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10 September 2012

I take offence when accused of being politically correct

It’s a pleasure to have been asked to become a regular Telegraph blogger, and since I want to understand my readers, I’ve read every one of the comments made so far. My debut, on sockpuppets, attracted a modest number of interesting and generally calm responses (other than someone who was revisiting an old grudge from a non-fiction book about Northern Ireland I wrote in the late 90s).

George Galloway
People need to stand up to George Galloway

I’ve read the 406 (so far) responses to my second contribution – on George Galloway – and am not surprised that so many were a) anti-Zionist, b) anti-Semitic, c) anti-Muslim and d) hang-wringing, because such a toe-rag as Galloway garners votes and support. Nor am I surprised that some think I’m angry because he bested me in debate. In fact, as I hope I explained, I have the greatest respect for Galloway’s abilities as a debater and am greatly relieved that I was able to land one serious blow toward the end of the long and often acrimonious session.

Hereward asked why I’d appear on a platform with Galloway. The answer is that people like him have to be stood up to.

Bartolino, truly I am not “bitter and dissatisfied”. I’m actually quite cheerful. As for your question, what am I going to do with the Palestinians? "One cannot delete them with a click of a mouse, and they still demand their land." I’m in favour of a two-state solution, bartolino, which is more than Galloway is. He explained in West Belfast that he wants a one-state solution, since Palestinians are so tolerant that the minority Jewish population will be safe. Forgive me if I have a slight question mark about this, not least because of the way in which extremist Muslims are persecuting Christians, Jews and Muslims of other sects.

However, I was particularly interested in the plethora of arguments about what constitutes rape, and the anger in many of the contributions. Now, you should know for the future that having been involved in the journalist anti-terrorist wars, I have broad shoulders, a thick skin and various other classically unfeminine characteristics. In other words, I’m not touchy. However, I do take offence at being accused of being politically correct. I will have you know that the most treasured comment on my crime novels came from the discerning critic Patricia Craig when she said: "This blithe series puts itself on the side of the angels by merrily, and staunchly, subverting every tenet of political correctness."

So I’m not PC when I say that what Julian Assange is alleged to have done to a brace of Swedish women could reasonably be thought to constitute rape. I have no time for women who wake up drunk beside someone they met at a party, can’t remember what happened and rush to the police. However, if you insist on the use of condoms and wake up to discover a chap you’ve had sex with once is allegedly insisting on having his way with you unsheathed, then you have a legitimate grievance. Mr Assange obviously gets about, there are lots of nasty sexually-transmitted diseases and no one has the right to put you at risk when you’ve specifically asked him not to. So, jimmmmmy, your conclusion that "her religious upbringing in Ireland where violence is good but sex is bad comes through loud and clear in this article" is not soundly based.

I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t heard of that handy catch-all term, ZOG, an acronym which Google tells me means "Zionist Occupation Government, an anti-Semitic theory about Jews dominating governments." Possibly the maddest contribution was: "Our Media is zionist, our government is zionist, our money is zionist and our oppressors are zionist…" As Terry Wogan used to say, "They’re not all locked up yet." (I’ll leave out the commenter's name to avoid embarrassing him.) In the same vein was mrogics’ contention that Pol Pot would beat Cameron in an election.

I must thank joestrummer for his kind welcome and I much enjoyed the contribution of 345gfrtg: "The left are falling out of love with all their painted idols, Galloway hoisted by his own leotard, Monbiot losing his marbles, Hasan exiled to the irrelevance of HuffPost UK, (whatever that is), The Notting Hill set out of pocket after Assange jumped his bail. All they have now is the chavtastic Owen Jones, Lady Toynbee and Comrade 'Stalin wasn't such a bad chap' Milne."

I think soovey’s psychologist friend has it right when he suggests that Galloway is narcissistic and histrionic and craves attention. Poor chap. We should be kind. But we shouldn’t vote for him.

Ruth Dudley Edwards


Ruth posts articles that interest or amuse her and replies to comments from her eclectic group of friends and followers.

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