Rod Liddle

A champion of inconvenient truths

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Apologies for the absence: hope you’re enjoying the weather. Thought I’d draw your attention to an article in the Daily Mail by a former colleague of mine, Barnie Choudhury. Barnie’s a Hindu, and his piece is pegged to that new report which suggests that Hindus and Sikhs are, more than ever, part of the bedrock of Middle England, sharing the same values and aspirations as the white majority. Quite why anyone found this surprising is beyond me, but apparently they did. Anyway, Barnie explains at some length how he his family came to Britain (his father had an affection and respect for the Raj) and personified those somewhat dissolving values of hard work, belief in education, intense patriotism and a sort of social conservatism.

He also mentions that he covered the race riots in the north west of England back in 2001. Indeed he did – I commissioned him to report on what was going on while I was the editor of the Today programme. He did a brilliant job; he was the first journalist to report on “no-go areas” for white people in parts of Burnley. What he didn’t mention in his article, out of a typical modesty, is the intense vitriol poured upon him both from within the BBC and beyond, as a consequence of his reports. Among those who eviscerated him was the smug and reptilian Channel Four News presenter Krishnan Guru Murthy; all of this because Barnie dared to challenge the convenient shibboleth that racism works only in one direction – from whites and towards ethnic minorities. He was a good and brave and honest reporter, Barnie and it’s a shame the BBC didn’t make him an editor. But not surprising………