Nasty comedian Frankie Boyle won £50,000 damages from the Daily Mirror last week, who had called him a ‘racist comedian’.
His case, which was accepted by the jury, was that although his ‘jokes’ were nasty and cruel, and targeted other minorities, they did not discriminate by race. I won’t repeat Boyle’s obnoxious jibes here, but they are well summarised in this piece:
He has come under fire for his gags about Jade Goody, Madeleine McCann, swimmer Rebecca Adlington and the Queen (he tells jokes about men, but it is noticeable how many of his high-profile targets have been female). He also got into hot water over joking about Katie Price’s son Harvey, who has multiple disabilities.
There was also a furore over another ‘joke’ in which he explained the Middle East conflict in terms of ‘an angry Jew punching a cake’ or words to that effect.
I’m told by other comedians, that in person, Boyle really is this nasty. But not, evidently, a racist.
So it is no surprise that he has given his money to Clive Stafford Smith OBE’s campaign organisation, REPRIEVE. Clive Stafford Smith rose to prominence for his impressive work representing death row prisoners, many of whom had been badly defended at their initial trial. For anybody who opposes the death penalty, and even for those who support it in principle but are horrified by miscarriages of justice in practice, REPRIEVE is a valuable organisation.
For the last few years, however, Clive Stafford Smith has played an instrumental role, not just in defending Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners, but in promoting their ideological supporters. He played a key role in the creation of CagePrisoners, helped them obtain funding, and promoted their partnership with Amnesty International: which led to the ousting of the veteran South Asian feminist Gita Sahgal from that organisation. At one stage, REPRIEVE was to have hired Asim Qureshi of CagePrisoners, although the plan collapsed when Qureshi was exposed calling for jihad against British troops.
In fact, on Monday, Clive Stafford-Smith is campaigning in the House of Commons for the return from Guantanamo to the United Kingdom of an Al Qaeda recruiter who briefly lived in the United Kingdom called Shaker Aamer. We know that Shaker Aamer was an Al Qaeda recruiter because that is what Moazzam Begg of CagePrisoners told the US in Guantanamo, where he was a ‘trusty’ with a good relationship with his captors.
I’d add that the host of this event is the Tory MP, Jane Ellison. The other speakers include Yvonne Ridley and the Communist Party of Britain’s Kate Hudson. Labour is represented by John McDonnell MP who famously expressed the following view:
“It’s about time we started honouring those people involved in the armed struggle. It was the bombs and bullets and sacrifice made by the likes of Bobby Sands that brought Britain to the negotiating table. The peace we have now is due to the action of the IRA.”
Made for each other, really.