A Brief Rebuttal of Richard LittlejohnUpon hearing Thursday’s ruling that GMP (Greater Manchester Police) are to include goths and emos under hate crime protection, Richard Littlejohn wrote a quite awful article about it. In response, Louder Than War’s Alexander Garvey Holbrook has written the following article about it.

‘If the Umbingo tribe wants to kill the Umbongo tribe, why should it be any of my business?’

Richard Littlejohn on the Rwanda Genocide, which claimed somewhere around 800,000 lives in three weeks.

‘GMP is becoming the first force to extend ‘hate crime’ status to those with ‘alternative sub-culture identity’. In future, these groups will be granted the same special treatment as racial, religious, gender identity, disabled and sexual minorities. The police are also pressing for a change in the law which would mean anyone accused of violence or abuse towards one of these ‘vulnerable minorities’ would receive a stiffer sentence. Which in the case of Black Mike could mean five years in The Scrubs if his trademark ‘Gi’ us a stick and I’ll kill it’ crack is ever overhead by a passing off-duty copper or vigilant member of the public.’

Richard Littlejohn on the ruling of Greater Manchester Police that alternative subcultures are to be protected under hate crime laws, blissfully unaware of the human cost of such crimes and entirely ignorant of the ramifications of the murder of Sophie Lancaster. Later in the same article, Littlejohn describes crime against ‘skin colour, religion or sexual proclivity are repellent.’ Given his previous statements about genocide and race, I find this man laughably insincere and wholly hateful.

‘It might not be fashionable, or even acceptable in some quarters, to say so, but in their chosen field of “work,” death by strangulation is an occupational hazard.’

Richard Littlejohn on the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich, a subject in which only the most callous and ignorant would search for laughs.

It’s galling for me, a die-hard fan of Christopher Hitchens, to judge people upon their quotes. Having said that, it’s nearly impossible to look at Richard Littlejohn and not think of a professional troll. Furthermore, I cannot help but laugh in outrage at his opinions. To quote The Thick of It, ‘Did the last thirty years only happen to other people?’

In his superb demolition of the Daily Mail, Martin Robbins had the following to say about Jan Moir, the homophobia-peddling hack who criticised the death of Stephen Gately:

“I have to point out that every day Jan Moir continues to write for the Daily Mail is a day that Paul Dacre is pissing on basic human decency.”

The same could be said about nearly everybody who contributes to the Daily Mail, although I reserve special hatred for people like Littlejohn, a man who claims not to be racist, homophobic, ablist or sexist, yet whose columns testify to the complete opposite.

Nearly everybody who considers themselves a Metalhead, a Goth, an Emo or a Punker know that the music pertains to a lifestyle. A passing fancy it is not, and it has time and time again encouraged the more knuckle-dragging sects of our society to unleash all their worldly woes upon us in a frantic flail of fists, boots and spit. I have been on the receiving ends of such beatings and I do not, nor do any of my friends or associates, seek revenge for these atrocities.

We have been on the other side of that prejudice, Littlejohn. You, and everyone you associate with, is a sadist and a coward. We’ll continue to evolve, thank you.

All words by Alexander Garvey Holbrook. More writing by Alexander can be found in his author’s archive.

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William Joseph Markes is a writer from Somewhere, England.


  1. God, are you thick or something? He was merely pointing out the obvious – violent crime is wrong full stop but it isn’t magically made worse because the victim is a goth.

  2. I hate Littlejohn’s writing but this article is arguably in a similar style to his and no more helpful: it disagrees vehemently by villifying Littlejohn personally, cherrypicking quotes, to steamroller, instead of making any particularly coherent argument about the specific issue.

    I find the extension of ‘hate crime’ tag to sub cultures troubling: it blurs the boundary between minority groups (distinguished by colour, nationality or sexual preference which, crucially, people do not choose) and conscious lifestyle choices such as being a goth or emo. But substitute ‘nazi’ (or just ‘Tory’), or ‘religious bigot’ for ‘goth’: could a broader definition of ‘hate crime’ not enable the police to use the legislation to actually protect some of the worst – most hateful – bigots out there? Imagine you’re trying to stop a fascist rally and get in a fight, then *you’re* the one charged with a ‘hate crime’ because you attacked people of a ‘chosen sub culture’?

    Isn’t blurring that boundary, simply to add a ‘hate’ tag to what is already a serious crime, dangerous, rather than improving the law? I know we must tread carefully and remember tragic cases of people murdered because of their costume or sub culture. But isn’t it also a little crass to put those cases (horrific as they are) in the same category as prejudices built from centuries of brutal enslaving racism, or virulent homophobia that was enshrined in law until relatively recently? If so, what does the ‘hate’ tag even mean? I hate Littlejohn, so if I punched shit out of him, surely now I’d be guilty of a ‘hate crime’ too, which effectively renders the tag valueless?

  3. Hate crime insinuates that the crime is systematic and based upon prejudice towards a way of life which cannot be helped. Furthermore, Littlejohn was not arguing that violent crime is wrong and is, in fact, defending his right to be prejudiced towards said subcultures. It’s not a law banning hating the Sex Pistols or hating leather jackets, its a law to stop the mob violence exerted towards people who happen to dress differently. This is not just based upon one murder, either, as the Littlejohn callously makes it seem – I worked for a charity (now defunct) called Urban Alternatives who worked in partnership with S.O.P.H.I.E; we encountered victims of assault, harassment and even police brutality based merely upon how they looked. On the basis of such evidence, the crimes committed were indeed exacerbated by the victim being a Goth. Here’s one question which no one has ever pointed out – do any of these kids wake up one day and say ‘I know how I can beaten up in school more, I’ll grab the eyeliner and hairspray’? There is no magic about it. The lifestyle chooses you, not the other way around.

  4. I think the vast majority of people commenting on this topic haven’t quite grasped the police’s motivation for reclassifying it as a crime. It’s not so that they can punish people more for beating up goths, its a recognition of the FACT that a crime based on somebodies appearance or lifestyle is considerably more likely to have a psychological impact on the victim than, say, the victim of a mugging. It’s classified as a hate crime because it is borne out of hate for a certain way of life, a way of life that any person is legally entitled to follow. In that way, getting beaten up for listening to metal is no different to getting beaten up for being gay, or for being asian. You’re being targeted for something you’re meant to be allowed to do. By reclassifying it, it allows the police to change the way they handle the VICTIMS not the perpetrators. Victim support will be more readily available for those that need it. And I’m speaking as someone who once had to give mouth to mouth to my friend after we were targeted by a group of six people on our way home. They nearly beat him to death. The police treated it as a drunken brawl, and the case was closed shortly afterwards. Yet my crime was little different to, say, being outwardly gay, or being a transvestite. I have long hair and was wearing a band t-shirt. That was it. The motivation was identical: “I’m going to assault you because you because you are (X)”. Would the police response have been different if it was a homophobic attack? Or a racist attack? Fucking probably.

    Richard Littlejohn needs to have a group of people deliberately target him for something inconsequential that he does – lets say his favourite brand of tea. Lets have 6 people try to kill him for the brand of tea he drinks, then he might get a sense of the injustice any member of a “subculture” might feel when we inevitably get abused or attacked for it.

  5. Q: What does LTW stand for?
    A: “We are punk”?
    Hah don’t make me laugh. If that was the case how come another week has passed without a review of the stunning debut LP by BLEACHED, Ride Your Heart. An album for all those people who know The RAMONES were a band, not a T Shirt manufacturer; and Kurt Cobain was a singer not a male model.
    Q: So what does LTW stand for?
    A: Lame Tedious Wankers without a clue? Yep. Give ’Em a barn door and a banjo. They’d miss every time.
    Go Here Instead: httpss://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/169999-bleached-ride-your-heart/

    • Derek Nemo, dont be a twat.

      Exactly right that the crime is perpertrated upon a difference of one human from another, be it the colour of their skin or the colour of their hair, this is a hate crime and should be treated so. I agree that blurring the lines could be dangerous as with any vague law, Chris T-T’s view that you could be charged with this if you disagree with a nazi though is incorrect i) facism is not a subcuture it is a political viewpoint and can be (should be) changed whaen you realise the harm it has done or your lifestyle changes. Sexual preference or skin colour cannot, being “alternative” never really goes away either although some may dumb it down a tad in later life (also some may not) ii) if you beat a facist to death you would be guilty anyway of killing/manslaugtering another human, but to class that as a hate crime would blur the boundaries.


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