Sunday 16 June 2019

Rod on Jo

Jo Brand, not being carted off to prison

Rod Liddle is, as so often, on form today in The Sunday Times. He takes the line that the BBC shouldn't have sacked Jo Brand, "the Clare Balding of comedy", because "we all knew Brand was making a joke" and because "the suggestion that people might douse Farage in battery acid is an absurdity". He believes that "viciousness is a crucial element of comedy" and that if you "start punishing comedians for’ll have much, much better comedians, such as Stewart Lee, in the dock."
We have to get ourselves away from this hyper-liberal sensitivity, this insistence that words by themselves should be samizdat. We have to value context and nuance. That the police are now involved [or were] is another absurdity. What Brand said was a joke, and intended as such, and she should not be sacked.
But...he also takes the line that the BBC should have sacked Jo Brand:
But still, the BBC should sack her. By its own lights. Because it does not agree with any of the stuff I’ve written above. It signs up to the whole panoply of liberal idiocy, the whole rank, totalitarian caboodle. Had Brand made that joke about Syrian refugees or Anna Soubry, she’d be gone by now.  
Yet because it was about Farage — who has suffered myriad violent assaults — BBC bosses take a more lenient view. Like Brand herself, and the odious Frankie Boyle, they are hypocrites. Sack Jeremy Clarkson, Danny Baker, Carol Thatcher — but not Brand. Liberal double standards — a joke funnier than anything she’s come up with in 30 years.


  1. For me it was incitement to violence.

    1. I do think it was, if you look at the structure of the joke, and I think had it been a "far right" person making the joke, they would be doing jail time by now.

      The key thing for me is that there HAVE been milk shake attacks. So it is not unreasonable for milk shake attackers, potential or actual, to pay heed to her words - to think she is speaking to them. The fact she threw in a few words to avoid implicating herself is neither here nor there - that has never been a defence against incitement. There is a real risk, small perhaps but there nonetheless in my judgement, that some nutter might act on her words.


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