Following Hugh’s post on the ‘redneck’ item – I listened on the weekend to the views of that people’s tribune Liz Forgan (Benenden and Oxford) on Any Questions.
Ms Forgan’s career took her from the Guardian to Channel Four and then to the BBC, where she was MD of BBC Network Radio. When she left the BBC she became a Guardian columnist and is now chair of the Scott Trust, owners of the Guardian. Do we see a pattern here ?
Let Ms Forgan speak for herself. Apologies for the illiterate transcriber (I found ‘roons’ for ‘runes’, ‘principle’ for ‘principal’ and ‘electrics’ for ‘electorates’).
On Charles Clarke’s attacking Gordon Brown’s premiership :
“Charles has nothing to lose, he thinks he can do that and encourage real debate in the Party. Unfortunately the consequences of his doing so has been absolutely a lead balloon. Everyone is still under the table, with the tablecloth pulled around their ears …”
On male and female equality :
You know you have a vision of a progressive struggle towards a sensible disposition of society and its work and when people choose to roll backwards from that it makes me really very sad … the problem is not women, it is men … and I think that although it is illegal to ask a woman who applies for a job are you intending to have children and what are you going to do about them I actually think we should legislate to compel employers to ask men when they apply for a job do you have children and what is your intention to look after them.
And on Sarah Palin :
I have been a card-carrying feminist for 40 years and this woman has found somewhere in me a little kernel of sexism. She causes me to make a failure of sisterhood. Sorry Charlie but I cannot stand her candy coated philistinism, I hate her crass creationism, I loath her parading of her family about the place, God forgive me I even hate her teenage hair … I do really fear the fact that she touches something deep in America, something real in America I agree with you about that and that makes me very afraid and the only solution I can see to it is that the principal governors of super powers should be elected by global electorates … There is a ray of hope. History shows that people who arrive with a stock in trade of being pure, innocent and untouched by civilisation often end up having terrible skeletons in their cupboards. And I am really hopeful that the dreadful hacks will find them out.
Ms Forgan, as we’ve seen above, thinks of herself as a left-winger and a feminist. Par for the BBC course. But what we’re hearing there isn’t just hatred of Sarah Palin’s politics. What comes over strongly is hatred of Sarah Palin’s class. An upper-class liberal looks down on a hick from the sticks. God, have you seen her hair ?
Once, within living memory, the Left used to have something of a bias in favour of ‘ordinary people’. Whatever happened to it ?
(Much of the US liberal media shares Ms Forgan’s dismay. The phenomenon’s neatly summarised in this Clive Crook FT piece)