Podcast Ep. 71: Milo To Take On Corbyn In Career-Busting Showdown

RD 71 Milo Yiannopoulos

The twin by-elections in Copeland and Stoke, the (potential) fall of provacteur-cum-troll Milo Yiannopoulos, and a halted British court case seeking civil partnerships for straight people are the topics three for this show.

Joining us is academic and author Richard Seymour, whose previous work covers Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Tory’s austerity policy, and The Liberal Defence of Murder.

Image credit – Milo Yiannopoulos by Official Leweb Photos

Milo Yiannopoulos: Gamergate in 10 minutes

Super Blast Mario, July 2012 by JD Hancock

Journalist and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, recently banned from speaking at Manchester University because of fears he might incite hatred, has long been embroiled in the Gamergate controversy, and has now appeared in a brief breakdown of the scandal.

Whatever one’s view of the situation, Yiannopoulos draws some interesting parallels between the progressive attempt to censor video games on charges they make you sexist and the work of the American religious right in the 90s, who claimed that video games make you violent.

“People were doing this in the 90s and the games press did a great job of defending video games against those charges. They’ve done a much less good job – in fact they’ve done no job at all – of defending it against feminists who are just as whacky and just as crazy as the old religious right. And in fact the feminists say all the same things, they hate the same things, they hate nudity and violence – all the same stuff.”

In the video Yiannopoulos references to disgraced American attorney and Christian crank Jack Thompson, who attempted to censor violent video games and was later disbarred by the Florida Bar due to misconduct.

The Breitbart columnist also went on to discuss how the Internet has led to a realignment of the culture wars, pitting authoritarians against libertarians.

“The Internet has dumped politics. It’s very interesting. It’s turned every major culture war and every major discussion into a row between authoritarians, who want to control how other people live, and libertarians who either want to escape whatever is going on in their lives or classical liberals, like me, who believe in freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and liberty of ideas, and believe it is essential – for the good of our species if you like, if you want to get serious about it – that we can talk about everything openly and honestly and there are no no-go areas.”

His later comments about the rise of anti-establishment politics do not entirely wring true, partly because many of those backing populists like Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, the Democrats’ Bernie Sanders, the Republicans’ Donald Trump and Ukip’s Nigel Farage are themselves authoritarians.

But even so one should keep an eye on the trend of how the Internet is reshaping politics as we know it.

Image Credit – Super Blast Mario, July 2012 by JD Hancock

Milo Yiannopoulos and Julie Bindel ban proves feminism has a problem with free speech

Milo Yiannopoulos, June 2013 by Official LeWeb Photos

Irony has a habit of catching up with you.

And on Wednesday Manchester’s Student Union decided to ban the journalist Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at an event aptly titled: “From Liberation to Censorship: Does Modern Feminism have a Problem with Free Speech?”

Clearly there is an economy to the student union’s decision. Not only is it faster to settle a debate by not having it, but in banning Yiannopoulos and his co-speaker and journalist Julie Bindel they have proved that feminism does indeed have a problem with free speech.

Even in explaining the decision to ban Bindel, prohibited a day before Yiannopoulos, the student union’s women’s officer Jess Lishak said it herself via a now conveniently deleted Facebook post, referenced by student paper the Mancunion here:

“This is not about shutting down conversations or denying free speech; this is about keeping our students safe. If this were about silencing people we happen to disagree with or avoiding uncomfortable conversations, we would be denying the application for Milo Yiannopoulos to speak.

“The difference in these two cases is inciting harm to a group of our students. Yiannopoulos is very careful to criticise feminist thoughts, theories and methods of research or statistics rather than calling for active discrimination against women like Bindel does to trans women.”

The authoritarian impulse can be found in almost any political group. But it’s emergence among social justice warriors has proved particularly gruesome for the universities they frequent, with Warwick’s student union attempting to stop criticism of Muslims and Islam only last week.

Attempting to justify their censorship, the cretins at Manchester’s student union said:

“We have been made aware of various comments lambasting rape survivors and trans* people, and as such we are concerned for the safety of our students on the topic of this event. He is a rape apologist and has repeatedly used derogatory and debasing ableist language when describing members of the trans* community.

”As such, this undermines the principles of liberation enshrined in the Students’ Union, as outlined in the Safe Space policy. We believe these views could incite hatred against both trans* people and women who have experienced sexual violence. As we believe it is probable these views would be aired in this discussion should he be allowed to speak on campus, we have no choice but to ban him.”

It is hard to believe that nobody involved in the Bindel decision was aware of Yiannopoulos’ pedigree as a controversialist, his criticism of the concept of rape culture or his more incendiary comments about transgender people.

So yet again the hate speech concept is used to block criticism of ideas. Instead, students must be protected from having their opinions and feelings questioned.

Update: Apparently Bindel is speaking to her lawyers about the matter.

Image Credit – Milo Yiannopoulos, June 2013 by Official LeWeb Photos