Fighting talk

My memory of my conversation with Rod Liddle, which was recorded in contemporaneous notes, is vivid (one does not quickly forget a BBC mandarin bellowing that he would "never allow" the British National Party to be described as "fascist" or "neo-Nazi"). Liddle now alleges (Letters, 13 August) that my account of our chat in the NS (6 August) was inaccurate - fighting talk from an impartial corporation man. His journalists have not been stopped or "even discouraged" from describing the BNP as "neo-Nazi", he maintains, in flat contradiction to what he told me.

Nick Griffin has been interviewed many times on Today. Liddle could have won the argument with ease by citing the occasions when presenters said Griffin was a "neo-Nazi" and told listeners about the BNP's national socialism. Liddle can't play the trump card, because he doesn't have it up his sleeve. Readers wishing to investigate further can check Grateful neo-Nazis have posted copies of Griffin's interviews on the site and praised "the producers of the Today programme" for their "integrity, commitment to free speech and respect for the white community".

After such plaudits and Today's hyperbolic and incendiary cries about "no-go areas for whites" in Oldham, Liddle should do the north a favour and confine himself to auditioning vicars for Thought for the Day.

Nick Cohen
The Observer, London EC1

This article first appeared in the 20 August 2001 issue of the New Statesman, Ulster enters the endgame