The Plastic Hippo

June 22, 2014

Waiting for an Alibhai

Filed under: Media,Politics,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 4:29 am
Tags: , , ,


The idea that Michael Fabricant would actually punch Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the throat is as fanciful as the likelihood of the member for Lichfield being capable of aiming a punch without missing. In a fist fight there would be only one winner and Mr Fabricant should spar with a paper bag before attempting to take on Ms Alibhai-Brown.

Men like Rod Liddle, Fabricant and the disturbingly odd James Delingpole have every right to be annoyed with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. She is, after all, an immigrant, a feminist, a woman and, without putting too fine a point on it, just a little bit brown. Not content with ticking all the relevant hate boxes, she has committed three further unforgivable mistakes. Firstly, she is blatantly in possession of opinions and secondly, she has the temerity to express them. Finally and infinitely more seriously, she has opinions that are not shared by Messrs. Liddle, Fabricant and Delingpole and so becomes fair game for abuse and rather creepy stalking using the well tried and proven alibi of free speech.

It is too simplistic to dismiss these men as being merely part of the growing numbers of professional controversialists eager to plug a book or flog a few copies of the Telegraph, Mail and Spectator. Being calculatingly offensive to peddle some strange narrative requires certain panache and these characters are far more complex than the half-wits in bobble hats posting death threats to famous women historians, human rights campaigners and people they fancy off the telly. Quick to publish vitriolic bile aimed at women who dare to challenge the established orthodoxy, these wealthy, white, middle-aged men think nothing of attacking a woman`s intellect, character and even appearance. After about five seconds of watching these men pontificate on television, it does not need a Sigmund Freud to work out what their problem is.

It is not that their mothers were unkind or that their fathers were cruel. It is not that the clever, pretty girls that wafted through their lonely adolescence didn`t even notice them and it has nothing to do with their masturbatory fantasies of violent revenge after clumsy attempts at seduction resulted in nothing more than derisory laughter from the clever, pretty girls. It is not because they hate women; it is because they are frightened of women. Just lie on the couch, Rod, Michael and James, and tell me about your mother.

The hacks from the Spectator, however, did not threaten to punch the throat of a woman in her 60`s but fiercely defend the rights of an elected representative in the House of Commons to tweet that he might punch the throat of a woman in her 60`s. When it became clear that the free speech defence was rather shaky, the evergreen “it was only a joke” defence was swiftly deployed. Like some overweight 1970`s club comedian squeezed into a dinner jacket and soaking a tight bow tie with sweat, the response is always “no offense love, just a joke, where`s your sense of humour? Come back to the dressing room and I`ll give you a signed photo. Know what I mean?” In the 21st century, we need to cherish the past and it is heartening to see some male journalists and some male MP`s tenaciously preserving the Neolithic.

The attacks and threatened attacks on Yasmin Alibhai-Brown are hardly something new. In a spluttering article of barely contained terror in the Telegraph during 2010, Douglas Murray entitled his piece; “Is Yasmin Alibhai-Brown the stupidest woman in Britain?” Her misdemeanour at that time was to suggest that British Muslims feared being branded as terrorists because a few nasty people threatening violence were identified as being Muslim. Four years on, we might well ask if Douglas Murray is the stupidest Trojan horse in Britain.

Again in 2010, just as the defendant in the infamous Twitter Joke Trial was being found to be guilty of sending a “menacing electronic communication” under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, Conservative councillor Gareth Compton in the Erdington suburb of Greater Walsall tweeted:
“Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan`t tell Amnesty if you don`t. It would be a blessing really.”

This was obviously just a joke. I have no idea and care even less about what ever happened to Gareth Compton but I like to think that he is spending some time reflecting upon the nature of humanity and not collecting pebbles on some idyllic beach. As for Fabricant, his boss David Cameron wants to “leave it there” because the exhibitionist neurosis for Lichfield has offered a weak and double-edged half apology. The good people of Lichfield might not be so forgiving the next time their member stages some attention-seeking stunt resulting in bad publicity for that particular suburb of Greater Walsall.

Ms Alibhai-Brown might consider demanding a television debate with him to sort things out once and for all. This could bring about a confrontation worthy of Jerry Springer broadcast journalism. Either Fabricant would suffer an unfortunate brain haemorrhage or an exchange of throat punching might ensue. Perhaps she could use her exotic East African charms to turn Fabricant from a caricature into a fully functioning human being.

But then again, being a woman she should expect threats of violence because being a woman, she is obviously asking for it.

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