Rod Liddle was joking, you idiots

Rod Liddle’s critics are far more prejudiced than he is.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill


I have a question: how come Rod Liddle’s joke about disenfranchising Muslims in the forthcoming election caused more outrage than the revelation earlier this week that many young people actually want to disenfranchise older voters? We all know the answer to this question. It’s because in the world of the woke, in the ruthless and quite racist hierarchy of identities these people have constructed, the Muslim community must be protected from everything, even humour, while old people, especially those nasty white working-class ones who voted for Brexit, are fair game for whatever shit you want to throw at them.

Let’s be honest about this: there is a sickening hypocrisy in the outrage over Liddle’s column. In his Speccie column this week, in his usual irreverent and provocative style, Liddle flirts with absurdist ideas for how to ensure that the Labour Party does badly in the election. He mentions two constituencies that are pretty likely to vote for Labour: young people and Muslims. Parents should stop their student kids from voting, he says. Maybe a rave could be held on election day, so that youngsters are off their nut on horse tranquiliser and therefore unlikely to vote. As for Muslims, maybe the election should be held ‘on a day when Muslims are forbidden from doing anything on pain of hell, or something’. Boom boom. (He also has a pop at Labour MP Rosie Duffield and her recent Commons comments about a horrible personal relationship that she endured.)

You didn’t find it funny? Cool. That’s fine. But the idea that Liddle was making a serious and racist proposition to withdraw the franchise from Muslims is ridiculous, and the Liddle-haters know it is ridiculous. Jonathan Swift didn’t really think Irish people should let rich gentlemen eat their babies, and Rod Liddle doesn’t really think Muslims should be denied the vote. It’s remarkable this needs saying. But apparently it does. As Liddle himself has said in his admirable non-apology for his piece, he was making ‘very obviously ludicrous suggestions, satirical in manner’.

Satire isn’t allowed anymore, it seems. Everyone who’s anyone has condemned Liddle and his jokecrimes. This is ‘not acceptable’, decreed Sajid Javid. Thanks, Saj, but we do not need or want and will never, ever tolerate politicians dictating what jokes people are allowed to tell or publish. Like a mini McCarthyite, the Labour MP Liam Byrne wrote to the BBC’s director-general to insist that the Beeb give no more airtime to Liddle or the Spectator’s editor Fraser Nelson. ‘I write to ask that you now confirm that the BBC will not invite [Liddle or Nelson] on to any programme’, said Byrne on House of Commons headed paper. He’s using his political clout to demand that the Beeb blacklist certain commentators. Listen, if you are more outraged by Liddle’s joke than you are by this naked attempt to enforce political censorship, then it’s possible your moral compass is broken.

As with all Twitterstorms, politicos, hacks and time-rich professional offence-takers have piled in to condemn Liddle and demand his expulsion from public life. All of them overlooking the fact that IT WAS A JOKE. You know what wasn’t a joke, though? A survey earlier this week which found that 47 per cent of Brits aged between 18 and 34 think older people should not be allowed to vote in big-issue elections – for example on Brexit or Scottish independence. That was serious. Young people, in keeping with various intolerant Remoaner observers, really think old people should be disenfranchised. Well, they’re ‘gammon’, right? Stupid, prejudiced, ancient idiots who vote for mad things and don’t have to live with the consequences. Take their vote away.

That in the very same week a joke about disenfranchising Muslims caused more outrage than a serious survey sentiment calling for the disenfranchisement of older people tells you everything you need to know about the woke era. Our yapping media and political classes are more offended by a pisstake paragraph about Muslims not voting than they are by a real and terrifying urge to rob the elderly of their democratic rights. We shouldn’t be surprised. Many of these people want to disenfranchise numerous sections of society. They literally want to crush the votes of 17.4million people, which includes eight million women, millions of working-class people, and a third of ethnic-minority voters. Well, they’re all dumb, racist scum, right? Shove their vote for Brexit down the memory hole.

That’s real prejudice. That’s genuine intolerance. But political correctness has become so mad and sanctimonious and un-self-aware that the same people who spend their every waking hour campaigning for the disenfranchisement of swathes of ordinary people can lose their shit over – once more – a joke about disenfranchising Muslims. No wonder these people don’t understand satire – they are beyond it.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Brendan will be speaking at the sessions ‘What can we learn from the English civil war?’ and ‘Extinction or progress? Visions of the future’ at the Battle of Ideas festival in London this weekend. Get tickets here.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Afeef Mirza

7th November 2019 at 5:51 pm

If a labour mp said that Jews shouldn’t be allowed to vote, as a joke, his career would be cut short. Or do you think that would be fine too? Ohhh it’s soooo hilllaaarious!!! 😂

Anna Babini

14th November 2019 at 8:20 am

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John Little

4th November 2019 at 1:51 pm

Excellent article. However I suspect that many of those attacking Liddle know full well he’s joking. Their agenda is to shut down free speech and control thought and language. Then there will be those who suffer from that strange white middle class self loathing and their desire for English cultural and social immolation. Then there will be some perhaps more hardline Muslims who will not want to see the joke, even if they can.

Amelia Cantor

4th November 2019 at 9:47 am

How strange. I tried to point out two days ago that the shiw*J Community had condemned Liddle and fully supported their Muslim sisters, brothers and non-gender-conformists… and my comment went to moderation and didn’t get thru.

Jonathan Swift didn’t really think Irish people should let rich gentlemen eat their babies, and Rod Liddle doesn’t really think Muslims should be denied the vote.

A truly stupid defence of the despicable Liddle.

1. Jonathan Swift was writing in defence of Irish people and mocking their enemies with his satirical suggestion.
2. Liddle was writing against the Muslim community and, like many or most of his fans, really would like to ban them from voting.

There was no “satire” in Liddle’s suggestion: merely malice and hate towards the Muslim community. Fortunately, cis white males like Liddle are dying out and Muslim Communities are growing by the minute. And Muslim Communities vote overwhelmingly for progressive parties who believe in stamping out “free speech”, i.e. hate speech like Liddle’s.

It’s just a matter of time, rightards…

Michael Lynch

3rd November 2019 at 7:11 pm

If a Labour MP can stand up in the house and declare that all the vile Twitter messages that women MPs receive are a result of Boris and his use of the word humbug, then what chance does Liddle have? The morons are in control of the world at the moment, let’s hope we can claw back to the middle ground sometime soon. If not, then it’s the Gulag next.

A Game

3rd November 2019 at 3:18 pm

The “progressives” are just jealous that irreverence is the domain of the free thinking, or the right wing, or the alienated lefty, now. Their whole cultural capital has been invested in this earnest, grotesque wokeness, where everything is a crime, everything is a sin, everything is oppression… and there’s Liddle having a good time poking fun at some sacred cows. Being entertaining, being a breath of fresh air…
Glad he took a pot shot at Duffield. I watched her anecdote in parliament. I kept waiting to hear about actual abuse… and when she tried to dump him, the failures, because he was such a threat to her safety. All she had to do was make the choice to end it, get his house key (creeping from her bed whilst he was in the shower… nah, too much information) and he yelled a bit and that was it. Not a great advert for someone who is a politician and will seek reelection as a politician. Sorry, diversity to me doesn’t mean having lame ducks with no backbone. (Vulnerable to manipulation and gaslighting… and not having the personal strength to just look at a sack of sh*t and see a sack of sh*t and do something about it. She let him spend her money, too, or live off her or something…) There are too many fine, strong women out there who have been faced with this type of man and knew what they were dealing with and made the choices necessary. Of course, they can’t be rewarded, they aren’t victims. I hate this fashion that its a mark of strength to have been a willing victim, its a badge of honour. They are making the case that no one should have any strength or self determination. So all sympathy, she had a deadsh*t for a boyfriend. Sucks to be her. But the duration of his power over her could only exist with her consent. You don’t get praised for that. You just don’t.

Graham Woodford

3rd November 2019 at 4:31 pm


A Game

4th November 2019 at 6:34 am

G Woodford:
Are you lost? Save it for twitter, mate, save it for twitter.

Michael Lynch

3rd November 2019 at 7:19 pm

It’s not just that they have no backbone. Our politicians are quivering fools who are terrified of having to run a country on their own without Big Brother over the water. Just look at the reason Corbyn gave when he finally agreed to an election – now Europe have given us the extension, and taken no deal off the table, we can agree to an Election. He was actually waiting for Europe to make the decision, or give him permission, before taking that step. Talk about a gutless wonder. I only hope the British people see right through him.

A Game

4th November 2019 at 6:32 am

M Lynch:
No, no, you have it all wrong. Wasn’t it Lammy saying something about how pathetic it was that Boris had handed control of the UK over to the EU? Damn, straight, Lammy… (Around the time Macron was pretending he might be friend not foe to the UK.)

These are the circles of UK politics. Outright double-speak.

NYT did a story on the EU CAPS system. Its not pretty. (Just on a side note to have it… noted.)

Claire D

4th November 2019 at 6:51 am

I entirely agree with you A Game.

Claire D

4th November 2019 at 6:53 am

On your first point.

Graham Woodford

3rd November 2019 at 11:40 am

The ‘idiots’ seem to include his own editor and deputy editor. Awks. Maybe not though, as Rod’s prejudices are obviously appealing to enough folks with similar views as below.

Thanks for the help, though, Mr O’Brien. Without you, i’d never have realised that Rod’s comments were satire, or a joke. Not because i’m misted with rage as you suggest but because they’re not really satire, and worse not funny. Seriously, did you or anyone else laugh?

Jerry Owen

3rd November 2019 at 2:45 pm

G Woodford
You mention satire… was replacing O’Neill with O’Brien your attempt at satire? If so it didn’t make me laugh , whereas Rod on the other hand..

A Game

3rd November 2019 at 3:03 pm

It was frigging thigh-slapping hilarious. What’s the matter with you? Long Live the Liddle!

Graham Woodford

3rd November 2019 at 3:16 pm

You chaps must invite me to your golf club comedy night, so I can discover the hilarity you claim.

I tell you what was funny though, O’Neill referencing a real satirist like Swift to support his case (before doing his usual thing boring on about identity politics being the cancer eating the world). There is no possible way of describing what Rod wrote as ‘satire’. Apologies for getting the name wrong though, I must remember to pay less attention.

A Game

4th November 2019 at 6:56 am

That’s the beauty of comedy, dear. Its in the eye of the beholder. But I see your totalitarian prudishness has decided that comedy/satire must be universal, dependant upon YOUR definition of universality.
So, question answered, what is wrong with GW. He’s a fascist!

antoni orgill

3rd November 2019 at 11:35 am

OK, so where is this place beyond satire? What is it called? ‘Safe Space Utopia’ is my best guess …

Jerry Owen

3rd November 2019 at 9:40 am

As long as Rod has made YAB froth at the mouth he’s okay with me.

Richard Law

3rd November 2019 at 9:27 am

Rod Liddle could have just said it to trigger the inevitable liberal virtue signalling frenzy that has resulted from it. The fake moral outrage of these liberal hypocrites is so easy to predict.

Jonathan Marshall

3rd November 2019 at 10:52 am

I’m quite sure he did!

Stef Steer

3rd November 2019 at 8:38 am

“47 per cent of Brits aged between 18 and 34 think older people should not be allowed to vote in big-issue elections”

This says to me that if they even entertain this idea means education in our country is desperately in need of reform and probably much of the teaching establishment being purged. Children need to be taught the basics of a Liberal Democracy every single day. Enlightenment values need to urgently be held in the same if not higher esteem than religion and diversity.

Children should be taught about and told the sucess of the melting pot society and integration, in one person one vote, in free and fair elections and be taught the evils of ageist, racist and sexist thinking and its modern variant identity politics.

Jerry Owen

3rd November 2019 at 11:42 am

I find myself more and more of the opinion that many youngsters simply don’t comprehend the fact that they themselves will get older, and if they are lucky become actually, you know .. Old !


3rd November 2019 at 12:12 pm

I agree that liberal democracy needs to be defended and as someone who has spent a life in academic science I should tell you that regardless of the origins of identity politics, it’s those who teach the teachers who are responsible for the perversions in education. Likewise the administrators and professional bureaucrats who enforce the nonsense on the rest. Our children need to taught to question everything and demand evidence.

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David Webb

2nd November 2019 at 6:43 pm

What isn’t a joke is that the franchise should be restricted to members of the British nation – and so all ethnic minority people should be banned from voting in our elections. Do English people living in China get to participate in the political system there? I know many of these people were born here and have UK passports – but that still doesn’t make them British. Britishness is not the same thing as being a British citizen. Ethnic minority voters are a form of gerrymandering of politics to achieve a globalist result.

Winston Stanley

2nd November 2019 at 8:37 pm


Only in your fantasy world where you always get what you want and you expect everyone to agree with you.

Not that you are unique in using that word.

Winston Stanley

2nd November 2019 at 9:14 pm

“Should” is essentially an attempt to bridge or to blur the distinction between the subjective and the objective. A clear apprehension of the distinction between the two realms allows one to see that. “Should” is a short-cut, an attempt to lend “weight” to one’s opinion simply by the use of a word – a word which is generally used to add “weight” to all sorts of contrary opinions. It is an appeal to the “other world” of “moral truth” as a psychological trick to enforce agreement. Humans are yet to brave up to material reality and we tend to present ourselves as an essentially deceitful species that relies on corny psychological tricks to get our own way. God may be “dead” but BS clearly is not. Likely we will never as a species transcend that fundamental dishonesty. Likely it is part and parcel of bring a limited, needy subject in a material world. Dr. Strange likely had it right at the start of the movie, we live “insignificant, tiny lives in an infinite, uncaring universe”. But as the Ancient One clarified to him, that is no reason not to fight for what you would prefer. And so it starts over, and over, locked into a time loop of defeat in the demand of “victory”. B/c that is all that there is.

David Laird

2nd November 2019 at 5:55 pm

A simple exercise. Restate Liddle’s comments substituting another religious group for Muslims.
“My own choice of election date would be a day when universities are closed and Methodists are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell, or something. There must be at least one day like that in the Methodist calendar.”
Chances of a Twitterstorm? Slim to none.

Winston Stanley

2nd November 2019 at 6:45 pm

“a day when [x] are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell”

Or if a Momentum media writer said that about holding the election on a Saturday – b/c J ews tend to vote TP of late? That would be really “funny” right? Could you imagine the DM frontpage? You are correct in so far as that you say that one has to look at the form of the joke and not just the insertable target group. Sure “jokes are jokes” and I refuse to get on a high horse about this nonsense.

Winston Stanley

2nd November 2019 at 2:26 pm

Meanwhile it is well to keep an eye on what is happening in NI. This week, UUP announced its intention to stand in all seats. UUP staff have since been inundated with threats of violence unless they agree to an electoral pact with the DUP, to stand aside and let DUP win seats. The indications are that UUP has cowered from the threats and now refuses to say whether it will stand in marginals. Can you imagine that sort of thing being tolerated in Britain? Yet NI is supposed to be part of UK. It is laughable.

> Politicians have condemned threats issued to Ulster Unionist Party staff as tensions mount over whether it will enter into an electoral pact with the DUP at the forthcoming General Election.

Police sources said they were investigating the threats, which were made after 25 senior unionist figures signed a letter to UUP leader-designate Steve Aiken MLA, to voice their concerns about splitting the unionist vote in north Belfast.

UUP leader-designate Mr Aiken had previously ruled out an election pact with the DUP, but while appearing on the BBC’s The View programme, he appeared to backtrack and refused to confirm if the party will put forward a candidate against DUP North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds. – Belfast Telegraph

Winston Stanley

2nd November 2019 at 1:58 pm

Ironically Muslims are quite possibly all the more likely to make sure that they vote now. They do tend to vote LP of late and the Liddle remark seems almost intended to reinforce that, especially with Boris as leader after his own “jokey” remarks. Corbyn likely wet himself laughing when read the Spectator piece.

If the joke hinges on the likelihood of certain groups voting LP then historically that would have been the working class. The joke might then have been along the lines of, “can we not limit voting hours to 9-5, what about the rights of the polling workers to humane hours?” I suppose it is sort of funny in the sense that only a clown would publicly come out with something like that during a campaign.

And TBP announced that it would stand in all seats, potentially splitting the TP/ Leave vote. Yesterday must have been a massive belly laugh for the LP. SNP likely had a belly too. I know I did. And I support Leave. But “funny is funny.”

Jim Lawrie

2nd November 2019 at 11:56 am

If his send up of students, Muslims, vote rigging and double voting had no basis in fact the article would fall flat on its face. The ersatz offence is an attempt to taboo the topic.

I listened to a host on LBC last night read Mr Liddle’s article. He paused every three words and gave copious comment on what Mr Liddle really meant and how this could never be funny. He extended criticism and culpability to Andrew Neill, no doubt hoping to provoke a response and enhance his own reputation.

Elsewhere, on Byline Times, we have the always false argument by analogy, from a 63 year old snowflake who managed never to hear the little ditty we teach to children as a means of deflecting playground taunts “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
Brian Cathcart writes;
“And then there is the argument that it is Liddle’s opinion and he is entitled to express it. Any attempt to prevent his expressing it is an attack on freedom of expression and on the freedom of the press. This is a grotesque perversion of what freedom and rights are really about. It is like saying: “I have a sacred right to throw stones. Throwing stones is an expression of freedom, so nothing should stop me throwing stones. And I have no responsibility whatever for where the stones fall or for the damage they may cause”.

Warming to his own hogwash, he continues, in trite and self-congratulatory cleverness “… the stones that Liddle throws hit people. He is a hate preacher, a radicaliser of youth,… ”

I am happy to stand and be on the receiving end of whatever he wants to say to me, and to throw stones at him in reply, since he says they are the same. But only for so long as it takes for the difference to penetrate his thick, mick skull.

Paul Carlin

2nd November 2019 at 11:30 am

Still, the Guardian’s piece on this was quite funny. Well, I laughed, at any rate.

Ven Oods

2nd November 2019 at 2:28 pm

Indeed: I always thought the UK was basically common-sensical, until I discovered the Guardian. Over there, it’s a fit of the vapours about anything they consider un-woke.

Thor Halland

2nd November 2019 at 9:49 am

Given the preponderance of vote rigging in Muslim.areas and the boasting of students who vote twice its entirely apropos

Jim Lawrie

2nd November 2019 at 6:13 pm

To be funny a joke has to be a twist on reality.

Peter Hobday

2nd November 2019 at 1:35 am

Some things rarely work in print, irony and sarcasm for example. Those opposing your views will take them out of context to divert attention from your point. But Liddle won’t mind. It’s all publicity, so good. Far better to be on the attack than on the defence.

Jim Lawrie

1st November 2019 at 11:13 pm

The discussion of who to disenfranchise started the day after The Referendum. It is just more blatant and specific now. First up were the deplorables.
Removing citizenship from the elderly is the prelude to stripping them of their assets, and that is mooted constantly. According to the woke generation, it is wrong when the State does it to provide care, but okay when they want to do it to line their pockets.

A lot of these under 34’s are avaricious, unprincipled nomarks, who know fine well that what they propose is wrong but care only for what they can get for nothing. But still, the majority are not like that. The woke generation are the useful idiots of Globalism. Trained since birth to consume and regurgitate. That is why they scream, froth and lash out when challenged to think.


1st November 2019 at 10:55 pm

Islam has no concept of political freedom, equality before the law, habeas corpus, the right to speedy justice, separation of religious and secular authority or even the most rudimentary understanding of individual freedom. This contrasts absolutely with the Western Judaeo-Christian and Classical insistence on the primacy of the individual and the right of the individual to make autonomous moral and intellectual judgements based on revelation and principles of right reason. In other words, Islam is a religion for robots, bigots and religious hypocrites. Western culture, rooted in Christian Truth, gives life and protects liberty.


Tim Hare

2nd November 2019 at 12:27 am

Christain Tuth does not give life or protect liberty – quite the opposite. The notions of life and liberty only developed when people detached themselves from the oppression of religion.

Peter Hobday

2nd November 2019 at 1:39 am

You are confusing Christian values with religious organisations. The New Testament is a valuable guide for life.

Tim Hare

2nd November 2019 at 2:33 am

The New Testament is not a guide for life – it is a guide for believers. A true guide for life is not dependent on religious beliefs.

Mary Vasilakakos

2nd November 2019 at 1:44 am

Indeed. It is hard to see how any dyed in the wool theocracy could possibly have these provisions for such rights. Theocracy and any individual rights are mutually exclusive concepts.

Claire D

2nd November 2019 at 7:40 am

you are quite right, though personally I would have said Christian thought rather than ‘ Christian Truth ‘.
As I have argued before our concept of the rights of the individual and their liberty has indeed grown out of Christian thought :
From Alfred the Great’s ‘ domboc ‘, a book of laws based on the Bible and Mosaic law;
through Magna Carta in 1215, drawn up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton; ” No free man shall henceforth be taken or imprisoned or dissiesed of any free tenement of his, or of his liberties or free customs or outlawed or exiled or in any other way ruined, nor will we go nor send against him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.”;
to John Milton, the Christian poet and friend of Oliver Cromwell, ” The very nature of being a Protestant is to protest, to challenge, to reform, to fight falsehood with truth “; and “Censorship is a kind of homicide, sometimes a martyrdom, even a kind of massacre.” and beyond to the present day.

Claire D

2nd November 2019 at 7:49 am

The examples above set against a background of constantly, gradually developing English Common Law which grew out of every single secular court and judgement, influenced by the Christian belief of it’s judges and juries.

Colin Broughton

2nd November 2019 at 8:23 am

Islam also has no doctrine of forgiveness, such as has had manifold influence on social relations in Christian societies.

Jim Lawrie

3rd November 2019 at 4:49 pm

Martyrdom in Christianity it is regarded as an honour bestowed by God on those that He deems worthy. Otherwise it is the mortal sin of suicide.
Islam does not regard suicide in the name of Allah as a sin, and Muslims are encouraged to seek it.

Winston Stanley

2nd November 2019 at 4:40 pm

The concept of individual liberty is historically a bourgeois concept that arose during the Renaissance with the emergence of the towns of burghers. It reflected their political aspirations to be free of the old feudal social and political order and to do their own thing.

The OT/ NT were written in times of ancient and classical slavery and the political concepts reflect that. “Obey your masters, pay unto Caesar etc.” The concept of free will is also a Renaissance concept, the classical literature (and NT) assumes and emphasises determinism and predestination, etc. Stoics (and Augustine and Calvinism).

It would be naïve to suppose that modern political and (questionable) psychological concepts were “revealed” in ancient religions. The history of ideas does not work that way. As Tim points out, Christianity has got absolutely to do with liberalism, it is just another “revelation” of how to obey “revealed” commandments and to submit to the deity. Revelation is the opposite to gradual, historical conceptual development and organised Christianity resisted change every step of the way. After all, “god said”.

Claire D

3rd November 2019 at 11:32 am

The concept of ‘ free will ‘ is central to Christianity. It is exemplified by Adam and Eve ‘ willfully ‘ choosing to disobey God thereby causing the Fall.

And again when God says to the Israelites:

” I call heaven and earth to record this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing : therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed should live. “

Claire D

3rd November 2019 at 11:37 am

Deuteronomy 30:19.

Winston Stanley

4th November 2019 at 2:22 pm

C, you have to be careful about the conflation of ancient and modern concepts of the will. To say that humans “will” and “choose” is not to say that they “could have” chosen other than they did. They “could have” chosen differently if they were someone else, with a different personality structure and dispositions but that leaves a sense in which, being who they were, and disposed as they were, they could not. Predestination, election, first of I srael and then of the Christian faithful dominates the theology of the OT, Jesus, Paul, Augustine and the Christian church up until the 16th century when the Dominicans and the Jesuits have a massive fight for decades over it and Rome eventually silenced the debate through the “council of graces”. The whole point of “grace” is that it disposes the person to faith, hope, charity and perseverance unto death in the good life. “No one can come to me unless the father draws him.” “I know my sheep and they know me.” The epistles of Paul are the most explicit. If I you really want to look into it then the best starting point may well be to read Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian religion. He goes into the various Biblical texts on the matter. And it would save me an awful of typing. Free will in the modern sense of the ability to choose either way regardless of self is a secular Renaissance concept which then got adopted into Christianity as Molinism and Arminianism. Thanks.

Claire D

7th November 2019 at 11:02 am

Sorry Winston, it’s taken me a couple of days to catch up with this.
I think you have misunderstood me, which is my fault I think. I did not mean to imply that whoever wrote the Bible had a contemporary ‘concept of free will’ in his mind.
With hindsight it would have been better if I had written ” Free will is central to Christianity. From the very beginning through the story of Adam and Eve, it is shown that human beings are free to choose between Good and Evil ” etc etc.
Thank you though.


3rd November 2019 at 11:56 am

The western enlightenment was born out of the freedom afforded by the protestant reformation. Freedom to chose is the basis of all true religion. Likewise freedom of thought and expression is essential for real civilisation, regardless of who is offended. So it’s disturbing to see that the age of reason is now tainted because the people were male and white. The anti-rational post modern thought underlying so called identity politics will soon declare gravity to be invalid because Newton and Einstein were white male oppressors. Then again, some true beleivers may like to seek empirical evidence on a tall building.

Tim Hare

1st November 2019 at 10:50 pm

Comparing jokes with non-jokes does not make for a good argument. Liddle’s comment was a joke whereas the comment about older people was not told as humour. The latter is meant as a serious proposition no matter how illogical it may appear. It should be condemned not because it is discriminatory but because it is anti-democratic. Democracy means everyone is entitled to vote and young people have to accept that or deny one of the basic tenets of democracy.

Liddle should not be condemned on the grounds of hypocrisy but because there is an underlying malice in his ‘jokes’. Jokes are rarely just jokes. They are very often meant to ridicule or hurt someone else. The fact that he singled out Muslims and young people meant that he wanted to ridicule them specifically. There are probably millions of people who are too detached from politics to be able to make a considered vote but where is his joke about them?

Those jokes are not jokes but a coward’s way of hiding from the responsibility to argue with reason and logic as to why Muslims and young people should not vote. It shows that he quite possibly has another agenda against Muslims and young people or else he would present his argument in a clear and concise way. If he has done nothing wrong then he has nothing to defend.

Mary Vasilakakos

2nd November 2019 at 1:53 am

Your opening statement is a non sequitur or oxymoron at best.
It is not possible to compare jokes to “non jokes”, for the two are premised on different rationales.
This makes the rest of your “argument” rather difficult to either confirm or rebut.

Tim Hare

2nd November 2019 at 2:35 am

“It is not possible to compare jokes to “non jokes”, for the two are premised on different rationales.”

Which is exactly what I said.

Neil McCaughan

2nd November 2019 at 6:05 pm

You braying, self-righteous nincompoop.

Who are you to exempt anyone from a joke? And on what basis? That they obediently vote Labour? Do. please, spare us any more of your sententious and poorly written preaching.

Anna Bolick

2nd November 2019 at 8:50 pm

“Jokes are rarely just jokes. They are very often meant to ridicule or hurt someone else. The fact that he singled out Muslims and young people meant that he wanted to ridicule them specifically.”

Well, it’s quite normal for a joke to have a subject. Is it forbidden for muslims or young people to be the subject of a joke?


3rd November 2019 at 10:43 am

I’ve read and listened to Rod Liddle for some years and I suggest that if he harbours any malice it’s aimed at the PC police who would love a dumb compliant electorate. Why not give the vote to 7 year olds? At least they’re too logical for doublethink.

George Orwell

1st November 2019 at 8:32 pm

Liddle wasn’t proposing to disenfranchise anyone.
He was simply wondering whether any Islamic edict exists that could discourage voting by Muslims. I think he knows there is not but given the strictures of Islam it was an amusing thought that there might be.
There was nothing racial about it. Rather it was a cultural and/or religious remark and both of those elements are, or should be, fair game.

Colin Broughton

2nd November 2019 at 8:41 am

Jokes are OK when they have right wing people as their butt. I personally have heard several extremely prominent BBC people suggest that Donald Trump should be assassinated, for example. Nothing was ever said about this.

Contrast this with the ordure poured on the blogger Sargon of Akkad by leftists when he quipped that he ‘wouldn’t even rape‘ a Labour MP . This was dragged up on every conceivable BBC interview with himself or with leaders of UKIP.

This is not withstanding that urging the murder of someone is, I should have thought, vastly more serious than not raping someone. In fact someone went to prison for 6 months for the clearly not serious offer of a reward for the assassination of that anti-Brexit woman Gina Miller. Apparently not in the eyes of leftists though

Jonnie Henly

1st November 2019 at 7:36 pm

“Well, they’re all dumb, racist scum, right”

You’re the one saying that Brendan, not anyone else.

Eric Praline

1st November 2019 at 8:38 pm

That’ll be your selective hearing.

Jonnie Henly

1st November 2019 at 7:34 pm

We all know that Brendan is very selective when it comes to jokes.

Normally he likes to insist that certain jokes told by certain people are in fact revealing of how they think in reality.

One rule for them….


1st November 2019 at 10:58 pm

Islamic bigotry is no joke. In fact, the way that they are holding our society to ransom through the threat of extreme violence is disgusting. So-called ‘liberalism’ and the various forms of materialist atheism are powerless to prevent further incursions by Islamic colonisers into Western Europe. We ought to be prepared to resist, and in doing so lay our lives on the line. After all, what’s worth living for, is worth dying for.


Mary Vasilakakos

2nd November 2019 at 1:39 am

Your comments are spot on. It is terrifying how persistent this refusal to think and engage in rational thinking of these people is.

Jerry Owen

3rd November 2019 at 9:38 am

Example please little Jonnie.. oh and I’m still waiting for your response on the voting for sixteen years olds thread.

Jonnie Henly

1st November 2019 at 7:33 pm

Has Brendan not read his own memos?

Disenfranchising people on the basis of age is perfectly acceptable, he said so himself not one week ago.

Stephen J

2nd November 2019 at 9:09 am

I think you mean “enfranchise”?

Mark Lambert

1st November 2019 at 7:17 pm

I was a little concerned about Liddle’s explanatory article today. Was he pushed into it?
Serial media-censor Miqdaad Versi had taken to attacking not only Liddle (again) but Fraser Nelson (probably again) winding up his followers.

A Civitas document says that there is at least one editor who always bows to Versi’s complaints, purely for a quiet life. I’ve no idea who that is.

But say anything critical of Islam, satirical, or even analytical, and Versi will be complaining to the Press Association, an organisation that he apparently reckons he should be part of (according to the Civitas document).

This is all part of the push for “Islamophobia” to eventually be brought into law and is very dangerous.


1st November 2019 at 11:00 pm

The irony is that Islam is blasphemous to Christians given its denial of the divinity, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christianity, conversely, is blasphemous to Muslims given its (entirely reasonable and justifiable) insistence on these truths. In Islam, we are not dealing with a rational entity but a dogmatic, bigoted, reactionary, woman-hating, Jew-hating, backward ideology that poses an existential threat to our great (and superior) civilisation.

Mary Vasilakakos

2nd November 2019 at 1:57 am

I’d like to entertain a situation where large western “Christian” enclaves have migrated to and are living in Islamic theocracies and are using the term “christianophobia” to push through legislation exempting such enclaves from any criticism or humour…

Colin Broughton

2nd November 2019 at 9:09 am

Given the explicit teachings in the Qur’an regarding the the necessity of armed Jihad against non-believers and the example of Mohammad to be found in the Hadith and Sirah (‘I have been made victorious by terror.’ Qur’an 8:12), not to mention other aspects of Islam, dislike of Islam is hardly a ‘phobia’. A Civitas booklet drew the comparison between militant Islam and Soviet Communism. Islam is as much an enemy of the West as ever the former was.

It is generally claimed by liberal bien pensants that radical Islam is not Islam. But it is. ‘Radical’ or ‘Extremist’ Muslims are merely pious Muslims. As Erdogan, the Turkish President pointed out, ‘moderate’ Islam is the invention of Western liberals. There is no such thing; there is only Islam.

antoni orgill

3rd November 2019 at 11:39 am

Oh well, if Erdogan says so … “no such thing”? Not really true that, is it?

Dominic Straiton

1st November 2019 at 7:10 pm

At this point it really doesnt matter if he was joking. They dont understand humour as the Trump, dog medal of honour meme shows. They are completely cut off from reality. Never apologise, never stop fighting.

Jim Lawrie

2nd November 2019 at 12:22 pm

I disagree Dominic. I think they instinctively grasp that Mr Liddle’s humour could open the door to serious discussion on these matters. For that treason they pretend he was serious so as to denounce him as a bigot beyond reason, and close the subject.

Their hue and cry means Mr Liddle is achieving his aim. They make this mistake because they would never credit him with such guile, and are so desperate and eager to show what stand up guys they are. Those who disagree with them are automatically stupid, and egregiously so if there is a whiff of the working class about them.

a watson

2nd November 2019 at 8:33 pm

Well put. We cannot have free and sensible discussion can we.

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