Another day, another amateurish attempt to peddle Islamophobic bigotry under the banner of supposedly respectable political discourse comes lumbering into view. And once again, it is the increasingly anti-Muslim repository of right-wing has-beens at the Spectator magazine who are the ones responsible. Specifically, the latest culprit is washed-up floor-crosser Rod Liddle, trying to drum up support for his next allegedly live show.
I'm only having the one bottle, honesht
Liddle, whose departure from the editor’s chair at the Radio 4 Today programme was one of the BBC’s wisest recent moves, has serious recent form when it comes to racism. In 2009, he offered Spectator readers “a quick update on what the Muslim savages are up to”. Later the same year, he changed focus to the Afro-Caribbean community.
“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” he sneered. His excuse was that he was “engaging in a debate about multiculturalism”.
Again in the Spectator, this time in 2011, Liddle claimed that the two men charged with the murder of Stephen Lawrence would not get a fair trial, and the magazine was duly prosecuted for breaching reporting restrictions. He described the two men who murdered Fusilier Lee Ribgy as “two black savages”. Even he had to say sorry for that. Liddle has also dabbled in sexism, misogyny and transphobia.
So no-one should have been surprised when he penned “The origins of Labour’s racism”, another Spectator article in which he makes a number of variously creative allegations about the Labour Party. Liddle accuses a range of individuals and organisations of anti-Semitism, but not the Spectator of course, even though the magazine still gives a berth to career anti-Semite and Golden Dawn supporter Taki Theodoracopulos.
Auschwitz - Rod Liddle's idea of joke-making
Liddle’s targets are routinely accused of stupidity - it must be terribly onerous, carrying around that titanic intellect - and then we get to the main event, smearing Muslims as ant-Semitic, something so crude that even the current leader of UKIP can understand it.
Off he kicks: “I was kicked out of the party a year or so back for having suggested that the rising tide of anti–Semitism within Labour was a consequence of its growing Muslim membership and also the radical, white, pro-Palestinian far left (which of course now runs the party)”. Kicked out for bigotry. And wrong on who runs Labour. As usual.
But do go on. “We know why the Muslims are anti-Jewish - it’s all there in Muhammad’s hadiths and in the Quran”. Yes, Adolf von Batten would love that line. So it was no surprise to see Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain respond “Disgusting from @spectator to platform such anti-Muslim bigotry. Do the editors not recognise the appalling prejudice in the statement by Rod Liddle: ‘the Muslims are anti-Jewish’? There is little doubt we need a review into #Islamophobia in the press”.
Well, if there was to be a review into press Islamophobia, it would make sense to start with the Spectator, given the presence there of Liddle, Doug Murray The K, and the contrarian dullness of those from Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago.
Jonathan Portes was similarly unimpressed with the article: “Disgusting but not surprising from @spectator - @frasernelson has in the past been happy to publish open support for neo-Nazis by Taki. Condemnations of anti-semitism (or of any other form of racism) pretty hollow”. They’re certainly hollow coming from Rod Liddle.
This is, after all, the prize specimen who supported the BNP excluding Black and Asian people from the party. And joking about not being able to smoke at Auschwitz.
Rod Liddle has no room to call racism of any kind on any person, group or organisation. Mainly because he’s been openly indulging in it for years. I’ll just leave that one there.