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  • Writer's pictureOn the Edge With Andrew Gold

Ep. 42: Andrew Doyle (Titania McGrath / Jonathan Pie)

Hello, and welcome to another episode of On the Edge with Andrew Gold. Today, I’m talking to comedian Andrew Doyle, who has just released his new book Free Speech. It’s a modern manifesto on why free speech is so important, and how even extremely offensive speech should be protected.

Andrew Doyle Links: Andrew Gold Links: It’s a really beautifully written essay, which draws on the history of free speech and how it is being eroded from all sides bit by bit. We’re all aware that history seems to go in cycles and you never know when you’re next going to be under some sort of authoritarian regime. According to Andrew, it rarely comes from the place you expect it, and he believes we’re very much at risk right now from the censors on the Left, although he is politically Left himself. In his book and on the podcast, Andrew speaks of former essays, such as John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty in 1859, and John Milton’s 1644 Areopagitica. Andrew was also a teacher and writers about all sorts of things, but you may know him as both the creator of fictional angry news reporter Jonathan Pie – although he is not the actor who plays him – and fictional twitter profile Titania McGrath. Titania is a fake creation who tweets to parody the beliefs and actions of critical race theorists or virtue signallers. Her Twitter bio reads: Activist. Healer. Radical intersectionalist poet. Nonwhite. Ecosexual. Pronouns: variable. Selfless and brave. Buy my books. Today, we are going to talk mostly about Andrew and his book. On the day I spoke to him, he had just come under a barrage of abuse from his critics, because he had blocked some of them in anticipation of the book. They believed it was ironic for an author a book on free speech to block those who opposed the book – and Andrew countered that, if they believed that, they had a poor understanding of free speech. Part of free speech is not having to listen to someone. We speak about the pressure of getting all that flack all the time on Twitter – people accusing him of absolutely every form of bigotry. I ask him what it’s like to be a gay man being accused so often of homophobia. And we talk freely about free speech.

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