Delingpole on Friday – do I have it coming?

What will they say of me if I’m assassinated with a sharpened carrot by some deranged vegan or clubbed to death by the Duke of Gloucester with a scale model of one of the vast wind turbines he plans to inflict on the Northamptonshire countryside?

This isn’t a question I feel comfortable asking even in my head, let alone in a place where real people can actually read it.

First, I don’t want to give the wrong people out there any funny ideas.

Second, I’ve got this superstition that if you say stuff like that it makes it more likely it’s going to happen.

It’s not just a superstition, either, it’s an observation borne of reading lots of military memoirs and seeing lots of war films. Whenever a character feels funny, or forgets his lucky charm or has a sudden premonition of his own doom you can be sure as eggs as eggs he’s not going to survive the day.

Not, incidentally, that I have had such premonition. It’s just that I’ve been following the case of the Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard – an outspoken critic of Muslim fundamentalism – who narrowly escaped being assassinated this week on his doorstep by a man with a gun.

And what bothers me about the incident, apart from the incident itself, is how little it has been reported. The reason for this, my friend Douglas Murray has suggested – and I’m inclined to agree – is because of an attitude in our liberal media (mostly – but not wholly, I fear – subconscious) that “people like that” kind of have it coming to them.

By “people like that” I mean pretty much anyone of a right-wing persuasion who sticks his head above the parapet and says the unsayable, as the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn did about Islam and immigration before he was murdered by an animal rights activist, and as the Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh did, also mainly about Islam, before he too was savagely murdered in the street.

After the Theo Van Gogh killing I was talking to an old flame of mine from my Oxford days – lovely girl, apolitical, not a malicious bone in her body – about the incident. She’d been living in Amsterdam for a few years so I was interested to hear her take on it. And what she said shocked me almost more than the killing itself.

“Oh you don’t understand,” said my lovely, sweet friend. “What you have to realise is that Theo Van Gogh was a provocateur. He was constantly saying outrageous things and looking for trouble.” In other words, the bastard deserved it; invited it.

Did he? Did he really? Did Theo Van Gogh really deserve to be shot eight times in the street with an HS 2000 handgun, semi-decapitated with one knife, stabbed in the chest with another, then have both knives stuck in his body with a five page note attached?

Is that really the result he was striving for, would you say?

Personally, I’m guessing not.

I reckon what Theo would have much preferred would be to have lived to 101, chain-smoking furiously all the way, and peacefully in his bed by his son Lieuwe, perhaps as a result of exertions earlier during a coke fuelled romp with an attractive blonde 70 years his junior.

He would have wanted this a) because it’s a much more congenial way to go and because b) it would have been an indication – not a major one, but an indication, at least – that the tide had turned during his lifetime and that he’d begin to win the argument.

There’s a popular misconception that people in the media such as Van Gogh, or the similarly late Andrew Breitbart, or, er, me who say outspoken, provocative things do so because they’re pathetic attention-seekers who’ll do anything to get noticed, perhaps to make up for the lack of love they received as children.

But it’s not. If you’re born a pathetic attention seeker, there really are a million and one better ways of getting your fix. You can become a politician. Or a rock star. Or a Radio One DJ. Or a TV personality. Or a flasher. Or a streaker. Or the assassin of someone famous like John Lennon.

Certainly, though, the main reason I write and speak and Tweet to provoke – and I’d hazard a lot of money it was the same with Breitbart and Van Gogh – is from a mixture of rage and a sense of holy duty.

I do it because I’m fucked off. Really, really, really fucked off from the moment I read the first story of the day in my newspaper or online till the second I finally manage to turn off my dark thoughts about how fucked the world is and finally manage to fall asleep. What fucks me off are the increasing assaults on our freedom of speech. I say what I say and do what I do to test its bounds. But I wonder whether it’s worth it any more. We’ve reached the point where, it seems to me, that you can be judged more harshly for what you say or the way you say it than on your actual deeds. Perception is all. You can be the biggest, most incompetent, ruthless bastard; you can cheat on your wife with rent boys; you can ruin thousands, hundreds of thousands of lives with the policies you introduce. But so long as you manage your image OK, talk nicely, say the right things at dinner parties, never offend the social mores of our time, then you’re off scot free.

George Macdonald Fraser wrote about this in 2008, his parthian shot before he died. Where initially – in the Seventies and Eighties – his Flashman character was more or less admired for his roguishness (redeemed by his unflinching honesty), in the Nineties something started to change. Critics began commenting on Flashman’s political incorrectness “in order to make a point of distancing themselves from it.”

Fraser wrote:

“ I find the disclaimers alarming. They are almost a knee-jerk reaction and often rather a nervous one, as if the writer were saying: “Look, I’m not a racist or sexist. I hold the right views and I’m in line with modern enlightened thought, honestly. They won’t risk saying anything to which the PC lobby could take exception. And it is this that alarms me – the fear evident in so many sincere and honest folk of being thought out of step.”

That was five years ago. Things are worse, now. So much worse that I quite often ask myself whether it’s even worth going on doing what I do.

See it seems to me that this battle is already lost. Our politically correct culture has grown so decadent it is beyond repair.

Suppose that vegan were to finish me off with his sharped carrot tomorrow. The worst thing about it wouldn’t be the undoubted pain and humiliation of succumbing to death by vegetable at the hands of a bloodless tofu-muncher.

The real horror would be this. Everyone would think I kind of had it coming to me. Almost no one – save Douglas, and what few other Happy Warriors there are left: no more than about 20 of us in the media I’d say – would have the moral and intellectual clarity to understand why I didn’t.

36 comments on “Delingpole on Friday – do I have it coming?

  1. Richard Evans (@richarevans1)
    February 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Nah you’re talking bollocks. Get a grip you fairy, there are plenty of us out here and we need a leader. And despite you not looking like Errol Flynn and wearing glasses, you’re it. So pull your bloody finger out, there’s a war to be won!

    • Chris
      February 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm #


  2. colliemum
    February 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Agree with Richard above – you’re a Brit, James, ffs, where’s the bulldog spirit!

  3. Battersby (@Battsby)
    February 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Fuck ’em, James… just fuck ’em.

  4. Nick
    February 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    You’ve never had it so good. I know that you are aware of Twitter. There’s plenty of non-PC fuckery on there. Plus there are plenty of ways for an entertaining Dick to make a living.

    The Van Gogh reaction is the moral equivalent of “she wore a short skirt so she deserved it” but the left are so blinded by their self-righteousness that they can’t see it. It was ever thus.

  5. devonseaglass
    February 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    I will erect a windmill in your memory! It will be the Delingpole. But until then, keep up the good work,

  6. mo79uk
    February 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    Rocky, get up! The uber-left is not a machine; it can bleed!

  7. Rosebud
    February 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    ditto @ richard evans

  8. A Bloke
    February 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Dead right, chum. Did you read the Rachel Sylvester piece at Huhne? Unbelievable. Three pars of how nice he is and how tragic his fall, all so unnecessary, people do worse, etc

    Then she declared he was a friend. Then we had all the whinging from middle class liberal pricks about Huhne’s son turning on him ‘breaks my heart’ blah, blah.

    Jesus Christ, his son should turn on him. I’m mighty impressed by the loyalty he’s shown to his mother. What the hell is wrong with the ladyboys from Queen’s Park?

    I despise the culture of not rocking the boat, not making the point, the deep corporatisation of discourse. Earlier today I sent a round-robin email to the others in my new block of flats giving the developer what for.

    By instant return I got a return email under the heading ‘Outcomes not Problems’ from some clipboard-wielding felllow-resident dolly who ‘works’ at a consulting company.

    It said

    ‘Whilst I understand you are unhappy with the quality of workmanship this is not the forum for general rants. Perhaps you should seek legal advice?

    The comments need to be constructive and help work to get all the problems solved.

    Try venting your frustration on the upper management of Linden or Legal.

    And let us know what progress you make to securing a completed snag list.’

    There is a god, though. I told her I didn’t give much for NHS-style shoot-the-messenger approach and unless I went public how do i know if anyone else has problems?

    Then lots of blokes flooded on complain about the heating system and one resident turned out to be proper heating specialist who does the engineering calculations and knew the whole drill (ie the heating system is under specced).

    Anyway, that is all really to illustrate my wider point. The flood of New Labour-era women graduates who are wrecking the place, the NHS particular.

    Box-ticking, arse covering, rule-following, belligerent madams without an original thought in their manicured heads.

    Remember Sharon Shoesmith waving her ‘4 Star’ rating at the press conference for the death of baby P?

    With over 60 percent of graduates now dolly-bots, things can only get worse.

    Obviously I can’t say that, or I’d be finished.

    But you might dimly remember quoting my telegraph letter ‘bridget Jones is a New Labour hypocrite’ years ago.

  9. Ongruse
    February 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Well said James. However public attitudes to tend to swing with the prevailing wind. Sometimes it takes an event closer to home to make People wake up.
    Actually No that’s bollocks – You’re correct, it’s too late. We’re fucked.

  10. jonan
    February 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Keep fighting the good fight Jim. Don’t let the bastards grind you down

  11. James McCormack
    February 8, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Come and join us British refugees in Switzerland…..true you lose some liberties such as not being able to flush the toilet after 10pm, but you can still demonstrate xenophobia or challenge the PC “right on” way without being shouted in to submission as a racist and a bigot. Thought it not a crime here……..on a personal note my heart bleeds for what England has become.

  12. Chris
    February 8, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    There are lots of people who have had enough of the political correct bullshit. Don’t worry. There’s more of us than the metro-liberal pricks found in Notting Hill and Primrose Hill.

    Everyone I talk to has had enough of wind farms, multi-culturism and the EU.

    So, I say UP YOURS to:

    1. The BBC.
    2. The Guardian.
    3. The EU.
    4. Supporters of Wind Farms.
    5. Pro-immigration and multi-culturism supporters.

    • vervet
      February 13, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      Seconded. There are many ‘out here’ that are fed up with PC-BS.
      The problem is to overcome the inertia. What we need is for everyone to vote NOT ‘LibLabCon’ – any party you like except mainstream.

  13. Harry
    February 8, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Ever since that Suzanne Moore apology you’ve become all self-doubting and existential. As Richard says above, snap out of it! We need you back and as confident as ever!

  14. Colin
    February 9, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Wind farms suck. Gay marriages are anything but. Speech is free, freedom isn’t. Whales have been asking for it; bunch of blowhards if you ask me. Horse meat is really delicious; smoked, thinly sliced on a fresh French roll (am I allowed to say French roll?). The Swedes eat horse meat, so it must be OK. Geert Wilders should be knighted.

  15. ArouetLeJeune
    February 9, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    James, Great piece. I am your greatest fan. Could you please unblock me on Twitter so I can RT your imprecations. @ArouetLeJeune

  16. Brian the Rhetor
    February 9, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    I understand you. Brutal dictatorial authority, wearing the mask of compassion, has fought – and is fighting – a very clever campaign. The pendulum is so long overdue for a swing back to sanity that the term ‘tipping point’ hovers in the air. Just cling to the Churchill dictum: never give up.

  17. martin
    February 9, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Terrific article. There are so many parts to this subject.
    1. We really need you there doing what you’re doing, that’s why we follow you. You’re very good at it. And a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do… you know 🙂
    2. Yes the world is getting more and more politically correct. I think there is a good case for thinking it’s driven by the elite leaders of the world who want as homogenous a population as possible in order to better control them (us). Reduce friction and increase wealth (in theory)
    3. Organisations like the BBC are onsides with this thinking and are so massive who can beat them?
    4. Two or three generations might be enough to complete the indoctrination, they’re already half way there.

  18. Heretic
    February 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    “I quite often ask myself whether it’s even worth going on doing what I do.”

    It is even more vital than ever that you continue.

  19. Robert Edwards
    February 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    What you are saying is, I suggest, your personal take on:

    “I don’t like it sergeant – it’s quiet – too damn’ quiet…”

    At which point – Kerthunk! = the Apache arrow goes into your chest.

    Fear not. We are with you. Shout it. You are entirely correct.

    There are two things about which I panic; running out of Marlboro Lights and not having a G.M. Fraser novel to hand…

  20. Gaspé Broken-Record
    February 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Did you watch the Heritage Foundation’s lecture with Ben Shapiro discussing his new book Bullies, James? If not give it a look.

    It’s about an hour long and EXTREMLY concise.. I’m sure you read it already, but if you (or any the other readers) haven’t seen the talk you should. It’s highly entertaining as well as informative and it lifted away a lot of bleakness I’ve been feeling about these things lately.

    It is truly a message LOADED with hope and a vision through the smoke of a civilization seemingly lost to flames.

    Don’t give up hope, every day more of us are picking up our pens like spears, our cameras like shields and joining you on the wall. Just two weeks in, here, as you can click and see.

    Remember, we’re the one who can joke and laugh at the end of the day as Mark Steyn once noted. They just don’t have that built into them like we do. Stay fucked off, stay wry, but hold onto that Happy, Warrior.

    You’d never tolerate me writing a blogroll the length of what would roll out for you if one of the new-and-increasingly-mainstream psycho-left martyred you to free speech. It would be too long for a blog reply.

  21. LJH
    February 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Come off it, the wishful thinking brigade have run out of money. As their cover grows more threadbare, the lefty world view inhabitants will find some very unhappy people to face down, armed with more than a bloody sharpened vegetable. Darkest hour before dawn and all that stuff..

  22. NoFixedAddress
    February 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    So carry it to its ultimate and form a tax deductible religion that conducts worship ceremonies around a wind turbine…. I am sure the God effect of shining laser light on the turbines will be the latest crop circles.

    You could then push for wind turbines in all London parks and all private property except site selection would be as close as possible to all manor houses.

  23. Simon Roberts
    February 10, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I doubt very much that you are in anyone’s cross-hairs. You don’t rip into Islam very much and you do highlight that Wind Turbines harm wildlife, so there’s not much reason for you to be on the serious fanatic’s lists.

    The Eco lobby is made of up mainly rent-seekers, must-be-seen-to-be-fashionables. This lot aren’t known for taking personal risks, despite what they may tweet or email you.

  24. Malfleur
    February 11, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Mr. Delingpole seems never to have heard of Tommy Robinson or Kevin Carroll … not “in the media” of course.

  25. John birch
    February 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Your right James in what you say. Just recently I have been provoking people to try to get them to voice an opinion .
    It’s quite obvious to me a large section of people now choose deliberately not to have an opinion about any thing except fucking football and music.

  26. John birch
    February 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    John birch on February 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Your right James in what you say. Just recently I have been provoking people to try to get them to voice an opinion .
    It’s quite obvious to me a large section of people now choose deliberately not to have an opinion about any thing except football and music.

    Reply ↓

    • Jonathan Tokeley Parry
      February 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Have you noticed how people immediately say, these days, “I’m not a racist/homophobe/sexist, but” ? What an absurd position to have gotten into, where decent kindly people feel they’re not allowed to speak their mind anymore. That is, they can’t trust to their own decency and kindness anymore; they, the most tolerant and forbearing of people

  27. Frank P
    February 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Well, James, there are millions who think as you do but who unfortunately lack your skills at wordsmithery; so don’t understimate the lobby and you just keep churning out the counter-counter cultural reverse agitprop. You could start by telephoning that prick Gove and explaining to him that citing Antonio Gramsci as his guru on education was not a good wheeze. It either exposed the administration of which he is part as the vanguard of the Long March, or exposes him personally as a dim prick who should change his speech writer, who is obviously a commie mole. I’d be interested to hear his response to that.

  28. John birch
    February 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    David Kelly.

  29. David
    February 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    James, you are one of the best columnists in the media and I guess honest journos are bound to make enemies. Keep on fighting the b*st*rds; you’re right, they’re wrong and you’re not alone.
    Progress is being slowly made since the dark days of Blair and people are increasingly turning against the metro-liberal w*nkery that dominates our country.
    Eventually the paradigm will shift and you will be able to claim major credit for that for exposing their lies and their morally bankrupt causes

    • T Hubbard
      March 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      It’s not like you have a choice anyway….

  30. Jonathan Tokeley Parry
    February 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    James, I left this country in utter disgust five years ago, and ended up in Italy on the Vidalian principle that if the (Western) world is ending, where better to watch it end than Rome?

    But feeling myself an exile, I returned, to see if I could live again in the culture I love. I found it changed beyond all measure, and so far gone into cowardice and decadent silliness that—if it weren’t for you, and one or two others—my own rage would force me away a into exile.

    Please keep on raging, just as Auberon Waugh did until somebody actually listened to him…

  31. Dick Droxford
    February 21, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    James, there are to many lazy columnists in the media on both sides of the political scene. One way in which I am able to be sure that you are on the right side of things (apart from my own instincts in each area) is how often you are personally criticized for your appearance, tone and style. While your content is often challenged, I am never persuaded by their arguments. Compare and contrast with others on the wrong side of opinion, such as Polly Toynbee, who also gets a lot of personal criticism, but almost invariably because of the rank hypocrisy and partisan nature of her opinions; or George Monbiot, because he has been proven wrong in a serial fashion on headline item after headline item (e.g. peak oil). While I agree with the above replies that you are not alone, I’m afraid we as a group are a lonely minority, who find ourselves always on what the feeble minded consider to be the wrong point on the moral compass.

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