I have read the book so decided not to listen to it. I am disappointed that it hasn't been well-received. That means that we are more rather than less likely to be getting more of the same.
"Gypsy" isn't itself racist but it depends on context. If someone said something you didn't like and you replied "oh well, you're black" then that would be racist whereas "black" in neutral terms, as it were, isn't racist.
The phrase that worries me here is "black bastard". In any other context, this would be a criminal or sacking offence. Ask any hooligan who has been arrested for using that phrase in a football ground. Ask Carol Thatcher who was dismissed for something far less overt.
Much has been said of liberalism's turn to the right fiscally. Obviously, I don't like that much. What concerns me far more is this ongoing trend of liberalism being used as a means to promote ultra right wing concepts. This is a relatively new phenomenon here - the last five years - although its roots might be in the sexism of hip-hop. That has always been more Corporation than ghetto of course.
We know what traditional liberalism is. It is frenchfrank. By contrast, this new strand has something rather dark behind it. Generally brought to us, as here, by producers who sound like Cathy, I suspect that it is their inner Heathcliff coming to the fore. Insisting that they spend a year actually living in Toxteth - to hell with it, let the Arts Council pay - would be a very good way of dealing with it.