Rod Liddle

A Labour elitist meets a fête worse than death

If you’ve ever wondered what connection bien-pensant MPs have with their constituents, this might help make it clear

21 June 2014

8:00 AM

21 June 2014

8:00 AM

It is surely only a matter of time before someone with a mischievous glint in their eye invites the Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, Helen Goodman, to open a fête in a place with which she is entirely unfamiliar, e.g. Bishop Auckland.

Helen recently turned up as guest of honour at a fête in a village in the constituency she has represented for nine years. She delivered a moving eulogy to Ingleton, praising its beautiful waterfalls and deep, labyrinthine caves. The villagers listened with a dawning hilarity. Mrs Goodman had confused the village she represents with one of the same name some 70 miles away in the Yorkshire Dales. There are no caves or waterfalls in Ingleton, Co Durham. In my imagination I can see her right now standing on the steps of Bishop Auckland’s Victorian town hall, offering a stirring tribute to the town’s natural attractions — magnificent harbour, ring of splendid fiery volcanoes, and vibrant and colourful Maori community.

Goodman was selected as Bishop Auckland’s Labour candidate in 2005 via an all-women shortlist, which is one of the conduits for preventing local people getting selected (there are plenty of others). Across the north-east, once the bedrock of Old Labour, Blairite monkeys, wonks and dweebs with no connection to the area were parachuted into safe seats in the 1990s and 2000s — the most hilarious of all, of course, being Peter Mandelson smirking triumphantly at the poor people of Hartlepool.

The exclusion of local politicians is one of the reasons that the British people, outside London, have lost faith in their MPs and consider them somewhat out of touch. Not all quite as magnificently out of touch as Helen, mind, but in general disregarding of their wishes and aspirations. This was the conclusion of the latest British Social Attitudes Survey, out this week, which reported a considerable hardening of public opinion about immigration — ‘a persistent public anxiety’ which the politicians will ‘ignore at their peril’, as well as a growing rejection of the multicultural vision of Britain.

The percentage of people who believe that in order to be classified as British one ought to have a bit of a grasp of the English language has risen from 85 per cent to 95 per cent. Some three quarters of the population wish to see strict limits, or a complete halt, to immigration, and 80 per cent want to see immigrants having only restricted access to welfare benefits.

In another marked change, growing numbers of these horrible, racist, bigoted Brits (as I daresay Gordon Brown would define them) also believe that in order to be truly British one ought to have some form of British ancestry or at the very least have been born in the country. Lordy. The suggestion is that while we were more inclined to be tolerant and even magnanimous towards incomers when they arrived at a reasonable rate every year, we have latterly become agitated to the point of intolerance by what could quite reasonably called ‘swamping’. It is not simply the pressure on our infrastructure — to which Labour’s latest response, incidentally, is that we should simply pave over what remains of our countryside and fill it with houses, if I understand Sadiq Khan correctly — or even our economic indulgence in the form of welfare benefits and subsidised housing. It is a deeper fear that the character of the country is being changed, and being changed with some rapidity, and that our political masters, with whom we have nothing or little in common, are perfectly happy with this state of affairs and indeed wish to encourage it. That they wished to encourage it is not in any doubt; you will remember Tony Blair’s former adviser Andrew Neather reporting that Labour opened up the country to mass immigration precisely to ‘rub the right’s nose in diversity’. I think Mr Neather was using the word ‘right’ as a synonym for ‘overwhelming majority of the population’.

The multicultural mindset to which people are becoming increasingly antagonistic was exemplified back in the late 1990s in a report from the Commission for the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, sponsored by the Runny-mede Trust. This barrel of pigswill insisted that Britain’s history should be ‘re-imagined’ so as to be more ‘inclusive’ and that a lot of the stuff which made British people proud of being British was in fact horrible and should be consigned to the wastepaper bin of history. Here’s an excerpt:

‘The Rule Britannia mindset, given full-blown expression at the Last Night of the Proms and until recently at the start of programming each day on BBC Radio 4, is a major part of the problem of Britain. In the same way that it continues to fight the second world war… Britain seems incapable of shaking off its imperialist identity. The Brits do appear to believe that “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”… [But] it is impossible to colonise three-fifths of the world… without enslaving oneself. Our problem has been that Britain has never understood itself and has steadfastly refused to see and understand itself through the prism of our experience of it, here and in its coloniser mode.’

The British people were never terribly happy with this sudden ‘reimagining’ and are even less happy about it now. And who was the director of the ‘Commission for the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain’ back then? Yay, for it was none other than the geographically challenged Helen Goodman. Of course it was.

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  • Bonzo

    A good article, Rod. It’s hard to see what will change though. The main parties seem to intent on blaming the upsurge in “right” wing parties on recent economic difficulties. No doubt this is partly true, but in the UK a large part is due to concerns about mass immigration, as the BSA survey seems to show. While politicians ignore this the disconnect between the electorate and the political class will remain.

    • Mark McIntyre

      Trusting Bonzo did not vote Liebore ? !

      • Bonzo

        Your trust is not misplaced.

  • Damaris Tighe

    The Runnymede report that you mentioned also suggested that our country should be given a new name:

    ‘[the name Britain] has systematic, largely unspoken, racial connotations … Englishness & therefore by extension, Britishness, is racially coded.’

    You really couldn’t make it up!

    • andyrwebman

      Can you find a reliable online source for this? Be good to post elsewhere.

      • Damaris Tighe

        The quote came from a book I was reading at the time but as I read a lot I can’t find it! However if you google Runnymede Trust future of multi-ethnic Britain I’m sure you’ll find the original online.

  • Mark McIntyre

    THICKOS. Alas, this just proves what oneself has always known – Liebore voters will vote for anything – so long as it be the Liebore candidate !
    As they vote so shall they reap !

    • Roger Hudson

      In Hackney in the old days they used to say Labour could put up a donkey and it would get elected, in 1987 they did and she was.

  • Torybushhug

    Just posted this on the Guardian – regards YAB trying to claim yet another scalp (Fabricants) using her asymmetric power advantage;

    So it’s ok for her to make extremely nasty comments about Clarkson and others?

    She already had the full force of the law spring into instant action when that Birmingham Tory councillor made a stoning joke – he lost his livelihood as a result.

    The great asymmetric power imbalance inhabited by the few. I’d love to join but I don’t tick the entry boxes.

  • Daviejohn

    On the money as always Mr.Liddle. Good article

  • BillRees

    Rod, I’ve just seen your discussion with Ms Alibhai-Brown on Channel 4 news.

    I find it fascinating that she can express her loathing of you (and presumably people like you), while trying to restrict your freedom of speech and that of other people she doesn’t like, such as Nigel Farage.

    And then it’s you having to defend yourself from the charge of being a bigot, which I thought you did with great good humour, while MS A-B faces no criticism at all from the presenter.

    Alice in Wonderland is alive and well.

    • MikeF

      Agree with what you say but having the word ‘bigot’ thrown at you by the likes of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is not a ‘charge’ – a term that implies there might be some sort of thought process behind. It is ugly, ignorant, malicious, formulaic and ultimately simply illiterate name-calling as a substitute for rational argument which deserves to be treated utter contempt.

      • andyrwebman

        Yes, this also applies to all the left’s insidious labelling of opposing opinions as “phobias” – in an attempt to act as if the argument has already been won.

        Nothing more than insults which belong in the school playground, yet they get their puppet newsreaders to use them so that they’ll become common parlance.

        Newspeak is News speak.

    • Liz

      How was she trying to restrict his freedom of speech? She was criticising his speech, that’s not the same thing.

      • Penny

        Y A-B is not in favour of free speech being declared an “absolute right”

        • Max07

          You mean … she’s only in favour of free speech for people who agree with her.

      • David

        She did say previously that she wanted white middle class males to be extinct… that’s not exactly championing his right to speak, is it?

    • Terry Field

      She has clearly expressed, in her desire to stop the freedom of speech of key political personalities, behaved in a way that should preclude her from any longer being heard – the editor of Spectator should never take an article from the nasty little creature again. Neither should the holier-than-thou-‘Independent’ – which it clearly is not.

    • andyrwebman

      Reasonable people define bigots as “those unwilling to listen to other opinions and also unwilling to debate and justify their own opinions through rational argument”

      Left wingers define bigots as “anyone who disagrees with my opinion”.

      The idea that an opinion which they deem “controvertial” (through kneejerk reaction) might actually turn out to be well founded in fact is utterly alien to them.

      There is no doubt that the biggest bigots in Britain today belong to the left.

    • Terry Field

      Yes – she did a great self-destruction job. She is anti-democratic – a repulsive unwelcome addition to a settled democratic country.

  • Bonzo

    Stress and high blood pressure are widespread and serious medical conditions in modern society. So, Rod, I have think you a duty to tell us how you stayed calm on Channel 4 news last night. Not once did you hit Ms Alibhai-Brown with a Channel 4 presenter.

  • 1DrFortuneMBezzla7

    i’ve got to buy rod liddle’s book.

    He’s brilliant. The only fly in the ointment is that he seems to hate Crystal Palace, but nobody’s perfect.

    a book. I haven’t actually bought a book for years!

    • ADW

      It shows, I’m sorry to say.

      • 1DrFortuneMBezzla7

        What a wit!

      • He said he hadn’t bought one, not that he hadn’t read one

  • 1DrFortuneMBezzla7

    On Channel 4 news recently, they had an item about Youtube stars.

    Since the barrier to entry is pretty low (all you need is camera and access to the internet) the youtube stars were an electic bunch. (Unlike Channel 4 News, which has very restricted entry)

    At the end Jon Snow dismissed them as “all very posh and very white”

    I’m amazed he got away with that.

    (The irony that he himself is very posh and very white doesn’t disguise his racism.)

    it’s even odder when you consider none of them sounded particularly posh. And they weren’t all white.

    What’s the man’s problem?

    • The_greyhound

      You mean apart from owing his job to family connections?

  • John Galt

    Why were you even on Chanel 4? Jeez- what next? Political editor of Guardian? Have you not enough of the communist crap in your time in the BBC?

  • ohforheavensake

    Hi Rod- Saw you on Channel 4, in that piece with Yasmin Alibi-Brown.

    You looked: how can I put it? Pathetic. Woebegone. And rather foolish.

    • ADW

      Rod was asked what he thought of Muslims. He said he didn’t like certain aspects of what they did, eg the treatment of women, the treatment of homosexuals, and the penalty for apostasy in one too many Muslim countries. The presenter then sneered to the effect “so you’re dissing the whole religion”, which was the exact opposite of what he did. Pathetic and foolish on her part, but you haven’t mentioned that.

      • Liz

        Dismissing, not dissing.

        • ADW

          Not much difference, in context. The point still remains: which of the three things rod said do you disagree with?

    • FrankieThompson

      Rod did look a bit world-weary, but then he always does. He didn’t look foolish or pathetic or, indeed, woebegone, unless such sadness was precipitated by the nonsense on show.

      What was a bit frightening was the arrogance displayed by the presenter and Yasmin. They are so conceited that not only are they convinced of their own rectitude, they are even more convinced that people who don’t agree with them, or have the temerity to question their complacent assumptions, are “bigoted” and “loathsome”.

      I thought Rod did rather well in keeping his cool.

      • Liz

        You need to realise that YAB and Rod Liddie, Will Self, George Monbiat, James Dellingpole and co have a symbiotic relationship. They are double acts.

        • rodliddle

          No, Liz, we’re not. Only in the minds of deluded people such as you.

          • Liz

            Sure sure. Is that why you all play ping pong all week with your articles?

          • Terry Field

            Yes is a sort of metro-liberal consensus that is present amongst you all – and outside that distinctly un-charmed circle, it looks increasingly irrelevant and missing most of the points the big wide world is making, and as a result, sounds a touch desperate at times.
            I suspect you know this, but cannot own up to it, since the income depends on the continuity of the brand.
            DO keep writing though; I will have something to grind away at whilst consuming my boiled eggs ‘of’ (I believe that is the contemporary way of putting it) a morning.
            People who disagree with you, or can see you for what you are, as you have intentionally placed yourself in the public mind, are not deluded.
            They are merely observant.

          • rhys

            This June article is funnier and more intelligent than anything I have ever heard at the Edinburgh Festival .
            (Though the news from the High Court yesterday re the ludicrous Mitchell’s failed libel action runs it close.)

            Opening sentence is priceless !

            Any chance I could get permission to photocopy and distribute the article through every letterbox in Ingleton ( in the lady’s constituency ) ???
            I will do so if permitted and maybe the Spectator would acquire some more readers.

      • Terry Field

        They are the bigots. She is plan dangerous.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Some people are more comfortable with the written than the spoken word. If Rod is one of these he was brave to take part.

    • Terry Field

      Maybe the Alibi-Brown effect is similar to Ebola – you get infected and reduced, simply by being in any sort of contact.

  • General_Patten

    Channel 4 is now more left wing than the BBC. That takes some doing.

    • Gwangi

      Oh yes, and it also racist in its selection of presenters. Half of those on training schemes have to be ethnic (legal, that) and there is clearly a drive to get more women and ethnic presenters too.
      Only the great upper-class pretend-working-class silverback Jon Snow is allowed on there to represent white men who are not ethnic, Jewish or gay…
      Don’t believe me? Then watch Ch 4 news and start ticking dem diversity form boxes.
      Such a shame – so many talented white men are the victims of vile and disgusting racism and gender discrimination these days. The rich and privileged ones (e.g. Snow) can succeed despite that; the ‘working class’ and ‘lower middle class’ white boys have no chance.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Agree except that jews are no longer a favoured ethnic minority (if they ever were) – too successful & of course there’s Israel …

        • Gwangi

          Yes, but my reference was directly about Channel 4 news. They do use white men as presenters BUT it seems, only if they are of a minority (like their gay white male culture and arts correspondent, or their technology correspondent who is a Jewish white man).

          But I agree – mostly the bias is in favour of persons of brown skin. And of course, like most TV news shows these days, we get a woman presenting the sport and even the football (yawn…) But we NEVER get a man presenting Woman’s Hour, do we?

          • Max07

            I’d like to do away with Woman’s Hour altogether. If we have equality of the sexes, why do women need to be patronised in this way?

      • Terry Field

        Yes indeed.
        I’m ethnic
        I’m English

      • Terry Field

        I knew Snow in the early Seventies – he is as contemptuous of others and as egotisitcally arrogant now as he was then. WHEN will the SNOW mafia be removed from the media – who the hell are these arrogant bloody people. Who the hell commissions them?
        Do they ‘own’ the televisual media??????

  • Gwangi

    ‘It is surely only a matter of time before someone with a mischievous glint in their eye invites the Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, Helen Goodman, to open a fête in a place with which she is entirely unfamiliar, e.g. Bishop Auckland.’
    And that gets my award for best opening line of the week (actually maybe the month…)
    Of course, in the past MPs barely set foot in their constituencies. Look at Churchill. MP for Dundee at one time (a time before many Scots had turned rabid nationalist anti-English and anti-Tory). Maybe he though eating the cake was enough?

  • artemis in france

    Brilliant again, Rod. Is revolution in the air over there?

    • Terry Field

      before there is revolution, there needs to be, in the minds of the punters, revelation.

  • Mr Grumpy

    One of your best. Mustn’t forget to compliment you also on your offer of a hug to YAB, so much more effective than Fabricant’s oafishness.

  • Sam

    I am 40 & was born in London, my parents emigrated from India to the UK in 1971. I am nominally a Hindu but not religious.

    I remember Norman Tebbit’s cricket test & was confused re the furore it caused as I didn’t understand why people didn’t think it was right.

    I’m proud to be British & worry incredibly that a civilization that of over many hundreds of years has resulted in free speech, culture etc etc etc will now be coming to an end in the next 30/40/50 years or so.

    Also I don’t think people should take false comfort that the problem we have is simply due to a handful of ‘extremists’. I attended medical school in London in the early 90s. A fellow student – one which was clearly outwardly ‘moderate’ – who had girlfriends/dressed in western clothes/no beard/partied – told me he would kill Salman Rushdie if he ever saw him. He also said that Ayatollah Khomeini was misunderstood & was rightly called a ‘fundamentalist’ because he believed in ‘fundamentals’ – a good thing. Every ramadan he would grow a beard, then shave it off & go back to partying etc after that. Even at that time there were very special allowances made to muslim students & every friday some of them would simply walk out of friday lectures at certain times for prayers – right in the middle of a lecture! This experience bears out the anonymous polling where a huge number of so-called ‘moderates’ actually support groups like ISIS & want sharia law in Britain etc – & these are the people Blair & his loonies invited in droves, with free housing & benefits on arrival & recognition of their claims for benefits for several wives & children because they ‘respected’ their right to polygamy as the multiple marriages occured outside the UK!

    No, it’s all over. I have discussed with my wife re planning to become an expat in a more sensible part of the world later in life, & making plans for my daughter actively now (she’s 7)

    There are an entire generation of people who will vote in next year’s election who were born under Blair – who’ve known nothing but the brainwashing doublethink – who probably believe the claptrap & are culturally embarassed – & historic revision, as per the recent ‘science’ festival in our museum lauding muslims as the greatest scientists & rebuttal of for example the Wright brothers claim to inventing flight (with multi-million pounds grant by the Welcome trust) – will do the rest

    • Terry Field

      Indeed- the absurd BBC fantasy of a few infected radicals was expose this morning; a beeb infant reporter was talking to a bearded muslim local who smilingly said the mosques were ‘moderate ‘ – when an Iraqi refugee came on camera, said the guy was talking codswallop, and that Britain must ‘close all the mosques’ because the infection is total.
      The young BBC interviewer – plainly ‘off his stroke’ said, in an amazed little voice ‘What – all of them” – and YES came the Iraqi reply.
      There we have it – we destroyed a secular statist dictator for n good reason – and we actively promote violent Islamic life in Britain as State policy.
      There will, as the film title said, be blood. Powell was right.
      Obviously it is – but the wall of state propaganda denying this has been relentless, and the truth is just dawning on people.
      We have a massive, coercive, alien fifth column in Britian. An extremely dangerous one, as well.

      • Sam

        Absolutely. Meantime over 300,000 Brits leave the UK each year (presumably mostly white British), the muslim population refuse to integrate including having >3 per family birth rate (mohammed most popular boy’s name in Britain several years running after taking into accout all the ways it can be spelled), more & more benefits for them, 75% muslims claiming at least one benefit & 47% benefit dependent (53% muslim males & 73% females not working), & the rest sit around castigating each other for being ‘islamophobic’ & racist if we even talk about it – you really could not make it up

        • Terry Field

          Yes. It is a government created, government promoted, government co-erced fraud,
          The Home office has as much thought control influence in the UK as Goebbels propaganda ministry had.
          Britain is stuffed.
          Utterly stuffed.

      • andyrwebman

        Can you find this interview anywhere – e.g. youtube, iplayer – and post a link?

        • Terry Field

          I have not looked – certainly the nauseating BBC canned it and it disappeared – the Iraqi guy was horrified at the poisonous mosques.
          The government should find him and employ him to help sort the poison out – he seemed a great guy.

    • andyrwebman

      A good post from you, and evidence that our discontent is not about race but the compatibility of culture. India and Pakistan have demonstrated this truth for decades, if not centuries.

      • Terry Field

        Precisely; Islam is the problem, not skin colour – that never mattered there are loads of wonderful British citizens of all colours – Britain is a rich society and the better for these folk who wished to live here. But Not Islam and its adherents; there is the eternal and ever-developing problem that should be solved.

    • bionde

      Where are you planning to go?

  • Rod, if you haven’t read Corelli Barnett’s utterly brilliant and clinical evisceration of the liberal elite going back to the pre WW1 Fabians, ‘The Collapse of British Power’ I suggest you do so. If (as I am sure) you have, I would like to hear your views on it. It details the extent to which the instincts and beliefs of the ruling class have run contrary to those of the people of the nation for the best part of a century. It’s an astonishing book, it deserves a wider audience and I can’t recommend it enough for any who think our problems began with Attlee, or who wonder how such a moral collapse was possible

    • Terry Field

      Yes indeed – the sense of disconnect is now so great that one can only interpret this as the imposition of colonial approaches to government by all who come to Downing Street, irrespective of class background – with the poor Island being governed precisely as was the Empire – in post-Imperial times this amounts to an infection of disconnected arrogance, expressed as socialist Big-State paternalism.
      Thatcher was the only one not to behave like this, and was hated as a result.

    • Roger Hudson

      Don’t blame Attlee, he inherited a bankrupt country that had the strange idea that it had just won a war.

  • David

    Great stuff Rod, keep on keeping on!

  • The_greyhound

    Yet another candidate for stupid bitch of the week.

    It’s as well the award is only open to women. Men would never get a look in, even if they were eligible.

  • andyrwebman

    It seems like the collective shame of post colonial guilt has driven the left to try and engineer the suicidal destruction of Western Culture.

    If they hated it themselves, it would have been quite reasonable for them to leave and try another culture (hah – imagine Helen Goodman as a wife in Saudi Arabia).

    But instead, they’ve decided to drag us all down with us, to change us completely with no consultation.

    However much you hate the left, it isn’t enough.

  • Terry Field

    It really does seem that the putrid left and its society-destroying socialist-integrationist mass-immigration newthink newspeak poison is dying across the country.
    The great majority of Brits ore gently conservative and personally responsible – add UKIP and tory votes up and that clearly shows where it is.
    Solve boundary fraud, postal voting fraud by the left and the West Lothian question and England will dump poisonous alien continental socialism for ever.