Sunday, April 08, 2007

Peter Hitchens and His Thin Skin

Peter Hitchens is at it again in his increasingly anti-Tory Mail on Sunday column. He takes great exception to being called a 'maniac' by David Cameron. What he can't seem to comprehend is that this is a fairly mild insult (and, some would say, a fair comment) compared to what Hitchens has called Cameron in his column over the last 18 months. Hitchens has a very thin skin and hates being criticised. He ought to realise that, as a columnist, if you can't take it, you shouldn't dish it out.

18 comments:

Tony said...

The name Hitchens has replaced that of Sir Richard Body in bringing to mind the sound and image of flapping white coats. He really has lost the plot.

UK Daily Pundit said...

Off topic but I don't know who runs the e-petition website for Downing Street but one of the petitions calling for the scrapping of plans to build a mega Mosque in London has got completely out of hand. One of the signatories is KILL ALL N*****.

Scrap Mega Mosque Petition

Anonymous said...

It is true that Hitchens is guilty of at the very least hypocrisy and hubris for being able to dish out criticism but not being able to take any. However I am getting very very fed up with this nasty and pernicious theme of anyone who doesn't agree with the Blue Labour tendency automatically having their sanity questioned by the LibDems in drag at CCHQ.It would seem that if you are actually a conservative nowadays then they would like to brand you as a maniac, raving nutter who keeps on banging on about things you actually believe in instead of worshipping slavishly at the feet of your betters and waiting to be thrown a crumb or two.

Jorgen said...

I agree fully with anonymous. And I love the "LibDems in drag"! Excellent!

no longer anonymous said...

"Maniac" is a term best used to describe the nutters one finds in the BNP or SWP. Hitchens' views might be out of touch with a lot of modern Tories but the word "maniac" is just silly.

Cllr Keith Standring said...

I do so agree with the posting of anonymous @ 1:53pm. The behaviour of some of the Cameroonians at CCHQ is very like that of the Stalinist leadership of the old USSR. People either bend the knee to the greater CCHQ wisdom or are described as psychiatrically unsound. The only difference as far as I can see between CCHQ trolls and the Stalinists, is that the trolls haven't yet the power to commit those who disagree with them into psychiatric institutions. One can only wonder when that will begin.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, the next general election looks like being little more than a run-off between Stalinists.

What a brave new world...

David Lindsay said...

Iain, I assume that you have no answer to Derek Draper's comments, reported (like the huge Tory rebellion over the Sexual Orientation Regulations) by Peter Hitchens and no one else, that a serving Minister, a prominent Labour peer and a senior Downing Street staffer are all preparing to defect to the Tories once Brown takes over, because they support Cameron instead? What does that say about Cameron and about what he has turned the Tories into?

Sisyphus said...

You may think that Hitchens is a nutter.

I may think that Hitchens is a nutter.

That doesn't mean that he isn't entitled to his points of view - and to have them represented in parliament.

Rather than slagging him off, why aren't you asking yourself how it is that we don't have a true form of representative democracy in this country?

Tories will tell you that they are agin collectivism, and proudly point - with due cause - to the weakening of the unions under Thatcher.

Hell, that argument is long won.

So, why do we still live in a two (three?) party state, where we are all expected to fit into one of those two, neat, little boxes?

'Representative democracy' my arse.

Peter said...

I've just got back from an assignment abroad and seen this comment. I think it unjustified. Here's what I actually wrote: "David Cameron, who as we know believes in courtesy in politics, has described me as a 'maniac' (in church, as it happens)following my recent criticisms of him. How unimprovably witty and trenchant. As Colonel Patrick Mercer knows, the Tory leader is not as nice as he looks when his liberal instincts are threatened" . I really don't see what's so "thin-skinned" about this response. Surely, if I were so sensitive, I wouldn't have reproduced the attack in my column, the only place it's been published so far as I know. I take some pleasure, as it happens, in Mr Cameron's rather puerile response, delivered as it was at a rather large gathering, which he intended to be private, in a church in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, a story that's interesting in itself. I see it as a sign that the Channel Four programme, in which he declined to take part despite repeated requests for him to do so, had got under his skin. It's true that I dislike the (usually left-wing) tactic of classifying opponents as in some way unhinged. And - as Iain knows very well - I think I had right on my side when I objected to anonymous person publishing comments under my name. But in general I accept the principle that you should be prepared to take what you dish out. In this case, Mr Cameron, who I seem to remember making pious remarks about Punch and Judy politics, sought to disparage me in my absence with a cheap personal jibe. This was his sole response to a detailed critical polemic in which he had been invited to take part and had deliberately chosen to boycott, as had many of his colleagues and supporters. From this I except that honourable man Michael Gove who had the courage and generosity to accept my invitation, and has received much unfair criticism as a result.
Also, I don't think it's a sign of a thin skin to object to having your arguments deliberately misrepresented, as mine so often are by lazy or malicious opponents. I consider it a duty to correct this when it happens, not because I'm personally stung, but because I believe in honest debate. Peter Hitchens

Observer said...

Peter Hitchens runs the public approval test daily - he must sell in newspapers and books. Cameron is on the public payroll and has not yet faced a public test.

In a few weeks time we shall see just how many local voters appreciate his approach to politics, and thereafter he has to prepare for a very big test with the electorate since it is self-evident this government cannot continue until 2010

As for gratuitous insults, we have had them thrown around readily against anyone that doesn't subscribe to the new mantras.

The simple issue is that unlike a private club, the party Cameron is leading must be able to win the confidence of a mass-electorate; and exactly that has not yet been tested. Until he has seals of office it would be best not to irritate too many people

judith said...

Er, Cameron has faced at least two public tests (Gen Elections) and one semi-public one (Party Leadership).

I didn't see Hitchens' TV programme, so can't comment on it, but it's not that difficult to be a media pundit, chucking out inflammatory comments, cleverly editing your subject's views and behaviour to suit your polemic, then rushing on to your next subject when today's column is wrapping the fish and chips.

Chris Paul said...

Twas an interesting programme. By chance I paraphrased and lampooned Gove from it only yesterday. Hitchens is right.

Voyager said...

Er, Cameron has faced at least two public tests (Gen Elections) and one semi-public one (Party Leadership).

The Tory Party leadership was open ONLY to members to vote, most of whjom live in Kensington & Chelsea, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset and Kent........that is not exactly a national electorate.


As for General Election - Cameron was elected in a safe Conservative seat which returned Shaun Woodward, and Douglas Hurd before him....a town called Witney.

The campaign Cameron organised for the 2005 General election saw Blair triumphant for a third term


David Cameron has never submitted his policies to the electorate in any form - his first opportunity for indirect feedback is on 3rd May, 2007 - his second will come long before 2010

Anti Socialist said...

Did Dave actually refute anything in PH's documentary before resorting to name calling??

machiavelli said...

Who's the nutter posting under Peter Hitchen's name again? I thought all that had stopped now?

The Hitch said...

Bearing in mind how sensitive Peter Hitchens is to being called "bonkers" no doubt he was more than a little put out by being described as a maniac.
What is maniacal about being a champion of law and order , family values and decencey?
All things Cameron claims to be but isnt.
Peter Hicthens speaks for natural Conservatives , slippery Cameron does not.

Philipa said...

Anonymous said...
It is true that Hitchens is guilty of at the very least hypocrisy and hubris for being able to dish out criticism but not being able to take any. However I am getting very very fed up with this nasty and pernicious theme of anyone who doesn't agree with the Blue Labour tendency automatically having their sanity questioned by the LibDems in drag at CCHQ.It would seem that if you are actually a conservative nowadays then they would like to brand you as a maniac, raving nutter who keeps on banging on about things you actually believe in instead of worshipping slavishly at the feet of your betters and waiting to be thrown a crumb or two.

sorry Anon 1:53pm, that comment was so good it had to be posted twice - 'Blue Labour' - excellent!