Celebrities rally around #JimmyCarr. It seems a #HolocaustJoke is okay if your friend tells it

Who knew?

Let’s be clear about something. Jimmy Carr’s joke about the Nazi Holocaust against gypsies (as he calls them in the video) is not okay. In a previous article I discussed how it presented the deaths of many thousands of people as acceptable; indeed, desirable.

He also told it in a show that’s available at a time when the UK government is preparing to pass a new law that will persecute the GRT (Gypsy/Roma/Traveller) community in ways similar to some of the measures imposed on them in Nazi Germany.

I elaborated on this in a previous article:

In 1930s Germany, Hitler ramped up already-existing anti-gypsy laws to establish the pre-supposition that they were a “nuisance”, that they were criminal by their nature (so it follows that the authorities were allowed to assume they were criminals without them actually having to commit a crime), and that they should be moved on from encampments that were considered to cause a disturbance to the rest of the German population (in Hitler’s Germany, they were moved on into concentration camps where they were murdered in a holocaust that was every bit as brutal as the attempted genocide of the Jews).

Boris Johnson has been stealing policies from Hitler, it seems.

Then I quoted someone else, who said:

Previously, police could take action against Gypsies and Travellers if they had done something wrong. They had to have “caused damage to the land or to property on the land or used threatening, abusive or insulting words”.

Alternately, they could take action if they had six or more vehicles on the land. But the new bill allows police to take action if they have just one vehicle.

And they do not need to have done anything at all. The police officer just needs to suspect that significant damage or disruption “is likely to be caused”.

Similarly, if they suspect that “significant distress… as a result of offensive conduct” – defined as “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour” – is likely to be caused, they can also take action.

In other words: You do not actually need to have done anything. All that is required is that the police *suspect* you will do something.

If the police do suspect this, they can “seize and remove any relevant property”. This includes the vehicle. But for these communities, it is not just a vehicle. It is their home.

Put yourself in these people’s place. At a time when they are facing the possibility that the police will confiscate everything they own, if an officer doesn’t like the way they look, here’s a popular comedian saying the attempted genocide of all their race is a “positive”.

It doesn’t make a difference whether it was only meant in jest. There’s many a true word spoken that way, as the saying goes, and there are people in the world who will accept what Carr said, simply because he’s the one who said it; people laugh at comedians’ jokes because they agree with the sentiment behind them.

I read an attempt to justify Carr that said if we put a stop to jokes like this, we should stop horror or war movies, because they show characters doing vile things, or Nazis. But the whole point of those films is to present the horrific or Nazi characters as abhorrent – not sympathetic. So the argument falls flat.

And obviously there’s the disparity between the fact that he felt fine talking about the gypsy (in fact, the Roma/Sinti) Holocaust in a way that he would never refer to the Jewish Holocaust. The simple fact is that it is unacceptable to talk about any Holocaust in that way.

And yet, here come Carr’s celebrity friends to support him. This one – the first I saw – was particularly shocking for me, considering who it is. The response is entirely appropriate, I think:

This makes it worse:

That’s right. Victoria Coren Mitchell said she would have defended Carr if he had made a joke defending the murder of Jews in the Holocaust because “it’s not about the joke”.

Would she be saying that if someone who wasn’t a blue-tick celebrity and a personal friend of hers had told that joke? I doubt it. I can’t be sure but it seems unlikely. No doubt someone will trawl through her Twitter feed and find out if she’s being a hypocrite or not.

So, taking this in line with Rachel Riley’s response to the show in which Carr told his joke, there seems to be a clear message coming from the blue-tick crusaders: Supporting the Holocaust is fine as long as it’s done by one of their friends.

Or – tying in with current developments in politics: It’s one rule for us, and no rules for them.

I should add that Ms Coren Mitchell and Riley aren’t the only ones who’ve supported Carr. If you visit the Twitter feeds of the usual anti-Semitism crusader mob, I’m reliably informed that they’ve come out for him as well.

In contrast, though, there’s this:

The Twitter user who brought this to my attention pointed out the fact that Mr Schneider had been able to search his own history at leisure, in stark contrast to those of us of the Left (and/or who supported Jeremy Corbyn when he was Labour leader), who have had their social media postings pored over in excruciating detail over the past six years or so, by people trying to find anything even remotely objectionable. From personal experience, I can confirm that this happens.

“Shows who has been doing the witch hunting,” they said.

It is a valid point. But…

(For the record: the comment about David Baddiel in my tweet was not entirely accurate and I corrected it later on the thread. That said, while he deplored the joke, he still spoke in support of Carr as a personal friend. I’m not sure how he can reconcile that friendship with the fact that Carr told a joke that he himself has decried as “cruel and inhumane and mean-spirited and racist”. It seems these people are tying themselves in knots to justify their association with someone capable of such behaviour. But I digress.)

The bottom line?

People who haven’t said anything close to being as bad as Carr’s joke have suffered serious disruption to their lives and careers because blue-tick celebrities like those named above have denounced them. Again, I refer to personal interference.

If the same people suddenly want to give a free pass to someone who has actually said something genuinely appalling, then they need to start issuing apologies to everyone they have wronged by supporting the false accusations.

Sadly, I don’t see that happening, because: one rule for us – no rules for them.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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4 thoughts on “Celebrities rally around #JimmyCarr. It seems a #HolocaustJoke is okay if your friend tells it

  1. Mark Cunliffe

    For what it’s worth, Victoria Coren Mitchell once attacked Bryan Ferry as a lame brained Geordie ponce in an article for saying he admired the aesthetics of the third reich. Also sure she said she felt uncomfortable at Richard Herring donning the Hitler moustache for one of his stand up tours. She’s not a particularly good judge of character it seems, refusing to believe her poker playing friend had murdered a Thai barmaid until he confessed, and even then she suspected his confession had been forced by Thai police. It was only when he cooperated with forensic evidence that she had to face facts.

    1. Julia

      If my memory serves me well, didn’t she also have a go at Jeremy Corbyn with the anti-semitic smear? Personally, I found her programme ‘Only Connect’ (?) a fine vehicle for her patronising, sneering manner. And what have I missed? A certain blonde ‘I don’t look like your typical Jew’ is defending Carr?? .

Comments are closed.