Nick Robinson came under attack last week after quoting a government source’s description of the Woolwich bombers’ appearance. Writing in tomorrow’s Spectator, Robinson recalls the storm:
‘A glance at Twitter revealed, however, that those words — despite being a quote — had outraged some who thought they revealed a prejudice that all Muslims look the same. One witty tweet asked if the man playing at Wembley in Bayern Munich’s no. 7 shirt looked Muslim. Franck Ribéry is French, he’s white and he’s Muslim.’
You might have thought that there were bigger fish to fry last week; but the easily-offended, on both sides of the aisle, busied themselves by taking offence:
‘The next day a new round of condemnation began. Why had I bowed to pressure? Why had I responded to Muslim oversensitivity?’
So, was the BBC political editor leant on? Apparently not:
‘As it happens, I had not discussed the idea of apologising with my bosses, let alone been ordered by them to do so.’
Robinson has stern words for those who saw the apology ‘as another example of the modern curse of political correctness.’ On the contrary, he saw it as ‘something very old fashioned and very British — courtesy.’
Look out for Nick’s notebook in tomorrow’s edition of the Spectator, which also contains the latest Steerpike column. Subscribers will not have to look far for either, but non-subscribers can join us here.