|Yasmin Alibhai-Brown debates with Rod Liddle (CHANNEL 4)|
The entirely understandable, and indeed correct, anger over Michael Fabricant's "I-would-end-up-punching-her-in-the-throat" tweet has overshadowed something equally as important, and to me, offensive: the actual debate itself between Rod Liddle and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Channel 4 News which provoked the stupid comment.
Before I get into this, let me say I am no fan of Rod Liddle. I find him to be at best clumsy with his language, and at worst downright nasty and offensive.
Last week, when the free copy of The Sun dropped through my letter box, I read his column about how great it was to be British. But for some reason it started with a perverse attack on Belgium and how terrible it would be to be born there. It's all very well going for the ha-ha-isn't-England-great-everywhere-else-is-rubbish line but for me it was in poor taste, unnecessary, and offensive.
And here is why.
I don't think it's right or fair to dismiss a whole group of people with shared, often negative, characteristics. I don't think it's right or fair to tar a whole section of society with the traits of a minority within that group.
Doesn't matter to me if that group is Belgian, Muslim, Christian, Black, White, Male, Female etc.
But last night Yasmin Alibhai-Brown did just night. She admitted she has "loathing" for the working class, based on negative and distressing experiences at the hands of some members of that section of society.
Here is the transcript:
Rod Liddle: "At least she is absolutely clear about her loathing for the working class as she says...
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown:[Interrupts] "...And you. I'm clearly honest, I loathe you."
It's not admitting to her loathing of Rod Liddle that offends me, it's the fact she didn't deny she has "loathing" for the working class.
She hasn't met me. I come from a working class background. Does she loathe me?
Have I threatened her? Have I assaulted her? Have I carried out any of the terrible things that have happened to her? Were there done in my name, or with my blessing or knowledge?
Where is the indignation about that comment, to go alongside the anger at Michael Fabricant?