Friday, 5 March 2010

Richard Littlejohn: alleged journalist

As Jan Moir showed, the Daily Mail likes to insult the recently dead.

Today, Richard Littlejohn launches into an entirely predictable rant about Michael Foot, explaining how everyone who has praised the former Labour leader over the past few days - including those who worked closely with him - were all absolutely wrong.

The obituaries seemed to agree on one thing: he suffered from asthma in his youth.

The BBC say Foot was:

Turned down by the military because of his chronic asthma.

The Guardian refers to Foot being 'plagued by asthma' as a young man. The Telegraph says he had it too. Even Mail columnist Quentin Letts agreed Foot suffered with asthma, in a column he wrote in 2007.

But Dr Littlejohn? He knows better. He refers to it as:

alleged asthma.


He also criticises Foot for not enlisting when the Second World War broke out:

We still don't know the real reason Michael Foot managed to avoid military service.

And by 'we' he means 'I don't believe his story'. Because, like the BBC, the Mail's own obituary pointed out:

Foot immediately volunteered to serve but was turned down because he had weak lungs.

Elsewhere in today's column, he tells Ashley Cole to shave:

Frankly, I've no interest in Ashley Cole's sex life, only whether he's going to be fit - mentally and physically - to play for England in South Africa.

One observation, though.

He should lose the beard he's grown since his troubles with Cheryl began.

It makes him look as if he's stepped straight out of an Alky Ada martyrdom video.

See? Because if you're skin isn't white and you've got a black beard you have to be a terrorist! It's 'funny' because it's true!


And he's not done there, either. The death of MP Winston Churchill this week leads Littlejohn to tell this side-splitting story:

Churchill, who died this week aged 69, always struggled to escape the shadow of his famous grandfather and wearily expected to be reminded of this on the doorstep.

'Good morning, I'm Winston Churchill, your Conservative candidate,' he announced to a chap who answered the door on a local council estate.

The man looked him up and down, curiously, then said: 'Do you know, you're the first white man called Winston I've ever met.'

Haha! Because casual racism is so funny! And worth repeating 18 years later!

Now isn't that worth over £700,000 a year?

Elsewhere he does another of his 'hilarious' imaginary phone conversations - something he last did a variation of on 24 February.

In Tuesday's column, he did one of his 'hilarious' imagine-if-this-was-going-to-happen-in-the-future articles, which managed to squeeze in yet another mention (is it up to double figures yet?) of the gold reserves.

Oh, and if 'hilarious' imagine-if-this-was-going-to-happen-in-the-future articles sounds familiar, that's because he wheeled out that dead horse the week before with a flight of fancy about a possible war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, an article that was (surprise) littered with mistakes.

He said:

A recent spending review even proposed merging all three branches of the services to save money.

Errr, not quite. For one, it wasn't an official spending review but a Green Paper of reform. Secondly, it never proposed what he claims. The Mail's own report on it said:

The future of the RAF and Royal Navy were thrown into doubt last night after the head of the Armed Forces said their merger should be 'debated'.

A 'debate' about merging two of the armed servecs isn't the same as 'proposing' the merger of all three. Later, Littlejohn returned to the theme:

the Government is already talking about scrapping the RAF... We're down to the Red Arrows and a couple of Spitfires from the museum at Hendon.

The Government could always prevail upon civilian airlines to provide transport. I'm sure Richard Branson would be happy to oblige.

Of course, 'scrapping of the RAF' wouldn't actually mean Britain would suddenly have no planes, just that they'd be assigned to the Navy and Army. Presumably he's exaggerating for comic effect but when it's not funny, it's hard to tell.

In the same section, he referred to:

air-sea rescue has been sold off to the French

which isn't entirely true either - it's been sold to Soteria Consortium, which is made up of:

French defence company Thales, helicopter operator CHC and the Royal Bank of Scotland

And CHC is Canadian.

Next he wrote:

Faced with an Argentinian gunboat, the Royal Navy would be ordered to drop their weapons and surrender without a shot being fired, just as they did in the Shattal- Arab.

Shattal-Arab? Surely that's Shatt al-Arab?

And twice he referred to

Port Stanley

which, granted, is widely used, but the capital of the Falklands is actually called Stanley.

Then in a desperate effort to cram in as many of his witless catchphrases as possible:

If we actually captured an Argentinian combatant, we would have to release him immediately for fear of infringing his yuman rites.

Otherwise he could be flown back to London in a private jet, where the BBC could interview him about how he was tortured and he would be in line for a book deal and shedload of com-pen-sayshun.

And that's before elf 'n' safety have got in on the act and ruled the entire operation too dangerous. Meanwhile, back in London, the Not In My Name Crowd would be having a field day.

Gasp. Just what is the point of saying those things in that way?

See what he did there: it's about those Muslims back from Guantanamo. It seems he has to mention it every week, no matter how irrelevant it is. Such subtlety in his - ahem - 'satire'.

Talking of satire, the Mail made this apology for Littlejohn on 9 February:

In a satirical article on January 12 and on the morning of 2 February we mistakenly referred to Broadmoor hospital as a prison and suggested in the first story that it had padded cells.

We are happy to make clear that Broadmoor does not have any cells.

As a high security hospital it supports patients suffering from serious mental health problems accommodated on wards.

In addition, Ian Brady has never been a patient at Broadmoor. Our online stories have been adjusted to omit these errors which we regret.

If you search the Mail website for 'Broadmoor' this does not come up in the results. Surely they're not trying to hide their apologies, are they?

The use of the word 'satirical' is a little confusing - surely that isn't an accurate description of Littlejohn's drivel? But this was certainly him.

And that wasn't the only apology recently.

On 12 February, after his rant about torture ('I don't condone torture. But...'), he turned his fire onto lazy fat people:

Obesity isn't an illness, it's gluttony. They should all be told to get off their fat backsides and find a job.

In his next column he rowed back:

Some readers have complained that there are people who are obese for medical or severe psychological reasons, a point I am prepared to concede.

Littlejohn making crass generalisations? Surely not?

Oh and on 8 February he had to apologise for accusing Cambridgeshire Police of doing something that was done by Cheshire Police:

I managed to get my constabularies in a twist

he said, to little comic effect. (And he seems to have twisted some of the facts of the case he was discussing, too).

One more. Also on 12 February, he wrote:

And while we're at it, when did every boozer start serving Thai food? I've lost count of the number of times I've looked at a long and complicated pub menu for something simple and been confronted with frozen crispy duck pancakes.

Firstly, is that really what 'every boozer in the land' does?

Secondly, since when were crispy duck pancakes 'Thai food'?

Now isn't that worth over £700,000 a year?

(Hat-tip to the Mailwatch Forum and Guy Clapperton)


  1. His February 12th article was particularly twattish -

  2. I've pointed out to him that his research is so poor that he has Winston Churchill's constituency wrong. By 1992 he was standing in Davyhulme not Stretford.

    And maybe he could have told the story about him conning the National Lottery out of £12.5m for his grandfather's papers.

    As for the Foot stuff, typical RL nastiness. And criticizing what Foot said about appeasement in the Mail. They don't do irony do they?

  3. Hmmmmmm backlash much? -

    Comments (141)

    No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

  4. I can't get angry about RL's hideous diatribe against foot. When Thatcher dies I am going to throw the biggest party ever...

  5. "Foot preferred to sneer from the safety of the sidelines, even publishing a book attacking far better men than he for indulging Hitler throughout the 1930s, ignoring the indisputable reality that this 'appeasement' bought Britain time to re-arm, which ultimately equipped us to stand alone and ensured our survival as a free nation." Littlejohn probably refers to the Daily Mail's owners as the "better men" - Hurrah the Blackshirts etc. He then ignores the fact that the Germans completely fucked us and everyone else up in France 1940. His fuck-head BNPesq comments are bad enough, but not even getting the most basic points right is jaw dropping.

  6. While, yes, Littlejohn is a slimy git looking to stir up a shitstorm by controversially just saying the opposite of what everyone else is, Anonymous is right in their comment above. When Thatcher dies, there will be some who won't be able to restrain themselves from revelry. I look forward every day to seeing the headline in the Guardian; 'Ding, dong, the witch is dead.'

  7. "It makes him look as if he's stepped straight out of an Alky Ada martyrdom video."

    You know what's poo about his Alky Ada spelling? It's yet another thing he's stolen from 1970s comedy - a show I remember had a someone in it who called Darth Vader 'Daft Ada'.

    Smellyface has just nicked that and used it for a phrase that doesn't even end properly to make sense.

    And he gets paid around three quarters of a million quid a year while you're not even allowed to crack him across the face with a table-tennis bat. There's no justice.

  8. Why on earth is an odious creature like Littlecock allowed to judge the actions of a man 70 years after the event?

    I suppose Dicky would have been first to join up.

    To the Wehrmacht of course.

  9. Nice to see most of the comments under his article actually point out what a dick he is.

    I've never quite worked out if LittleJohn tries his best to produce this drivel or whether he is just totally lazy and just sees how he can produce his articles with the minimum amount of work.

  10. I actually face-palmed when I read the Ashley Cole "Alky Ada" comment when scanning his article just now. Wow.

  11. ////It makes him look as if he's stepped straight out of an Alky Ada martyrdom video.

    See? Because if you're skin isn't white and you've got a black beard you have to be a terrorist!////

    But that's not what he's saying. He's just saying that Cole looks like he's just...well, read it. And you know what - he does. Granted, not all terrorists are non-white and not all have beards, but show me a Al-Qaeda martyrdom video that features a clean-shaven white person. Go on, do it! Show me one and I'll retract.

    Taken literally, he's dead right. Interpret it to suit your own prejudices, as you and other commenters have, and you create a problem that doesn't exist. It's not even a particularly logical leap you've made either.

    What I find hilarious here is that reading the comments here is exactly like reading the DM comments, just in negative. Shows just how rabid and illogical everyone can be when the power of suggestion taps into their own deep wells of prejudice.


  12. //It makes him look as if he's stepped straight out of an Alky Ada martyrdom video.

    See? Because if you're skin isn't white and you've got a black beard you have to be a terrorist!///

    He suggested nothing of the sort. His statement is straightforward, and taken literally, it's absolutely true. Nowhere in that paragraph does he suggest that all terrorists are non-white with black beards. That;s your own prejudice making a typically illogical leap.

    Show me a Al-Qaeda martyrdon video that features a white, clean-shaven person, and I'll retract. No? Didn't think so.

    Funny how the comments on this blog are exactly the same bigoted, prejudicial crap that are on the DM comments, just in negative. The leap in logic you've just made above is ridiculously irrelevant.


  13. //His statement is straightforward, and taken literally, it's absolutely true.//

    Literally true? Really? He looks like he has stepped out of an Al-Qaeda video?

    No, he doesn't.


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