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  • 28th June, 2011

    Everyone… let’s join the Twitter mob!

    by Sunny at 11:26 pm    

    If you spend long enough on Twitter, sooner or later you see, get involved in or are in the centre of a “Twitter storm”. If you’re not that well known, it might not even be a storm… but if you’re as well known as Johann Hari - it goes international.

    I was involved in a minor one a few years ago, when I off-handedly tweeted that I welcomed that right-wing demagogue Rush Limbaugh ended up in hospital. Immediately, Conservative Home and Iain Dale were furiously trying to whip up outrage against me. No one outside their circle took the bait and the pitchfork mob never came. I survived.

    But it usually works like this: (group 1) there are some sensible people who make valid criticism. In the case of Johann Hari, there were some journalists and professors who thought it was unethical. Fair enough. (I thought what he did was wrong but the “scandal” had gotten out of hand by noon… it was still going strong at 6pm).

    (group 2) Then there are other prominent tweeters who just like to get on the bandwagon and offer their opinion on the issue. The bandwagon starts to roll apace. (Group 3) Then there are people who really hate the person in question. Hari has a legion of haters out there who think he’s too much of a softy liberal. Their politics isn’t necessarily leftist, they’re just nihilists. They rage at anyone and pretty much everyone. Twitter is there for them to rage at, and if they can join a mob to rage with, all the better. They love the opportunity to point out how principled they are.

    (group 4) Then there are the right-wingers. They usually want the bandwagon to gather pace before dipping their toes, partly because they’ve complained about lefty Twitter mobs in the past. But they don’t like missing opportunities to lay into political enemies. So when Harry Cole, Iain Dale and Toby Young start to become sanctimonious about journalistic ethics - it’s an unstoppable bandwagon with every man and his dog on it. I’m surprised YouGov didn’t do an instant poll.

    The whole Hari hate-fest became an unedifying spectacle of immense proportion that took up most of the day. Before anyone accuses me of being biased - I’ve objected in the past when some tweeters were raging against a writer at the Daily Mail complaining how difficult life was for the middle class. That became really unedifying too.

    I was accused of leading a Twitter mob against Rod Liddle too, but that was just Catherine Bennett complaining that I’d blogged about his racist crap a few times on Libcon. (I stupidly used the line “I’m part of the mob and I’m proud of it” at the end of that article - not again).

    We all make mistakes and sooner or later I’ll say something stupid on Twitter too. This will not doubt be used by people who hate me (I also have legions, possibly even more than Johann has because I’ve been blogging for six years) to whip up a Twitter storm. Today brought me a step closer to deleting my Twitter account. Some things are not worth the hassle.

    All I’m saying is this. If you’re one of those people who gleefully participated with your pitchfork today - just hope it never happens to you.

    Filed under: Media
    17th November, 2010

    British Somalis also helped to release the Chandlers

    by guest at 9:52 am    

    guest post by Talal Rajab from the Quilliam Foundation

    Amidst all the welcome euphoria that has followed the release of Paul and Rachel Chandler, an important fact should be highlighted and thrust in the faces of those people, such as Rod Liddle, who had previously stigmatised Somalis.

    British-Somalis played a part in not only highlighting the plight of the hostages to people within their communities home and abroad, but also in securing their actual release through the work of intermediaries such as the London cab driver, Dahir Abdullahi Kadiye.

    When news first broke of the Chandlers ordeal, campaign groups were set up in Somali communities in order to highlight their plight and call for their release. Earlier this year, a giant banner in support of the couple was unfurled outside a Somali-led Mosque in Bristol, whilst in Camden, North London, hundreds of British-Somalis attended a rally in support of the couple.

    Although these initiatives received scant media attention, they did have an effect on Somalis themselves, both at home and abroad, with some in the UK even attempting to raise the funds for their release themselves. According to one of the organisers of these campaigns it was important for Somali communities in the UK to call for the release of Chandlers since:

    …Britain welcomes Somalis. Many of us came as refugees, as asylum seekers, and now we live freely… Because we are British now, we see our fellow citizens have been taken hostage.

    For many ill-informed individuals, Somali communities in the UK are backward, khat-chewing, uneducated, unpatriotic individuals who are sympathetic to extremism. The reality, however, is much more complex.

    There is little doubt that Somali communities today are experiencing issues that affected Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities in the 60s and 70s. Such problems, however, should not prevent people from seeing Somalis as an important part of the fabric of this country.

    It would be wise for the likes of Liddle to refer to this example whenever the value of Somali communities in the UK is called into question. It should also serve as a reminder that stigmatizing minority communities doesn’t benefit anyone, especially since this example proves once again the once maxim that ‘diversity enriches our society’.

    19th October, 2010

    Right-wing idiots throw bricks at each other

    by Sunny at 7:02 am    

    This is just for amusement purposes. The odious Rod Liddle yesterday wrote a blog post dissing the even more odious James Delingpole (climate change denier-in-chief on the right), calling him ‘politically correct’ for getting outraged over the 10:10 video.

    The film begins with a teacher explaining the 10:10 thing to her class of kids and asking them if they fancy doing anything to help cut carbon emissions. Most eagerly sign up, but two kids do not. The teacher says ok, fair enough, never mind – and then presses a red button and the recidivist kids explode, showering their class mates with gore. I saw the film and thought it quite funny, and nicely done and even self-deprecatingly ironic. And – here’s the point – if it had been George Monbiot and Lord Stern exploding I suspect James would have been howling with laughter, instead of foaming with indignation.

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with Rod Liddle over this. But even a stopped clock shows the right time twice a day.

    Delingpole goes ballistic, with none of the ‘humour’ that Liddle attributes to him:

    Rod Liddle knows even less about Climate Change than I do about Millwall FC
    In a shameless attempt to win some readers for his little known Spectator blog, Rod Liddle has thrown together a desperate post with the highly offensive and almost certainly libellous headline The Politically Correct James Delingpole. It’s about my reaction to Richard Curtis’s ecofascist snuff movie No Pressure, which Rod reckons was overdone.

    See? It is sometimes amusing to read these head-bangers.

    Filed under: Humour,Media
    5th August, 2010

    The only libertarian worth reading

    by Sunny at 10:22 am    

    Other than our own Rumbold of course, Alex Massie is the only other libertarian worth reading this side of the pond.

    He has a very fine post on the whole “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy that the Republican right have been playing up. A few important points from it:

    Nevertheless, Bush and Blair and others had a point: if you convince yourself that the west is fighting some kind of Holy War and that muslims are the enemy then, pretty soon, you find yourself unable to differentiate between the different strands of Islam. Soon after that, once it’s a matter of “them” and “us” (even though some of “them” are also part of “us”) then there simply can’t be anything that can plausibly call itself moderate Islam or, consequently, moderate muslims. Deep down, you see, they’re all just the same.

    But while there are evident tensions and areas of difficulty (and these should not be downplayed or denied) the bigger truth is that the conflict - and there is one - is only tangentially about us. This is much more a civil war within the Islamic world than it is a confrontation with the west (though it is that too). Osama bin Laden’s real enemies are the muslims he considers heretics and moderates. That’s the struggle he’s interested in and the fight with “the west” is merely a means to achieving that final, internal, triumph.

    This being so, among the very worst things we can do is lump all muslims together and, by doing so, suggest that we don’t think there’s any salient difference between the brands and branches of Islam. But, on the other hand, this also doesn;t mean we must demand that British (or American) muslims divest themselves of their religion or their attachment to their layered, over-lapping identies.

    What it does mean, however, is trying to avoid postures, rhetoric and policy that will convince British (or American) muslims that they’re regarded as suspect or somehow only enjoy second-class status (which, now that the GZM rumpus has gone national is what opposing the mosque, no matter how well intentioned your reasons, effectively does).

    Read the whole thing - it’s bang on target.

    And here’s the thing - this is what the left in the UK has been saying for years. The right hasn’t - they’re dominated by wingnuts like Melanie Phillips, Rod Liddle, Douglas Murray etc. Most of who, er, write for the Spectator (I say Alex Massie is a left-libertarian. He’s just giving the right an undue good name by aligning himself with them).

    Filed under: Muslim
    28th July, 2010

    What will Rod Liddle say now?

    by Sunny at 6:27 pm    

    So yesterday, 27 year old Mo Farah won a £10,000 gold medal in the European championships, 17 years after arriving in Britain as a 10-year old Somali immigrant.

    This is what Rod Liddle had to say about Somali immigrants on his blog:

    Incidentally, many Somalis have come to Britain as immigrants recently, where they are widely admired for their strong work ethic, respect for the law and keen, piercing, intelligence

    Of course, he meant that sarcastically.

    Both Sunder Katwala and I look forward to Rod Liddle joining us in celebrating a Somali immigrant making Britain proud.

    Filed under: Media
    29th June, 2010

    Douglas Murray does a Rod Liddle

    by Sunny at 10:25 pm    

    Remember Rod Liddle’s obsession with Mary Seacole? Now Douglas Murray of the oxymoronic Centee for Social Cohesion looks to be following suit.

    Richard Spencer at the Telegraph:

    I was reminded of it when he asked us the other day to consider whether a West Indian or an Asian is the stupidest woman in Britain. It may be, of course, a coincidence that the candidates, Diane Abbott MP and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a newspaper columnist, are both from ethnic minorities, and that Murray had gone through the white contenders and assigned them to third, fourth and fifth places without telling us. After all, we were only likely to be interested in the grand, head-to-head final. However, since the topic at issue was race this seems a coincidence too far.

    Douglas Murray splutters: Of course I’m not racist and it’s just entirely a coincidence that I’m picking on these women as the “stupidest in Britain”. It’s not racist to accuse others of playing the race card.

    Think of the possibilities this rhetorical device offers. From now on, you could just play on any racist stereotype or make any accusation you want. Then, as soon as someone pulls you up on it, just accuse the people you’re hating on of playing the victim card! Genius.

    Filed under: Race politics
    4th April, 2010

    Catherine Bennett, Rod Liddle, me and the Chinese Communist Party

    by Sunny at 7:25 pm    

    Readers, you’ll be happy to know PP has been featured in the print and online edition of today’s Observer. MS Bennett says:

    For some on the left, progressiveness is denoted by the denial of platforms for one or more of the following: the BNP, Islamists, Israeli academics, climate change deniers, arrogant BBC comedians, newspaper columnists pushing their idea of “free speech” that bit too far. Last week, the progressive website Pickled Politics was enjoying the humbling of its current bête noir: “[Rod] Liddle doesn’t believe in free speech,” declared Sunny Hundal, “he simply believes in his right to say what he wants without regard for facts or any blowback.” Blowback? As in a critical response to one’s opinions? If so, it seems Tory commentators are apt to be equally heedless. At ConservativeHome, Tim Montgomerie has counselled offenders that “there is constructive criticism and there is destructive criticism. There is a time for debate on the right and a time to either be silent or gun for Labour”.

    God knows what reassures such speakers that their high-minded support for gagging has absolutely nothing in common with, say, that of the Chinese communist party and, moreover, that they will never suffer the consequences of their own selective approach to free expression.

    Continue Reading...
    30th March, 2010

    Rod Liddle mistook facts for his own racism

    by Sunny 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 Outside - Rod Liddle: A twat in a new way

    Filed under: Media,Race politics
    19th February, 2010

    Rod Liddle’s mates are crying; the long war has begun.

    by Sunny at 5:01 pm    

    The Media Guardian is reporting today that Rod Liddle is no longer running to be editor of the Indy. I wouldn’t start celebrating just as yet as it’s not been confirmed 100%.

    However I’m amused to see that Rod Liddle’s mate is wailing about it over at Guardian CIF. Aww diddums Tim Luckhurst - you probably missed out on some cushy commissions. That’s too bad eh?

    I’m not going to go over again the stupidity of an argument that says making yourself heard about the unsuitability of Rod Liddle being editor of the Indy - a newspaper I like and buy - is censorship. In fact the depth of that feeling was big enough that over 3000 people emailed Alexander Lebedev to make themselves heard, and we raised over £700 in 48 hours (target was only £500) to take out an ad against him. The money for the ad will now go to various women, immigrant and climate change charities (deliberately).

    That’s the great thing about living in a liberal democracy - people have the right to make themselves heard. And if enough of them do then media owners or corporations have to listen. It’s not censorship it’s called people power.

    What Tim Luckhurst is angrily railing against there is the destruction of the old order - where the media has become so incestuous that no one even dared to ask Liddle in the MSM whether he had posted those comments on the Millwall website. As soon as he railed against the “metropolitan elites” (as Luckhurst is doing now), all the wimpy lefties backed away. The last thing they want to be associated with is being metropolitan!

    The reason the left is so weak in this country is because they’re too scared of saying what they believe in, in case the Daily Mail or some other smug idiot calls them ‘metropolitan elite’. And now Luckhurst has invented “liberal bigotry” for people who disagree with what my mate has to say.

    There’s another point, that Anton Vowl makes very well here.

    Perhaps the reaction to Liddle’s possible appointment, the Facebook group, and all of that stuff, wasn’t a bunch of nasty liberal bastards bullying the Indy bigwigs into rejecting the stellar candidate. Maybe it really was the case that Liddle would have been a liability, and a business decision was taken, rather than a hysterical “hiding behind the settee because of those ghastly lefties and their supreme power” decision that we’re supposed to imagine has taken place, if you believe what some are saying.

    It’s important to bear this in mind because there’s a danger in all this that liberals inevitably end up getting painted as fascists by the kind of people who view them with nothing but contempt. Look at the censorship-happy liberals, they will say. First they tried to ban Jan Moir because she just spoke her mind - we didn’t, but thanks anyway - and now they’ve banned a brilliant genius from being the best Indy editor ever - we didn’t, but thanks anyway. The left only gets made to look powerful when it’s being wrongly blamed for clamping down on freedom. The narrative is a familiar one, though, one in which the hypocritical liberal-left fascist scum are the real anti-freedom people out there, and it’s only brave souls like Liddle who are battling for freedom and truth, and de dah de dah de dah, you get the general idea. We encounter it so often it’s wearying.

    Read the whole article - it also spot on. I’m sick of lefties standing by and doing nothing while insufferable idiots take over the establishment. It’s time to fight back. This was merely the first shot in what is going to be a long war. Luckily, there’s more of us.

    Filed under: Media
    15th February, 2010

    Indy columnist Bruce Anderson: torture their wives and children!

    by Sunny at 4:37 pm    

    If this The Independent now, as a newspaper supposedly holding up liberal ideals, then bring on bloody Rod Liddle - it can’t get worse.

    Bruce Anderson starts off by saying:

    Torture is revolting. A man can retain his human dignity in front of a firing squad or on the scaffold: not in a torture chamber. Torturers set out to break their victim: to take a human being and reduce him to a whimpering wreck. In so doing, they defile themselves and their society.

    There is bound to be a ‘but’ here because Anderson is the resident war-mongering neo-con, employed by (supposed) liberal-left newspapers who like to think they should be balanced. Here’s his argument:

    We and the Americans have long-established methods of intelligence co-operation, which are now even more important than they were in the Cold War. It also makes sense to work with other threatened nations, such as Pakistan, where a brave political elite is bearing a disproportionate burden, and receiving few thanks for doing so.

    Before 9/11, in front of some serious lawyers, I once argued that if there were a ticking bomb, the Government would not only have a right to use torture. It would have a duty to use torture.

    After much agonising, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one answer to Sydney’s question. Torture the wife and children. It is a disgusting idea. It is almost a tragedy that we even have to discuss it, let alone think of acting upon it. But there is nothing to be gained from refusing to face facts, in the way that the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuburger, did last week.

    There is a threat not only to individual lives, which is of minor importance, but to our way of life and our civilisation. Torture is revolting, but we cannot substitute aesthetics for thought.

    If I wanted this kind of balance I’d read the bible of wingnut neo-conservatism - FrontPage Magazine. I thought that kind of crap was only limited to the US, but now we’re getting it here.

    On Sunday, in the Observer, Nick Cohen was having a go at judges for the Binyam Mohammad ruling:

    Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, added a further complication when he said that the Mohamed ruling provided a propaganda victory for our enemies. And I am sure he was right.

    Nick Cohen has earlier justified torture under certain circumstances.

    Now all Bruce Anderson needs to do is condemn Amnesty for not upholding human rights and the circle would be complete.

    [hat-tip @Naomimc]

    4th February, 2010

    Rod Liddle makes legal threats against us

    by Sunny at 9:16 pm    

    More here on Liberal Conspiracy. And he tries to style himself as a defender of free speech.

    A reader emails in to say:

    Hi there Sunny
    Love the ad for The Inde to try to prevent the ghastly Liddle being inflicted on us. Thank you for this campaign. I am very impressed that a possible donation may be made to victims of domestic violence and abuse.

    May I suggest an addition to the reasons why he shouldn’t be editor and to the list of his vile statements, please? I haven’t seen anyone pick up on something he said at the same time as the ‘smoking at Auschwitz’ quote, which reveals him to be not only grossly racist, sexist and misogynist, but bigoted against disabled people.

    He remarked that the concentration camp was ‘festooned’ not only with no smoking signs, but with disabled access ramps.

    Irony, or what? Given the fate of countless disabled people at the merciless hands of the nazis … there was equality there, for sure - being considered equal to other categories of humanity deemed worthless - ‘useless eaters’ - and therefore unworthy of life.

    This man is so stupid, so arrogant, so egocentric - words fail me. Keep up the good work!

    Sincerely
    *******

    Fair comment I’d say… no?

    Filed under: Media
    22nd January, 2010

    Hari Kunzru comes to Rod Liddle’s defence

    by Sunny at 7:45 pm    

    I fear that Hari Kunzru is making the exact same mistake as Catherine Bennett (though his point is made much better) that we’re going after Rod Liddle’s speech by campaigning against him being editor of the Indy.

    I respond:

    Catherine Bennett made the same accusations, and I replied to her here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/jan/19/twitter-mob-rules-people-power

    Being liberal doesn’t mean you can’t campaign against or for anything. No one is taking Rod Liddle’s free speech away – he still blogs away at Spectator and writes for the Sunday Times.

    If they want to legitimise and help such an obnoxious misogynist and racist – that’s their problem: I don’t buy them.

    But to say that liberals (I’m a left liberal, the name of the site is meant to be ironic) cannot campaign or criticise anyone because it somehow takes away their freedom of speech isn’t an argument. I’m not like the Chinese authorities. I’m not calling for him to be imprisoned.

    This is like saying Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League marches shouldn’t have happened because they restricted the right of the BNP and National Front to say what they want.

    To which Hari responds with:

    @ Sunny – I don’t think you’re answering my point at all. I’m not saying the same thing as Catherine Bennett. I’m asking you to think about the limits of campaigning. When does legitimate campaigning become something else? I’m not saying you’re the Chinese government. It’s a silly comparison. I also don’t buy the RaR analogy. Rod Liddle is an individual, not an ideology (afaik). You’ve already won the point about Liddle’s unsuitability to edit the Indie – this is very much in the public domain. What’s the end/purpose of your campaign now? How ‘non grata’ do you want his persona? I’m not saying you can’t campaign or criticise.

    I’m saying that beyond a certain point, mass campaigns have a chilling effect on free speech. Is this the case with Liddle? Possibly not – as you say he’s robust, and has plenty of media outlets and allies. But it’s something that needs to be thought about if you care about freedom. Would you be more circumspect if he was weaker or less well-known? You’re in the trenches right now (judging by an fb post you made today) and I wonder if your exhiliration at breaking the Millwall stuff is overtaking a sense of proportion. How do you respond, for example, to my charge that this is potentially damaging to your own politics – beyond a certain point isn’t this trivial? Doesn’t it risk delegitimising the more important stuff you campaign about?

    Frankly I don’t really care if criticising Rod Liddle means there is less casual racism and misogyny in public life - I’d welcome that, thanks. Is the fact there is now much less overt anti-semitism in public life a bad thing?

    The purpose of the campaign is to say that Rod Liddle’s views go against those of the Indy’s principles and it’s readers. He is a troll and is only being considered because Simon Kelner thinks what the Indy really needs is someone who can make it talked about.

    But that won’t bring it loyal readers and it will only herald the demise of Britain’s only other left-liberal newspaper. I don’t see that as a good thing. Hence the campaign. That’s how citizens roll.

    This airy-fairy liberal thinking that if we’re nasty to poor old Wod Widdle then it’s going to make life difficult for others is frankly horse-shit. In the US, Colour of Change ran a campaign against Glenn Beck for his on-air racism. Was freedom of speech in the US curtailed?

    Sorry, I’m not buying this argument at all. Sarah Ditum covered this quite well too - this liberal intelligentsia penchant for mixing up criticism and campaigning with censorship really should be ignored.

    Filed under: Civil liberties,Media
    20th January, 2010

    A reply to Catherine Bennett

    by Sunny at 2:40 pm    

    On the Sunday just gone past, Catherine Bennett mentioned me in an article taking a shot at “the mob” - especially on Twitter and blogs.
    Here’s my reply:

    This weekend Catherine Bennett castigated me, along with others, for being part of a mob that had taken exception to the prospect of Rod Liddle being appointed editor of the Independent. She’s right – I refuse to buy the Indy ever again (or link to it) if Liddle is appointed editor. More than 4,000 people share my concern, and with good reason.

    In all these cases the so-called “mob” has been accused of suppressing free speech. But what you can hear screaming isn’t the Twitter or Facebook mob, it’s newspaper columnists terrified at the idea that their critics could organise themselves and do damage to their reputations.

    What the likes of Bennett, Cohen and others protesting about the “mob” don’t seem to understand is that these are real people, their own readers, trying to do something about the world around them. They join Facebook groups, retweet about court injunctions or state #welovetheNHS because, occasionally, they have the opportunity to be part of an spontaneous movement that can have a big impact. Not all lead somewhere, of course, but some do. And the more people realise the power of the collective the more they’ll join in.

    Read the whole thing here

    30th December, 2009

    More racism at the Spectator

    by Sunny at 10:28 pm    

    What is it about the writing at Spectator magazine that attracts such racist lunatics? Rod Liddle writes another bit of tripe which isn’t even worth fisking its so poor.
    Here’s the first comment in response:

    So another jiggaboo straps a bomb to his leg and trys to blow up an airplane but blows his leg off instead.

    What brilliant company they keep at the Speccie. I’m told the site has moderators, but perhaps they were sleeping or something. Update: an explanation

    Filed under: Media,Race politics
    7th December, 2009

    Rod Liddle’s racism further exposed

    by Sunny at 2:15 am    

    Rod Liddle has already been widely criticised for his earlier post generalising about black people. He has now become defensive over criticism and says:

    My argument is much as it has always been; that the creed of multiculturalism is largely to blame, the notion that cultures, no matter how antithetical to the norm, or anti-social, should be allowed to develop unhindered, without criticism.

    Now, clearly it is not racial discrimination which accounts for the under-achievement – because African Caribbean girls, Bangladeshi boys and girls and so on do not under achieve. So it must be down to something to do with the culture.

    Abbott’s decision to send her child to a private school suggests to me that she thinks it something to do with race rather than culture. To me, the notion is foul (and wrong-headed) that simply because a boy is African-Caribbean he will necessarily under-achieve.

    There’s a few ways in which Liddle Rod confuses the debate. Firstly, multi-racial and multi-cultural are two distinctly different concepts, but Liddle keeps talking about races while attacking multi-culturalism.

    He then tries to square the circle by saying that it must be down to the culture of African Caribbean boys (not girls) that must be at fault. Then he says its foul to think just because a boy is African Caribbean “he will necessarily under-achieve” despite just having implied strongly that being a black boy brings you into a culture that is inherently violent. The man makes no sense.

    A few points. The key distinction in educational achievement is class, not race or culture. Middle class Indian boys and girls do fantastically well while working class Bangladeshi boys (here Liddle is wrong) do badly at school. Guess who does worse at school? Working class white boys. Will Rod Liddle now say that there is something inherently wrong with white working class culture that makes white boys do badly in education? Of course he won’t.

    He’s obsessed by the idea of proving that black boys do badly at school due to the evil ideology of multiculturalism when the data doesn’t support it. In fact African boys do better at school than their Carribean counterparts due to class reasons too.

    Liddle Rod is a confused twit who, in this case and other issues such as immigration, twists the facts to suit his own racist agenda. The Spectator did a great job of bringing him on board to blog - he makes himself and them look more idiotic.

    Filed under: Race politics
    5th December, 2009

    Should whites be allowed to stay in Britain?

    by Rumbold at 9:48 pm    

    This is the question Mr. Liddle has us consider when he writes this extraordinary piece:

    The first of an occasional series – those benefits of a multi-cultural Britain in full. Let me introduce you all to this human filth.

    It could be an anomaly, of course. But it isn’t. The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community. Of course, in return, we have rap music, goat curry and a far more vibrant and diverse understanding of cultures which were once alien to us. For which, many thanks.

    So, because a crime was committed by black people, no black person should be allowed into this country? Mr. Liddle argues that the “overwhelming majority” of crimes in London are committed by black people. Thankfully, Alex Massie and Charlotte Gore quickly dismember that notion. As Charlotte Gore points out, the majority of crime in London is committed by white people.

    Alex Massie on Rod:

    My word! How daring! How delightfully refreshing to see someone trot out the kind of tired, stale prejudice you can find in thousands of boozers across the country! Or at any BNP meeting, for that matter.

    Charlotte Gore on Rod:

    What makes the mind boggle though is that you might actually believe that this counts as a valid argument against multi-culturalism. Surely not… surely? You’re not that stupid are you?

    Yes. Yes, I think you are.

    Any stereotyping is wrong, as it reduces people to blocks, rather than treating them as individuals. To attempt to stereotype and get it hopelessly wrong is something else.

    Filed under: Current affairs,EDL
    11th November, 2009

    Mutiny at the Spectator?

    by Sunny at 6:43 pm    

    Clive Davis was, until recently, a blogger at The Spectator magazine’s website. Last week he finally wrote about his reasons for leaving. He cited, among others, a general difficulty in talking about immigration and race at the website:

    There’s no question, either, that the political establishment has been mealy-mouthed about the side-effects of mass immigration. (Half my family is white working-class, so I’m allowed to say that too.)

    But as I discovered when I had my own blog at the Speccie, most of the noise comes from people who are, frankly, not worth talking to, a small but energetic brigade of green-inkers who would never normally be allowed house-room on a letters page. As well as repeating the same lines over and over, they express a degree of contempt for non-white faces in general, and Muslims in particular, that is downright scary. Shoot illegal immigrants? Why not?

    That’s the main reason why I switched off my comments facility early on. To be blunt about it, if I were a BNP apparatchik I’d be pleased with the way Coffee House has become a sounding board for the party.

    Continue Reading...
    2nd October, 2009

    Rod Liddle admits he may be a sexist idiot

    by Sunny at 4:46 pm    

    This interview in the Evening Standard is pure gold. Rod Liddle has nits - I’m sure they’ll all live happily together.

    Filed under: Humour,Media
    1st October, 2009

    Rod Liddle’s obsession with Mary Seacole continues

    by Sunny at 6:26 pm    

    You may have read a little while back that right-wing commentator, and former BBC Today programme editor, Rod Liddle got so annoyed that Mary Seacole (a mixed race nurse) was one of the ‘great Victorians’ that his children knew, that he went off on a bizarre rant.

    Keep in mind that Mary Seacole may have been mixed race but that wasn’t why she was famous. But Rod Liddle can’t stand it. I mean… surely this is just political correctness gone mad!? Earlier in the year he wrote a column once again invoking the dead woman’s name when he referred to the fictitious ‘Mary Seacole City Academy for Advanced Textspeak and Stabbing’. Why would you associate a Victorian nurse with that? Does he think think black people should continually be linked to crime?

    And so he’s off again today, writing: Changing your name to Seacole will eradicate your inner racist. Perhaps it’s something about being in the company of Melanie Phillips that makes him like that.

    Filed under: Humour,Race politics

    Spectator becomes even more partisan

    by Sunny at 3:37 pm    

    Sad to hear that the Spectator magazine’s only centrist blogger, Clive Davis, is leaving. Without him the website is going to become home for even more partisan and right-wing commentary, thanks to Melanie Phillips and, more recently, Rod Liddle.

    Filed under: Media
    15th September, 2009

    Rod Liddle makes his blogging debut

    by Rumbold at 9:11 pm    

    This should be interesting. After the obligatory parish hello, Rod Liddle tells us what he thinks (and not for the first time) of Mary Seacole, the mixed-race Victorian nurse. Mr. Liddle is incensed to learn that his children know only two famous Victorians, Her Majesty Queen Victoria and Ms. Seacole:

    “So, the Victorians, then. I asked them to name some famous Victorians – they were able to name two. Queen Victoria and Mary Seacole. There you have it: a racially balanced all women shortlist of Victorians.”

    We are not told how long the boys having been learning about the Victorian era, so we have no idea how much they should know. Nor do we know about their expertise in the Roman and Tudor periods, of which Mr. Liddle speaks of earlier in the article. But why do the children know about Mary Seacole, and not other famous Victorians? He suggests that educationalists considered Seacole one of the two most important figures in Victorian history simply because she was an ethnic minority:

    “What about the writers, Dickens, Carlyle, Ruskin? Or the politicians, Gladstone and Disraeli?… For the educationalists, Mary Seacole was one of the two most important figures of the century, solely and utterly because she was black.”

    Given that Benjamin Disraeli was a minority as well, the comparison is invalid, but let’s assume that Mr. Liddle’s historical knowledge doesn’t extend to actually knowing anything about those whom he lists. Even so, does he have a point about the alleged over-emphasis on Mary Seacole?

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: History
    24th August, 2009

    This is what BNPers get up to

    by Sunny at 12:07 pm    

    From the News of the World:

    A 12-year-old girl there with her dad (we are protecting her identity) held a golly called Winston over the fire as Coombes “charged” him with “mugging, rape, drug dealing”.

    He sneered: “Right Winston, you’re about to get cooked. Anything else to say?

    “Says he ain’t a drug dealer. He thinks he’s not black. He’s charged with being black. Now get on there.”

    Skinhead Hamilton chipped in: “If he jumps off he’s innocent.” Coombes went on: “He’s guilty, guilty as charged.

    “Let’s get a real one - in the town we’ll find one or two. They’ll also be guilty of the heinous crimes I charged him with - may God forgive your horrible soul.” Coombes repeated the charges then added: “He may have appeared innocent to you lot but I’m sure he done lots of things wrong.”

    There’s two elements to this: caricaturing black people as muggers and racists, and then of course the incite to violence ‘let’s find a real one’.

    The caricaturing has almost become common practice: blacks are constantly implied as being inherently violent - Rod Liddle does it shamelessly in the Sunday Times - and Muslims as secret terrorists or sympathisers. Or that they want to turn Britain into a caliphate.

    That link between caricaturing an entire group and incitement to violence is plain to see above. Once you’ve villified and dehumanised a group enough, these people start thinking they’re doing humanity a favour by attacking them. The rise of the BNP has increasingly led to the legitimacy of the view that people should do something about the ‘ethnic problem’ - hence the right of far-right extremism.

    9th August, 2009

    Rod Liddle shows his racist side too

    by Sunny at 11:41 pm    

    A PP reader points out there is another side to Liddle Rod which I hadn’t highlighted - his thinly veiled racism. He is already well known for muddling figures around immigration to support his agenda.

    In February this year he wrote this for the Sunday Times:

    Most middle-class parents would prefer not to spend £25,000 per child, per year, on private schooling. And they probably would not do so if the alternative was of a higher educational standard than the state school around the corner, the Mary Seacole City Academy for Advanced Textspeak and Stabbing. This is especially true in central London, where Dave lives. Perhaps he thinks that Westminster is a state school, near as dammit, compared with his own alma mater, Eton.

    There is no Mary Seacole City Academy. But Mary Seacole is a well known and highly acclaimed British black figure, voted among the Greatest Black Britons. You can see what Liddle is doing here: the reference to Mary Seacole is a not-so-subtle way of associating black kids at school withknife crime and bad English.

    Let’s say someone used the phrase: ‘the Greenberg school for international financiers’ - the inference would be that Jewish kids go on to control global finance. The implication here is simply that black kids are taught stabbing and text-speak at school.

    And remember: this guy has a column in the Sunday Times and writes regularly for the Spectator with this kind of bile.

    Filed under: Current affairs,Media
    8th August, 2009

    Rod Liddle tries politics, shows true colours instead

    by Sunny at 3:40 pm    

    Here is how Rod Liddle’s latest column in the Spectator magazine starts:

    So — Harriet Harman, then. Would you? I mean after a few beers obviously, not while you were sober. The alcohol is sloshing around inside your brain, you’ve enjoyed a post-pub doner kebab together and maybe some grilled halloumi (a woman’s right to cheese) and she suggests, as you stand inside the frowsy minicab office: fancy going south, big boy? (I don’t know for sure that she’d use the term ‘big boy’; this is largely hypothetical stuff, you understand.) Anyway, the husband — Jack — is chilling in their second home in Suffolk, the kids are with their scary godmother Patricia Hewitt and the Peckham pad is free for the night.

    You imagine what might happen, what carnal delights are in store: Harriet fixing up some Moldovan Fairtrade coffee and then back in the living-room minxily slipping out of her stab-vest, the one she tends to wear while in her constituency, while sliding a sultry Joan Armatrading CD on the stereo. Would you? I think you wouldn’t. I think you have more self-respect, a greater sense of self-worth, no matter how much you’ve had to drink. I think you’d make your excuses and leave, just as the first bars of ‘Me Myself I’ strike up. I think you’d do the same with most of the babes who were once, or are now, on the government front bench.

    As you can see, Rod Liddle is a real classy guy, not an ugly, fat, constantly-drunk-looking excuse for a journalist who looks like a homeless person turfed out of a shelter for abusive behaviour. This is the sort of commentary that this country’s top right-wing journal publishes. When he isn’t making up bullshit about immigration, Rod Liddle is trying to talk about politics while actually talking about his sexual fantasies.

    Is this the only way right-wingers can talk about women in politics? The Daily Mail is constantly at it too. Feeling a bit threatened boys? Who needs sexism in other countries when you’ve got it right here in the national press?

    via Anton Vowl, who has fisked more choice words for Liddle Dick.

    Filed under: Media
    7th February, 2009

    It’s middle/upper class not working-class racists that’s the problem

    by Sunny at 11:18 pm    

    So the BBC has apologised for editing out part of what a striking worker said about foreign workers, which made him sound racist. The full quote was:

    These Portuguese and Eyeties – we can’t work alongside of them: we’re segregated from them. They’re coming in in full companies.

    But the second half was edited out of a news bulletin, as Padraig Reidy highlighted here, to make it sound racist. Meanwhile, in The Sun there’s an account by Adrian Chiles of what happened:

    Carol was in full flow, talking about who’d win the Australian Open. “You also have to consider the frogs,” she said. “You know, that froggy golliwog guy.”

    “Ooh,” she added — waving an arm about. “If I was Prince Harry I’d get shot for saying that.” Before I’d worked out what to do, Jo — plainly aghast — leant across and said: “Excuse me, did you just say golliwog?” “Yes, well, he’s half-black,” Carol explained, waving her hand in front of her face.’

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