Thanks to all of you who have been writing to ask how best to help Tommy Robinson.
Simple. Go to his website https://tommyrobinson.online/
There you will find a donate button which will help support him and his family.
Thanks for listening
Thanks to all of you who have been writing to ask how best to help Tommy Robinson.
Simple. Go to his website https://tommyrobinson.online/
There you will find a donate button which will help support him and his family.
Thanks for listening
Look at the faces of the dead or missing children from the Manchester suicide bombing. Think about how their friends and families are feeling right now; imagine the terror and pain those around them must have experienced as they fled or lay wounded amid the glass, shrapnel, blood and faeces; mourn the young lives cut so callously short.
Do all these things now, while you can, while the emotion is still raw, because in a few days those innocents will be forgotten (except by the loved ones whose happiness will, of course, remain permanently blighted), the politicians will have said their usual stuff and the media circus will have moved on.
Make no mistake this is what the head-in-the-sand liberal establishment wants you to do.
It may not be official policy – no one would be crass enough to write it down or codify it. But across the world from San Bernardino to Mumbai, from Stockholm to Berlin, from Paris to Manchester, the modus operandi is the same: a swift burst of shock and outrage, very quickly dampened down by the regulation-issue call to “get on with life and thank the nurses”, a candle-lit vigil and an almost indecently hasty memorial service, followed by virtual oblivion.
I talked about this recently to Douglas Murray (guest of my next podcast) whose new bestseller The Strange Death of Europe asks, among other questions, how it is that we have come to value Western culture so lightly that we are now apparently prepared to allow it to be swamped and obliterated by the combined forces of mass immigration and militant Islam.
Murray’s view is that it’s because we don’t want to face up to the horror that, even now, is engulfing us.
If we can scrub away those pesky bloodstains ASAP and get the memorial services over with (in the case of the victims of Westminster terrorist Khaled Massood before their bodies were buried) then maybe all the horrid stuff we don’t want to deal with will somehow disappear.
So on we shall continue in our fool’s paradise like the Eloi – the fragile, graceful, proto-hippy folk in HG Wells’s The Time Machine. They live a life of (delusional) ease, peace and beauty. But the terrible price they pay for this is to be devoured, at intervals, by the savage and barbaric Morlocks.
This is how it will end: not with a whimper but an endless succession of bangs.
So Greenpeace have admitted in court to being a bunch of liars. Not for the first time, it must be said, as I detail in my book Watermelons.
What I don’t understand about these mendacious, hair-shirt, tofu-eating, liberty-loathing shysters is the virtually free pass they get not just from the mainstream media but everywhere from governments to schools to the man in the street.
At Latitude Festival a few years back I remember they’d actually been put in charge of the children’s section. “Give me the child until he is seven…”
But they’re not dispassionate, lovable, seekers after truth.
They’re hard left political activists – and lies and propaganda are their trade.
It’s not often my sympathies lie with Japanese whaling crews or Vladmir Putin. But when they’re hosing down Greenpeace tossers in their RIBs or bunging them in the nick for stopping oil rigs trying to go about their business providing the world with energy, then I say “Go Japs! Go Vladimir!”
My annoying tosser of the day is ‘Professor’ David Phoenix, ‘Vice Chancellor’ of South Bank ‘University’.
I feel all those inverted commas are necessary because it’s only a jumped up polytechnic and I suspect his title – and his OBE: he’s got an OBE FFS! – owes more to services to time-serving, bureaucracy and rampant left-wingery than anything he has achieved in academe.
You can listen to him on Radio 4 Today which I’ll post below. The section is about 2.48 in.
He’s responding to a study from the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) which suggests that about 9 out of 10 university lecturers swing left rather than the right.
Well we hardly needed the ASI to tell us this. Anyone with even the remotest association with academe knows it to be the case. Universities are the Helm’s Deep of PC lunacy. Only a reality denying idiot would dispute this.
Step forward ‘Professor’ Dave – who did just that.
The sample, he said, was too small.
And there was no left-wing bias on campus – because at South Bank ‘University’ they really valued free speech.
That was it. That was his argument. “There is no left-wing or free speech problem on campus anywhere in Britain because I, ‘Professor’ Dave say so.”
Mind you, the whole segment was a farce. Why did Today have to book such a dogmatic, naysaying leftist who just killed the discussion stone dead? Why couldn’t it have been somebody with something germane and informed to say like Professor Frank Furedi? Or a woman? How about a woman? Radio 4 loves women and there are loads of really good ones it could have got to strike the right gender balance – Claire Fox, say?
And why did the author of the report, Ben Southwood, have to present it in such a meek, almost apologetic way that he damned near went along with interviewer Justin Webb’s suggestion that the report was meaningless?
Here was an opportunity for Britain’s premier daily current affairs programme to broach one of the major cultural issues of our times: our kids at universities are being brainwashed by a bunch of thick trots; they actually believe ‘safe spaces’ are an important thing; free speech is increasingly constrained.
And BBC Radio 4 Today programme – as per sodding usual – ducked it completely. Shame on you, Today programme. You are such a piece of shit. And the worst of it is, you don’t even know WHY you’re so shit. You think that non-debate you conducted there was emblematic of fairness and balance.
Listen for yourself. Keep a sick bag handy.
Conservatism has a problem and it’s the same problem it was about this time last week when I wrote by far my most popular post ever on this site: the one about MILO.
The problem is a four-letter word and it begins with “C”.
(No, not that one. That’s my favourite and I use it all the time in English conversation – though rarely in America and never in print.)
I mean “cuck”.
Mind you, the way some of my audience reacted you’d think I had used the much more offensive word.
Read some of the comments – a Ricochet podcast – and see for yourself.
I’ll continue this piece after I’ve posted this bit since I have NO IDEA how to publish articles on a Facebook page. I don’t even know how do stuff like bold or italics or a different point for the headline. But I guess this is shit I’ll have to put up with if I’m going to create the original content necessary to make people read this site.
So yeah, I used the C bomb and they recoiled as if I’d used the actual C word instead of just the relatively harmless insult – cuck – used by red-meat conservatives to dismiss those of a more vegetarian variety.
It’s not a term I particularly adore myself. Too macho. Too Kurt Schlichter and Mike Cernovich. I’m a big fan of both those guys’ writing but I’m not them and they’re not me. I’m an Oxbridge educated Englishman who used to have long girlie hair and has taken lots of drugs and actually values shit like nuance and literature and lightness of touch. But there are some occasions, nonetheless, when only the word “cuck” – short for cuckold – will do. And one of them, I decided, was when venting on Ricochet about the defenestration of Milo.
I have no axe to grind against Ricochet – they’re my friends. At least I thought they were till I saw the response from some of their readers to that podcast. And those responses seem to me emblematic of everything that is wrong with the conservative movement in its broadest sense: the prissy, prim, navel-gazing, self-regarding, uptight strain who see themselves as Keepers of the Conservative Flame and who dismiss anyone who falls short of their invented standards as “not a real conservative” and therefore unworthy of their support.
God, how this applies to NeverTrumpers. (It was NeverTrumpers, of course, who went after Milo). I really don’t care if Donald Trump was a Democrat once. I don’t give a toss – nor did all those women who voted for him – about the “grab them by the pussy” tapes. I don’t care about his brashness and his vulgarity and his inability to have lovely skin tone like Obama and to make grave-sounding speeches about absolutely nothing like Obama was so good at doing.
All I care about is: is he good at getting conservative shit done? And he is. Really good at it. I like the military – most conservatives do. I think poor kids, whether black or white, shouldn’t have to endure a substandard education which only prolongs and increases the vast societal divide between the haves and the have-nots. I think global warming is a massive, mostly left-wing conspiracy against free markets, liberty and science. I believe in the Laffer Curve and think lower taxes are better than higher taxes.
Donald Trump is doing good stuff in all these areas and more. You can see why the liberal-left might not want to give him credit for this: they’re perennially wrong about everything. But the people I really don’t understand are the people in the conservative movement who are not cheering him to the rafters.
“Don’t make the best the enemy of the good” they say.
Damn right. Except in Trump’s case the phrase should be: “Don’t make the best the enemy of the pretty damned amazing.”
Trump’s doing great. He’s funny, he’s a King Troll on Twitter, he’s sticking it to the liberal media in a way that they’ve deserved for years and he’s doing lots and lots of really good things which anyone of an even half-way conservative disposition should be celebrating.
I’m sorry NeverTrumpers – because some of you are my friends: or were – but your ingratitude nauseates me in the same way your willingness to chuck Milo over the back of the sledge to feed the wolves disgusts me.
That’s why I’m wheeling out the C word once more because, I’m sorry but you deserve it.
Cucks. You’re a bunch of cucks. There it is.
JFK’s words (which actually mean “I am a doughnut”, but never mind) have been popular since the latest terrorist atrocity – as of course they inevitably would. We all know well enough, by now, the standard operational procedure that all right-thinking people adopt whenever someone from the Religion of Peace commits another mass murder.
Then the decorating of your Facebook/Twitter profile in the colours of the flag of the latest victim country. So: red, gold, and black are this month’s red, white, and blue.
Then the candlelit vigils.
Then the hipster playing “Imagine” on a wonky piano in an impromptu and entirely unexpected gesture near the scene of the atrocity.
Then the visit by politicians vowing that the people will remain defiant in the face of this outrage.
Then the good news story about some Muslims who were brave and/or nice – usually members of the persecuted Ahmadi branch of Islam – which proves that it is a Religion of Peace really.
Then the caravan of grief moves on. Till the next atrocity. And so on and so on ad infinitum.
We’ve all noticed this stuff, many times over. And most of us find it properly sick-making. But there’s one other element in the standard left-liberal playbook response to these terrorist atrocities which, I think, hasn’t been widely noted yet. And I think it should be because it’s as least as disgusting and lame and feeble and hypocritical and dishonest and cowardly and succour-to-the-enemy-giving as any of the responses I’ve listed above.
I’m talking about the Blame Nigel Farage response.
We saw a perfect example of this in the immediate aftermath of the Berlin atrocity earlier this week when the chattering classes on social media very quickly made up their hive mind who the guilty party was in the Christmas market massacre-by-truck.
Was it, perhaps, the ISIS-inspired terrorist who killed a Polish truck driver, commandeered his vehicle, drove to a crowded Christmas market in the centre of Berlin, turned off the headlights and then accelerated into the crowd of men, women, and children, killing at least a dozen and maiming many more?
Of course not!
The very worst, most evil and culpable person in the world the day after the Berlin massacre was – in the view of progressive types on Twitter and on the BBC and in The Guardian – Nigel Farage.
But what could Nigel Farage possibly have done wrong that was worse than killing lots of people going about their shopping in a Christmas market in Germany?
Well, he’d done the terrible thing of saying this in a tweet:
Terrible news from Berlin but no surprise. Events like these will be the Merkel legacy.
You might be wondering what the problem is here. Me too. I think it’s perfectly arguable, indeed entirely reasonable, to suggest that Angela Merkel’s bizarre experiment to invite over a million “refugees” of mostly Muslim extraction into her country was primarily responsible for this terrorist attack. Thinking this doesn’t make you a bad person or an “Islamophobe”. It’s a simple numbers game: the more Muslims you invite in the greater the likelihood that among them will be unfriendly ones bent on doing great harm.
But to appreciate this basic, obvious truth is to think clearly and logically – which is not something the liberal-left likes to do. What it much prefers to engage in is emotive demagoguery, dubious moral equivalence and cynical smearing of the type we see expressed in this response to Farage’s tweet by a left-wing activist called Brendan Cox.
@Nigel_Farage blaming politicians for the actions of extremists? That’s a slippery slope Nigel
Cox is keen to promote the idea that extremists from the “far right” are just as big a threat as “Islamist” ones.
On the day after the massacre, he tweeted:
Far right &Islamist extremists share same hate driven psychology, intolerance towards difference& tendency to violence. We must defeat both
Well, it’s a point of view, certainly. But if you ask me it’s a crass, ignorant, and irresponsible one. What on earth does the “far right” have to do with a mass murder of innocent shoppers committed by a follower of Islamic State? And how does the comparison add anything useful to the debate? It doesn’t: it does the exact opposite. It’s a classic piece of liberal-left “whataboutery”, of intellectual evasion, of progressive smearing.
“Right wing extremists are just as big a problem as Islamist terrorists,” it seeks to tell us.
And: “Let’s not seek to point the finger of blame at any ideology in particular.”
And: “But do let’s blame the kind of people who think mass immigration is a bad thing because their ‘intolerance towards difference’ is what’s really causing all this violence.”
So I’m really not surprised that Nigel Farage chose to take Cox to task on LBC radio.
Hours after the Twitter exchange between the two, Mr Farage went on LBC radio and said: “Well, of course, he would know more about extremists than me, Mr Cox, he backs organisations like Hope Not Hate, who masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means.”
What does surprise me – though it shouldn’t: I’ve seen often enough how these people roll – was the speed with which the news cycle shifted its attention. One minute we were being invited – quite properly – to focus on the latest appalling atrocity committed in the name of the Religion of Peace. The next – ooh look, a dickie bird! – everyone from the BBC and The Guardian, to various rentaquote Labour MPs, plus the usual suspects on Twitter had decided that the real story of the day was how disgusting and culpable people on the right were, especially Nigel Farage.
MP Tracy Brabin, who replaced Mrs Cox in her Batley and Spen constituency, said: “Beggars belief… A new low for Farage.”
Chris Bryant, the Rhondda MP and former shadow Commons leader, said: “The sheer nastiness of Farage sometimes takes my breath away.”
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins added: “When your entire career has been built on hate, not hope, it perhaps shouldn’t shock me, but Farage still sinks lower than I’d have believed.”
Jess Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley, wrote on Twitter: “I hope Farage never ever feels the pain we feel about Jo, because unlike him I am not a monster.”
Again, it’s worth asking: what had Nigel Farage done or said wrong to justify phrases like “sheer nastiness” and “monster”? And if Nigel Farage is a “monster”, what term would you use for the Tunisian guy who murdered that Polish truck driver and then deliberately ploughed the vehicle into a Christmas market full of kids?
I think we need to be absolutely clear here: these people have no claim whatsoever to the moral high ground. They are stupid, wrong, and evil.
In December 2016, as throughout this year and last and the one before, innocents have been butchered by a merciless creed which deliberately sets out to kill and maim by whatever means. And instead of facing up to this threat and asking important questions like “how did this come about?” and “how can we deal with it?”, all these left-wing virtue-signallers in the Labour party, at The Guardian, at the BBC, and on Twitter want to do is duck the issue by pointing in the direction of their favourite bugbear “the far right” instead.
Here is Owen Jones playing the game in The Guardian:
No more pussyfooting around: Nigel Farage and his associates have poisoned our country’s political culture, and it’s time to push back. Their offensive – in every sense of the word – has been so swift, so devastating, that we risk normalising it.
Here is the left-wing comic Mark Steel trying it on in the Independent with some satire which works really well if you’re a doctrinaire left-winger and Hope Not Hate fan who believes Brexit was a disaster and that what Europe needs right now is more unchecked immigration, from the Middle East and North Africa especially.
What has fuelled their moral indignation is the fact that Brendan Cox is the widower of Jo Cox, the MP who was murdered in the streets during the EU referendum campaign by a loner with neo-Nazi sympathies called Thomas Mair.
I have never spoken to, read, or met anyone on the Brexit side of the argument who was any less appalled by Jo Cox’s murder than people on the Remain side were. Yet ever since her senseless death at the hands of a vile individual, elements in the Remain camp have sought to pin her murder on the “rhetoric” used by the Brexit camp, especially by people like Nigel Farage.
(This is a common trope of the regressive left – and has been since at least the 2011 shooting of Arizona Democrat politician Gabrielle Giffords, which the liberal media also did its best to blame on right-wing rhetoric rather than on a sad, confused, angry nut-job.)
Probably the most egregious example of this was a piece by David Aaronovitch in The Times, which I wrote about under the headline “Aaronovitch: Brexit campaigners kinda, sorta killed Jo Cox MP”
Few people have pushed this notion more assiduously than Brendan Cox himself – who donated a large chunk of the memorial fund raised in Jo Cox’s honour to the dubious charity Hope Not Hate, whose speciality is to promulgate this same misleading line – that the “far right” is an equivalent threat to fundamentalist Islam.
No doubt in doing so Brendan Cox believes he is honouring his wife’s memory.
The problem is that the “good work” Brendan Cox believes his wife was doing before she died is anathema to over half the country – and indeed to millions of people in Europe whose countries have been swamped by the kind of mass immigration that the Coxes believed would be good for them.
That’s why the Remainers lost the referendum: because, contrary to the assertions of campaigners like Jo and Brendan Cox, British people had had quite enough of unchecked immigration and could not see the benefits of remaining shackled to a sclerotic, anti-democratic, supra-national bureaucracy within the European Union.
However, the response of the losing Remainers (the 48 per cent) has not been to accept with good grace the democratic will expressed by the Brexiteers (the 52 per cent). Rather it has been to fight, fight, fight the result with whatever means, fair or foul, come to hand and to try to ensure that Brexit never happens.
Among the fouler means the Remoaners have sought to use to get their way is to try to blacken the motives and character of anyone who voted Brexit, while claiming for themselves the moral high ground as ordinary decent people who represent the “British values” of tolerance and fairness and who are appalled by the supposed outbreak of post-Brexit “hate crimes” in a country they claim not to recognise anymore.
It goes without saying that this is pure propaganda based on the flimsiest of evidence, most of it anecdotal or simply made up.
But it’s a line that has caught the imaginations of the losing Remain camp and their friends in the media, not least thanks to Brendan Cox himself.
Whatever phrase you use to describe Cox’s activities since his wife’s murder, “maintaining a dignified silence” wouldn’t be one of them. This was especially noticeable in the tense days before the referendum vote, when he invoked his late wife’s memory to promote this popular Remain trope: that the language being used by the Brexit camp was inflammatory and dangerous and somehow unBritish.
“I think she was very worried that the language was coarsening, that people were being driven to take more extreme positions, that people didn’t work with each other as individuals and on issues, it was all much too tribal and unthinking,” Mr Cox said.
“She was particularly worried – we talked about this regularly – about the direction, not just in the UK but globally, the direction of politics at the moment, particularly around creating division and playing on people’s worst fears rather than their best instincts.”
He has continued to promote this view ever since – taking advantage of the significantly higher media profile which he gained as a result of his wife’s death and finding a ready audience at parti-pris, pro-Remain media organisations like the BBC for his left-leaning, pro-immigration, anti-Brexit opinions. This Christmas he has been given still more space to promote his views by Channel 4 which has chosen him to broadcast their Alternative Christmas Message.
Is there, perhaps, some special rule whereby if you have been tragically widowed, you get a free pass to spout unchallenged whatever views you like in public – even if the cause you are supporting is potentially very dangerous and certainly very offensive to well over half the population?
Brendan Cox’s many admirers in the Remain camp – on the regressive left and in Hope Not Hate most especially – would seem to think so.
I got a small taste of this myself when, at the height of the Farage/Cox spat, I tweeted:
“When are we allowed to say that Brendan Cox is a total arse?”
There are worse insults in the English lexicon than calling someone a “total arse” – as I was reminded by the large number of responses I got from Hope Not Hate virtue-signallers telling me as I was a “c***”. My view on this remains as it was when I tweeted it: that if you’re going to express suspect opinions in the public arena, then you should expect to be called on them, no matter how tragic your personal circumstances. Of course, Cox deserves sympathy as a widower; this does not, however, give him carte blanche to promulgate – uncriticised – the kind of political viewpoint which, unfortunately, goes a long way towards explaining the wave of terrorism we are experiencing in Europe today.
For about 24 hours, I experienced what Nigel Farage has to put up with pretty much every day of his life – and has done for the last 25 years. Wave after wave of self-righteous lefties pouring vitriol, wishing death on me, calling me the worst names they could think of in their limited imaginations.
I’m perfectly OK with the insults. I’m used to it. It’s a technique popular with the regressive left known as “point and shriek” and “isolate and swarm”. The purpose – as Vox Day explains in this SJW attack survival guide – is to frighten you, isolate you, and silence you. And the key thing is to recognise it for what it is and not be upset by it – and definitely not apologise.
But what I cannot tolerate or forgive – and nor should you – is when these scum-sucking regressive types think they have the right to judge and to take the moral high ground.
Farage was absolutely right when he said in that tweet that the massacre in Berlin was a direct result of the Merkel legacy.
John R Bradley puts it well in the Mail:
The undeniable reality is that Europe’s breathtakingly reckless open-door immigration policy has provided a perfect cover for Islamic State to further its bloody, anti-Christian agenda.
Undeniable and real it may be – but the regressive left shows, as yet, absolutely no sign of accepting it or engaging with it.
This is why I have a very special Christmas message to all those people who attacked Nigel Farage for telling the truth about the Berlin massacre, and to all those who called me a “c***” for being rude about Brendan Cox.
You are the reason Donald Trump won the US Presidential election; you are the reason 17.4 million people voted for Brexit; you are the reason the European Union is collapsing. You are hateful, bigoted and – for all your hypocritical pretences to the contrary – fascistic.
You are an intellectually spavined, moronic, self-righteous and disgusting losers who have been shown by the events of 2016 to be on the wrong side of history. There is nothing noble or worthy or decent about your ranting rage: it is the fury of a vampire stuck with a stake, realising as he shrieks his last that finally the good guys have ended his reign of terror.
I leave you, as a treat, with the delicious words of Owen Jones in the Guardian – as demented a case of psychological projection as it has ever been my amused privilege to witness.
We face a great danger, and not even those who will suffer because of it have realised just how grave it is. Intolerance and hatred have been legitimised across the western world. Dissent is becoming treason. That is bad enough. But there are other violent extremists who are being both radicalised and legitimised across the west. If we don’t take a stand now, new dark chapters are soon to arrive.
No, Owen, my fluffy little ephebe. It’s not my side that is guilty of any of that. It’s your side that has been doing this for decades – closing down free speech, demeaning people who dare to speak out, promoting hatred and violence while pretending to preach tolerance (so long as it’s tolerance of things you think it’s OK to tolerate).
You are unconscionable scum. Your philosophy has been responsible for causing untold misery across the world for over a century. The idea that any of you are able to take the moral high ground on anything is as risible as your threadbare arguments.
Still, the great thing is that you guys finally lost in 2016. Happy 2017 everyone – it can only get better from here on in.
Lots of people, when they see this disgusting photo, will go: “Oh that’s not midges. That’s….”
And then they’ll shove in their tuppenny ha’penny worth as to what they think was the real culprit.
My legs. My bites. And it definitely was midges, I can tell you. I was there. It wasn’t in Scotland, surprisingly, but by the road at end of a particularly lovely sunny day last Wednesday in mid-Wales – my birthday, as it happened – when our car got a flat tyre and I had no option but to crouch there being eaten alive while I changed it.
You wouldn’t think creatures so small could wreak so much havoc. (Well, actually you could: fleas are about the same size and do the same damage). That’s probably why when I felt them feasting on me savagely I didn’t do what I would definitely done had it been they been, say, mosquitoes on a roadside in the Democratic Republic of Congo and changed into long trousers sharpish. I just carried on, thinking, “Ah well. It’s only midges.”
Some midge facts:
An individual midge is almost invisible to the human eye, at about a millimetre long. Only the bloodthirsty female causes us torment. The male feeds on plants and nectar, while his mate requires blood to form her eggs. Midges are alerted to human prey by the carbon dioxide on our breath. A swarm can inflict about 3000 bites per hour using a distinctive feeding technique: while mosquitos pierce the skin and suck up blood through a syringe-like mouthpiece, midges cut the skin, and then lick up the pool of blood that forms.
Oh, and apparently, midges cost the Scottish tourist industry £286 million a year in lost income from all those tourists who’ve been chomped and vow never to return.
How many bites can you count on my leg? If you email me at Jamesdel@dircon.co.uk and you’re the first with the right-ish answer then I’ll send you a free signed copy of one of my books. You’ll deserve it. You’d have to be pretty weird, bored or obsessive to count the insect bites on a revolting photograph of someone’s leg. So I shall be very interested to see if anyone does.
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God, I hate Katie Hopkins. But not for the reasons everyone else does. I hate her in the sense that I can’t help worshipping her and the ground she treads on because she does what I’d like to do but does it so much better: she annoys all the people who most deserve to be annoyed, she remains articulate and collected in the face of all the brickbats that are thrown at her, and above all, she seems to make a damn good living out of it.
The last bit isn’t as obvious as you’d think. I was talking to an agent the other day about the best way to make the most of a career as an outspoken media commenter and his argument was that you shouldn’t stray too far from the middle ground for that way you alienate half your potential audience.
This is especially true if you’re on the right. Outrageous pinkos – look at Owen Jones, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Polly Toynbee, et al – tend to get a much freer pass from our left-leaning media culture. But their equivalents at the conservative end of the spectrum are much harder to find. In fact I’d say that there’s only one and that’s Hopkins.
Over the weekend, you may have noticed, Katie Hopkins was trending on Twitter yet again – this time because of a piece she’d written in The Sun in which she’d upset the Offenderati by using the word “cockroaches” in the context of the boatloads of hapless, parched, pitiable migrants now fleeing Libya. At this point you’re obliged tactically to distance yourself from Hopkins by noting how distasteful you too find her appalling choice of words. But I’m not going to, for several reasons, the first being that that it was so devastatingly effective.
One reason why so many torpedoed mariners were eaten by sharks in the Second World War is that sharks are drawn to explosions. This is what Hopkins achieved with her “cockroaches.” It was her very own USS Indianapolis: in came a veritable Guardianista Who’s Who of finny horrors: Diane Abbott; Owen Jones (natch); Piers Morgan; Russell Brand – all turning the waters of Twitter red in a roiling frenzy of noisome, bleeding-heart self-righteousness.
And in the wake of all the celebrity offendotrons – the Wankerati, as I call them – came shoal after shoal of opportunistic bottom feeders: the ones trying to get her sacked from The Sun; the ones demanding that Hopkins be prosecuted (no really: a whopping 2200 of them have already signed the inevitable Change.org petition) for “incitement to genocide”; the ones tweeting photos of her children and declaring how unlucky they were to have such a frightful mother.
Now the textbook lefty response to this kind of monstering is to play the victim card, as so-called “anti-poverty campaigner” and professional lesbian single mother “Ms Jack Monroe” has just done. She could, of course, have just quietly stopped using Twitter. Except, being a Social Justice Warrior, she couldn’t. No, she had to weaponise her exit with a heart-rending blog about how she felt Twitter was no longer felt a “safe space” : “Today I left my house at 4pm. Head down. Eyes flicking at every stranger walking towards me on the street. Sunglasses on the Tube. The man arrested roams free after 15 hours in Policy custody, updating his blog with sneering comments…”
The not-so-subtle implication of this – and we’ve seen similar tactics from Stella Creasy MP and a feminist campaigner called Caroline Criado Perez – is that free speech has gone too far and it’s time we had a clampdown. This is the guerilla version of the conventional war which has been waged on free speech by the left-liberal establishment (from Keir Starmer, CPS and an emasculated police force to Hacked Off and their amen corner at the BBC and the Guardian) via the Leveson Inquiry and the vexatious arrests of all those Sun journalists. It’s cynical, it’s dirty, it’s illiberal and it’s much, much more dangerous and ugly than anything Katie Hopkins has ever written.
But the reason so few people appreciate this is – ooh look! Katie Hopkins wrote a nasty word, so we needn’t talk about it. That, I’m afraid, is the level to which so many vitally important debates have been reduced these days by the liberal-left’s Alinskyite tactics.
In the case of Hopkins’s Sun piece, no left-wing commentator, so far as I’m aware, felt under any obligation to respond with any manner of reasoned counterargument. They might have pointed out that because the West created the Libyan crisis it has a moral obligation to fix its consequences; or they could have gone the whole hog and argued that we have a duty to house all refugees, come what may.
They didn’t though because – a bit like with all those rapists out there who just can’t help raping women because they’re provocatively dressed and therefore have it coming to them – their intellectual processes were short-circuited by Hopkins’s outrageously unforgivable deployment of a single term: “cockroaches.”
A piece in the Independent claimed that this was the kind of dehumanising words the Nazis used, so apparently rendering Hopkins’s entire commentary beyond the pale. Lots of people in the comments section and on social media agreed with this analysis. I hope this tendency frightens you as much as it frightens me.
Why? Because it’s a dirty rhetorical cheat, not an argument. No, worse than that it’s a vicious lie. By focusing on just one intemperate word (designed, as so much of the best polemical writing does, to provoke a response) and freighting it with far more significance than any remotely objective interpretation could possibly bear, it calculatingly misrepresents the opinions of a heroically brave, often admirably sensible woman who dares, as so few do, to voice what the silent majority are really thinking.
A bit late, I know, to put in a bid for Jeremy Clarkson’s old job. But I think I might just accidentally have rediscovered my inner petrolhead.
What happened was this. We’d just replaced our old sensible family car (a Ford Mondeo) with another sensible family car (a Skoda Yeti), only to realise that it just wasn’t enough. If you live in the country you really need at least two cars. The question was: what type should it be?
Well, there are all sorts of cars I would like to own — the one I covet most of all being one of those evil-bastard Range Rovers, preferably the sport model with Kenneth Noye-style tinted windows, because I borrowed one once and it was totally amazing. Not only can they go unfeasibly fast for a car so big but if you hit anything it doesn’t matter because you’re the King Tiger and everything else on the road is a Sherman at best. Problem is, I don’t run a hedge fund.
My budget, I reckoned, should be about £4,000 max. Spend anything less than that on a second-hand motor and you’re courting disaster. Or so I ignorantly imagined until I consulted my mate Gary who, besides being a QC (probably the only one called Gary), also happens to fancy himself as a used-car expert.
‘Don’t bother with garages. Just see what there is on eBay,’ he said.
‘But how will I know if it’s any good?’ I said, appalled at the sheer recklessness of it all.
‘You won’t. It’s a punt. But I’ve bought six cars that way and only one has been a lemon. What kind of thing are you after?’
I’d been dreading that question because cars aren’t something I’ve thought about for the past 25 years. Sure, they mattered in my youth: I had a bright red Opel Manta, which I used to race against my spivvy friend Tom Purton’s Golf GTi. But as you get older, I find, boy-racer toys inevitably tend to join the lengthening list of things you must learn to do without, alongside Class As, clubbing, rock-solid erections, energetic games of squash, styleable hair and so on.
Obviously, though, it would have to be something safe, roomy and practical, capable of fitting the kids comfortably in the back and with good fuel economy. And cheap to maintain. Something German, probably. ‘Golf?’ suggested Gary, which sounded a bit on the small side. But then I remembered how Purton’s GTi used to cream my Manta. ‘A Golf, yeah, why not?’
A few clicks later, Gary had found a Golf not at all far from where I live. Jolly reasonably priced too at just £2,200. It wasn’t a model I recognised: not a GTI but something called a V6 Four Motion. Quite old — 2001 — but with just 85,000 miles on the clock. So I did a quick Google to see what the reviewers said. None of them went into much detail about its practicality or fuel economy, it must be said. But they did mention that it has a top speed of 134 miles an hour, grips corners like glue, and can take out anything from a standing start short of a Ferrari. I gave an edited version of this to Fawn, focusing on the fact that it was nearby, excellent value and a fraction of what we’d been expecting to pay.
When we went to pick up the car it was like going back to an older, better age: an age when the wife stayed in the house making small talk with the vendor’s girlfriend while the men got down to business with that all-important test drive. We settled into the cream leather seats. The car smelt of vanilla. ‘Check out the noise of the V6 engine,’ said the man. He turned the ignition. It was a rich, throaty burble you just don’t hear on a Ford Mondeo. And how fast does it go, I asked. He smiled. ‘Like a stabbed rat!’ he said. And proceeded to demonstrate.
So now I have, sitting outside my house, exactly the opposite of the car we needed. It burns up fuel. There’s not nearly enough boot space. It’s quite cramped in the back. It hates going straight on motorways because it’s much more designed for hairpin bends on the Nürburgring. The kids loathe it because the music system is so old that it hasn’t got an adaptor for their iPods. The Fawn is deeply suspicious that I may have sold her a pup and that I’m probably going to end up killing myself.
And me? I totally agree with all the above but am helpless to do much about it. It’s like this. You’re away on some business trip and you get chatting to a supermodel. She’s 23. She makes £5 million a year. She says, ‘I’m really sorry but I’ve got this thing about middle-aged Spectator journos with big teeth, glasses and receding hairlines and I know you say you love your wife, but can we just agree to have this totally no-strings-attached affair with loads of meaningless sex in lots of exotic locations?’ Well, that, I’m afraid, is how I feel about this car.
Really, I’d say, it’s absolutely useless for anything but fun. But the fun is so much fun I’m not sure I care. There’s something ineffably satisfying when some little tosser in his pimped-up spivmobile thinks he can out-accelerate you from the lights and you leave him sniffing your exhaust fumes. And I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over the thrill of being able comfortably to take, at 70 mph, country bends which in the Skoda would be lethal at 40 mph. Just so long as I remember not to get my cars mixed up when I’m doing it, that’s the important thing.