Rod Liddle

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Roderick Liddle (born 1 April 1960) is an English journalist, and an associate editor of The Spectator. He also writes for The Sunday Times and The Sun, among other publications.

Liddle began his career at the South Wales Echo, then worked for the Labour Party, and later joined the BBC. He became editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme in 1998, resigning in 2002 after his employers objected to an article in The Guardian, for which he then had a regular column. His books include Too Beautiful for You (2003), Love Will Destroy Everything (2007), The Best of Liddle Britain (co-author, 2007) and the semi-autobiographical Selfish Whining Monkeys (2014). He has presented television programmes, including The New Fundamentalists, The Trouble with Atheism, and Immigration Is A Time Bomb.




  • Nothing terrifies or disgusts us more than paedophilia. It is fashionable to argue that the reason there seems to be so much of it about is that, actually, we're simply more aware of the problem than we used to be. Partly, this is true. But there may be more of it about anyway. The more profound the taboo, the greater will be the drive among some to transgress.
  • This is just a guess, but maybe you are reading this as you wait on a station platform for a train that is 30 minutes late ... And you may, therefore - understandably - have forgotten why you voted Labour in 1997.
    But then you catch a glimpse of the forces supporting the Countryside Alliance: the public schools that laid on coaches; the fusty, belch-filled dining rooms of the London clubs that opened their doors, for the first time, to the protesters; the Prince of Wales and, of course, Camilla ... and suddenly, rather gloriously, it might be that you remember once again.
    • "Marching back to Labour" The Guardian (25 September 2002).
    • The second Ellipsis after "Camilla" are in the original source. Liddle resigned as editor of the Today programme following the publication of the article as it was considered to breach the BBC's obligation to be impartial. The protest march by the Countryside Alliance was in defence of fox-hunting which was in the process of being banned by the Labour government.
  • [On an exclusive organisation for Swingers based in South-East England] Believe me, [Dougie] Smith and his fellow Fever workers are not remotely embarrassed by their line of employment. They are positively evangelistic about it – and not simply for financial reasons. A couple who choose to attend a Fever Party will dissolve the sexual tension and emotional jealousy which bedevils and destroys so many relationships. That insane craving for sexual différence ... can be a most malign force: it breaks up families, it costs the Exchequer lots of money, it causes havoc. Why not have it rigorously assuaged in a pleasant, controlled environment with other, like-minded people?
  • We had this row and we were shouting at each other. I said, "Well, phone the police", and she said she would. I thought she was only joking. She didn't talk to them, just hung up. An hour later the coppers got here. She begged them to go away, but they wouldn't.
  • I'm so furious and upset about it [...] If I'd had enough spine I would have said no to the caution. They couldn't have charged me.
    • "Oh dear, the telephone puts poor Rod on the hook again", The Independent on Sunday (8 May 2005)
    • Alicia Monckton, then Liddle's girlfriend, declined to continue with her complaint when the police arrived at their home. Monckton told The Independent on Sunday: "There was a physical struggle with a suitcase, but he didn't hit me". Liddle was held by the police for five hours under new guidelines not dependent on a complaint having been made, but he agreed to a caution for common assault to speed up his release. The couple later married.
  • So — Harriet Harman, then. Would you? I mean after a few beers obviously, not while you were sober. The alcohol is sloshing around inside your brain, you’ve enjoyed a post-pub doner kebab together and maybe some grilled halloumi (a woman’s right to cheese) and she suggests, as you stand inside the frowsy minicab office: fancy going south, big boy? (I don’t know for sure that she’d use the term ‘big boy’; this is largely hypothetical stuff, you understand.)
  • Her only policy, her only raison d'être, is a particularly vacuous feminism dating from a sixth-form common room in about 1973. Were this a serious commitment and grounded in reality, one might respect her for it and even agree. But it never is grounded in reality. It is the perpetual shrieking of an idiot.
  • I went a year or so back. F***ing outrageous that you can't smoke in Auschwitz. I had to sneak round the back of the gas chambers for a crafty snout.
  • To tell you the truth I thought the "Auschwitz Experience" had been devalued by the people who run it to the point where I think it deserves taking the p*** out of ... it's set up as a politically correct tourist attraction, sort of Hitlerworld.
  • What on earth is the government going to do about all these deranged northerners running amok shooting people? The more callous among you might well argue that it doesn't really matter, as these madmen are only shooting other northerners, and so it is therefore none of our business. Perhaps. But there is no guarantee that the next deranged northerner will not get on a train, if he can afford it, and start shooting at us, instead. This is the thing; you simply cannot tell with nutters, there is no logic to their mayhem.


  • I found the reaction shocking. And then I suppose I came to the conclusion - gradually - that I must have got it wrong. [...]
    I thought for a long time that in the context of The Spectator it was fine and that people who read The Spectator would know it was a joke and that there was a point behind the joke as well.
  • [George Galloway's comments on the alleged rape victims of Julian Assange in August 2012] [T]hose women were not "raped", he says of the accusations against Assange; calling that sort of thing rape diminishes the concept of rape — it was just "bad sexual etiquette".
  • As it happens, I think Galloway has a point. ... Meanwhile the ambassador who went a bit mental, Craig Murray, decided to go on Newsnight and actually NAME one of the women accusing Assange. What a radical act. He was of course slapped down by presenter Gavin Esler.
  • I seriously contemplated being a teacher once upon a time, when I was lot younger. ... I never found out because the one thing stopping me from being a teacher was that I could not remotely conceive of not trying to shag the kids. It seemed to me virtually impossible not to, and I was convinced that I'd be right in there, on day one. We're talking secondary school level here, by the way — and even then I don’t think I'd have dabbled much below year ten, as it is now called. I just thought we ought to clear that up early on.
  • But for sure, what Mr Forrest did was wrong. I suspect — and it is only a guess — that thousands of teachers up and down the land conduct sexual relationships with their older charges and that in most cases no harm comes of it.
  • According to her allies, Priti Patel is about to "go off like a shotgun", which should keep us all entertained a while longer, as long as the shotgun is this time pointed in the right direction, rather than at her own head. Someone tell the woman: turn the gun around; those two holes you’re staring at are where the pellets come out. Pull the trigger now and you'll be a far less Priti Patel.
    I suppose, pointed in the right direction, a shotgun might do a bit of good. Theresa May's government resembles a dog with a broken back, dragging its tail in the sea; you shield your eyes from watching its dying spasms, block your ears from the pitiful whining, yearning that it might soon be put out of its misery.
  • As it happens, I disagree with Boris. Postboxes are bright red and bank robbers traditionally wear tights over their faces. I think they look more like Darth Vader. If you are an unpleasant person who enjoys rather macabre entertainment, wander down to Mile End and watch the women in the full burka trying to cross the A11. That's always good for a laugh. Almost as good is watching them take selfies. I mean, what's the point?
  • The liberals believe this is another pitch from Boris [Johnson] to the right wing of the Conservative party and that the Islamophobia within the Conservative party is every bit as corrosive as the anti-Semitism within Labour. My own view is that there is not nearly enough Islamophobia within the Tory party.
  • If you have a student son or daughter who's thinking of voting, shove some high grade skunk under their bedroom door the day before the poll. You can lace the skunk with horse tranquilisers if you wish — do anything, just stop them voting. Pay them not to vote, or organise a rave with bangin' choons for polling day. It is your duty — and the kids will thank you for it in about ten years' time, when a semblance of sentience has established itself inside their heads.
  • My own choice of election date would be a day when universities are closed and Muslims are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell, or something. There must be at least one day like that in the Muslim calendar, surely? That would deliver at least 40 seats to the Tories, I reckon.
  • We will rue the day we all decided bullying was a bad thing. The consequence is that the inept, the imbecilic and the perpetually frit will hang on to their jobs and we will become a much less efficient country. By bullying I do not mean physically beating someone up and stealing their lunch money, which is what it used to mean when it had a proper meaning. I mean telling someone they're useless and deserve to be sacked, which is what bullying means today.
  • The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, who is 5ft 6in tall, has been accused of using bullying behaviour with regard to her civil servants. Nowhere near enough bullying behaviour in my book.
  • Exciting news from Durham University, which is helping its students to become "sex workers". This noble institution is offering two courses in the various forms of harlotry. My only concern is that at present they do not actually offer an academic qualification in these subjects — at the very least an undergraduate degree in, say, Practical Whoring. Perhaps followed by an MA in Deconstructing the Topless Hand-Shandy1897-1913. Such courses would probably result in more lucrative career opportunities than many of the more traditional subjects which students pay through the nose to study. I am attending a dinner at Durham University next month and fervently hope that some of the ambitious young ladies on these courses will be in attendance.

About Liddle

In alphabetical order by author or source.
  • Then, later, after his father has died alone in a care home, notes that nearly no one attended the funeral. If our dreadful generation is to blame for the bored, fat kids of today, then why aren't the Liddles Snr responsible for their terribly unhappy son?
    Never mind the bombast, Liddle’s pessimism about the rest of us is actually pessimism about himself. His Golden Age is bleak, his best is blown, his future is death. A panic attack is mistaken for a heart attack. The grey in his hair can no longer be disguised by Grecian 2000. He longs to be 16 and rebellious again, but doesn't seem to have had a new idea for a decade. Now all he can do is rage, rage against the dyeing of the white.
  • Men, too, have to give serious thought to what they want to be in this bewildering social landscape. Liddle says, "Men always want other women", and although I can't know what it is like to have one's entire being dominated by the twitches and spasms of uncontrollable manhood, is he content to be thus defined? Can such men comprehend the need to create a new masculinity and fatherhood where consistency and contentment matter more than lust?
    • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown "Errant men and unethical women" The Independent (12 July 2004).
    • Liddle had left his first wife, Rachel Royce, for his mistress Alicia Monckton six months after he had married Royce, having flown back from the couple's honeymoon to be with Monckton. His behaviour gained much media coverage at the time.
  • [T]his is the cover story of the Spectator magazine. We're back in the schoolyard – or is it the brothel? Again.
    I wouldn't usually bother spitting the words "Rod Liddle". It is like being angry at cows – tempting, but pointless.
  • A national newspaper edited by an iconoclast determined to challenge the tyranny of the liberal metropolitan elite would have been a real addition to the national conversation, not least because Liddle's challenge would have come from the left.
  • Rod Liddle might have given a new Independent impetus. Now, if Lebedev gets his prize, he should make every effort to retain [Roger] Alton. He might start by expressing regret for permitting his representatives to advertise the prospect of a Liddle editorship before the deal was done. An apology should be offered to Liddle as well. He did not ruin his own chances of editing the Independent. That was done by the people behind a viciously intolerant campaign of liberal bigotry.
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