First off – I am not an anti-Semite. I’m not racist, or phobic about anyone, for that matter.
However, there have been tweets in the past from me that have been disparaging to Jewish people, and anti-Semitic. I apologised last year and I want to apologise, again, now – as these have been brought to light once more, recently.
I’m not going to claim illness, personal problems, drinking or anything else – as these would be lame, and I’m the first to criticise when people do, and this is not a defence – just an explanation.
What I will say is that for a while, I was reading a lot of material and engaging with ideas that I came to realise last year were really, really bad ones. If you want to use internet language, the type that “9/11 Truthers” espouse, stuff about the “New World Order” and that the Rothschild family are somehow responsible for everything that’s wrong in the world – I guess what David Icke and Alex Jones do, to sum it up.
It’s very easy when you’re sat on your own with no external communication apart from the internet, to get a very misguided view of things – or maybe it’s just me. But I did, without appreciating just what the real nature of those views actually meant. I was brought up in an extremely left-wing household, but didn’t involve myself in politics until 2013, so I had a lot to learn – and I learnt some things which I now appreciate are vile.
I didn’t see at the time what was wrong with what I was tweeting – I’m not going to claim absolute naivety, just that I thought being anti-Semitic was, say, people who wished harm on Jewish people or denied the Holocaust – I didn’t “get” that what I was saying, was.
So, I was ignorant in the extreme – and it took several people intervening to make me understand just exactly what I was doing, and make me realise what awful bullshit the stuff I was buying into is. I do not hold those views – some people may still consider my views extreme, but they are not of the nature that I mention above.
Those kind of opinions are extremely harmful, and I now understand why – and I also understand what bullshit they all are. There are some people on Twitter who I’ve had conversations with, not realising just some of the views they had, as well. I can’t know everything about everyone, but certain people I have subsequently blocked, as I was pointed to certain aspects of what they say that is bordering on Nazism.
So, to reiterate – I’m not anti-Semitic, nor racist. I got sucked into an extremely unpleasant part of the internet which I renounced as soon as I understood what was so wrong with it.
What you do with this statement is up to you. You can view a blog that was written about me here, and then make up your own mind. I have nothing to hide, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this and I would have deleted my tweet history last year.
Once again, I unreservedly apologise for my historically disgraceful views – and people can make up their own minds.
(First published March 2016)