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Sunday 28 June 2020

Douglas Murray - Here’s Your Lawsuit

While author Priyamvada Gopal attempts to deal with the tsunami of abuse and threatening behaviour stemming from deliberate misinterpretation of one genuine Twitter message she sent, and one fake one that she certainly did not, other less charitable actors out there are using the argument over what she said and meant for their own personal gain. And there are few actors less charitable than Doug Murray The K.
Murray is no disinterested spectator when it comes to matters of race, religion, and colour. He is on record as insisting that “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board … From long before we were first attacked [!] it should have been made plain that people who come into Europe are here under our rules and not theirs … Where a mosque has become a centre of hate it should be closed and pulled down”.

That is unequivocal and leaves no room for alternative interpretation; indeed, after he made those remarks, the Tory front bench severed relations with Murray. Compare and contrast with Dr Gopal, who had Tweeted “White lives don’t matter. As white lives”, meaning that the lives mattered, but not the fact that they were white.
The Guardian has explainedWhen she had said ‘White lives don’t matter. As white lives,’ she had meant their value should be inherent and not linked to ideologies around race, she said. ‘Whiteness does not qualify someone to have their life matter; the life matters but not the whiteness.’ She added: ‘You cannot oppose Black Lives Matter with “white lives matter” because they are not comparable. Whiteness is already valued but blackness is not.’” Murray has waded into the controversy without troubling himself with meanings.

Firstly, he has been given a platform by the Mail on Sunday to truncate Dr Gopal’s Tweet - not accidentally - so he can then claim “a Cambridge academic called Priyamvada Gopal sent a message on Twitter saying, ‘white lives don’t matter’. Previously, this student of colonial and post-colonial literature has been notorious for tweeting incendiary material”.
And Secondly, he has claimed in a piece for UnHerd that Dr Gopal is a racist. More than once, which may cause some amusement to those familiar with Murray’s oeuvre. Under the title “Cambridge University’s very modern bigotry”, he introduces Dr Gopal by sniffing “A small body of work sits behind her - but a greater body of grievance clearly sits within her”, and sneering dismissively at her work, whether formally published or otherwise.

Then he considers the Tweet, which he calls “this racist little rant”. He talks of “Gopal’s statement that the lives of white people do not matter”, which is not what she said. He talks of “her use of her platform and time to spread racism”. He attempts to equate her behaviour with that of Jordan Peterson. He talks of “abusive messages which her racist tweets had garnered”. He paints a disparaging picture of her and then talks about “these new racist standards”. This was accompanied by an equally incendiary Tweet.
This talked of “the Cambridge race-baiting professor, Priyamvada Gopal”. Dr Gopal has now served notice: Murray will be the subject of a legal action, to the relief of many who wished it had happened rather earlier. “A little envelope coming his way”, as she put it.

Doug Murray The K calling racist on anyone else is most interesting. The defence advanced by his lawyers will be yet moreso. Everyone else can just get the popcorn in.
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AndyC said...

Its a bit unfair, but when there are hoards who will deliberately or otherwise, misinterpret, selectively edit or downright lie about what one has written, said or tweeted, it might be an idea to not write, say or tweet in a way that can have one of those measures applied to ones words. For example, surely it cant have been beyond Ms Gopal's wit to think 'Nobody will read past the first bit so I'd better not leave myself open to misinterpretation.' Her perfectly reasonable point is sadly lost in the reaction.
Good luck though to her with any legal redress she may seek.

Derek said...

Dear AndyC ,
What I read according to Zelo’s column is that she has said nothing racist . In a way I would see it as pandering to racists and ‘victim blaming’ , if Prof. Gopal has to be mindful not to upset them . They’re upset already and single mindedly looking for ‘targets’ to abuse , and frequently those targets are disproportionately BAME . Douglas Murray shows little restraint and I suspect he libels her . Good luck to her seeking redress .

Anonymous said...

I'm with Gopal.

But, like Chris Williamson's "apologetic" laziness, as an intellectual in the current climate she should have known better than to leave even the slightest opening for her enemies.

Next time I hope she selects the right words in the right context. The issues are too fraught for slopiness.

Jonathan said...

The K, Sarah Vine being served notice from m'learned friends, great stuff, let's hope Milo,Hopkins & a few other batshit rightwingers are hit where it hurts the most, their bank accounts.

Money and noterity are the only commodities these fools value.

Anonymous said...

Whatever her point, she's wrong.

Derek said...

Dear Anon @ 03:08 ,
Whatever your point . Ditto ,

Anonymous said...

Delboy - Pleased to have rattled your cage.

Roy Rogers said...

She's wrong. I agree she meant it not as they say NOW but as it is written

Derek said...

Dear Anon @ 12:56 (& 03:08 ?) ,
If you are replying to me (as Delboy ?) , believe me you’ve not ‘rattled my cage’ just surprised me with your level of banality

Mr Sqwubbsy said...


Mr Sqwubbsy said...


N said...

This is the same white nationalist cretin who I believe J. 'Karen' Rowling has now started following. Now I read this Zelo Street piece, a question emerges in my mind:

Did she start to follow this guy for only the reasons she seems to be doing? Or does she follow him because she agrees with him on Gopal too? You know what they say, if someone holds one bigotry they probably hold others...

This white nationalist cretin's creation was a sad day for the country. He is a vile creature, and a bloated, banal, bullying bigot.

Unknown said...

She said white lives don't matter. However you dress it up, that's not good.