Saturday 17 August 2019

Ian O'Doherty: 'Conservatives are just as snowflake-y as the liberals they mock'

Nigel Farage accused Jo Brand of inciting violence following comments she made during a BBC Radio 4 show (PA)
Nigel Farage accused Jo Brand of inciting violence following comments she made during a BBC Radio 4 show (PA)
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

When is a joke just a joke and when is it incitement to hatred and even incitement to violence?

That's the interesting conundrum thrown up by comedian Jo Brand this week.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4 she mentioned the recent trend of 'milkshaking' politicians. This is the latest meme-tastic practice of throwing the sticky soft drink at 'right wing' politicians and has become something of a hobby for the loony left.

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Going one step further than the milkshakers, Brand suggested that the protesters use battery acid instead.

This has led to calls for a police investigation and Nigel Farage has demanded that she face the full force of the law.

The thing is... she's a comedian, appearing on a topical comedy radio show and she made a joke.

You may not like the joke. You may think it's in incredibly poor taste, particularly with the rise of acid attacks in the UK.

But we need to remember that comedians tell jokes. Sometimes you'll like them, sometimes you won't.

They are the court jesters who get to say the unsayable and just as they have the right to say it, the listener has the right to disagree.

But where it gets really interesting is the double standard shown by the BBC.

Brand, one of the arch-luvvies of the UK comedy circuit, is one of their own and they have stuck by her.

But before we start accusing one side of having double standards, it's important to remember that the hypocrisy and sheer duplicity on display is something that both sides are guilty of.

Yes, the BBC seems to be rather selective about who it sacks and who it defends.

That goes for the Guardian and the liberal establishment, which will defend the right of certain comedians to call for the death of white men, but will hound other comedians out of business. Just ask English stand-up Andrew Lawrence or even Dapper Laughs, who actually had other comedians signing a petition to get his TV show cancelled.

But the Right needs to stop calling everyone else a snowflake when they are just as quick to take offence at the things they don't like.

If we start confusing jokes with declarations of intent, then there will be no comedy left.

Sadly, I can't shake the idea that some people would quite like that.

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