Though I taught Milo pretty much everything he knows about writing, I’ve got to admit that I’ve an awful lot to learn from him about the art of self-publicity.
My new Breitbart podcast DELINGPOLE, for example. It’s brilliant, it’s funny, it’s witty, it’s insightful, it’s fearlessly unPC, and it’s been getting rave reviews on iTunes. But though it’s been out for a week – the first was a cracker of a chat with Katie Hopkins on everything from Israel and Donald Trump to why it’s so nice being hated by all the right people – I’ve only now got round to plugging it in print.
Here is some of the stuff people have said so far – and I swear I did not make these quotes up. These are from genuine, actual listeners:
Totally non-PC awesomeness. Thank you for doing this. It’s music to my assailed ears.
I would drink gin with this man.
…and I don’t drink gin.
If you enjoy Delingpole’s articles—which are, I would argue, some of the most entertaining, witty, sarcastic, and certainly merciless—then you might as well listen gladly to this amazing podcast, where Delingpole calmly and smoothly delineates the stupidity of the modern age. As an American reader of Breitbart news, this is a delight.
So now, let me whet your appetite for this week’s show – which you can listen to now – with the wonderful Claire Fox.
Fox – probably best-known to British listeners as the voice of robust common sense on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze – recently published a characteristically punchy book called I Find That Offensive (Biteback). It’s about the rise and rise of Generation Snowflake – the whiny, needy, over-indulged, cry-bully offendotrons currently waging war on fun, sanity, and free speech on university campuses and in the media.
There were one or two of them in the audience at the Battle of Ideas (the annual free speech festival Claire Fox organises) last weekend and even next to me on one of the panels I was on. (I’ll be posting up film of this when it has been edited by my assistant. Which is another thing I learned from Milo. Get an assistant.) One of my fellow panellists actually told the audience that she thought there should be a self-imposed rule for people when using Twitter: “Would my grandmother feel comfortable with what I’m about to say?”
Someone in the audience pointed out that most people go on Twitter precisely to avoid reading stuff that would make grandma feel comfortable.
But very tempting though it is to take the piss out of these Special Snowflake types at every opportunity, Claire Fox warned me against it.
“They’re not a joke,” she said. “They’re a very serious problem, especially in the huge threat they pose to free speech.”
At the beginning of her book, she gives two hugely depressing examples of the censorious narrow-mindedness of Generation Snowflake, both involving trips to speak at British schools.
The first was at a school with 90 per cent Muslim children where her audience “screeched in horror” at her failure to refer to Mohammed as “the Prophet Mohammed”. Fox explained she hadn’t meant to cause offence and urged that they should try to listen to her arguments rather than be offended by a linguistic mistake. What struck Fox most forcibly was how genuinely hurt the children felt: “It became clear that these lovely, bright young people had found it difficult to hear my arguments without taking them personally.”
Before you start dismissing this as just a Muslim problem, the second incident occurred at a mostly white school, this time when Fox sought to discuss the conviction for rape (since overturned) of footballer Ched Evans.
“I decided, perhaps rashly, (quoting Germaine Greer for recognisable feminist cred), to tell them that rape was not necessarily the worst thing that could ever happen to an individual. Yes, it is a serious crime, but we need a sense of proportion. The room erupted. The audience shrieked. A teacher yelled out ‘you can’t say that’. Girls were hugging each other for comfort. The majority seemed shell-shocked. Even posing this viewpoint was a step too far, it seemed. I was told that I was dangerous, irresponsible and offensive.”
Who created these fragile, petulant – and, yes, terrifyingly dangerous – little monsters?
How on earth do we get our civilisation back?
Listen to Delingpole – my latest podcast with special guest Claire Fox – to find out.