UPDATE: While he has been slammed in comments below, Tim Worstall urges readers to “make up your own minds” on his sick comments. His original post is here (search for “Cormac” within the article).

A fellow of the Adam Smith Institute and blogger for Forbes magazine has posted a sick rant about a political rival — gloating over an assault in which they were punched in the face and kicked.

Left Foot Forward contributor Cormac Hollingsworth was attacked by a supporter of the British National Party whilst campaigning in Bermondsey ahead of the 2010 general election. Hollingsworth was punched three times by a thug screaming racist slogans. Such was the ferocity of the assault that his glasses were knocked nine yards away.

With the limp qualification that he “abhors political violence”, Worstall quotes a newspaper report on the assault before commenting:

“Somebody does need to pound some economics into him, don’t they? If that’s too hard, perhaps some finance or even accounting?”

Scrapbook wonders how “internet warrior” Worstall would fare when nose-to-nose with a skinhead.

NOTE: As component elements of the story, a previous version of the graphics at the top of this page featured a different arrangement of Adam Smith Institute, Forbes and BNP logos. Despite mischief making by Harry Cole, this did not imply that Tim Worstall is a member of the BNP. He isn’t.

  1. Yes, very good, your frothing outrage meter goes all the way up to 11.

    In response I do urge readers to click through to my original blog post. You’ll be able to read what I wrote and then like the reasonable adults we all are make up your own minds.

  2. Political debate is important. We have to challenge one another and thrash these ideas out. It’s so desperately unhelpful to take opportunistic shots like this just because you don’t like someone’s argument. At no point in the blog post does he appear to be “gloating” about violence done. He says nothing of the sort.

    This is a feeble smear effort, which I’d expect from some fringe raver but not from a leading political website. I mean, seriously, how is: “I abhor physical violence” a “limp” qualification. It’s a perfectly clear and concise qualification. It’s hard to see how it could be more so.

    Metaphor and tangential colour are used in written pieces all the time by good writers on all sides of the political compass. You take them out of context or deliberately askew at your peril – because later somebody will misuse your own arguments in the same way.

  3. I have read your blog entry and as a reasonable adult I have made up my mind that you are a toad who loves personal insults and that you indeed gloated over the assault. So Fuck off, you smug TWAT.

  4. Whatever the merits of the previous paragraphs, there is absolutely no need for the final statement. At best it is a cheap shot, and at worst it is downright offensive. It makes no difference to your argument to sneer at someone else’s misfortune, so one is left to wonder why that final statement is there at all. It leaves you looking as if you condone violence being visited upon your opponents , so Political Scrapbook is perfectly justified in bringing this episode to our attention.

  5. @TimWorstall & @SteveTierney

    You can qualify it with whatever you want, but quoting a story about a guy getting beaten up and then going on to talk about “pounding” anything into him is pretty damn clear cut.

    I ask you – when people start their sentences with “I’m not racist, but [insert racist statement here]” – do you genuinely still think they’re not being racist?

    A ridiculous thing to say. And even more ridiculous that you would try to defend it.

  6. Tim, you must be having a laugh if you think you can defend your original blog post just because you put a clearly completely superficial qualifier about abhorring political violence in. You referenced an incidence of political violence and proceeded to use it as a metaphor for your argument. The incidence was irrelevant to your argument and did not need to be included, unless you simply included it at the end with a ‘however, whilst I disagree with him, this is unacceptable’.

  7. how is: “I abhor physical violence” a “limp” qualification.

    If you (he) follow(s) it with a statement like “Somebody does need to pound some economics into him, don’t they?” it becomes limp indeed, looking very much as if you (he) just made the former statement to avoid being sued or something.

    You’d be surprised, but there actually are people that can see through this bullshit.

  8. Not going to condone that part of Tim Worstall’s blog as it seems totally unnecessary to mention the assault.

    What annoys me about this piece from PS though is that it’s yet another example of this culture of false grievance that’s built up in recent years through social media and political blogs. Both the left and right do it and it’s becoming incredibly tiresome. We all know you’re not really shocked and apalled about what Wostall wrote, it’s just that he’s on the “other side” and this is a great chance to show everyone that they’re really the bad guys. So how about getting back to good old political debate and analysis instead of this constant “holier than thou” rubbish?

  9. Having read the post, the assault basically seems irrelevant to what he’s saying, just seems like he’s laughing about it. The cheap dig about economics seems like it may just be an attempt to justify it. Not very nice.

  10. Dan is spot on for all of you playing grieved party.

    If the situation were reversed then you’d all be defending Cormac Hollingsworth.

  11. Is Worstall being a bit cheap & tasteless? Probably. Does it warrant this faux outrage? Absolutely not.

    Grow up.

    How about you engage him on the substance of that blog post instead?

  12. Is that the same Steve Tierney that blocked me in a fit of pique on Twitter after I wrote “88% trust doctors and 14% politicians, like you”….?

    Debate – it’s fine until inconvenient facts are introduced.

  13. Perhaps it shows up your poor grasp of economics if you think someone could physically “pound some economics into him” and therefore make it comparable to an actual assault.

    Everyone else sees it’s using simply using absurd imagery to make a point.

    You are using an absurd article to try and create false associations, which is far worse.

  14. Tim – Read your full post. The context didn’t change anything, you’re still a horrible horrible man.

  15. Dan’s comment pretty much sums it up I reckon.

    Worstall wasn’t gloating. Maybe referencing it was in bad taste, but gloating? Hardly.

    The only reason the OP gives a damn is because Worstall is ‘playin 4 da other team yo’ or whatever the politicos say these days

  16. Hardly a passing remark seeing as he went to print with it.
    I defy any reasonable person – regardless of political persuasion – to read it and not think ‘knob!’ at some point.

  17. Lovely, so many outraged.

    Now, how about the substance of the post itself? How about anyone taking on Cormac’s arguments about the “profit” being made by the government bailout and my critique of it?

    Or does a post on LFF get away with talking gibberish about finance just because
    Tim Worstall should “Fuck off, you smug TWAT.”?

  18. I Am So Offended says:

    Ooooooh noooooo, an inappropriate metaphor. Is this all Political Crapbook has to write about it? Then again, it was late Thursday afternoon.

    “UPDATE: While he has been slammed in comments below, Tim Worstall urges readers to “make up your own minds” on his sick comments. ”

    Haahahahaha, it’s like something out of the Sun. Surprised you didn’t capitalise words for effect.

  19. Worstall’s comments were indeed gloating at and condoning right-wing extremist violence.

    And since he himsef uses immature invective in his articles, I have no sympathy when he receives the same in kind.

    It’s too late for a display of holier-than-thou reasonableness.

  20. “Or does a post on LFF get away with talking gibberish about finance just because
    Tim Worstall should “Fuck off, you smug TWAT.””

    freudian slip tim? indeed, maybe you should fuck off.

  21. Or does a post on LFF get away with talking gibberish about finance just because
    Tim Worstall should “Fuck off, you smug TWAT.”?

    Or does Tim Worstall get away with talking gibberish about Cormac Hollingsworth just because hes decided he’s a “cretinous, idiot, leftoid”.

    You’re basically a massive hypocrite with nothing to contribute to the debate.

  22. therealguyfaux says:

    You people reading this story and the comments DO realise that Tim Worstall is winding you up, right? You do realise that all this slanging-match “You’re another” shite is all Kayfabe (Look it up on wikipedia), right? His whole point is that Hollingsworth shouldn’t have been pounded, literally, two years ago, but that he is in sore need of a figurative pounding now, for doing much the same thing, i.e. running his face, and not knowing what the hell he’s talking about, to an unreceptive person who’d just as soon he go away. Of course he was trying to stick it to Hollingsworth by bringing up his having been roughed up; that’s what people who blog DO– they give people stick; why else would anyone want to read blogs FFS?

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