The age of Selfish Whining Monkeys

2 June 2014

I had a horrible dream last night that I’ve never had before. In the dream, I knew I had to get up early and couldn’t get to sleep. Every time I checked the clock it got closer to 0600 and I got more and more panicked and frantic. But it was a dream. Most odd.

The reason I had to get up early was to talk about my book Selfish Whining Monkeys on the BBC Radio Four Start The Week. The presenter, Tom Sutcliffe, made a point which is often made: that me, and people like me, complain that a whole bunch of serious issues within society are not allowed to be discussed – ‘and yet you talk about them every week, Rod.’

Well yes, but at the risk of being called a racist and a bigot. So I can do it, but it’s very difficult for people in positions of political power, people who rely upon being tolerated by the liberal media elite, to do it – because that’s likely to be the end of their careers. I couldn’t give a monkey’s if some irrelevant middle class black-clad drug-addled hag, male or female, from the Groucho Club thinks I’m beyond the pale for suggesting that the present rates of immigration have not been wholly beneficial to the poorest sections of society, even if they have been economically beneficial to the black-clad hags etc.

I think it would be for the best if you judged for yourselves if I am unspeakably ghastly, a sort of Anders Breivik of print, buy buying the book. But I suppose that’s a very self-serving argument.

RodBook2Rod Liddle’s new book Selfish Whining Monkeys is available from the Spectator Bookshop for just £12.99. Click here to buy now.

Show comments
  • Damaris Tighe

    I highly recommend this book. Although it has a serious theme it’s also very funny. I laughed till I cried.

  • Max07

    I knew your book would be worth reading, Rod, when that nice Will Self gave it such a good write-up.

  • K BB

    No thanks, that was a good enough précis.

  • sebastian2

    Interesting to have listened to the hosts’ obsession with “racism”. They can’t seem to get away from it. They hinted that Rod might be a “racist” without knowing it – or at least he’s “hiding from it”. How peculiar and surreal. I don’t think he’s racist at all even though he may have views about immigration, culture, religion and ethnicity. Of course, nothing admitted about the hosts’ possible “racism” that they’re also unaware of or hiding from. Perhaps they haven’t searched hard enough. Or imagined more feverishly enough. Perhaps they were being faithless to their own incurable infatuations.
    I think there are more than a few BBC types and others just about ready to disappear up the backs of their own beyonds. Most of us can’t and won’t indulge in these masochistic self-negating fantasies. We have other more pressing realities. Islamofascism being but one (if I may say so).

    • Gwangi

      Indeed. I have always thought those who treat people differently based on their race/ethnicity are the ones who are racist. Funnily enough, this category of people includes the BBC and others who pander to ethnic groups and judge them by different value criteria than others. It is not Rod who is racist but all the pompous prattling Islamo-hypocrites he was in the studio with.

  • Dogsnob

    Good try Rod, on the radio there, but I’m afraid you’re presenting them with a truth which is too large too late.
    They have championed multiculturalism so staunchly and for so long, that now that it has been revealed as actually transculturalism, and the effective ending of our nation, the enormity of their error is too much to handle.
    Pull the duvet over tighter still, seems to be the reaction of those who got things so wrong. But again, thanks for trying.

  • allymax bruce

    It’s not your dream you should be trying to ‘interpret’, Rod, it’s your slavish bent to your ‘liberal media elite’. You try to disavow, (repress), your own self-hatred by dressing up in ridiculous costumes; a perfect example of the latent enforcing the manifest. You really are hurting your ‘Self’, taking their money.

  • Gwangi

    I heard part of this programme whilst doing chores, from room to room, so I heard Rod in that sort of dream-like state where I am not really sure if I heard anything at all or if Rod of Radio 4 actually exist… I shall try and steal a copy of Rod’s book next time I am in some crèche-wailing coffee-frothing Londonista bookshop…

    But anyway, what I heard of the programme and its guests’ views was SO predictable. The bubble of the BBC – and all its diversity-worshipping, out-of-touch, meetings-mad-managerial muppetitis-suffering pomposity and arrogance – always wobbles JUST SO when anyone dares state some common sense of what many if not most of the people in this country are thinking. It is as though these people simply cannot comprehend that anyone might disagree with their perfectly circular arguments and vapid parroted views.

    It’s like when Europeans first made contact with tribes in deepest darkest Africa and South America: ‘you mean, the sun is not a disc and the world is not carried in the back of a giant turtle? Well, you must be wrong, because our deep belief in our culture proves it is right and good and all we say is thus always true.’

    It’d be funny if it wasn’t all so sad (and expensive…). The BBC exists to make programmes, non? Not to promote multiculturalist ideology and mass immigration to the peasants who pay for it. Unfortunately, the BBC thinks the latter is its main role these days. Sad.

    • John Clegg

      Wonderfully put, even Rod (my hero) would be proud of you.

      • Gwangi

        Oh my, Mr Clegg (no relation I hope) – you’re spoiling me…
        (blush blush…)

    • Max07

      ‘BBC rule 789 states that all programmes must be presented by women these days, of course ….’. Someone I know once sat in a BBC staff meeting where the vexed question of how to get more women into programme-making was discussed. It all got terribly earnest, with much shaking of heads as the participants debated the parlous position of females within the Corporation. There were ten women in the room and two men.

      • Gwangi

        Yes, they spend a long time – a great many ‘person’ hours – trying to work out hoe to discriminate against men without breaking the law. One way, of course, is to offer ‘training schemes’ or ‘mentoring’ – in these, they can specify woman-only (or black-only, come to that).

        Having said that, there is a great deal of hush hush fulfilling of gender and race quotas in job applications at such state institutions; sure they invite the best qualified people – often white men – along to make up the numbers, but the two-fer of a black woman (as in two for the price of one – two boxes tickes on diversity monitoring forms) will get the role. It is even worse in the commissioning of programmes.

        Producers know that every programme pitch will be assessed on how it meets the BBC diversity agenda, which causes huge self-censorship and pandering to orthodox pc ideas – in such a way is all creativity stifled.

        • Max07

          Ticking boxes has become much more important than the quality of the programmes. There was a young lady on the World Service the other day who could hardly string together a coherent sentence. Listening was a painful experience. Surely the most basic qualification for a presenter is that he or she should be able to communicate with reasonable fluency. Being an incoherent presenter is a bit like being a one-legged Tarzan: it just doesn’t really work.

  • Puss in Plimsolls

    Darling, my wallet is open. But I live in America. And I’m going to the Smoky Mountains for the summer. Kindle is nation-specific. I could do the General Delivery to Post Office thing, but my brother is already taking advantage of that on my behalf (he wants posh Italian biking gear sold in America but lives in Canada). It’s so complicated, this multinational lark. I’ll buy your book — eventually — but please do consider the expats. We’re richer than your usual readers, but keeping in touch is sometimes less convenient.

  • Leocrumb

    The UK, land of Self-depreciation. The comedy is excellent but the people have nothing left to be proud of.

    • Puss in Plimsolls

      I’m proud. And part of what makes me proud is the capacity for self-depreciation. Not everyone has it. Partly because they could only self-depreciate without the saving and lovely backdrop of proper pride.

      • allymax bruce

        do you mean ‘self-deprecate’?
        That would fit with Rod’s latent struggles written here too.

        • Gwangi

          Already corrected by yours truly early this morning, fellow pedant…

        • Puss in Plimsolls

          I understood that they mean the same thing but that H. W. Fowler prefers ‘depreciate’. Personally, I have no opinion on it.

          • Gwangi

            Really? Fowler prefers depreciate? But when was he around – 19th century? Maybe that meaning survives more in the USA therefore.
            Of course, lots of us are depreciating these days – I am pretty sure I’ll be worth less at the end of this year than the beginning! Maybe I can write myself off against tax and get the 10% depreciation bonus from HMRC. Do they have a helpline for it (in amongst all those for blind deaf Bengali-speakers)?

            • Puss in Plimsolls

              Yes, he prefers ‘self-depreciate’ over ‘self-deprecate’ explicitly. No, I read the English 1950s version edited by Sir Ernest Gowers. And, besides the fact that I’m English as well as American, most Yanks couldn’t give a cuss but would likely say ‘deprecate’!

              • Gwangi

                I would say self-deprecate is right – or at least sounds better.

                Maybe because ‘depreciate’ throws up images of tax bills and loss of value after you buy a car! Though I’m prepared to accept both exist.

                Also, self-deprecate is a syllable shorter – the ‘eee’ in depreciate jars for me.

                • Puss in Plimsolls

                  Sounds fair to me. Also it has the benefit of being a syllable shorter and so less fussy. For the same reason I prefer ‘specialty’ — which IS American — to ‘speciality’.

    • Gwangi

      Pedant alert:
      You mean ‘self-deprecation’ (not depreciaton).
      Just saying, is all…

      • Bill_der_Berg

        Do not sound the ‘Pedant all clear’ yet.

        It used to be ‘depreciate’, a more apt word implying ‘to play down the value of’. ‘Deprecate’, on the other hand, implies disapproval.

        • Gwangi

          Ah yes interesting. Methinks this is one word that changed in the UK (to deprecate) but stayed as it was in the USA (depreciate) – and now perhaps the US version is gaining in popularity over our British version (like got and gotten, or dove as the past of dive – used to be that in Britain too).

          • Chris Morriss

            Do ‘normal’ Americans really use the silly word ‘dove’ (with a long O’ in place of ‘dived’, or is it only the below-average intelligence ones? I have met a number of Americans educated in real universities and they mostly used the UK ‘dived’.

          • Puss in Plimsolls

            Don’t think you’re right there, G.: see my comment below if you like.

    • Marie Louise Noonan

      I can see why you would think that.

  • GraveDave

    I’ll buy it Rod. I wouldnt buy anything done by Littlejohn or John Gaunt or that ilk. But I’d buy you, cos you really don’t give a monkeys.

  • Neil Saunders

    Rod Liddle made far too many concessions to these idiots. Listen – just the once – to this and then ask yourself whether you ever want to listen to any of the BBC’s disgustingly biased output ever again.

  • Cornelius Bonkers

    Yes Rod, you are a self-serving class enemy (being a socialist, a beneficiary of the capitalist system, a bourgeois etc., etc.,). But at least you admit it and come clean – “and I don’t care” he sung. On the other hand, Tony Blair said something similar about the Iraq War didn’t he? He didn’t care either did he? He stuck with his principles too and got rich. Mmmm! interesting comparison..

  • Mukkinese

    “black-clad hags”?

    I wonder who he could mean? Not Julie B. or the other Julie B?

    Liddle is a third-class journalist with a second rate brain, who makes his name from being contrarian and pretending to be anti-establishment, when it suits him.

    Please God send us another Christopher Hitchings, before we are bored to death by these self-serving, shambolic, punk wannabes…

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Some of us can only dream of attaining 3rd class journalism and having a 2nd class brain. In Spec terms he definately qualifies for the Champions League.

      ………..end of arslikhan…

      • allymax bruce

        You don’t have to be mad to write for the Spectator; but it helps.

    • rodliddle

      certainly not Bindel, who I adore, if not always entirely agree with.

    • allymax bruce

      no, the ‘black-clad hags’, are a reference to his demons; probably something he read, and stuck.

  • Eyesee

    You know the kid amongst a room of adults who proclaims a thought or an insight that has suddenly come to him? He says it, probably slightly falteringly unannounced and not really to any specific person in the assembled party. And when he has finished his mum will say ‘that’s lovely dear’ and the adult conversation will continue without affect. That’s you, Rod, that is. The BBC seeing themselves as the adults, obviously.

  • Cymrugel

    Goodness me Rod!

    Your interviewer seems totally discombobulated by your effrontery; questioning whether mass immigration has been an entirely good thing – whatever next!

    He positively squeaks with indignation that you aren’t toeing the party line and seems completely scandalised that you are even questioning it..

    You heretic you.

  • Metro IWW

    Taxi for Sarah Smith, no doubt heading for Broadmoor, or is it Barking. I trust the integers 2, 3 and 2 when accumulated bear a ballpark approximation to your IQ. You’ll work it out eventually. Check out the digested read of Rod’s book at your fav newspaper, the Guardian. You’re in it!

    With friends like this eh Rod?

  • sarahsmith232

    Can’t stop commenting,
    Liddle, if you’re reading this. No, i’m going to have to pull you on something.
    You’re not wrong to say that the whole ‘kinship’, ‘family bonds’ etc in Tower Hamlets have been recreated by the Bangladeshi community, yep, not wrong on that. Where you are absolutely wrong though is to imagine that TH as a borough, is an e.g of this.
    I lived there, trust me on this one, community, bonds, kinship is just about the very last words a person would to describe all the different people shoved right up next to each other, cheek by jowell, in that place.
    Check the idiot ‘Muslim Patrol’ lot, that’s not unusual. Large packs of non too bright Muslim teen boys ‘patrolling’ that borough is not an uncommon sight. They target non Muslim females, I’ve seen some sights there. Been on the receiving end as well. It’s an unbelievably violent borough, very hostile, the only ‘kinship’ etc is between each separate group, zero between the different sets.
    What’s this a description of? Canary Wharf is patrolled by a very visible private army of security guards that ensure that no hoodie young black male can so much as set a toe in that place. Forget it if they’re in a pack. Canary Wharf’s rich white inhabitants live clustered together in very expensive flats built behind 30ft walls also patrolled by small armies of private security guards, again, you’re one of the immigrant offspring, you’re not getting anywhere near those places.
    So, what does that describe? That’s South Africa during Apartheid. To a tee.

    • Kennybhoy

      You take care …

    • Richard

      As a Tower Hamlets resident myself I see where you coming from. The bright/innovative/hardworking young things who now live and work in the Hoxton/Haggerston/Bethnal Green nexus are nearly all of the same hue.

  • sarahsmith232

    BBC male, again, showing how empty and insular his assumption of superiority is. He focused on some comment from the book about people ‘rightly or wrongly’ believing that the effects of immigration have not been positive. He showed that undoubtedly, it is an unquestionable fact in his mind, that the reason why they believe this is that they’re thinking ‘wrongly’.
    Has that person ever so much as set a toe in any part of Lancashire? Any part of Yorkshire? Has he even so much as even interacted with a person outside his little world? Answers to that is – no. Of course not. But yet he nevertheless believes he really knows so much more about immigration and it’s effects on people. He knows squat, obviously, but believes he knows more because he lives in an extremely insular, tiny little BBC world which has led him to believe he knows more. Quite unbelievable that they can be such screaming, screeching class snobs and yet manage to happily go through theirs so absolutely ignorant of this.
    Pathetic, extreme end of small minded, BBC sheep if there ever was an e.g of one.

  • sarahsmith232

    Only 2 mins in, got to comment.
    Listen to the state of the assumed position of class superiority from the BBC male. Attacking Liddle’s writing because it’s really so terribly coarse, really such terribly intemperate language, he uses swear words, how really quite ghastly.
    Doesn’t seem to occur to the BBC male that his being alienated by that only shows how limp and weakly lame he will be. It’s alienating to his sort, so this is the concrete proof that it is, of course, an incorrect choice of writing.
    I would say, in all probability this will be the type of a male that is the reason why the verdict from the worlds hetro’ female population is that it’s a straight up tie for 1st place between English males and Japanese ones for the title of ‘worlds most rubbish in the sack male’.

  • Metro IWW

    It’s not often the Grauniad is spot on…….

    The digested read, digested: A selfish, whining monkey write

    Selfish, Whining Monkeys by Rod Liddle – digested read
    John Crace boldly sifts the columnist terrible’s ranting down to a five-minute squeal for the weak of stomach

  • DougS

    Watched the insufferable Anna Soubry on the Andrew Marr show last Sunday.

    I now understand that all immigration is a wonderful thing, economically enriching, and that anybody who disagrees is a raaayccciist.

    With this logic, if we have open door immigration to the whole world, within a decade we’ll be the richest country in the world! Anyone who believes that is deluded.

    I view immigrants as intelligent, logical and rational people. They want to come here because they’ll have a much better life than in their home countries.

    It’s the political elite who have allowed excessive, uncontrolled immigration that I have a problem with.

    Of course, staying in the EU means that we’ll be getting much more of the same!

  • Bonkim

    I wouldn’t worry too much what others think or say about you – just do or say what you believe in.

  • Hippograd

    Well yes, but at the risk of being called a racist and a bigot. So I can
    do it, but it’s very difficult for people in positions of political
    power, people who rely upon being tolerated by the liberal media elite,
    to do it – because that’s likely to be the end of their careers.

    And your career hasn’t done as well as it might. You’re a much better and much more intelligent writer than Will Self, for example, but you’ve underachieved, while he has overachieved (and hugely). Though “better writer” isn’t really right. It implies Self is something other than a politically correct charlatan who disguises his lack of talent and his intellectual vacuity with logorrhoea.

    • La Fold

      Best description of will self i have ever read.

    • Cymrugel

      “Self is something other than a politically correct charlatan who disguises his lack of talent and his intellectual vacuity with logorrhoea”.


      Testify brother!

    • William_Brown

      Liddle & Self?…..have you ever actually seen them in the same room at the same time? yeah…think on.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Self was very good as Anton Ego in Ratatuouille mind…….

    • DougS

      Will (anti-fracker) Self is Professor of ‘Contemporary Thought’ for Chriiiisaaake. At Brunel University no less!

      Isambard Kingdom will, no doubt, be spinning in his grave.

  • Hiro

    The liberal media? You mean the Mail, The Telegraph, The Express, The Metro, The Times, The Sun, Sky, etc? Yes, it’s a real monopoly out there of Socialist, liberal, ideas. Yes, you might not be able to say the n word or the such anymore, but stop pretending your persecuted – in your position of power it comes across as grotesque.

    • GraveDave

      Hiro – off the rails. No, you’re right though. There’s a fair enough balance of left and right in the MSM nowadays.

    • Chris Morriss

      Your persecuted what Hiro?
      Oh…I see it now. You are not aware that there is the word “you’re”.
      You’re making yourself look a bit of a plonker, really.

  • Alison

    I had forgotten what you sounded like, if I ever knew, and was surprised to find that your voice was about half an octave higher than it sounds when I am reading your words. Consequently I didn’t really believe it was you. It was a bit like when, as a child, you see your first picture of Shula Archer, something shifts and your life is never quite the same again. This might also be to do with the fact that you said “Milquetoast liberals” and “bien pensant” as if you were quoting yourself to prove that it was you.

    • rodliddle

      I had my middle class voice on, Alison. It’s usually a bit deeper and less importuning.

      • Bobby Morton

        phwew- what?

  • Tron

    I know you are a real person Rod but surely the other characters were played by Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield.
    Gay and Lesbian Asylum Seeking Choirs indeed!
    Where IS the BNP Choir?

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Quite like the idea of a BNP choir. Loads of red faced fat blokes shouting “Fack Orff You Kants” in unison

      • Hiro

        game changing post. best post on the speccy today

  • UniteAgainstSocialism

    i heard some idiot Mr Liddle was debating with describing terrorists as the 7/7 boys and boston bomber kids

    • sarah_13

      Yes i thought that too, what an odd way to refer to them.

      • UniteAgainstSocialism

        odd to us maybe, not to a lefty who views them as freedom fighters who sacrifice their lives in the struggle against western imperialism

        • girondas

          I don’t think they are trying to portray these bombings as they work of freedom fighters. I think they are trying to suggest that these are nothing more than the antics of young hotheads (boys will be boys), and though they may be regretable acts in themselves, they carry no uncomfotable message for the rest of us, particularly for our political class.

      • Cymrugel

        Well that’s what they are aren’t they?

        I mean who among us hasn’t wanted to set of a bomb and blow a few strangers to bits, to advance the creation of a caliphate?

        They’re just doing what we’re all thinking.


        Loveable scamps.

  • Kitty MLB

    I never have such dreams dear man, but I wish I didn’t always
    wake at 4am .
    Tell me how has immigration been beneficial economically.
    And yes one cannot mention anything without being called
    a bigot and racist.
    But an outrageous plug old fellow.And when you have
    finished burning the midnight oil do get the locks trimmed,
    they appear to have a life of their own.

  • Bluesman_1

    Third best shameless plug on this site this year. Must try harder.

  • HenryWood

    Did Sutcliffe need to go for a lie down after constantly trying but failing to force you back on to BBC-speak track?
    “But surely you must … blah, blah, blah … ”
    I was actually cheering you on throughout the interview.

  • The Masked Marvel

    You may be unspeakably ghastly, Rod, but you’re quite right about the risks of voicing unapproved thoughts these days. Your BBC friend’s argument is quite the circular one. They allow you on air to voice one of your unapproved thoughts, and offer it as proof that you actually are allowed to speak freely. Yet it doesn’t balance out the opprobrium you face the rest of the week for it. Nor does it make up for the fact that the BBC, by and large, take an antagonistic position towards your unapproved thoughts. Yet they still say, triumphantly, “See, we give you a platform for your views all the time! You can’t say we’re biased, or that your opinion is stifled.”

    • Sentinel

      Wasn’t Mr Liddle editor of the BBC’s Today programme for many years?

      • Marie Louise Noonan

        He was indeed. Where is the ‘Mea Culpa’?

        • rodliddle

          culpa for what?

          • rodliddle

            I mean, because I was the editor of The Today programme 12 years ago I am guilty of the leftist bias within Start The Week now? What a bizarre state of mind.

            • gerronwithit

              Ha! Ha! Don’t protest too much, Rod.

              • Eyesee

                And slavery, I think you were responsible for that. Apologise.

                • rodliddle

                  Actually, I WAS responsible for slavery. Mea culpa.

            • The Masked Marvel

              No, Rod, you were not the cause of that bias. It is your fault, though, that you got the sack and Kevin “Hacked Off” Marsh took over. Just look at the mess that’s caused.

      • The Masked Marvel

        Yes, he was editor once upon a time. That was back when BBC News and Current Affairs actually did have a conscience, and they did make an effort to report objectively and show both sides in a reasonably fair light because they felt it was important. These days they make the effort begrudgingly, because they are forced to do so. Rather than having a mature, professional sense of what needs to be done, they tick boxes and sneer at the public, whom they hold in the uttermost contempt.

        Rod was once editor of Today. Before Ed Stourton was unceremoniously dumped in a car park in favour of Justin Webb, who was promoted for being rude about Sarah Palin. Before the days when the editor thought it was so bloody important to be proud that his new presenter had lady parts with brown skin. Since the ludicrous Will Self got a mention in this thread already, let’s admit that, while Rod may indeed be unspeakably ghastly in many respects, when he chose to hire Self to write pieces for Today, he also brought in a voice from the other side of the political spectrum to balance him out. These days that’s done long after the fact, again begrudgingly, after enough complaints make the biddable types react. But, as they say at the BBC, it was a different time, eh, Rod?

        • rodliddle

          I think it is a different time, yes.

          • Damon

            I loved the way Will Self had a go at you for using ‘French loan words’ while shoehorning about a dozen into his review. By the way, according to Mr Self, you suffer from, ‘petit-bourgeois cultural cringe’. Me too, mate, me too.
            PS I’m enjoying the book, on Kindle, though I can’t really agree with you about Mrs Thatch.

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