Saturday 27 April 2019

Can't take a joke

Twitter is a private company and is allowed to ban whomever it likes. Except for accounts I like, in which case it’s an outrageous affront to freedom of speech. 

                         (Titania McGrath, social commentator)

Liam Neeson's famous speech from the film Taken is best known for its final phrase:
I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it - I will not look for you, I will not pursue you... but if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you... and I will kill you.
Journalist Laura Marcus, who is a vocal critic of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party on the question of antisemitism, sent out a jokey tweet about Sounds Of The 70s on BBC Radio 2:

('Kossoff' is Paul Kossoff, the long-deceased lead guitarist with Free, if you don't know - as I didn't). 

Now, does any reasonable person believe that Miss Marcus was threatening to kill Radio 2's Johnnie Walker? And how ludicrous is it to even have to ask such a question? Such madness, alas, is becoming ever more common and Twitter must have some very silly moderators. 

Meanwhile, Twitter is even suspending the accounts of would-be-politicians standing for election in the UK. 

I don't think we're all right now.

P.S. As Stew notes in the comments below, some pigs are more equal than others as far as Twitter bans go. Here's 1980's throwback Derek Hatton, with his Twitter feed still un-suspended:

If you're wondering, the "major socialist leader" Degsy is quoting there is 'The Butcher of Kronstadt', Leon Trotsky. 


  1. I didn't know that either. Nor that Johnnie Walker is still around.

    There was a similar opportunistic outcry when Nigel Farage mentioned putting the fear of God into other political parties.

    1. That's a good parallel.

      I keep getting surprised, roughly every five years or so, by hearing that Johnnie is still around.

  2. Paul Kossoff was probably one of the top 5 all-time rock guitarists I'd say (incredibly talented for one so young - I think he was only 17 when All Right Now came out). Shame he let drugs take him over. The BBC I recall broadcast him being interviewed out of his head on something. Another BBC connection - he was the son of David Kossoff who used to read Old Testament Bible stories on BBC TV. I think DK was a Rabbi.

    As for Ms Marcus, it's great to see them hoisted by their own pettiness.

    1. Only 26 when he died. Wikipedia suggests that "unhappiness" following the break-up of Free combined with his drug addition to bring about his early death, meaning (I assume) depression.

  3. Craig you need totre-edit this post and post a screenshot of Thursday's tweeet from Derek Hatton
    which clearly wss incitement to violence
    ..illegal never mind immoral
    yet it stood for 12 hours or something.

    and my tweet

    1. ah my Friday night post had more detail

  4. I've only just noticed the quote attributed to Titania McGrath at the top of Craig's post. She is a creation of Andrew Doyle, a comedian. He was mentioned here recently.

    1. She denies that she's a creation of Andrew Doyle, and you're surely an agent of the patriarchy for saying that she is! "I hope Twitter keeps on purging accounts until the only ones left are me and J.K. Rowling", she also said today.

    2. What if your name was really Tommy Robinson? That would be a bummer trying to open a Twitter Account in your real name.

  5. Hate speech. Very selective. There was a recent HYS on the BBC website on the subject of the cost to the taxpayer of the state pension. There were numerous replies, I assume not in jest, recommending euthanasia as the solution. Addressing a transgender woman as a he can result in a visit from the police, but apparently it’s perfectly acceptable to suggest that old people should kill themselves. Interesting.

    As to Laura Marcus It’s probably a stretch too far to expect a Corbynista to have a sense of humour.

    But the real crime here is not knowing who Paul Kossoff was!


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