[Update at end of post]
The 1970s music scene brought us Prog Rock, then it brought us Punk. And riding the wave of changing testes and times were the alleged “Hip Young Gunslingers” over at the publication which one of my then work colleagues called the New Musical Excuse. Hard as it may be to believe this, one of them was Tony Parsons, now a tedious has-been churning out bigotry to order for the Murdoch press. The other was Julie Burchill.
Ms Burchill is one of those scribes whose name provokes very different reactions, depending on whether one is part of the Pundit Establishment, or one of the rather larger number who are not subject to the code of Omertà which, to use Nick Davies’ analogy, prevents dog from eating dog. The latter category remain unimpressed by Ms Burchill.
Indeed, many were yet more unimpressed by her after she pitched in to defend the singularly unsavoury (and mildly creepy) Rod Liddle, after one of the latter’s columns, in which he had confessed to not having gone into teaching because he would have wanted to “shag the kids”, was unearthed. Liddle talked about Year 10, which means children between the ages of 14 and 15. One unimpressed onlooker was Ash Sarkar.
Ms Burchill fired back “Can you please remind me of the age of the Prophet Mohammed’s first wife?” Got that wrong, eh? The answer is, in fact, 40. This information only riled Ms Burchill further. “My mistake ya SOW … I meant his wife Aisha. 9? 10? Or was she a jaded old sophisticate of 12?” Finished yet? You jest. “But Ash … I don’t WORSHIP a paedophile. If Aisha was 9, YOU do. Lecturer, lecture thyself!”
Just to show that she did not object to a pile-on against Ms Sarkar, or indeed anyone defending her, Ms Burchill told her Facebook followers “I have to go out now but PLEASE feel free to wade in on Twitter where I started a regular *kerfuffle* with the Islamists over Rod. I'm @BoozeAndFagz - thank you, playmates. and I'll be back tomorrow!”
And having defended Liddle’s Year 10 creepiness, she then accused anyone dissenting from her view of being the guilty party. “Could someone please post my statement below on Twitter? Just so the nonces know it wasn't MY choice to leave. And add 'PS - I'll be back!’” Yes, she left Twitter, to the relief of all those who hoped it had happened earlier.
Apparently her publisher prompted Ms Burchill to step away from Twitter, not that you would know by looking at her Facebook page right now as that part of her confession has been deleted. But it was so very telling that she went in with both feet on Ms Sarkar in defending Liddle’s creepy confession. And yet more telling that part of the establishment closing ranks saw her defended by the likes of Julia Hartley Dooda.
That’s the same Julia Hartley Dooda who wrote back in 2006 “I’m bored with Muslims. Bored with being told what I can and cannot say about Islam. Bored with Muslims moaning about how they are victims of racism and religious intolerance because someone dares to disagree with them”. Last year she affirmed she was “Happy to stand by it today”.
Interesting how the Pundit Establishment, especially the Islamophobes, close ranks so readily. Especially when one of them is on the verge of becoming a has-been.
The time of Julie Burchill was for a time, but not for all time. Just rejoice at that news.
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[UPDATE 1555 hours: Ms Burchill has now begun to realise that hate speech has consequences.
Earlier today, she howled "MY BOOK'S BEEN CANCELLED!" Soon after, she rallied: "I'M GONNA BE A *CAUSE CELEBRE*!" Maybe not. So what had happened to cause her publishers to pull the plug?
"Reason was 'hate speech' to Ash Sarkar and 'crossing a line' - 'There was also a concern that the line might be crossed again during the promotion of the book.' I'LL SAY!" So she admits that she'd misbehave all over again, had her book deal not been pulled.
So not only is Julie Burchill a has-been, she's not going to get her Christmas beer money, either. Sad, really]