Liddle’s latest outrage shouldn’t surprise us

Alex Hern reminds everyone that Rod Liddle's never been the nicest journalist on the block - and that his latest outrageous comments are just par for the course


Rob Liddle has today published an extraordinary piece in The Sun, lashing out at the ‘pretend disabled’ – a category in which he apparently includes people with conditions like fibromyalgia, or M.E.

Political Scrapbook picked out some of the more shocking quotes from his article:

My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to become disabled. Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of a bad back or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E…

And being disabled is incredibly fashionable. The number of people who claim to be disabled has doubled in the past ten years…

It has become easier to claim those benefits, partly as a consequence of the disablement charities who, out of their own self-interest, insist that an ever-greater proportion of the population is disabled…

I think we should all pretend to be disabled for a month or so, claim benefits and hope this persuades the authorities to sort out the mess.

None of this should come as any surprise, of course. Veteran Liddle-watchers will be aware that he’s a veritable font of terrible opinions.

Liddle first hit our pages just a few months after this blog began.

Reporting on a campaign to prevent him becoming editor of The Independent, Will Straw collated some of his worst pieces, including:

• decrying “Muslim Savages”,

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

• denying the evidence for Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, and

• 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.”

• Writing, in response to Islam4UK: “F*** off back to where you’re from, then, you Muslims”

The Spectator was rebuked in March 2010 for Liddle’s ‘goat curry’ rant, when the PCC censured them, saying:

However, the magazine had not been able to demonstrate that the “overwhelming majority” of crime in all of the stated categories had been carried out by members of the African-Caribbean community. It was difficult to argue that the sentence in question represented purely the columnist’s opinion, which might be challenged.

Instead, it was a statement of fact. As such, the Commission believed that the onus was on the magazine to ensure that it was corrected authoritatively online. It could not rely merely on the carrying of critical reaction to the piece. The Commission upheld the complaint under Clause 1 of the Code.

Last November, Liddle was even referred to the Attorney General for possible contempt of court for writing a piece expressing sympathy with the murderers of Stephen Lawrence.

Rod Liddle is a nasty piece of work, peddling his equal-opportunities bigotry (he’ll be offensive to everyone – provided they’re different to him) to all-comers. This latest column is indeed horrible, but it’s anything but surprising.

See also:

Liddle won’t be Independent editorWill Straw, February 19th 2010

Liddle’s BNP friendsWill Straw, February 5th 2010

Where you won’t read all about it…Sunder Katwala, January 23rd 2010

Do Rod Liddle’s human rights trump yours?Will Straw, January 17th 2010

Stop Rod LiddleWill Straw, January 10th 2010

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44 Responses to “Liddle’s latest outrage shouldn’t surprise us”

  1. Anonymous

    The number of people who claim to be disabled has doubled in the past ten years…


    Factually correct.

    So what’s the explanation.

    1. Lots of benefits.
    2. NHS is crippling people.
    3. Unemployment is being hidden as ‘disabled’.

    Come on, address the factual issues.

    Why are we paying billions for people who aren’t disabled?

  2. Omnishambles

    LordBlagger it’s mostly demographics.

    As the population ages so does the number of disabled. With advances in medical technology many people who would of died – from premature babies to car crash victims – live, but often in a state of disability.

  3. Vicky Unsworth

    what a twat, a fashionable illness; after having me for most of my life and being in constant pain and exhausted after doing the simplest thing. he should limp a mile in my shoes and see how life really is when you have me

  4. Selohesra

    A few silly things probably said to be provocative – but then to lump them in with his scepticism about the AGW racket rather undermines your case as I start to have some sympathy for him

  5. Simon Landau

    Rod Liddle is eight years younger than me. He probably has had a bad back for some years and thinks ‘I can work through it – why can’t others ?’ Well I have had a bad back for over thirty years and never had a day off work for it. I even took three weeks as holiday to have a microdiscectomy op. twelve years ago (that cured pain that I had every day for two years). In the last three years I have had episodes that have lasted 3, 4 and 5 months respectively. My doctor is discussing with me whether I will need to face up to the prospect of this being a condition that will immobilise me for six months of the year from now on for the rest of my life with increasing doses of morphine to make the pain tolerable. Is that disability ? I don’t know but may be Rod Liddle needs to go through the process I am going through to answer the question. He has clearly recognised that he has no empathy with others and that his journalistic career is distinguished by that lack of empathy – experience is all. If he is serious about it I am sure we can meet his wishes

  6. Newsbot9

    You’re not, of course. Your crusade to cripple the country with higher fees for institutionalised care (DLA saves billions) continues, however.

  7. Newsbot9

    Of course. Because science cannot be right.

    So, you hate disabled people because science is wrong now? Neat-o.

  8. Zarathustra


    1. An ageing population

    2. Improvements in medical technology meaning people surviving conditions that would previously have killed them, but still needing ongoing support.

    3. Steady stream of soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with missing limbs.

    Admittedly these suggestions are off the top of my head and unsourced, but then Liddle’s claim that the number of disabled people has doubled in ten years is also unsourced.

  9. Bev Rawsthorn

    This is a crime why has he not being arrested? It’s discrimination, it’s derogatory, it’s unacceptable.

  10. Anonymous

    Not the case.

    Even in the past compared to now, the percentage of time someone is disabled bar a few exceptions hasn’t increased to that extent.

    It’s simple. It is government fraud hiding the unemployment figures, and the government being over generous with other people’s money.

  11. Anonymous

    Not my plan.

    Unlike yours. 225,000 of debt to be paid.

    How are you going to pay your fair share?

    Are you going to pay other people’s fair share too?

    Thought not.

    Mind you, you’re not going to get your civil service pension. That’s going to go. The next generation won’t pay it, because they want some services for their taxes, not for you to live the life of riley.

  12. Gemma Hodgkiss

    i think your a complete retard ! you try live a week with ME and fibromalgia !!!!

  13. Welfare Advocate

    Liddle’s latest outrage shouldn’t surprise us.

  14. joanne hayes

    Liddle’s latest outrage shouldn’t surprise us.

  15. Anthony Adshead

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  16. kerry thomas I'd be more than happy to help him keep his resolution – weasel !

  17. faye

    i suffer from fibromyalgia since 2009,i went form being outgoing fun,hard working,devoted wife and a full of energy mum to 3 young children,i would think nothing of taking the children 3 under 3years out for long walks for miles to thebeach,i worked 12 hour shifts would cook all homecooked meal,cakes the lots.then in 2009 i woke up with a sore knee nothing to bad,the pain started to go to my hip,and i walked with a limp,and would fall over,i got very tired,pin and needles twinging all over,spasms that were so painful and felt like i was hung over..i 4got my words and would talk back tofront, i had more tests and brain scans,n lumber in my spine..i would do oddthings like put thewashing down the bog,n put the tea towel in the oven with it on,and dropped hot pans and would burn myself 2 years later i am worse and have been diagnosed with you think im putting this on.. your welcum to have my life now, i would give anything to be myself and live my life again..mypoor children see me sick every day i no longer can walk miles with them am i can no longer cook for them…why would any one make this only 36 yet i mostly feel 86.for disability money…thats a joke!!! i do not claim benefits husband work full time and i now have a part time carer.i hope this ignorant man rot in hell for saying illness is so hard for ppl to understand and writing this for all to see adds to ppl thinking that fibro n m.e is made up!!! ohh n i am not depressed,for i have a wonderful husband 3 gorg kids and supportive friends!!

  18. Dr Speedy

    Is Rod Liddle just pretending to be a wanker to get published or is he actually a wanker? Discuss. #mecfs

  19. Chris Evans

    Is Rod Liddle just pretending to be a wanker to get published or is he actually a wanker? Discuss. #mecfs

  20. Faith Clarke

    Is Rod Liddle just pretending to be a wanker to get published or is he actually a wanker? Discuss. #mecfs

  21. Malcolm Evison

    Is Rod Liddle just pretending to be a wanker to get published or is he actually a wanker? Discuss. #mecfs

  22. Ed's Talking Balls

    A crime? That’s one seriously frightening society you propose.

  23. Ed's Talking Balls

    That’s the quote I was drawn towards too.

    Assuming it’s factually correct, I’d like to hear a (plausible) explanation. I don’t think a rise in average life expectancy and breakthroughs in medical science account for such a sharp rise.

  24. Anonymous

    Eds Talking Bullshit,

    I gather that it should be no surprise to anyone who visits this blog that you, as an obnoxious, shallow minded right wing bigot and troll, would object to anyone chastises those who publish degrading, false and intentionally discriminatory ravings.

    You and Liddle share a disability of the mind, which is the only thing which is seriously frightening

    Go back to perfecting your goose step!

  25. Anonymous

    Quite. Life expectancy is going up at around 1 year in 8-10. It been this way since 1830, bar two obvious blips.

    The plausible explanation is that governments have hidden the unemployed for political reasons labeling them as disabled.

    This illustrates on of the problems

    Local providers suggest that long-term Incapacity Benefit claimants are
    likely to take a minimum of 18 months to 3 years to get into sustainable
     Incapacity Benefit dependency can only be reduced through integrated
    service support first. Work related activity is only successful when delivered
    in conjunction with service support.
     There is a chance for local service providers to subcontract through the
    Single Work Programme to offer parallel service support or integrated
    employment support.
     This kind of intensive support typically costs a minimum of £12-14,000, per
    resident, which is still a saving over the medium term

    More money gets spent with the ‘poverty industry’ giving them employment, golden pensions etc, than on the disabled.

    Shows the priorities.

  26. that'd be me

    Is it me Or is #robliddle simply a twat ? hes at the #disability #hatecrime speak again #wrb #spartacusreport

  27. Mr. Sensible


  28. Ed's Talking Balls

    Do the ageing population and breakthroughs in medical science really account for a doubling of the figure? I’m sceptical.

  29. Ed's Talking Balls

    Careful, or you’ll be arrested for that type of comment.

    ‘Oh, miss, he disagrees with me! That makes him a bigot! Arrest him and, preferably, execute him without trial!’

    Perhaps it is you who should brush up on your goose step? Although I suspect it’s pretty well honed as it is.

  30. Karen Mattis

    Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us: With advances in medical technology many people who would of died…

  31. Richard Exell

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  32. Barbara Hulme

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  33. Kyron Hodgetts

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  34. sean bastable

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  35. ScottishCFAFS

    Objectionable man with spiteful opinions!! #wrb #spartacusreport

  36. 2wolves

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  37. Janet Graham

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  38. Aaron TEEJAY Trevena

    Is Rod Liddle just pretending to be a wanker to get published or is he actually a wanker? Discuss. #mecfs

  39. Lesley Sharkey

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  40. Look Left – The hate-filled Right hone in on their next target: Disabled people | Left Foot Forward

    […] Alex Hern wrote yesterday: “Rod Liddle is a nasty piece of work, peddling his equal-opportunities bigotry […]

  41. liane gomersall

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  42. Andy Bean

    Yup, contrary to its spelling, 'Liddle' is pronounced 'wan-ker' >>> Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us

  43. Ell Aitch

    Liddle's latest outrage shouldn't surprise us, writes @alexhern:

  44. Selohesra

    Keep taking the tablets Leon

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