Last August, pundit and campaigner Owen Jones was leaving the Lexington pub in Islington after celebrating his birthday with friends. In response to this heinous provocation, he was violently assaulted; friends who came to his aid and tried to intervene were in turn violently assaulted. He later concluded that this was a hate crime and an example of far-right homophobia, a view that was not universally shared.
Indeed, some in the media establishment attempted to trivialise the incident, with the increasingly alt-right Spectator engaging the services of Rod Liddle to mockingly tell readers “Much as the appalling Shami Chakrabarti has insisted, I stand ‘in solidarity’ with Owen Jones”. Note the quote marks. Liddle’s post also attempted to equate violent physical assault with having a milkshake poured over someone.
This would have had little or no effect on the Twitter troll army of far-right apologists claiming that the attack either didn’t really happen, or that Jones somehow deserved it, or indeed that it wasn’t anything to do with the far right or homophobia. To no surprise at all, the Speccy hasn’t been quite as enthusiastic to let its readers know that Jones’ assessment was right, it certainly did happen, and the far right was intimately involved.
We know this as, for instance, iNews has reported “Convicted football hooligan James Healy, 40, attacked Guardian columnist Owen Jones because of his political beliefs and sexuality, a judge has ruled. Healy, 40, unleashed an vicious attack on Mr Jones because of his media profile as an LGBTQ rights campaigner and left-wing, anti-racism and anti-fascism activist”. Which could mean he gets a longer sentence. And there was more.
“Recorder Judge Anne Studd QC ruled Healy targeted Mr Jones: ‘I am satisfied so that I am sure that [Healy] holds particular beliefs that are normally associated with the far right wing.’ She added: ‘I therefore propose to sentence Mr Healy on the basis that this was a wholly unprovoked attack on Mr Jones by reason of his widely published left-wing beliefs by a man who has demonstrable right-wing sympathies.’”
Why should the Judge come to that conclusion? Back to iNews: “Healy, a Chelsea fan, also allegedly had a football hooligan flag adorned with SS symbols and a collection of pin badges linked to white supremacist groups … One of the items bore the name of the Combat 18 neo-Nazi group, whose stated aims include ‘execute all queers’, the court heard”. His explanation - that he was a “hoarder” - clearly did not convince.
So while those who have followed this case will be making a diary entry after reading “Healy, from Portsmouth, is due to be sentenced on February 11 along with Charlie Ambrose, 30, from Brighton, and Liam Tracey, 34, from Camden, who have previously pleaded guilty to affray over the incident”, those out there on the right are silent.
Nothing from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Nothing from the loathsome Toby Young. Nothing from self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda. Nothing from the denizens of Conservative Home (so much for cross party support). And nothing from Andrew Pierce of the Mail, who is often wheeled out by the Daily Mail to speak As A Gay Man whenever there’s an accusation of homophobia.
It’s almost as if they don’t care if the Rotten Lefty™ gets it. I’ll just leave that one there.
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