By Ben Pensant
There are many wonderful things that Jeremy Corbyn will do when he becomes Prime Minister: re-join the EU; re-nationalise the railways; re-introduce capital punishment for anyone who smears the Dear Leader, questions his competence or photo-shops pictures of him being fisted by Diane Abbott while Len McClusky blows smoke rings up her arsehole. But by far his greatest policy will be a much needed ban on satire. Or at least the kind of lowbrow satire that thinks it’s funny to photo-shop pictures of Jezza being fisted by Diane Abbott while Len McClusky blows smoke rings up her arsehole. The only political humour to survive will be the cutting edge kind found at The Canary. I’d suggest taking a look but the satire in their Off The Perch section is so cutting edge even sophisticated progressives like me struggle to work out if they’re taking the piss or not.
But as illiberal this sounds, I assure you: it’s bloody not. Because if the last year has taught us anything it’s that being on the regressive left is no laughing matter. And when we are swamped by writers, comedians and sportsmen who seem to think being able make jokes about whatever the hell they want is the hallmark of a free society then you know we’re doomed. Thankfully, one by-product of far-left values dominating mainstream media is a tendency to find allies in the unlikeliest places, such as on daytime TV. And that’s exactly what happened for ten glorious minutes last week when Loose Women mutated from a show about the menopause into a pop-up blasphemy court as a young man was informed that the death threats he and his family recently received from religious extremists were completely his fault for TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING filming himself at a wedding arsing about on a rug.
Yes, you heard that right and I apologise to anyone too traumatised to read on but some things are so vile they can’t be sugar-coated. A rule adhered to by former pop star-turned jilted wife Linda Nolan as she gravely introduced multiple medal-winning Olympic gymnast Louis Smith days after he disgraced himself and his profession by filming himself and a mate arsing about on a rug: ‘What was going through his head when he was filmed in an offensive racist video?’ Linda tutted, sparing the sensitivities of the viewers by giving no indication whatsoever as to how arsing about on a rug is racist and which race his arsing about on a rug offended. ‘He’ll be telling us what he’s going to do to make things right’ she warned.
As anyone who has followed this vile story knows, the phrase ‘arsing about on a rug’ isn’t the half of it. What Smith did may not qualify as ‘satire’ but it was certainly ‘mockery’ and neither have any place in the civilised society Corbyn intends to build. (As soon as he’s finished travelling the world praising dictators while dressed as a Butlins redcoat freed after 30 years trapped down the back of a fruit machine).
For when Louis Smith decided it would be funny to pray, shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and make disparaging remarks about ’60 virgins’ he hurt and offended peaceful Muslims everywhere. So hurt and offended, in fact, that several of them took to the internet to demonstrate how peaceful they are by threatening to kill him and his family. Something which Linda was in no mood to condemn as she referred to ‘the racist video which mocked the Islamic faith…and caused his family to receive death threats’.
Wisely, these death threats received little attention from Linda and co, other than to emphasise how offensive the video was. Indeed, it’s a sign of how principled and identity politics-obsessed our media has become that the presenters of a mainstream chat-show deemed a young man arsing about on a rug more worthy of outrage than the fact that a young man was sent death threats for arsing about on a rug. Because what looks like arsing about on a rug is actually mockery. And any idiot knows the worst thing anyone can do in the eyes of the modern left is mock a peaceful religion that believes horses can fly and gays should be ‘punished’.
‘So what does he have to say for himself?’ asked Linda before a defeated Smith took to the stage, and if he thought he was going to get an easy ride he was in for a shock. Because grilling an Islamophobe is no job for the terminally nice Andrea McClane or right-wing Murdoch shill Suzanne Moore. No, this task required the big guns and in June Sarong, Janet Street-Preacher and Mandy Dingle that’s exactly who we got.
And boy, did they relish the chance to unleash their inner SJWs and tackle a subject somewhat meatier than useless husbands or itchy fannies. Street-Preacher steamed in first, comparing Smith’s behaviour to ‘a drunken teenager’ before Sarong took the reins to assure Smith they hadn’t invited him on to attack him, a point she proved tenfold by going on to attack him. ‘At what point did you think it was okay to do that?’ she raged, unaware that we live in a country in which it is not only ‘okay’ to make jokes about religion, it is also encouraged by our Islamophobic media and their offensive view that no idea is above having the piss taken out of it. Even harmless ideas such as believing anyone who leaves Islam deserves to be killed.
Brilliantly shutting down Smith’s attempts at contrition by constantly interrupting him, Sarong then deployed a classic regressive manoeuvre by pointing out that, as a mixed race man, he should have known better than to be racist towards a religion whose worldwide community consists of hundreds of races. As you’d expect from a woman who called the rug footage ‘disturbing’ and spoke of it in horrified tones usually reserved for ISIS beheading videos or repeats of Your Face Or Mine, Sarong was in no mood for Smith’s claim that his behaviour wasn’t racist, countering that it was ‘xenophobic and prejudiced’. Who or what Smith was being xenophobic and prejudiced against isn’t clear as at no point in the video does he express dislike for foreigners nor act in a discriminatory manner towards Muslims. However, as a privileged white male I would say that. Because if a black woman off the telly says something is xenophobic and prejudiced then it bloody well is.
Having trivialised the actual racism Smith and millions of others in the real world have exprienced by comparing it to a young man arsing about on a rug, Sarong took a breather, perhaps to ponder the seismic effect Smith’s behaviour may have on the environment. A ludicrous concept, yes, though no more ludicrous than her theories about the 2004 Tsunami that she aired while working on a show with Naval officer-turned-actor-turned-bat-shit-conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura.
The baton was then handed to Mandy Dingle, who took the unusual step of bringing up the death threats that Smith and his family received ‘as a result’ of Smith arsing about on a rug. Happily the thorny issue of the threats was abandoned after roughly five seconds of Smith talking about them as Dingle quickly interrupted him to assure the audience that despite evidence of his racist behaviour he was actually ‘a good person’. As opposed to an evil racist who decided to insult 1.6 billion Muslims by arsing about on a rug.
Dingle then offered her own theory as to what may have driven Smith to risk his career by suggesting his fame and success had gone to his head, in contrast to hers appears to have gone to her arse-cheeks. This received much giddy approval from the panel, the opposite of the silence that greeted his swiftly silenced comments about receiving death threats. Because in these enlightened times a young man enjoying life after working hard to fulfil his ambitions is a far greater crime than threatening to behead someone for arsing about on a rug.
In fact, it’s a testament to how brilliantly identity politics has skewed the discourse that the only reason the death threats were briefly mentioned in the media was to highlight how horrendous Smith’s behaviour was. Despite much talk in The Guardian and The Mirror about the ‘feelings’ of religious conservatives and radical Islamists, there was little if any discussion about the feelings of Smith’s family who had received delightful social media messages from men in masks with pistols on their laps.
No, the consensus was that he brought it upon himself by arsing about on a rug, a view compounded by the Muslim representatives who the press asked to comment. Not Muslim reformers such as Maajid Nawaz, Asra Nomani or Shiraz Maher; too liberal, too progressive, too likely to say that when a man is sent death threats by followers of a religion for arsing about on a rug the problem lies with the religion not the man arsing about on a rug. No, the Muslim community quote which dominated virtually every piece of reportage came from the far more authentic voice of Mohammed Shafiq – chief executive of the Ramadan Foundation – who spoke for progressives, appeasers and extremists everywhere when he said ‘Our faith is not to be mocked. Our faith is to be celebrated’. Which tenet of his faith is to be celebrated wasn’t clear but luckily a fair amount of Muslims had already decided to ‘celebrate’ the part where the Qur’an orders its followers to kill anyone who mocks their religion. Pass the bunting.
Character assassination complete, the ladies used up the last minutes of the ‘interview’ by compounding Smith’s shame with every weapon in their arsenal; blaming him for ‘letting down’ his mother; accusing him of not shaking hands with his team-mate in Rio (despite the fact he did); and issuing dark warnings about the effect his disgusting behaviour could have on his career. ‘What are you going to do to solve this?’ asked Sarong, the ‘this’ in question being the pain and offence he has caused the Muslim community as opposed to all that trivial business of he and his family receiving death threats.
They finally got what they wanted as Smith admitted to being ‘ashamed’ of his behaviour and the Faith Militant nodded approvingly. Satisfied their work was done, Linda thanked him for having the bravery to be denigrated on live television. ‘Bravery’ being an apt word for appearing in public in the same week strangers have been telling him he deserves to die. Indeed, I almost felt proud to be British as I watched an Olympic athlete patronised by a woman whose greatest claim to fame is she was once touched up by Jimmy Savile.
Asked if he would apologise to the Muslim community he said he would, though knowing this despicable character the chances of this happening are as remote as Janet Street-Preacher apologising to Donkey from Shrek for stealing his teeth. As it happens, Smith made a lame attempt at contrition by visiting some mosques in London to learn about the Islamic faith. However, he even managed to bugger that up as one of the mosques he visited was of the Ahmadiyya variety, a branch of Islam whose followers are regarded as even worse than young men who arse about on rugs. So if he thinks indulging these sell-outs will get the extremists off his back he’s in for a shock.
Indeed, Smith need only look at Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Sha, the Amahdiyya Muslim who provoked his own murder back in May when he disrespected Islam by wishing ‘happy Easter’ to his friends and neighbours. Smith needs to buck up his ideas unless he wants to wind up bleeding to death in the street for being a nice person. But if that happens could anyone seriously argue Smith didn’t bring it upon himself?
Not with a straight face. Because from 9/11 to 7/7, Lee Digby to Charlie Hebdon, the Rochdale grooming gangs to the Cologne sex attackers, when it comes to atrocities carried out in the name of Islam the left have a proud tradition of forgiveness, understanding and ingrained victim-blaming. Because sometimes a narrative is so precious the only way to preserve it is to, well, blame a victim. We’ve spent years taking autonomy away from Muslims and there’s no way we’re giving it back just because someone threatened to kill an Olympian’s mam.
It may be clear as day that the only crime here was committed by those who sent death threats to Smith for arsing about on a rug. But it’s clearer than day that those death threats would never have happened if Smith hadn’t arsed about on a rug. And if this sounds suspiciously similar to a crusty judge accusing a rape victim of causing her own sexual assault by wearing a short skirt then so be it. Muslims – along with all the other oppressed groups the left have declared unthinking victims to be infantilised in the name of solidarity – can not be held responsible for their own actions. Especially not when those actions are the result of widespread Islamophobia, cruel Western foreign policy and the unforgivable crime of a young man arsing about on a rug.
So let’s applaud our progressive media for abandoning common sense and liberal values to put the feelings of radical extremists first. The only way is up now for Linda and co who’ve at long last achieved their ambition of producing a British chat-show every bit as hysterically judgemental as The View. All we need now is Whoopi Goldberg to appear as a guest panellist and inform us that last November’s Paris attacks weren’t terrorism terrorism and the transformation will be complete. I also look forward to them inviting ugly Islamophobe Salman Rushdie onto the show to say sorry for forcing the Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a death sentence against the novelist for writing a book. And fingers crossed after Asia Bibi is finally executed for blasphemy ITV send Jordan and Maureen Holdsworth to Pakistan to ask Asia’s corpse just what the hell it was thinking when it insulted Muslims worldwide by taking a sip of water from a co-worker’s cup. While taking a huge shit on the Qur’an and arsing about on a rug. Probably.
Stay Loose, ladies.