Miscellany for a Hot Day

There was a nice piece by Damian Thompson in the Telegraph yesterday about the Johann Hari dilemma. Is the means okay – even cheating – if it justifies the end? Hari’s views are unpalatable and immature. They would be; it seems he’s only thirty two years old, if a tad chunky for a young fella. But the principle is not unlike the line postulated by defenders of Charles Enderlin’s decision to air the unverified Al Dura story on France 2, which subsequently ‘went viral’ with dire consequences. These defenders said, “What does it matter whether it’s true or not? – we know it’s the sort of thing that happens all the time.” I’ve heard similar views expressed on the BBC, not to mention speakers who still give credibility to the incident.

The spat between Cameron and Bercow was announced on the radio this morning. I can’t remember if it was presented as a direct report from the pages of the Guardian, but in any case, that’s what it was. Funny, because the Telegraph seems to side with Bercow, and the Mail with Cameron. The Guardian seems to be facing a dilemma. To go with their ‘class’ or their ‘Semitic’ prejudice. They seem to have come down in favour of the first. After all, Bercow is hated for his pomposity, his stature, his traitorous politics, and most of all, for his wife. His Jewishness almost pales into insignificance. Whereas Tory Toffs Sam’n’Dave trump all that because they represent Eton, privilege and puppy dogs’ tails. The Guardian’s theory is that the feud stems from their differing backgrounds. When I heard that, I wondered whether ‘differing backgrounds’ was a euphemism for something sinister, but it’s class again.
Quite a few Jews are short. Let’s call it petite, which is what people call me. Occasionally, someone will ask me “Aren’t you tiny?” which I assume they feel free to do, probably not considering it to be rude, at least not as rude as it would be to greet a new acquaintance with “How d’you do? Aren’t you podgy?” or aren’t you bucktoothed, bald, strange-looking or bandy-legged?
If you’re a man, though, they’d never say ‘aren’t you tiny’, unless they were saying it as an insult. David Cameron seems to think it’s perfectly okay to get a laugh out of calling Bercow a dwarf, which is not big and it’s not clever. So much as I’d normally say a plague on both their houses, I’m with the Jew. I guess that also means I’m with the BBC.

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19 Responses to Miscellany for a Hot Day

  1. Span Ows says:

    It wasn’t Cameron that claled him that though, he was telling the stroy of what another Minister had said when he’d bumped into Bercow’s car:

    “I’m not happy”

    “Well which one are you then?”

    I think that’s funny.

    Being called ‘petite’ is usually a compliment (honest!) it tends to be applied to someone who is perfectly formed shape and distribution wise but a little below average sizewise. I agree that “Aren’t you tiny” is rude and patronising but Bercow is the classic poison dwarf, maybe even with a Napoleon complex, and many tell him so.

    In the question in point Bercow was merely applying the rules. No real upset but DC was miffed because he was obviously ‘on a roll’. They have history.


    • sue says:

      Yes, that one is quite funny. But I think the BBC report attributed the poison dwarf comment to Cameron. I might be mistaken.


  2. nickname says:

    I can’t see what relevance the Squeaker’s religion has. Is he small because he’s jewish? Is his irritating and partisan manner in the House because of his religion?

    IMO the Grauniad are more likely to side with Bercow because of his bias (and his wife’s too) rather than his religion – especially bearing in mind the anti-semitic stance the paper and its CiF commenters take about the middle east in general.

    Incidentally a relative went to a Jewish house at boarding school – he said that almost without exception the boys were up to 18 inches taller than their fathers at the age of 15, owing to the (relatively) better diet that they had whilst growing up. Presumably that doesn’t apply any longer.


  3. sue says:

    “I can’t see what relevance the Squeaker’s religion has
    Neither can I really, but it was a fairly hot topic during his election as ‘squeaker.’
    Eighteen inches? Hmmm. How tall was the milkman?


  4. PhilLaw says:

    I honestly didn’t know he was Jewish. That will go on the pro side. The trouble is that the cons are his obvious bias, arrogance, and grim stupidity. And his awful wife. And size and race seem to have little to do with it, he is short. And a twat. There have been plenty of Jewish boxers, thugs and gangsters. And in New York they rivalled the Mafia.


    • sue says:

      As Google will reveal, at the time John Bercow was first appointed there was a lot of media coverage of his becoming the first Jewish speaker, or squeaker as some people call him incongruously. If there’s one thing he doesn’t do it’s squeak.
      Michael Martin or John Bercow? “Order, order.” I know whose enunciation I prefer.

      The wife is a con, in the pros and cons sense. Whereas John is less of a con in the tory sense, so perhaps  a con in the pro sense. His wife might also be  a bit of a pro in the being photographed in a bedsheet sense, and John is perhaps a bit of a con in the sense that he’s a bit tricky.  I hope I make myself clear.

      Also, Cameron is a huge disappointment. (In the Prime Minister sense)


      • John Anderson says:


        I never knew Bercow was Jewish.

        All I knew was he was a self-regarding prat.  Most of his Tory colleagues did not vote for him.  Labour votes got him in.  Labour has lost its sense of decency – they chose a prat rather than voting for what “we the people” would most want to hold this historic post.

        And then, after the prat was elected we learned about his nutty wife.  No wonder Labour voted for the prat.

        It is the dumbing-down of democracy.  The Speaker has usually been a Parliamentarian of distinction – either long-service as a back-bencher,  or maybe with Ministerial experience.  Seniority,  “bottom”.   Someone that the whole House could respect.

        Recent names include Selwynn Lloyd,  George Thomas,  the superb Bernard Weatherill,  and then Betty Boothroyd.  Michael Martin was an aberrant choice – also Labour skullduggery,  there were far better candidates available.

        Bercow is a prat.  Simple as that.

        He demeans the history of Parliament.  And helps drag this country down into the mire.


        • sue says:

          What you say is probably quite true. I was talking about the Bercow/ Cameron feud.
          A lot of people may not know anything about John Bercow’s Jewish background. Some people (i.e. the press at the time he was appointed) find such a thing interesting, while many others don’t.

          However, my post was about the Guardian article that was quoted on the BBC, which attributed the feud to their ‘differing backgrounds.’
          That is the reason I wondered whether there was more to this than meets the eye. You will see that I said (“but it’s class again” ) that it turned out to be merely a class war thing.

          What you or the other commenters knew is irrelevant. The press knew.


  5. deegee says:

    There’s a nasty story going round, possibly because Hari is spreading it, that the Dalai Lama took one look at him and pronounced him fat. If you can force yourself to look 


    • As I See It says:

      That’s a BBC Question Time audience he’s borrowed there, right?


    • sue says:

      Is it only his face that is fat? He looks as though he’s got someone else’s arms. And the arms are suffering from hyper-active attention-deficit syndrome. I couldn’t watch it all the way through. (Not meaning to be rude.) 😀


  6. TooTrue says:

    Delighted that that poisonous freak Hari has been exposed.


  7. sue says:

    Peter Hitchens.
    Mr Speaker, the essential voice of British cussedness
    It’s time to stand up for Speaker Bercow, all the more because I don’t like his politics or the fact that he has been gratuitously and ignorantly rude about our sister newspaper the Daily Mail.

    Mr Bercow is the best Speaker for years. He keeps business moving fast. He drags Ministers from their desks to answer urgent questions, as he should. And, in a Parliament where there is no Opposition worthy of the name, and where the media have become fawning pets of the Prime Minister, he is the authentic voice of good old British cussedness.

    You’d think, from the shocked way in which these incidents are reported, that there was something wrong with the Speaker telling the Prime Minister to stick to the rules, and inflicting a bit of sarcasm on this slippery, merciless bully.

    You’d think that the Government was supposed to have the Speaker in its pocket, and that it was good for our constitution for this to be so. Well, the dwindling numbers of us who know the history of our nation and its people understand that when there’s a battle between the Speaker and the State, the Speaker is the one to back. Don’t let them scare you, Mr Bercow.”

    He’s got something to say about Gaza too. Pity he wasn’t so vociferous on that “Big Questions” I mentioned the other day.


  8. Millie Tant says:

    Puzzled about why I hadn’t learned that he was Jewish although having read and heard quite a lot about him from the media, I googled new speaker in the House of Commons and the first two articles that came up which reported his appointment were The Grauniad and the BBC.  The Grauniad article didn’t mention it that I could see – maybe I missed it while scanning quickly.  The Beeboid article did mention it, although not until quite far down in a very long piece. I don’t regularly read the Beeboid website or read the whole of a longwinded Beeboid article unless I have some particular interest, so even if I’d seen it I would probably have read the first half and then decided I had enough and stopped reading before I got to it.

    I remember posting here recently a link to a particularly venomous article about him in the Mail or Mail on Sunday by a former Conservative Party employee, would-be politician and hanger-on known as Derek Laud (black, gay, Tory toff) who gained some media profile and notoriety for various reasons not least for run-ins with the law and appearing on Big Brother and subsequently a few times on BBC programmes, including, I think, Question Time. Don’t recall that it mentioned his Jewishness either but it was a savage attack on his character, larded with smears and accusations including alleged racism, if I recall correctly.


    • sue says:

      Millie, try typing in ‘Bercow Jewish’ if you really don’t believe me.


      • Millie Tant says:

        Heh, sue, do you believe me that I didn’t know or see anything about it in the media and that it wasn’t featured prominently or at all where I did see media reports of the speaker’s election – The Telegraph, for instance?

        Here is someone who even wrote (blog journal but still…)  at the time that he had a Protestant past and an anti-Catholic one at that! 


        Quite possibly we read / listen to different media.


        • sue says:

          Millie, I certainly do believe you didn’t know of John Bercow’s Jewish background. 
          I merely suggested you tried another search, simply to show that
          some people, including much of the press, were interested, and did find it relevant when he was elected as speaker.
          To reiterate.

          The Guardian regularly publishes antisemitic articles, and is well-known for its (champagne) socialist, class-obsessed agenda.

          As I said in my post, when I heard the Guardian’s comment on R4, that the long-standing feud between John Bercow and David Cameron was related to their differing backgrounds, I momentarily wondered whether they were alluding to Bercow’s Jewishness (and Cameron’s old Etonianness) and if they were, which of the two prejudices would triumph, the antisemitism or the inverted snobbery? In other words, to put it crudely, would they side with the Jew or the Toff?

          However, it turned out that it was the class war, and Bercow’s ‘modest’ background that influenced the Guardian to stick up for him, and not the Tory Toff. So apparently Bercow’s religious background was not a factor.
          I hope that clears it up.


  9. Grant says:

    Maybe says something about me that I knew he was Jewish but forgot until I read this thread !