Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Cummins may be part of the green ink brigade, but he was right about Islam

Rod Liddle looks back at the case of the British Council employee who dared to speak the truth about Islamic ideology — and notes that what was heretical in 2004 is now almost orthodox

Rod Liddle looks back at the case of the British Council employee who dared to speak the truth about Islamic ideology — and notes that what was heretical in 2004 is now almost orthodox

A madman has been bombarding Fleet Street journalists with extremely long emails, asking for redress, for a hearing. He feels traduced. Nothing new there, then. Lunatics write to me every day, long handwritten scrawls of bitter psychosis — and it really is true that the maddest are written in green ink, or a similarly unnatural hue. I imagine these woebegone people wandering into WH Smith’s and saying to some babe at the counter: ‘Excuse me, I would like to buy a pen, for I need to write a long letter.’ And the girl narrowing her eyes and saying: ‘Certainly, sir. But tell me, are you crazier than a shithouse rat? Because if so, you will need the green, purple or orange biros which you will find on the display to your left. If, however, you are fairly rational — by which I mean you have not received compulsory psychiatric counselling in the past six weeks — then you may prefer those blue and black pens on your immediate right.’ That must be what happens. Incidentally, the more barking mad the letter I receive, the more likely it is that they fervently agree with whatever it is I’ve written.

What with the internet, though, you require a different recourse to judge the mental state of a correspondent. A fairly reliable giveaway is the number of people — and indeed the lateral, qualitative spread of people — to whom the email has been cc’d. You notice it’s not just been forwarded to your editor, which is fair enough, but also to the Press Complaints Commission, Scotland Yard, Gordon Brown, the International Court of Human Rights, Margaret Thatcher, Ant and Dec and our Lord Jesus Christ and you know you are, metaphorically, in the land of the green biro.

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