Rod Liddle

I have absolutely no sympathy for liberals who find themselves being called 'right-wing'

If you transgress any of a vast array of PC shibboleths, fury will rain down on you

21 March 2015

9:00 AM

21 March 2015

9:00 AM

This week I would like you to share the deep pain of a liberal who has been called ‘right-wing’. This is a terrible thing to happen. It is hard to think of anything worse. There you are, being dutifully liberal all over the place and suddenly, perhaps inadvertently, you divest yourself of the opinion that — for example — Islam may, in some way, have some sort of weird, unfathomable connection to the jihadists of the Islamic State and kaboom, your credibility is blown to shreds. All of a sudden people are calling you horrible names online, like ‘right wing’. People who are quite like you calling you this. Nice, bien-pensant people with adorable views.

This has happened to a chap called Tim Lott, a journalist for one of our regional newspapers. Tim expressed his anguish in that national landfill site of educationally challenged, whining liberal anguish, the Guardian. The problem is that whenever Tim dares to venture vague and inchoate doubts about liberal orthodoxy regarding Islam or gender, to take two examples — people are absolutely horrid to him online. And so there is the danger that he may not say those things at all, for fear of incurring opprobrium.

How can we help Tim, do you think? My first response was a wish to smack him about the face with a half-cooked kipper and say: ‘Well, get a job more suited to your talents and sensitivities then, you gutless, pointless, sap.’ I know that this might seem to you a tad harsh. But I can record that it was also my second response, and third, as it happens. And fourth and fifth. I tried to think of a more caring and considered response, but unfortunately none occurred.


I know I should feel a sense of comradeship towards a fellow hack, but the truth is I genuinely loathe these people, these boring, asinine, middle-class metro-liberal scribblers for whom the terms ‘original thought’ and ‘backbone’ are anathema. Journalism is a pretty sullied trade these days, what with the hacking and the inveterate laziness and the precipitous decline in sales across the board (apart from here, natch). The least we can do is try to honestly present our opinions, even if we are sometimes horribly wrong and even if our friends become quite beastly on Twitter. And not whine about it later, or duck down and peddle convenient PC lies. You think you’re telling us something new, Tim, about what happens if you transgress any one of a vast array of Stalino-liberal shibboleths? You think we don’t know that liberal absolutism is kinda anti-democratic in spirit? You think this is a bombshell, you think we should sympathise? You know, it often occurred to me that these lazy liberal scribblers weren’t telling us what they really thought, but were instead telling us what they thought we thought they ought to be telling us. I mean, they couldn’t really believe that crap, could they?

I very much doubt that Trevor Phillips, the former boss of the Commission for Racial Equality or whatever the hell it ended up being called, will have had much sympathy for the saddened pixie Lott, either. Something rather wonderful happened to Phillips — formerly a journalist and New Labour career politician — when he became boss of that organisation: almost miraculously, he didn’t get suckered in. I don’t want to get too racist here, but my suspicion is that if Phillips had been a white liberal instead of a black Briton, he might have succumbed and bought the whole shebang. But this is perhaps unfair to Phillips, who effectively sacrificed his career for dissing the dangerous and divisive creed of multiculturalism at a time when it was not permitted to argue against multiculturalism, and did so as head of an organisation which hitherto had seen multiculturalism as its holy grail. Black or white, he was his own man — a proper socialist who found the smug, competing, well-heeled factions within UK identity politics both absurd and damaging to the nation. For making a stand — more than half a decade ago now — he was estranged from the political party of which he was a member and suffered insults from the likes of that old charlatan and darling of the London liberals, Ken Livingstone. ‘I expect soon he’ll be joining the BNP,’ was Ken’s revolting assessment of Trevor Phillips’s principled refusal to endorse multi-culturalism, to have suggested that integration might be a better way forward for the nation than these clamorous and ghettoised blocs each trying to out-victim one another and blaming the straight, white imperialist state for every conceivable misfortune, while cheerfully pocketing the vast grants it bestowed upon them. As you might imagine, there was no political capital for Phillips in taking this stance — only substantial political loss. But he did it. Not many, I’d venture, would have done the same.

Phillips has written a very good article, and made a documentary reiterating his misgivings about the whole charade of identity politics and the now discredited ideology of multiculturalism. And he is right, I think, on every point. Not least the corruption, the racket, of multiculturalism; as Phillips puts it, ‘Self-styled community leaders bargained for control over local authority funds that would prop up their own status and authority. Far from encouraging integration, it had become in their interest to preserve the isolation of their ethnic groups.’

And the stuff that you were no longer allowed to say — that African-Caribbean people are more likely to commit some kinds of crime (i.e. murdering other African-Caribbean people, for starters) and that like it or not, Romanian immigrants are far more likely to be pickpockets. And if you can’t say that sort of thing without the likes of Tim Lott and his friends calling you a racist, how do you begin to tackle it? As we saw in Rotherham and beyond, you can’t tackle it.

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Show comments
  • Rik

    Bloody brilliant Rod,the most effective weapon of the liberal idiots is their ability to bully and threaten people into silence,we have reached the stage where to criticise the “established” view is career death and may cost you your job,if not a visit from the thugs of the UAF
    The only thing Orwell got wrong was the date.

    • Neil Saunders

      I think it’s important not to misuse the term “liberal” in the American sense; the PC idiots are, by any sane standards, deeply illiberal.

  • John Carins

    Phillips is to be commended but remember Farage has been saying this for a long time. UKIP proved right again.

    • greggf

      “Phillips is to be commended….”

      Maybe John, but while he was thinking about recanting how many more millions of parlous migrants to “enrich” our culture and drain our welfare have arrived?

      • global city

        the elite have decided that we CAn talk about these issues, but only the little parts of a narrow spectrum safely still controlled by them. This is so that they can still shut down debate or use it as a tool to demonise people they hate when ever they feel something of significance is about to be revealed.

  • Fencesitter

    This piece?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/15/jihadists-not-only-ideologues-beliefs-learn-to-listen

    So glad I stopped paying attention to the Guardian a few years back, even if the letters pages are a hoot.

    • Michael H Kenyon

      I agree. My life was made a lot better when I stopped readign The Guardian. If I want intelligent left-of-centre views, “The Observer” and “New Statesman” suffice – I have to skip Laurie Penny and Owen Jones articles though – one reminds me of my girlfriend when I was in the 6th form and didn’t know better, and the other of the “lefter-than-thou” twerps at University.

  • Picquet

    Outstanding piece. There’s a link in Lott’s article (which I assume prompted this) to one from David Mamet in the Village Voice: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-03-11/news/why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/full/ , which says a lot from the American perspective.
    What a pity that so few of our journalists are so honest about the real truth, and so articulate. I can only imagine that the foaming columns of heavily censored ‘Comment is Free’ opinion influences them to continue peddling the despicable trash which they think gives them credibility.

  • Robert the Devil

    Thank you yet again, Rod for telling it how it is. For too long the views of the liberal intelligentsia, including support for mass immigration, multiculturalism and political correctness, have been allowed to go unchallenged, as a result of which our society, once a homogeneous one with largely shared values, has become fragmented and uneasy in a very short space of time. Please continue to criticise these opinionated liberal fools who seem unable to realise the folly of their views which lack common sense.
    .

  • Diggery Whiggery

    *sniff* I love you Rod *sniff*

    If Clarkson goes permanently, you’ll be pretty much the last one standing.

    “I don’t want to get too racist here, but my suspicion is that if Phillips had been a white liberal instead of a black Briton, he might have succumbed and bought the whole shebang.”

    Absolutely, look what happens to a mindless liberal when he doesn’t need to feel guilty about the empire and all that stuff. He finds that he has a mind and starts to use it.

    • john p reid

      He would have had less criticism from Aaron Kiley, Ava Vidal, Lee Jasper and the voice, if he’d been white.but Laurie penny and co would have been calling for his arrest

    • global city

      We should be made to feel as guilty about ‘Empire’ and civilisational influences as the iraqis, Turks, Zulus, Mexicans, Mongols, etc, are about their glorious civilisations and empires.

  • David

    Reading the article written in this journal by Mathew Parris brings home how far this vilification has already gone, and the uphill fight that people have in questioning Group Think from the Liberal so-called intelligentsia ( I wouldn’t personally call them an intelligentsia either.)

  • jim

    Rod courts controversy and risks career suicide by saying what is blindingly obvious to sensible people. Like us. But the amount of daylight between us and those who would silence us is so vast I sometimes feel we should all just move to someplace like Iceland . Non EU and it seems determined to stay that way.. Protected by geography from welfare tourism. Either that or some form of secession. Otherwise our differences might only be worked out by a civil war. When careers are being trashed because of opinions I think we can say a “cold” version of a civil war is already underway.

    • justejudexultionis

      I think you will find Iceland is one of the most PC places on earth. However, there are almost no Muslims there so it must be a very pleasant place to live.

      • Hybird

        They are currently building Iceland’s first mosque in Reykjavik – and the stupid mayor donated the land. There’s no escape.

    • Luke Glass

      Iceland is a feminist haven. If you want to keep your tackle, I suggests you keep away.

      • jim

        So no place is safe then.

      • Airey Belvoir

        Icelandic men being so boorish, it’s a happy hunting ground for a visiting Brit, among the most beautiful girls you’ll see anywhere.

  • BARROSO

    I’m actually quite glad the telegraph went down the pan, I discovered the spectator and Rod Liddle as a result.

    • Flintshire Ian

      I stopped my Times on Line subscription yesterday and if the p**s poor quality of the columnists and the Guardian style censorship continue,The Telegraph is next to go.

      • Mc

        Slightly off topic. While subscribing to The Times, did you ever have the pleasure of receiving a warning email from their chief online comments moderator, Ben Whitelaw? Or perhaps you were more polite about their columnists than me when commenting there 😉

        • Flintshire Ian

          No, I was never warned. But my comments were held ‘pending” for pre-moderation. They nearly all got through, but in the end I rang up and told the woman on the subscription helpline that if ToL didn’t like my opinions, they could manage without my money. She ended the call with a really sarcastic wish for me to have a wonderful day.
          Telegraph next on after the column by the dreadful Judith Wanga on Clarkson and comments closed just as they were becoming entertaining. Too many Guardinistas presumably because they are cheap and really careless subbing.

          • Mc

            Sounds familiar. Besides an Orwellian warning, as with you my comments were delayed for special inspection. I also had sarcastic responses from Times staff on a range of matters.

          • Flintshire Ian

            I got one through that I didn’t expect to after the Villa v West Brom game when I called the referee an onanist. Presumably the esol moderator didn’t know what it means and couldn’t be bothered to find out.

          • Mc

            Must’ve been your lucky day. My use of the word hasn’t gotten past their censors. The joke is that despite their constant monitoring, the tone of Times comments isn’t particularly high quality. Guess they don’t care as long as one doesn’t ridicule their journalists.

          • G B

            No the inane comments are a way of dumbing down the debate and common to most media websites now. Intelligent comments which might attract an audience, inform or provide, support, validate, expose a different perspective are to be discouraged.

          • Flintshire Ian

            The Telegraph doesn’t trust it’s readers to comment on all but the most inane articles. Most are too right wing for the modern DT (or completely barking Kippers which is undoubtedly part of the problem).

          • Neil Saunders

            Cheap, no doubt; probably also young, and therefore under the false impression that our present sickness and future catastrophe are just business as usual.

        • Flintshire Ian

          I am now locked out from ToL comments, presumably because I have given them notice of ending my subscription. I cannot comment (as Ian J) or up/ down vote on anything. As I haven’t attempted to post anything even remotely controversial there cannot be any other reason. Perhaps they might like to put the email and hard copy requests to return to the fold where the sun doesn’t shine.

          • Mc

            Sounds like you’ve had a lucky escape from Mr Murdoch’s grasp. Now imagine the real peril you’d be in if Wendy Deng had taken a fancy to your arse 😉

          • Flintshire Ian

            I read a left behind biography of Rupe in a hotel in Mallorca last summer that had been written by an ex NY Post staffer who was fairly positive about Murdoch but quite scathing about the uber ambitious Wendy and how easily Murdoch was apparently charmed by her. Blair as well. I was about to write that I am probably too old and too slow for her but then thought of her former husband…..but even if I did fancy a bit on the side I am certainly too poor for her tastes nowadays.

          • Mc

            Deng certainly had an impressively upward trajectory.

  • pobinr

    Liberalism is a contradiction in terms. It’s ideology. It simple does not work.
    Not to mention the ludicorous contradictions when we look at the Liberal Democrats. The party of liberty, democracy and equality who are anti having the liberty to decide on Europe via a referendum and anti democracy in being EUrophiles. Pro equality yet they want to treat EU citizens preferentially!
    But that’s the opposite of liberty and democracy & equality isn’t it?
    LibDems the Party for people that don’t believe in liberty, democracy or equality
    The ideal party for seriously confused people who don’t know WTF they want & WTF they’ll get when they vote for it!
    Besides liberalism will get eaten eventually by the things it tries to defend
    Liberalism is to Islam what damp is to mould.
    Liberals defend Islam, yet Islam will lead to creeping Sharia that runs completely to Liberalism
    Liberalism usually upheld by naive middle class ideologs often insulated from the effects of their liberalism since they don’t usually live in areas being ethnically cleansed by Muslims > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmV3x7jo_QQ

    • WFC

      Change “liberalism” for “progressivism” (is that a word?) and you are spot on.

      Just because these authoritarian busybodies call themselves “liberals” doesn’t make them liberals. Proper liberals, like Gladstone – who, btw, had some very choice things to say about the religion of peace – would be appalled at the thought of being associated with these morons.

      • mdj

        Wasn’t the Liberal Democratic party that dominated Japan for so many years largely set up by old war criminals? Branding is all.

  • Callipygian

    We in the West are all liberals, and have been so for a very long time — for the simple reason that we are moderns (see Pierre Manent, The City of Man and especially An Intellectual History of Liberalism: not necessarily beach reading, but coherent and fascinating and thoroughly educational).

    What we are really talking about here is Leftism, and that, at root, is not liberal at all. It tends, to the contrary, towards totalitarianism. See for instance Joseph Epstein’s article on academic freedom and the case of the self-described Leninist Barbara Foley at Northwestern University in his book A Literary Education And Other Essays. (Naturally, she is thriving and publishing unreadable dogma at Rutgers University these days.)

  • Richard

    You do know, Rod, that’s it’s all about power? During the War, an education department was set up to educate soldiers. This quite quickly was taken over by the Left, who began to propagandise soldiers (they made sure their fellow Leftists were employed, and squeezed out others, like what happened in South Africa with Afrikaners taking over the civil service in the 1930s, which led to their taking power in 1948) and so, when these soldiers voted after the War, it was for Labour.

    Once there were sufficient people who thought the same way, they became a new power-centre. And you could be sure of winning their support by making certain utterances. This then cascaded into councillors and all manner of lower-ranking Leftists. But, discipline in the ranks was essential, from the bottom to the top. Demur, and you’d had it, no matter what you might have done in the past. You were only as good as your latest Leftist utterance. Your future intentions had to be predictable. It was, in fact, an ever-so civilised revolution.

    Now, this is not simply a case of how the power was won or maintained within the ruling echelon. There is also the very important matter of the ranks, the masses, the plebs. How were they to be kept on-board? Sweeties! Give them cake! Give them benefits cakes! And what happens if they become more affluent and their voting-crosses change? That’s easy! Import more poor people!

    So, now you’ve imported more poor people, from the Third World. These people are very different from you, but you need their votes, and their moral endorsement of your plans. What do you do? Well, you’ve already brow-beaten people on the basis of their having more money than you, why not brow-beat them according to their white skins? If they complain about these interlopers, it is quite easy to point out the correlation between black and poor, why not convert that to some political end, and maybe get more votes? Why not say, “It’s because of their colour that you don’t like them, not because they practise female genital mutilation, or because they force their women to hide their faces, or because they commit vastly more crime than you do. The reason you don’t like them is because of their skin colour.” Bingo! Now you’ve used the reason people have voted for you – to help them to survive through poverty – as a means to disarm them. If they have voted for you on purely economic grounds, how can they ever deny those very poor migrants the same help? Would a sick person deny other sick people drugs? Of course not!

    Now, what about transgressing laws? No problem! Let’s create a parallel system of law, to which these people can refer. Let us elevate that system of law above the other laws that govern our land. Let’s call that law Human Rights. You can see it, can’t you? “So, you, a poor migrant who votes Labour, have killed somebody. We should probably send you home. Murder is the great no-no, unfortunately. From the Ten Commandments, don’t you know. But, wait, if we say that will transgress your Human Rights, we can override the law. Good idea! Let’s do that. Raped children? Don’t worry! That’s a simple cultural misunderstanding, anybody could do it. Know what? Why should the ways of this country apply to you anyway?” (Thinks to himself: There we go, another whole area of potential ways to entrench our power…)

    And so the UK has ended up with a self-perpetuating machine of Leftist clientism, incentives to maintain and grow the leadership, ways to force the masses to think they’re doing good, ways to keep the power-base topped-up. But, it is vitally necessary to keep the ranks in strict order, disallowing any consciousness other than pure economic need. Long-term thinking must be discouraged.

    And to find new home-grown recruits (we can only import at a certain rate, we know that, even a kicked dog might eventually bite you), well, there’s always the education system (like the one infiltrated during the War) and of course good old Auntie Beeb…

    The more I think about it, the more of a fool I think I’ve been not simply to have jumped on the bandwagon. I could have made a fortune, like Tony Benn, and paid almost no tax!

  • global city

    On ‘This Week’ last night they had a little discussion about race. One of the BBC’s ‘Asian’ DJ’s gave quite a good presentation…..as a result, Dianne Abbot sat glaring at him, condemned in her mind as a ‘race solidarity traitor’.

    The woman is such a racist.

  • Mr TaxPayer

    Remove the personal insights “like driving while black” and have Farage or Nick Griffin deliver exactly the same script and lefty howls would deafening!

  • pyewacket

    Why Liberal? Socialist is the British term, ‘aint it? Liberal in the socialist sense is American talk. I hope Rod you didn’t in the end pay that five hundred quid you mentioned some time back to save the Guardian from oblivion. Let ’em sink along with their contradictory, viciously namsy-pamsy castrated opinions.

  • Gerschwin

    The real joy is in watching the Moral Fascists fall in on each other daggers drawn and knives sharpened like the good old days when Stalinists attacked Maoists attacked Totskyites and all the rest. No one had the faintest idea what it was all about (apart from the usual power struggle) least of all them but it was tremendous entertainment for everyone else.

    • gunnerbear

      That’s a bit harsh…..nothing wrong with a good ol’ fashioned show trial now and again to keep the imperialist, deviationist, lickspittle running dogs in order now and again….. 🙂

  • Richard

    In essence, this Tim Lott has become a counter-revolutionary, like the Girondists or Jacobins in France, the Red Terror in Russia, etc. It sounds to me like he needs to go back to Party School.

  • Flashman

    The thing I resent most is how willing they are to paint you as a reactionary, simply for discussing real time, real world problems with an honest eye. They’ll casually slander you and destroy your reputation without thinking twice, and do so without any regard for reason. It doesn’t matter a bean if their numbers don’t add up; they don’t like the sound of what you’re saying, and they’re going to make you stop saying it one way or another. Eggs shall be broken.

    • WFC

      Like Gillian Duffy, a lifelong Labour supporter who was dismissed as a “bigoted woman”, by the (then) Prime Minister for daring to express a concern about immigration.

      • Neil Saunders

        And yet this woman (desperately naive rather than bigoted) is prepared to work for the Labour Party in the run-up to the General Election. Another turkey voting for Christmas. Such is the mentality of the tribal vote.

  • Peter Stroud

    It isn’t only those on the left who wish to shoot down any who disagree with their views. Scientist who dare to suggest that the science behind man made climate change might be flawed, are treated as were religious heretics of days gone by. The pro CAGW section of the population act as if the hypothesis is a religion.

  • James

    Too much left brain is dangerous and immediate psychiatric treatment should be sought if you find yourself going around attacking anyone who does not share the same one-dimensional view. The difficulty is that through teachers unions and leftist cults – children are brainwashed into the thinking and imprinted on their brains is the idea that anyone who thinks slightly to the right is somehow a Nazi. Children are bullied into thinking a certain way.

  • Sean L

    Good one mate. A joy to read.

  • I no longer call them progressive but rather as repressives or oppressives…either one, take your pick.

  • WTF
  • Terry Field

    It is not new to identify the modern meritocracy as the most vicious, ruthless, exclusive and amoral form of economic control and exploitation generated to date. Why is anyone surprised at discovering this??????

  • RandsWrath

    Well said Rod. If only the likes of Mr Phillips were listening oooh, 30 years ago, when lots of people were saying this is exactly what would happen. The soil of this Island is not magic. People coming here from where backward, savage, expansionist ideologies are the rule will form pockets of that ideology here. We now have three options:

    1. Eradicate it.
    2. Try to ringfence and contain it.
    3. Start practicing sticking our arses in the air seven times a day, or whatever it is, and explain to our young women that – sorry – all that ‘liberation’ that your mum helped ruin our society for is not available to you. You are now part of the welcome package for the latest wave of jihadists; just lie back and let each of them take their turn. Think of Englandistan, as they film it on their phone cameras and laugh joyously.

    None will be pleasant, but the time to choose is now.

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