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Rod Liddle is right about the faux Left

27 June 2014

I deserted my children for my own personal happiness: it is as simple as that, regardless if I sometimes reassure myself with caveats, with a rationale which I have constructed for myself out of cardboard or tinplate over the years.’

So writes Rod Liddle in his brutally honest memoir-cum-polemic Selfish Whining Monkeys, which got a huge boost last Friday thanks to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s rational and entirely sane attack on him on Channel 4 (see above).

I admit to being a fan of Rod. Like James Delingpole, I think of him as something of a  national treasure, although only in a sort of alternative reality — possibly a quite nightmarish one — in which the country’s culture was led by people like James and I, rather than the types who Rod likes to take the piss out of; the well-connected London soft-nice-Left who end up on every board and in every committee, dominating the BBC, the judiciary, the arts, the universities — your Chris Pattens, your Shami Chakrabartis, etc. That’s probably the main reason I like him; he pokes fun at people who are in power now, not people who were in power 30 or 40 years ago, as so much contemporary comedy does.

Along the way he manages to offend a few people, and even attracts charges of sexism or racism, although I’m not sure how meaningful those words are anyway; that’s what Will Self accused him of in his Guardian review of the book, saying that Rod was too sympathetic towards the xenophobia of his mum and her generation. Yet what Rod actually says is that his generation’s attitude to foreigners is better than his parents’, but that:

‘…about everything else, they were right. And I, and my generation, seem by contrast feckless and irresponsible, endlessly selfish, whining, avaricious, self-deluding, self-obsessed, spoiled and corrupt and ill. We are the generation that has spent the small but hard-earned inheritance we got from our hard-working parents (mine went on that most irresponsible and selfish of all of our new expensive freedoms, divorce lawyers).’

But I suppose if Rod’s book got a good review in the Guardian there would have to be some sort of rip in the space-time continuum; although highly critical of the greed of Thatcherism, and the madness of runaway house prices, and privatisation, he’s most scathing of the moral absolutists he calls the faux Left.

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One of the characteristics of this group is a refusal to see that everything in life is a trade-off. You can be critical of the racism of a previous generation, while seeing that clearly immigration has come at some expense to social solidarity and made lots of people very unhappy. Likewise Rod is in favour of the greater freedom women now have — he recalls his father’s anger after the bank called him at work to ask whether it was okay for Rod’s mum to withdraw money from their joint savings — but he thinks it’s surely reasonable to point out that this has come with costs, to the integrity of families for instance. But to people of a certain political stripe to even suggest that there may be a downside to greater sexual freedom or diversity is to admit to being some sort of pervert.

He’s especially scournful of the nice, metropolitan, middle-class types whose leftist principles never involve any personal sacrifice; it’s all just status signalling and easy moralising that presents the opinion-holder as being high grade and kind. Compare the way liberal men adopt progressive views that personally benefit them, such as cheap immigrant labour or women’s sexual freedom, yet haven’t the slightest sympathy for things that are actually an inconvenience — for example, transport workers who go on strike for better conditions.

Perhaps one of the worst aspects of the rise of the faux Left is that it has allowed mostly privileged people to consolidate power, just as Michael Young predicted, while losing their sense of gratitude and noblesse oblige. Our institutions are stuffed full of privately-educated people who pay lip service to the idea of opening up the system to women, minorities and the poor, but it’s never at the expense of them or their kids. Having the right opinions is just another way of denoting group membership, along with the place in the south of France and the Oxbridge degree.

Rod comes from Old Labour stock, his dad from a very respectable working-class family with a devotion to the chapel, Labour Party and teetotalism. He argues that the Left has embraced the same sort of selfishness as the Right, but just in a more lawyerish way that rejects morally demanding concepts of right and wrong (and, as I learned, we have 88,000 more lawyers now than we did in 1988). At the heart of all this, he argues, is religion, or its absence, this God-sized hole having sucked the moral core from the British Left as much as it has the rest of society.

Filled with his trademark dry and self-hating wit, I would recommend even Rod-sceptics read his book; although sometimes called a contrarian, all his arguments are reasoned and reasonable and it’s not your standard country-gone-to-the-dogs polemic. Far from being nostalgic, the society he describes us leaving behind sounds depressing and cruel at times, although filled with a certain Viz-like British humour.

I particularly liked the story where he describes a fight with a kid called Gary ‘a big, gangling, cheerful kid, if a bit thick – I suppose the sort of person who might now be a presenter on BBC Three. His dad came out to see what the fuss was about, and to his eternal credit shepherded the two of us into their backyard to slug it out properly, while he watched and occasionally commented with admirable neutrality.’ I don’t think that would happen nowadays.

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Show comments
  • Yolo Swagz

    I absolutely hate the faux-left. Here on the other side of the pond, they are having a field-day with Obama. It is a real racket. For us who are concerned with the living conditions of the working class, each step forward we take in raising class consciousness among Americans is set back tenfold by this careerist, self-indulgent layer.

  • StephanieJCW

    “but he thinks it’s surely reasonable to point out that this has come with costs, to the integrity of families for instance.”

    Has it though? I mean surely what is being question is the actual evidence supporting this “cause and effect” approach? Why would greater freedom for women result in costs to family integrity? Or rather, can you prove that is the case?

  • GeeBee36_6

    ‘ in which the country’s culture was led by people like James and I’

    Basic journalism: get the English at least tolerably right. The rule (for those who still cannot differentiate between subjective and objective cases) is ‘if in doubt, leave the other out’. That would give us ‘ in which the country’s culture was led by people like I’.

    Another reason to cancel my Spectator subscription (I’m sorry, but it is just too painful to read this kind of thing).

  • Richard

    It is official: the White working-class are not fully human. See the report by Lambeth Council/Goldsmiths College for details of the grunting classes.Or see Parliament’ s report on the under-achievement of kids on free school meals. Look up the mad prof quoted in the intro who believes that it is ‘hugely dangerous’ to pay any attention to the untermensch.

  • Liz

    I’m afraid I can’t take the opinions on feminism or the integrity of the family from a man with a caution for assaulting his pregnant wife, who calls women harpies and harridans and bints, who argues that teenage girls quite enjoy being molested by aged media men, who thinks women’s sport isn’t as worthy as the male kind, that the s*x bias in children’s literature reflects the reality than boys do more, and that the answer to sexual violence is for women is a slap and/or have fewer human rights and civil rights than men, seriously. This is not a man or an intellect to take seriously.

    • girondas2

      “This is not a man or an intellect to take seriously.”

      You should ignore him if you feel that way.

  • Tahitiholiday

    One of the characteristics of this group is a refusal to see that everything in life is a trade-off.

    Bingo! Queen’s ‘I want it all and I want it now’ might as well be their anthem.

    They run on feelings as if feelings were funny gas. It’s feelings that allow them to throw everything under the bus for the sake of equality — preferably an enforced equality without any ‘nuance’ (why people with no nuance are so in love with the idea beats me). It’s feelings that allow them to insist on sexual liberty while trampling every other freedom underfoot. It’s feelings that make them say, like Obama, ‘no one should have to [fill in the blank]’, as if human pronouncements like that are some sort of law of the universe. It’s feelings that make them capable of treating mere assertions as actual evidence. And I hate sounding as though I’m somehow against feelings, since reason without feeling is a rudderless, cold, and potentially dangerous thing.

  • Snipkokken Balsov

    I recently overheard a conversation whilst travelling by train into London, (it was hard not to, the three well dressed, well spoken conversationalists had very loud voices).

    They were bemoaning the fact that in a particular London school catchment area that they were in some way concerned with, the local white parents were trying to find places for their children in a predominantly white primary school.

    The three were upset and disappointed that the white parents were not embracing diversity and sending their children to schools with a majority of non-white pupils, as they should.

    Two of the multiculturalists boarded the train at Totnes and the other one at Tiverton Parkway.

    I’m sure that all three have fully embraced the diversity on offer in those two towns and ensured that their offspring attend one of the many local white minority schools.

    This being unboubtedly so, they obviously have every right to impugn the motives of the parents refusing the embrace of diversity.

  • sarahsmith232

    Great writing Ed West. Agree completely. So frustrating that the likes of Vince Cable can spend so many decades of their lives minus any idea of just how self-serving, selfish, egotistical, inconsiderate and a product of insular Leftist ideological inbreeding they are. He sees himself as unequivocally pro immigrant, that is unless they’re rich ones, then he’s very first in line demanding government intervene so ‘all these foreigners’ are blocked entry.
    He’s only surrounded by his own, can’t access alternative views via the media, so is left to wallow in his little ego driven world view. He can’t see that his views on immigration are only the product of a self-serving ego. When ‘all these foreigners’ are of personal benefit to him, he’s pro. The moment his foreigners become a force which is damaging to himself and all that he considers valuable and important, he’s anti. I would really love to hear Cable explain the reasons why he believes this sets him apart from any other self-serving human being with a view on immigration. ‘Course, I know his excuse – ’cause i’m a member of a far higher moral order, I’m of the Left, the Lib Dem Left even, my views on immigration are very different because other people are racists, fascists even, and i’m really not, so this, absolutely, proves it’. The Left really have become so insular and ignorant that this is what passes for logic and reason in their world now.
    Abbott, another great e.g of this, when WHEN WHEN WHEN is she going to get tackled on her stuck in the 80s, black power, hypocrisy on immigration? She was railing against white, middle-class, Western European immigration in the 90s. She was riled up about ‘blonde, blue-eyed’ Finnish nurses (really, quite the wrong sort of immigrant!) taking jobs she believed should have gone to black Caribbean’s. Again, pro when it’s of personal benefit to her and her own, foaming at the gills the moment it isn’t.
    They live in a really very tiny little London world, one which replicates itself via the London media, so can spend decades believing their views are evidence of a higher moral order, no one ever challenges them. Whole thing is so frustrating. It’s the reason why so many are turning to Ukip. They’re the only out route.

  • Damaris Tighe

    If you truly want to understand the pain of the indigenous working class in the face of mass immigration I suggest you buy a copy of David Abbott’s ‘Dark Albion’. I have to admit that I find some of Abbott’s language hard to take, but the book has helped me appreciate how ‘left behind’ people like him feel. It gives a voice to those betrayed & abandoned by Labour.

  • Alison

    I wrote this in February after a political row with an old school ‘friend’. She rather reminds me of the news reader, school ma’am, harridan conducting this interview.

    You wear your points of view,
    As you used to wear
    Your Lady Di hairdo.
    They aren’t much to do with you,
    Just a sort of camouflage.
    I suspect you’d give them up
    In friendly badinage
    With handsome men,
    But wearing vaguely left ideas
    On your sleeve,
    Allows you to believe
    You are the right sort,
    Empowers you to snort
    And toss your mane,
    Whinnie your disdain,
    At anyone who
    Thinks you
    Should think them through.

  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    People like me know that “people like James and I” is illiterate.

  • The Masked Marvel

    A kind of Left-wing Taki, Liddle has no moral ground on which to stand while he lectures the rest of us. One hopes he’s at least somewhat conflicted about getting so much support from right wingers because they like what they see as his anti-immigration stance and not because they agree with him on much else.

    About the only thing Rod Liddle is truly useful for these days is as a character witness against the BBC’s ideological bias.

    • Donafugata

      I couldn’t agree less.

      Like many of us from a working class, leftish background, Rod now appears to have acquired the wisdom of experience which makes one more pragmatic and right wing. Seeing the consequences of unfettered immigration and wishing to close the door is not racist but common sense.

      The problem I have with left wing hypocrites like YAB is that they seem to think that their idiotic idealism is in some way morally superior. They cannot, therefore be wrong about anything which accounts for their utter intolerance of all who hold a different opinion to their own.

      • The Masked Marvel

        There is a difference between Rod’s sensible concerns about rapid, mass immigration from third-world countries and the desire stated so often in the comments here to start shipping tens of thousands out and shut the door entirely. Rod knows this but is presumably quite happy to trouser the cash coming from those who take the latter view.

        As for being morally superior, Rod may play the humble, reasonable type when on the air (I think he calls it “using my middle class voice”), but he often acts morally superior when in polemicist mode. In fact, he’s taking a morally superior position in his attacks on the “faux Left”. He’s the true Leftie, superior to the metropolitan elite, etc.

        • Wessex Man

          Oh dear.

        • MikeF

          Classic leftist tactic – ascribe your own motivations to your opponents.

          • The Masked Marvel

            Only I’m not a leftist. Try again.

    • GraveDave

      I think Ed h already preemptied your opening argument .And what’s an ‘anti immigration stance’ anyway? To some it’s not wanting any foreigners here at all and bringing Britain back to being ‘white’ i.e. BNP type anti immigration.
      To others it’s just about keeping it all to a common sense level. I’m of the latter. Even though some of the sweetest people I know are foreigners.

    • sarahsmith232

      If you believe there’s evidence that BBC Left-wing bias is bogus then I’m afraid you’re probably halfway to brain dead. (BTW – I presume I would also need to point out – Benefits St wasn’t actually real).

      • sarahsmith232

        Just re-read your post, yep, that’s not what you wrote,

      • The Masked Marvel

        The Progressive, left-wing bias at the BBC is institutional. It comes from the top as well as from the bottom. As Guido Fawkes might say, they’re all at it.

  • artemis in france

    Rod has achieved middle-age and wisdom, something not all of us, but many do. He speaks for a huge percentage of over 50s because hé talks plain old common sense and has a very good nose for a phoney. People of my age like reading him because hé so often articulates what we would like to be able to express but don’t have the talent to do so. He’s also sometimes very funny. And the Today programme used to be very good when hé was editor.

  • HenryWood

    After reading the Kindle sample on the Amazon site I’ve just purchased a Kindle copy. The few quid saved will go towards my next week’s drinks bill.

    • Donafugata

      You seem to have your priorities right, Henry, good for you.

  • Moputabee

    Good read – the book!

    Enjoyed the article.

  • Jez

    The things is Ed, we are (the white working class) being lined up for destruction.

    Very strong language and a sweeping statement i know but it is true, as an opinion only.

    We are surplus to requirement now. The Big-Whigs can get what they need from the new people.

    This; ‘We were all racist scum’ type slander, in the 70’s and 80’s?

    We wasn’t. My Mum and Dad weren’t. My Grand Parents weren’t.

    I think if they could see their children’s children being only accepted if they denounce everything that makes them what they are though, then they certainly may have focused a little more on what the future held.

    We are being replaced. And we must celebrate it.

  • Mike Oddpiece

    Reading the book now. Really good stuff.

    • HenryWood

      Just downloaded from Amazon, bargain Kindle price for hard up pensioners like me.

      • girondas2

        Ok Ok. I’ll buy a copy.

  • dado_trunking

    No no no.
    England are out and we have had to put up with a daily World Cup diary only every two days now. Today is that day. Where is it?
    Will you discuss Ghana as I hinted at some time ago now or have the two (not one, two) players sent home on the eve of any chance of progression not liddled your US-biased mind?

    • HookesLaw

      If you cannot wrire anything remotely coherent then don’t borther writing anything at all.

      • dado_trunking


        • HookesLaw

          Thats an improvement

          • dado_trunking

            The sponsors (increased sales) and FIFA (market expansion) demanded US progression at all cost, even if they lost?

            • Wessex Man

              oh double dear Hooky babe debating with dado- dumbo about nonsense NURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Greenslime

    Liddle says it how he sees it. People are entitled to disagree. But it is good that he is there to test these trendy, heh hem, progressives. It is good that he makes them uncomfortable and angry in their, often faux, outrage.

    The world would be a sadder place without his usually amusing and almost always well targeted sniping at this smug group. They are (more often than not) rich and cosseted and rarely get closer to the situations that they feel so strongly about than reading an article in the Grauniad. All this and, as this blog points out, “whose leftist principles never involve any personal sacrifice”.

    • HookesLaw

      There have always been well off lefty people. Its not new. They started the Guardian. It was a paper which had some meaning when it was The Manchester Guardian.

      • Wessex Man

        oh do shut up.

      • Kitty MLB

        The well off Labour supporting Leftie people are
        the biggest hypocrites of all. They love the benefits
        of living a nice middle class life and always lambasting comfortable Conservatves.Yet they, like
        their party have moved as far away from traditional
        working class then they possibly can.

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      You ought to say ‘people SHOULD be free to disagree.

      That is only true when the labels homophobe Xenophobe racist etc are not employed to stifle debate.

      does not Alibi say she loathes Liddle.?

      There’s tolerance for you !

      • HookesLaw

        How is it intolerant to loath people. I loath Gordon Brown – with good reason, he ruined our country.
        And if people were less xenophobic and racist they would not run the risk of being called xenophobes and racists.

        • sarah_13

          It isn’t. But Ms Alabhai-Brown won’t allow Rod the same privilege. She and her colleagues can loath Rod and Ukip but according to her, the arbiter of acceptable loathing, Ukip must not be allowed airtime. It is I think the hypocrisy that is the problem.

          • Flintshire Ian

            Do you think that there is any chance that Uganda would be willing to have her back if we asked nicely?

          • MikeF

            But most hypocrites recognise themselves as such even if they won’t admit it. The modern left don’t – they regard themselves as the practical embodiments of impeccable absolute principle, so they believe anything they say or do, including attempting to coerce compliance with their worldview, is justifiable. Hypocrisy for them is anyone else not practising what they preach.

            • sarah_13

              Quite. She is free to loath and hate who she likes. But others must be allowed to say what they like also . She said with a straight face on the documentary about Nigel Farage that Ukip should not be allowed air time. I am not a ukip supporter but this betrays her true illiberal nature and of course her hypocrisy.

          • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

            In the context of this debate Alibhai’s loathing shades into intolerance because it naturally follows that such loathsome views will not be err err err tolerated.

            You recognise this problem yourself.

          • Kitty MLB

            They loath more then him and them, they
            loath the people of this country.The land of
            milk and honey….they eat all our honey
            and throw the milk in the faces of those
            who offered them shelter from whatever
            God forsaken place they came from.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I doubt you would know what xenophobia was if it jumped up and punched you in the throat.

          You think French and Polish resisters were xenophobic towards the Germans? You think when the Spitfires and Hurricanes rose above Kent to confront the Luftwaffe their pilots were being xenophobic?

          You think the desire to self identify as English, to have an English government that self-determines the state and destiny of England is xenophobic? To defend that identity and wish to preserve it is xenophobic? Would you say the Black Police Officers Association is xenophobic or racist towards whites?

          Not everyone buys into trans-nationalism and post-nation global corporatism. That doesn’t make them xenophobic.

          • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

            quote ‘You (HookesLaw) think the desire to self identify as English, to have an English
            government that self-determines the state and destiny of England is

            This is the crux of the matter Colonel.

            No hatred aggression of any kind is necessary/required when defending long, painfully established ,social/racial identity.

            The reason such labels are used is because at the root, at the kernel of the matter the progressives have nothing else to say.

            • Last Man Standing

              I find it loathsome that a migrant can be welcomed here in the UK and then make a career out of condemning those native British who wish to preserve their own native British culture and heritage.

          • jack mustard

            How deranged must someone be to equate the intolerant nonsense they tap out on their keyboard, from the comfort of their home, under a blanket of anonymity with the bravery of resistance fighters or soldiers? The nasty cowardice of many of the contributors to this place is not to be celebrated and bears no comparison with the heroism of people who were willing to put their lives on the line. And while there is nothing wrong with the desire to self identify as English, there are plenty of reasons to disagree with those who seek to deny that same right to other people because of the colour of their skin, or the birthplace of their parents, or their surname or some other notion of “otherness”.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Aw, diddums, does the “blanket of anonymity” frustrate “jack mustard”? Never mind, you could always resort to the puerile satisfaction of referring to me as “Nicholas”.

              Meanwhile others might also ponder how deranged someone must be to target only my comments for misrepresentation from the comfort of their Labour party office, under a blanket of anonymity. What a “coincidence” your pseudonym is in that regard, eh?

              • jack mustard

                I can honestly say I have never been inside a Labour Party office. I have no knowledge of what discussions might be taking place within the Labour Party but I’m pretty confident rebutting your ramblings is not high on the list of priorities – you delude yourself. And please, explain how I have ever misrepresented any of your comments – particularly the one above.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Which doesn’t actually deny that you work for the Labour party.

                  And the question of why you seem to always select my comments for tagging remains open. As does the question of why you think it appropriate to repeatedly refer to me as “Nicholas”. Then there is the ad hominem stuff – just because my “ramblings” do not confirm to your political views?

                  If you don’t have an agenda you are giving a good impression of having one.

                • jack mustard

                  For the record: I have never been inside a Labour Party office, I have never been in the employ of the Labour Party, and I have not held any role within the Labour Party. Or any other political party. As for tagging your comments – I have done so on 11 occasions this calendar year (including the 3 comments in this exchange) – hardly at the level of your own ad hominem exhanges with TM and others. Again, I invite you to explain how I have misrepresented you.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “How deranged”

                  Ad hominem

                  “must someone be to equate the intolerant nonsense”

                  Intolerant nonsense? What? Where? Why? Intolerant to nonsense to wish to defend national identity and culture?

                  “with the bravery of resistance fighters or soldiers?”

                  Who is “equating” that? My comment was about the way the word “xenophobia” is being misused and devalued to serve a political agenda. I was asking rhetorical questions not making assertions.

                  “The nasty cowardice of many of the contributors to this place is not to be celebrated”

                  Ad hominem and judgemental. And no-one is demanding that the expression of diverse opinions should be celebrated. Only the left talk about needing to celebrate everything but that never seems to extend to celebrating the diversity of those who choose to disagree with them.

                  “and bears no comparison with the heroism of people who were willing to put their lives on the line.”

                  No such comparison has been made but people who feel that their country and culture are under threat are entitled to express their concerns and not to be slagged off as xenophobic or racist when they do.

                  “And while there is nothing wrong with the desire to self identify as English,”

                  Oh, how generous of you to concede that.

                  “there are plenty of reasons to disagree with those who seek to deny that same right to other people because of the colour of their skin, or the birthplace of their parents, or their surname or some other notion of “otherness”.”

                  Disagree with them then. I have never suggested those things. In fact in a comment made just a couple of days ago I challenged the British government’s insistence on classifying people according to the colour of their skin.

                  Which brings us back to why you focus on my comments and what motivates your hostility towards me.

                • jack mustard

                  Another ad hominem comment: hypocrite (you ignore your own personal attack on Hookeslaw. You are, I believe, what some parts of our community might call a “giver” – you certainly don’t like taking it back. Nobody suggested that resistance fighters or RAF pilots were xenophobic, but it was suggested that some of the comments here are xenophobic or racist – that is undoubtedly true. I disagree with Hookeslaw on virtually everything but he is surely right to object to object to prejudiced comments. The fact that you feel the need to insult him for doing so while ignoring some of the racist insults that are posted here does cast some light on you motivations. As does your needless reference to the Black Police Officers Association – obfuscation. In previous posts you have qualified your definition of “English” – bewailing the rights of the “indigenous English” – a curious and revealing term: what do you mean by that if you do not wish to exclude some people from identifying as English or regard them as less English than yourself?

                  As for my alleged focus on your comments – before this exchange I had posted fewer than 10 replies to you in 2014 – considerably fewer than the ad hominem attacks you make on Telemachus in a typical day. Nicholas: know thyself.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  There is nothing ad hominem in my reply to Hookeslaw above. How exactly have I “insulted” him? You just don’t like me or the opinions and character you attribute to me and take exception to them – literally.

                  My reference to the BPOA is not “needless” but goes to the heart of the double standards in this country around the ridiculous misuse of terms like xenophobia and racist.

                  When you take telemachus to task for his ad hominem attacks and his labelling of others your interventions might have some credibility. You won’t because you share his political creed. Don’t try and pretend that you are some kind of objective, impartial observer.

                  The last reference to Nicholas is priceless and tells us all we need to know about you and your motivation. I know myself very well, thank you, and don’t need your patronising and condescending interventions setting yourself up as some kind of supreme arbiter.

                • jack mustard

                  It’s a bit rich complaining about others being patronising and condescending when you open you’re comments to them with, “aw diddums”.

                  I don’t know you, so have no idea whether I like you or not. We certainly disagree on much, so I doubt we could ever be buddies. I reckon I would get on with TM about as well as I would get on with you.

                  You appear to regard yourself as an “Outlaw” but really you’re a Hubert Laneite. I suggest you ask for Jungian analysis gift vouchers this Christmas.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “You appear to regard yourself…”

                  Hmm. Time you climbed down from that high horse.

                • jack mustard

                  Pot. Kettle.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No. You tagged my comment with ad hominem.

                • jack mustard

                  And then you responded with ad hominem. Know thyself.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You should think about that one. It suggests you are also “a giver” since you were the one who began this exchange.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  The Colonel has a point, you are clearly a Labour Party stooge.

                • jack mustard

                  The Colonel has many points – most of them, like your accusation that I am. “Labour Party Stooge” – are wrong.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  My mistake. You are simply a socialist nutter who enjoys stalking well balanced commentators like Colonel a Mustard.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Make your own points. Pay less attention to mine and trying to psychoanalyse me because you disagree with them.

                • jack mustard

                  You made your point in response to Hookeslaw; I made mine in response to you. That’s what happens here. I repeat: you are more than willing to dole out criticisms, personal insults and accusations – grow a pair and be willing to take some back.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You didn’t make any point. You just selected my comment and targeted it with ad hominem.

                  And I reject your allegations. When you adopt that line across the board instead of targeting me with ad hominem invective about what you imagine me to be you might have a little more credibility.

                  Read this thread. Which one of us has been more insulting to the other?

                • jack mustard

                  “I reject your allegations”. Well I reject your rejection. This boils down to opinion and you have offered nothing to make me revisit mine.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Nothing I offered would ever change your opinion.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  It is because he is a socialist nutter.

                • jack mustard

                  Wrong. I’ m just not afraid to take on the biggest bullies in the playground.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  No lad, you are a socialist nutter and calling the Colonel “a bully” makes you look ridiculous and underlines your status as a socialist nutter. You should hook up with Telemachus another socialist nutter like yourself.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  He launches an ad hominem attack and then whines because I reciprocate. His stalking has become rather obvious to me and others. He tries to excuse that with statistics but in reality he posts very few comments here and many of them have been directed at me.

                  So far in this thread alone he las labelled me as follows:-

                  “a giver”
                  “A Hubert Laneite” (!)

                  And in need of Jungian analysis which is a bit of a giveaway when it comes to his motivation. The constant need to refer to me as “Nicholas” is especially creepy.

                  Also, he complains about a “blanket of anonymity” on a website whose comment sections are full of pseudonyms, including “telemachus” whom he defends. Is “jack mustard” his real name? I doubt it.

                  Clearly I bother him big time and this exchange demonstrates it well.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Agreed. Just another socialist nutter intolerant of any view that does not coincide precisely with his own. I’m right your wrong is his guiding philosophy and the hypocrisy when he alludes to “the blanket of anonymity” is beyond parody. Well loved at Labour Party HQ though I would imagine. Demonising and lying is after all their speciality.

                • jack mustard

                  What is beyond parody is obsessively posting comments and comparing yourself, as CM did, to a freedom fighter. And if labelling me a “nutter” is not your own way of displaying an “I’m right, your (sic) wrong” philosophy, then I don’t know what is. Like CM you’re a hypocrite.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  What is beyond doubt lad is that you are a socialist nutter corrupting reasoned debate on this blog. My advice is that you should head for the Guardian or Labour list with the rest of the socialist nutters where you can spend all day agreeing madcap ideas of socialist nuttery while leaving sensible people alone. Nobody wants to engage seriously with you on this site because you are a socialist nutter bent on the destruction of rational debate. Your trail of ad hominem rubbish and stalking of the Colonel is ample evidence of this laddie so be a good thing and get lost.

                • jack mustard

                  “stalking” – today you have posted nearly as many comments to me or about me, as I had to CM this year. Know thyself.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Because I am sick of people like you and your fellow travellers of the left destroying rational debate and attempting to demonise opinions which do not coincide with your lunatic vision of the World.

                • jack mustard

                  Please don’t pretend you believe in “rational debate”. You criticise my “trail of ad hominem rubbish”, but a quick review of some of the comments you have posted in the last couple of days or so reveal you to be at least as bad:
                  “nutter”, “idiot”, “mindless idiot”, “imbecile”, “mindless fanatic”, “fascist”, “ignorant little man”, “insane and deranged”, “coward”, “gutless coward”, “poor, sad, bigoted little man” – all epithets you have used while engaging with other contributors other than myself. I welcome your critique of my comments but since you clearly do not lead by example you are open to accusations of hypocrisy.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  How typical of the socialist nutter to do his “research”. Do they teach you that at Labour Party HQ lad. Is that how you are taught to disrupt right-of-centre opinion lad?

                • jack mustard

                  That’s hardly a zinger is it? More ill-informed, knee-jerk nonsense. With friends like you CM hardly needs enemies, does he?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Like I suggested, why don’t you just push off to the Guardian, Labour List etc where you can happily spout rubbish, fantasy and lies with the test of the socialist nutters? That way, decent, sensible people can have a debate unmolested by socialist nutters like yourself lad.

                • jack mustard

                  Thanks for that. I’ll exercise my freedom of speech and post comments where I like. Given the very low level at which you like to debate I’m not sure you meet your own definition of what constitutes a “decent, sensible person” but, hey ho, there we go. Ciao for now!

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Well not a socialist nutter troll like yourself. Hilarious, you socialist nutters hate democracy and freedom of speech for everybody except yourselves.

                • jack mustard

                  Hey it’s you telling me to push off – kind of undermines any argument you make in relation to freedom of speech.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  I am just sick of socialist nutter trolls like you and Telemachus polluting every thread. Then again, I suppose that is what your masters at Labour Party HQ command. Did you attend today’s briefing or do you receive your instructions online?

                • jack mustard

                  I have not “whined” about you reciprocating with ad hominem attacks. I just think if you are going to complain about me using them you should probably refrain from such behaviour yourself. Otherwise you are a hypocrite – ad hominem, perhaps, but fair comment.

                  You are correct to assert that I post relatively few comments here. I am economically active, and don’t have time to return obsessively as you and others do. As I commented earlier – before this exchange I had replied to you on fewer than 10 occasions during 2014 and these comments constitute a minority of my comments overall. You are free to counter my “statistics” with your own – my comments, like yours are publicly available.

                  This exchange began because you had the audacity to compare your internet activity with the actions of a freedom fighter. Many people post comments here anonymously – ourselves included- but don’t let either of us pretend there’s any bravery involved.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “This exchange began because you had the audacity to compare your internet activity with the actions of a freedom fighter.”

                  No, it did not and no I didn’t. That is another misrepresentation.

                • jack mustard

                  Yes it did, and yes you did.

            • Kitty MLB

              Do you suppose you might be somewhat
              obsessed by the gallant Colonel.
              For all we know you might have an imaginary
              picture of him in you attic.

              • jack mustard

                Actually I pity him.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  More ad hominem and the patronising moral superiority angle is pure Labour party.

                  There are many comments here reflecting similar views to mine. You don’t feel the need to challenge their authors too? Noting that is no delusion of mine.

                • jack mustard

                  : p

        • John Lea

          Blimey, where to start? You have – rather admirably in a sense – managed to demonstrate a quite phenomenal level of general thickness in a very concise way. So, Gordon Brown single-handedly ruined the UK – really? I’m no fan of Brown, but would have thought Blair has more blood on his hands. And even then, I would be relcutant to put the entire blame for a country’s misfortune squarely on the shoulders of one person. And then your second statement, which I’m afraid passeth all understanding, but which I’m guessing can be interpreted as ’embrace multiculturalism and diversity or we – the liberal elite – have the perfect right to brand you a racist homophobe and hound you from the face of the earth’.

        • Wessex Man

          well I loath you, that doesn’t make me anything other than someone who can see through your prattle to the nasty place your mind occupies.

          • Kitty MLB

            All this loathing, so unhealthy for the equillibrium. One must spread happiness or
            be silent.

            • Wessex Man

              Kitty I don’t loath you even if you are a Tory!

            • HenryWood

              No, no no!

              When I was still agile and had both feet working as they should, I often got out and about to various hostelries and attempted to spread happiness just as you suggest. I was *always* hail-fellow-well-met and visited my bonhomie and generous outpourings of refreshments on any common-or-garden gentleman who had the normal civil courtesies.

              Then along would come a moaner, or a leftwinger, or a ne’er do well, or a local councillor, or even a local rogue and vagabond who had never done a day’s work in his life, except attempting to mooch drinks off of the likes of me.

              I would no more be silent to such excrescences of humanity than I would be to my black big toe. They are all, each and every one of them, in the exact same style as my black big toe and should be immediately removed from the presence of gentlemen and placed in an incinerator, just like my toe was.

              Silence is golden, but only on certain occasions. At other times, silence is cowardly.

              • Alexandrovich

                You appear to be ‘blacktoes intolerant’ which I had always thought to be the BBC’s attitude toward ‘eeny meeny miny mo’.

                • HenryWood

                  LOL! That’s a cracker! It’s the way you tell ’em!

              • Kitty MLB

                How ghastly it must have been to have a
                Leftie scoundrel trying to mooch drinks off you.
                I always find the average leftie mind somewhat discombobulating, so therefore
                gave up understanding the way they think
                years ago.
                Silence is also the art of conversation but generally only the unconventional in life
                can understand that, unfortunately the world
                is full of mundane, repetative, and noisy
                leftie dobbins.

              • Conway

                All it needs for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

            • GraveDave

              Well being a staunch Tory, you don’t need worry.

        • disqus_JXTaH3N9kU

          I am intrigued by this comment. While I am no particular fan of Gordon Brown – and history will surely pass a verdict on his time at Number 10 as rather grey and uninspired, it is news to me that he – presumably singlehandedly – “ruined our country”. Are you saying that everything was fine until he came along ? Just in living memory alone, Brown as a senior politician did more to “ruin” the country than Heath, Wilson, Major, Thatcher, Callaghan or Blair ? I think you give the man much more prominence and power and influence than he ever remotely possessed.

        • Bruxellois

          ‘loath’ is an adjective, ‘loathe’ is the verb.

        • MikeF

          ‘Anti-racism’ requires that some people – most people – be deemed ‘racist’. It is an ideology that justifies itself not by combatting ‘racism’ but by inventing it.

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