It's time to end the hysteria surrounding Milo Yiannopoulos
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It's easy to develop an intense dislike for unnecessary and avoidable drama, which is too often ikept going only by the willingness of so many to indulge it. For example, the furore over the assurance (or lack thereof) that EU citizens will not be deported en masse following the activation of Article 50. This should not be an issue; it has never been mooted or floated as a suggestion, except perhaps in the basement of some fat and cretinous votary of the BNP. The Prime Minister is against it, as are her party. UKIP is against it. The Labour party doesn’t need to be against it (though we can assume that they are) because they have made themselves irrelevant. The Home Office, which took eight years to deport one particularly egregious criminal, couldn’t deport three million unremarkable EU citizens even if it wanted to. And the British people have demonstrated their passionate opposition to such a scenario, even though that scenario is fantastically unlikely. This should be obvious, and obvious things shouldn’t need stating. The Prime Minister should no more have to assure us of it than remind us that water is wet, women exist and sweet potatoes are an abomination. But we’ve all caught the hysteria now, and so every moment she delays is seen as evidence of a sinister and racist right-wing coup. Many people, ordinarily sane and clever, find themselves worrying about a development more subaqueous than the refloating of Atlantis. One wonders what these people will do when something bad actually happens. One almost wishes it would, out of curiosity. Another transatlantic menace recently popped onto my TV screen: Milo Yiannopoulos, alleged ‘technology editor’ at Breitbart and bête noire of all things decent, appeared on Real Time with the eternally pointless Bill Maher on Friday. I’d be quite happy if I’d never heard of Mr. Yiannopoulos. To this day I cannot think of a single positive quality he might be said to possess, and I long ago concluded (having done my bit to dissuade one or two good people who had been flirting with his fandom) that I would not allow his existence to take up any more of my time. Just another overrated bloviator making a pitch for prime-time, and we have more than enough of that sort. This was a little more than two years ago. I vaguely recall hearing that he was ‘no-platformed’ at his alma mater here in the UK some months ago, but thought little of it. Many people have been ‘no-platformed’ of late, and I was more concerned by defending the principle of free speech (and some of the more decent victims of its violation) than with sticking up for specific non-entities. You might imagine my surprise, then, when rampaging student ‘activists’ set fire to the campus of UC Berkeley earlier this month in an effort to stop Mr. Yiannopoulos giving a speech there. Somehow, in the two years since I first became aware of him, he has attained the label ‘dangerous’ and is ludicrously considered to be the vanguard of a new fascism.
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