Who remembers Richard Littlejohn?
Added by David Hirsh on July 06, 2007 11:18:23 AM.Richard Littlejohn was one of the faces of the Thatcher era; him and Gary Bushell. They articulated the Thatcher message for the aspirational working class, the "loadsamoney" generation. And it was Andrew Neil, complete with barrow-boy-working-in-the-city (and driving a Peugot 205 1.9i) red braces, who brought the Murdoch message to the posh people who read the Sunday Times.
And we, watching Ben Elton rip them apart on a Saturday night, wearing our Coal Not Dole stickers, listening to our Specials records, doing Viv and Rick impressions - how we hated these nasty little apologies for everything Thatcherite - tinged as they were around the edges with an anti-immigrant xenophobia and a baying hatred of the "politically correct".
I'm just about to publicize Littlejohn's TV documentary about antisemitism and link to an interview with him and I'm wondering how to do it. Maybe this is the end of my credibility, as someone on the left, as a sociologist, as a human being? Maybe this one act signifies my final defeat?
But maybe not. I haven't seen the documentary but I've just read the interview. It's not hugely sharp, politically, but he's basically right - that antisemitism is a significant contemporary threat in the UK.
Perhaps the fact that Richard Littlejohn is campaigning against antisemitism tells us more about how much of the left has moved than about how I, David Hirsh, have moved.
Antisemitism is a form of racism. Who would have thought, back in the good old days, that Richard Littlejohn would be the anti-racist and Alexei Sayle would be sharing a platform with a party whose political foundation is the protocols of the Elders of Zion?
Who would have thought that the Socialist Workers Party would be hosting Gilad Atzmon and his hateful rhetoric at Marxism 07?
Who would have thought that the big trade unions would be organising a boycott of Israeli goods?
Who would have thought in a world where very much criticism of Israel is made by Jihadi Islamist antisemites, where the President of Iran denies the Holocaust in the name of criticism of Israel, that the union that represents university lecturers would be able to insist on the following: "Congress believes that... criticism of Israel cannot be construed as anti-semitic".
Who would have thought that Ken Livingstone, the hero of the antiracist left, would be giving offensive back-chat to Jewish reporters or telling foreigners that if they don't like it they can "go back to...".
So before people start denouncing me for linking to a Richard Littlejohn interview, they should, perhaps, stop and wonder why it is that Littlejohn is the antiracist here and they themselves are the ones minimizing and excusing racism. What would Ben Elton have said about that?
So here's the link to the interview.
And the Littlejohn documentary is "The War on Britain’s Jews?" on Channel 4 on Monday 9th July at 8pm.
Phew! I'll be in big trouble when they hear about this at the anarchy society!
* "You couldn't make it up is a Richard LittleJohn catchphrase along with "Palestinians are the pikeys (gypsies) of the Middle East!"
Now go see David Hirsh explaining his choice of post to some anxious Engageniks.