Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Richard LittleJohn: fat, wrong, racist, homophobic ... plagarist?

Richard Littlejohn is a class-A knob. If he knew me, he'd be very pleased to know I think this. He''s a rightwing scribbler with the British Daily Mail. He exudes a bargain basement blokeishness and purports to scorn what he perceives as political correctness.

Recently he published a rant in typical style, rambling on about ... well, I'm not sure really. Work-shy shirkers in Britain or some such, and then he veered off onto the topic of single mothers getting helped back into the work-force. I can't fathom his logic here at all. First, he thins too many people are sitting on their arses not working, then he complains if some action is taken to try and get them back to work.

Anyway, that isn't my point. My point is that Littlejohn seems to have lifted parts of his article from the work of another Daily Mail writer, Nigel Green. Here is Littlejohn's piece, in full:

Why should we pay for Vicky Pollard to have a manicure?


12th March

More than one million immigrants are working in Britain, according to
official figures. Double that, add in the date of your mum's birthday and your mobile phone number and you'll probably be somewhere nearer the truth.

We are told that we have to import all these foreign nationals to fill the avalanche of jobs created by the Gordon Brown economic miracle.

These are vacancies which the British can't or won't fill, it is alleged. Why
not? At the last count there were estimated to be five million people under
the age of retirement who are classified as "economically inactive".

This includes the unemployed, the unemployable and those claiming to be incapacitated. But there is absolutely no reason why anyone should be
out of work in Britain today.

There are jobs aplenty, even if it means - in Norman Tebbit's memorable term - getting on your bike.

Is there no one of British birth living in the Morecambe Bay area who is capable of picking a cockle? When I worked in East Anglia, the sugar beet managed to get harvested without the aid of the Chinese.

There must be someone signing on in South London who could manage to push a
mop round a hotel bathroom. Why aren't able-bodied young men queuing up to
train as plumbers and bricklayers instead of collecting the dole?

Eastern Europeans seem to have little difficulty finding work on building sites. It was claimed yesterday that you can't get a plumber for love nor money in Poland
because they've all moved here.

I don't blame any immigrant who wants to come to Britain for a better life and is prepared to get his hands dirty. But there wouldn't be so much work for them if so many of the indigenous population weren't bone idle.

We used to have a word for the long-term unemployed - workshy. And as for all those claiming incapacity benefit, they can't all be off with bad backs. Let's acknowledge that there are some people physically unable to work. But I simply refuse to accept that there are five million of them.

The real problem is the dependency culture, which has removed any incentive for people to work. It's all carrot and no stick.

Take the latest daft idea to tackle the "self-esteem issues" of unemployed single
parents. They are being given free manicures and massages to "boost their

As part of a pilot scheme in Hereford, Worcester, Northumberland, Durham and Greater Manchester, any out of work single mum can choose from a range of treatments, including reflexology, a facial, a new hairdo and even ear-piercing.

When the post-war Labour government established the welfare state, did anyone ever imagine that its provisions would extend to giving Vicky Pollard and her
mates free council estate facelifts and nails like Barry White's girlfriend?

Was piercing the ears of unemployed teenage mothers part of Beveridge's great vision?

I shouldn't be surprised if they're not throwing in tattoos, too.

A girl who works in one of the salons chosen to participate in the scheme said: "They didn't look like they needed their confidence boosting -they were all very loud.

"They seemed to have a really good time. One of them was talking into her mobile phone and laughing and joking with a friend about how she was still drunk from the night before when she woke up that morning."

At least £60,000 has been blown on this ridiculous exercise already and there are plans to extend it across the country.

There is no reason why anyone on benefits should receive any more than someone working for the minimum wage, yet being an unemployed single mother is a pretty lucrative full-time job these days.

I repeat, good luck to any immigrant who comes here to work. But it is a national
disgrace that while people from all over the world are flocking to Britain to fill all the jobs on offer, the State is paying five million to stay at home playing daytime TV quiz games and bankrolling gormless trollops to loll around beauty salons.


Through some random google blasting, I happened to discover that Littlejohn's article had some striking resemblances to another, written by Nigel Green, also in the Daily Mail, a few days before:

Now the jobless get manicures, massages and facials ... all thanks to the taxpayer

By NIGEL GREEN - More by this author »
Last updated at 21:37pm on 10th March 2007

Unemployed single parents are receiving free massages and beauty treatments - paid for by taxpayers.

Under the Government-backed scheme, being tested around the country, they are being given the treats to 'boost their confidence'.

So far, more than 1,000 people, mainly women, have taken advantage of 'pamper days' at salons as part of the project, called Big Brother. It has been justified on the grounds that if jobless people are happier and more presentable, it will be easier for them to find work.

But critics say the project is a waste of public money. So far the cost to taxpayers is at least £60,000, but the figure is likely to spiral.

The scheme - in operation in Hereford, Worcester, Northumberland,
Durham and Greater Manchester - is open to any single parent over the age of 18 who has been unemployed or on disability benefit for at least six months. They can choose from a range of treatments, including a massage, a haircut, new make-up, a facial, a manicure and even ear-piercing.

They can also claim a separate £30 handout to spend on a shopping trip for new clothes, and are eligible for free lunches and childcare.

The Big Brother scheme is run by Inspire2Independence, a private company based in York. It is backed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the European Union. Neither the DWP nor Inspire2Independence would say how much public money was being spent on the scheme.

A teenage girl who works in a salon used by the single parents was
critical of the initiative. 'They didn't look like they needed their confidence boosting - they were all very loud,' said the girl, who did not want to be identified.

'They seemed to have a really good time. One of them was talking into her mobile phone and laughing and joking with a friend about how she was still drunk from the night before when she woke up that morning. Many of them had tattoos and were wearing crop-tops.'


I've highlighted the similarities. True, Littlejohn has changed a word here or there - "any single parent" becomes "any out of work single mum" and so on, but it looks like Littlejohn has simply 'borrowed' parts of Green's work and is passing it off as his own. I don't know if Nigel green would care about this - given that they both work for the Mail, he might have (blokeishly) asked, 'Oi, Nige, can I use a bit of that guff you wrote about slags getting their nails filed?' But he is presenting the work as if it is his own. He's too fat and lazy to even bother writing his own column any longer, he cobbles it together from other people's (unacknowledged) work.

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