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 Outside – Rod Liddle: A twat in a new way
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Filed in: Media,Race politics