Over at Ofcom it is shrug-your-shoulders time. The broadcasting regulator had shown leniency to ‘edgy’ comedian Frankie Boyle after he made jibes about a disabled child — letting him off with no more than a rap on the knuckles. Boyle’s remarks were made on Channel 4, another public body. Chairman David Abraham and the channel’s liberal supremos were similarly disinclined to take the matter too gravely.This is a pretty baffling tactic in itself. Firstly, the right hardly has the monopoly on being irritated and/or offended by Boyle's laboured, tiring, scattergun shock-making. He gets some leeway on account of being a comedian, rather than, say, someone actually running the country (more on this distinction later, Quentin!), but even liberal lefties aren't always massively keen on rape and incest jokes where the imagined rapist is a real, blameless disabled, mixed-race child. Hang on, reading that again, one might think that chastising Boyle for insulting such a person would be a sign of 'political correctness', and that leniency would be the more right-wing or libertarian position? Either way, it's a strange point to make a mere two days after everyone's favourite denim-afflicted right-wing tossbag Jeremy Clarkson was similarly let off over his hilarious Mexican stereotyping, much as he was when he made a joke referencing Ipswich's murdered sex workers. It's almost as if Letts is talking one-eyed garbage ('one-eyed' being another insult Clarkson hurled at left-wing colossus Gordon Brown and got a minor rap on the knuckles for). Later in the piece we find out just how wide the liberal tentacles that control Britain are spread:
Over on Twitter, meanwhile, millionaire actor and Labour supporter Eddie Izzard was regaling his faithful munchkins with his latest political apercus, attacking the Government’s cuts.Who would have thought that famous transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard would be a liberal? Witness the power he wields; talking to people on Twitter...er...being at a Labour conference? Help me out here.
They all show the way that our politics is increasingly being influenced by unelected voices from the Left.If only Eddie Izzard had existed before May 2010! We might have been spared Tory rule, for the socialist liberals to reign supreme. But alas.
The Yes To AV referendum campaign has been dominated by showbusiness personalities. Stephen Fry has been involved. Isn’t he always? So have Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick in TV’s Blackadder, Oscar winner Colin Firth, militant atheist Richard Dawkins (ugh) and dreadlocked poet Benjamin Zephaniah.The more you think about it, the more astonishing it is that Cameron is Prime Minister, right? He had defeat massed ranks of leftist forces that blocked his path; titans such as Baldrick out of Blackadder, and a poet. Letts continue to rage on in bewilderment;
Hang on. Are politicians not voted in by us? Do we not choose them to represent us and to be accountable? How can an inadequate ‘star’ such as the impeccably Left-wing novelist Zadie Smith be held up to scrutiny when she appears on BBC Radio to rail against library closures?I agree to some extent that there can be problems with unelected and often uninformed celebrities and lobbyists appearing on the airwaves. This is hardly an exclusively left-wing problem though. Turn on the radio and you're as likely to hear Stephen Green, the Taxpayers' Alliance or any number of unelected anti-abortion campaigners mouthing off as you are to be subjected to the terrifying danger of a novelist talking about libraries. Letts dribbles on in this manner, apparently staggered to discover that artists are not typically fond of cuts/'savings' to the arts, gently accusing (with caveats) Phillip Pullman of being motivated by pure financial self-interest for not wanting libraries to be shut down. Eventually, once he's mentioned Stephen Fry and Judi Dench, he starts to run out of big-hitting lefties to complain about the staggering political influence of. At one stage he refers to "Actor Sam West, whose mother Prunella Scales (of Fawlty Towers fame) appears in Labour Party adverts". Yes, an actor whose mum was in Fawlty Towers! An actor I had to Google! He was in Howards End apparently! Who could fail to unite behind such a totemic figure?
No discussion of pay is allowed to pass on the public airwaves without a contribution from Left-wing journalist Will HuttonLetts stumbles onto a hint of some kind of point here. But it isn't Leftist bias. The BBC and other news organisations are obsessed with, appearing 'balanced', as they are obliged to be. You have a climate scientist on? You need a 'climate sceptic' to argue with him. Pro-choice campaigner? Better get someone virulently anti-abortion to oppose them. Alternative medicine debate? Get one scientist and one homeopath and give them equal time, as if they're merely two equally correct alternatives. I'm happy to accept that actors and rock stars and comedians are overwhelmingly left-wing. There are reasons for that I could go into if I a) could be bothered to do the research and b) wasn't at work right now. But they're just mouths flapping in the wind, much like Clarkson and Littlejohn and Niall Ferguson and Simon Schama. None of them have managed to prevent Tory rule. They didn't even manage to prevent the rightwards slide of the Labour party either. It must be strange to be Quentin Letts, looking at a Tory-led coalition government, who in turn took over from an ever-increasingly centrist 'New' Labour, and argue that we are dominated by socialists and left-wing thinking because a few comedians and actors get some airtime to say they don't want libraries to close. Particularly strange given that he writes for the ever-popular Daily Mail, whose readership dwarfs that of the Guardian or the Independent. Some people are just never bloody happy, are they?