carried out by Afro Carribeans. Afro Carribeans are disproportionately involved, period!!! I don’t know why but they are, travel to any civilised country where you have significant numbers of African descendents and its the same.

    All though getting raw data on the racial backgrounds of violent thugs seems to be difficult the number of Afro Carribeans in our penal system gives the game away, not so very long ago Wandsworth had 400 Jamacian nationals on its wings, incredible I know.

    Of course if Liddle is wrong his opponents will be able to prove it by pointing him in the direction of the unvarnished figures and he and I can stand corrected. I won’t hold my breath.

  7. Sunny — on 30th March, 2010 at 10:12 pm  

    which is hardly a surprise as getting statistics that show the racial profile of street robbers and rapists is almost impossible – I wonder why?

    Why is it almost impossible?

    I love this though – bunch of twats can’t find stats to back up their assertions so they blame everyone for censoring them.

    You couldn’t make it up. oh wait…

  8. Tom — on 30th March, 2010 at 10:43 pm  

    Sunny, see page 18 of this, it is clear that young black men are disproportionately responsible for muggings, and over half in London in 2000 (most recent I could find). This will almost certainly have risen since then as the proportion of the overall youth population that is white will have fallen fast when the next census comes out. (2011)

    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hors223.pdf

    The whole thing makes an interesting read (the stop and search data when adjusted for age structures dispels some commonly held assumptions although it was pre 9/11), but also that the main factors for being a victim of crime are your age, how much money you’ve got and where you live. Ethnicity is way down the list.

    None of this excuses Rod Liddle’s pub bore stupidity but these data do underlie some of the things the BNP pushes and also people’s everday experience in London. It also undermines some of the simplistic liberal theories about victimisation and policing.

  9. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 31st March, 2010 at 2:41 am  

    Of course if Liddle is wrong his opponents will be able to prove it by pointing him in the direction of the unvarnished figures and he and I can stand corrected. I won’t hold my breath.

    1. You’ve deliberately confused whom the burden of evidence falls upon, hint – it’s those making the claims, Liddle provided no evidence for it at the time and when challenged by the PCC could apparently not produce any conclusive proof for his claims.

    2. It’s already been debunked, but you know that.

    3. Here is the most recent relevant data (linked from http://www.justice.gov.uk/raceandcjs.htm).

    http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/stats-race-criminal-justice-system-07-08-revised.pdf

    Now, Liddle says ‘street crime’ but there is no ‘street crime’ category, perhaps he did his own research and collated the information independently. Perhaps, but if he did he failed to provide it to the PCC.

    Anyway;

    Percentage breakdown of those arrested for notifiable offences, by ethnic appearance, offence group and police force area, 2007/08

    Violence against the person – 8.5%
    Sexual offences – 10.1%
    Robbery – 29.7%
    Burglary – 7.4%
    Theft and handling – 8.6%
    Fraud and forgery – 19.5%
    Criminal damage – 5.2%
    Drugs – 14.4%
    Other – 9.1%

    Further information on cautions and prosecutions isn’t as granular (probably because it’s not required by the law, unlike the above) though the conviction rate for whites does appear to be slightly higher than that for blacks.

    The above report is of course for all age groups and Liddle did specifically say ‘young men from the African-Caribbean community’. There are some relevant mentions of youth offending.

    London had the highest proportion of offences involving young Black people – 31% of offences dealt with by YOTs in London (the area Liddle SPECIFICALLY named) involved Black offenders. Of the selected areas, only one other area had more than 10% of offences involving Black people – West Midlands, where 13% of offences involved Black offenders.

    And.

    As in the previous year, young Black people and those from Asian or Mixed backgrounds were substantially overrepresented compared with White people for robbery offences. These patterns are similar to those in evidence since 2001. The figures also suggest over-representation of Black people for drugs offences as well as a less significant over representation of those of Asian and Mixed backgrounds. The same findings have been noted since 2003.

    Finally.

    Offences committed by Black young offenders were more likely to receive a custodial sentence when compared to offences committed by the other ethnic groups.

    But again, nothing that supports Liddle’s claim. Black youths are certainly disproportionately represented (particularly in London) but not responsible for an ‘overwhelming majority’.

    I also found this which is more youth focused – http://www.yjb.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/CFC579BE-21E0-4F96-B721-2EA7FEDF113D/0/Disposalsregionally200708.pdf

    Again, doesn’t seem to support Liddle’s claim.

    Sunny, see page 18 of this, it is clear that young black men are disproportionately responsible for muggings, and over half in London in 2000 (most recent I could find).

    You are/were apparently correct – “The BCS indicates that in 1999 approaching a third of muggings were committed by black offenders.”

    However, absolutely nowhere does the term ‘disproportionate’ or any variation thereof appear in Liddle’s screed. He claims they’re responsible for an “overwhelming majority of street crime” (the notion of ‘street crime’ being nebulous to begin with).

    A claim which he was of course, unable to prove.

  10. Richard — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:29 am  

    I am a black British male I know most of you like Liddle know little.

    For a start a lot of the gun crime and stabbings those involved have African surnames. They are usually
    West African, Somalian, and mixed race. Black offenders does not mean Afro Caribbean.

    I notice the crime statistics Polish people came top
    Why break them down into Polish, Albanian etc, just say white people.

    Asian community broken down again Indian, Pakistani,
    Bangledeshi, why not just lump them together. All these countries are partions of India. So basically they are all Indian. Of course the Indian community
    wouldn’t like that.

    Anyone explain the major differences between a muslim from East India and a Bangledeshi muslim?
    Unlike Nigeria and say Somalia both African countries
    yet major differences even when some of them have the same religion.

    Also all your favourite rappers and footballers you know the ones Cheryl Cole and the other white female celebrities lust after have virtually all been involved in some criminal activity when they were young. Are you going to stop supporting them?

    The idiot Kismet Hardy (posting 30/3/2010) Rap records were around way before Blondie. If you listen to Rapture by Blondie she says ‘Fab Five Freddy told me everybody’s fly’. Fab five freddy is a black DJ and rapping along with others since the early 70′s .

    Regarding curry goat you are probably right. Everything regarding curry is Indian.

  11. notmarvin — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:50 am  

    “For a start a lot of the gun crime and stabbings those involved have African surnames. ”

    What a racist thing to say. Oh hang on a minute..

    Richard, I agree. For anybody who lives in London and is interested in demographics of crime will know exactly as you say – African surnames, and it’s well known that Somalians and Somalian gangs are “over-represented”.

    I know I would find it particularly insulting if I were Black British (as Kismet seems to think I am trying to impersonate because I call myself Marvin).

    Rod’s failed in his insultingly inaccurate “afro-Caribbean” turn of phrase, and he’s failed by not being able to back up each and every assertion with stats.

    Still, as I say, despite The Guardian he’s hardly “fomenting a racist myth”, he’s guilty of inaccuracy, exaggeration, and presenting opinions as fact without relevant evidence.

  12. notmarvin — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:52 am  

    “For a start a lot of the gun crime and stabbings those involved have African surnames. ”

    What a racist thing to say. Oh hang on a minute…

    Richard, I agree. For anybody who lives in London and is interested in demographics of crime will know exactly as you say – African surnames, and it’s well known that Somalians and Somalian gangs are “over-represented”.

    I know I would find it particularly insulting if I were Black British (as Kismet seems to think I am trying to impersonate because I call myself Marvin).

    Rod’s failed in his insultingly inaccurate “afro-Caribbean” turn of phrase, and he’s failed by not being able to back up each and every assertion with stats.

    Still, as I say, despite The Guardian he’s hardly “fomenting a racist myth”, he’s guilty of inaccuracy, exaggeration, and presenting opinions as fact without relevant evidence….

    p.s. any chance of removing anything “marvin” related from the spam filter?

  13. notmarvin — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:53 am  

    Can I link to my blog or is that spam too…

  14. Kismet Hardy — on 31st March, 2010 at 12:30 pm  

    I have to argue with you Richard (post 10). Blondie invented rap. The clue is in the title. RAPture. And this Fab Five Freddy you speak of was a DJ and we all know Malcolm Maclaren created DJism when he invented turntables the day after he discovered Detroit and he’s a white master.

  15. Tom Johnson — on 31st March, 2010 at 4:14 pm  

    Richard @10

    Don’t go getting all complicated on us: sub saharan Africans of whatever sub division and however far removed are disproportionately represented as the perpetrators of violent crime. As I said earlier, I don’t know why, but they just are.

    In fact expanding on this somewhat you could say that in most league tables that indicate success, sub saharans and their diaspora do badly. About the only areas that they excel in are sports and entertainment.

    Why Why Why???

  16. Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 4:30 pm  

    As I said earlier, I don’t know why, but they just are.

    That pretty much sums up you and Rod Liddle.

  17. Kojak — on 31st March, 2010 at 5:06 pm  

    If this topic is to move on it should have Rod Liddle’s reply to the PCC ruling:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/rodliddle/5880178/a-bizarre-and-incoherent-adjudication.thtml

  18. Tom Johnson — on 31st March, 2010 at 5:39 pm  

    Kojak@17

    Thanks for that, confirms what I thought: the stats back up Liddle’s assertion. He makes the point, of course, that getting up to date figures is almost impossible.

    The problem in part is that this govt and its agencies/quango’s are so afraid of a racist backlash if they furnish us with the unvarnished truth that they do their best to hide the story of violent crime which leads to urban myths, talk about an own goal.

  19. Kojak — on 31st March, 2010 at 5:54 pm  

    Tom,

    Whilst you are certain of the situation I think it’s worth noting that Rod Liddle’s haste and sloppy writing was part of the issue that the PCC ruled on.
    The original article started “The overwhelming majority …..”, whereas the article I referred to refers to “an”overwhelming majority”".
    Had he been less emphatic and linked to the statistics he provided today I don’t think the issue would have developed as it did.
    Watertight articles cannot be criticised in the same way that casual blogging can – irrespective of the content.

  20. Richard — on 6th April, 2010 at 5:52 pm  

    Kismet Hardy I have rap records dating from 1979 and before SugarHill gang, Kurtis Blow, to name a few and they were not even the earliest. Rapture did not come out until 1980. If you are going to talk rubbish at least say Eminem created rap

    Malcolm mclaren(not his real name) is a British Jew
    born and bred in the UK, doubt if he invented rap. Unless you think Jewish people from Stoke Newington created rap. Malcolm mclaren does not even rap, cannot Dj and does not sing or play an instrument. All he can do is manage bands and mess up their careers like the Sex Pistols

  21. Wibble — on 6th April, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

    Richard: Kismet is just pulling your leg.

    Of course, certain humourless people who’ve read PP for ages wouldn’t get it.

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