Alex Massie

Prejudice Isn’t Daring; It’s Boring

Text settings

So, yes, we all know that Rod Liddle's shtick is to try and be as offensive as possible so that he can chuckle at those po-faced ninnies who dare to be offended by his courageous insistence to tell it like it really is. But like his comrades Clarkson and Littlejohn Liddle confuses being offensive with being provocative. The latter requires that you be, you know, interesting. Here's Rod however:

The first of an occasional series – those benefits of a multi-cultural Britain in full. Let me introduce you all to this human filth.


It could be an anomaly, of course. But it isn’t. The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community. Of course, in return, we have rap music, goat curry and a far more vibrant and diverse understanding of cultures which were once alien to us. For which, many thanks.

My word! How daring! How delightfully refreshing to see someone trot out the kind of tired, stale prejudice you can find in thousands of boozers across the country! Or at any BNP meeting, for that matter.

As Charlotte Gore points out, if you're going to do this sort of thing it does help if you can at least get your facts right. The majority of crime in London is committed by white people. I assume that you know this, which makes me wonder wy you didn't limit yourself to saying that young black men commit a disproportionate amount of crime and that the arrest rate for blacks is 3.8 times that of white people? Then again, we're familiar with this and so perhaps limiting yourself to an observation that is, like, true wouldn't be shocking enough would it? And nor, of course, would actually addressing problems.

But it's your suggestion that blackness is somehow the cause of these problems that is shameful. Worse than even that, mind you, is your insinuation that if only we could send Black Britons back to Africa and the Caribbean we wouldn't have any of these problems because, you know, it's all the fault of "multi-culturalism". If that were true one wonders why Glasgow's murder rate is two and a half times that of London. It's not because there are gangs of McYardies terrorising entire communities. I'd also suggest that comparing offending rates between black graduates and those who fail to even sit, let alone pass, their A-Levels might reveal that class, educational achievement and any number of other factors might have a little more to do with crime rates than pigmentation.

(For that matter, have a look at any Victorian edition of the News of the World and you'll find a rich, even loving, catalogue of any number of horrendous crimes that, again, reminds one that skin colour is not a useful metric for measuring man's depravity. Correlation does not equal causation.)

There is, however, one area in which the reactionaries have a point: the left's inclination to see people as members of a group rather than individuals is tedious and, often, less than productive. Which makes one wonder why you insist on doing likewise, lumping all blacks (and all muslims) together as though skin colour or religion reveal, determine or dictate everything. Personally, I prefer to see people as individuals.

Accusations of racism are often too easily made and perhaps you don't care if you're so labelled. But if you do then perhaps you should cease peddling nonsense that a reasonable person might reasonably consider racist. This isn't a question of being "politically correct" it's just a matter of behaving in a decent fashion.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSocietycrime