You can’t hate anyone anymore, can you?

Since the death of Lucy Meadows Richard Littlejohn – chief amongst the guilty parties who monstered her so publicly – has written not one word in defence of his actions or in apology for his attack. Instead, he has continued to attack people just as before. For example, WPC Kelly Jones is suing a suspected burglary victim for damages after she after allegedly tripped over a kerb, hurting her left leg and right wrist during the investigation. Littlejohn wades in claiming that ‘WPC Kelly Jones is not fit to wear the same uniform as a proper copper’ and that:

WPC Jones is an especially appalling example of a breed of so-called public ‘servant’ who, to invert John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s famous phrase, asks not what she can do for her country but what her country can do for her.

And he isn’t finished there, either:

Off-duty, she’s not much of a poster girl for the police. Visibly overweight with unkempt hair, she looks less like a policewoman and more like one of those ferocious female members of the ‘travelling community’ engaged in pitched battles with Plod at illegal camps such as Dale Farm.

It’s just typical Littlejohn, attacking those who do not have any hope of responding – not exactly the brave warrior holding those in power to account that his website makes him out to be.

In between the normal personal attacks he has also found time to speculate that half of Romania already lives in the UK and that they’re a one-nation crimewave, as well his classic confusion between ‘weather’ and ‘climate’ – in which the recent cold spell is used as the final proof that global warming is ‘lunacy’ and the product of ‘bovine stupidity’. The irony.

Speaking of irony, he also spends a column ruminating on April Fool’s stories in newspapers, wondering why ‘Every year newspapers go to elaborate lengths to spoof their readers on April Fools’ Day’ when ‘Looking at the papers, it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish fact from fantasy’. One of the few slithers of truth in a Richard Littlejohn column is, of course, entirely unintentional – and rather amusing considering he’s been responsible for some fine work of fiction down the years being passed on as fact. Remember, for example, when he claimed that ‘Haringey [council] hired someone to give hopscotch lessons to Asian women’. Turns out, no-one could ever find any evidence for this, but Fullfact discovered that ‘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’.

Littlejohn’s latest column decides to bemoan the fact that ‘now it’s a crime to hate the Sex Pistols’, which is actually Littlejohn commenting on the fact that:

[The Greater Manchester Police are] becoming the first force to extend ‘hate crime’ status to those with ‘alternative sub-culture identity’. In future, these groups will be granted the same special treatment as racial, religious, gender identity, disabled and sexual minorities.

Which seems fair enough, presumably because such attacks rely on how someone looks or what they are perceived to be – like racist or homophobic attacks. As usual, whenever Richard Littlejohn talks about someone who looks a bit different he invokes his ‘friend’ ‘Black Mike’ who ‘always jokes when he spots a Sid Vicious lookalike gobbing his way down the High Street: ‘Gi’ us a stick and I’ll kill it.’’

Which, presumably, is the sort of response that has made the GMP think that such hate crimes need to be formally dealt with as such. So, Littlejohn unintentially undermines his own argument. However, worse is to come because, of course, Littlejohn’s never really sure about what he has written in the past – and God knows his readership isn’t intelligent enough to call him up on it. You see, he decides to talk about the ‘tragic death of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster, who was attacked along with her boyfriend in a park in Bacup, Lancs, by a mob who took exception to her goth clothing and stark make-up’.

The Daily Mail reported on the trial of the attackers in 2008, noting that:

A gap year student was kicked and stamped to death and her boyfriend left fighting for his life by a gang of drunken teenagers just because they were dressed as Goths, a court heard yesterday.

Just two months before this trial Richard Littlejohn had written about another couple who dress and act differently:

Much hilarity at the tale of the woman who describes herself as a “human pet” and her keeper, thrown off a bus in Yorkshire for being weird.

Tasha Maltby – runaway winner of this week’s Here We Go Looby Lou award – goes round the streets of Dewsbury on a dog lead.

Naturally, ever the serial recycler, Littlejohn invokes his friend:

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.”

Which, given this is pretty much what happened to Sophie Lancaster, Richard Littlejohn looks even nastier than he normally does. He really doesn’t understand what a hate crime is, even when he writes down an example:

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.”

And what did this couple have the gall to do? Well:

The couple complained that it was a “hate crime”.

Presumably, judging someone for what they wear / how they behave is just as bad as judging someone based on their skin colour or nationality. Tutting inside your own head about what someone is wearing is one thing, calling them ‘freaks and dogs’ and chucking them off of a bus is another. You could say that’s crossing the line between merely thinking something is a little odd to committing a hate crime. It’s a barrier most of the population don’t seem to have an issue with, so what Littlejohn’s issue with hate crimes is, I don’t know.

Anyway, back in 2008 he continued:

Where it really ceases to be funny is when we learn that the couple live in a council house, on benefits, spend all day in the pub and plan to start a family – maybe that should be a litter – which we will be expected to pay for.

Why should the taxpayer support their soppy, self-indulgent “lifestyle” – let alone pay them to bring puppies into the world?

His pithy conclusion?

They should be neutered

It therefore bus me somewhat that years later Littlejohn dares to talk in respectful tones about the death of Sophie Lancaster – especially when she is used solely as his normal ‘isn’t is tragic… BUT’ device.

Hate crime exists, it needs to be recognised and treated as such. Ironically, hacks like Littlejohn who regularly flirt (being overly generous to him) with the language of hate crime and invoke ‘friends’ like ‘Black Mike’ actually make it more likely that other police forces follow suit.

And, of course, Littlejohn’s premise that it is now illegal to ‘hate’ things / people is completely stupid. He is evidence enough that hating people is very much legal – and indeed can be very rewarding when you hate professionally for a newspaper. I think what the police are trying to stop is when hate crime is directed at individuals in a threatening way or when people are physically assaulted, which I think most people agree is fair enough (indeed, arguing the opposite seems very anti-social – supporting my whole ‘buying the Daily Mail is an anti-social act’ idea).

Of course, Littlejohn could be offering up a genuine complaint, best summarised by paraphrasing Stewart Lee: ‘You can’t even write racist smears on people’s houses in feces anymore, it’s political correctness gone mad!’.


PS. If you like this blog post, spending a couple of seconds clicking the videos on the right ensures I get paid around 1/100,000,000 of what Richard Littlejohn earns for shitting out two columns a week. Thanking you kindly.

RightMinds

I imagine a lot of people over the years have often thought about what should be done with the Daily Mail’s collection of columnists – most of the suggestions are probably not fit to print, not least because you might end up having the lawyers set on you. The Daily Mail has seemingly had the same thought and has decided that their hard-working team of opinionated, fact-free trolls deserve their own special section on the Mail website – presumably so you can completely skip past any danger of encountering any reals news and instead head straight to the blustering bullshit contained within ‘RightMinds’.

‘RightMinds’. Does this mean that they are right about everything, or that they are all right-wing, or both? How long did it take to come up with this name, and what other names were discarded along the way I wonder?

Anyway, perhaps it was launched on a Tuesday because that is the first day of the week in which Richard Littlejohn shits out a column – which is definitely right-wing, but very rarely actually ‘right’ about anything – and his effort is given pride of place in the new section. It’s almost as if the Mail website is secretly wanting to inform you that although this is indeed a brand new section, it is full of the same tired old crap you used to get dotted around the main website.

Littlejohn celebrates his new online home by writing about someone recently deceased – who, of course, can’t sue him. The headline – it seems to me – starts off on dodgy ground: ‘Mark Duggan’s funeral evoked memories of old-school gangsters, but where’s the romance in stealing charity bags from doorsteps?’. This kind of sounds like Mark Duggan was guilty of stealing charity bags, when in fact what Littlejohn does in his column is basically mourn for the loss of ‘proper’ gangsters like the Kray twins, the great train robbers and people who pulled off bank jobs with sawn-off shotguns because they had skill and guts whereas the modern criminal nicks clothes being left on doorsteps for charities to collect. There is no suggestion at any point that Mark Duggan used to steal charity bags, but this doesn’t stop the Mail Online sub of using this troubling headline anyway.

Headline aside, yes Richard really is glorifying the Great train robbers and other armed criminals – even though he claims he isn’t (the classic ‘I’m not… but’):

You can tell a great deal about a nation from the quality of its crime. Britain used to boast some of the finest armed robbers in the world.

It took a lot more bottle to go across the cobbles with a sawn-off Purdey than it does to sell crack cocaine outside the school gates.

Hijacking Securicor vans demands more courage and meticulous planning than kicking in the front of Currys and legging it with a flat‑screen TV.

This isn’t in any way to attempt to justify the activities of the old‑school crooks. But there was undeniably more romance about blagging and bank raids.

The Great Train Robbery was like a military operation, carried out with immense precision and chutzpah. The robbers may have been violent criminals but they captured the imagination.

It says an awful lot about the Daily Mail’s constant need to romanticise the past that although they constantly bemoan crime, gangs and lenient judges one of their star columnists can happily glorify armed, violent criminal gangs just because they existed in this magical age before too many immigrants arrived in the UK and political correctness had been invented. Anyway, not content with wistfully harking back to the Kray twins (who do seem to have had an awful lot of mentions in Littlejohn’s columns down the years) Richard also finds time to mock modern London and the diversity-gone-mad organisers of the Olympic Games:

What do you do if you are approached by a man in a dress, asking the way to the toilets? Apart from burst out laughing, that is.

If you are a volunteer at next year’s Olympics, you are told: ‘Do not make an assumption about their gender unless directed by their name.

‘If you are asked, provide instructions to the male/female and accessible toilets.’

Try to ignore the bit where he suggests anyone seeing a man in a dress just has to ‘burst out laughing’ and focus on the answer that the leaflet suggests the volunteer provides. OK, got that? It’s not difficult: ‘Do not make an assumption about their gender unless directed by their name. If you are asked, provide instructions to the male/female and accessible toilets’. Littlejohn continues:

The obsession with ‘diversity’ even extends to the mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, which have been designed to be ‘gender-neutral’.

So what do you do if one of them asks the way to the toilet?

Jesus, Richard! You just read the leaflet. You just ‘provide instructions to the male/female and accessible toilets’ and let them decide which is appropriate. I think the new section should be rebranded to ‘ShiteMinds’ – at least that covers the content and the writers.

Littlejohn’s Research (part 1,079)

It’s been a while since New Labour were in power but Richard Littlejohn is still repeating the same tired old columns about them – indeed, his two columns this week feature the same details about Peter Mandelson buying a house – the second one another variation of his favourite ‘made-up-radio-show-phone-in’ sketch. I’ve now become just as boring and repetitive as Littlejohn simply because I have to keep pointing out the same old crap every time I read one of his columns.

I know he is a terrible writer, I know he is exceptionally lazy, I know he is staggeringly biased, I know he doesn’t care about his readers or his job, but even in spite of knowing all of these things I’m still flabbergasted that he is still getting paid such a huge sum when he is essentially sticking two fingers up to both his readers and his editor by repeating the same old tripe.

Anyway, ignoring the usual drivel – it is always amusing when a sub-editor has to introduce a Littlejohn column with ‘This week Littlejohn imagines…’ – he moves on to Gareth Durrant:

I read about electrician Gareth Durrant, who almost died from internal injuries sustained in a freak accident at the caravan factory where he works.

According to Mr Durrant’s version of events — and who am I to doubt him? — a high-pressure air hose apparently detached itself from its ceiling mounting, snaked its way up the leg of his shorts and ‘accidentally lodged itself’ in his bottom, pumping a 300lb-per-square-inch blast up his back passage.

Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

If he had read about the event in his own newspaper (or even just the headline) he would have realised that this does not appear to be an accident at all: ‘Electrician who had compressed air hose blasted up his backside ‘was victim of dangerous and foolish prank”. The article clearly states that:

An electrician who suffered serious internal injuries after a compressed air hose went up his backside was the victim of a ‘dangerous and foolish’ prank, Hull County Court heard today.

Gareth Durrant, 26, was working in a factory making static caravans when the air hose, carrying 300lbs per square inch, was allegedly blasted up his shorts and into his back passage by a colleague.

This article was posted on the Mail website yesterday. You know Littlejohn is really hitting rock bottom (excuse the pun) when he can’t even source his nonsense from his own newspaper correctly.

Littlejohn’s ‘Silly Season’

The standards expected of a Daily Mail columnist are so low that Richard Littlejohn can freely admit that he is an utterly lazy and repetitive writer – in fact he spends a substantial number of words just pointing this out. I can’t help but find it odd that Littlejohn’s readers don’t get just a little bit offended by his admission that he is basically pretty pleased to just feed them any old crap as long as he is paid. Perhaps this kind of attitude is inevitable when the editor of the Daily Mail is prepared to print anything that ensures the reading figures are high – irrespective of such journalistic trivialities as truth. Indeed, Paul Dacre said as much recently when he gave evidence to a joint parliamentary committee on the Draft Defamation Bill on 18 July:

thinking about some of the things that Mr Littlejohn writes in my paper, I do not know whether they are honest but they certainly get people talking.

So, Paul Dacre doesn’t care about truth as long as what is written sells newspapers (for which getting ‘people talking’ is a beautifully simple and insidious euphemism) and Richard Littlejohn only cares to write stuff that involves as little effort as possible.

Which brings us to his column today: ‘This time next year, Reinaldo, we’ll be billionaires’ [no istyosty.com, no link].

Yes, Littlejohn has wheeled out a favourite target of his: Peter Mandelson. His justification for doing so in any other industry would be an elaborate resignation letter, a confession that he was clearly not capable of performing the role for which he is so handsomely paid:

What was I saying recently about missing Peter Mandelson? His assorted scrapes, scambolis and scandals have provided a rich seam of material over the years.

Many have been the mornings I’ve sat here scratching my head and staring at a blank wordface, only for Mandelson to ride to the rescue.

When Labour was turfed out of office, my jubilation was tinged with just a little sadness over the fact that I wouldn’t have Mandy to kick around any more.

I needn’t have worried. As I tried desperately to avoid having to write about Libya, along came exciting news of Mandelson’s ambitious property portfolio.

Fairly standard stuff, he’s used this before loads of times -‘ where would my column be without repeating made-up stuff about ‘elf n safety” etc – but his next claim just about sums up his interest in anything other than taking the easiest route to his upper 6 – possibly 7 – figure salary:

he’s dug me out of a deep silly season hole today. And for small mercies, we must all be grateful. I should send him a house-warming card.

‘Silly season’? Nothing at all going on in the world apart from Peter Mandelson buying a house? So, he would do anything to avoid talking about Libya and he couldn’t find anything else worth writing about apart from Peter Mandelson buying a house? Even if we accept that the story picked by Littlejohn is the only thing going on in the world apart from Libya, all he does is speculate that Mandelson couldn’t possibly afford the mortgage on the house he has bought and therefore something dodgy must be going on. He could be right, but this is something that requires proper investigative journalism, not a quick 5 minute ramble from someone famously too lazy to use Google to perform even the most basic of fact-checking.

Littlejohn’s column today could have been cut down to: ‘I’m too lazy to write about Libya, but that Peter Mandelson, heh, he’s bought a house and I don’t reckon he can afford it’. And that’s it. That is what nearly 1 million pounds a year can buy you.