As I noted recently, James “saviour of Western civilisation” has decided that it would be a top hole idea to taunt disabled people, for no other reason than to provide him with a little sport. He was particularly keen to sneer at anyone whose Twitter avatar bore the #spartacusreport hashtag, snorting that “They’re angry about being enslaved by the injustice of free taxpayers’ money”.
Definitely not fair and balanced
This, however, was no one-off, but the opening salvo in an increasingly unpleasant assault by Del Boy on some of the most vulnerable in society. The ground for the next stage of the Delingpole campaign was laid last Friday on his wonderfully funnily titled personal blog bogpaper.com where he talked of “The dangerous disability rights mob”, using a technique he favours in attacking others.
This is to accuse the target of whatever it is that he is about to do, a classic tactic of the cyberbully. So he accuses disabled people – not just vulnerable, but often at greater danger because of their handicap – of themselves being dangerous. But this was a mere taster, as he used the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs later to ratchet up the accusations, along with painting his target into a political corner.
“It’s time we stood up to the vicious bullies of the ‘caring’ liberal Left” he proclaimed, thus announcing that he was about to engage in an act of vicious bullying against anyone who claimed to be of a caring disposition, and for good measure asserting that they were all rotten lefties anyway. Not for nothing is Del popular with the folks at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
For starters, Del’s target group is not representative: “I doubt they speak for the majority in Britain; I doubt they even speak for the majority of the disabled, most of whom I'm sure are properly appalled that money which could go to the genuinely needy is instead being hijacked by scroungers and fakes ... a handful of zealots who are not remotely representative of the broader public interest”.
This tactic is so old and discredited that it’s surprising to see anyone still trying it on: someone self-appointed and who ran away from putting himself before the electorate pretending that a group he doesn’t like doesn’t represent his mythical, and entirely reasonable and compliant, majority. Anyone who dissents is part of “the various fascistic activist thugs on Twitter hell bent on expanding the state”.
The Third Reich parallel does not end there: “vicious, embittered, self-righteous disability rights activists ... fascist bullies who would steal our livelihoods”. Projection and paranoia working in worrying and bizarre harmony, but this does not excuse an assault on those who are doing no more than trying their best to get a hearing and defend themselves. Delingpole ought to stop and think for once.
Because this time it’s not funny, and he’s bang out of order.