‘IT’S why they got rid of him – he cuts through the bullshit.’
That was Laura Perrins’s remark to me yesterday on Mark Steyn’s masterly ‘Shagged out’ takedown of the GB News/Laurence Fox/Dan Wootton/Calvin Robinson ‘comment upon comment upon comment’ affair. She is right. As ever.
The only layer of comment I am adding to Mark’s analysis of the affair and of the tawdry ‘ecology’ of British Broadcasting it represents, is to say that it is brilliant.
There is no other word for it.
Here are some of his choicest observations. (The bold is mine):
‘The acceptance in our societies of deaths from despair as a leading cause of mortality among young and middle-aged men is a subject worth exploring. But, as always on Cheapo TV, that’s not what was going on. Instead, Laurence had been called in to attack what Miss Evans had said about it on some other station. Commentary is a low enough profession, but commentary upon other commentary is lower still, and (in this case) commentary upon commentary upon commentary (Lozza had been invited to comment on Ava’s comments on the bloke who’d been commenting on male suicide) is almost entirely removed from anything that matters.
‘ . . . I suppose if I’d been tempted down the same path I’d have gone for a variation of Kathy Shaidle’s line: “What happened to you?” We have made a world of men that women don’t want and women that men don’t want, and that doesn’t seem likely to end well.
‘ . . . But that’s neither here nor there. It was a short segment guilty of nothing other than poor taste – which in the relentlessly vulgar Brit media is surely no big deal. Discussing the issue, Joan Bakewell – who in my salad days made her name on the Beeb as “the thinking man’s crumpet” (ie, eminently shaggable) rather than merely the Bakewell tart (although Frank Muir liked to call her that, without consequence) – magisterially pronounced that Lozza is a “dick“.
‘ . . . that’s UK public discourse for you: it’s unutterably vulgar – except that it’s uttered round the clock. So the Minister of State at the Department of Defence is permitted to get her jollies slavering over the violation of Nigel Farage’s posterior, but Nigel’s primetime colleagues are not permitted to express a disinclination to violate. Of course! Because Anna Soubry, Andrew Marr, Joan Bakewell, Adam Boulton and even young Ava Evans are all in the club – and Farage, Fox and Wootton aren’t and never will be. That’s what Mr Boulton’s “delicate ecology” of UK broadcasting boils down to.
‘And so, entirely predictably, the state censor Ofcom has now announced it’s opening an investigation into GB News over its bizarre outbreak of non-shagging. I believe that’s the twelfth current investigation into the channel, and we pretty much know the outcome. After all, GB’s chief exec has already said the segment was “way past the limits of acceptance“. So what are Lord Grade and Melanie Dawes going to “find”? Oh, no, relax, turns out it’s perfectly acceptable after all?
‘ . . . Remember what the Steyn Show used to do on GB News? Vaccine victims ignored by the government and vaporised on social media. The industrial-scale gang-rape of English schoolgirls up and down the land from Rochdale to Banbury. The utter uselessness of the British constabulary, who are too busy dancing their clubfooted macarenas to investigate any crimes.
‘Seen any of that lately on GBN? As I’ve said with each of these new Ofcom complaints, GB News would have done better to push back against the Steyn rulings – because at least then you’d be taking a stand on the biggest public-policy disaster of our times, as opposed to defending the right to pronounce a woman entirely non-shaggable. Which, in terms of free-speech first principles, may indeed be a right, but not one you’d necessarily want to argue before a jury, never mind faceless ideological commissars of a highly politicised state bureaucracy.
‘ . . . A commenter on the piece says: ‘Interestingly, both Fox and Robinson admit that they and GB News should’ve supported Mark against Ofcom and not doing so was a mistake – Fox says the board should sack the management, “clear out the enemies within and beg Mark Steyn to come back”, whilst Robinson says, “we failed as a community to stand up for Mark Steyn . . . if we let them do the same to Dan, it’s over”.’
And so, I am sorry to have to say it, should have Nigel Farage and Neil Oliver supported Mark. But you have to read the whole article. You won’t read another like it, not one that ‘holes’ it in one, as Mark does.
For those of you who want to help Mark take this critical free speech stand – his two lawsuits – against the State Censor, Ofcom, right up to the High Court, this is how you can, by
a) signing up a friend for a Steyn Club Gift Membership;
b) buying a chum a SteynOnline gift certificate; or
c) ordering a copy of Steyn’s latest book The Prisoner of Windsor. You won’t regret it.
(With the first two methods, one hundred per cent of the proceeds and, in the last, a significant chunk thereof go to a grand cause – and you or your loved one gets something, too.)
I will be reviewing The Prisoner of Windsor in the next few weeks – all I will reveal for now is that it’s the best Christmas book you can give to ‘woke-wearied’ family and friends. It is guaranteed to make you laugh, it’s wickedly clever and in parts too horribly true!
Editor’s note We have had one or two queries about UK purchase of The Prisoner of Windsor – here is the Amazon link.