Friday, May 28, 2010
Quentin Letts: 'We can always post him a free sandwich next time'
During the recent general election campaign, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts - a cock-cunting noroviral words-spewer - attended a Lib Dem rally in Streatham, South London. It was an 'oatmealy', middleclass, multi-cultural affair with a gospel choir and 'soapy men... boogieing to the Afro beat' - in other words, perfect fodder for Letts' brand of Full English Breakfast fat-spit.
I'm certain that if you pulled his leg, Land of Hope and Glory would sing out from his arse.
At some point, the chortle factory met a 'dark-haired woman called Jemima' who smelt 'faintly of cigarettes.' He wrote: '[She] imperiously asked me if I worked for Lib Dem HQ. When I said no, she attacked me for writing for a "racist" newspaper. I assured her that the Daily Mail was nothing of the sort. She proceeded to give me a lecture in favour of mass immigration....'
As it happens, Jemima has got in touch with Madame Arcati. She doesn't dispute the little that he wrote about their encounter, but has some interesting, humane observations to make about Letts - none of which would see the light of day in the Mail, of course. Since he introduced her to the public, and tried to skew our perception of her opinion, it's only right she is given space to respond.
'The situation was macabre and funny,' she tells me. 'Letts' fear of immigrant populations and cultures was beautifully set off by the Streatham community hall and gospel music. I did suggest the Mail was a racist paper, and though I intended to provoke what I thought would be a well-worn defence, he was in fact wildly surprised to find that anyone might think so.
'He said he believes that immigration currently threatens British culture. I said I thought perhaps his idea of "British culture" was that of only a small minority of the country, and asked him for an example of some aspect of this that he felt was under threat. He cited the Book of Common Prayer, which he said he had "fought for" extensively.
'In what way, I wondered, was immigration threatening that? Were Catholic Polish migrants bringing with them some kind of High Church assault of bells and smells on the Anglican prayer book? Was gospel singing an inherent attack on the heart of the Anglican faith, or does it just make Quentin Letts a little twitchy?
'His description of the whole event in the article reflects a similarly personal take. So personal in fact, as to sound like the voice of a man that never speaks to a soul outside the four walls he has carefully built around himself, equipped with new fortifications to protect his personal world view against the various assaults of the modern age (including, but not exclusively, liberalism, open mindedness, coalition, multiculturalism, science, the GMC, and Catholicism).
'The rally seemed strangely chaotic to Letts (enthusiastic young party, the LDs) who was surprised to see uneaten sandwiches (free food being the main attraction to hacks like Letts at such events); and the gospel choir was in his view so alien as to be necessarily ridiculous before they had even opened their mouths to sing.
'The guy is petrified of what he can't understand; quite human really, but he becomes offensive when his extremely narrow view is projected onto the wider British public, as in his column at the Mail. He should just stay at home next time, we can always post him a free sandwich. After all, Britain will evolve with or without him.'
To read Letts' piece click here.