Iain Dale calls Lib Dem candidate a “whore”

Iain Dale has taken the unusual decision to take Lib Dem candidate for Norwich North April Pond to task for putting herself forward after already being the candidate for Broadland constituency.

He likens this to him abandoning Norfolk North constituency in the run up to the 2005 General Election to fight a by-election in Tunbridge Wells, and accuses her of “whoring herself across Norfolk.”

The 'old' Norwich North ConstituencyThe 'new' Broadland ConstituencyAside from the blatant misogyny, there is just one other flaw in this argument: Broadland – being a new constituency to be created at the next General Election – encapsulates part of Norwich North constituency which is about to be abolished. You can see how by comparing the above images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Is this sort of sexist talk and blatant disinformation spreading really the sort of thing we should tolerate in political discourse? It looks as if Iain is auditioning to be David Cameron’s own Damien McBride.

Cheap. And talking of cheap shots, do you think we should explain to him that Tunbridge Wells isn’t in Norfolk?

Hat tip: Liberal England

13 thoughts on “Iain Dale calls Lib Dem candidate a “whore”

  1. James somebody has pointed out on Iain’s blog that by using this argument he has called Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher whores as well. Oops.

  2. It’s rather disappointing for Iain to be using sexist language like that when he was strong at challenging a sexist contributor on the telly the other day.

  3. Why not just criticise him for his (in this case, silly) views, rather than throwing PC thought grenades about?

    Anyone in modern Britain who uses the words “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic” or “islamophobic” is usually either seeking to suppress discussion or avoid thought (or both). Perhaps they meant something once, but they are now just cheap slogans to substitute for debate, rather as “patriotism” or “God” were in former times. They serve to intimidate the accused into silence, rather than engage her/him in discussion. They are unworthy of anyone who aspires to be a liberal in the non-US sense.

    Of course, one can’t have too much sympathy for Mr Dale on this occasion as he is prone to deploy at least two out of four of those grenades himself from time to time. Still, the point that Churchill and Thatcher (two of Dale’s heroes) did the same thing he accused Pond of doing is refutation enough, surely?

  4. I dunno, Tom – from what I can see James is simply making two criticisms, both reasonable. I don’t see the problem in noting that Iain Dale is wrong about the selection and culpable of using language that certainly appears sexist.

    As a “non-US” liberal, I am perfectly happy to criticise sentiments and / or words that encourage prejudice. Do I want the state to suppress them? No. Do I occasionally see such criticisms bandied around unfairly? Yes. But neither is a case for ignoring the point.

  5. Tom, are you saying that there are no sexists left, or just that nobody should ever be criticised for being sexist because that would be oppressive?

  6. Is it not the case that existing selections are voided where there is a by-election? In which case April wouldn’t have been the candidate.

    I do wonder if Iain has checked out the Slander of Women Act 1891 (imputations of unchaste behaviour actionable without proof of special damage)

  7. Why not just criticise him for his (in this case, silly) views, rather than throwing PC thought grenades about?

    I take it “thought grenade” is a corruption of thought police? I may have a problem with the policing of though, but I have no objection whatsoever for being accused of having explosive, easy to deploy thoughts.

    I’m not calling for Iain Dale to be banned from calling a female candidate a whore, but what is wrong with pointing out that it is poisonous language and just plain impolite?

    I have to say that I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard so-called libertarians criticise people employing their own freedom of speech when they choose to use it to criticise people for being bigoted and rude. It is as if “politically correct” language has some kind of magic power that all other language somehow lacks.

    Why this blind spot? I genuinely don’t understand it.

  8. It wasn’t a corruption of anything. It was a metaphor. I am not calling for you to be banned from using such cheap shots either, just pointing them out in the interest of advancing debate.

    If this class of defective thought is as important as you think, then perhaps you should (suggestion, not prescription) make the accusation with care and consideration, not just lob it willy nilly when you want to damage an enemy.

    You devalue ideas about which you care deeply because you are so casual in invoking them. For example, the Northern working classes have been called “racist” so often as they struggled with the consequences of mass immigration, that many no longer care. They regard it (at best) as casual abuse designed only to shut them up. That perception has helped, not hindered, the BNP. Overuse the antibiotic, and it ceases to work.

    “Whore” has many everyday uses as metaphor and simile, as you might have remembered if it had been used by a political ally. Used by Mr Dale, of course, it’s “sexism”. As I said, he uses such thought-substitutes himself, so is hoist by his own petard.

    I found it almost as amusing as when he lobbed it at Michael White and “you too yah boo sucks” ensued. White was called (idiotically) a sexist and suddenly his accuser was a sexist too. My point is that this is about the level of thought that typically goes into the use of such words as “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe” and “islamophobe”. Most of the time, they are no better than playground abuse and are registering as such with the man and woman in the street. That should be a problem to you. No?

  9. I’m not sure it is “polite” to accuse me of censoring comments.

    As it happens, I have been having problems recently with getting email alerts of new comments (ever since I upgraded) but I normally check daily and comments get approved then.

    But I have never seen a comment from you. Nor, as you can plainly see from this comment, do I moderate your comments. I’d ask you to take my word for it, but that clearly won’t be good enough. Nonetheless, it happens to be true.

    You do seem to be obsessed with ratcheting up the partisan mudslinging at the moment. You’re prerogative I suppose, but it is dull.

  10. James, If you say you never saw it, I am of course happy to accept that and of course I take your word for it. These things happen. But forgive me for suspecting otherwise when it didn’t appear!

    The point I think I was making was that I was clearly using the word whoring in the sense of touting. I was not using it in its sexual sense as you were no doubt aware. But even if I was, you seem to be unaware that there are also male whores, so how its use could be construed as sexist is beyond me.

    So forgive me if I have a wry smile on my face when I see you accusing me of ratcheting up partisan mudslinging. That, from the master :)

  11. Oh, I can be accused of many things and I certainly can be partisan and spiky. But mudslinging? I simply don’t have the time or the energy to run the sort of gossip blog that you or Guido specialise in.

    You know what? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that “whore” was not meant in a misogynist way. But an acceptable term to describe her? You have been making her out to be some kind of carpetbagger which is just cheap and nasty. And coming from someone who has actively pursued seats in seats from a VERY wide geographical area, quite hypocritical.

    You know what by-election candidates have to put themselves through (more so than general election candidates). Aside from anything else, can’t you just accept this sort of nonsense does nothing except lower the whole tone of debate?

  12. Dear All

    I am shocked that Iain Dale has used such language, it is nonsense to call people ‘whores’, if that is not their trade.

    Poor woman is only trying to make a career for herself.

    He has obviously got carried away with this blogging business.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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