Ross Clark has written a brilliant piece for the Daily Mail pointing out the double standards of the people currently demanding Jeremy Clarkson be fired from all his jobs for ‘hate speech’. We never hear a squeak out of Chris Packham, Ayesha Hazarika, Carol Vorderman et al when people on the left say equally nasty things about people they don’t like.
The backlash against Clarkson has also highlighted the monumental and ceaseless hypocrisy of the Left.
For while its commentators, politicians and Twitter warriors erupt into outrage at a columnist in a Conservative newspaper, the truth is that the Left has its own despicable record of making horrible remarks, some of which might be said to verge on incitement to violence.
I am not in any way trying to excuse Clarkson — just pointing out that many of the voices now demanding his head will have been conspicuously silent over even viler comments from the Left.
When they cause offence, they rarely seem to pay a price or even apologise. Different standards seem to apply.
As evidence, here the Mail presents just a small selection of egregious remarks made by Left-wing figures in recent years — and examines what happened afterwards…
ACID REMARKS ABOUT FARAGE
During Britain’s last round of European Parliament elections in 2019, Nigel Farage, then leader of the Brexit Party, had a milkshake thrown over him.
A few days later, comedian Jo Brand said on the Radio 4 programme Heresy: “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid.” She followed up her remark by saying: “That’s just me. I’m not going to do it. It’s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.”
In spite of acid attacks being a very serious problem, and the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox three years earlier, the BBC refused to apologise for broadcasting Brand’s comments, saying they were made on a “deliberately provocative” show.
A ‘BAD END’ FOR BORIS
This week, children’s author Sir Philip Pullman described Clarkson’s column as “poison”. Yet in 2019, when the debate over the Brexit Withdrawal Bill was reaching its heated climax, Sir Philip weighed in by tweeting: “When I hear the name ‘‘Boris Johnson’’, for some reason the words ‘rope’ and ‘nearest lamp-post’ come to mind as well.”
When he was criticised for what he said he had intended as a joke, far from apologising, he merely switched his proposed method of execution — throwing in for good measure some language parents wouldn’t want in their children’s bedtime stories.
“For goodness’ sake,” he wrote. “Of course I wasn’t advocating hanging the b*****d. But rulers who try to do away with democratic parliaments come to bad ends. As I pointed out on Twitter some time ago, the axe and the block are still in working order.”
In an interview with the ^ shortly afterwards, he was still revelling in his ‘joke’, saying “the upshot of it was that I gained 2,000 Twitter followers”.
GOVE “LOOKS LIKE A FOETUS” TAUNT
In a 2013 edition of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, chaired by Sandi Toksvig, one of the guests referred to Michael Gove, then education secretary, as having “a face like a foetus in a jar”. Not to be outdone, another guest on the show replied that Gove had “a face that makes even the most pacifist of people reach for the shovel”.
Cue laughter all round.
SICK JIBE OVER GRAVELY ILL PM
In an edition of Channel 4’s late-night comedy show The Last Leg in May 2020, just days after Boris Johnson had narrowly escaped death from COVID-19, actress Miriam Margolyes attacked the Government’s handling of the pandemic before adding: “I mean, I had difficulty not wanting Boris Johnson to die. Then I thought, that will reflect badly on me and I don’t want to be the sort of person that wants people to die.”
Since she is a confirmed member of the ‘outspoken’ liberal Left, her comments have not prevented her being invited onto Channel 4 shows since.
BOVINE ATTACK ON PRITI PATEL
The Guardian is never slow to call out racism, whether real or imagined. But in March 2020 that did not stop the paper publishing a drawing by its in-house cartoonist, Steve Bell, depicting then Home Secretary Priti Patel as a bull. Sitting alongside Boris Johnson (also as a bull) in the Commons, she had cloven hooves for hands, a ring through her nose, horns and a demonic expression.
Patel, as the paper’s editors surely knew, is a Hindu and it was deeply offensive to portray her in this way. Yet it declined to remove the cartoon or apologise, merely stating that “politicians of all parties are quite often caricatured as animals”.
Ross has plenty more examples
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: I thought I’d identified the most over-the-top reaction to Clarkson’s Sun column by a hysterical lefty when I wrote about the affair a couple of days ago. But in a classic ‘hold my beer’ moment, Dr Louise Raw has launched a crowdfunder to finance a legal action against Clarkson.