I am now officially the second most hated person in Wales*
[*a wet, mountainous principality, abundant with sheep and disused coal mines; part of Britain since it was annexed by Edward I in the 13th century or thereabouts]
Doubt even his mother could like that face!
— BaswrBachBala (@BaswrBach) April 24, 2018
Deling – from Hungarian slang for the unpleasant smell between one's toes
Pole – Middle French, tiny, small, minute
— Wogan Jones 🏴🇺 (@Wogan_Jones) April 24, 2018
Your podcast is complete horse shit
— Iest (@iestg) April 24, 2018
The only funny thing about @JamesDelingpole is his stupid fuckin name.
— Deian Rhys Jones (@deianrhysjones) April 24, 2018
Wancar, as we call you in Wales, definitely.
— PopChartist (@PopChartist1983) April 24, 2018
And all just because I went on TV to defend a humorous Sunday Times column by Rod Liddle which made innocent fun of the Welsh and their exotic language with its mysterious shortage of vowels.
Well I say “innocent”, but some Welsh people felt so aggrieved that they wanted Liddle arrested and imprisoned for his “morally repugnant” behavior.
No, really. You can read about this massive overreaction by the Offense Brigade here, in the Spectator.
One of the campaigners Liddle quotes actually wants to make it illegal for people to make jokes about the Welsh language:
Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws. I shall reproduce her wonderful piece of doublethink and hysteria in full: ‘While it is important that we respect freedom of expression on different topics, the increase in the offensive comments about Wales, the Welsh language and its speakers is a cause for concern. Over recent months we have seen a number of situations where people have been insulted — and this is totally unacceptable. A few months ago, I joined with others to declare that action is needed to stop these comments, and stated that legislation is needed to protect rights and to prevent language hate. I will now call a meeting with interested individuals and groups to discuss the matter further and think of ways to move the agenda forward.’
How silly is that? Very, very, very silly, I thought. And also not a little scary. So, when the BBC’s Daily Politics invited me on to discuss the issue with an MP from the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru I eagerly accepted the opportunity to take the mickey.
As you’ll see if you watch the programme, I wasn’t at all rude. Just lightly irreverent and possibly a bit smirky.
You’d never guess this, though, from the responses I got on Twitter. Some of them are unprintable. These people are really angry – some to the point of threatening violence or demanding legal redress – just because someone committed the “crime” of treating them with less than the po-faced reverence they felt they deserved.
Not so long ago, “he can’t take a joke” used to be considered a character failing.
Now, for a lot of people, it’s a life plan: their route to the coveted status of victim.
If you can demonstrate yourself, however tenuously, to be a victim then not only does it entitle you to special treatment, legal protection and privilege over less victim-y groups. But it also makes you a better, worthier person – easily the moral superior of your alleged oppressors.
This is where the regressive left’s obsession with identity politics has got us: a world in which one half of us want to carry on making jokes and speaking our minds and generally behaving like normal human beings have for generations; and where the other half wants to rewrite all the rules of behavior according to a leftist narrative of oppressed victimhood, so that everything we now say and do is policed, and so that we have to walk continually on eggshells for fear of offending someone.
Already, we’re starting to witness the dangerous lunacy to which this political correctness leads.
Last week, for example, a teenager was prosecuted in the UK for the crime of posting on her Instagram account some Snap Dogg rap lyrics, in tribute to a friend who had died in a car crash.
Here is what happened next:
The screenshot was passed to hate crime unit PC Dominique Walker, who told the court the term was “grossly offensive” to her as a black woman and to the general community.
Russell was found guilty of sending a grossly offensive message by a public communication.
She was given an eight-week community order, placed on an eight-week curfew and told to pay costs of £500 and an £85 victim surcharge.
Note the problem here: a complete failure to take into account tone, context and intention. It was the same, of course, with the ridiculous prosecution of Count Dankula over the Nazi pug. And the same with the overreaction of certain Welsh offendotrons to a few innocuous jibes by myself and Rod Liddle.
This is what happens when you make a fetish of identity and grievance and victimhood: suddenly you empower the kind of thick, vindictive, bitter, humorless, whiny, self-pitying losers who – by definition – are wholly unfit to be given any control over other people’s lives.
And it’s why those of us on the free speech and liberty side of the argument are so right to get excited by Kanye West’s recent Twitter endorsements of Donald Trump and Candace Owens and Scott Adams.
What Kanye and co are doing here is rejecting the leftist narrative that if you can claim membership of any kind of minority group then your only role must be to whine and wheedle like some perpetual victim.
This is what the culture wars look like and we need all the heavy fire support we can get. The consequences, if we lose, are almost unthinkable.
Imagine: a bunch of angry losers babbling unintelligibly in a language with far too many consonants and a terrible insufficiency of vowels, stamping in your face forever…