Richard Littlejohn on rape

I’ve been observing – with some disgust – the arguments about rape this week and I was wondering if the level of debate could get any worse. Then I realised that Richard Littlejohn had decided to make this topic the focus of his column this morning.

Yes, Richard Littlejohn, the man who insisted that the five women murdered in Ipswich be referred to only as ‘prostitutes’ and that we needn’t mourn the death of these ‘disgusting, drug-addled street whores’ who were ‘no great loss’ as they ‘weren’t going to discover a cure for cancer or embark on missionary work in Darfur’. And anyway, said Richard, ‘death by strangulation [was] an occupational hazard’ for the five women murdered, so what were we all getting upset about?

Yes, Richard women-hating Littlejohn – the man who sees in the twice-weekly collection of wheelie-bins the very end of civilisation – has had to step in because he feels the ‘The confected, hysterical reaction to his remarks was frankly typical of the debasement of political debate in this country’.

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, the man whose greatest satirical tool is to miss-spell words and to imagine what any given modern event would be like if it involved the characters of Dad’s Army is stepping in to rescue the level of debate.

You are probably thinking: ‘This isn’t going to go well, is it?’ And you’re right.

You see the trouble with Ricard is that he is so incapable of understanding any given topic that in order to ‘win’ any sort of argument he has to set-up a completely false starting point. He does this by arguing something that no-one has been talking about – at all – all week:

Last Tuesday night, two British charity workers were attacked and raped repeatedly by a gang of six masked men on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

The women — aged 24 and 31 — were overpowered and subjected to a horrifying and prolonged sexual assault.

Their nightmare ordeal took place on a remote stretch of beach in the north-east of the island, where they were working on a wildlife conservation project.

No one would dream of suggesting that because they were camping on an isolated beauty spot overnight they were asking to be attacked.

Six men have now been charged with gang rape. If convicted they can expect — and will thoroughly deserve — harsh, exemplary punishment.

But let’s imagine for a moment that one of these unfortunate women had met a man in a Tiki Bar on St Lucia, got off her head on rum punch and invited him back to her hotel room for a drunken tumble.

The following morning, through her hungover haze, she was consumed by self-loathing. Would she be entitled to cry ‘rape’? [Emphasis is mine]

There we have it, somehow Richard Littlejohn has stepped into a semantic debate that focuses on the idea that rape can involve different degrees of violence and therefore attract different degrees of punishment (with the counter-argument that all rape is equal because rape is inherently violent; so, irrespective of whether the rapist hits the victim or not, the crime is the same because the act of rape is a far greater act of violence than hitting someone) by talking about women who ‘cry “rape”‘ after having a consensual one-night stand.

And, it’s worth pointing out, that once more Richard makes it perfectly clear he is just making it up with his classic ‘imagine if…’.

Why is it that whenever rape is discussed certain people – normally barrel-scraping misogynist hacks like Richard – always want to discuss false accusations of rape. We all understand that this is a serious issue, Richard, but it adds nothing to the debate about the conviction and prosecution of rapists – unless of course you just want to imply that unless the rape is completely unequivocal as in your first example, then we should just assume the women regrets a one-night stand and is ‘crying rape’.

Richard – having as usual got his caveats out of the way right at the start of his piece – then gets going:

There’s a world of difference between a violent sexual assault at the hands of a complete stranger, or gang of strangers, and a subsequently regretted, alcohol-induced one-night stand.

That’s not how the self-appointed Boadiceas of feminism see it. To them ‘rape is rape’, regardless of the circumstances, even if the woman was so sloshed she can’t remember whether or not she consented.

These vengeful viragos insist that ‘rape is a life sentence’ in every case. No, it isn’t. In many instances, it isn’t even rape.

There is a world of difference between rape and consensual albeit drunken sex, the trouble is Richard no-one is arguing otherwise. You have, as usual purposefully missed the point entirely. The next two sentences accuse the ‘self-appointed Boadiceas of feminism’ (you see you have to be a proper hardcore feminist to think that rape is a bad thing) of doing something they are not. They’re not defending women who falsely accuse someone of rape, probably because these people do a huge amount of damage to the cases of the real victims of rape (it doesn’t help that they receive a disproportionate media coverage either).

Let me make it absolutely clear for Richard: this week a debate erupted because it seemed as if the justice minister implied that rape could involve various degrees of violence and thus deserved varying degrees of punishment. The people who took offence at this tried to point out that rape is rape, irrespective of whether the attacker is violent in other ways towards his victim. The point being made is that rape is in itself the ultimate expression of physical violence and dominance, it doesn’t need to be accompanied by other forms of violence to attract the label of a violent crime.

I just get the impression that some people really see some kind of distinction between rape and violence. I think the confusion stems from the fact that ordinarily sex is a pleasurable and painless act so when a rape occurs the mind is able to make the fallacious argument that if no other violence occurred during the rape then it can’t have really been a violent act because the body is not normally harmed by sex. I genuinely think that this is the way some people subconsciously see rape. If the attacker doesn’t stamp on your face afterwards it’s seen as little more than inconvenient sex.

The sad thing is that this was never a discussion about consent, it was a discussion that stemmed once more around the idea that even in clear cases of rape (where the attacker confesses for example) there can be varying degrees of rape depending on the other violence associated with the case. Rather than engage in this debate Richard Littlejohn instead accuses women of crying rape simply because they regret casual encounters and then suggests that the only people to take offence are a bunch of hardy feminists who come out screaming to defend such women.

Even when he tries to get involved in a real, current debate he still has to completely invent a different debate to suit his own distorted agenda. In Richard’s world there are two types of rape: the first is the clear, violent gang rape of ‘innocent’ women, the next is just a bunch of drunken women screaming rape. It must be so nice living in a world of such clear distinctions.

This is the two types of ‘rape’ that Littlejohn puts into opposition:

I’ve no doubt that the victims of the most violent attacks, such as the poor woman who upbraided Ken Clarke on the wireless this week, carry their trauma with them for the rest of their days.

But, equally, many women who have had a brief sexual encounter of which they are ashamed simply shrug it off and get on with their lives. They don’t scream ‘rape’, they chalk it up to experience and vow to go easy on the chardonnay in future.

So, unless you are a rape victim who suffered a ‘most violent attack’ you’ll probably get over it just fine. On the other hand, if it wasn’t a really violent act then you’re were probably just drunk and feel a bit ashamed so you’ll just cry rape for the hell of it.

In conclusion:

  • Richard Littlejohn thinks that only women suffer or get upset by rape
  • Even when he tries to engage with a real debate, Richard must instead invent his own version because otherwise things are just too complex for him
  • If you weren’t brutally gang-raped, you’re probably just making it up (and you were almost definitely drunk as well)
  • No matter how hysterical or depressing a debate becomes, Richard can still easily drag it down another few notches
  • Richard Littlejohn is still the most cowardly little man in the whole of tabloid-land.

Predictable Dick

Richard Littlejohn was never going to shy away from another easy column this week going over MPs expenses in light of David Law’s suspension and ‘elf ‘n’ safety’ over the guy that got sacked for a serious breach of safety regulations by South West Trains.

Firstly, let’s turn to the judges comments on Laws’ suspension:

The standards commissioner accepted Mr Laws’ motivation was to keep his homosexuality secret, but said that nonetheless, his conduct “was not above reproach” and he had given “a false impression” of his relationship with his landlord.

“I have no evidence that Mr Laws made his claims with the intention of benefiting himself or his partner in conscious breach of the rules. But the sums of money involved were substantial… Some of them continued over a number of years.”

He said Mr Laws clearly recognised there was “potential conflict between the public interest and his private interest” and “his desire for secrecy led him to act in a way which was not compatible with the standards expected of an MP”…

The commissioner accepted that Mr Laws’ claims would have been “considerably more” if he had stuck to the rules, and he agreed that there was no loss to the taxpayer from the breaches.

OK, so his motivation was simply to keep his relationship private, there had been no loss to the taxpayer – and he had under-claimed what could have been claimed under the rules – but he was guilty nonetheless of breaching the rules. Fairly straightforward really, but Littlejohn misses such nuances:

He’s lucky not to have been banged up…

His excuse for not revealing details of his relationship with his landlord was that he was trying to keep his sexuality secret.

So that’s all right, then.

No, it isn’t ‘all right’ Richard, as the judge makes very clear in his comments (you can read some of them above), but it does mean that his case is very different to an MP claiming expenses under false pretences for simple greed. It was a bad decision, but not one motivated by clear criminal intent. Richard continues:

There have been attempts to conflate Laws’ wrongdoing into a row over ‘homophobia’. That was never going to fly. As I wrote at the time, this wasn’t about his sexuality, it was about stealing.

Who cares if he’s gay? There’s a lot of it about these days. Being homosexual no longer carries any stigma. In public life, it’s a badge of honour.

Who exactly has been bringing homophobia into this – apart from you, right now? If there have been attempts then please enlighten us with them – tell us who tried to do this, point out the articles and so forth. As for the ‘there’s a lot of it about these days’ comment, why? What possessed you to write that? And the mindless badge of honour comment, Richard, you really do have issues. Littlejohn concludes – demonstrating that he has either not bothered to read the judges comments or he has decided to completely ignore them in favour of his own self-assured verdict:

Laws was stupid and greedy, but he escaped prosecution because he’s one of the few Lib Dems with half a brain and a personal friend of Nick Clegg.

After missing the point in his main effort he moves onto the train guy and gives South West Trains both barrels for sacking him without a moment’s doubt that there might be slightly more to the story than what the media have been told by the sacked person:

Just another example of how safety ‘guidelines’ introduced with the best of intentions have been turned into a tyranny in brave new Britain…

The sacking of Mr Faletto is beyond disgusting. Whoever runs South West Trains should be thoroughly ashamed.

He should be reinstated immediately with a grovelling apology.

I know South West Trains have to maintain confidentiality, but I do hope at some point we hear their side of the story – and Richard, if they have already held a tribunal and turned down an appeal against the sacking I don’t think a few tired hacks are going to get him reinstated.

Responsible coverage

Richard Littlejohn has the usual thoughtless throwaway segment at the end of his column today [istyosty.com link], this time he wonders why there has been so little coverage of the shootings in the Netherlands. Richard suspects that it is evidence that the world is anti-American whilst remaining unquestioning of ‘liberal’ democracies such as the Netherlands. His reasoning is that he didn’t see ‘much of the Dutch massacre on tv’, and:

There wasn’t a great fuss made about it in the papers, either. Just imagine if this had happened in the United States.

There would be banner headlines about the ‘Wild West’ and the usual knee-jerk television specials about America’s rampant gun culture.

It’s called responsible journalism:

Still, no situation is too tragic for Littlejohn when he wants to push his own baseless, simplistic and paranoid agenda.

A new low

It’s always a dilemma whether to publicise Richard Littlejohn’s attempts to enrage people through being purposefully offensive. The TV advert for Littlejohn and the Mail demonstrated that Richard likes to be thought of as a powerful, dangerous writer – the sound of gunshots as he hits each key on his laptop – but his columns demonstrate that he is a worthless coward prepared only to attack the most disenfranchised, isolated victims of society – be it women who worked as prostitutes, people killed in genocides or in the case of today’s column: victims of a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Richard Littlejohn is not an intelligent writer, he is not a witty writer, he is not a powerful or philosophical writer. He will never win plaudits for being any good, so he therefore attempts to be the most offensive; he mistakes causing offence with being genuinely thought-provoking.

Today he wrote about the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami [istyosty.com link]. He started with the usual caveat:

No one with a shred of humanity can fail to be moved by some of the pictures coming out of Japan, whether an elderly woman being rescued from the rubble or frightened, bewildered schoolchildren waiting in vain for parents who will never return.

The devastation is on a biblical scale. Comparisons have been drawn with the dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And:

It is wrong to visit the sins of previous generations on their modern descendants, although that doesn’t prevent the British Left constantly trying to make us feel guilty for centuries-old grievances, from the slave trade to the Irish potato famine.

But (or ‘yet’ for a nice change of pace from Richard):

Yet many surviving members of the Burma Star Association still harbour deep animosity to everyone and all things Japanese, 65 years after VJ Day.

They won’t want to be associated with the expressions of sympathy over the earthquake and tsunami. And who can blame them?

Like thousands of other British servicemen who were tortured in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, my wife’s late grandfather, Harold Tuck, would never have joined a minute’s silence for Japan.

Until the day he died, Harold would refuse to remove his shirt, not even on the beach on the hottest day of the year. The scars inflicted by his sadistic Japanese captors were too horrible to be exposed to the harsh light of day.

Were he alive today, he would have remained doggedly in his seat if requested to stand in silent tribute to the dead of Japan.

The online version also features two pictures: one of the recent destruction and one of starving POWs. Nothing more needs to be said – or can be said in the face of such offensive bile – but I would like to point out to Richard the following:

  • Japan is home to 8,665,440 boys aged between 0-14
  • Japan is home to 8,212,680 girls aged between 0-14
  • Japan is home to 40,969,829 men aged between 15-64
  • Japan is home to 40,291,648 girls aged between 15-64
  • This means that 77.4% of Japan’s population were not even born until after the end of WWII

Perhaps what is even worse than this is that Richard Littlejohn uses his wife’s dead grandad as a vehicle for this column. He puts words into a dead man’s mouth, imagining that he is as cruel and incapable of empathy as he is. That – even for Littlejohn – is low, very low.

Littlejohn confused by Faggots

Today Richard Littlejohn had this little snippet on his favourite topic – gays:

Faggots and peas, sir – no offence!

The former Mayor of Dudley has been accused of offensive behaviour after referring to ‘faggots’ in an email.

Councillor Pat Martin was simply discussing his favourite childhood food with a friend.

For the uninitiated, faggots is a dish of meatballs in gravy, popular in the Midlands and the North.

But it was flagged up by American software used by the council to screen out ‘offensive’ words. In the U.S., ‘faggots’ is slang for homosexuals.

I hadn’t realised this kind of software was common, otherwise I’d never have ordered a pouffe from Ikea online. [emphasis is mine]

Just a couple of small points Richard, Councillor Pat Martin was not accused of offensive behaviour by anyone, the email simply bounced back because of an automatic word filter – it was a decision made by computer software which is not programmed to be offended or to make accusations. Secondly, ‘councillor Pat Martin’ is also sometimes known by her full name: Patricia Martin.

Perhaps Richard was thrown by the way that the local press covered the story: ‘Faggots email cooks up IT storm’, but if he had made it past the typically hyperbolic (and plain nonsense) headline he would have realised that the email had generated precisely zero fuss. He also might have noticed the photo of Patricia Martin staring back at him as well.

I think it should be mandatory to end any blog post about Richard Littlejohn’s serial laziness and incompetence with the fact that he earns nearly one million pounds a year.

Fact: Richard Littlejohn is the ultimate lazy hack

Another day, another woefully ignorant Littlejohn snippet on climate change:

The latest piece of ‘climate change’ lunacy comes from an ‘expert’ who claims peat bogs pose a clear and present danger to the polar bears.

Apparently, stopping people using peat would be the equivalent of taking 330,000 cars off the road.

Leave aside the fact that peat is the ultimate renewable resource. How many people do you know who burn peat?

Who would have thought you could cram so much wrong into so little space.

Firstly, the inverted commas around ‘climate change’ and ‘expert’ are stunningly hypocritical and ignorant. ‘Climate change’ as a generic tag is actually an invention of industry funded global-warming denialists who wanted a less loaded term to replace ‘global warming’. ‘Global warming’ clearly describes the fact that the earth is heating up, climate change implies that some kind of change is happening, but we’re not sure which. As cigarette manufacturers stated for years when they fought scientific evidence that smoking was extremely damaging to health: ‘doubt is our product’. Climate change is a phrase that encapsulates doubt, but it is not a scientific term because it does not describe what the evidence demonstrates – ‘global warming’ describes this. So for Littlejohn to not even like ‘climate change’ – a manufactured, inaccurate description – enough to not place it in inverted commas just demonstrates once again that he knows nothing about his subject.

Along the same lines is the use of ‘expert’. There is a reason why newspapers can get away with writing the word ‘expert’ in inverted commas: they so often refer to people with no expertise as ‘experts’ that the very notion of expertise has been devalued. For high profile examples of this refer to the press going to a guy working from a shed in his garden for the latest on MRSA (his samples were always positive because his shed was contaminated, and he really didn’t know what he was doing – the press described him as the foremost expert in this field) or the whole MMR scare where they backed one ‘expert’ in the face of many and got their hands badly burned. Basically, the press can’t keep quoting ‘studies’ that are little more than PR surveys, and experts who are basically anybody with any kind of profile that will provide a suitable quote for the biased drivel being produced (see Migrationwatch as the perfect example of this). And finally, you can’t write three paragraphs of astounding ignorance and have the cheek to mock ‘experts’ on the subject as not knowing what they are talking about – it completely destroys you every single time.

Secondly, it is not lunacy to suggest that peat bogs play a significant part in the storage of carbon and subsequently the release of it when burnt. As the International Mire Conservation Group make clear:

Peatlands constitute the top long-term carbon stock in the terrestrial biosphere.

While covering only 3% of the World’s land area, peatlands contain 550 Gt of carbon in their peat. This is equivalent to 30% of all global soil carbon, 75% of all atmospheric C, equal to all terrestrial biomass, and twice the carbon stock in the forest biomass of the world (Draft UNEP-GEF Assessment on Peatlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change).

So, even though not much peat is used, it releases a disproportionate amount of carbon. No ‘lunacy’, no ‘apparently’, just a simple fact.

Thirdly, Richard Littlejohn states that it is a ‘fact that peat is the ultimate renewable resource’. It isn’t. Here is a nice explanation from the IMCG of why it isn’t:

Peat occupies an intermediate position between biomass and lignite/coal. It has been forming for 360 million years and it is still being formed today. Part of the present-day peat is at this moment changing into lignite and will change into coal in future. Similar to lignite and coal, peat is renewable.

Coal and lignite are, however, called “non-renewable” because their slow rate of renewal makes their renewability irrelevant for humankind. The volume of old coal currently being burnt is many orders of magnitude larger than the volume of new coal currently being formed. The same accounts for peat. In the EU, in almost all countries of the EU, and in the whole world, the stocks of peat are decreasing much more rapidly than new peat is being formed. Globally peat losses exceed the new formation of peat with a factor 20, leading to a net emission of 2 Gigatonnes of CO2 annually (Draft UNEP-GEF Assessment on Peatlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change).

Classifying peat as a “long-term renewable energy resource” is misleading because – in order to achieve environmental sustainability and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – carbon-based fuel resources must replenish as quickly as they are consumed.

Peat used for fuel, in contrast, is thousands of years older than our modern society. This and the failing renewal of peat cause peat fuel to contribute to the greenhouse effect in the same way as burning other fossil resources. Therefore peat – similar to lignite and coal – should be treated as a non-renewable resource.

Now, there is a reason why Richard might have thought that peat was a renewable source of energy: the EU. The above quotations from the IMCG were taken from a letter sent to the European Parliament in 2007 following this event:

On December 14th, 2006, the European Parliament adopted the Resolution on a Strategy for Biomass and Biofuels (2006/2082(INI)). During the discussions, the following amendment was submitted unexpectedly and ‘last minute’ by ALDE MEPs from the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, and endorsed by the Parliament:

“The European Parliament… [78] Calls on the Commission to include peat, with regard to the life-cycle aspect, as a longterm renewable energy source for biomass and bioenergy production”.

So, those meddling bureaucrats in the EU that Richard hates so much have wrongly endorsed peat as renewable energy source – the amendment was submitted by EU countries that just happen to be have sizeable peat deposits and industries that would greatly benefit from peat being classed as a renewable energy source. Richard – the ever-vigilant enemy of power – has fallen completely for a change of classification brought about solely for business interests.

I know nothing about peat beyond the joke ‘what do you call an Irishman who has been buried for 100 years? Pete’, yet in 20 minutes I can uncover the truth behind why some people might consider it as a renewable energy source when in real terms it simply isn’t. Richard Littlejohn on the other hand portrays himself as a permanent skeptic yet cannot be bothered to even spend a few minutes checking his facts. If he had, he would have actually found out something interesting about how certain industries are trying to climb aboard the renewable energy bandwagon (are there any subsidies or tax breaks involved?) even though they don’t meet the criteria. Even as a complete skeptic he could have written about this – he could have approached it from the angle of how every business is trying to get on the climate change band wagon to fleece the taxpayer, hell, he might even have been partly right.

Instead he just insults his readers – and his employers who pay him nearly £1m a year to write barely two columns a week – with this lazy, ignorant and baseless drivel.

Too many brown faces in Question Time audience, says Littlejohn

Appropriately, Richard Littlejohn’s last appearance on BBC’s Question Time came on the first of April 2010. It was in Stevenage and Richard Littlejohn looks back on this appearance in his column today – a column that calls for Question Time to be scrapped and ‘put out of its misery’. Why exactly does he want the show to be scrapped, what was it about his final appearance (he insists he has turned down invitations to appear on the show since) that made him no longer want to engage with the public?

Well, it all seems to boil down to the fact that Richard Littlejohn is a bit of a racist xenophobe. He just hates stepping outside of his own gated, white, affluent, Conservative monkeysphere and realising that we’re actually a diverse bunch of non-tory voters. Richard Littlejohn recounts how in Stevenage he looked into the audience and saw:

The audience is always the same noxious, inarticulate blend of Left-wing local government activists, NHS malcontents, trades union officials, spotty students and women in headscarves. Occasionally, they throw in a couple of comedy Tories with dandruff, for the rest of the crowd to boo.

Last time I was on the programme, it came from Stevenage, Herts, where 93 per cent of the population is white, and which elected a Conservative MP in 2010 with 41.4 per cent of the vote.

Yet the audience looked as if it had been bussed in from central casting, carefully selected to reflect the BBC’s view of what Britain should look like. If 41.4 per cent of that audience were Conservative voters, they did a damn good job of disguising it.

He saw the people outside of his monkeysphere and labelled them all as enemies. He saw not just women – a group he has always reserved a special level of deep hatred for over the years – but, gulp, women in headscarves. Thus his ultimate fears – women and foreigners – were combined in one frightening instant before his droopy, vision-less eyes. For the record whilst it is true that 41.4 per cent of people voted Conservative, it should be noted that 33.4 per cent voted Labour (the seat had been retained by Labour since 1997) and another 16.6% Lib Dem. Therefore Conservatives voters where never likely to form the majority of the audience – even more so when the local turnout for the election was only 64.8 per cent.

As for expecting 93% of the audience to be white, well, isn’t the point of BBC programming to be as representative as possible and in particular political discussions should be as inclusive as possible – which is kind of the point in Question Time giving a wide audience of people the chance to engage with senior politicians.

You will have noticed that I suggested Richard Littlejohn was a racist at the start of this post, it is a point he is always quick to deny. In fact he fielded a question during his last Question Time appearance from a young lad who suggested he was a favourite writer of BNP leader Nick Griffin, which he was, Nick Griffin said so. Littlejohn reacted very angrily and made the young lad retract the accusation. I’m pretty sure Richard Littlejohn would never read this blog, but if he does and he wants to get his lawyers in touch for libel I think I would take my chances and stand by my belief that Richard Littlejohn is racist.

Richard does not help his case by constantly providing my point of view with clear evidence, as he does in his column today. When he remembers looking at the audience in Stevenage he recounts his shock that it wasn’t the 93 per cent white, 41.4 per cent Tory audience he had hoped for and comments:

I took one look at them and thought to myself: if this is a true representation of the people of Stevenage, then we really are all going to hell in a handcart.

I’m not quite sure how he could argue that this isn’t a blatantly racist statement, especially given his statistical prelude in which he tried to argue that the number of brown faces in the audience should have been minimal. He is basically suggesting that when even Tory-voting white enclaves are dappled with brown faces then the end of the world is nigh – he is after all suggesting that such a path is a path towards hell. Add to this his normal inverted comma disdain of any attempt to ‘celebrate the “diversity” of the nation’ and you can see why Littlejohn candidly admits that you ‘shouldn’t waste your time’ applying to be in the audience ‘if you happen to be a Daily Mail reader’ (although he doesn’t comment on the frequent appearances of Mail columnists on Question Time, probably because this kind of ruins his very narrow, silly argument).

Indeed, what Richard Littlejohn fails to see is that his argument for why Question Time should be scrapped is actually a pretty compelling argument for why Question Time should carry on just as it is. If you are a Daily Mail reader, or tabloid reader in general, then you already have many ‘news’ outlets filled with xenophobic, dishonest bile that you can cuddle up to everyday; you don’t need Question Time to be turned into more of the same. Littlejohn complains that the BBC should ‘devise a programme which accurately reflects the wider views of the great British public’, without realising that it does reflect the wider views of the public, what it is careful to avoid is representing the noisy minority whom Richard Littlejohn writes for.

Irrespective of how hard the right-wing media try to turn us into a nation of xenophobic, ignorant bigots, Question Time demonstrates time and again that they’ve not succeeded. When a right-wing journalist gets a hard time on Question Time from the audience it is not because that audience is stuffed full of liberal malcontents, but rather that an intelligent audience can easily see through the usual distortions trotted out by such people. What Littlejohn sees when he looks into a Question Time audience is the future: diverse, intelligent, concerned and proactive individuals who want a fairer world for everyone (along with the occasional person that makes me facepalm as happened last night). It is the reason that tired, simple, Conservative thinkers like Littlejohn rarely step outside of their own sycophantic mailbag, and why they decide to lock themselves away in gated communities in foreign countries.

As a brief aside, I also found it amusing for Richard to describe the audience as ‘inarticulate’ given his past record of very famous verbal humiliations, and to claim that Question Time has passed its best when earlier this week he plagiarised his own writing, again, and made a claim that was astoundingly stupid, even by his standards:

Haringey hired someone to give hopscotch lessons to Asian women.

As Full Fact points out:

Back in 1995, former Conservative Party Chairman Brian Mawhinney regaled his Party’s Conference with a story of how taxpayer’s money was being similarly spent on hopscotch for Asian women.

In fact, it later transpired that the public money had been given to the Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre, a well-respected voluntary organisation that deals with domestic violence, language and integration issues in Camden, which neighbours Haringey.

So could a similar misunderstanding have been made by Richard Littlejohn?

We contacted Hanringey Borough Council to ask about the mysterious job, who weren’t aware of one fitting Mr Littlejohn’s description. We’ve also tried to get in touch with Mr Littlejohn himself to find out more about how he came across this vacancy, but have yet to hear back from him.

But the Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre did advertise for a management position in May last year.

So whilst as yet we’re unable to say with complete certainty that Haringey haven’t been engaging the services of Asian hopscotch specialists, given the claim’s history and the proximity of an Asian women’s voluntary centre named Hopscotch to Haringey, you might be advised to treat this particular “non-job” with some scepticism.

And isn’t it funny how Richard Littlejohn is only now calling for the scrapping of Question Time, when largely Conservative politicians are getting grief, when he seemed perfectly happy to appear when Labour were getting the same treatment. Or perhaps the audiences back then were still white enough, perhaps his brain has a clear limit on the amount of brown faces in a crowd that are acceptable and it was finally broken last April?

Who knows. What I do know is that if Richard Littlejohn is concerned about certain things passing their sale-by-date, he should really start with his own career.

Bias

According to his website – currently not operational for some reason – Richard Littlejohn:

has no party political affiliations and believes journalists should be in a state of permanent opposition and scepticism, opposed to vested interests of all political persuasions and fiercely protective of civil liberties.

His job is to sit at the back and throw bottles.

But as I have pointed out before, this clearly isn’t the case and today’s column is no exception. Today Richard has a few words to say about sexism, more specifically the trouble that Andy Gray and Richard Keys have got themselves into for their off-air comments about a female assistant referee and West Ham vice-chairman Karen Brady. Not surprisingly – given that Richard habitually and patronisingly refers to women as ‘pet’ in his column (he does so again today) – Richard asks for mercy for the two men, claiming that ‘their considered view that women have no business running the line at Premier League football matches would be considered utterly uncontroversial by most gentlemen of a certain age’ – not to mention that ‘most women of a certain age would probably agree, too’.

All pretty standard fare for Richard, but more interesting and amusing is Richard’s opening gambit: ‘Why on earth should Sky presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys be pilloried for something they said off-air?’ Cast your mind back to Gordon Brown’s ‘off-air’, private comments about Gillian Duffy that were leaked to the press, did he stand by Brown? Not quite, he wrote a lead column on it titled: ‘Gordon hates everybody – Labour voters included‘. Indeed, he claimed the ‘deranged outburst’ (that was muttered quietly, in private and sounded tired rather than ‘deranged’) provided him with all the evidence that he needed to support and justify his earlier claim that Brown was a ‘sociopath’.

Clearly, Richard ‘permanent opposition’ Littlejohn is biased towards the Conservative Party and only ever attacks Labour – whether they are in power or not. He is inherently biased towards Conservative ideology, even though he claims that ‘has no party political affiliations’. It is therefore even more hypocritical that he attacks the BBC for their supposed left-wing bias just because Peter Sissons (a person who presumably holds right-wing values and someone the BBC obviously forgot to sack to maintain its left-wing bias for a number of years) said so and Littlejohn agrees with him.

Let’s face it, when you are as far-right as Littlejohn that you attract fan mail from racists, compliments from BNP leader Nick Griffin and you’re one of the highest-paid columnists writing for a notoriously right-wing (i.e. supporting Facism in the UK and Hitler during the 1930s and the editorial stance has got worse under Paul Dacre) newspaper, you probably view most other news sources as ‘left-wing’. The BBC has to adhere to strict impartial standards, if it had a systematic bias then action can be taken to correct this. The BBC has to report fact and not get involved in the business of opinion in its news pieces. Often these facts are uncomfortable for writers like Littlejohn because truth to the tabloid press is whatever they wish to print, truth is a construct, not an absolute. Anything that dare contradict this outlook must be smeared, which is why the BBC gets so much stick for being ‘left-wing’, when it is clear that what the newspapers really mean is that they hate the BBC because it is a source of truth that has enough influence to actually resist the world view that the tabloids have tried so hard to create. Why do you think Murdoch hates it so much?

As for Littlejohn, his claims of impartiality, opposition and integrity are not just laughable, they are indicative of just how far from reality most tabloid visions of the world actually are. If you are being criticised by the Daily Mail or the tabloid press in general, then you should – as Stephen Fry does – treat it as a badge of honour for you must be doing something right.

Richard Littlejohn’s Obsessions

The excellent Five Chinese Crackers – the man brave enough to write a detailed review of Littlejohn’s novel ‘To Hell in a Handcart‘ – has now gone and read all of his part-fiction books and has part 1 of his musings online now. Anyway, he wanted to find something I posted a couple of years back on Littlejohn and I realised it had been lost from the old blog which is now falling apart somewhat, so I am going to repost it in full here. Enjoy.

Littlejohn’s 2008: Year of the Nazi

Summary

I’ve read through every article that Richard Littlejohn wrote in 2008 in order to assess how many times he repeated inane catchphrases, how many times he used certain words and just what bizarre phrases or arguments he came up with in 2008.

I have concluded that 2008 for Richard was very much the year of the ‘Nazi’. Littlejohn gave us the: ‘elf ‘n’ safety nazi’, ‘road safety nazi’, ‘anti-smoking nazi’, ‘eco-nazis’, ‘dustbin nazis’, ‘recycling nazis’, ‘diversity nazis’, ‘tinpot nazis’, ‘condiment nazis’, ‘nail-varnish nazis’, ‘noise abatement nazis’ and ‘City of London Corporation safety nazis’.

Furthermore he also railed against: ‘health fascists’, ‘eco-fascists’, ‘five-a-day fascists’, ‘diversity fascists’, ‘”global warming” fascists’, ‘elf ‘n’ safety stormtroopers’, ‘condiments communists’, ‘sandwich stasis’, ‘weights and measures gestapo’, ‘equality and diversity commissars’,’condom commandos’ and the ‘fascist left’.

In general terms I didn’t count the amount of times he referred to a woman as ‘pet’ or ‘dear’ as if somehow that was all he need do to defeat their argument or belittle them. I lost count of the amount of times he referred to climate change as a ‘scam’, or the amount of times he confused the weather outside with long term climate change. However, I did count the amount of times he used the word ‘muslim’ or ‘muslims’ in his columns (70), I also counted how man of his articles (97 in total) referred to homosexuality: 40.

Awards

Confession of the year:I’m a libertarian‘.

Article Titles of the year:

5 – Elf ‘n’ safety stormtroopers raid Teddy Bears’ picnic

4 – Now they want to ban mums and dads

3 – We’re mad as hell and we DON’T have to take it any more!

2 – Condiment nazis? Send them to the salt mines!

1 – LITTLEJOHN: The sinister secrets of the dustbin Nazis

Word of the Year: Muslims (with 70 mentions in 97 articles)

Phrase of the Year: Elf ‘n’ safety (with 51 mentions in 97 articles)

Gay article count 2008: 40 (out of 97 articles found space to bash gays)

Catchphrases

In 2008 Richard Littlejohn managed to write 97 articles. He is reported to be earning around £800,000 a year writing for the Mail so that means he was been paid around £8247 for each article.

Richard Littlejohn likes to repeat catchphrases because he thinks there is something intrinsically clever or funny in doing so. ‘Elf ‘n’ safety’ was the most popular catchphrase of 2008 with 51 uses (mentioned another 11 times as part of the phrase ‘elf ‘n’ safety nazis’) whilst the second favourite phrase was the ingenious ‘Call Me Dave’ – wasn’t funny the first time, nor the 34th time it was used. ‘You couldn’t make it up’ was used a respectable 30 times but surprisingly ‘yuman rites’ was only used a sparing 28 times – with ‘Mind how you go’ only being used 16 times.

When it comes to single words, which represent a particular bugbear for Littlejohn, ‘Muslim/s’ scored highest with 70 uses, surprisingly scoring higher than the word ‘gay’ which comes up the rear (yes, this Littlejohnism is intentional) with a pitiful 39 uses. The next most popular word is ‘diversity’ (which Littlejohn tends to use as a swearword) with 31 uses, 6 more than ‘terrorist/s’ got over the course of the year, but I failed to count ‘terrorism’.

2008 Littlejohn word / catchphrase leaderboard

Muslim/s 70
Elf ‘n’ safety 51
Gay 39
Call Me Dave 34
Diversity 31
You couldn’t make it up 30
Yuman rites 28
Terrorist/s 25
Guardianistas 21
Illegal immigrants 17
Mind how you go 16
Speed cameras 15
Elf ‘n’ safety nazis 11
Com-pen-say-shun* 9
Multiculturalism 6
Aids 6
Traffic Taliban 5
Fascist Left 5
Eco-loonies 5
Liberal ‘media’ 2

* Littlejohn puts the phonetic dashes for this word in a variety of ways, largely, I suspect, because he is a moron.

His opinions

On Gordon Brown, he has an ‘unnerving kiddiefiddler grin‘ and in an article around three weeks later he uses the following headline to subtlety reinforce this opinion: Hey, Gordon, leave them kids alone!.

On the Scottish:

Lack of sunshine is said to be the real reason behind Scotland’s poor record on health. A new report identifies a deficiency of Vitamin D as responsible for everything from diabetes and cancer to high blood pressure and strokes. So nothing to do with chain-smoking, binge drinking and deep-fried Mars Bars, then.

On traffic wardens:

Traffic wardens  –  sorry, civil enforcement officers  –  are the stormtroopers of New Labour

On PCSOs:

The ranks of PCSOs are comprised of people who are too stupid to pass the entrance exam for the real police.

On climate change:

As I keep insisting, ‘climate change’ is the new catch-all excuse for bullying, fining and inconveniencing us.

On President-to-be Obama:

not a President-in-Waiting but an uppity kid with delusions of grandeur

On internet banking:

I’m… highly suspicious of any kind of financial transactions that involve the internet.Three or four times a week, I get invited by someone in Nigeria to allow him to deposit several million pounds in my bank account overnight. For my trouble, he promises there will be a nice little drink in it for me. It is an invitation I have no difficulty declining.

Same with internet banking. I’m sure it was all perfectly legitimate at the time, but there would be no more chance of me investing in an online Icelandic bank than responding to one of those emails offering me a bigger penis.

On how terrible the Daily Mail and his column is:

And if you need to be reminded of the awfulness of modern Britain as you relax in a sun-drenched foreign resort, there’s always the Daily Mail, printed around the globe, available from your friendly beach-side newsagent and online.

On dwarfs:

There’s something intrinsically funny about dwarfs.

On wearing make-up:

Talented make-up artists have tried the lot on me over the years to try to disguise my natural hideousness from the cameras  –  blusher, concealer, foundation, tinted moisturisers.Trust me, chaps, it’s uncomfortable. And I’ve always drawn the line at lipstick.

But, I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve rushed away to a dinner after the show and forgotten to wipe it off.

It’s only when you’re standing in the gents looking like an off-duty drag queen that you realise you’ve made a horrible mistake.

On boys:

the feminisation of Britain… starts in school, where barking-mad women teachers label boisterous behaviour as ‘attention deficit disorder’ and ‘hyperactivity’.Boys being boys is now considered an illness which needs treating. Ritalin has replaced discipline.

Men are constantly encouraged to get in touch with their feminine side and confront their ‘issues’.

On bureaucrats:

For two decades, this column has made a career out of exposing the unbending lunacy and sheer bloody-mindedness of British bureaucrats, but the monster marches ravenously on.At a time when we can least afford it, we are being bled white to finance the Sandwich Stasi and hundreds of thousands of index-linked, spiteful, self-righteous parasites.

In another life, these are the very people who would have been loading the cattle trucks to the concentration camps.

To the scaffold with the lot of them

On Goths:

My Geordie mate, Black Mike, would take one look at her in her absurd “Goth” outfit and remark: “Gi’ us a stick and I’ll kill it.”…When her owner – er, fiancé – Addams Family lookalike Dani Graves tried to take her on to a bus, the driver stopped them, saying: “We don’t let freaks and dogs like you on.”

The couple complained that it was a “hate crime”… They should be neutered.

Finally, proof that Richard Littlejohn cannot use the Internet

From his column today:

This is probably the first occasion a crossbow has been used in a robbery in this country since the Middle Ages. Even Robin Hood and his Merry Men, one of our earliest organised gangs, favoured the more-chivalrous longbow.

I searched the internet for the number of crimes in Britain committed with a crossbow, but apart from the recent ‘Cannibal’ case I drew a blank.

I searched for around 3 minutes and found two stories, one from 2008 when a man in Leeds was shot in the stomach with one (attempted murder) and the other from Northern Ireland in 2006 reporting that sectarian gangs had wielded them. I don’t get paid to research stuff, I am not – like Richard – being paid around £1m a year to write a column. Yet I have found out in a couple of minutes that he must have drawn a blank because a, he never actually did a search and he is just lying or b, he just isn’t very adept at finding things out. Surely being paid such a huge salary he could have at least spent a couple of hours looking into things properly?

Still, this is the man who keeps referring to the government cuts as ‘so called “cuts”‘, so it is not as if he gives a damn about accuracy.