the below post is a right mess, so you can go to this Storify instead. Thank you Gia Milinovich

For the easily bored, here is why James Delingpole is attacking me this time.

You can ignore the majority of links as they are not actually links, merely time (ie 12h) and “expand” of twitter and lead to nowhere.

I post this in case he decides to write about the events. Here is what happened without edit but occasional interruption from me. At no point did I name him or direct anything to him until he entered the conversation.

I saw this on Mo Ansar’s timeline

Absolute Beginner ‏@cake_not_hate … @MoAnsar



Mohammed Ansar ‏@MoAnsar

.@cake_not_hate Seems @jamesdelingpole is stirring up a Islamocentric hornets nest for ratings. Its about poor RE teaching. NOTHING more.


After tweeted this comment to Mo, no dot before the name, just to Mo and obviously seen by anyone who might follow both of us.

Robin Ince ‏@robinince

@MoAnsar these events always seem to happen to these columnists but i never meet kids or teachers who EVER have those experiences

So by this, I mean I take all these articles with a pinch of salt. I like science, so I appreciate doubt. Then this comes my way

James Delingpole ‏@JamesDelingpole

@robinince @MoAnsar Yes Robin. You can bury your smug bien-pensant head in the sand and call my niece a liar. Or you can accept the truth.



Robin Ince ‏@robinince

@JamesDelingpole @MoAnsar I wasn’t talking to you. my point is simple, I did not call you a liar



Robin Ince ‏@robinince

@JamesDelingpole @MoAnsar I merely said it always seems to happen to columnists (lucky you, gave you something to write about)



Mohammed Ansar ‏@MoAnsar

@JamesDelingpole James, @robinince is right. As someone who carries out RE monitoring visits I’ve never seen or heard of such nonsense.



Robin Ince ‏@robinince

@MoAnsar @JamesDelingpole I am not saying it didn’t happen to JD, but I’ve never seen it, that is all.

And this morning it leads to this (there were others as well. you can check my timeline if you are so bored to make sure I didn’t bother with ad hom attacks)

James Delingpole ‏@JamesDelingpole

@robinince You sad, devious, dishonest, and self-deluding man: why not avoid future discomfort by keeping out of my life?

So the conclusion is, even to make a comment about a columnist to a friend is unaccaptable, while they are allowed to write publicly about anything and anyone they wish.

oh and this

@robinince Stop wriggling. That was the only conceivable implication of what you said. Unless, of course, you were calling ME a liar.

@JamesDelingpole it was a broad statement akin to “it’s always bloggers like you who have this experience”

@robinince You sad, devious, dishonest, and self-deluding man: why not avoid future discomfort by keeping out of my life?

what is odd about the “keeping out of my life” statement is that I never came into his life. every time he writes an attack on someone for publication, does he think “actually, I should keep out of their life”? It seems to be the request for a mind police that can ensure no one even has thoughts on words you have published.

The comment is barely about the article.  It is about the number of pieces I used to read that declare “and they’ve banned the school nativity”, “they are only allowed to read in Esperanto now”, “my son is forced to wear a burqa” etc. I can only talk about experience of schools and teachers. I have never experienced much of what is written, so when it is written as if these things are rife, I think if they are so rife, why do I never see them in my life (there may be many reasons, but I hope you see my point). So what I have discovered is that to take certain journalists blog posts with a pinch of salt is repugnant, while ad hominem attacks, victimisation and (in the case of some journalists) writing conjecture based articles about me as if it were truth, is absolutely fine.

When Delingpole appeared on Horizon with Paul Nurse and some people found him laughable, i actually wrote to those I knew and suggested they didn’t include him by twitter name in their twitter comments about why they thought he had come across badly. As I have just found out, that would have made no difference.


I am currently on tour and will also be doing a new show about Feynman and Darwin, all details here  (well if you can’t use something negative and disturbing as plug…)


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. simpon says:

    To be fair though, he is James Delingpole!Hes got a a lot to put up with.

  2. Kat says:

    What a tosser! He seems to have written that to cause a stir and then gone looking for the stir! Utter knob involving himself like that, he must know his point has shaky foundations to be so riled up about it being discredited…

  3. Pete says:

    Delingpole is and always shall be an odious toad. Can’t let people like that worry you old son (: Racists will (sadly) always be racists

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    Isn’t Twitter meant to be a forum to discuss issues? Imagine being JD’s editor – he’d end up killing you if you so much as tweaked his copy…

  5. No matter how vigorously I expressed my opinion of Delingpole, I’d be worried that I was letting him off too lightly. He doesn’t even manage to be right as often as a stopped clock, but combines that with a smug, misplaced certainty of his own righteousness.

    He’s a Dunning-Kruger poster child par excellence.

  6. If that article is horrendous, the comments are worse. What’s wrong with showing respect to other cultures?

    • While I agree a lot, we should respect other cultures – call their cities etc by their proper names, not ours – Munchen rather than Munich for example, or London rather than Londres par example – we should show absolutely no respect for any religion and/or it’s demands, until such time as those proclaiming said religion have proved beyond all acceptable doubt that their particular god exists.

      Just a thought!


      • Whilst I disagree with religion imposing itself upon the general populace, I see no reason not to show some respect. Yes, the untold damage of religion upon a lot of people is terrible, but it is a huge part of life for a very large number of people, many of whom are innocent, hard working individuals. It serves no purpose to belittle or degrade religion; by doing so we risk proving their assumptions regarding our alleged lack of morals correct. No, by at least respecting their customs (and by this, I do not mean abiding by the aforementioned customs, or actually following their law), we can be seen as civil. This is what I meant. I don’t think we should give into their demands, but surely respect isn’t out of the question?



      • NormanDunbar says:

        Hi Andrew,
        I’m not normally nasty to people, I even give cups of tea (ok, I offer!) to the JWs when they come a calling, I invite them in for a chat too. So, respect to the people, but not to the religion. Religion isn’t interested in giving you respect but it is adamant that everyone should respect it.

        Take the recent “you cannot have a room here because you are gay” court case. A B&B refused entry to a pre-booked gay couple because it went against their Christian beliefs. The various religious organisations thought it was a bad thing that the gay couple took them to court for discrimination. They won.

        The Christians expect/demand that we respect their Christian beliefs, while at the same time, they are not willing to respect our laws on equal rights for everyone and think that because they have a religion, that they should be offered exceptions and get out clauses.

        Well, the only get out clause, in this case, is that you don;t run a business, subject to the laws of the country, if you are not willing to follow those laws. And the law of the land has a higher rating that anyone’s religious beliefs.

        However, given recent child abuse perpetrated by Catholic Clergy, Protestant Clergy, Jewish (Orthodox I think – but don’t quote me) I doubt that religion has any say in our morals. Besides, you don’t actually need a religion to be moral.

        So, I agree that we should respect the people, I disagree that we should respect any religion.


  7. Delingpole is tedious.

    However his response seems a bit ridiculous.especially when it was never aimed at him at all.

    Over sensitive much?

    His article was tedious drivel anyway from my point of view, but I’m one of those militant secularists who think religion should be taught only as an interesting part of society, with all religions and non-religion s taught equally.

  8. 5cc says:

    I liked when he called you a slime creature. Such a reasoned response.

  9. Chris Gannon says:

    He’s just awful. Every time I see a column by him or I see him on a politics show I really despair at those who keep giving him a platform. He’s dangerously uninformed and seems to have no desire to improve that situation.

  10. If you are a professional right-wing polemicist whose articles read like discarded Al Murray routines, you are patently NOT entitled to a thin skin.

  11. The weird thing (well, I think it’s weird) is that the entire column uses a cloak of the islamification of state schools to ask ‘readers’ to contribute to his niece’s private education (she’s so bright and delicate that state school diversity will crush her).

    It’s the equivalent of the Eye Want classifieds in Private Eye, but couched in reactionary Daily Mail-esque ‘NOW THEY’RE DOING THIS!’ commentary.

    He was right though, it is a shocker.

  12. Mike W says:

    My daughter studied Philosophy & Ethics to A level this year and the curriculum specifically covered Islam along with other religions. She was at no time expected to use the term PBUH. Does this mean I am calling James Delingpole’s niece a liar? Or is my daughter lying to me? I am terribly confused.

  13. @ganglesprocket says:

    James Delingpole mistakes “shit he reads online” for “actual journalistic copy,” has skin thinner than parchment, coupled with a love of dishing out abuse. I cannot decide if he is to be pitied or scorned. The Spectator though, is basically evil. It prints garbage designed solely to appease bigoted ex colonels in the shires.

  14. Is it just me, or do all the links on this topic point to http://localhost which means I can’t see them? Firefox 12.2 on Linux. (Also Opera and Konqueror)

  15. Samuel Pickard says:

    I don’t understand his position. He is clearly polytheistic, but he has objection to a particular notion of RE being taught. I mean, he is polytheistic right? His niece is named after a pagan Norse goddess after all.

  16. robinince says:

    I am not sure about the problem with the links, i just cut and pasted the conversation direct from twitter, I am far from the king of technology

  17. robinince says:

    basically, all those links are just time etc, they don’t add anything, it is merely that I cut the tweets directly out of twitter without edits to ensure people knew this was the order of things and there were no tweets removed by me

  18. me says:

    maybe he was just having a bad day

  19. James P says:

    “a new show about Feynman and Darwin”
    Sounds worth watching. I have you down (maybe incorrectly) as a man-made global warming supporter, which I think Feynman would have immediately identified as a load of dingos’ kidneys. Where do you stand on the CO2 question?

    • robinince says:

      from discussions with a wide variety of scientists, I have gone with the likelihood that human activity is causing change in the climate. There is much to still be debated but I also think there is a great deal of very unscientific opinion printed in the newspapers attacking the science and it is becoming difficult for the population to sift out the evidence based material with the opinion based material.

      • James P says:

        “a great deal of very unscientific opinion printed in the newspapers”
        I’m tempted to say “especially in the Guardian”, but I may be biased!
        There is also plenty of informed opinion on blogs like Bishop Hill, WUWT, Jo Nova, Judith Curry, Harmless Sky etc. where many of the contributors know more than most journalists. And don’t forget David Whitehouse, the best and best qualified BBC scientific correspondent that I can remember.
        Have you read The Hockey Stick Illusion?
        Thank you, though, for the prompt reply.

    • robinince says:

      Feynman was never one to bow to authority or epaulettes but he also looked very carefully at the evidence. the enormity of the skullduggery required to ensure that a science myth is created seems preposterously huge. There is always room for doubt, this is science, but i think the unscientific are given too many column inches. On all subjects I would like to see as much evidence based writing as possible and less sifting for any scraps that back you up whilst ignoring the mountains

      • James P says:

        And I forgot the indefatigable and remorselessly forensic Steve McIntyre and his Climate Audit blog. Plenty of skullduggery exposed there…

  20. mrs cj says:

    You may only be in my life as far as I follow you on twitter, but yes, what Simon said 🙂

  21. Paul says:

    Robin, your’e getting very emotional on this issue are you not? I thought good comedians were able to brush off these things with a witty repost but it seems it’s getting to you. I think your problem is that the people you tend to mix with professionally leave you wrapped up in a little luvvie bubble where everything they say is right and right on and funny and awfully BBC.
    Real life isn’t like that old chum. Get a grip and grow a pair.
    This latest blog has a very loud ring of Brigstocke about it and that is not a nice thing to witness. I mean his humour consists of “George Bush – FASCIST!!!!! Climate change deniers – FASCISTS!!!!!” etc. etc.
    Please don’t go down that road. One Marcus Brigstocke is enough for one planet to cope with let alone two.

    • robinince says:

      ha ha that is very funny. you seem to have missed who fell out of the pram on this one, but bless you for your concern. the main reason for posting this is to make sure if it gets written about (as has happened before), I have something to refer to if there is too much “journalistic licence”

  22. srcav says:

    What a tool!

    My fav bit:

    “Not any more. Sure, the old religion is still covered in RE classes, but at state schools like Freya’s only as an equally valid and certainly by no means preferable alternative to Judaism, Sikhism, Islam and the rest. ‘Jesus was the son of God! Do you agree?’ asks a sample Key Stage 3 question from Freya’s school website. Well, what a bloody stupid question to ask an 11-year-old. How are they possibly going to be intellectually equipped to produce any kind of meaningful answer?”

    Well, if they are given an “education” about all faiths in am unbiased manner they should be able to discuss such topics, especially if they are all clever enough to phrase sentences as well as Freya does I.e. “… There are some sniggers but we are conditioned to see it as normal.”

    It sounds to me like the school is doing a decent job of not indoctrinating the pupils, as for the PBUH stuff, I think it’s unlikely they are expected to say it every time. Perhaps it’s a Muslim teacher who says it and they just think they need to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s