The things that Telegraph readers say

Perhaps by coincidence, Damian Thompson was very quiet for a couple of months after I wrote about him reproducing a neo-nazi propaganda story on his Daily Telegraph blog, though he did ring up to say he would never speak to me again. But recently he has resumed his usual mixture of hating Catholic bishops because they are liberal and hating Muslims because they are not.Telegraph readers just lap it up. In the excerpts below from the latest comments thread I particularly like the call for Muslims to be “interred without trial”. I hope it was a misprint, but one can never be certain.

  • even as a foregner here I would vote UKIP or BNP in European Parliament. Multi culti Labours and Conservatives alike are utterly incapable to distinguish between cultures and they put evrything on the same level. You want help, work? Good. You want destroy our culture, good as well. Every culture is equal. Like Soviet Union once upon a time. Only BNP and UKIP do not bear signs of post marxism.

  • The time will come, soon I believe, when the whole might of the British state will have to confront Islam in the UK and some of the Muslim inhabitants here.
    That will be when the US and Israel attack Iran and, therefore, Islamic power.
    Then, I believe there will have to be internment of many Islamic people in the UK, and this will involve terrible confrontation.
    No need to have that now over some verbal events.
    Have it later when the 2,000 or more UK Islamis being followed up by MI5 at the present time need to be interred without trial for the safety of the rest of us.

  • Since the 1960s, when the white people of Finsbury Park, Newham, all rose up in protest at the mass immigration happening in their communities, and were denounced as racists by the namby pamby element.
    Easy to see why any decent white families would get out of such areas isn’t it. Which is why they belong to these muslim filth today.
    Enoch Powell is having the last laugh.

  • the only time we might do somehing is when the moslems are cutting your childrens throats, and then you would hesitate as it would be against the race relations act not politically correct. it is already too late . what can you do to control two million lunatics determind to rule you .

These comments are all, I believe, moderated. [They are not, Damian says in the comments] They are certainly allowed to stand. That, it seems to me, makes them part of what the paper’s latest press release boasted was its “integrated religious affairs coverage”. This raises one interesting question: what kind of things are too gross for the Telegraph to integrate into its coverage of religious affairs?

Ironists may also enjoy his self-description at the head of the blog: “Damian Thompson is a leader writer for the Daily Telegraph and editor-in-chief of a major Catholic newspaper. He is the author of Counterknowledge: How we surrendered to conspiracy theories, quack medicine, bogus science and fake history.

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6 Responses to The things that Telegraph readers say

  1. Damian Thompson says:

    Two points:
    1. The comments on the Telegraph site are unmoderated; the post goes up right away. The BNP targets the site and the Telegraph is aware of the problem.
    2. After it had begun to dawn on me that I had circulated a piece of counterknowledge, I told you that I was going to confess my error in a subsequent post. Which I did. You reprimanded me in a measured and gentle way in our private phone call, then delivered a savage groin-kicking in print. Maybe I deserved it, but you can hardly expect our friendship to survive.

  2. acb says:

    I note that the comments aren’t moderated, and will edit accordingly. But why do you leave them up? There must be a facility to delete comments or else the whole thing would be covered in penis enlargement spam. If the Telegraph is aware of the problem, what is it going to do about it?

    I’m sorry if you felt I delivered a savage groin-kicking; but I could hardly remain silent. I was and remain shocked by that post. It was unprofessional. A journalist as good as you can be should have seen at once that the Australian story stank; writing that it was “interesting if true” is quite as bad as anything you attacked in Counterknowledge.

    You are one of the cleverest students Eileen Barker ever had — at least that’s her opinion — and when it comes to Christian loonies a subtle and sympathetic analyst. Yet what you write and believe about Muslims is sometimes loathsome. Some of the people in your comment section are working themselves up to pogroms and ethnic cleansing. The logic of their position ends up at Srebrenices on the North Yorks moors. I’m going to do what I can to stop it, even if that is only mocking them in print.

    It’s an unpleasant surprise to discover that we live in a time when politics destroys friendships but here we are.

  3. acb says:

    Further to the moderation point, I just looked up the terms and conditions to which all Telegraph commenters must assent. Among them, the following seem germane:

    4.3. While accessing, browsing and/or using the Site you must: … not post, transmit, submit, refer to, make available or link to or from (or authorise or permit any other person to do the same) any material which …
    [4.3.6] …a) is untrue, fraudulent, inaccurate or incomplete; and/or
    b) is obscene, threatening, menacing, offensive, defamatory, abusive, causes annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety, is in breach of confidence, in breach of any intellectual property right (including, without limitation, copyright) or otherwise is in breach of or violates any applicable law or regulation or code …

    One may think that this is a little widely drawn, but it certainly covers the BNP sympathisers. They are also warned that “5.2. Whilst you acknowledge that we do not necessarily pre-screen any material that you have submitted to the Site, we reserve the right to remove, at any time and without reason or prior notice or any liability to you, any material that you have submitted.”

    So there’s no doubt that the Telegraph has the legal and technical power to ban these people and remove their postings. One might think there was also a moral obligation to do so.

  4. Damian Thompson says:

    I don’t think it was politics that destroyed our friendship. Your response on this blog to my misjudged post was reasonable; what you wrote in the Church Times was really fucking nasty.

  5. Sean says:

    We live in a time when one’s choice of operating system or word processor destroys friendships. In that context, politics seems to be something actually worth fighting about. When are we going fishing?

  6. Mrs Tilton says:

    Oh please, Damian, get over yourself.

    Don’t know much of your writing, so I’m happy to defer to Andrew’s apparent judgement that your Oz hospital thing was an appalling lapse by an otherwise smart and gifted journo. But janey mac on a pogo stick, appalling it was, and you deserved a thrashing far less civil than the one Andrew’s Church Times column gave you for it. Really, as far as that one piece goes, you might as well have been Michelle Malkin.

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