Revealing Titania McGrath & UK Thoughtcrime Enforcement | Andrew Doyle | POLITICS | Rubin Report


– I sent a tweet, it was
last November I think, about, you know the
film “Mary Poppins.” – Right.
– So “Mary Poppins,” Julie Andrews.
– I’ve seen it once or twice. – You’ve seen it, right. So she ends up covered with
chimney soot on her face. So Titania tweeted saying
this was blackface, and there was a picture of
Julie Andrews with chimney soot. This is blackface,
it’s disgusting. And then five months
later, the “New York Times” ran an article saying
exactly that, right? So I predicted it,
and it’s almost like, I’m not saying I’ve got
magical powers or anything, but it is that thing
of how can you… When real life is catching
up with you so much, there’s virtually nothing
that I could tweet that eventually won’t happen. (gentle music) – This is the “Rubin Report,” and according to the Senate
inquiry, I’m Dave Rubin. A quick reminder, guys, that
the “Rubin Report” app is here. Just search “Rubin
Report” in the App Store or on Google Play and join
our troll-free community where you can get ad-free
video and audio podcast, connect with other viewers,
and even little old me. For more info, go
to RubinReport.com, and more importantly than that, joining me today is
a comedian, author, and dissector of social
justice, Andrew Doyle. Welcome to the “Rubin Report.” – Nice to see ya,
how’s it going? – It is going well. I feel this is overdue
for many reasons, because as a guy that
came from the left and started saying these
people are no longer liberal, and what’s this
social justice thing and intersectionality
and all of it, you were sort of the
king or the queen. – Whichever word,
don’t misgender me, but it’s one or the other, yeah. (Dave laughing) – Of this, you were the king
or the queen of this thing. – I mean, I accused of often
going over to the right, which isn’t really the case. I come from a
leftist background, but I think that conservatives
are right about some things, I think left-wing people are
right about other things. I think if you subscribe
to an ideology wholesale and you just say, “That’s me, “I gonna go agree
with those points,” then you’re not really
thinking for yourself, and that scares me a little bit, (chuckles) so I don’t do that. – Yeah, all right, well,
we’re gonna have to clean up some of that in the
course of this next hour. Now, I’m a little
confused though, because when we
were pitched you, this is your book, by the way. – [Andrew] Well, it’s
Titania’s book, yeah. – Well, so this
is the confusion. So I thought that we were
having Titania McGrath on the show.
– Yeah, she’s not available. – And it’s called “Woke,” and it’s a Guide
to Social Justice, and I thought we were
having Ms. McGrath. And yet here we end up with
you, so I’m a little confused. Can you possibly
dissect this for me? – Well, she’s out and about, she’s doing her
protesting, I guess. (Dave laughing) She’s probably gluing herself
to someone’s front door who’s considered a negative
influence on society. You know, that’s
her kind of thing. But actually, the truth
is she doesn’t exist. I created her.
– You’re blowing my mind, man. – I know, it’s not a
revelation, really. It was April 2018, and I thought I’m gonna create
a fake character to satirize the social
justice movement, well, the excesses of the
social justice movement. I wanted to do this sort of
slam poet, very pretentious, young, very narcissistic,
kind of very privileged person who wants to nevertheless
say that she’s oppressed, so reveling in
oppression and victimhood and all of that stuff. You know, this is quite a
recognizable type of person. – Yes, I’ve seen one or two of
these people on the Twitter. – And they’re kind of funny,
because there’s a lot of them, particularly in the UK, there’s a lot of these sort
of left-leaning people. They tend to write for
things like “The Guardian” and “The Independent,”
and they’re very all about their victim status, but they come from independently
millionaire backgrounds, and they don’t see
that that’s funny. I find that hilarious. (Dave laughing) And of course, they are funny, and the other thing
about them, of course, is they don’t wanna sit and
debate and reason and talk, and so therefore, the
best thing to do I think is mock them and
poke fun of them. And the hope was
that if I presented their own failings to them
through this caricature, who obviously says
things that are beyond what most normal people say, it is a character,
it is an extreme, but I thought it might maybe
start some kind of process of self-reflection potentially. It doesn’t, it just seems
to have got them angry. – Well, it’s funny,
because when I see Titania’s Twitter account,
when I first saw it, so this is now a year
and a half ago or so, it’s hard to tell
what’s satire anymore, because the things that you
or she is tweeting about, they sound very
much like the stuff that we’re constantly thrown at by mainstream media actually, even though you’re
trying to be over the top and quite absurd.
– Oh, yeah. Well, it catches up.
– Yeah (laughing). – So I’m doing my best. I’ll give you an
example of this. So I sent a tweet, it was
last November I think, about, you know the
film “Mary Poppins.” – Right.
– So “Mary Poppins,” Julie Andrews.
– I’ve seen it once or twice. – You’ve seen it, right. So she ends up covered with
chimney soot on her face. So Titania tweeted saying
this was blackface, with there was a picture of
Julie Andrews with chimney soot. This is blackface,
it’s disgusting. And then five months
later, the “New York Times” ran an article saying
exactly that, right? So I predicted it,
and it’s almost like, I’m not saying I’ve got
magical powers or anything, but it is that
thing how can you… When real life is catching
up with you so much, there’s virtually nothing
that I could tweet that eventually won’t happen. When I did a joke
tweet about the queen, it was the queen’s
speech at Christmas, and I was saying
that she should, listing the things
she should have said. And I was saying that
she should have said what about the new royal baby and how it should be
raised as gender fluid. (Dave laughing) And then lo and
behold, that was raised by Meghan a few months later. On one side, it’s funny, and
then it also depresses me a little bit that
these things happen. – Okay, so before we get too
far into the psychology of it, can you just explain a little
bit of your background? As you said, you grew
up kinda lefty, comedy, all of that stuff, just for
the people that don’t know. – Okay, yeah, I’ve been
a writer for a long time. Well, I started out in academia and I wanted to get out
of that pretty quickly. – [Dave] What were you teaching? – I was teaching Shakespeare, I was teaching the Shakespeare
module at Oxford University. – Was there a connection
between the social justice thing and wanting to get
outta teaching? – I was in Wadham College at
Oxford, which is the most, it’s known for being the
most woke Oxford college before the word woke was even
being used by most people. It wasn’t connected, no. I just thought I’m stuck
in libraries all the time. It’s quite depressing, and I thought I’d
better get out of that. So I went out, I started
writing comedy plays and doing standup in London,
and then I ran out of money and I had nothing,
so I was teaching, so I took up secondary
school teaching. I did that for
about seven years. And all the while
I was doing standup and all the while
I was writing plays and writing stuff like that. So that’s my sort of background, and I’ve been on the comedy
circuit for a long time now, about 15 years now. – How woke is Oxford generally? I was there a couple of times when I was on tour with Jordan, and I spoke at Oxford Union, and I thought the questions were really rich
and interesting, but then you could feel
that there is this strain of something getting into
the oldest, greatest place of higher learning, like
this scary thing getting in. – Well, there’s
evidence to suggest that the most
privileged students, the most privileged people,
the richest, in other words, are far more likely to be
social justice activists, right? And “Spiked” online
does a survey of
universities every year and every single year, it’s
determined that the ones that the are the worst offenders when it comes to censorship,
when it comes to free speech, tend to be from the kids
who are the poshest, who have the most stuff, right? So it’s not really surprising that you get the woke
elements at Oxford. But as a kind of caveat
to that, what I would say is I do talks at universities
around the country, and what I’ve noticed is
the kids are often great and they’re often not
these sort of snowflakes that people make them
out to be, they’re not. They wanna be challenged. A number of the people
that I’ve spoken to, they wanna be challenged, they
wanna hear the other side, even if they don’t
necessarily agree. It’s generally the
academics, right? I did a talk at a
university recently where the students were great,
they wanted to be challenged, but then the politics department refused to publicize
my appearance, because they said any
talk that was antithetical to woke culture was against
their diversity policy. So they boycotted it completely. So I often find it’s my
generation that are the worst when it comes to this stuff. – How old are you?
– I’m 41. – If you don’t mind me asking.
– No, it’s fine. – You’re a Gen Xer, like me.
– I’m a Gen Xer, yeah, I am. – It’s so interesting,
’cause I agree with that, even though we see the
snowflakes at colleges and the screaming people and
the memes of all that stuff, that it does seem to really
come from the academic layer. I was giving a talk about
six months ago at a school, and a guy came up to me after. He was older than a
average college student, and he told me that
he was a veteran and he started college late. He said that he was
in a philosophy class
earlier in the day and the philosophy
professor instructed them not to go to Dave
Rubin’s alt-right talk that evening.
– Wow. – And he said, “I’m a little
older than these students, “so I didn’t want to
embarrass the teacher “in front of the class,
so I went up to him after, “and I said, ‘Can you tell me “‘what alt-right opinions
Dave Rubin holds?’ “And the professor
basically said, “‘Well, I don’t know,
but I’ve read that.'” And he was like, “I tried to
get the professor to come here, “but then of course he wouldn’t
come,” and the rest of it. But the idea that they’re
just being hit with this stuff when they’re the
most impressionable. – Exactly, but I think
it takes a certain degree of education to say
things like that, because it’s stupidity. It’s a kind of learned
stupidity, which is really… It’s really odd, isn’t it? And I think it’s because
when I was at university, there was all this kind
of post-structuralism, there was all
these kind of folks from Derrida, Foucault,
and all that kind of thing, and it was sort of dying
off a few years ago, and now that’s gone mainstream,
and I don’t know why. I find that really weird. – Do you have suspicions as
to why it’s gone mainstream, any theories? – I don’t know why, and I’m
often asking this question. I do want to know what it is. I can’t fathom it, actually. I don’t know why. It involves a kind of
substitution of slogans for a lack of thought. So you get these phrases,
like lived experience, or microaggressions.
– All the phrases that are right here.
– Right, yeah. So what this means is,
when you discuss this stuff with a social justice activist, when I talk to a social
justice activist, I know what their opinion is
about absolutely everything. As soon as they’ve
said one thing, they’re just repeating a script,
and that to me is really… That’s not freedom of thought. That’s an ideological adherence. And they use these phrases, and then when you challenge
them on the phrases, they don’t know what
to do with that. To them, lived
experience is just, well, that ends the
discussion, right? Well, actually,
lived experience, we used to call that
anecdotal evidence. (Dave laughing) And we used to dismiss it.
– Right. – But now actually it has
some kind of weird weight. It’s that you come up with
these sort of phrases, these sort of phrases that have this kind of academic
sound about them, this jargon, this
intersectional quality, it’s a way of giving
weight or ostensible weight to very flimsy ideas,
that’s what it is. So it’s like a kind of
substitute for thought. – So before we go too far
into those flimsy ideas, and I’ve listed all the words that you’ve got
on the book here, and I wanna get your take
on all of these things. – Sure. – But just for the few people that might be watching that go, “Oh, Rubin’s got
another right-winger on “to talk about how evil the
social justice words are,” when you say you come
sort of the left, from a UK perspective, what
does that actually mean and maybe how is that
a little different than the American perspective? – Well, liberal means
something different in the UK. I mean, bottom line, I guess
where I fall on the spectrum, well firstly, what I should say, is I don’t think
there’s anything wrong with being conservative. It’s when people say,
“I’m a conservative,” I’m like, “Well, so
what, that’s fine.” I don’t happen to be, but I
don’t see an issue if I were. If I were, I would just own
the label, it’s not a problem. – It took me a long time
to get to that part. – Right, exactly.
– But you know what it is? Partly it’s because
first they call you a series of other much worse.
– Sure. – So they call you
far-right and alt-right, and then when the
average person realizes that doesn’t stick, then
they just throw conservative, and then at that point,
it’s like, all right, you wanna call me conservative? – Well, they throw those words ’cause they don’t
know what they mean. I mean, alt-right, it’s
really easy to check. Alt-right is white nationalist, and you can’t get away
from those connotations. – So you’re not a
white nationalist? – (laughing) No, so you
can tick that one off. So if I was to say
where am I politically, it’s somewhere between what
I would say social liberalism and socialism, somewhere
dancing around that, but I’m quite
culturally conservative, so there’s elements
of that as well. But I guess I, you know, I
believe in the welfare state, I believe in
proportionate taxation for people who are earning more, not to excess, but
just enough to– – So you’re definitely
more left-wing than me. – Right, sure.
– I’ll give it to you. – So kinda just to curb
the excesses of capitalism, but not to get rid
of it entirely. I believe in equality
of opportunity. I believe in equal
rights and human rights. So all of those sort of things, which I think on the whole put
me in that left-wing bracket. I’m not instinctively
nationalistic, although I understand
why people are. I just don’t have that in me, but I don’t think it’s
a poisonous thing. – So is the problem for someone
that holds those sorta… What that sounds to me is sort of like an
old-school Democrat. You want some social programs
and curb what you might see are the excesses of
capitalism, okay. – But I also want to curb
the excesses of the state, like I don’t trust the state. – Right, so that’s
sort of interesting, ’cause it’s sorta like, that to me is what we would
call here a blue-dog Democrat, that you don’t want the
state to do everything. We don’t really have
those Democrats anymore. – I want the state to stay
out of people’s private lives. In the UK, they’ve
already proven that they can’t be trusted
on all sort of issues. The fact that they’re
criminalizing people who tell certain
jokes, for instance, the fact that they
don’t see the difference between a joke and
the literal truth, that means that to me, I don’t
want them getting involved in curbing people’s speech,
and I think that the free… I mean, you’ve got First
Amendment, you’re okay. – Yeah, for now, for now.
– Sort of, for now. We don’t have that, and we
have an unwritten constitution, which means it’s constantly
being reinterpreted, and sometimes quite badly. – So as a free speech guy
and a guy that’s out there doing pretty
controversial stuff, how cognizant are you aware that you don’t have
the First Amendment? So comedians here, you
can say whatever you want. Every time Trump tweets,
these edgy comedians, they tell him to go kiss off or whatever they say to him.
– Yeah, yeah, they can say whatever they want, yeah. And Trump doesn’t
send the police, the Gestapo doesn’t knock on
the door, you’re good to go. But in the UK, you don’t
have certain protections. – Okay, so it doesn’t
affect me so much. So, I’ve never made the claim
that I’m being silenced. I’m actually in a really
privileged position. I don’t have a boss, I
can say whatever I want, I’m a comedian and a writer,
so I do say whatever I want. I’ve never felt that
I’m being censored. The concern is that actually
the people who do… I mean, look, say if
I was still a teacher, could I send the tweets
that I send at the moment? Absolutely not, I would
get in a lot of trouble. I know people who have
got in trouble at work because of jokes they’ve made or things that have
been misconstrued. A lot of people
who live in the UK are now talking to their
friends at work over WhatsApp, which means that their
jokes get encrypted, right?
– Mm-hmm. – So that’s really
weird, isn’t it, the idea that you must
encrypt your jokes in case they’re overheard.
– Yeah, encrypted by a company that’s owned by
Facebook, brilliant. Brilliant.
– Right, there we go. Yeah, that’s great. So I mean, on the whole, I
think we have do have freedom. I don’t think there’s a big
freedom of speech crisis. What I mean is, you have
to be vigilant about it. You have to be careful
and you have to stand up. And we’ve got a situation
where the police are, there was a guy in Humberside
who retweeted a poem which was deemed
to be transphobic, and then the police
phoned him up and said, “We need to check your
thinking on this.” – Jesus.
– And he said, “Well, what’s my crime?” And they said, and I’m
not kidding, they said, “This is a non-crime
hate incident.” And that’s standard police
practice, so that’s a worry. – Well, so every few weeks,
I see one of those tweets. It’s usually from the
Sussex police, right? Is that who it is?
– Oh, it’s all over the… – It’s West Yorkshire police, it’s been the Glasgow
police as well. It’s various police departments. – They literally
tweet out things like if someone that you
know said something that you might have
taken offense to, please let us know.
– Right, exactly. – I mean, how much more
Orwellian can you get? – Right, and you know,
whenever you use that word, Orwellian, people say
you’re being cliche, but there is no
other word for it. What else are you gonna call it? That’s exactly what it is. This isn’t to the point of a
kind of authoritarian state, but when you see these things, you have to stand up and say, “No, we can’t have this,
we’ve gotta get rid of this.” And if you don’t, that’s where
the slippery slope begins. – Well, do you
think it’s partially that people just don’t stand up? So, for example, you keep
doing what you’re doing. We know Douglas
Murray and Peter Lloyd and Paul Joseph Watson, I
mean, there’s plenty of people all over the political spectrum
that do stand up to it. They haven’t grabbed people and brought them
to the gulags yet, but it’s like we just need
more people to stand up, and then they’ll kinda
paper tiger disappear. – I think the trick is
you’ve gotta stand up for people you don’t like. I understand why people
don’t wanna stand up for the right thing. There’s a thing called
preference falsification where you say what you think
is going to be best received, as opposed to what
you actually think. And I understand that impulse, ’cause it’s a
protection, isn’t it? It’s a kinda shield. But if everyone was a
bit more courageous… When I defend someone’s
right to say something and I don’t like
what they’ve said, invariably I get told that I’m
endorsing what they’ve said. So this is a fundamental
misunderstanding. I think generally
even free speech is a kind of fundamental
misunderstanding of what it is. Nobody is saying there shouldn’t
be consequences to speech. Nobody is saying that. They’re saying that if
you wanna argue back, ridicule, whatever,
that’s a protesting, then that’s great.
– Great. – I’m all for it, right?
– Yep. – It’s when you get
the police involved, and it’s not the same
as perjury or libel laws or those kinda
things, or harassment, which are already
covered by law. And the other one I
get all the time is, well, you can’t shout
fire in a theater. Actually, you can, but
you’re a bit of a dickhead, and to be honest, if you do
that, the theater authorities are well within their
rights to ask you to leave. – There’s a little confusion,
some legal confusion that has sort of become lore about the fire in a
crowded theater thing. – It’s not true, you can.
– You can’t incite a riot, basically, right,
like there’s some… – With the incitement
to violence thing, I imagine there
are circumstances
where there’s a mob and someone’s talking
to the mob and saying, “Go and get that person.”
– Well, that you can’t do. – Right, sure, so we have laws that cover incitement
to violence. But the trouble is,
this is another example of the state getting it wrong. So recently we had a
debate in the UK Parliament because Boris Johnson
and the Conservatives were using language
like the surrender bill to describe a bill that relates
to the Brexit negotiations. And they were accused of
using military language which incites violence. It’s called a metaphor, right? (Dave laughing) Honestly, so many people
on the liberal left social justice group, they
don’t understand basic metaphor. They don’t understand it. They don’t understand
jokes, right? They take them
completely literally. There’s an example of this, there’s a comedian called
Andrew Lawrence in the UK who posted a joke online, and
I’ll say what the joke is, it probably is offensive. So this was the
joke, so the joke– (chair thumping) Yeah, brace yourself, right?
– Yeah, okay, I’m ready. – So the joke was basically
that the statistics on suicide between men and
women are not comparable, more men kill
themselves than women, so therefore if feminists
really care about equality, they should kill
themselves, right? (Dave laughing) – That’s funny.
– Okay, right. Now, it’s not the joke and
it’s not people being offended. I think people should be
allowed to be offended, and they’ve got the
right to be offended, that’s not the issue. There was a petition
which called for him to be deplatformed from
the BBC, even prosecuted. And what they said was
this was inciting women to kill themselves, right? Now, if your opinion
of women is that low, that you think they’re so stupid that there’s just
these little drones that will kill themselves if
they hear a joke about it, and that concerns me, this
kinda literal mindedness about metaphor, about
jokes, about art. You get that in
Hollywood all the time, like we need to represent
women in a certain way, so let’s make the
“Charlie Angels” reboot, which nobody wants to see because it’s clearly
social engineering, it’s clearly you people,
you think the wrong way, and we’re the Hollywood people and we’re gonna tell you
how you should be thinking, right?
– Yeah. – That is rebarbative to
people, it just puts people off. – It’s so interesting, this
idea that we have to take all of these old movies
that were classics, and then just remake
them with women, as if women can’t watch
the old ones or appreciate. I mean, “Ghostbusters” is
the easiest example of this. When they did the all-women
remake, I watched it. I have no problem
watching an all-woman cast of “Ghostbusters,” but the
movie was freaking horrible. – Yeah, no one cares
about this stuff. This is the thing about this, you don’t need to
educate these fans, particularly science
fiction fans, particularly comic book fans. They’ve done this a lot
with changing the genders and the race and the
sexual orientation of various major
characters, and it’s like, these are already the outsiders,
these comic book fans, these are people who
have no issues with this. It’s like a school
mistress of finger-pointing and jabbing at people when
they don’t need that education. It generates a
lot of resentment. People hate it. – Do you think it’s
also sort of funny, I think especially
with the gay thing, the way that they sneak
in these messages, so it’s like–
– Oh, come on. – The two that I can think of, and I’m sure you have
like a gazillion more, but the two that
really struck me is they’re just smacking you
with this in the worst way is in “Avengers: Endgame,”
they had the one gay character, who was just the guy in rehab, who I guess maybe went
on a date with a guy, and Captain America’s
like, “Good for you.” So that was throwing the
gays like the tiniest bone. (Andrew laughing) No pun intended,
it was just like, ah, see, we did something gay. That has nothing to
do with the superheros or anyone you give a shit
about, but it’s something gay. And then the other one was
in “Rise of Skywalker,” where at the end that woman
has that lesbian kiss. Again, it’s not
a real character, it’s not anyone
anyone cares about, but we did something
for the gays. So it’s just like
take our little pity– – Well, there’s that,
but also the gays don’t need your pity, right?
– Yeah. – I don’t need to see
pink storm troopers and I don’t need to see
gay people in “Star Wars” for me to feel okay about stuff. Anyway, there’s been
C-3PO for years. There has been
gay representation in all of the “Star Wars”
films, it’s not an issue. – Him and R2-D2 have been in
a robo-sexual relationship. – Yeah, quite explicit, and
I don’t need to see that. They did the same with
“Avengers,” like you said, they did the same
with the J.K. Rowling, the “Fantastic Beasts” stuff, and they were saying
it wasn’t gay enough. You see, this is the point. So you’ve got Dumbledore, but it’s not
explicitly gay enough. Well, do you wanna see him–
– Do you wanna see him– – I don’t know, getting
fisted or something like that? (Dave laughing) Is that really what you need? Can I say that? Sorry, I don’t know.
– No, you can say it. – I mean, I don’t need to see– – I don’t know that people
wanna hear you say it, but you can.
– No, I know, sure. – Dumbledore getting
fisted is not… (laughing) – I think it’s
really patronizing. I think ultimately
that’s what it is. So much of what drives what I do is I hate the way these people
patronize minority groups. I hate that, because I
think that it’s the opposite of what they say it is, right? So if you claim to be
fourth-wave feminism, which claims to be all about
empowerment of women, it’s not. It’s about treating
them like children. It’s about victimizing them. It’s actually
genuinely misogynistic, but it’s sort of papered
over with this kind of sheen of we’re doing
something progressive. I don’t think there’s
anything progressive about any of this stuff. And the other thing
I hate about it is I think it
legitimizes bullying. I think the social
justice movement… I hate bullies, I can’t
stand them, right? And if you stand
up against them, they get even more
vicious, right? You must have noticed this. So it’s funny, all of the
signals about how good you are, like putting pronouns
in your bio on Twitter or putting a rainbow
flag up there on Twitter, why is it whenever I get
brutally attacked on Twitter, those are the people. When I go to their
bio, oh, pronouns. And I not saying the
pronouns themselves are making a connection
with trans people, I want a legitimate
answer to this. I’ve asked this question before. Why is it the case
that the most vicious, the most bullying, and the
most unpleasant characteristics tend to come from those people? I don’t know why. – It’s so interesting. I have some theories as to why, which maybe we should
back a little bit, but just last week I tweeted
something to that effect. Why are the worst people on
Twitter the angriest people? It always is the
he/him/they people, or they have all the flags
or all the other things. Now, again, I have no problem
with trans people, obviously, and I have no problem with
the general idea of justice, if you mean equality by justice, but why are they all so mean? I think the reason for that is, it has something to do with
personal responsibility, right? They’ve outsourced their
personal responsibility, so they don’t have to take
care of their own lives. It’s just be angry
at the system, as opposed to sit up
with your shoulders back, as that guy said?
– Maybe. I imagine a lot of the
people are well-intentioned. I imagine if in your mind
you’ve converted someone into this monster, this Nazi, then it legitimizes you being
horrible to that person. But of course the
instinct to be horrible to another human being is
an instinct that we all have that we have to keep down
and make sure that… That’s why we’re civilized. We’re civilized out of
that kind of behavior. And it worries me that
this kind of thing legitimizes that stuff,
and I don’t like it. But likewise, I don’t
wanna demonize people who put pronouns in their bio. That’s up to them,
it’s not an issue. But why is that
correlation there? You have a theory, I don’t
know what the answer is. – Yeah, well, someone said
if you stare into the abyss, the abyss might just stare back. – Someone did say that.
– Someone said that. I think there’s something to
that, you know what I mean? They start becoming
everything that they hate. – Well, they’re not doing
themselves any favors. This is the thing, it’s
because I think you and I, we both care about
opposing racism, opposing homophobia, opposing
sexism, all of those things. And what upsets me
about this stuff is it makes those
causes look stupid, it makes them look daft. There was the, a couple of
years ago in Philadelphia, when the gay pride march
changed the gay rainbow flag, and they added a black
stripe and brown stripe, and they did the
same in Manchester last year for Manchester Pride, and they were saying it
wasn’t racially inclusive, they needed black in it, because as though
the rainbow flag is a literal representation
of the skin colors that are acceptable
in the gay community. And I had Titania
write about this, ’cause she was saying,
“Oh, well, wait a minute, “the rainbow in the sky hasn’t
got a black and brown stripe, “so we need to petition
meteorologists to find a way – We gotta bomb.
– to modify the process of refraction and dispersal to make sure that
the electromagnetic
spectrum isn’t racist. (Dave laughing) Because it is that ludicrous. – But isn’t that the irony,
that they’re the ones that thus inject
racism into everything? – Right.
– So, right. Nobody in their right mind,
no clear thinking person ever thought the rainbow
flag in and of itself was excluding anybody.
– Right. – The point was you’re
gay or something, bi, whatever the hell you are, go to the parade,
zip-a-dee-damn-do-dah. And they’re the ones that say now race has to
sit on top of that. – Right, well, this is
the intersectional thing, and this is why I’m of the view that we should just
ditch the rainbow flag and ditch the LGBT
acronym, or LGBTQAI+, or whatever it is now, I
know they keep changing it. I think we need to ditch it. I think what this stuff
is doing is dividing us up as much as possible, making
things much, much worse. I stop short of saying that it
is homophobia racism as such. I think it’s a new kind
of racialized thinking, which isn’t helpful. It means that you’re hyper… I mean, being aware of racial
issues is important, right? But being hyper aware to the
point that you only see that, or you see that first
and foremost, is– – But isn’t that racist? I know what you’re saying, you don’t wanna push that
last moment to go from… You’re trying to give them
the benefit of the doubt that it’s not racist, it’s
not evilly intentioned. – No, because I think racism
has to be about intention. I get why you’d want
to call it racist, but I think because
it is about intention, I would step back from that. I think they genuinely
believe what they’re saying. – You think all of them do? This has come up with
a lot of my guests, that there’s sort of the
foot soldier versions of it and then there’s the people
that are really stoking it. So like in America, I
would say Linda Sarsour and a lotta of the
Bernie surrogates, they’re really
stoking this hatred. I would say they’re bad actors. But the average genderless
person on Twitter I think is just
being, 19-year-old, is just being used by them. – So I think my stance on that is what I always assume
people are telling the truth, even if I suspect they’re not. I know that sounds
contradictory, but I’ll explain. The reason for that is I
think part of the problem that we have with
political discussion and debate and
discourse at the moment is that everyone’s
just imagining what the other
person is thinking, and they’re arguing
against that. So in effect, they’re
arguing against themselves. So, what I say is, well, look, if you can defeat the argument,
the argument is defeated, irrespective of whether
they mean it or not. So just focus on that. I mean, Linda
Sarsour’s argument, she comes across as quite
an unpleasant individual, and I’m sure that maybe she
has got some bad potentially, but I’m not gonna assume that,
because I could be wrong. I really could be
wrong about that, you know.
– Well, yeah, you’re good. – Well, okay, fine, but
I don’t know the woman. – And by the way, when she
was getting deplatformed, they wanted to deplatform
her from Queens College, I defended her, and I
got a lotta shit for it, but I didn’t defend
her as a person, I defended the idea
that if she was invited, you gotta let her speak. – From a pragmatic interview,
– I got you. – it’s better just to
address the arguments as and when they come. But also it strengthens
your own position because that’s what people
do with me all the time. I mean, 98% of the
arguments I have on Twitter are people telling me
what I think about things, and getting it 100% wrong. So if I’m not going to, I have
to extend the same courtesy, and we all have to do that. I think otherwise we’re
gonna be constantly fighting with shadows and ghosts. – Can you talk a little
bit about how this stuff sort of infected, or at
least from my perspective seems to have infected the
Labour Party in the UK, and maybe why it did? That’s your lefty
party, for people. – Yeah, so the Labour Party
is the Jeremy Corbyn’s party. Now, Jeremy Corbyn comes from
a very old-school socialist. He’s like a Bernie
Sanders kind of figure. Those sorts of people don’t
sit well with woke politics. It doesn’t actually work,
because they’re class-conscious. And what you’ll find with most of the social justice activists is that they don’t care
about class issues. And the reason they don’t
is a lot of them are rich, (chuckles) so it doesn’t
really affect them. And the Labour Party then
found itself in this muddle. It had Jeremy Corbyn announcing his pronouns
before speaking, it had one of their
members, Harriet Harman, saying that she was
gonna create a pink bus to tour the country to
try and encourage women to get into politics. (laughing) So this very kind
of patronizing, because they just
see pink, don’t they? – Oh my god, why wouldn’t
you, if you see a pink bus, I’m running.
– Yeah, that’s it. I’m sold.
– I’m prime minister. (laughing) So all of that kind of stuff, and because there’s
now this correlation between this woke idea
and left-wing politics, I don’t think there’s anything
left-wing about it, right? But it’s been sort of
seized upon by people who call themselves left-wing, but don’t really the difference
between left and right. And it’s infected the
party to such a degree, but actually having said that, these sort of ideas have also
infected the right-wing party. So I’m constantly told, well, ’cause I claim to be fighting
against an establishment. But of course Trump’s
in power over here, Boris Johnson’s in
power over in the UK, so we have right-wing
governments, right, ostensibly.
– Mm-hmm. But that said,
culturally speaking, and indeed even within the
government departments, you still have some
woke ideas going on and sort of driving
the narrative. So, that’s what happened
with Labour I think. I think the other big thing
with Labour was Brexit. So, Brexit became
a sort of linchpin for the woke mob to latch onto, and what they did is they
do what they always do, they turned it into
something it didn’t mean. So they said, “The
Brexit vote is about “whether you’re racist or not. “You’re voting, ‘Yes,
I’m racist’ or ‘No,
I’m not racist.'” No, what it really was
is, do we want to remain in a neoliberal trading block,
that’s what it really was. But that’s not what
the debate was about. So, it got misinterpreted
and misconstrued, and then the Labour Party,
when they ran this time, said they were gonna
support a second referendum to try and undo
what just happened. That kind of
authoritarian instinct, rerunning a referendum, saying
the people got it wrong, that’s woke 1.0, that’s
straight, that’s right there. – But at the end of the day, is it because they
don’t really care sort of about what’s right? Like in a way, they don’t
care about democracy, they don’t care about that
the people voted for Brexit. They care that they
have enough power to use as a cudgel over the
people to get what they want. – I think again, there’s a
lot of well-meaning people in the Labour Party. I think again, I think
they’ve convinced themselves through a process over
the last three years that the people didn’t know
what they were voting for. So when I spoke to a member
of Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet just after the election, so
just after the Brexit vote back in 2016, and she said, “There’s no way we’re
gonna reverse this. “This is gonna happen.” And actually, as it happened
they all did try eventually, and I think it’s that process
of convincing yourself that people were misinformed, that they just did what
Russian bots told them to do. You have the same
over here with Trump. You have people–
– Almost everything that I say is from–
– A Russian bot, okay. – Given to me originally
by a Russian bot, yeah. – It’s a really lazy
thing which people do when they don’t wanna
deal with the fact that some people
don’t agree with them. You can’t run a
democracy that way. One of the things that
frightens me the most, and it’s happened over
here as well, as you know, is that this thing of
the loser’s consent isn’t really present anymore. We have to have a situation
in a democratic society where we come to
terms with the fact that a substantial
proportion of the population are going to be led by
people they did not vote for, and we all accept that. If we lose, we have
to accept that. – It’s like the most
important thing. – It’s so important, and
that’s been led astray. And I think that’s to do with
this social justice mentality. I’m very aware when
I talk about this, ’cause social justice
sounds so wonderful and it sounds like
I’m knocking something that’s really good. Same with the woke word. The word woke comes from the
black civil rights movement, and I actually see that
that was appropriated by these people. The black civil rights movement, the gay rights
movement in the ’60s, the new left, the feminist
movement, that was all great, and they knew that free
speech was important. And this lot come
along, and they try and unpick all of that stuff,
undo it all, reverse it. That’s why I call
them reactionaries, ’cause that’s what it means. It means that you’re
uncomfortable with change. And that’s the
word that’s thrown at people like us all the time. It’s them, they’re the ones
that are uncomfortable. They’re the ones that think the civil right
movement got it wrong. – Right, well, even now you
could just see on MLK Day, they start turning on
the things that MLK said. This idea that you
should judge people on the content of
their character, that doesn’t really work
in the woke calculator. – How long before they
completely deplatform MLK or cancel him, I wonder? I’ve got a bit in the new
Titania book I’ve just written where she rewrites his
“I Have a Dream” speech, (Dave laughing) ’cause she wants it to be
about intersectionality. She wants it to be about
judging the color of your skin, not the content
of your character. She wants to–
– He was a bigot, that guy. – Right, exactly, well,
self-hated black man, that’s it. it’s internalized
racism, I guess. – Do you think that some
of this is starting to turn partly through comedy
and through art? We mocked the “Star Wars,”
“Avengers” version of this, but your national hero, J.K.
Rowling, did put up a tweet that had a certain
anti-diversity message. – Yeah, but did you
see the backlash? (laughing) – So can you tell
the good people about what happened there? – Yes, so what happened
was there’s a woman called Maya Forstater who was… There was a tribunal in the UK because she’d been
dismissed from her work because of some tweets she’d
sent or Facebook posts I think, where she basically
said that she believes that you cannot change sex. She thinks that
biology is immutable and that we have immutable
biological characteristics, which is her opinion and she
has the right to that opinion. – And her point was not to
disrespect trans people. She was just… We go through this
every freakin’ week. (laughing) But all she was just saying
is that biology exists. – Right, sure. – That was in essence
what she said. – Well, it’s like
what Blair White said, if there is no biological sex, there’s no such thing as trans. Irrespective of the people
being angry about her opinion, it was the fact that she
was fired that was scary. And then it was the fact
that a judge in the UK said that that was not
something you were allowed, that you could
legitimately be fired for saying something like that. So that’s what’s a
bit scary about that. So J.K. Rowling merely tweeted and said, “I
support this woman.” She was saying you
should be able to sleep with whoever you want and
identify however you want, the liberal position. – And she’s a lefty. – And she’s a lefty, right.
– She’s a lefty, her whole life, J.K., yeah.
– And I think on this stuff, you’ve gotta take
the liberal position, which is anyone has the right
to identify however they like to live their life however, to call themselves
whatever they want. What they don’t
have the right to do is to demand that someone
else calls them those things, to monitor and police
someone else’s language. If I get married to my
boyfriend, and I say to someone, “I want you to call
this person my husband,” but they’re a Christian
fundamentalist and they say, “I don’t recognize
that, I’m not gonna,” I can’t force that
person to do so. I can argue with them,
I can explain to them why I think it would be
polite, and that’s my right, but it’s their right, totally
legitimately their right, not to do so.
– So the best thing wouldn’t be to call them a Nazi and then try to get the state
power to put them in jail? – It’s weird, it’s
not persuasive. It’s so weird though, isn’t it? I don’t know why. (laughing) It’s not a good
strategic thing to do, and I think we’ve learned
that over the past few years. – We have, but all right, so
J.K. basically offers a defense of what this woman said, and then go mob.
– Everyone goes mad, right. Everyone goes mad
because everyone said
she’s a transphobe, which she absolutely is not. And also she committed
the cardinal sin, right? So you know that artists,
particularly one way inclined, there’s a kind of very
homogenous group think amongst artists, amongst
comedians particularly, and you get a lot of flack
if you don’t quite subscribe to those ideas, and she did. That’s why I don’t
think it’s going to be from art and creatives
that this thing changes, because they’re part of
the problem, to be honest. I don’t think it is
gonna come from there. – But when you see like Ricky
Gervais at the Golden Globes, where he just scorched
everything that
this book is about and the hypocrisy of Hollywood and just all of the awful
ideas of intersectionality and all of those things, that’s gotta give
you a little hope. – But it does, I mean,
that was brilliant, but that’s because he’s in a
position to do what he wants. When he did that speech, there
were a lot of even comics, even famous left-wing
comics in the country, were saying, “Oh, he’s
now like a right-wing,” literally calling
him right-wing, saying he’s a right-wing, he’s
part of the establishment. These are the very same
people that 10 years ago would have cheered him
attacking the hypocrisy of the most pampered people
on the planet, let’s face it, and he was there to do that job. But to call that
right-wing is depressing. No, I don’t think it’s gonna
come from artists and creative. He can do that because
he’s answerable to no one. He’s in that enviable position. But if you’re working a
normal job, you can’t do that. You can’t say these things. It isn’t about state censorship. It’s about self-censorship. It’s about the fact that
people feel really nervous about what they
say at the moment. I wish I could, I
don’t want to speak ill of artists and stuff
’cause I love them and I have an ingrain
respect for anyone who wants to create something, but I think they’re
part of the problem, rather than the solution. – Do you think that gay
men, for some reason, have a unique position in
standing up to this thing? You know what I mean? It seems to me that
there’s a series of people. You’re going on tour
with Douglas Murray. For the first year that I
had read Douglas’ stuff, I didn’t even know he was gay. Now we’ve become good friends, and he’s truly out there
talking about this stuff, and he does a really
interesting dissection of why you should separate
the T from the LGBT thing, but it does seem to me that
there’s a bunch of gay men that are sort of leading
the fight against this. Do you think there’s
a reason for that? – Well, there’s the
conflict I think between certain elements of
the extreme trans ideology, which just doesn’t sit
well with gay rights, because they would say that you
can’t be same-sex attracted, right, and because they
don’t wanna see biology. And that’s a
problem for gay men. I think there is that
fundamental problem there. Also, I think it comes
from freedom of thought. I think a lotta gay people, particularly maybe
slightly the older, maybe the X generation, you
did have to think for yourself. A lot of gay people
who were growing up when I was growing up, they ended up in
straight relationships and straight marriages, but the ones who could
think for themselves and think outside
the box were the ones who embraced who they were. – Wait, that’s interesting. So a lotta gay people that
you knew maybe 20 years ago ended up in
heterosexual marriages. – Yeah, some did. – Meaning that they
became straight or meaning that they
just couldn’t fight the idea of normalcy
or something. – Well, you know back then,
it was a very different world. I mean, everything about
society did coach you to be straight, and you did
just assume that you were. And so I think it takes
a certain kind of mindset to understand that
actually you’re not, to accept that you’re not. Very different now, we live in a totally
different world now. Everything’s completely
equal and everything’s fine. Yeah, I do know some people. I don’t wanna name
names (laughing), but I know some people who
are in straight relationships, but they’re not really
insofar as they double. And I think it’s just
a generational thing. – Yeah, well, plus now
we were in “Endgame” with that guy, the psychologist. – [Andrew] I have to say I
haven’t actually seen “Endgame.” – Oh, you haven’t seen it? Literally, it’s
the most pathetic, they’re sitting in
like a self-help group, and this one guy is
like, “I survived” what happened at the end
of the “Infinity War.” “I survived it, and
I went on a date.” And then Captain America’s
like, “Oh god, it’s wonderful.” – I don’t like superhero
films, firstly, so I’m gonna put that out there. But also, I just
think they’re silly. They’re people flying
around in capes, I can’t get onboard with that. Like even with Batman,
even in “The Dark Knight,” where everyone says
it’s really serious art. – Oh, that was good.
– It makes me laugh. It’s silly.
– Yeah? – Yeah, it’s for kids. (laughing) So anyway–
– A gay guy who doesn’t like capes, very bizarre.
– Exactly, I know, and I’m Catholic. No, but that thing about, all I know is I read an article in “The Guardian”
about “Endgame,” and
it said it was great, but the fat-shaming
broke my heart, and I just thought, come on. – Oh, because Thor was fat. – Is there fat-shaming in that? – Yeah, they made Thor
fat and, you know. – But there’s
something quite funny about a Norse god letting
himself go, isn’t there? – Of course, it was, of
course, it was funny. But even that, I’m glad you
brought that up actually, ’cause that’s been
popping up lately, that now if you say anything
about people that are fat, that you’re–
– Well, I don’t like mocking or bullying
someone about their size. I think that’s really bad.
– But it’s like you’re almost not allowed to
say that being fit or eating right or
taking care of yourself is actually something
you should aspire to, which we all inherently
know is true. – Well, that’s the problem.
– It doesn’t mean we all do it all the time. – A lot of people had to
go with Cancer Research UK which is a charity in the UK. They recently put a number
of posters up on the tube saying that obesity is
now the highest form, the most common form of cancer, or the most common
cause of cancer. It’s actually overtaken smoking. And then a lot of social
justice activists went crazy, and were saying,
“You’re fat-shaming. “You’re gonna
cause more deaths,” and calling them some
really unpleasant words. These are good people. These are good people who
are trying to help people. I think you don’t wanna mock or attack people for their size, but on the same token,
it’s not good to tell kids it’s doesn’t matter
what you eat, it doesn’t matter how
overweight you are, because they’re gonna die
younger, like that’s it. And I think why can’t we
just accept medical reality? – It’s really–
– Am I gonna get accused of fat-shaming for saying that? – You definitely, no,
no, no, it’s very clear you’re a fataphobe
or a weightaphobe, (laughing) or something, something. So when you first
came out with Titania, the character wasn’t originally associated with
you fully, right? – I was in the closet. – Yeah, you were in the closet, and then you were outed?
– I was outed, yeah. – Yeah, can you talk a
little bit about that? So you create this character.
– I wanted to be anonymous. And it just meant that I was
free to say whatever I want. I wasn’t worried about it. What happened was
I wrote the book, and then in the week
that the book came out, there was a bit of
press interest about it. And so there was a journalist
at “The Sunday Times,” Rosamund Urwin I
think her name was, who did some investigative
work and sort of dug up… She read a lot of my
political articles and she’d read an
advanced copy of the book, and she worked out that some
of the quotations were similar. It was a really good job. – [Dave] Wow, like
a real journalist! – Yeah, proper
investigative journalist. – So far. – And she whittled it down
to me and a friend of mine, Lisa Graves, who runs a
character called Jarvis Dupont. I don’t know if you follow him, he’s a really funny
parody account, you should follow him.
– No, okay. – Her, sorry, she’s
just transitioned. (laughing) She whittled it down to us, and then a comedy
website called Chortle found the smoking gun. Some sort of a book
festival brochure, which accidentally named me. It was someone
from the publisher accidentally named
me as the author. And that happened–
– Wait, when you had signed the deal for the book,
did you have assurances from your publisher that–
– Just verbal. We just decided that
it would be better if I didn’t come out. It just so happened
that it came out the week the book was published, and that ended up
with a lotta publicity as a result of that, and
the story then became that it was me who was
behind the character. But the only difference
is I’ve never changed the way she speaks, I’ve
never changed the character, I’ve never censored myself. The only difference is that
now whenever I tweet something that maybe is a bit contentious, I get the attacks,
I get the deluge. I had it recently
where I tweeted a joke, and it was an anti-racist joke. It was mocking a
racist stereotype, and people, of course, because
they’re very literal-minded, interpreted it as
being a racist joke, right?
– Mm-hmm. – So I got lots of people
attacking me online personally and calling me racist and
Nazi and all the rest of it. So that’s the down side of it. – So everything being equal, you would have preferred to
have kept these two personas, or the human and the persona, separate, just for
artistic freedom, right? – Yeah, and also, yeah, I would, and it’s nice, it’s nice ’cause
you get into a character, you start to think like her, I started to dream as her. (Dave laughing) I know this isn’t healthy, but all of that sort
of stuff, I like that. I like the idea of
inventing characters and writing behind characters. And it also affects
the interpretation, because now people
interpret the character on the basis of my
personal politics, or misinterpret,
as the case may be. – Right, so as someone that
at least originally intended to be an anonymous
character online, that is no longer anonymous, what’s your take
on just generally, like the tenor of what people
talk about on social media and how much of it is done
through anonymous accounts? – Oh, loads of it is. That’s why it’s such
a cesspit, right? The thing about Twitter and the thing about all of
that stuff is that people, the anonymity frees
them up to be horrible, (laughing) to be even worse and to say
things that they never would, even when they’re not anonymous. Now, I’ve had situations
where people have said the most horrible things online. When you meet them,
it’s a different story. – Oh, of course.
– They don’t wanna… So that element of it,
but on the other hand, it does enable, I think
you should be able to have satirical accounts
and parody accounts and all the rest of the stuff. So I think it’s a good thing. – Do you sense now after
the J.K. Rowling thing that we discussed and enough
of these conversations, what do you sense
would be the thing that would need to get
us to the tipping point where we start… Are we starting to get there? I’m sensing that
something’s happening, I think at least maybe through
the American election now. I tweeted at the
beginning of the year that this is the year it
implodes because it can’t… The intersectional
thing can’t hold for an election like this, and it’s partly what you said about why Jeremy
Corbyn doesn’t fit in with the intersectional thing. I think we have a version
of that with Bernie here. – You do, and we know
that intersectional identity politics
loses elections, right? Mark Lilla wrote about
this in his book, “The Once and Future Liberal.” We know that across the board,
that always happens, right? Identity politics,
Hillary Clinton, dividing people up
into their gender, their race, and everything, saying I’m gonna target this
demographic, it doesn’t work. – And worldwide it doesn’t work, which is why the
right is winning basically everywhere right now. – Here’s the problem
you have though is that the intersectional
left, for want of a better term, they come up with this premise, and their premise
is that they know that anyone who is right-wing
is secretly a fascist, anyone who votes for Donald
Trump is secretly a Nazi, okay? So then when he wins, they point it out and
say, “That’s evidence “that our premise was right.”
– It’s evidence. – So after the last one, and I
wrote this Jonathan Pie video about the Hillary
Clinton losing, and saying it was the left, the left need to
reevaluate their position, they need to rethink about
the way they’re going. But they didn’t, they double
downed and they made it worse. I genuinely at that
point thought they would, there would be a period
of self-reflection. – I think we all thought it. – But what they did
instead is they said, “This proves all of
our worst fears.” It’s a circle of
reasoning thing, and that’s why I worry it might
not get better that quickly because if Trump wins again, which I’m pretty
convinced he will, then what will happen
is they’ll say, they’ll take that
as further evidence that we live in this
crypto-fascist state, and they’ll just accelerate
all the crazy mania that they’ve been doing
over the past few years. – Do you think our institutions are able to stand
up against this? So this is sorta what
you hinted before about what’s happening
with Brexit with you guys, but even what we see
out of the left now, they wanna get rid of
the electoral college, they wanna add Supreme
Court justices, they don’t want states’ rights. These are now structural things that I think if
Trump wins again, which I agree he’s going to, short of really some
cataclysmic thing happening, that what their
move is gonna be, well, not only do you
figure out a new way to try to impeach him and you just don’t
accept elections anymore, but it will be to attack
every one of the last vestiges of our functioning democracy. – I think so, and
that’s why I think we do need to seriously
consider the tactics here. I’ve gone for the
satirical route. I also write argumentative
articles, but let’s face it, these people aren’t really
willing to be persuaded. I mean, they often won’t turn
up to debates or arguments because they don’t
want to discuss. They see it as–
– But you said to me right before we started,
you do something that I do, which is that if
someone has a Q&A, you try to bring up people
that disagree with you first. – That’s what I want
more than anything. I want the discussion
to be opened up. At the moment, it’s not. So I think tactically,
we have to think about setting an example, right? So anyone who believes
in freedom and liberty, we need to firstly ditch this
guilt by association thing. So we need to be able to talk
to people we don’t agree with. If I appear on a
show, when I appeared with Tucker Carlton
on “Fox News” and people accused me of being
the same as him, it’s like, I’m sorry, I’m sure we’d
disagree on all sorts of things, but he was really nice
to me about the book, we had a good discussion
about the book, it was great. – When we met six months ago, we met in the Fox
affiliate here in LA, we were both doing Tucker
at different times. I was walking out as you were
walking in, and it was like, do we both have
disagreements with Tucker? Of course. Have I brought those
disagreements up in
public with Tucker? Yes. – I’m not gonna play
that game anymore, and I think more
people need to say, look, firstly we need
to stop accusing people of guilt by association. So just because you
talk to someone, doesn’t mean you
sort of by osmosis take on board all of
their beliefs and ideas. That’s the first thing, right? I think we need to reinstate
a kinda critical thinking in schools at the lowest level. And what I mean, I used
to teach critical thinking at A level and it was seen as
kind of like the doss subject, where you’d talk
about the basics, things like if you
throw an insult, if you start mudslinging,
you’ve lost the argument, that’s it, it’s
over for you, right? Well, no one believes that now, do they?
– No. – Even the politicians
don’t believe that now, so we need to
reinstate that idea. You need to listen to what
other people are saying. You need to not
intuit the motive of what the other
people are saying. You need to not translate
what they’re saying into something
they haven’t said, mischaracterize your opponent, which is the straw man
thing, all of that stuff. So we need to start in schools, but then the other big
problem is universities. We need to somehow, and I
don’t know how to do that, but I think maybe
just going after the social justice
warriors as I do, and I don’t even like that
phrase, social justice warriors, ’cause I think it’s
a demonizing term. I think just mocking
and poking at that beast will only agitate the beast, and I think there’s gotta
be something that we do that is a bit more ground level. You know what I mean?
– Yeah. – And I think it is
to do with education. – Well, it’s funny, because
whenever I give talks at colleges, this
always comes up. Kids will always say to
me, “Well, what do you do, “I have a friend that’s been
overtaken by this thing, “and what do I do?” And I always say that I think
the best thing you can do is just be a little bit
better than they are. Every time you’re
in a conversation and they jump on
you and attack you, try to just be a
little bit better. And it doesn’t mean just
endlessly take crap, and it doesn’t mean just
be beaten into oblivion. But if you consistently try
to be a little bit better, and at the end, instead
of just walking out of the restaurant
and telling him you’re never gonna
see him again, you say, “Yeah, we’ll pick
this up again next time.” It’s hard, it’s work.
– It’s so hard. Do you know why it’s so hard? Because, I mean, you’re pretty
good at this on Twitter. – I try, but I
fail all the time. – Oh, so do I. If someone comes
to you and says, “You’re a fucking Nazi scum
who should burn in hell,” my instinct is to fight back. I do believe you
should stand up for… Stand up against bullies, all the time, right?
– Yeah. – My thing is to mock
them or get vicious, and I’ve sort of taught myself
not to, I think it’s wrong, and there’s a way to do it. Actually, do you know what? I think if someone comes
to you in that way, I think you should
just block them. I think you need
to get rid of them, because my rule on Twitter
is if someone said that to me to my face on the street, so if someone came
up to me and says, “You’re an ugly
box-headed Nazi scumbag,” would I say, “Okay, let’s
talk about that a little more, “let’s tease out the nuances
of your argument there.” I wouldn’t do that. (Dave laughing) I would probably walk away, so the equivalent’s
gonna be on Twitter. But I’ve never blocked
someone on Twitter for just disagreeing. If you come with me
with a disagreement, a blind disagreement, let’s
have it, let’s talk about it. – I always think
the funniest thing is when I see
people that I know, many of them have books here, like great academics,
great thinkers, philosophers, historians.
– Yeah, and online. – And yet online they’re
literally arguing with pink anime foxes, and
it’s like they’ve won already, pink anime fox for the win, because the fact that you gave
them any of your attention, and yet we all get
sucked into this monster. – It’s quite funny though, isn’t it?
– Yeah. – I love anything that
bursts a pretentious bubble. When you see an academic
saying, “Fuck you,” (Dave laughing) throwing down the emojis, it’s like, nah, you don’t
need to footnote that one. That’s not sophisticated. – Are you shocked
that so much of this, we’ve talked a little
bit from a UK perspective and American perspective,
but that this is happening all over the world at once?
– Yeah. – ‘Cause I get as much email, I just had a couple
of Swedes on the show talking about how
they’ve been completely, their whole society’s been
completely infected by this. But I get as much email
from Australia and Canada and a ton from India, actually. There’s something
really interesting happening in India.
– Something’s happening in India as a
result of it, yeah. – I’m getting a ton of
email from India lately. That all over the
world, this thing has… This virus has spread. – But this is why I don’t
think it’s on its way down. It’s so tempting
when you see a thing like the J.K. Rowling thing or
something every now and then, to think, oh, that’s it,
the tide’s about to turn, but it isn’t really. It is spreading, and yet it’s
absolutely international. It’s mostly in the
English-speaking
countries at the moment, but it is spreading beyond that. – Well, and you know it’s funny, just to totally
clarify what I mean, when I say it’s gonna
implode this year, I don’t mean it’s going to be
destroyed, like stamped out. What I think is that
the American election is going to cause it
to be fully exposed, so that for the masses that aren’t really
paying attention to this, many more of them will
realize how bad it is. I don’t think they’re gonna… There’s no evidence,
as you were saying, that they’re gonna
suddenly be like, “Oh, we lost another election. “We should stop calling
everyone Nazis.” That’s not gonna happen, but I think that for
that group of people that are just sitting
on the sidelines that kinda watch this,
and they’re like, “Eh, what’s going on here,”
I think something so crazy is going to happen
in our election, and we can feel it already. Warren calls Bernie a sexist.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. – Booker gets out, so
now they’re all racists. All of these things, it’s
gonna just become so obvious that I think we’re gonna
be able to get more of whatever that middle
sliver of people is, something like that. – Maybe it’s because of
the majority of people aren’t into this stuff. It’s always been the case that it’s just a minority of
people, and it’s, excuse me, it’s a minority
with a lot of power. That’s ultimately
what it is, right? I’ve said this before, but I
do believe that the woke left are dominate in the media,
in the arts, in journalism, in the law, in education, in
quangos, government quangos. – Does it say something about
those jobs, do you think? – It’s probably
relating to class. There’s a good reason
why the woke movement is predominately
bourgeois, right? They come from
privately educated
backgrounds on the whole, and you’ve never had to
struggle for anything, and there is some sort of
odd desire to be oppressed, this odd desire to be a victim. I don’t really understand that. I guess that’s the correlation. I think so, I don’t know. – So you have another book.
– I have another book, yeah. – Coming out, when
does the book come out? – In spring, I think
it’s early May. – What’s the title
of the new one? – The title is “My
First Little Book “of Intersectional Activism.” – So this is a children’s book? – It’s a children’s book
by Titania McGrath, yeah, she’s going after
the kids’ market, ’cause she doesn’t
wanna miss a trend. (Dave laughing) ‘Cause you’ve had this, you’ve had loads of these
woke children’s books, right?
– Yeah. – Books like “Goodnight
Stories for Rebel Girls” and “C is for Consent,”
there was that one. There’s the little
girl who gave– – I thought C was
for something else. – It’s for lots of things. (laughing) Catholic.
– Catholic, yeah. – It’s all of these
little children’s books, which are basically
about intersectionality (laughing) and about white privilege
and mansplaining and all this sort of stuff. Now I think it’s really funny. These books are doing
really well, by the way. There’s a “Guardian”
journalist in the UK who’s independently
millionaire, very wealthy, she wrote one about
the Supreme Court, so everyone’s getting on this. So I though she would, I thought Titania
would totally do that. But the thing is, so I’ve
just finished the book, and she gets it all wrong. She can’t speak to
children, she doesn’t know. She still uses the
jargon and expects them to understand all the words. Because when she was born, she
claims that when she was born her first words were seize
the means of production. (Dave laughing) So she thinks that kids
just understand this stuff. So, yeah, it’s been really fun, and I’m gonna make it look like a proper children’s
book with illustrations and all the rest of it.
– Nice. – But it’s gonna be
horribly inappropriate. – And then you’re going on
tour with Mr. Douglas Murray. – With Douglas Murray,
which is great. So the tour is called
“Resisting Wokeness,” which sounds quite
provocative, I suppose, but what I really want to do is get people to discuss
this stuff, right? People are feeling that
they’re in a society where they don’t feel
able or comfortable to say what they believe
to be true anymore. So we want people to come
along and have that discussion, and we’re gonna
go around the UK, we’re gonna end up at the
Hammersmith Apollo in London. It’s basically we’re gonna be
talking through the issues, trying to actually
work the issues out. Even talking to you today, there are things that
I’m not clear on, and I want to talk
more about it, and I’m willing to be persuaded. This is the main reason I think for talking to people
you don’t agree with is you might be wrong. There are all sorts of
things I’m probably, almost certainly wrong about, and I wanna know what they are. I mean, yeah, you can say… I can argue with people
to refine my argument. That’s a selfish perspective. I think it should
be, well, actually, it’s good to be proven
wrong, isn’t it? So Douglas and I are gonna
tour, and it’s really good because we come from different
political backgrounds. – [Dave] Yeah, Douglas
is a conservative. – He’s a conservative and
we have different views on all sorts of things. On this matter, we
share the same concern. I’ve found it so weird
over the past few years that I’ve made all these new
allies, these new friends. – That was where I wanted
to go just for the– – Oh, I’m anticipating. – No, well, you gotta, really. I guess I don’t even need
to ask you the question, but through all of this
that you have been through and writing books, and
being in the Twitter fights, and the world of this, and
talking about something that’s so culturally relevant, are you shocked by the
people on the right? ‘Cause I sometimes
am still shocked by how welcoming these
people are, and I still, one of the things
that the genderless, anonymous people on
Twitter will say, “Dave, the right’s
being nice to you now, “but they’re just using you,
they’re just using you,” as if I’m some sort of
incapacitated moron. Do you know what I mean? It’s like I have no voligent
over my own thoughts. – Exactly. – And it’s like I think
that I have seen great intellectual flexibility
with these people. I don’t agree with
them on everything, on abortion and a few other
things, you know what I mean? But they’re willing
to talk it out. (sighs) – The truth is that,
the boring truth, is that most people
are nice, basically. The vast majority of
people are just decent, and you’ve just got the
extremes on both sides who discolor the
entire movement, whatever movement
they’re a part of. It’s like the trans
activists on the whole are decent people. It’s the minority, the
really angry, violent group that just really make it
hard for all the others. And so we’ve got the same thing. I’ll be honest, because I
come from the comedy circuit, so most of my friends have
always been on the left. And I’ve heard these
people demonize the people you’re
not meant to talk to. I’ve heard them
mischaracterized. And then now, doing
what I’m doing, a lotta conservatives like
what I do, which is great, and you meet them and
they’re really great. And some of the
people in particular who I’ve been told
steer clear from, have turned out to be just
the sweetest, nicest people, and they’re nothing
like the public persona. And the irony is some of
my friends that I’ve lost who are famous lefties have
turned out to be the monsters. They’ve turned out to be the
bigots, the ones who will… I had one guy shouting
at me in a bar, calling me a Nazi
over and over again, and I’m thinking, I mean,
you’re not a good person. It’s really sad, but
I did this conference in London recently
with Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay
and Helen Pluckrose, which this was something
that was organized by a group called Sovereign
Nations who are… It’s run by a guy
who’s, Michael O’Fallon, who is a evangelical
Christian, right-wing. – Pete told me he
couldn’t believe he was doing an event like this, he said yet these
people were amazing. – And such a nice guy though,
and then you get to the event, and I’m sitting there at lunch with the head of
the Atheist Society, next to an evangelical pastor, left-wing people,
right-wing people, Muslim, Christian, atheist, and you just think this
is what’s happening now. It’s people are finding
these alliances of people. It’s not about left
and right now, right? We have to get rid of that. It’s about if you
believe in liberty or if you want authority
figures to run everything, so it’s liberty
versus authority, which is something that John
Stuart Mill talked about. That’s where the alliances come. It’s people who want freedom. And I think it doesn’t
matter if you’re right-wing or left-wing or whatever,
if you believe in that, then we’ve got
something in common and we can talk about that. And the other thing is we
all have to get together and work for this,
because if we lose that, we can’t have all the other
conversations we wanna have about abortion,
about gay rights, about whatever, ’cause
nothing happens. If you don’t have freedom
of speech, you got nothing. – I often say it, I don’t
know what it says about me, but I have “On Liberty”
in my nightstand. – Do you?
– I have a little copy of it. – It’s readable.
– Yeah. – It’s totally readable. I think people are
intimidated by it because it was written
a long time ago, but it’s readable.
– It’s thin. – It’s thin.
– It’s thinner than this. – Well, no, it’s quite
big font, but yeah. (Dave laughing) It’s thin, it’s great,
it’s intersectional, because his wife
helped him write it, which she often
doesn’t get credit for. There’s a lot going
on in that book, and it’s articulately expressed, and we need to get back to
those core principles of liberty and that should be
the standard point is that you are allowed
to argue with me and disagree and say
whatever you want. You can’t arrest me,
you can’t beat me up, and that should be the limit. But people don’t agree
with that anymore, do they? – Andrew Doyle, you
are a true radical. (Andrew laughing) And I don’t know that I
can have you back here. – Too controversial? Too hot to the touch?
– Too controversial, but we’ll see, maybe. I’m gonna have to see what the
Twitterati thinks about this. – I know what they
think about me. – Should we send people? I always send people
to a Twitter account, but I don’t know,
Titania’s or… – Well, it depends
what you want. If you wanna send
abuse, go to me. That’s andrewdoyle_com. And if you wanna go for Titania, she’s @TitaniaMcGrath,
simple as that. – He brought it to a close. Thanks for watching, everybody. If you’re looking
for more honest and thoughtful conversations
about politics, instead of nonstop yelling,
check out our politics playlist, and if you wanna
watch full interviews on a variety of topics, watch
our full episode playlist, all right over here. And to get notified
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