Rod Liddle

The curse of Liddle

The curse of Liddle
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Ah, hell, it’s the curse of Liddle. No sooner have I sat down and written a stirring defence of the Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir, who had been vilified for suggesting there was something “sleazy” about the death of Stephen Gateley, than the bloody woman apologises. Or, at least, sort of apologises. I don’t see why she should have even genuflected in the general direction of an apology; her article was not homophobic. I suppose she could have watched her back by putting in some qualifying adjectives here or there – but then, hell, I’m hardly one to lecture on that issue. Anyway, my piece is in this week’s Spectator.

One good thing has come out of this petty furore, however: the Daily Mail may now understand that 22,000 complaints – the number received by Moir – is not actually very many, these days, given campaigns whipped up by the likes of Twitter and Facebook and deathless legions of bloggers. The paper has tried – quite successfully – to humiliate the BBC by pointing to raw numbers of people who complain about programmes of which Paul Dacre disapproves. Remember the Brand and Ross affair – and they were up to it again this week, laying into the excellent Frankie Boyle. You sort of hope they might have learned something, now the boot has been on the other foot.