Rod Liddle calls for police boss role to be scrapped after Welsh language attack clash
Rod Liddle has called for elected police bosses to be scrapped after one suggested he “should be investigated” over a joke about the Welsh language.
Writing in the Spectator this week, the columnist said that he had spoilt his ballot paper in Thursday’s elections in protest against the Police and Crime Commissioner role.
It comes after North Wales PCC Arfon Jones, who retired last week, reported the “morally repugnant” Rod Liddle in 2018.
Rod Liddle had suggested that the Second Severn Crossing be called “something indecipherable with no vowels, such as Ysgythysgymlngwchfwch Bryggy”.
The bridge, he said, linked “their rain-sodden valleys with the First World”.
Arfon Jones said at the time that he wanted action taken against the columnist over his “irresponsible” comments about Wales.
The PCC said the comments were not criminal but urged the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), to take action against Liddle and the Sunday Times, where the comments were printed.
In an article in the Spectator published this week, Rod Lidde said that he had a “personal gripe” with the Police and Crime Commissioners role.
“A few years back a Welsh politician suggested that I should be investigated for hate crimes because I joked that the Welsh language seemed somewhat short of vowels, and he referred the matter to his local police force,” he said.
“I contacted the Welsh fuzz to suggest that the politician be prosecuted for wasting police time, only to be told that the imbecilic Noggin the Nog in question was actually the local police and crime commissioner.
“Get rid of them all, now (the only major party which proposes such a thing is the Social Democratic party, incidentally).”
Reacting to Rod Liddle’s outburst at the time, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “I consider it a badge of honour to be attacked by someone like Rod Liddle in a right-wing publication as it indicates I must be doing something right.
“It seems when it comes to belittling people Mr Liddle can dish it out but can’t take it – I suppose it means he doesn’t have to come up with anything original in his columns but can just recycle his unpleasant prejudices instead.”
IPSO ultimately rejected complaints of discrimination, saying the editor’s code did not apply to groups of people.
In this week’s column, Rod Liddle went on to describe the police and crime commissioner role as “an expensive and damaging waste of time and money”.
“I would like to see our police depoliticised, not beholden to the reflexive jiggery-wokery of failed politicians and their deranged obsessions,” he said.
“The fact that the police today seem to spend 90 per cent of their time investigating imaginary hate crimes is surely the consequence of them being instructed to do so by Labour and liberal politicians who believe that these largely chimeric instances are more important than property theft or stabbing or drug-dealing.”