Coffee House

Receiving online abuse has now become a badge of honour

2 March 2016

7:14 PM

2 March 2016

7:14 PM

On Monday night I took part in a discussion on free speech in London for the think-tank Policy Exchange. The other speakers were ‘feminist comedienne’ Kate Smurthwaite, a student called Kitty Parker Brooks and the wonderful Munira Mirza.  Jess Phillips MP failed to show up, which was a shame because I wanted to decide for myself whether she is the free-thinking future-leader acclaimed by Julie Burchill or the PC-party-line clutz who recently compared New Year’s Eve in Cologne to any night in Birmingham.

Anyhow, the argument I made was that two things are putting huge pressure on free speech and giving enormous impetus to the censors on campuses and elsewhere.  These are social media and mass migration.  Social media gives a megaphone to stupid and aggressive opinions that might otherwise have barely been heard.  Meanwhile the unparalleled range of opinions brought about by mass immigration has produced a growing sense that in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society too much opinion causes problems.  Of course (as Flemming Rose suggests in his excellent book The Tyranny of Silence) rather than clamping down on speech, such a society will probably just have to get used to hearing a wider range of views than ever before.  But not everyone agrees, and one current solution seems to be to clamp down on speech.  This is principally done by exaggerating the power of words, equating words with actions and simultaneously lowering the bar on incitement.  Thus mean and even harassing words are recast as plausible threats and acts of violence in themselves.  No wonder the British police have asked for government guidance to find a way through this minefield.

I also noted an observation of Lord Moulton’s which I recently discovered thanks to Mark Steyn:

85 years ago English judge Lord Moulton, said that human action can be divided into three domains. At one end is the law at the other is free choice and between them is the realm of manners.

And it was very much in the realm of manners that something quite interesting occurred on Monday.

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For Ms Smurthwaite’s presentation was notable in being almost entirely about herself.  Some readers may recall that a year or so ago Smurthwaite appeared in the press when she was allegedly no-platformed at Goldsmiths University.  This is her version of events.  Others say that her comedy gig sold too few tickets and that a possible picket meant that the organisers decided the hassle wasn’t worth it.  Either way that was wrong – Ms Smurthwaite ought to be free to entertain anyone who wants to hear her.  But being ‘banned’ now creates its own industry and carries its own badge of pride, though for Smurthwaite it appeared a secondary preoccupation after the pride she seemed to feel over her sufferings on social media.  Indeed her argument on free speech could be summarised as. ‘Shut up and listen to me because I’ve been no-platformed and got rape-threats.’

Now I’m not especially interested in feminism, because like gay rights and other ‘rights’ movements it seems to me to be a movement that has won.  Perhaps it is ungenerous of me to point out that the people still on the barricades seem to be those without other jobs to go to.  However, I am very interested in the ways in which people try to gain moral authority in the moral ghost-towns of our society.

Unprompted by me, at some point Munira Mirza made the interesting point that she thought I probably get rather more violent and more serious threats to my life than Ms Smurthwaite does.  Rather than coming as a relief to her, this claim seemed to annoy Ms Smurthwaite, who immediately tried to get into some kind of game of death-threat top-trumps with me.  I explained that I don’t talk about these things in public and wasn’t going to start now, leading Smurthwaite to joyously claim victory in the death-threat wars.  Amid her jubilation I attempted to make a very specific, if apparently subtle, point.  Today everyone – particularly people in the public eye – is able to receive harassing and even threatening messages on social media.  But police time is not infinite, and so it is possible that the British police should not follow up on every single vile or even threatening thing said on social media.  The police cannot become solely Twitter-based: there are actual robberies, actual rapes and other non-virtual crimes going on which must also concern them.  If the police had not taken any interest in Ms Smurthwaite’s Twitter-feed then it might be that there was nothing they thought worth acting on: ie, as unpleasant as it was, perhaps her life was not actually at risk.

Which led Smurthwaite to reply that someone recently told her on Twitter that they were going to (if I remember correctly) ‘cut her head off and bash her face in.’  I calmly pointed out that from the point of view of the police the crucial thing is not whether someone has said such a thing (which certainly if said repeatedly could be prosecuted under the Public Order Act) but whether they are likely to do so.  In other words, did the individual or any of their associates have any history of cutting off women’s heads?  Did they have the capability to be in the vicinity of the potential victim?  Or was this the pathetic thoughts of a young loser in their mum’s bedsit on another continent?  Obviously in an ideal world nobody would send such messages.  But in our world the police have to discern what is most serious and act on that.  In the meantime I urged Smurthwaite and everyone else present against the self-harm of reading everything on Twitter or absorbing the me-centric politics to which it apparently leads.

At which point something happened which has probably never before happened at Policy Exchange or any other think-tank.  Which is that a big, bearded ginger man at the back of the room suddenly bellowed ‘I’m going to punch your face in’ or something similar at me.  There was some commotion and a touchingly English ‘I say, steady-on’ from David Goodhart in the chair.  As I turned to look at the man who had shouted this at me he continued shouting something like ‘Was that a serious threat or not’.  I sized up what looked like a junior member of the Flintstone family and said something along the lines of, ‘From you, mate, I’d say not’.  Things calmed down, my estimate turned out to be right, and for the rest of the evening my face remained un-punched.

The whole thing was a reminder, if reminders were needed, of the preponderance of moral blackmail.  I think most people are aware that they shouldn’t be bullied into agreeing with people just because they physically intimidate us.  But it is equally important to realise – and perhaps more common today – that people try to bully others into agreeing with them by morally intimidating them.  Strangely we seem to have entered a period where being on the receiving end of abuse (misogynist, racist, homophobic or otherwise) is not only something to be pitied but something almost to be envied.  It is (and I notice this occasionally among some audience-members) almost a badge of pride.  What those who wear it too proudly forget is that your email inbox and Twitter feed – however vile – neither makes your opinions true nor false and certainly in no way elevates them over the opinions of others.


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Show comments
  • chizwoz

    Here’s pretty much everything you need to know Douglas. In the last 20 years we’ve transitioned from a culture of dignity to a culture of victimhood. These people are simply acting the way society has incentivized them to act:

    http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/

  • Simon_in_London

    Fair enough, but there aren’t too many people with the courage of Douglas Murray. Somewhere between Douglas Murray and the Safe Spacers lies the realm of normal, everyday, sometimes brave and sometimes fearful people.

  • Steve Vider

    “Meanwhile the unparalleled range of opinions brought about by mass immigration has produced a growing sense that in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society too much opinion causes problems. Of course (as Flemming Rose suggests in his excellent book The Tyranny of Silence) rather than clamping down on speech, such a society will probably just have to get used to hearing a wider range of views than ever before.”

    If only. Didn’t British people used to have thick skins and easily shrug off criticism or even laugh at it?

    However, much of this action against free speech and not ‘offending’ certain viewpoints is not happening because anyone is genuinely offended. But is well orchestrated by a wide range of very well off individuals and powerful international organizations. Much of them from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries. All ably aided and abetted by their fifth columnists who are firmly ensconced in European countries.

    Even with many of the immigrants that we are seeing now.

    The first things that they know about European countries and can say in English is what Human rights that they are entitled to in Europe and how they must be treated accordingly. It’s as if they learnt it from the moment they could walk….It’s all part of the Stealth Jihad process being waged against us to undermine western countries from within and without.

    Much more needs to be said on this insidious practice to bring it to the wider publics attention.

  • Whothehell Cares

    There’s a glaring error in this article in referring to Smurthwaite as a comedienne.
    She’s stupid, yes, but funny, no.

  • DukeLax

    Here In the US its the campus Rape klans that are attacking free speech. Now that the Campus Rape klans have their “statistics Alliances” with state law enforcement….they have Inflamed their way to Empowerment by using …rape hysteria and the statistics they got state law enforcement to “cook up” for them.

  • Callipygian

    Douglas, I love you. Keep on truckin’, we’re with you.

  • WTF

    I’d like to see freedom of speech more on the lines of the American model in spite of probable excess’s from either side of a debate. Its ridiculous as well as wrong there is no certainty in UK law that a comment made on a blog site or in public can be defined so vaguely from being acceptable to being a hate crime. As it stands today the CPS can and have in the past decided to prosecute someone for purely politically correct reasons rather than a genuine threat to law and order.

    The classic example of this was the BBC attempt to set up Nick Griffin of the BNP with a hate crime which famously failed when brought to court and the Jury rejected their prosecution. I’m no fan of the BNP or Nick Griffin but as it turned out out he reported on the gang rape of young girls by Pakistani men long before all the sordid details of Rotherhams cover ups surfaced and was charged with a hate crime just for reporting it.

    It is against natural justice that the arbiter of charging a person over an ‘act’ should be in the hands of the politically motivated CPS when the guidance for an act being a crime is so wide or vague. I’m thinking protecting ones home as another case in point where the CPS believes it can get into the mind of those it accuses of using excessive force for instance to determine the thought process behind that act to determine whether it was a crime or not.

    However on freedom of speech, either we have it 100% full on or we honestly say that state censorship exists and then the state then has to spell out EXACTLY what can or cannot be said rather than a biased interpretation by the CPS after the event. Personally, I wish for the American model rather than the UK version where its too easy to have state interference and cherry picking prosecutions, in fact there shouldn’t be any such thing as a verbal hate crime. That old adage stick and stones should apply and if anyone reacts in a violent manner to reading something they find distasteful, then they should be charged with an offense.

  • Abedo Ahmed
  • Dennis Opihory

    what i find stunning is that in 2016 there has to be a discussion about free speech-

  • Fail Burton

    You need to do your homework, Bud. That “envy” you’re referring to is called “intersectionalism” and it is a highly refined dogma within the modern brand of “feminism” you falsely think is the old brand. This is Third Wave Feminism, and it has nothing to do with “equality.” That is the Trojan Horse it rides in on to disguise its insane radicalism and hatred of men and whites.

  • Bernard101

    People laughted when Smurthwaite said she wanted to be a comedian, but they’re not laughing now

  • milford

    I take my hat off to Douglas Murray for his unstinting honesty in the face of the overwhelming PC fascism we find ourselves subject to these days. It should make one sit up and think when a journalist is labelled ‘Brave’ for saying the simple truth in an open democracy that prides itself on the freedom of it’s people and freedom of speech.

  • Dennis McScumbag

    Murray writes a good article but he fails to acknowledge that people like Tim Stanley and Laurie Penny deliberately write provocative tripe to get a reaction and then immediately write a follow up article feigning outrage about the reaction to their original provocation.
    In Tim Stanley’s case it is down to the fact that he wants to get the fame that Milo, Murray and Delingpole etc have but he just does not have the character for it, so writing hit pieces on trump and farage to get a backlash is all he can do to get a name for himself.

  • Rytis

    “Social media gives a megaphone to stupid and aggressive opinions that might otherwise have barely been heard.” Well, to you they seem that way, for others they may seem other way. Let people decide for themselves. I think you disagree with yourself if you defend free speech and want to censor Twitter.

    • MC73

      That’s not what he said.

  • rtj1211

    There are ways of tolerating opinions you don’t agree with, you know. I shared a table on a train to London years ago with a friendly Turkish lady who told me approvingly of how her parents had beaten her as a child and how she beat her own children. I think she meant ‘smack firmly’ rather than inflict the sorts of wounds those in the boxing fraternity would call ‘knock out blows’……

    I mildly opined that ‘that’s not a viewpoint that is currently very popular in this country…..’, which seemed a suitable way of saying ‘Most in Britain see things differently, but maybe most in Turkey agree with you’…..

    She seemed perfectly at ease with that, so you can fundamentally disagree about something without coming to fisticuffs you know……

  • https://twitter.com/jpjanson JP Janson De Couët

    Douglas Murray seems to think that he has some sort of “safe space” within which he can be an extremely right wing racist hate preacher without anybody getting extremely offended/angry/horrified at his smug and appalling bigotry.

    • MC73

      If you genuinely think Murray is an “extremely right wing racist hate preacher”, allow me to congratulate you on your sheltered and cosseted existence.

      • https://twitter.com/jpjanson JP Janson De Couët

        You’ve obviosuly drunk his Kool-Aid ..

  • No Man’s Land

    ‘Comedienne’ – Mr Murray is subtly trolling I think, and good for him.

  • Johnnydub

    I like the way you’ve put ‘feminist comedienne’ in quotes. If you’ve ever had the misfortune to witness KS’s act you would realise she is as funny as herpes.

    Look up her “debate” with Milo Y. on youtube. I put parentheses around debate as her tactics seem to be shouting down and interrupting anyone who has a different opinion to her – then claiming afterwards that such disagreement is tantamount to harassment.

    KS is the walking stereotype of feminism – narcissistic, stupid, angry, aggressive, and utterly misandrist.
    Oh I forgot – ugly too…

    • The Patriarchy

      If you haven’t seen it, here’s an excellent analysis of the interconnected characteristics of fat, feminism, ugliness and unfunniness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwYN7l–3oY

      • Thought Criminal 99

        Thank you T.P. I must add this other clip of a fat ginger feminist. This other one though is hilarious.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4j90-STI_M

        • Marian Hunter

          I watched with morbid fascination. Its true then that The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

    • Lesmond-Nyjacks

      She also has plastic Boobs!
      A textbook Feminist Mong!

  • Lawrence James.

    Electronic catcalls and rants are tiresome, but they belong to a tradition of free speech. Take comfort Murray from the past: look through the cartoons of Gilray and Cruikshank and re-read Shelley’s Mask of Anarchy – ‘I met murder on the way/-/ He wore a mask like Castlereagh. Infinitely more elegant than most anonymous trolls, but still pretty strong.Lord John John Russell, the Whig PM, once declared that of the lower orders disliked his policies, they broke his windows, and quite right too. Politics had never been for the timid or wimpish: anonymous insults have now taken the place of a barrage of brickbats, dead cats, rotten vegetables and night soil.

  • James Chilton

    I believe it’s a badge of honour to get banned from the Comment Is Free charade at the Guardian.

    • Father Todd Untious

      Banned three to es fro the Daily Mail hate pages for taking issue with their staff shill. That have an automatic system that gives 200 red arrows a day to posts the editorial team disapprove of. Simon Lambert is particularly censorious of opposition

      • Lesmond-Nyjacks

        “They have an automatic system that gives 200 red arrows a day to posts the editorial team disapprove of.”

        No, you gullible fantasist, you have very stupid opinions that add nothing whatsoever to any conversation.
        You were not “Banned”, the fact of the matter is nobody wants lo listen to your preposterous bollox.

        • Father Todd Unctious

          Oh I have been banned alright. I have been threatened in writing, with formal legal action if I ever seek to comment on a Daily Mail site.
          The reason? I publicised the underhand tax arrangements of their owners.

  • Davedeparis

    Moral intimidation and bullying is what feminism is all about and like all bullies they are essentially cowards which is why they are silent on issues like Rotherham and Colonge. Also if Ms. Smurthwaite was any good wouldn’t she drop the feminist qualifier and simply be a comedian?

    • Lesmond-Nyjacks

      “Also if Ms. Smurthwaite was any good wouldn’t she drop the feminist qualifier and simply be a comedian?”

      No, she is as funny as watching a well loved elderly relative dying of cancer.

      • Davedeparis

        Yep.

  • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

    The best way to deal with such #SJW is to ignore them. Frankly I don’t know why you’d appear on a platform with them, you only give credence to them by doing so.

  • john ward

    I read this morning that 85% of all benefit fraud ‘tips’ are false. A similar figure applies after police have asked for “others abused by” a celeb to come forward….and collect their money.
    There are myriad sites one simply cannot comment at in this vein without being followed by troll storms for weeks afterwards.
    At the other end of the spectrum, Bloomberg business is not remotely interested in any comment suggesting that the current global crisis might be systemic in nature. The technique there is to ‘frame’ the contrarian with words like extreme, socialist, unhelpful and so forth.
    I fear the problem is ideology. The one thing guaranteed with every ideology is that new ideas are not allowed.
    Smurfwaite? Now that would be a wonderful name.

    • JSC

      You see, the conclusion that I got from reading that “85% of all benefit fraud ‘tips’ are false” report, was that 85% of benefit recipients receive such much cash that an ordinary person would have expected they could have only got it through fraud. 😉

      • Andrew Cole

        which they do. Mine was engineered after Social Services sent round a claim form advisor who then tried to change my answers for my sons DLA form in order to get the most benefit.

        My son has ADHD. That means he gets a little bit angrier than most kids sometimes. Something we have managed to reduce by good old (not corporal punishment) disciplinary ways such as “If you do this you will lose your tablet for the day”.

        He hardly has an episode now and as he matures (he is 10) it becomes much less of a problem anyway.

        The Claims Form advisor was not happy with my answers to the form questions where I outlined that there are minor problems but not much different to any other kid and was trying to prompt me to detail any minor problem as bigger than it was.

        He wanted to put down that he needed constant supervision, couldn’t be left alone for a second, that he was harmful to himself etc.

        I am sure that he must have changed the details of that form after he left because I cannot comprehend how my wife gets £240 caring allowance a month for doing nothing more than being a Mum and how he gets £310 a month for just getting a bit angry occassionally. Add to that an extra £100 a week child tax credit.

        So it is a business. Not only is the government giving out money to people under false pretenses. They are also funding the people that falsify the forms.

        I’ve said it many times on here. That works out at an extra £10k a year (adding on tax and NI) just because my son has an angry outburst every now and again.

        Not to worry he is only signed off on that for 3 years so he will have to be re-investigated in a year and a half.

  • gerronwithit

    Twitter and its ilk seem to be an ideological shotgun for deranged, disaffected minorities to pour poison on anyone who has the temerity not to support their ‘views’. Cloistered in their creepy cabals they distill their vile messages and then let forth in emetic volumes of hatred at anyone they perceve as the ‘enemy’, usually a ‘normal’ who wants to get on with their life and thus cave as soon as the banshees swirl and howl around the twitter sphere against the injustices of normality.

    I can hardly be surprised that a grotesque such as Julie Burchill feels admiration for the hideous Jess Philips as both have an aberrant way of assessing what ‘normal’ is or should be in this country. By indulging infantile prejudices and opinions with no recourse to response for fear of being accused of racism, or misogyny or homophobia or telescopia or any other elevated, perceived prejudice, we are now reaping the poisoned harvest of our own social destruction.

    I don’t do Twitter but am very happy to get into a verbal joust with anyone who has the patience to read and contradict anything I say. I will not restrict myself to some ludicrous 140 character almost inevitable headline cheap shot designed to goad on the brothers and sisters while intimidating the target. One on one and one by one I am happy to take any slings and arrows.

  • ROUCynic

    “Social media gives a megaphone to stupid and aggressive opinions that might otherwise have barely been heard”

    As does, apparently, the Spectator!

  • Father Todd Untious

    Then I should be honoured that Tamerlane stalks and abuses most of my comments. He has gone to the trouble of targeting 70 of his last 100 posts at insulting me and 30 alone in the last week.
    A badge of honour that he sees fit to devote so much of his working time to attacking little old me. A near year long campaign to pretend I work for that show off George Galloway being his default lie.

    • James Chilton

      I used to leave my Disqus history open for ‘inspection’. Now, I hide it to avoid acquiring ‘followers’ who can be a nuisance.

      Getting abuse from strangers on the internet is almost inevitable because anonymity confers immunity to sanctions.

      • Gilbert White

        I cannot contact the Spectator. My mail account was bombarded with shaker ahmed postings, by the hundreds. Then my Disqus account showed me a picture of a beaten man, saying I am next . Then I was banned by Spectator. Then my innocent posting of this scenario was put in moderation. What a joke, may Allah destroy the evil ones?

      • Andrew Cole

        I don’t. Wolfeson and his tribe can follow me around if they like. I can choose whether or not they get a reply.

    • Andrew Cole

      I’m pretty sure you could be added to that same list. You follow people around as well and I would guess his 70 posts were in response to an initial response from you and the continued replies that went after.

  • Richard

    If receiving online abuse is an honour, all I can do is call you a ?”E$%%@(&.

  • London Calling

    I remember many years ago when my friends daughter who is of mixed race, A Black Father from Jamaica and White British Mother. The daughter is white and has frizzy hair, which she would condition and tie back. Anyway the daughter attended The London Metropolitan University and heard there was to be a meeting for British Black ethnic students who could have extra funding for trips etc. and when she went to the meeting at the University she was barred from entering because she was told she wasn’t Black. My friend’s daughter said that her Father was Black and asked what the problem was, only to be threatened that she would be reported for being aggressive because she wouldn’t go away and kept asking but why? I remember this well and could not believe how racist it was and that the University was endorsing it. This was Islington under the militant power of Labour at the time, when the going saying was, as long as you’re not white and British we will support you. The only positive to come out of it was that disabled people got priority regardless of race and skin colour…other than that the whole thing spewed hypocrisy and unfortunately due to further racism, Hackney Council got more government funding than Islington because more poor British Black children lived there, including clothing grants etc, whilst poor White British children in Islington didn’t. I could go on, but hopefully you get my point, Freedom of speech? I think not….not without a lynch mob attack mentality….

    • Andrew Cole

      This racism BS gets on my wick. If you keep a problem in the limelight then you never move on from the problem as it is always there.

      My mixed race boys are quite different. My eldest has almost white blonde hair and fair skin unless the sun comes out at which point his skin goes instantly golden brown like the perfect white man’s tan that takes weeks of gentle nurturing to gain.

      My youngest son is a typical mixed race skin tone with that golden light brown skin and he has almost black hair.

      I had to tell my oldest son to stop calling his brother the n***** word and explain what it meant. They just don’t get it. They just repeat Why do people think that or do that etc.

      So in the end my wife said “just don’t say the word. I am black and I don’t like that word” to which they both replied almost in unison “No you’re not, you’re brown”.

      If only adults could take everything they hear on face value instead of having to read something sinister into everything. If they did we could concentrate on real issues instead of ones that aren’t really there.

      We will never wipe out discrimination because people keep on deciding that something else is discriminating against someone and it is nearly always someone else deciding that someone else will get offended and even though that someone else had never really thought about it like that they now say well actually yes I am now offended or a group jump on the cause and convince a lot of someone elses that they should be offended. Its a very lucrative business this fighting for other people malarky.

      • Lesmond-Nyjacks

        The left thrive on this type of divisive bullshit, and they will never let it go.
        The left need to keep the victimhood racket going, they are vile racist scumbags.

    • Rædwald

      “I remember many years ago when my friends daughter who is of mixed race”

      “The daughter is white”

      Make up your mind.

  • Jacobi

    I have in comment frequently been clamped down on while commenting on blogs, (including the Spectator actually) in spite of always making considered and analytical comment.

    The movements you mention active-homosexuals et al, may have won there battle for rights, but that means that the rights of those who disagree have been lost and this must now be the new battle.

    Intriguing also is the “reasonable” commentator who if stood up to with reasonable counter-arguments,
    quickly looses cool, and starts what I call the slide into abuse.

    One word I was called recently, I had to look up. When I told my Tues/Wednesday lunch time
    pals, who have always considered me a boring old stick, my reputation soared !

    • London Calling

      Sorry to hear that, some of my church friends do not agree with
      homosexuals getting married in church, simply because the scriptures forbid
      homosexuality, however throwing gay men from the top of buildings like Isis do
      is never going to happen here, thankfully…it would appear to me that there’s
      nothing wrong with disagreeing, unfortunately unless you agree you end up
      facing the same abuse the accusers once faced…strange but true…

      Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”1

      Leviticus 20:13,
      “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman,
      both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put
      to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”

      1 Corinthians 6:9-10,
      “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom
      of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
      adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the
      covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the
      kingdom of God.”

      Romans 1:26-28,
      “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their
      women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and
      in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the
      woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men
      committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due
      penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to
      acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do
      those things which are not proper.”

      • Father Todd Untious

        Did they have Bangkok Lady Boys in the Bible?

        • JabbaPapa

          Since you ask — Deuteronomy : {22:5} A woman shall not be clothed with manly apparel, nor shall a man make use of feminine apparel. For whoever does these things is abominable with God.

          • Father Todd Untious

            Yikes. The Bible bashers would outlaw Panto and the Two Ronnie’s.

            • Andrew Cole

              And most of Portugal’s telly programs.

      • Andrew Cole

        Well if its in a holy book I am surprised there isn’t a movement of people enacting punishment on those that have broken the rules of the holy book.

        And then any criticism of these that are dealing out punishment will lead to cries of “christianophobia”

  • Ken

    I imagine that there are a great many people bitterly disappointed that they’re not as important as they believe they should be.

    • Father Todd Untious

      Yes. This may explain Tamerlane. Disappointing even to himself. So ready to gainsay anything I post he once denied that Britain won WW2 ,preferring to believe Hitler won.

    • Andrew Cole

      These NPD types aren’t disappointed that they’re not as important as they believe they should be because due to their disorder they are unaware that they aren’t important. Thats the whole problem. They truly do believe that they are important and that is what makes them such dangerous people.

  • Miss Floribunda Rose

    A 15 year-old and his father were recently questioned by detectives after the boy was discovered looking at the UKIP and EDL websites on the school computer. The boy said to his teacher that there were “too many people coming into the country”. The teacher then phoned the police. Incredible, but true. The story can be found in the Daily Wail.

    • Ivan Ewan

      And the best part about it? By the reactions of the bien pensant, you could easily imagine the EDL website to be packed with crazy race war agitprop. It’s understandable, that’s the impression they want to give. Whereas in fact – and to be fair, I haven’t looked at it since TR left, so I would appreciate an update if anyone else has the time – I haven’t seen anything on it that wasn’t well-researched, justified, and in line with the British tradition of liberty.

      We’re living in a time where people are afraid to even look at material they don’t agree with, because looking might contaminate them, ideologically, socially. It’s disappointing.

      • Alison H

        I have written you a long and I think quite interesting reply but the moderator will not let me post it because it makes reference to a certain highly intelligent,right wing politician and a speech he gave in Birmingham prior to the race relations act and the fact that I hadn’t read it until last year for the reasons you give above. I have altered my comment umpteen times, it contains no swearing, but even at the Spectator it seems not just his name is verboten, but any reference to his ‘infamous speech’.

        • Chalcedon

          He was far too eudite and his classical allusion to the river were grossly misunderstood. He obviously thought that the recipients of his speech had had an education on a par with his, which was a mistake. Sadly of course the man was correct in all that he said. If only we had another Cromwell to clean out our dirty stables. Hercules was just a show off.

        • Malcolm Marchesi

          Do you mean Enoch Powell and his so-called “rivers of blood Speech”, which description was a triumph for the lefty propaganda machine !

          • Alison H

            Ah, that’s interesting, you got it past them, I will try again, in that case, it must be something else I said. Fifth time lucky!

            • Malcolm Marchesi

              If at first you don’t succeed…………

          • Father Todd Untious

            Don’t be silly,she said highly intelligent.

            • Malcolm Marchesi

              Ooooohhh !!

      • milford

        The last dictator of Singapore, another multi-culti small island, said: ‘You can have multi-culturism and you can have democracy but you can’t have them both at the same time in the same place.

      • Andrew Cole

        While the website of the EDL webpage might be within the bounds and I would expect it to be, an accidental opening of any of their facebook pages reveals comment sections that are to and fro between muslims and fascists with the former continually saying dirty kuffours that never wash more than once a week and the latter telling the former that they need a few Bacon butties.

        My Mum once liked some page that was titled ‘I love England’ or something like that and of course it comes up on my news feed so I looked at the page before liking it myself and my goodness. I had to send my Mum a message asking her if she knew what page she had liked and then she was shocked too.

        The EDL pages were worst in the days after the Lee Rigby murder and it was from both sides. There really are a lot of people both muslim and white fascists that spiel hatred toward each other freely on facebook.

        It makes the Guardian and on here seem like the kind of Language in a Jane Austen novel.

        • Ivan Ewan

          It’s not much of a surprise, considering that every time I ever read comments on YouTube, I regret it. But yeah, the EDL has always had a problem with extremists being attracted to it, and never properly dispelled that problem, which is why it fell apart.

          • Andrew Cole

            I was trying to point out that it was a 2 way street. Far from a persecution of an innocent group of people by white fascists there were as many single posters of the muslim community if not more than the ‘clique’ of white fascists.

            The reason I included it in the comments from this article was because most of these comments sections would start off with white people talking normally, nothing offensive and then a muslim commenter would take offence at something not offensive and the war of words would commence.

            It was /is typical of when someone decides something that isn’t offensive actually is and provokes the very conflict they are imply they fear.

        • Mark

          That is exactly why “likes” as reported by news outlets etc, are rubbish.
          I noted some relatives sharing or liking Facebook “do something about dog abuse” pages. When I looked at the source of the page, it was “Britain First.”
          I’ve no idea if they follow Britain First specifically, but apart from them, many would like and share that as it propagates around.
          The next thing is that it’s reported on the news that the Britain First Facebook page has got 100,000 “likes” or something. What is not analysed is why.

    • Father Todd Untious

      Fatal flaw. You read it in the D Mail. Nothing is true and everything is possible.

    • Marian Hunter

      I am now banned from the daily fail about this article it seems. That can be my Blue Peter badge for the “Third Age”

  • Miss Floribunda Rose

    I have always wanted to receive online death threats, but have no idea how to go about getting ’em. Do other readers have any advice they could give me concerning this matter? I thank you in advance.

    • 1e2c3a4w5

      Please supply details of your address and availability as I intend to come round and chop your head off.

      • perfect_failure

        That has to be the classiest death threat I’ve ever read. Bravo.

        • Andrew Cole

          Polonium is in the post…….but you don’t know which envelope has been laced…Ha, ha ,ha ,ha ha <===My bestest evil laugh.

    • Nick

      I might be able to help you there.If you go into the football story comments section of the Daily Telegraph for example and say things like,’The players should be sacked and not the manager’.

      Or Manchester Utd belong in League 2.

      Or my favourite,Messi and Ronaldo are moving to Plymouth Argyle…You will receive some interesting eye watering comments.

      • The_Common_Potato

        Mainly from Laffalot.

        ETA: IMO the F1 section is even worse.

    • Father Todd Untious

      Simply reply to Tamerlane using facts and statistics, or feign a moderate leaning to the left politically. He will you d you for months. He will invent stories about you and insult your children.
      Go a step further and cast doubt on the honesty of his Russian friends and he will accuse you of being Lucifer or worse.

    • The Patriarchy

      There’s always a lot of inarticulate abuse and ranting hate to be had on the ironically named “Comment is Free” pages of the Guardian. A little sparing praise for the Government, criticism of any aspect of the incessant corruption and incompetence of the SNP, or questioning of the idiotic notion that modern European prosperity is down to some African sugar cutter in the seventeenth century – any of these will call forth the howling imbeciles.

      • Airey Belvoir

        A silly hand-wringing piece on CIF about the poor, downtrodden etc ‘refugees’ losing their Jungle camp has resulted in a huge, intelligent rebuttal on CIF comments with virtually every one pointing out that a) they are not refugees, refusing to claim that status, and b) it is not inhumane to offer better, sanitary accommodation. Many also say they are more sympathetic to the assaulted lorry drivers and the beleagured citizens of Calais. Worth a look.

  • Old Fox

    In brief, those whose stock in trade is to denounce others as abusive are usually abusers themselves. Nazis and communists made (and make, in the case of communists, who, alas, are still in business) frequent references to their opponents as “criminals” by way of justifying their own criminal intentions towards them.

    • Andrew Cole

      NPD disorder, where someone is always making the issue about themselves. These people never do something wrong, it is always someone else’s fault somehow. If you aren’t paying them attention you don’t care and then once you pay attention you get a load of abuse about you not caring so you stop paying attention and eventually don’t care for real.

      These people draw you in initially through abusing a normal person’s empathy and sympathy and then bleeds you dry of both and can be very hard to get away from. They are adept at being 2 faced so that most people do not believe you are talking about the same person as they know.

      They are skilled manipuators or people all in the aid of me…look at me…feel sorry for me…I want to abuse your empathy and sympathy to get you to focus on the only issue that matters………ME.

  • andre_michel

    “…they were going to (if I remember correctly) ‘cut her head off and bash her face in.’

    I shouldn’t be too concerned about my face being bashed in if I’d had my head cut off.

  • MikeF

    Interesting what you said there Douglas about recasting words as threats in order to suppress freedom of speech. Of course the point has been made before:

    ‘people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: “If only,” they love to think, “if only people wouldn’t talk about it, it probably wouldn’t happen.”
    Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical.’

  • Linda Pelham

    Always spot-on as usual, Douglas.

    • Andrew Cole

      Can we expect a twitter war now this article has been published?

  • WFC

    I explained that I don’t talk about these things in public and wasn’t going to start now, leading Smurthwaite to joyously claim victory in the death-threat wars.

    Whilst you do not discuss such things, Mark Steyn has noted that every time you and he attend an anniversary of the Danish cartoon publication, you get higher and higher up the speaking list as those previously above you have been either murdered or forced to go into hiding.

    Your stoicism in the face of real and genuine intimidation ought to make Smurthwaite ashamed of herself.

    • E.I.Cronin

      Hear Hear. Douglas is a truly brave man and a great journalist. I read in a recent Gatestone article that Zemmour the conservative author and Laurence Marchand-Taillade (a politican for a far-Left party) are now under police protection in France. Ayaan’s comment a few years back is more relevant than ever about public figures sharing the risk and burden of defending our culture and freedom.

      • ClaudineDHatton


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      • Nowl

        The French have been giving misleading names to their political parties for decades, maybe centuries. The Radical Left Party to which Ms L M-T belongs isn’t far-Left at all, it’s roughly equivalent to the Lib Dems.

        • E.I.Cronin

          Yes I copied the ‘Far Left’ label from the Gatestone article and took it with a grain of salt. The terms are meaningless now, apparently ‘Far Right’ applies to anyone who objects to Jihad, Sharia or believes in a stable, safe and ethnic/culturally coherent nation :^{} Perhaps the entire Wesyern world has garbled its terminology!?

    • grimm

      Smurthwaite has self identified as a feminist and political activist. This means, of course, that she can only see herself as both righteous and brave (feminists are always “brave”) in the face of intimidation.

      • Zalacain

        Of course the worst thing that could happen to her, is if people stopped paying attention to her.

        • post_x_it

          They already have.

    • Charlie Angel

      And what I find most appalling is that if – God forbid – anything were to happen to people such as Douglas or Mark Steyn, then there would be of course the usual reaction of how shocking and unacceptable in civilised society it was etc etc.

      Then there would be the pause.The pause that has been familiar since the time of Rushdie. Then that knowing glance, that thoughtful nod and the muttering, “Of course if only he hadn’t stoked up things. If only he had left things alone. Not been so nasty to….well, those who can’t help reacting in this way because of the way they have been treated.” And with a sad shake of the head, “He really should have known better….”

      And when I hear that sort of mealy mouthed victim blaming, I really do feel like punching someone in the face…

      • WFC

        And they would have been asking for it:-)

  • Anti_Theist

    You’ve got the measure of Smurthwaite. Angry failed comedienne who only talks about herself and how horrible men are to her.

    • Andrew Cole

      Failed at comedy so try and earn money on the back of campaigning. Which fight can we revive from the past? Feminism that’ll do. Lets keep that one alive. Nice little earner and keeps me known.

      • balance_and_reason

        I believe Uncle Lenny took this route too when the audiences stopped laughing.

        • Andrew Cole

          It isn’t Lenny’s fault really. He built his act on racial stereotypes and once racism was not as big an issue and people were trying to stop white comedians from telling racist jokes then the black man playing the stereotype of the black man became a bit unfunny.

          Chris Rock and American comedians like him will find this out if America is ever allowed to move on from racism. I’m not sure that successful black people want to move on though. They make huge money from being champions of the issue they perpetuate.

          If you look at Sasha Baron Cohen his Ali G character was a play on this from a different angle making fun of the white guy that is so heavily influenced by black culture that he thinks white people are being racist to him. However when he did the Borat thing I found him incredibly unfunny because he is just doing a modern version of the British making fun of the stereotype again.

        • Lesmond-Nyjacks

          Lenny is, and always has bee as funny as bowel cancer (obviously not Lenny having bowel cancer, that would be truly funny).

          He is a piss poor Lee Jasper style Racist, and no less ridiculous.

  • Mark

    There is an amazing thing within this. It says “Which led Smurthwaite to reply….”.
    Reply? Not interrupt constantly?
    Every time I’ve seen her, which is usually on The Big Questions, but she can pop up on news snippets, she shouts at an alarming rate, doesn’t take a breath, and her ranted opinion is all.

    • In2minds

      “doesn’t take a breath” – Ah! Circular breathing a very useful skill in jazz saxophone, I can do it. But you can over do it too.

    • Andrew Cole

      Like Soubry who speaks, then says over and over again ‘not true, not true, not true’ while the other person is speaking and then moans if the other person tries to get a word in edgeways when she speaks.

      We need some tougher interviewers/chairs that will tell these people to “shut up and wait your turn”

  • SalmondFishing

    I found the comparison of Birmingham with Cologne very helpful indeed. I don’t think I am ever going to go there.

    • Mongo

      I don’t blame you. Parts of Birmingham now resemble Islamabad. Perhaps the comparison wasn’t too far off the mark after all

      • In2minds

        The fragrant Ms Phillips would have known that one end of Broad St is the conference centre that once held the Tory party conference some years ago. It was OK then, she moaned about the other bit.

    • Father Todd Untious

      One is an old fashioned word for very strong smell. The other is in Germany.

    • Malcolm Marchesi

      Where ? Birmingham or Cologne or neither . Anyone who believes almost anything that Jess Phillips says should have a bucket of salt at hand !

    • flydlbee

      You will be able to go there and be raped twenty minutes earlier on HS2!

  • In2minds

    Jess Phillips, ‘future leader of her party etc’ – I should wait till you have met her then decide! I’ve done both and reckon not possible. Remember Liz Kendall? Over promoted and sunk without trace.

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