Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Pretending to say the 'unsayable'

If there's one thing that amuses me more than anything about right-wing political commentators, it's their ability to make themselves sound persecuted and oppressed in their widely-read columns in multi-million-selling national newspapers. Few people, of course, are as good at playing the 'I'm not allowed to say that' card as Richard Littlejohn, a man whose life in a Florida mansion and subsequent disconnect from British society has apparently led him to the entirely wrong conclusion that he's being somehow shocking by saying things I hear at work, on the bus and from my family on a regular basis.

Today's is a particularly great whinge. Entitled Getting up the noses of the 'guilt-tripping white folks', its tediously familiar theme is that he, Richard Littlejohn, is being shouted down by some kind of politically correct elite and prevented from saying the things he's been saying for decades. That's Richard Littlejohn, the national newspaper columnist paid a reported £800,000 a year for columns that receive glowing comments from his devoted readers; author of six published books, regular guest on Question Time and erstwhile presenter of numerous TV and radio shows. You'd think it would be difficult to claim persecution as a right-wing columnist in an overwhelmingly right-wing media, but of course, for people to keep reading his column he has to give the impression of being some kind of brave, lone voice staring into the abyss; only he and his readers can see where Britain is going wrong and the liberal elite are too concerned with racism and global warming to do anything about it.

Littlejohn's current piece centres around Trevor Phillips, a long-standing friend of his and the man who gave Littlejohn his own LWT talk show in the mid-90s. Trevor Phillips is both the head of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights, and outspoken critic of multiculturalism. As such, he's recently become a goldmine to the Daily Mail, because he's a black man who thinks like them on some issues. This enables them to win the argument about multiculturalism, immigration and political correctness by saying 'Look! Even this top black man agrees with us!' in the time-honoured 'some of my best friends are black' way.

Now, you might think that, if anything, surely having a significant black figure who publicly and frequently supports their anti-multiculturalist agenda might be an indicator that the public climate broadly supports or is receptive toward their opinions and, and that perhaps they should stop pretending they're not allowed to say what they're saying, but it seems to make no difference; the key to be a successful 'non-PC' columnist is to continue insisting that, for example, you can't say 'there's too much immigration', despite the fact that people can and repeatedly do say that in literally every national newspaper (but most frequently in the Mail, the Express, the Telegraph, the Times, the Sun and the Star) and that immigration has been an issue for every political party and in every election campaign for as long as I can remember. Here's an example of how Littlejohn works:

They have used the catch-all cliche of 'racism' to advance their own agenda, silence dissent and bully the paying public into submission.

Until recently, anyone who questioned whether mass immigration was either desirable or sustainable was vilified. The blameless, courteous chairman of Migrationwatch - who exposed the reality behind the Government's fiction over immigration - was subjected to a vicious campaign of character assassination.

Note the complete lack of any evidence that anyone has assassinated Migrationwatch chariman Sir Andrew Green's character, but let's assume that they have. Has Andrew Green's dissent been silenced? The metropolitan, sandal-wearing, touchy-feely, multi-culti liberal elite's stranglehold on the press and public discourse is such that in the past few weeks Sir Green has only been given a platform to speak out against immigration in The Star's OUTRAGE AS JOBS ARE OFFERED TO FOREIGNERS, BUM MAPS FREE ARMY OF ILLEGALS (sic), MIGRANTS FEAR NEW JOBS BACKLASH (wherein Green essentially tells us that racially abusing Poles is wrong but if the Government didn't let them in they wouldn't get abused), and POLES GO BUT FAMILIES STAY FOR BENEFITS, the Telegraph's Immigration officers 'face perverse incentives to grant visas', the Mail's Jobs dry up but Poles stay to reap the benefits, the Express' MIGRANT SCANDAL - BRITONS FEEL NEGLECTED AND BETRAYED and POPULATION CURBS A 'BLUFF', ITV's Foreign prisoners 'released early' and the BBC's Criminal deportations target met. Apart from that, he's been completely silenced since Christmas (before which he was quoted for three separate articles in December in the Mail alone), except for all those instances, and the time three weeks ago when he got given a full platform in The Guardian to reply to someone who had criticised his figures.

I was just looking at the Star articles and there's a sidebar headline MUSLIM NUTTERS: WE'LL KILL MADGE, displaying all the cuddly politically-correct sensitivity the Star is noted for, while today's Express front page calls the EU 'Euro idiots', as the website prominently displays the story ANGER AS FOREIGNERS WIN POWER STATION JOBS, which is exactly the sort of thing you're probably not allowed to say. But apart from all those papers where you can say the sort of things Littlejohn isn't allowed to say but repeatedly does anyway, it's wall-to-wall political correctness gone mad! I mean, let's say for example you oppose immigration and want to vote for a party who can say there should be limits on immigration...who can you even vote for? Apart from the Conservatives, obviously. Or UKIP. Or the BNP. Can you even say anything about immigration or multiculturalism without being called racist? I mean, apart from if you're in any of the parties I just mentioned, obviously. The Labour Party, of course, DOES probably think talking about immigration is racist, even though none of their MPs say it out loud, and even though many of them have explicitly said it's not, like Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, and, er, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas. But apart from them...


  1. I tried to read the Littlejohn article but had to quit when he described the murder of Stephen Lawrence as ''genuinely racist''.

    I'm rather confused about that, have we experienced a glut of fake racist murders? What are the requirements for a ''genuinely racist murder''? Do you get an embossed certificate of authenticity for a genuine racist murder?

  2. Excellent. as with Jaime above I started it but scrolled down quickly to the end. Migrationwatch, like other rentaquotes feed off mentions in every part of the media. Taxpayers' Alliance for instance have a daily bit on their site with links to all their mentions. Anything from the Norwich Farmers's Monthly to the nationals.

    The Mail also has the Lawrence murder as a cause celebre much to BNP chagrin.

  3. The 'genuinely racist murder' bit is kind of indicative of what folks like Littlejohn think racism is; whereas most of us tend to think of it as anything which discriminates against people based on their race, Littlejohn and his ilk would like to see the word reserved for people who've actually stabbed a black teenager to death so that no-one could ever call him one. I find the right tend to get terribly offended by the word, as if it couldn't possibly apply to them because they're not lynching people or painting 'PAKIS GO HOME' on the doors of shops.

    I tend to avoid using the word really now for that reason, it's become such a loaded term that if you do ever try and use it you immediately get accused of shutting down the debate, and the whole debate will shift entirely onto the word 'racist', neatly avoiding any genuine grievances you might have had with whatever was being said.

  4. Flat Earth News by Nick Davies makes the claim that Hal Austin's instructions on being sent to interview Stephen Lawrence's dad were to run a story attacking 'rent-a-quote left-wingers' who were campaigning for a new enquiry. They changed approach when Neville Lawrence revealed he'd done plastering work for one Mr Dacre previously, causing the newsdesk to instruct Austin to 'do something sympathetic'. Hal Austin was, tactfully, sent in his capacity as the only black reporter employed by the Mail at the time (Baz Bamigboye doesn't count)