Rod Liddle’s Freedom Dinner speech: Emily Thornberry, Diane Abbott and the metro-liberal left

Rod Liddle's Freedom Dinner speech: Emily Thornberry, Diane Abbott and the metro-liberal left
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It's that time of year again. After Rod Liddle used the key address at the fifth annual Freedom Dinner to turn his attention to Labour’s Jew-bashing, the anti-Brexit mob and Tim Farron, he was invited back by popular demand to speak at the event this week.

At the annual libertarian bash, hosted by Forest, Liddle spoke frankly on a range of topics – calling out the 'double think' among the 'metro-liberal left', namely Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry:

'Double think, as Orwell put it, is kind of unique to our metro-liberal left. It’s kind of how they live their lives. Take Diane Abbott, for years Diane railed and railed against the institution of private schools, but then she sent her brat to one, and admitted that it is unforgivable.

But more than that, there’s Emily Thornberry, Lady Nugee, (let’s give her her proper name, she is Lady Nugee) MP for Islington South I believe, has also railed, not only against private schools but against selective schools, against grammar schools. She doesn’t want you to have your kids to have the chance to go to a selective school because they are bright but she’s sent her kids to one. Remarkable.

Not only that, but she also railed for years about the policy to sell off old housing association properties. She thought it was immoral and wrong, voted against it, thought people shouldn’t be allowed to buy them: bought one herself! I mean, you can’t make this stuff up! She bought one herself. And, you know, I used to think this was hypocrisy, but it’s more than that. It’s a kind of weird separation from reality, a sort of schizophrenia if you like. For Diane and Emily, and so many of the left, there’s this stuff in their heads, a pink marshmallow-y stuff, and that’s what they believe in. And then some miles distant, there’s the real world, where other stuff happens, where reality happens.

There’s an awful lot of people like that. I’ve got a friend here tonight, Rob, who is unfortunate enough to live in London. And he can tell you of many, many people, lefties, who voted for Corbyn at the last election and prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ that he wouldn’t get in. Now that really is a kind of madness isn’t it? It’s where a sort of fantasy world and the real world suddenly collide.

Double-standards – more double-standards: do you remember Stephen Fry and a whole bunch of others railing about the winter Olympics being held in Sochi, in Russia, because of Vladimir Putin’s supposed homophobia? I’ve never taken much of an interest in the Winter Olympics, nor has most of Britain actually, it’s not a hugely popular event. And at the very moment he was ranting about Russia, the cricket world cup, a game we do play a lot of, was getting under way in Bangladesh, where the penalty for same-sex relationships is life imprisonment. In Russia, it’s legal.

The Bangladesh escape censure because it’s an Islamic country, and the lefties never wish to be nasty about Islamic countries. More recently, you will have heard them all screeching about the horrible Democratic Unionist Party and their homophobia and how utterly ghastly they are. But again they make no comment whatsoever about the approach to homosexuality in the Islamic world and within the Muslim communities. That is never mentioned.

And there is a difference, you lefties, there is a difference.

If you are gay and you want to get married it may well be that the DUP would be a little bit churlish about decorating your wedding cake. But they’re not going to push you off a f---ing building are they? They’re not going to stone you to death. They’re not going to put you in prison.

I made this, what seems to me, very, very obvious point, to one of those gibbering snowflakes recently, and he thought about it for a bit, and then he said: 'The difference between Islam and the DUP, is really only one of degrees.' Right.. okay.. quite a large number of degrees isn’t it? I would say somewhere in the region of 180.

But people who think that there is an equivalence can’t be argued with, it’s impossible to debate because the delusion has gripped them so tightly that there’s kind of no way through. There is the real world, and then there is the place they inhabit. Don’t forget, these are the people who decided that something that wasn’t a circle could be a circle if it really wanted to be.

Let me tell you more about this. This was a study, and it was done in America and it was an American experiment designed to seemingly prove the very point I have been making. People were shown this shape and asked if it was a circle.

Liberals, overwhelmingly, said yes. Because they are inclusive. But it’s not a circle is it? It’s not! They got it wrong! And there’s nothing you can do about this. There’s no arguing. 'If you want it to be a circle, it can be a circle'.

Added to this separation from reality of course is this, is a tendency to consider their opponents not really wrong, but bad people. Scum. Evil. 'You won’t let that shape be a circle, you murdering bastard!'

We’ve seen an awful lot of this sort of stuff at the moment, the protestors shouting 'Tory scum’, the people insisting that Theresa May is responsible for the murder of those poor people in Grenfell Tower, the shrieked asides at every single turn.

One of my favourites, actually, of this sort of approach came just after the 2015 general election, when unexpectedly for the liberals the Conservative party won, and it was a response from the university lecturer called Rebecca Roache that really cheered me up, she was fab.

What she did, was she put out a poster on social media and she said 'I am de-friending anyone who sends me anything about the Tories.' Right okay.. and then she went on: 'I’ve had it up to here, I don’t want any conservative friends, the time for reasoned debate is over.' Go on.. what subject do you think she taught? Yes – she’s a philosophy lecturer!

Or here’s one from more recently, and it is typical of the way these people behave. The liberal journalist, Sophie Heawood, who tweeted recently, that she looked forward to the day when all Daily Mail readers were dead. Yep, all 4 million of them. Incredible. I was so shocked I rang Impress, which is the new regulating body funded by Max Mosley, who, if you remember, got upset when people interfered in his orgies, and so set up this regulatory body, (with his friends from ‘Hacked off’), which has won approval from the government, and will soon be telling us what we can and can’t write.

So I rang up about Sophie Heawood and tried to get a response to this, seemed to be something worthy of a response. Three times I rang. And I just didn’t get an answer from her. The person I really wanted to talk to was a chap called Jonathan Heawood, the boss of Impress - yes he’s Sophie’s brother.

And I’m afraid we're back at last year’s speech where I talked about my favourite board game, 6 degrees of Shami Chakrabarti, because all these f---ers are related to each other. There is a small, finite number of these people in an endless multitude of quangos and jobs. And so you have Jonathan Heawood, a former Labour candidate of course, as you would expect, someone who’s a fan of Max Mosley, and boss of Impress, his sister works for the Guardian and wants all Daily Mail readers dead. His wife is the daughter of Polly Toynbee. I mean, they’re all there, they’re all lined up.

And it’s very, very common and again it’s a separation of reality. I would assume Sophie Heawood really doesn’t think that all Daily Mail readers should die; it’s just a sort of insanity.

Another example, a few years back, I argued that as we as a country and we as a continent opened our doors to more refugees or supposed refugees from North Africa many more would die in the seas attempting to come here. This is exactly what has happened: more people have died, something like four-fold have died because Europe has said we must let more people in so more have tried to make the crossing meaning more people have been killed. But the shrieking when I made this point was remarkable and someone said ‘racist.’

'These people are human beings,' it was shouted at me. Simon Schama, screeched at me, the gravest insult he could find which was that I was ‘suburban’. And had a real go at me.

It’s a separation of what is actually happening with what goes on in their minds. It may be the sign of the rest of lefties wanting to feel good about themselves by saying we should allow more refugees in. What has that done is kill more refugees. The double think and the demonisation of opponents is on the surface quite funny, even profitable, but it does serve to close down the debate so that real issues are very difficult to discuss. Suddenly perfectly sensible things become unsaleable. Such as this is not a circle.'

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

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