Rod Liddle

In defence of Jess Brammar

In defence of Jess Brammar
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I noticed with interest that Gigalum island — off the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll — was up for sale for half a million quid or so. Nineteen rather barren acres, slightly warmed by the Gulf Stream. These little parcels of desolation quite often become available for purchase and I do wonder if Gigalum should be purchased by the state for the dumping of toxic waste. Gruinard island, further north, was used by the government during the second world war as a site for testing militarised anthrax, for example.

My proposal for Gigalum is that it should be a repository for everyone in the country with the word ‘diversity’ anywhere in their job title. The taxpayer would provide tents and low-quality food and the new inhabitants would be invited to employ their professional skills on the many colonies of seabirds which abound. Boat trips could be arranged so that normal people could view, through binoculars, the likes of June Sarpong lecturing a gannet about its inherent privilege, as a bird born with white feathers.

Some people may be offended by my use of the term ‘toxic waste’ for these people, but I mean it quite literally. This newish and fecund industry is, to my mind, wholly toxic, sowing division between people who would otherwise happily get along and treating certain sectors of our ethnic minorities as if they were needy children. And ‘waste’? Boy, oh boy. The money we would save by just housing and feeding these people instead of actually employing them in their chosen roles of making the world a slightly worse place. Various NHS trusts have been advertising for diversity co-ordinators recently, at up to £70,000 a pop. Yes, that’s the perpetually cash-strapped NHS, spending millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on these asinine appointments. The aforementioned Ms Sarpong trousers £267k per year in her important work — three days a week — to make the BBC even more race-obsessed and cringing than it is at the moment. So off to Gigalum with them. And if they don’t like it, they could transfer, free of charge, to Gruinard. It’s probably fairly safe now (and this might be a useful way of finding out for sure).

I assume that Ms Sarpong was somewhere behind the quiz recently given out to BBC employees in order that they might understand the very real nature of their hideous white privilege. This thing, ‘The Ally Track’, takes the form of a race in which each ‘player’ is asked whether they are white, male and can express their ‘sexuality in the workplace’. White, straight blokes would find themselves winning the race easily, you see. Except that is not the reality, is it? The BBC regularly advertises posts open to ethnic minorities only, for a start, so no honky’s going to win those particular races. Further, a survey by the Creative Diversity Network (off to Gigalum with you lot) showed that ethnic minorities and homosexuals were significantly over--represented in BBC productions. So, in other words, Ms Sarpong is perpetuating a downright falsehood.

If you are a black, transgender amputee you would, in the modern BBC, win the Ally race by a furlong. Nor did this absurd confection pick up on any of the other stuff which enables people to progress swiftly within the corporation. It did not ask: ‘Are you a public-school-educated middle-class tosser with a social science degree?’ Nor: ‘Do you subscribe to a catalogue of inane left-liberal shibboleths which defy rationality?’ Nor ‘Do you think Israel is evil?’ Nor ‘Brexit’s just ghastly, isn’t it?’

I wonder how Jess Brammar would have coped with the Ally test? Jess is about to become executive news editor for the BBC. Her appointment has caused controversy and provoked Robbie Gibb, a member of the BBC board, to reportedly text Fran Unsworth, the sadly departing head of news, objecting to the appointment on political grounds. This is because Ms Brammar is exactly the sort of person who would win my version of the Ally race. Subscribes to a catalogue of inane left-liberal shibboleths which defy rationality? You betcha. A former boss of the appalling, left-wing, HuffPost UK and a former deputy editor of Newsnight, she has become famous for a series of idiotic tweets — hundreds of them, now hastily deleted — in which she pours scorn on the Conservative government and Boris Johnson in particular and of course disses Brexit. Oh, and she is ‘in a relationship’ with a Guardian journalist, according to that font of inaccuracy, Wikipedia. In other words, she ticks all the right boxes. As a consequence it is not just Robbie Gibb who is getting hot under the collar: the right, in general, is outraged.

Well, here’s the thing. I think the right should calm down a little, take a chill pill or whatever the popular term is. There is no rectitude whatsoever in barring someone from a position of employment on account of their political views. In a democracy such as ours, for that to happen is an outrage. It was an outrage, for example, when the late philosopher Roger Scruton was kicked off a government commission on housing because of his political views (as misrepresented by a juvenile oaf). It was an outrage when a similar fate befell the excellent Toby Young. It is an outrage that almost no social conservatives are allowed into positions of power because they are immediately howled down by the dogmatic, totalitarian left.

But that is what the liberal left does, and it is immoral and sickening. And we do not do it, for that very reason. Jess Brammar’s political beliefs should not prevent her from becoming a BBC news executive. The real problem, of course, is that almost everyone in the BBC thinks exactly the same as her. That’s the real issue with which Director-General Tim Davie must wrestle: Brammar is the least of it.