Campaign on Rod Liddle moves into final stage


by Sunny Hundal    
8:30 am - February 16th 2010

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Such is the strength of anger against Rod Liddle being appointed editor of the Independent that over 1000 people sent an email to Alexander Lebedev’s official email account this weekend. We also exceeded our fundraising target against Liddle.

The email campaign was organised by 38 Degrees, who recently joined our coalition.

A decision on the sale of the Indy is imminently expected. This is the final stage in our push to let Mr Lebedev know of the strength of feeling against Liddle.

38 Degrees director David Babbs confirmed the final number last night in a statement:

[People] sent over 1000 emails to Lebedev and Kelner over the weekend, and the number’s still rising fast. That volume of email is bound to catch anyone’s attention. Lebedev wants to sell newspapers – if he hears from enough of his potential customers we’ve got a chance of persuading him to think again.

You can send an email to Save the Indy too if you like.

I can also reveal that we raised over £700 in response to our call to raise money for an ad against Liddle. 700! Most of it within 48 hours!

The Independent rejected our ad for “reasons of sensitivity”. Shame really. So the money raised will go to a women’s refuge, an environmental charity and a charity working with immigrants.

Let’s hope the email campaign went some way in persuading Lebedev how many people out there find Rod Liddle utterly repugnant.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Golden Gordon

Sunny don’t worry the guy will implode.
He has more skeletons in his cupboard than Burke and Hare.
Interesting where the ex trot now the spectator right will take the Indy.
I suspect the route of the South Park Republican

Sunny,

£700! Most of it within 48 hours!
Are we supposed to be impressed by that paultry figure?

You’ve turned Rod Liddle into your very own your – you might lauch these tin-pot £700 assaults but he’s just lying low ready to pick you off at his leisure.

PS: Why don’t you bother to return the money to the the donors? Too difficult to work out how?

Yours

rumpypumpy

Sunny,

Duuhhhh.

The above post should have said:

You’ve turned Rod Liddle into your very own Taliban – you might lauch these tin-pot £700 assaults but he’s just lying low ready to pick you off at his leisure.

Get a life. Where were you lot when Brown was being installed in Downing Street?

the money raised will go to a women’s refuge, an environmental charity and a charity working with immigrants.

So, even with Haiti devastated, LC only supports trendy-lefty causes. Predictable.

“…the money raised will go to a women’s refuge, an environmental charity and a charity working with immigrants…”

Is this a spoof? Has someone hacked Sunny’s account?

7. Golden Gordon

Flowerpower
As a neoliberal don’t you believe all aid is morally and economically wrong

£700? Wow!

Feel the power of the organised left on Teh Internets!

“Why don’t you bother to return the money to the the donors? Too difficult to work out how?”

Because we wanted to give the money to causes Rod Liddle had undermined and we explicitly told the donors this was their money was going.

The £700 in nearly 48 hours figure is pretty impressive given that we had asked for small donations (like £2) to make £500 in a week and called a halt to further donations. And we did so right after pushing for larger sums for Haiti. And we were inviting donations via a Facebook group – a kind of fundraising which is unfamiliar to most to say the least.

A reader-led effort to change an editorial appointment to a national paper is not something that has been done before in Britain and it requires some considerable effort. Which is why Sunny has blogged on this many times – campaigns require real work once you’ve chosen something to act on.

What is actually pretty pathetic, rumpypumpy, is you filling up the comment thread every time Sunny writes something on this accusing him of having an obsession. If this is such a ridiculous thing for him to spend his time on, I can only wonder where you find the time to constantly troll about it.

10. Alex Higgins

“So, even with Haiti devastated, LC only supports trendy-lefty causes. Predictable.”

Er… the DEC link for Haiti is still right at the top of this blog. You know, the blog you like spend all your time on.

Even with with evidence to the contrary staring them right in the face, trolls still go for any line of attack they can pull out of their rectum. Predictable

Fail.

On the plus side, unlike Rush Limbaugh and your other US counterparts, you don’t argue that Haiti itself is a “trendy-lefty” cause that should be starved of funds.

11. Golden Gordon

What is actually pretty pathetic, rumpypumpy, is you filling up the comment thread every time Sunny writes something on this accusing him of having an obsession. If this is such a ridiculous thing for him to spend his time on, I can only wonder where you find the time to constantly troll about it.
I agree, It like accusing Iain dale of been “obsessed” with Brown
Also when shatterface, since the Gray debates, uses Sunny lack of evidence based comment in every post.
It is like wearing a burka at a HP wedding.

12. Golden Gordon

On the plus side, unlike Rush Limbaugh and your other US counterparts, you don’t argue that Haiti itself is a “trendy-lefty” cause that should be starved of funds.
My point exactly neo liberal rightists like Rumpy and Shatterface should oppose aid.

So let me get this straight, a predictable but nevertheless tedious response from the same old right-wingers that frequent this place, seemingly with the only purpose to attack anything on here.

We have rp, as we all expected, diving in to defend his precious Rod Liddle, as he has done on every single post about Liddle, without fail.

Then there is fp sniping at the causes that the money will go to, obviously women whose lives are in danger, people arriving in this country in crisis and those seeking to look after our ailing planet are not good enough when using the Haiti measuring stick; I’m sure you’d have attacked wherever the money was going…for example if it was Haiti you’d have no doubt played the ‘sending money abroad’ card, or maybe that is even to low for you?

And finally, Tonga Tim ridicules the amount of money raised, as that is all he can muster.

I suppose that is the trouble isn’t it, Sunny actually did something and has been transparent with the facts of what he has done; I get the feeling he’d be damned if he didn’t and damned when he does.

All of which makes the vast majority of comments under this post pretty un-edifying.

Oh and well said to Alex and GG, who have put it far better than I did.

15. the a&e charge nurse

Item about the ‘internet mob’ in today’s torygraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/7244305/The-virtual-mob-spreading-spite-online.html

I must say I still feel a bit uncomfortable with monkeyfc’s take down – in the long run I think it is more productive to tackle the issues rather than the persona?

Liddle is a man with a past, some claim, but doesn’t this line imply that commentators must be intellectually ‘pure’ before they can express an opinion?
I suspect that few such people exist – in my experience they just become more adept at feeding the other a line, or saying the ‘right’ thing.

We are all sinners, I’m afraid, but there should always remain the possibility of redemption, even for the monkey?

Oh and well said to Alex and GG, who have put it far better than I did.

Agreed.

Daniel,

What is so surprising that I point out, yet again, that Sunny is campaigning, yet again, against Rod Liddle.

Just because I don’t send in a supportive message like many of the nodding-dog posters do here doesn’t mean I’m some kind of right wing lickspitle.

If Sunny is happy to debase himself by starting yet another conversation attempting to muscle out Rod Liddle I shall carry on contributing to it pointing out the folly. I don’t expect him to stop until someone who he respects tells him exactly what I have said albeit in a sympathetic and supportive voice.

Likewise I don’t expect you to do anything but post knee-jerk supportive comments defending him – circling the waggons around him.

Shame, he talks sense some time but his Liddlewatching has become a personal vendetta.

Alex Higgins,

I see.

Sunny bloggs many times against Rod Liddle and that is impressive.
Whereas I reply explaining why I disagree + think it is foolish and that is ‘pretty pathetic’, ‘ridiculous’ and this makes me a ‘troll’.

Try playing the ball not the man. That’s what all of this is about.

Oh and well said to Alex and GG, who have put it far better than I did.

Agreed also.

Who’s idea was it, Flowerpower, that you can only support one thing at a time?

Is this a spoof?

1000 people and £700.
Well at 70p per head they’ve certainly put their money where their mouth is.

Today Rod Liddle, tomorrow the world…

And finally, Tonga Tim ridicules the amount of money raised, as that is all he can muster.

Wrong Tim. I decided that this was beneath contempt, so ignored it.

pagar:

Nice dig there, seems personal attacks on back on the menu for you after the pain of being spoofed has worn off?

rp:

What is so surprising that I point out, yet again, that Sunny is campaigning, yet again, against Rod Liddle.

How you can fin this surprising, I’ve no idea, Sunny has been transparent in that he and many, many others, do not want Liddle anywhere near the Indie for a whole raft of valid reasons.

Why you can’t grasp this, I’ve no idea and why you can’t fathom that jumping to his defence in every bloody post about him is wearing thin, well, love does make one blind.

I still cannot get why you come here, aside from to defend Liddle, which is odd, I’m sure in some dark, dank recess of the Internets some right-winger is attacking Obama for being black and uppity, I feel no compulsion to go there and root for Obama or read something I would disagree with so much.

Each to their own.

cjcjcjcjcjc:

Please see previous comments about right-whingers tired efforts at knocking the efforts of many to actually do something.

Tim J:

Honest and sincere apologies that I confused you with Tim W.

Am I right in thinking the charities were selected so as to wind Liddle up?

Genuis.

Daniel,

Let me explain this a bit further as it has obviously gone over your head.

I don’t much care about Rod Liddle as a person however I remember the period he was editing ther Today programme as being one of it’s finest in recent history.

What goes on in his private life is not a matter for the people who are not directly involved – just as what goes on in John Terry’s private life should be considered.

His articles in the Spectator and the Sunday Times are from time to time quite interesting and occaisionally he is rude – especially to people who have some political stature. He tries to take people down a peg or two.

He has proven himself capable to edit the foremost radio programme, written for national newspapers as a journalist and a commentator. I would suggest that these are the kind credentials that make a person worthy of being considered as a potential candidate for editorship of the Independent.

The Independent is a newspaper. A newspaper which is in trouble because it’s readership is too small to make it commercially viable in today’s market. Any new owner will not buy it merely to repeat an unsuccessful business model – changes will be required to make it profitable. If that means upsetting a few journalist or 1000 readers who prefer it to the Guardian, well so be it. Journalists are hardly in short supply and readers tend to give papers the benefit of the doubt.

What I object to here is somebody using a blog and other blogs to orchestrate a campaign designed to prevent another person being considered for a job. Who the @@@@ are they to try and exert such control over another person? This is petty and spitefull – more akin to student politics or the kind of downright envy which used to plague this country and prevent people from getting on.

Instead of not considering Rod Liddle acceptable because ‘he’s not one of us / the ruling establishment’ Sunny has got himself mixed up with trying to veto Liddle because ‘he’s not one one of us / the polite establishment’.

As I have said before people are confusing irritation at the prospect of losing the Independent to the control of Alexander Lebedev a former KGB agent with irritation with Liddle who they consider to be an oik. It’s irritation by proxy. Either way it’s one kind of elitism or amother.

So as long as Sunny bangs on about it, so shall I – and Alexander Lebedev will do exactly what he pleases (notwithstanding him quaking in his boots at the prospect of another £700 being raised telling him how to make his own mind up).

Back to your comment 22.
You attempt to contrast my postings regarding Sunny’s campaign against Rod Liddle with “some right-winger is attacking Obama for being black and uppity”…..

Well I suppose, if in doubt try and play the race card must have been too hard an impulse for you to resist.

Well rp, thanks for patronising me, you’re confusing someone thinking you are very wrong with someone not understanding you. Just for clarity’s sake I am in the former group, not the latter.

And just because you repeat your point doesn’t make it right.

Daniel,

Thank you. It’s better to think that you disagree with me rather than you didn’t understand what I said.

Although you might not agree with me but do you think it is right for someone to sabotage another person’s job prospects?

In answer to your question, I do not accept the premise of it. Sunny is not sabotaging Liddle’s job prospects, although Liddle’s words and behaviour, when highlighted, as they should be, do sabotage his job prospects.

That seems pretty clear.

27. Golden Gordon

Rumpy
Why can’t Sunny have his cause celeb-re. I am sure you have many .
As for Liddle.
He is an old fashioned right wing wind up merchant without much content. (typical ex trot, they always turn right after the age of forty, a little like right wing butterflies)
I don’t buy the Indy, so I couldn’t give a toss.
But I love the idea that ex KGB henchman is taking over a British Newspaper.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier and Journo
STASI takes over the Mail. No comment
The MOSSAD takes over the Sun
CIA takes over the Times, sorry it already has
Then of course, MI5 takes over the Beacons field Gazette

OK Daniel,

It’s “I do not accept the premise of your question time”, eh?
Pardon me for being so obstinate I didn’t realise I was shooting the breeze with somebody who’se been to the Gerry Adams school of rebuttal.

If I was to hear you were putting on a show at some theatre in Britain and start a campaign protesting about why you were unsuitable to perform there – ypou would be as happly as Larry would you? I don’t think so. Would expect you to accuse me of trying to sabotage the chances of your performance etc etc.

Think about it. You have called plenty of people rude names in the past.
Cross the subjective line and Sunny’s campaign template could be adapted for you instead.

rp:

It’s a perfect valid technique to use when you don’t accept the premise of the question, which is in itself full of your prejudice on the matter at hand; please see the ‘when was the last time you beat your wife’ loaded question as an example.

And you can’t rebut opinions rp, which is exactly what you are doing here: opining.

As for your hypothetical situation, if you were to provide evidence, as Sunny has, as to why I was to be unsuitable to be a performer then that is fair but unlikely to happen as performing in a show is a long way off the responsibility of editing a national newspaper, so your hypothetical isn’t really on the same plane.

As for me calling people rude names in the past, I’m not running for editor of a left-wing newspaper and if I were you’d be hard pressed to find me expounding right-wing views as I’m very left-wing BUT if I was running for a right-wing rag, you’d find plenty of things that would make my taking of that role seem odd and against all values of the paper in question, I’d be fair game I think as long as all quotes were in full context and NOT quote mined.

But as I said, the example do not really match up for comparison.

I’m not into this anti-Liddle campaign either.
To me it’s on a par with standing outside Westminster Cathedral complaining about the Pope.

So, ignoring Dave’s increasingly crazy meanderings (however irritating Daniel can be to me personally at times (generally because he is holding onto an idea I cannot fathom attaching myself to), at least he is sane and doesn’t appear to have a vendetta) and returning to the article.

Can I commend the direct action here. I don’t agree with its aims (I think the Independent needs a new direction if it is to survive), but it is perfectly acceptable, has not involved bullying or anything and shows that political campaigns can attract attention and support. If you don’t like something, try and do something about it is a feeling sadly underused in this country.

Of course, pointing out the resemblance to the American Tea-Party movement would be a bit cheeky. So I’ll do it, but it is meant purely in a good way…

32. Golden Gordon

Forget Liddle, does anybody feel a little uneasy that a dodgy ex KGB man has taken over a National newspaper.

Gordon,

Compared to how I feel about a dodgy Australian-American republican who is happy to own Fox? Or a couple of dictatorial and reclusive brothers who have their own island domain and use it to enforce their rules on their neighbours, whilst seeminly using their paper to run vendettas? Or a man who has made his money through the porn business? Or Paul Dacre?

I think he’ll fit right in to be honest.

P.S. Forgot to mention a trust that campaigns against tax avoidance whilst avoiding taxes. Knew I missed one.

35. Golden Gordon

I agree with watchman.
Sunny dislikes the idea of Liddle taking over the Indy why shouldn’t he lead a campaign against it.
It obviously upsets elements of the right or else you wouldn’t have made a comment on this thread. You just ignore the thread if it didn’t bother you. So Sunny has elicited a response, which is what he wanted
Rumpy, Damon and you other rightists. If Seamus Milne was going to be the new editor of the Times would you write anything on blogs about that situation. I think you would.

36. Golden Gordon

National newspapers are like football clubs. There are so many dodgy deals/scenarios/corruption behind the scenes but we get bogged down by the trivial personalities.

Gordon,

If Seamus Milne was going to be the new editor of the Times…

Can we have a campaign to see that happen? It would be the funniest thing in publishing since the non-risque gossip magazine Titbits got bought up by the Desmond publishing empire and rather transformed (I presume there was a misunderstanding on the basis of the name).

And I write that as a sort of righty (albeit one with an increasinly anarchist streak).

Following on from what GG said, with regards to it upsetting elements on the right and thus they make a comment, or ignore it, there seems to be a element of masochism is elements on the right constantly visiting a place that is going to ‘upset’ them for want of a better word.

That to me is weird, I avoid places, if at all possible, that upset me, including but not exclusively: Hull, Goole, Gainsborough and Derby.

Why are trolls so interested in a campaign by liberals on who edits one of the very few non supporting Conservative newspaper in the UK?

I could not give a shit who edits the Daily torygraph because I i am not interested in that paper.

As usual trolls are sticking their noses into matters that don’t concern them.

40. Golden Gordon

Perhaps watchman that should be the campaign along with Simon Heffer taking over the Mirror

41. Golden Gordon

How about this for idea. We pick the most hated columnists ( left/ right) put their names in a hat along with names of the newspaper or magazine
Here come the balls
Simon Heffer = Marxism today
George Galloway = Jewish Chronicle
Mel Philiips = The Beirut Times
James Dellingpole = TUC weekly
Great for democracy. everyone would be challenged

‘Also when shatterface, since the Gray debates, uses Sunny lack of evidence based comment in every post.’

I think you’ll find I’m hostile to any comment that makes outlandish claims without (or in the face of) evidence, or which employs (like Gray, like Freud, like any number of postmodern ‘thinkers’) arguments which are resistant to empirical refutation because any inconvenient fact can be interpreted in such a way as to ‘confirm’ the theory.

But by all means defend evidence-free comment if you are uncomfortable with the alternative.

Golden Gordon – I’m not a flippin’ rightist. Just because I don’t support a particular campaign should not draw you to such a conclusion. Maybe I think that Liddle does not go down well with much of the left because his style of taking the mick and not always being serious about what he says is not understood.

And the reason I’m not too bothered about who edits a newspaper is because I’m not that passionately political and partizan enough to really care so much …. because I don’t think it would actually make any difference in the real world.

Damon,

I also posted here objecting to being called a rightist but that post was deleted along with the ones from Dave. It’s another of the supposedly acceptable pejorative terms like troll and coward.

And just because I don’t think this Liddlehunting is the correct thing to do.

45. Golden Gordon

Shatterface
All ideas can be backed up with evidence, a little like statististics. It is the quality of evidence that counts. A badly sourced evidence based comment is probably worst than a comment without so called evidence.
Also why should every idea or comment have a link or piece of evidence attached.
I can’t imagine Democritus discussing atoms and then turning to the crowd I have backed this up with my work on the proton accelerator.
Also in science the idea comes first then you either get evidence to prove that idea is correct or use Poppers idea of falsification and try to disprove it.
Sorry Damon

‘Also in science the idea comes first then you either get evidence to prove that idea is correct or use Poppers idea of falsification and try to disprove it.’

But you don’t – as Freud did – make claims that can be ‘proved’ by *any* evidence whatsoever.

47. Golden Gordon

I agree with you about Freud but isn’t that emphasizing my point about badly sourced evidence is worst that comment without evidence

48. Golden Gordon

Sorry Rumpy and Damon
What do you believe in then ?
Also been called a rightist is not the most offensive epitaph. Most English voters have aligned themselves with the right

‘I agree with you about Freud but isn’t that emphasizing my point about badly sourced evidence is worst that comment without evidence’

The alternative to evidence-free argument isn’t badly-sourced-evidence based argument, it’s well-sourced evidence-based argument. If your response to criticism of a lack of evidence is to just make something up you haven’t really risen to the challenge.

Look, this isn’t an argument between me and Sunny, it’s between evidence and Sunny. A number of articles have been published on this site which reference reliable sources. For instance Unity published a lengthy article demonstrating that the sex-trade in illegal immigrants is almost entirely a myth. Sunny flat-out refused to accept it. He’d already decided the sex trade was a major problem and refused to accept the findings. Ditto the ‘harmful’ effects of cannabis. Badly drafted legislation based on myths don’t help the liberal left cause one iota.

And when Sunny starts publishing articles like the one you referred to earlier, which explicitly compares atheists to Nazis and which cites cranks like Freud, who set the science of psychology back 50 years, and the anti-Enlightenment ‘philosopher’ John Gray as sources, it really is time for the real Liberal Left to make a stand.

Golden Gordon,

Thank you for the message.
What do I believe in?
Well, I’ve allways voted Labour, can appreciate the structural improvements of the past 13 years but think they have run their course. I would be minded to vote Liberal were it not for my view that they are opportunists who back the wrong cause more often than the correct one. Greens? Far too religeous and gloomy for my liking – a bit like going on a beach holiday and reading a Richard Dawkins book.
Conservatives? Don’t think so.

I lived in the Far East for a few years and it strengthened my view that capitalism is the only show in town which can ensure people have a chance to move ahead at any great speed. It also diminished my previous strong convictions that the colective are better at achieving their goals than the individual.

Golden Gordon

What do you believe in then ?

I hope I’m open minded enough to see that some of this ”bigoted” comment on this website (below) is not really to be taken too seriously, and things are not necessarily as they seem (see post #2).
http://www.millwall.vitalfootball.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=42478&start=1

I think I’m pretty liberal, and I accept that many people think that Liddle would be the wrong man for the Indie. Fair enough.

I don’t have to like his politics to think that the clucking and flapping that occured over his comments on the football site reminded me somewhat of the Brasseye paedophilia controversy.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/1464451.stm


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Campaign on Rod Liddle moves into final stage http://bit.ly/dnltMy

  2. Daniel Selwood

    RT @libcon: Campaign on Rod Liddle moves into final stage http://bit.ly/dnltMy

  3. Claire Butler

    RT @libcon Campaign on Rod Liddle moves into final stage http://bit.ly/abNLsu





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