my bookshelf is guilty

In the UK, our bookshelf is nobody’s business but our own

Michael Gove is Minister for the Cabinet Office. His wife uploaded an image of a bookshelf onto social media. What followed this simple action borders on surreal.

The crimes of the bookshelf

After Sarah Vine uploaded the image, the bookshelf police went to town analysing what exactly was sitting on the shelf. It is perhaps also important to note that Vine had explicitly stated this was just some of their collection. In any event, none other than Corbynite loyalist Owen Jones decided to attack Gove for some of the books on the shelf – which included a book penned by notorious Holocaust denier David Irving:

owen jonesOthers swiftly followed, such as the fringe Jewish fruitcakes Jewdas:

Within hours, David Irving, Owen Jones and Michael Gove were all trending on social media. When some started to stand up for the freedom to have on our bookshelf whatever books we choose, the social media dogs turned on them too. Even Karen Pollock, the CE of the Holocaust Education Trust became a target.

Some have pointed out the Gove has written an article attacking Irving and perhaps the book was purchased for the research. This type of argument plays into the fascist narrative. We do not need to justify what books we have on our bookshelf – nor give an account of them to anyone. The Independent went as far as publishing an article attacking Gove that even used the word ‘sinister’. We now live in a world where this type of behaviour is considered normal. Our bookshelf can be used to judge us. This is what the modern left has done to us.

My bookshelf

To join in the party, this is part of my bookshelf:

collier's bookshelf

David Irving is not in this section, but Adolf Hitler is there. Others of note include Gilad Atzmon, Tom Suarez, Max Blumenthal, Illan Pappe, Karl Sabbagh, Jacqueline Walker, Ghada Karmi and Nur Masalha. There is a book about how the Jews started the world wars. The Protocols are in there somewhere too. The Bell Curve is not there, but Gilad Atzmon draws heavily on the Bell Curve in the book ‘Being in Time’ (yes, that  is on my bookshelf). So if am I also to be judged by the books on my bookshelf I am clearly a hard-core antisemite and pro-Palestinian activist.

The loss of left-wing media and academia

It wasn’t just the Independent. Some of those jumping onto the anti-Gove bandwagon are examples of everything that is wrong with the left today. Take Dr Jennifer Cassidy, Departmental Lecturer in Global Governance and Diplomacy at Oxford University. This is a top academic at a leading university. A place where voices should be heard and arguments countered with facts – which we can only do if we have researched properly. Here is a tweet of hers suggesting only certain types of books should be on our bookshelf:

Jennifer cassidy bookshelf

In today’s academic world, things operate very differently. Dr Jennifer Cassidy thinks propagandist anti-Israel activists such as Ben White are ‘experts‘. Which explains why she supports the boycott of Israel. These people are activists, not academics and this self-righteous and single-minded virus is destroying our universities. We can see the result and our freedoms and opinions are often denied platforms in university spaces. Now we know why. Cassidy’s tweets are horrendous – and full of factual errors – like this one:


Look closely at Cassidy’s post. She clearly misrepresents the map. If she had analysed it at all, she would have seen that the first two maps discuss ‘Jewish land’ – not ‘Israeli land’. Israel did not exist in 1946. The first map in particular is deeply racist / antisemitic. Can you imagine an academic sharing a map of the UK pointing out areas where non-whites live and calling the rest of the UK ‘British land’? That is precisely what this map does – only with Jews and the lands of the Palestine Mandate. The green area in the first map is simply ‘Judenrein’ – whether it is privately owned by non-Jews, or state land owned by the British.

The hard left morality police

The hard left are so locked within their own bubble they are incapable of looking at themselves in the mirror. They really cannot see what they have become – modern day fascists. They tell us what is moral and right and they silence us when we disagree with them. If we stand up to them their voices often turn to threats. The only thing this has done is expose that those like Jones are Cassidy are narrow in their own reading – and have bookshelves that confirm their own bias – which perhaps explains some of their views.

It should also be recalled that Owen Jones defended Jeremy Corbyn for writing a forward in a deeply antisemitic book. Is Jones suggesting that the book was never on Corbyn’s bookshelf? But again, these type of justifications and arguments play into the hands of the fascists. Stephen Pollard wrote this in the Jewish Chronicle:

Michael Gove has probably done more for Holocaust education and the Jewish community in Britain than any senior politician other than Gordon Brown. It’s obvious to anyone why he would have read the work of a Holocaust denier.

Which, whilst it is true, is in its own way just more justification. I would have written this:

Michael Gove lives in the UK. As British citizens we are privileged to be free to hold on our bookshelf whatever books we choose and what is on them is nobody’s business but our own. Wars have been fought for those freedoms and we need to reject those that attempt to tell us what we can write, what we can read and what we can think. There is no argument needed beyond this.



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20 thoughts on “In the UK, our bookshelf is nobody’s business but our own

  1. How disgraceful. The hard Left is far more pernicious, in this country, than the far Right (who are mainly sad solitary nutters, minute in number, festering in their mothers’ basements). The hard Left’s monumental self-righteousness is both infuriating and frightening; their impenetrable stupidity equally so.

    They’ll be burning books next (when, where and why did we last see THAT happening?)

    I just hope Gove and Vine send them packing, with no apologies or excuses.

    1. Of course there’s ‘burning books’ … and there’s not releasing and there’s withdrawing Israeli archives of its Nakba ethnic cleansing exercise.

      1. Michael, when you just place 1 of your 4 slogans randomly into a thread it really does look like you’ve replied to the wrong comment.

        By all means carry on playing your “Poke David Collier” game but this sort of vague post is just odd.

          1. Michael, you’re so ungrateful. You’re always whining that our lobby is so much more effective than yours. This is why.

    2. They’ll be burning books next (when, where and why did we last see THAT happening?)

      On March 31, 2019, a Catholic priest in Gdańsk, Poland, burned books such as Harry Potter and novels in the Twilight series. The other objects were an umbrella with a Hello Kitty pattern, an elephant figurine, a tribal mask and a figurine of a Hindu god

  2. Collier tweets “Lie – Israel is a colonial construct.

    Truth – The land of Israel is Jewish history. That map the Palestinians hold up and say is ‘theirs’ and ‘Palestine’ was drawn up 100 years ago by the British. Their borders defined by imperialists. ‘Palestine’ is the colonial construct.”

    Colonist – A colonist is a member of a government-backed group that settles in a new country or region. The land that’s claimed by a colonist is usually already occupied by another group of people.


    Obviously NOT a lie.

  3. “In the UK, our bookshelf is nobody’s business but our own”

    Not true.
    If you have anything on your bookshelf that contains child pornography, exploitation and cruelty to vulnerable adults, or cruelty and sexual exploitation of animals, IT IS the business of the Police and the relevant authorities.
    You should be prosecuted and publicly named and shamed.

      1. I wasn’t thinking of David or anyone else in particular.

        From the content of your posts Farmer, I strongly doubt you have the ability to erect a bookshelf never mind read any books that may be on it.

          1. Of course Farmer there are at least two books that are clearly NOT on your bookshelf.
            1) Fowler’s Modern English Usage,
            2) any reputable English Language Dictionary.

            Silly me, I forgot a third and even more important one for you,
            3) How to use a Tablet properly and not make yourself look like a completely illiterate tit!

            1. It’s ok, Gerald. I live up t’North. We don’t have to parse each sentence, we’s smart.

              But glad your books have helped you cope.

              1. Farmer if you wrote in ‘sentences’ it would be a vast improvement on your current output of verbal effluent.

              2. Farmer you are about as convincing as a resident of the North of England as Dick Van Dyke was as a Cockney in “Mary Poppins”.

  4. I think anyone appearing on Zoom on national TV might perhaps be a little thoughtful about what they are showing. Not to the point of ‘curating’ the books to impress, but hiding the rack of Playboy magazines etc

    Personally I would take no chances and use a white background

  5. When I was growing up in South Africa the Communist Manifesto and ‘Little Red Book’ by Mao were books on my bookshelf

    Both were banned and I could have gone to prison for having them.
    Both books were awful reds; but if I didn’t have them, I would never have known.
    ‘Black Beauty’, the childrens story was also banned before the censors read the book (or someone told them)

    The so-called ‘lefty liberals’ have become very much a band of intolerant fascist bigots, despite their protestations to the contrary

  6. Collier tweets – “Lie – Israel is land grabbing

    Truth – Israel has handed back land it took in defensive wars in return for peace with both Egypt and Jordan. It pulled out of Lebanon and Gaza. Israel doesn’t want more land – it wants peace and security.”

    Nope. Israel IS land grabbing. It left Gaza to alter the swiftly changing demographics of Israel.

    Vacating Gaza immediately dropped millions of Muslims and Christians from the population and increased the Jewish percentage of the overall population that it was responsible for significantly – which has an immediate effect in the Israeli government, social programs, and so on.

    The vast majority of those settlers that it brought back out of Gaza were re-settled on other occupied land.

    Yes, Israel IS land grabbing as it seeks to annex areas of the West Bank, the Jordan valley and the Syrian Golan Heights.

  7. Mauthausen was one of the largest concentration camps imprisoning between 100,000 and 300,000 political prisoners listed as “Incorrigible Political Enemies” by Nazis, who suffered repression, brutality and cruelty. Today is the 75th anniversary of its liberation by the anti-imperialist and anti-fascist forces.
    At present, there’s a struggle to liberate Gaza, another large concentration camp, from Israel, another brutal, racist regime who have imposed collective punishment on an innocent population of 1.8 million people.
    Just like Mauthausen, Gaza will one day be liberated and those responsible for the collective suffering of its population – namely the Zionist leadership of the apartheid state – will be held to account and made to pay for their crimes, just like at Nuremberg after the end of the Second World War.

    1. Alright Mick,

      How can you support an organisation like BDS when the top man has wimped out of the ‘B’ bit if he needs our anti-virus meds.

      Do you think he should follow your example and add a codicil to his will saying he’d rather die than be given our meds?

      Do you have their manifesto on your bookshelf? Let’s see a piccie.


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