Comedian Jo Brand has been called into question after she commented on radio encouraging people to throw battery acid at Nigel Farage.
Brand, who spoke at the Heresy talk show on Radio 4 as a guest on Tuesday, joked about throwing battery acid at “unpleasant characters” instead of milkshakes.
She said: ‘Well yes I would say that, but I think that’s because certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore and they’re very, very easy to hate. And I’m kind of thinking, ‘why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?. I’m not going to do it, it’s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.”
A BBC spokesperson said that the jokes on the show were “deliberately provocative and go against societal norms”, insisting they were “not intended to be taken seriously”.
Nigel Farage in a furious response said: “I am sick to death of overpaid, left wing, so-called comedians on the BBC who think their view is morally superior. Can you imagine the reaction if I had said the same thing as Jo Brand?”
Mr Farage hated by many, loved by a few, has a point, there is an uneven application of moral standards. Milkshakes have been used as the new political tool of dissent. Acid has far worse consequences. Does he pose such a serious threat that violence and acid is justified?
The reality is that access to acid is easily attainable from our detergents and to car batteries, and in local supermarkets. Acid can disfigure, dismember and ruin lives. In spite of someone’s political views, should we be joking about such virulent acts of physical violence?
According to stats from the London Metropolitan Police: “There were 104 acid attacks in the capital in the first five months of 2018, compared to 182 during that period in 2017, and 169 during that time in 2016, representing a 43 and 38 per cent drop.”
In the generation of political correctness, comedy has come under threat. Comedy has become a place where sadistic, horrid and awful aspects of society become something we laugh about. It can be likened to that of a bitter sweet tonic to the ills we face in society.
However, when it comes to jokes there are limits. We are unable to joke about Islam or Judaism due to the historical and socio-political relevance. Some communities go far to protect against jokes about race, sex, gender and/or class. There are few comedians left who defend the right to make jokes around sensitive subjects.
When left wing comedians such as Jo Brand joke about social-political issues, they are not dealt with the same backlash as a right-wing comedian would receive.
It comes under the continuing ever-present issue of free speech and hate speech, Brand directly incited violence against Farage.
Sticks and stones may hurt, but when acid is in the equation it’s time we called an end to such acts on both sides of the political seesaw; left wing and right wing.
Danny Baker was fired from the BBC, why is Brand still in a job?
Piers Morgan exposed an uncomfortable double standard as the BBC defendsJo Brand. The case was not the same for Danny Baker who was fired for his tweet comparing the newborn of the royal baby to a monkey.
Earlier in May, Danny Baker lost his job after tweeting the above picture referring to the Royal baby to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as a monkey.
He maintained the position he did not mean anything racist by it and he forgot the baby had a mixed-race heritage.
To add fuel to the ever-increasing fire, Baker was also complacent in his firing. In a seemingly nonchalant attitude towards the issues presented.
Baker apologised for his actions: “Once again. Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier. Was supposed to be joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching, not my forte. Also guessing it was my turn in the barrel.”
It seems perhaps the BBC have become moral judges of what is deemed to be an offence worthy of firing someone for.
The literal, truthful answer is that the BBC believes any hint of racism, subconscious, implicit or otherwise, is viewed as unconscionable, but inciting violence against pro-Leave or right-leaning politicians will not. Racism just matters much more than proposed violence.
This demonstrates the privilege to call out certain matters as opposed to others. Or does this highlight the BBC’s political leaning?
In spite of what Farage believes is the best way to govern the country, his fan base or his rhetoric, no politicians unless they are directly racist, sexist, fascist, and other emerging “ist’s or isms” no one should have acid thrown at them.
Violence is never the answer
No one should have milkshake thrown at them. What happened to civil political discourse, the cornerstone and earmark of British democracy. If we resort to such despicable and deplorable acts what else will be championed in the wake of morally superior political positions?
Brand should not have made those comments. It reinforces an unequal distribution of a moral compass that extends to those on the left side of society.
The speech should be free as long as there is an equal application of a moral compass, not only extended to certain politics, specific individuals and viewpoints.
Just as Danny Baker was fired , we should see Jo Brand also fired from the BBC.