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Why Rod Liddle is a racist

Columnist Rod Liddle has a long record of racially-offensive remarks that has now hit a new low as he claims the African-Caribbean community have only given the UK “crime and curry goat”.

The Independent reports the reaction of OBV’s Simon Woolley and others who strongly condemned Liddle’s appalling remarks on the Spectator magazine website.

Ex-editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Liddle wrote that the “benefits of a multicultural Britain” were gun crime, robbery and sexual violence committed by African-Caribbean men. He added that “in return” the UK got “rap music and curry goat”.

Liddle’s words drip with racial prejudice. Conflating a problem that involves just one small section of black people, he uses this as a stick to beat the whole community.

Yet Liddle’s outrageous implication – that there is something in the DNA of African-Caribbean’s that predisposes them to crime – is starkly different from the debate about (for example) gun and knife crime in predominately white working class Glasgow estates. That debate is framed around lack of opportunities and values.

Liddle, by contrast, links simply being an African-Caribbean man with crime.

Yet as offensive, misguided and inaccurate as his remarks are, they cannot be seen in isolation.

Because they are just the latest in an ever-worsening back-catalogue of opinion pieces he has written on the issue of race and ethnic minorities.

Earlier this month Liddle wrote about “Muslim savages”, as he praised the Swiss ban on Minarets as “a small battle won in the people’s war against the growing ‘Islamification’ of Europe.”

In September this year Liddle wrote in the Spectator: “Mary Seacole was one of the two most important figures of the century, solely and utterly because she was black.”

In the Sunday Times this February, writing about education, Liddle referred to the fictitious “Mary Seacole City Academy for Advanced Textspeak and Stabbing.”

Continuing with the theme in October, he penned a piece in the Spectator headlined “Changing Your Name to Mary Seacole Will Eradicate Your Inner Racist.”

Liddle has also written past articles about “black crime” including this piece claiming: “Did you know that black and Asian women commit far more crime than their white counterparts?”

Of course the answer to his question is that there is no empirical evidence that black or Asian people are any more likely to commit crimes than white people.

The only ‘evidence’ cited is the over-representation of BME people in prison – which many experts conclude is the result of racial biases within the criminal justice system and social exclusion on grounds of race.

Not only does Liddle ignore these issues, but he also overlooks the fact that almost 90 percent of the prison population is not black.

Indeed, the London Evening Standard today points out that government figures do not tell the whole story.

Talking about the case of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident who was tortured by the Americans before being released without charge, Liddle said: “Come on Britain, ignore her [Shami Chakrabarti], get the pliers out.”

In another article Liddle said: “Quite soon – within 50 years or so – the only people left in Britain will be cut-price Polish plumbers, angry suicide bombers from the dusty Maghreb and obese, flatulent, drunken, educationally subnormal indigenous chavs.”

These are just some of the remarks by Liddle. It is in this context that OBV’s director Simon Woolley condemned his latest comments, saying:

Rod Liddle abandoned rigour for bigotry a long time ago. In recent months he has become more emboldened about expressing his racism. That Rod Liddle is a racist is in no doubt. The real crime is that he is published by The Spectator.”

The debate on BBC London’s Vanessa Feltz phone-in show this morning failed to fully explore Liddle’s shameful track record, with some callers comparing comments made by Diane Abbott MP and Trevor Phillips about crime affecting black communities with Liddle’s remarks.

Of course that missed the point completely; Abbott and Phillips were seeking solutions to problems, while Liddle was simply expressing his disgust at African-Caribbean men in general who he accused of being criminals. There’s a big difference.

What nearly all black commentators recognise is not just that the majority of black people are law-abiding, but also that many are succeeding in society (despite the odds being stacked against them) becoming doctors, lawyers and businesspeople.

All Liddle’s article does is stir up anger and fear towards a whole race of people that deserve better. Perhaps he would find kindred spirits if he joined the British National Party?

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7 Responses

  1. I read this article in dismay. Has anyone written to the Spectator to express our collective disgust in allowing this RACIST to continue to write for them? I do not read it so my views are based on the information above. He probably belongs to the National Front anyway, just undercover. Having worked in one of London’s biggest prisons for a number of years and at that time if someone came in on a murder or gun crime 9 times out of 10 they certainly were not black.. I know that things have changed but I certainly would not criminalise a whole community because of a small section. There are so many people around with views like that it is of great concern for our children.

  2. surely crime figures would only need to be banded to dispell such claims! Perhaps the fact they are not would lead to readers suspecting there is some truth in what Rod Liddlle has said

  3. My article stated that almost 90% of the prison population (89% for the record) is white, Keith. The article also makes passing reference to bias in the criminal justice system that leads to a higher proportion of BME people being arrested etc, but actually BME people have higher aquittal rates. There are plenty of reports delving into this and I will have a look at some today. However, the bare facts remain that 9 out of 10 criminals in the UK is white. And as I say, no evidence proves that one community is any more criminal than any other, especially when social deprevation is factored in.

  4. Having carefully considered the remarks and context of this persons diatribes, I must seriouslly advise the editor of the Spectator and the “columnist” concerned to take time to study Section 17 of the Public Order Act 1986 which sets out the meaning of ‘racial hatred’ as being hatred against a group of people defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins.
    This definition follows closely the definition of ‘racial group’ under section 3(1) of the Race Relations Act 1976. Section 18 of the Public Order Act 1986 sets out the acts intended or likely to stir up racial hatred. It states that: “A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if –

    (a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or

    (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.
    It appears to me that taken together these articles, and the decision to publish them, give arguable evidence of intent to stir up feelings against persons on the basis of their race
    and arguable evidence that they are likely to support verbal discussions by rednecks which could stir up hatred in succeptible if unintelligent Spectator readers

  5. Liddle has already written disgraceful articles about Muslims, and insulted women (remember the Harriet Harman column?), so its no surprise he’s now focussing his attention on African Caribbeans. He seems intent on stoking up racial divisions and hate in our society, with old fashioned lazy bigotry. He is beneath contempt, and should be deprived of his weekly “column”, unless the Spectator is happy to give him a platform to perpretrate this bile?

  6. The Govt publish statistics identifying the race of victims and suspects. The current tally is 1077 white suspects vs 233 black. Table 3.5 in latest published stats http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/stats-race-criminal-justice-system-07-08-revised.pdf

    Of course Rod Liddle’s real objective is to protect his job, which means generating as many letters and online comments as possible to prove to his bosses he is still ‘relevant’. Hence his deliberate attempts to stir up hatred as he knows he’ll get a massive response. RLittlejohn is clearly his role model.

  7. I agree with you although I am not sure he should be allowed to be racist under the pretence of freedom of expression.

    A complementary article on the subject which explores further why Liddle article is repulsive is at:

    Yet another racism row in Britain. Journalist Rod Liddle blames violent crime in London on black men.

    http://www.savablogs.info/2009/12/yet-another-racism-row-in-britain.html

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