Writing in the week’s Spectator (cover date 10 January 2015, but online now), the columnist Rod Liddle describes opponents of Ched Evans as “morons”.
He starts his column with an attack on pseudonymous campaigner Jean Hatchet, saying that her name is “almost certainly too good to be true for a perpetually infuriated radical feminist.”
He then turns on others who have campaigned against Evans being allowed to return to football, calling their arguments a “laughable, stupid and fatuous premise” and “so vacuous as to be beyond parody”. He continues: “it is a froth of fashionable PC outrage, and odious in its implications.”
He asks “Is it possible to be more utterly ludicrous and petty?” and describes those opposed to the move as “a bunch of moronic columnists”. He singles another journalist – but not by name – who had written about the life-long effects of rape on the victim, as “air-headed”.
He concludes his piece by saying: “The truth is that his case is the perfect example of the moronic inferno, the howl round of witlessness and politically motivated confected outrage.”
In doing so he writes off the arguments without actually addressing them.
Let’s put Rod Liddle’s comments in context:
In January 2004, Rod Liddle married the mother of his two children at a romantic wedding in Malaysia. The honeymoon period didn’t last long. It didn’t even last the duration of the honeymoon as he left his wife during it to take up with his mistress. In newspaper articles, he described his wife as a “slut and slattern”.
He later moved in with his mistress. Police attended their house in May 2005 after a failed 999 call and Liddle was arrested. He admitted assaulting the girl and was given a police caution. His girlfriend – 22 years younger than Liddle – was four months pregnant at the time.
In 2009, Liddle wrote a piece about Labour politician Harriet Harman in which he said she was “either thick or criminally disingenuous”. He began by saying: “So – Harriet Harman, then. Would you? I mean after a few beers obviously, not while you were sober,” before continuing by imagining what it would be like to go back to her home.
And so it is hardly surprising that Rod Liddle (whose November 2011 article on the trial of two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers resulted in the Spectator being fined for contempt of court) thinks so badly of those who campaign about violence against women.
Ched Evans is looking for support wherever he can get it. In this case, I’m pretty sure that his lawyers won’t be suggesting that they call Rod Liddle as a character witness.
- The Footy Law Blog has an excellent article dissecting the arguments put forward by Ched Evans’ supporters. You can read it here.