Monday, June 18, 2007

Salman Rushdie Does Not Deserve a Knighthood But He Must Keep It

Let me be clear. I cannot stand Salman Rushdie. I tried to read one of his books once but barely got beyond the first chapter. I think he is a dreadful writer, but it seems I am in the minority. His books sell in their thousands so he must be doing something right, and for that he has been given a knighthood. While I think there are far more deserving causes, so be it. What I cannot stand, however, is people saying that this is a "provocative act" and Britain should apologise for it. The Pakistani religious affairs minister has gone so far as to say it warrants a suicide bombing unless Britain apologises. Perhaps our response should be to cut off all our millions of pounds of aid to Pakistan until this minister is sacked from the Pakistani government.

95 comments:

BaldockBaldrick said...

You don't say why you cannot stand him. You only say that you don't like his writing. It's the not the same, is it?
Could you say why you don't like him?

Tom said...

Iain, I disagree with you from time to time, because I don't share your politics. That's fine. On this occasion I agree with your politics (it's wrong to call Rushdie's knighthood a provocation) but I happen to disagree with your aesthetic taste (I've enjoyed several of his novels very much), which couldn't matter less. But I certainly object to your saying you can't stand him and he shouldn't have got the k. Why this hatred? What's he done to you? What on earth are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

"He is a dreadful writer"

And Iain Dale is clearly a typical Tory philistine.

Look at all the idiot Tory MPs who got knighthoods. Sir Teddy Taylor anyone? And yet you would deny it to one of the greatest living writers in English?

What a fool you are.

Karl Marx said...

Das Kapital hat sich auch in den tausenden verkauft. Ich gehe davon aus, ich habe auch was richtiges gemacht.

Vienna Woods said...

This is one occasion where I don't agree with you Iain. The fact that honours are so wrongly dished out in the first place is one argument, but whoever authorised this piece of crass stupidity should be exposed and made responsible for the nutters reaction which is certain to come. How idiotic to provoke the crazy guys. Isn't there anyone in this government that could forsee the trouble this would cause. I also happen to agree with you that Rushdie is a dreadful writer and certainly doesn't deserve an honour of any sort. Nothing that can be done now, of course! Matters will take their course until the moment of the explosion and then I wonder how many admissions of guilt will be published!

Iain Dale said...

I cannot stand him because whenever I see him interviewed he has a complete disdain for people he reagrsd as his intelluctual inferiors. He seems to me to be an elitist. And for the record, I said "I can't stand him". I did not say "I hate him".

Anonymous, you can call me a philistine if you like. Doesn't really bother me. From you I take it as a compliment.

Flavious said...

I'd agree with that Iain, to be more specific with the demand of an apology, I happen to quite enjoy Rushdie's writing.

With a further comment that whomever the Queen chooses to honour is none of their damned business, or ours for that matter.

Ed said...

What has the Queen's decision as to who to award honours to got to do with the Pakistani government?

bergen said...

It does seem to be a needlessly provocative award just now.It is all very well saying that we should ignore extremists but it will be scant consolation to the families of an Islamist outrage triggered by it.The Pakistani Cabinet Minister's reaction shows that it is not just a few fanatics.There are other equally meritorious yet less inflamatory awards available such as a C.H.Would not it have been more appropriate in the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I think we should just call on this blog for suicide borers to head for Islamabad. Leadership is called for here Iain.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

The best way of hurting Pakistan?

Change the rules for UK ex-pats drawing pensions abroad. In future they should be required to attend their local British High Commission/embassy once a year to prove their still alive.

Ex-pat pensioners in Pakistan are like Arsenal season ticket holders - they never die! - well they never officially die, so relatives continue to receive money from the UK government for the rest of time.

Eventually this will of course bust our social security system and our country - a small sacrifice in the name of liberalism and internationalism - we're all be third world soon.

canvas said...

Salmon Rushdie is a pretentious fluffball.

David Beckham deserves a knighthood more than Rushdie.

JK Rowling does more for charity than Rushdie -he just costs the taxpayers millions!

He really does NOT deserve a knighthood. See what social climbing can do for you?!

Sheesh...

canvas said...

Salman too

Laurence Boyce said...

The Pakistani religious affairs minister has gone so far as to say it warrants a suicide bombing unless Britain apologises.

Maybe this will help people to appreciate that the threat from radical Islam is not the preserve of a few “nutters” as Chris Atkins tried unconvincingly to suggest last week. Time to wake up everybody.

bernard manning said...

From the Guardian:

"I get up on stage and I do an act," Bernard Manning once said. "It's not me, just as an actor playing a part in a film isn't the character. I don't go home to my grandkids and say, 'Fucking queers, niggers, they're all cunts.' It's my act, not me. It's all a joke."

Blogfan said...

I found Rushdie unreadable too.

wrinkled weasel said...

For once I agree with Boycie. There is a myth, sanctioned and promulgated by the Government, that Islam has just a few extremists. Bugger it, they are all extremists, that is if they really believe all the twaddle surrounding it.

As for Salman, I know nothing about him. Knighthoods are totems of rottenness, corruption, croneyism and here today gone tomorrow fame. Is he an exception to this? I think not.

The fact that some gits in Pakistan feel aggrieved just goes to show how little they really understand about our culture. We should explain that only shysters and wankers get knighthoods, and occasionally the odd heterosexual sports personality - that might calm them down.

Anonymous said...

if giving Rushdie a knighthood gets up the noses of a bunch of muslim loonies, lets make him a Royal Dyje that'll really piss 'em off.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Muslims, here and abroad, must understand that they cannot tell us how to run this country.

We are not an Islamic nation, there is not the slightest prospect of us becoming an Islamic nation and Muslims who live here must live under the rule of English, not Islamic law.

The government must stand fast on this principle. There is no room for compromise.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Iain - as you often are. Rushdie didn't deserve it - but we can't be threatened by extremists.

As for "anonymous" who called Ian a "Tory philistine" - you pompous fool with your typical arrogant, chattering classes comment.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Iain, why not read another literary genius like Dan Brown or John Grisham or maybe Tom Clancy - or even better a page turner by that well known member of the literati, Jeffrey Archer...

Anonymous said...

vienna woods - good to see you have already capitulated to servility in the islamic state - sharia law anyone ?

canvas said...

No!!! Not Jeffrey Archer! and his horrible wife! aaarrrggghhhhhhh!

:)

Anonymous said...

I've got to hand it to Queenie, she has managed to piss off the Islamists and the Islamophobes in one go - good on yer ma'am !

garypowell said...

It is a clear provocation in my opinion.

So much of an obvious provocation in fact that it seems very fair to say.

If you are a non-Muslim British Conservative and it is still difficult not to see Rushdie's knighthood as provocative to Muslim terrorists.

Then can you just imagine how this stuff gos down with the Pakistani media?

It is either an act of clear provocation or is one hatched out of extream and dangerous stupidity.

As I am sure the real Queen is not this silly, badly advised or desperate to retain credibility and power. It can only be either one of those two, wannabe Kings with very Queen like tendences, running our government that are directly responsible.

Lets just say that a terrorist attack in Britain right now or soon would do TBs or GBs future political prospects no harm at all.

tachybaptus said...

I agree absolutely with Iain about Rushdie. I got to page 30 of _Midnight's Children_ with the feeling of wading through mud, and gave up with immense relief. After the success of this book he became a wheel-on radical constantly trundled out by television producers to snap at the heels of the establishment, and in this role was thoroughly irritating. Then, with _The Satanic Verses_, he bit the wolf, and it was hard to repress a feeling of Schadenfreude -- these were still fairly innocent days. And I agree he shouldn't have been knighted, but that now he is, there should be no backtracking (though it is hard to imagine what such a move might be).

On the other hand, I'm not so sure about even threatening to cut aid to Pakistan. Bad for them if we did, worse for us to have yet another radicalised Islamic state to deal with.

antifrank said...

Iain, I don't like his novels either, but many others do and think he's great. I think he deserves his knighthood for the pleasure he has given to many people.

But so far as "provocative", I agree with your analysis 100%. Britain would not tell Pakistan who they should honour (and I'd wager £100 of my own money that there are some pretty unsavoury characters in their honours lists), and Pakistan should be told in diplomatic language to get stuffed.

lady macleod said...

Oh babe we cannot of course do any such thing, but I love the idea!

Anonymous said...

Does this balance the fact that Iqbal Sacranie was knightesd event though he made his name by claiming "death would perhaps be too easy for him" when referring to Rushdie.

Christopher Hitchens was top on this subject on the Radio today.

jailhouselawyer said...

No doubt Iain approves of the West Ham footballer who was arrested on 15 May on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, and last week receiving a MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List?

Anonymous said...

Let me sum up. If you don't like Rushdie you are a Philistine [an inhabitant of Palestine]. If you do like him you are a snob. If you hate him you are a terrorist. If you are an Islamic fundamentalist you wish to murder him. If you honour him you are inflammatory, insensitive and you are denying Beckham's merits.
I could not care less about Rushdie. What label can I have?

Victor

Iain Dale said...

Do not put words into my mouth. I have no sympathy with him whatsoever.

Chris Paul said...

He doesn't deserve it. Arguably because of his crappy writing. But as we've seen above that is moot. I certainly can't be bothered and I've tried. Very put-downable.

More because - claims Lord Ali - he was only a fairly brief tourist here between life in India and life in US of A. His main notoreity is for pissing off mullahs and then getting armed guards and safe houses and pissing away millions of tax payers money for many years. And for the forseeable.

It is a provocation. It was/is stupid. Although a couple of people have got 'em this time that I'm really pleased for. The whole set up is a provocation really. But this one is crass.

Old Dominion Tory said...

I have an idea! Let's make a deal: the British government will apologize for giving Rushdie a knighthood as soon as the Pakistani government apologizes for its oppression of Christians and promotion of radical Islamism in Pakistan and elsewhere (e.g., Afghanistan and Kashmir).
Furthermore, don't these Pakistani politicians realize how provocative their vociferous criticism of Rishdie's "K" as well as their threats of violence are to people in the West? Just shows how they don't understand our culture.

Anonymous said...

Spot off, vienna woods and bergen, proud members of the MUMs (Mustn't Upset the Muslims) faction.
Just how craven do you want us to be? Surely allowing our young women to strut around in short skirts and sleeveless vests is needlessly provocative? And letting our homosexuals live - what's all that about? And as for our wilful kite flying - are we crazy?!

Salman Rushdie is also being honoured for services to free speech. He spent a decade in hiding and is, presumably still in fear of his life - all on the whim of some geriatric ayatollah looking for an issue to unite his followers.

As for bergen's "There are other equally meritorious yet less inflammatory awards available such as a CH?"
Are you seriously suggesting that the baying mobs on the streets of Pakistan today would have any idea of the difference? Or care?
"OK lads, stop it; turns out it was only a CH."
"Damn - just as I was about to lob this brick! Are you SURE it wasn't a K?"

Ross F said...

When you actually get past Rushdie's dense prose the most obvious thing is that there's no there there. His ideas are vacuous and trite and cliche ridden.

The fact that he pisses off religious totalitarians in Pakistan and Iran is his only redeeming feature.

I had just finished a post on my own blog saying much the same thing before I came here, Rushdie is an unpleasant man whose life was protected largely by people he looks down on.

Edward said...

The case for seeing provocation as a part of the Honours List is an interesting one. Rushdie and Iran, particularly - Pakistan we see also now. What about Oleg Gordievsky?

2br02b said...

jailnquTo me, Rushdie is a very poor writer; I gave up trying to read 'Satanic Verses' after just a few pages. His air of left-wing intellectual superiority is unearned and unjutified. He is one of Hewett's few serious rivals in the 'offensively talking down' championship stakes.

But have now been awarded this knighthood, is no business of the Pakistani Government to make threats to him and to Britain.

This is the same principle as that espoused by Voltaire when he said that he, "... disagreed with all that you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it."

BTW: Whetever view we might take of ths, don't blame the Queen. She is just handing out the gongs Blair has told her to hand out--which is why Rushtie has been knighted now: Blair won't be around to take the flack.

Little Black Sambo said...

For services to what exactly was Rushdie knighted/ Do they usually give a reason? He doesn't even live here or like us very much. Is this just Blair showing how cultivated he is?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Has Rushdie ever paid any UK tax? - presumably he is a non-domicile resident?

mutleythedog said...

he writes incomprehensible gibberish MrDale.. I think it is a case of the emperors new clothes personally.

Ben Bow said...

If those who disagree mightily with the knighthood awarded Mr Rushdie, the least they could do to demonstrate their disapproval is to refrain from coming to this country. And those already within this emerald isle might demonstrate their disapproval by embarking on a voyage back to their Asian homeland.

Anonymous said...

ben bow - in your dreams, honey !!

SamTrev said...

Did anyone else hear Lord Ahmed on Radio 4 sucking up to mass murderers earlier (I think it was on PM.) He said that Salman Rushdie had 'blood on his hands' because when he wrote a book other people killed people about it! Doesn't he think the people who actually killed them may have had something to do with it?

He also said that Christians ought to be condemning Rushdie to the Ayatollahs too because Rushdie apparently insulted Jesus Christ. Well, guess what: when someone insults Jesus Christians don't start burning down buildings and issuing death sentences.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious whats going to happen in Pakistan once Musharaf is removed/overthrown or whatever if people in his cabinet have views like that..and where is that going to leave the West?

David Lindsay said...

Salman Rushdie is not a sympathetic character. His books are largely unreadable, he is a shameless self-publicist, and he ended up as pretty much the only person in the world keeping up the idea that the fatwa against him was still a genuine threat, regularly doing so live on BBC Two late at night, not to mention about the bars and restaurants favoured by the London literati. Who'd have thought to look for him there, eh?

But no one should be remotely surprised at the Pakistani reaction to his knighthood. Pakistan is a key Islamic ally of neoconservatism. As is Saudi Arabia, as are the Chechens, as is the vile Kosovo "Liberation" Army, as is the soon-to-be-restored Caliphate of Turkey, as was the repulsive Alija Izetbegovic, and as were the founders of the Taliban. So what else did anyone expect?

It is no coincidence that Iqbal Sacranie, who used to march under banners reading "Rushdie Must Die", became an Establishment figure over exactly the same years that Marxist neo-Labour stalwarts (John Reid, Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt, Harriet Harman, David Aaronovitch, Christopher Hitchens, John Lloyd, Martin Jacques...) did so, though, like them, without the slightest modification in his views on anything that really mattered.

And since we now have Sir Iqbal, then why not Sir Salman? Indeed, since we now have Sir Iqbal, who else might as well also be knighted, and why?

The Great Clunking Fisk said...

Consider yourself fisked.

Young Fogey said...

Whilst I have no particular interest in Sir Salman’s novels I am pleased to see him honoured as his knighthood demonstrates that whilst honouring our own we will not be intimidated or influenced by outside political pressures.

It is of course ludicrous to claim that this honour is “an obvious example of fighting against Islam by high-ranking British officials.” Were this true we would not have seen a 2005 knighthood bestowed by The Queen upon Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, described by The Guardian as the “Most Influential Muslim in the UK”.

Rather than criticise the British government, Iran should congratulate Britain for having recently raised a number of British Muslims to the highest ranks of British Society as members of the House of Lords. These include Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, the first Muslim peer; Lord Patel of Blackburn, leader of the British Hajj Delegation; Baroness Falkner of Margravine; and Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green.

plankton said...

So many claims here that Rushdie writes rubbish but he is a best seller.

Who buys his books then?

BBC News 24 is currently showing the Rushdie story and the next but one story is about Islamic suicide bombers 'passing out' at their training centre in Pakistan.

Methinks the Pakistanis doth protest too much.

PSJ said...

Personally, I think Tony in his last months in office is having a giggle by seeing how many foreign governments he can annoy. He's annoying America by pulling out of Iraq; Russia and Zimbabwe by objecting when they murder someone; every country in Europe except Poland by not immediately adopting whatever crappy constitution they come up with; and now Pakistan by offering a knighthood to an unreadable, self-publicising writer. As always with Bliar, the joke will be on us, but then we voted him in three times so I suppose we can't complain too hard.

Hey said...

"Needlessly Provocative"???

From murdering sods who off their sisters if they get raped, step outside, have a chat with a bloke, or show ankle?

The true shame of this is that Rushdie wasn't knighted back when Satanic Verses was first released. It does show that Chamberlainism is still alive in England, if Galloway and company hadn't already proved it.

As for elitist??? WTF? It does seem like YOU are part of the problem with the "Progressive Conservative" party Iain. It's disgusting that someone who is a past and future candidate for Con. MP thinks that not suffering fools gladly should be a disqualification for a K. Egalitarian clap-trap is the platform of the beardies, not fo the Tory party. You, Dave, etc are having us go down that road again (Etonians against elitism!) that will do nothing but bring back the economic and educational successes of the 1970s!

As a now wobbly Texan once said, "Bring it on". Direct attacks by governments would be clarifying and ever so helpful in givig us large targets. A little bottled sunshine on the Pakistani and Iranian nuke programs would not only reduce the dange in the world but also serve to explore how effective older weapons are and how new designs are working.

BTW an Islamophobe is one who has an irrational fear of Islam. I am only worried about Salafis and Khomeinists, and it is a rather more than justifiable concern given their statements and past acts. Anyone who uses the term "islamophobe" is either an anti-semite or a willing accomplice of the caliphate.

english democrat said...

It looks like whatever we do or dont do, say or dont say the Islamists will hate us even more! People who think that to appease the agressive and hate filled Islamists will make them go away and be good are living in a leftist fantasy land! Islam hates free speech,democracy,womens rights/freedom,judeo christianity and the west in general. A third+ of UK muslims think that the 7/7 bombings were the work of the security services and 9/11 was the work of the jews! Importing millions of muslims into the UK has been the biggest mistake our country has ever made.
PS, I hate Rushdie and it makes me angry that he has used this country but hates it as much as the Islamists.

Observer said...

I bought Satanic Verses because I decided if they were burning it there must be something worth reading.......wrong !

I thought he was on hallucinogenics when he wrote it, but I had not expected Muslims to get so riled up about him insulting Britain.

Nor had I expected Blair to award him a gong on the Queen's Official Birthday compromising her role as Head of the Commonwealth......I frankly do not know why he should get anything but a bill for security

I had hoped the BBC would make the book into a mini-series with Andrew Davies as scriptwriter - but the BBc never answers when you ask for this challenging new series - and yet I thought they liked ethnic minority authors.

I bet few Muslims have read the burning book and it seemed a good BBC production could have export potential. It obviously still sells well.......

Amazon.co.uk Sales Rank: 13 in Books

Observer said...

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #164 in Books

So it is very popular in England. Is it a GCSE Set Text ?

Anonymous said...

Whoever put Mr Rushdie's name forward for a K must have had a pretty good idea what the Muslim reaction would be. It beggars belief that anyone with this country's interests at heart could have done this. I suspect that the intention is to keep us entrenched in the frontline. This is on par with issuing lard greased cartridges to the Sepoys. Absolutely barmy. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but this matter stinks!

Anonymous said...

You're a conspiracy theorist.

Anonymous said...

I think it was cock up not conspiracy but the result is the same.

sniper said...

Anon 8:38

No. I am the conspiracy theorist.

Just how did Mossad manage to infiltrate the Honours List?

Anonymous said...

Like Göring, when Iain hears the word 'culture', he reaches for his gun.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Iain

Have you noticed that so many lefties instead of putting their point of view over, just hurl insults. When ever they are backed into a corner they always go down this track. Its the same as the government and most labour MPs If someone starts to ask difficult questions they start to get aggressive and rude. Blair and Brown do it all the time.' if you dont know the answer just shout and be rude'

Ted Harvey said...

Luke you're of course right about the Pakistani Minister's stance on this (although I believe it has been since withfrawn/denied.

But we do have to question the motives of whoever made this decision. Maybe it was to annoy 'the nutters' as some allege - but do they mean some of the nutters that have posted on this thread?

And Hoi! leave Sir Tedy Taylor alone... he's a pure dead brilliant character! No wonder that poster hid behind 'anon'

Anonymous said...

The last thing the world needs just now is street protests across the Muslim world against the UK. We put the world's best and most professional army into Muslim troublespots, to bring peace and order, and then our incompetent politicians goad the locals in this way. How can we expect support from Muslim moderates when we do things like this? Osama in his cave will be a happy man today!

Toque said...

I think that he does deserve a knighthood, if only for having such a fit wife.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

I don't think that Rushdie is that bad an author. There are far worse that have been honoured. However I am glad he is getting a gong because it shows that the Queen, unlike the urban elite, still has the courage to stand up for freedom of speech and liberty.

The face that some on the right are criticising this choice says more about them and less about the Queen.

Chuck Unsworth said...

As a general observation one might ask whether Her Majesty draws up this list personally. As I recall the list is drawn up by others (too many, in my view) and submitted for her 'gracious approval'. I can not really accept that she would have the slightest knowledge of the majority of those names submitted.


Laurence Boyce: "The Pakistani religious affairs minister has gone so far as to say it warrants a suicide bombing unless Britain apologises."

Is it not the case that any 'Pakistani religious affairs minister' is ex officio a 'nutter'?

Ralph said...

Rushdie doesn't deserve a knighthood, and shouldn't keep it either.

How about giving it to one of the police officers or firemen who crawled down tube tunnels to rescue people on 7/7? Or someone like Lisa Potts who puts him or herself between danger and children? Or any other of the hundreds of men and women who have done something truly brave rather than just write a bad book designed to upset Muslims?

CCTV said...

The only thing Britain should apologise for is the creation of Pakistan in 1947 and denying India a border with Afghanistan

Anonymous said...

Iain,

I agree with your main point about us not caving in to Islamist bullying (okay, I paraphrase); but what on earth are you doing using the word "elitist" as a pejorative term?

Isn't elitism something we should be in favour of?

Athos said...

Great Clunking Fisk,

That's not really a fisk, is it? It's nothing more than a long insulting tirade that pretends to draw some relevance to the subject matter reviewed (but notably not quoted), to use as a springboard for a string of entirely unsupported accusations.

Hmmm... you are Tim Ireland and I claim my five pounds.

Otherwise: I cannot comment on the quality of Rushdie's work, but I agree that to back down now would be a show moral cowardice that would permanently marr our reputation in the world.

Harry said...

I agree that Rushdie is almost certainly among the great unread. But we seem to be in a Don Pacifico situation here - I think the honours system is absurd but if it exists it's up to us who is honoured. Yes, let's make a few noises about aid and see what happens.

Londoner said...

It may have been ill-advised, on pragmatic grounds, of the Govt to recommend him for a knighthood (let's keep the Queen out of this shall we, I don't think it would have been her personal request because she is an avid fan of his books, do you?). Presumably it was done deliberately to show that we are not intimidated - perhaps the best line is to quietly blame Blair and point out that he'll be gone in a fortnight but that you really can't reverse these things.

But equally, as a leading and prize winning serious novelist, surely he is right in the category of the sort of achievements that should merit an honour (as should senior politicians such as Sir Teddy Taylor actually). Kingsley Amis rightly got a K recommended by Mrs T. For me it would have been more pleasing if Martin Amis had got one now, not only because it would balance harmoniously with his dad, but also because I have enjoyed some of his books. I have to admit that, although I read novels, I have never even attempted a Rushdie one but that may just demonstrate my paucity of ambition.

Dave Bartlett said...

Midnight's Children was a good read.

Curly said...

It is worth noting that The Muslim Council of Britain continues to pander to the extremist views from abroad rather than to represent the moderate majority of muslims in this country, as I outline in my own blog post.

Desperate Dan said...

I've never met anyone who's managed to plough through a whole bookful of Rushdie's turgid prose.
And I'd have thought that his stated dislike of the UK, its people and its history together with the fact that he doesn't even live here should rule him out of the running for honours.

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap I agree with Chris Paul about something!

Zorro

Anonymous said...

He's an overrated writer, mainly due to his troubles, the sort that appeals to Literature Establishment because he puts out dense verbiage they can all write pointless papers about.

I think this is just Blair's way of annoying the Iranians. Why else would you want to knight someone who rants against the UK all the time.

Anonymous said...

plankton said...

"So many claims here that Rushdie writes rubbish but he is a best seller."
"Who buys his books then?"

Bloody hell, if you think being a best-selling author means you can write well then you obviously haven't read (or tried to read) American Psycho...

Zorro

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

In answer to an earlier post: I believe HM has a very limited personal input into the Honours list. The Garter is said to be in her personal gift, and the Royal Victorian Order, and maybe one or two others, but certainly not run of the mill knighthoods.

troymolloy said...

It has nothing to do with anyone in Pakistan; furthermore the burning of effigies of our Queen is an outrage. I agree, cut off our aid to Pakistan at once; h*ck they have a dictator in charge, surely we should have done so ages ago.

Furthermore I cannot understand how this constitutes 'clear provocation'. What do these wallies in Pakistan think a knighthood involves, dinner with the Queen every Sunday? His very own throne? The adulation of the masses?

This ridiculous furore is based on a couple of sequences within one of Rushdie's books - published 19 years ago - of which I daresay virtually none of those calling it 'blasphemous' have ever read so much as a page.

Anonymous said...

What the f**k were they thinking, or weren't they?

Anonymous said...

I just typed 'muslims demand apology' into Google and got nearly 750,000 hits.

A sorry state indeed.

Anonymous said...

This is all about building the Blair brand for the US market. It has damn all to do with what is good for the UK, the monarchy or 'freedom of speech' (after all, it was just a few days ago that Mr Blair was suggesting we had rather too much of it for his liking).

mister scruff said...

i cant for the life of me understand why we're giving them "aid" when they seem to have more than enough money to build nuclear weapons.

Hey said...

In response to this we should give Iran and Pakistan nuclear weapns. THAT would end the discussion right quick!

Navy air freight is the ULTIMATE delivery service. Anywhere in the world in 3 hours or less!

CCTV said...

This ridiculous furore is based on a couple of sequences within one of Rushdie's books - published 19 years ago - of which I daresay virtually none of those calling it 'blasphemous' have ever read so much as a page.

NO but the loathe Westerners and think that there will be a craven apology from Jack Straw desperate to save his Blackburn seat and Ruth Kelly desperate to save Bolton.......and that Britain can be rolled over simply by threatening to unleash a Fifth Column of Mohammed Siddique Khans on our infrastructure.........

It does however put the Pakistani-origin population of Britain right in the firing line should any such thing happen.

Pakistan's chaotic internal politics are being exported to Britain and Labour has been supine in dealing with it.....visas should be tightened and flights in and out scrutinised with fingerprinting of all departures and arrivals

Anonymous said...

So, having read one chapter of one book qualifies you to have an opinion on his entire output, does it Iain? i wouldn't like anyone to apply the same standard to you based on this one blog entry.

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show how very very dangerous the excessive levels of immigration into the UK from Pakistan now are.

The correct British response to the behaviour and words of the Pakistani Govt and others in that country is to repatriate every single person of Pakistani descent now living in this country, no-one else, just the Pakistanis. That would then really give them something to complain about and would also considerably reduce the risk if the rest of us being blown up by suicide bombers on the tube.

CCTV said...

So, having read one chapter of one book qualifies you to have an opinion on his entire output, does it Iain?

That is the Market Test. Read one book and decide you don't like it, don't buy any more.......

The arty version is not to read the book, enjoy the canapes at the literary soiree and positively swoon at the thought of how much public money can be used to promote a book noone wants to read

uk-events said...

My initial thoughts were: couldn't agree more.

Then I realised what is blatant -

The Pakistani minister essentially said it was ok to punish the citizens for a poor judgement by the state.

What is the difference in that and us withholding funds?

Very little imho.

That said, the Honours system is an outdated joke which allows pompus twats to try and insist you call them Sir (which I will never do).

Its a corrupt institution from an archaic constitutional system operated by puppets and decided by the scum of the earth.

One thing I would say though is that we must never, ever bow down to demands from religious bigots.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed the similarity between Dame Jade Goody and Sir Salmon?

Both have brought a lot of money to media interests, both get death threats, both induce burning protests in ex-colonies, both have interesting "partners", both have rudely challenged "sacred cows".

USpace said...

Good one, of course the very peaceful 'Muslims' are justified for destroying the whole world over this. What? The Queen can't Knight someone she likes? She can't knight someone that other people don't like?

But I'm sure Sir Rushdie has mixed emotions on this; the Queen has put him in much greater danger. Maybe he'll wish he had turned it down.

At least this incident will lose the terrorists even more of their dhimmidiot appeasers.

Islam in it's extreme is more political ideology than religion. In that way, it is only a 'Religion of Peace' in that when Islam rules the planet, there will be no one to be at war with. Where they are given an inch, they demand a mile. Islamic countries are becoming more extreme, extremists rule, they just keep quoting the Koran to justify their Jihad.


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
appease religious killers

continue to spoil them
violent tantrums pay off
.

Anonymous said...

"The "I" in Islam is not the same as the "I" in Inglish". Dame Jade Goody

Anonymous said...

In the "West" and the parts that Heineken can reach, the approval meter for Rushdie (though not necessarily for all he says or believes) has been evidenced by the sales of his books. There had already been a vote on this. There had also been a retreat from his opponents.

Now the "State" has been suddenly been hijacked by some unelected, unaccountable "board" to stamp "State" approval on what has already been approved and has stirred up some (lets not beat about the Bush) predictable "State" reactions.


This was in fact totally unnecessary from any point of view other than for than for furthering the "State's", or the board's, agenda, simple self-aggrandisement or worse.

For this reason I see no problem with the "State" apologising for causing other "States" offence on their own behalf without dragging the readers into it.

Frankly, I do not see it as the "State's" role to go around poking other people in the eye. I am perfectly capable of doing that myself.

Andrew Albury said...

Dear Ian

For once (and probably the only time), I actually agree. His books are unreadable and unedifying (and I've read a few Jeffrey Archer novels in my time) -but I guess that's my fault for failing to rise to his infinitely colossal intelligence. He rants about his distaste for the UK from his hidey hole across the pond yey is not averse to taking a K from us as what he genuinely believes is his due to literacy!!!!!!!!He also cannot accept apologies or explanations from those who have crossed him in the past. (eg. Yusef Islam, a man who despite his faults has done more decency than "SIR" Salamander has ever acheived on his little fingernail.

But that little rant means I'm a terrorist supporter now!