Since publishing my blogobit of Patrick Moore, I have received, if not hate mail, some strongly worded criticism of my speaking ill of the dead. Much of the disapproval assumes that I am your archetypal liberal-lefty Guardian reader: the kind of politically-correct person who is intolerably intolerant of intolerance.
As someone derided as both a ‘Tory anarchist’ and ‘neo-marxian freemarketeer’, both of which labels I would wear with a perverse pride, I have to say that the Guardian regularly publishes comments which I find objectionable. But I lose no sleep over it.
The point of my terse obituary is the irony that Patrick Moore is all but untouchable, despite the fact that he was a right-wing extremist who at various points in his life was (a) involved in a political party seen as the National Front in comfy slacks and loafers; and (b) engaged in what are today regarded in law as hate crimes. Right up to the end Moore vomited into the public domain his various and manifold loathings, and the most he would get by way of chastisement was, to paraphrase, “What a card, eh?”.
Patrick Moore was indeed the acceptable face of English fascism. Even unto the Guardian. Now call me old-fashioned, but I happen to regard racism as a rather bad thing. The otherwise niceness of the racist is not a particularly convincing argument by way of mitigation.