The increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine claims to platform a wide range of political viewpoints. Its annual Summer party is attended by politicians from across the spectrum: several Labour MPs are regulars. Its chairman has a position of privilege at the BBC, and its editor is a respected pundit. But for all its pretence, the Speccy is increasingly known for one thing, and that is as a sewer of forthright racist bigotry.
I've only had one bottle, honesht
Most of that bigotry is directed at followers of The Prophet, with the likes of Doug Murray The K in the vanguard. But there is still a place at the magazine for Taki Theodoracopulos, whose vicious anti-black racism and anti-Semitism are well known. He has also supported the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement and praised Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
Complicit in promoting racism: Fraser Nelson ...
And then there is Rod Liddle. Since very rapidly falling out of favour with the BBC in the wake of Andrew Gilligan over-egging the pudding he was baked by weapons inspector David Kelly, Liddle has become a bigot for hire, being favoured with columns by the Murdoch press - and the Speccy. He specialises in not-really-being-racist-but-just-telling-it-like-it-is-honestly, a kind of Philip Davies with brain occasionally plugged in.
... and his boss Andrew Neil ...
But Liddle’s sneering bigotry got the better of him this week, as he pontificated “It was principally the student vote that won Canterbury for the sobbing and oppressed Rosie ‘#MeToo’ Duffield. Please don’t let that happen again. My own choice of election date would be a day when universities are closed and Muslims are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell, or something. There must be at least one day like that in the Muslim calendar, surely? That would deliver at least 40 seats to the Tories, I reckon”.
... along with Doug Murray The K ...
Laugh? I thought I’d never start. Adam Bienkov at Business Insider was not laughing, instead pointing out “The Spectator publishes another racist piece by Rod Liddle, in which he mocks a Labour MP who was a victim of domestic violence, having himself previously been arrested for assaulting his then pregnant girlfriend”. And it got worse.
... and Golden Dawn supporter Taki
Isabel Hardman, a Speccy contributor, made plain her disquiet. “I want to make clear that I profoundly disagree with and am hugely upset by Rod Liddle’s piece. I … do not want anyone to think that I somehow agree with what he has said about Muslims voting, and I do not believe [that is] funny or worth writing. Similarly, I know personally just how strong and brave survivors of domestic abuse are. Rosie Duffield is one of the finest among us”.
Jessica Simor wondered if, in the light of Ms Hardman’s intervention, editor Fraser Nelson and chairman Andrew Neil might care to respond. She may be waiting a long time. Meanwhile, in response to TellMAMA’s disquiet at the article, outgoing Tory MP David Lidington asked “I’m shocked that [The Spectator] published this. A serious lapse of judgement. Mr Liddle ‘s foul comment isn’t a just some bad joke to be dismissed. What’s he saying to British Muslims in our armed forces, police, NHS, schools, factories etc etc?”
Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain, in turn, responded to Lidington. “For those shocked, please look at Fraser Nelson's editorship of the Spectator. He has a history of publishing hateful pieces about Muslims. This is not new”. He referenced a link (HERE).
He also made this point: “As editor, Fraser Nelson bears ultimate responsibility for the vile racism & Islamophobia that is pouring out of the Spectator (the latest by Rod Liddle published today). He is complicit & must not be allowed to dodge responsibility.” Labour PPC Faiza Shaheen added “Serious skills to be able to get in this much misogyny and Islamophobia all in one paragraph”. And James Doleman pointed out “an editor actually published this”. This is on Fraser Nelson’s watch. And Andrew Neil’s.
Moreover, one point should be borne in mind for those who think it’s all a fuss about nothing very much: just take out the word “Muslims” from Liddle’s article and insert “Jews”. What would have been the response then? As the Speccy still publishes Taki, probably not very much, but the condemnation elsewhere would have been instant, and fully justified.
Something for Liddle, Trevor Kavanagh, Allison Pearson, Amanda “chocolate Mosque” Platell, Julia Hartley Dooda and the rest to consider when they next start whining that the Scary Muslims™ are making a fuss about people making fun of them. They wouldn’t say it about Jews, so they should not be saying it about Muslims. Full stop, end of story.
This is not about free speech. It is about freedom to be racist, with no questions asked and a paycheque thrown in. And it has to stop. We should not tolerate the intolerant.
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