Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Brendan O’Neill Promotes N-Word

[Update at end of post]

The Tory Party has long had a problem with racially charged language: although the days of the 1964 Smethwick campaign are long gone, as recently as 1992 The Blue Team was still at it, when their candidate in Cheltenham, John Taylor, was subjected to racist abuse by his own side, the in-fighting and refusal to campaign for him gifting the Lib Dems a seat they might not have expected to gain. But the Tories have higher standards nowadays.
Or rather, most of them do: Newton Abbott MP Anne Marie Morris has been caught on tape using the phrase “N***** in the woodpile”, which has its roots in the slave trade. As a result, Theresa May actually took a decision, and removed the whip from her. The condemnation came raining down from all sides of the Commons. That word is loaded. There are no excuses. Except for those promoted by Brendan O’Neill.

To no surprise at all, O’Neill, writing for Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago, is aghast at the idea that blatantly racist language should have no place in political discourse today. “This is the scariest Twitch-hunt yet … The hounding of Anne Marie Morris is positively unhinged” he announced yesterday evening. Ms Morris, he asserted, had merely “mis-spoken”. It was a “live-Tweeted expulsion from polite society”.

So exactly what does Bren see as the defensible part of using the N-Word? You’ll love this. She was only “dumbly using the outdated phrase”. See? It’s only “outdated”, rather than racially charged with slave overtones. Moreover, “she was clearly using the phrase in its classic sense”. What “classic sense” does the N-Word have, other than a racist one?

But Bren was sure that “She wasn’t being racist, just old-fashioned”. Like the Tory activists in Cheltenham were being “old-fashioned” when they called John Taylor a N***** and refused to campaign for his election? That kind of “old-fashioned”? Or was it the really “old-fashioned” kind of meaning that Peter Griffiths and the Tories used in Smethwick?

Having failed to convince anyone, O’Neill then goes completely gaga and piles on the frighteners: “the Kafkaesque world of 21st-century speech-policing … the illiberal liberal media and outrage-hungry Twitterati … the perfume of a public shaming, of the sweat and terror of their quarry, the Twitch-hunters always want more”. Shocking. Positively shocking.

Who, then, is behind this terrible travesty that Bren hasn’t unearthed? It was “the nasty, Stalinist streak in the virtual Corbynista movement … Behind the countercultural facade of the Corbynista moment there lurks that dark, censorious, state-loving shade of leftism that really should have been left in the 20th century”. Like the N-Word, you mean.

O’Neill persists with his idiocy to the end, claiming “The end result is that Morris has been punished for something she didn’t actually do: express a racist sentiment”. That might be easier to stand up, had there not been another most unfortunate incident just before last month’s General Election, when her partner claimedthe crisis in education was due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates”.

Maybe Brendan O’Neill would like to defend that as well. Or maybe he can accept that there is no “acceptable” use of the N-Word today. Not even for click bait hunters at Spiked.

[UPDATE 12 July 1140 hours: Brendan O'Neill has now been rewarded for his attempt to claim that racist language is not really racist, and by an organisation that is forever in need of someone to wave away its hate-speak.

Yes, the Murdoch Sun has gifted O'Neill a column, and no doubt a significantly sized paycheque, for a pointless rant titled "It’s time the cops spent more time nicking people – and less time larking about dressed like the Village People ... They're behaving like sad teachers trying to get down with the kids or vicars that grind to Rihanna".

Poor Bren fails to understand the Police presence at festivals and carnivals, whining that people "want coppers who are strong and switched-on - like the brave men who stopped the London Bridge terrorists - not coppers who know all the words to I Will Survive".

He must be so miserable as he counts his loot from the media establishment]


Joe said...

Hats off to Brendan - he's managed to fill in the template with the relevant names before Rod and Tony got the chance. Worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

O'Neill plainly has problems with (a) history (b) etymology and (c) context.

Also logic. By implication, May(!) is part of the "Corbynista movement". Which in turn implies O'Neill also has problems with the definition of democracy.

But he probably would have been comfortably at home in apartheid South Africa or the Confederate States of America.

What an utter, utter arse head.

Arnold said...

Could have been worse. He could have said that some of his best friends were n****r woodpile dwellers

Sam Best said...

You do have to hand it to Brendan O'Neill- he managed to blame Jeremy Corbyn for something Theresa May did.

Anonymous said...

Predictably, O'Neill wants "...coppers who are strong..."

After that comes "a strong leader", then "a determined authoritarian with the smack of firm goverment", finally a fuhrer/duce/caudillo. Then......

But we've been here before.