Do Rod Liddle’s human rights trump yours?

Catherine Bennett defends Rod Liddle. Since when did his freedom of speech trump mine or any of the other 3,900 members of the facebook group?

Catherine Bennett has a ridiculous piece in today’s Observer where she defends her pal, Rod Liddle’s inalienable human right to be editor of the Independent.

Bennett says:

Last week, it was the turn of my former G2 colleague, the columnist Rod ­Liddle, following reports that he has been lined up to edit the Independent in the event of its being bought by Alexander Lebedev … A petition against his appointment has at least 3,000 signatures. Having much enjoyed the hospitality of Mr and Mrs Liddle, I’m in no position to pronounce on what he may offer the Independent, but I can only wonder at the conviction among his online critics that the Liddle worldview is so much less acceptable than those of other editors, actual or potential …

This unfortunate consequence of free speech has inspired a host of worthies, including Diane Abbott, Sunny Hundal and Will Straw, to proclaim the importance of columnist-containment. In “Left Foot Forward”, his “political blog for progressives”, Master Straw boldly misrepresents one of the miscreant’s pieces, in order to attract new signatories to the “stop Liddle” campaign and thus protect our wives and servants.

I’m sorry, but when did Rod Liddle’s freedom of speech trump mine, Sunny’s, Diane Abott’s or any of the other 3,900 members of the facebook group?

And which of Liddle’s articles did I “boldly misrepresent”? Was it any of his opinions that Left Foot Forward highlighted last Sunday:

– decrying “Muslim Savages

– mocking the black British community for merely producing “rap music” and “goat curry

– denying the evidence for Anthropogenic Global Warming theory

– a series of sexist articles and views including “So – Harriet Harman, then. Would you? I mean after a few beers obviously, not while you were sober.”

Or perhaps it was his latest outburst which highlighted on Monday: “F*** off back to where you’re from, then, you Muslims.” Or maybe the alleged racist messages on a football website.

And let me answer Bennett (no patronising honorific required) since she asks this about our views on Islam4UK:

“Perhaps, once this more pressing threat has receded, Straw Junior will take time to reconsider the gagging of Islam4UK.”

On January 6th, Shamik Das set out a detailed post about the legality of banning Islam4UK and outlined clearly that more evidence was needed. Shami Chakrabarti of the human rights group Liberty told the BBC that proscription should be limited to groups involved in terrorist activity and evidence of Islam4UK’s terrorist involvement has not been presented.

Since it appears we offended Bennett, I’ll leave the final word to her:

“the privilege of free expression carries with it a grave responsibility: not to say anything people might not like.”

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