Magazine article The Spectator

Rod Liddle: Will Labour Convict Me of Thought Crime?

Magazine article The Spectator

Rod Liddle: Will Labour Convict Me of Thought Crime?

Article excerpt

I got an email this week, from a chap called Harry, which began as follows: 'I am writing to inform you that I will be carrying out the investigation on behalf of the Labour party into the circumstances that resulted in your suspension from the party.' Harry went on to say that he will be 'conducting interviews with witnesses' and added: 'I will also need a time when you are available for an interview.' This last presumably as an afterthought: I suppose we need to hear from him. Anyway, at this interview (to be conducted in London, natch) I am allowed to bring along a 'silent witness' --someone who is not permitted to intervene on my behalf but can sit beside me with a consolatory expression on their face and perhaps hold my hand. Thinking about this later, I wondered if engaging a mime artiste might be the way forward. He could do his sad 'I can't get over this wall' act as the cross-examination reached its furious crescendo and somewhere, offstage, a smirking OGPU thug loaded the bullets into a pistol. But now I have decided to bring my lovely cross-breed dog, Jessie, instead. I won't describe her as cross-breed to Harry. I will say she is of mixed race, diverse and viable. Or just black, whichever is the most politically expedient. All of those descriptions are true.

I immediately told Harry I wasn't aware I had been suspended from the party. This, I kind of knew, wasn't Harry's fault. I get lots of emails from the Labour party, along with hundreds of missives advising me how I can extend my penis length, stuff about signing petitions to stop the Tories murdering infants in their cradles, offers on brass saucepans from French cookware companies and a regular injunction to meet up with a lady in my area who is really anxious to have sex with me. Of all the spammed rubbish I get sent this last is the most depressing: the lady in question lives in Basingstoke, more than a hundred miles from my home. So she is the nearest living person to me who would accede to a sexual relationship.

The Labour stuff is also depressing -- usually round robins from Corbyn telling me how well the party is doing, when we all know otherwise. That's what I get for my £13 per month membership: a regular recital from the terminally deluded. Anyway, I missed the email -- from a bloke called 'Stolliday', a great name for a Labour apparatchik. A day of stolidity. It told me I was being suspended for a blogpost I'd written for the Spectator website.

The email from Mr Stolidity cited the 'language' I had used in my blogpost, but did not specify which bit they objected to. I mentioned this to Harry in my next email.

I received a fraternal and illiterate response very quickly. 'The investigation stage is the initial fact-finding section [sic] where I will interview you and any other witnesses (if appropriate) about the article it's [sic] contents and any other documents that may come to light. …

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