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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30 Responses to “Do Rod Liddle’s human rights trump yours?”

  1. Lucy Openshaw

    RT @shamikdas Catherine Bennett talks
    a lot of crap doesn't she? Here's @wdjstraw's response:- http://bit.ly/6UoiXm

  2. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by leftfootfwd: Do Rod Liddle’s human rights trump yours? A response to the Observer’s Catherine Bennett. http://bit.ly/6UoiXm

  3. Stuart Paterson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Rod Liddle's human rights trump yours? A response to the Observer's Catherine Bennett. http://bit.ly/6UoiXm (via @Glinner)

  4. Stink Biscuit

    A good point, well made. I find it a bit depressing how easy it is for friends of media figures like Liddle to find space to publicly defend him.

  5. Pedram Mehrshahi

    RT @Glinner: RT @leftfootfwd: Do Rod Liddle's human rights trump yours? A response to the Observer's Catherine Bennett. http://bit.ly/6UoiXm

  6. Anon E Mouse

    Stink Biscuit – In a free society why shouldn’t they defend him?

  7. paulstpancras

    Do Rod Liddle's human rights trump yours? | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/4xpsgP (via @twttimes) Straw 4 Bennet -1 (og) #liddle #fb

  8. Tom Miller

    What has freedom of speech got to do with whether someone should make particular arguments?

    One might as well say ‘We live in a free society: why shouldn’t we say that 2+2=5?’.

    The answer is pretty simple. It’s incorrect. So is attempting to defend Rod Liddle, who is clearly somewhat outside of the realms of actual logic himself.

  9. yournewwealthmaker

    Do Rod Liddle's human rights trump yours? | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/6wONG7

  10. John Warrender

    RT @Glinner: RT @leftfootfwd: Do Rod Liddle's human rights trump yours? A response to the Observer's Catherine Bennett. http://bit.ly/6UoiXm

  11. David Galea

    The smear campaign against Boris Johnson’s mayoral campaign failed. This campaign appears to be very similar, notably the random selection of quotes picked to enrage progressively minded folk, controversial in themselves yet of little interest to everyone else.

    The left’s anti-Kaminski smears were more successful because Kaminski hasn’t appeared on Have I Got News For You.

    What about Liddle? He has a history of being involved with socialism and the Labour party. What do you think of that? Why did he reject a big chunk of progressive philosophy? You think it’s some fault inside him or do you think he was paying attention and realised what was going on and called a spade a spade?

    I’m not in particular a fan of the Clarkson-lite shock jock approach, but you progressives need to realise that reality is making a comeback. Objectivity is going to crush progressivism to pieces. Tell that to your friends at the student union.

  12. Bill Atkinson

    Non-sequitur alert, Will Straw responding to (admittedly not great) Catherine Bennett article on Rod Little in Observer http://bit.ly/6UoiXm

  13. Martin Johnston

    RT @Glinner: RT @leftfootfwd: Do Rod Liddle's human rights trump yours? A response to the Observer's Catherine Bennett. http://bit.ly/6UoiXm

  14. CJ

    One might as well say ‘We live in a free society: why shouldn’t we say that 2+2=5?’

    Tom: We live in a free society, so yes, we can say 2+2=5 all we want. However, we are taught that this is incorrect, by our parents, our peers, our education system. If you stood up and said 2+2=5, you would be immediately told by a vast majority that you are wrong, 2+2=4.
    Good analogy for a democracy.

  15. Freedom Of Speech, Not Freedom From Criticism « Stuff And Nonsense

    […] Sarah Ditum, Enemies of Reason, Left foot forward. […]

  16. Sunny H

    As one of the people names in CB’s hilariously crap article, I wonder what she thinks now given her pal is exposed as having written some deeply nasty comments online. Perhaps we’re the real fascists for finding them disgusting!

  17. Mister Jabberwock

    It may be patronising but since when has “Master” been a pronoun?

  18. Sam

    “I’m not in particular a fan of the Clarkson-lite shock jock approach, but you progressives need to realise that reality is making a comeback. Objectivity is going to crush progressivism to pieces. Tell that to your friends at the student union.”

    Yes, in other words “I won’t explain why or say what about but you’re totally wrong. I rest my case.” Yeah well argued there. Powerful logic.

  19. Anon E Mouse

    Reading his article yesterday in The Times I hadn’t realised how far to the left he was/is.

    We all know of his Labour Party bias when he worked at Today but I hadn’t realised he was a fully paid up member of Socialist Worker and sold their papers every weekend.

    I’ve gone off him now.

  20. David Galea

    Progressives won the argument about abolishing the grammar schools. They kicked away the ladder that most intelligent poor kids used to gain a rigorous education. They were wrong to do that, as the reality of Labour trying to force badly educated comprehensive fodder into the professions shows. Won’t the progressives admit that they were wrong, fix the schools, and leave the professions alone? No, so reality is going to have to smash your philosophy to tiny little pieces.

  21. THE WELSHMAN

    GO FOR IT ROD, YOU TELL IT AS IT IS.

  22. Ron Broxted

    Liddle delenda est?

  23. Tim Collard

    Rod Liddle is the funniest man in the national press. At least if you find the amusement value of a joke greatly enhanced by the thought of all the prissy people it will offend (and I do). He is the nearest thing we have to an Auberon Waugh. I love the idea of his editing the Independent, as it is currently an unbearably humourless PC paper. The thought of the arses of Robert Fisk, Joan Smith and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown disappearing promptly out of the window is too gorgeous to contemplate. The only trouble is that he won’t be able to do as many columns (his two Sunday Times ones are regular belly-laughs; and he may have to rein himself in a bit, which would be a huge shame.

  24. sunny hundal

    Wonder if Catherine Bennett/ Observer still thinks Rod Liddle as Indy editor was a good idea (ran campaign to stop him) http://t.co/hYVIXUOK

  25. Feral Mustard

    Wonder if Catherine Bennett/ Observer still thinks Rod Liddle as Indy editor was a good idea (ran campaign to stop him) http://t.co/hYVIXUOK

  26. Paul Burgin

    Wonder if Catherine Bennett/ Observer still thinks Rod Liddle as Indy editor was a good idea (ran campaign to stop him) http://t.co/hYVIXUOK

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