‘You should never apologise to the Twittermob’

Drag queen Vanity Von Glow talks to Brendan O’Neill about cancel culture, victimhood and identity.

‘Internationally ignored superstar’ Vanity Von Glow joins spiked’s editor for the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill Show. They discuss Vanity’s cancellation by the Twittermob, the appeal of victimhood and how trans activists made life difficult for trans people.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Gareth Edward KING

29th April 2020 at 9:20 am

I think the answer would be not to use Twitter under any circumstances. It seems to me that people ‘hide’ behind their ‘identities’ and ‘handles’ spew forth and are then not available in the ‘real world’ to answer to what they might’ve just been involved in, which in Vanity’s case has been attempts at character assasination and even worse.

Danny Rees

29th April 2020 at 12:59 am

The Twitter mob have recently been coming for people making mean comments and/or jokes about Boris Johnson. Cases of reporting to Twitter and even doxing. Will Brendan speak up against this too?

brent mckeon

29th April 2020 at 11:59 am

So you approve of Vanity losing her/his job? The article is about Vanity’ no platforming, why bring in a straw man diversion about Boris.

Mor Vir

29th April 2020 at 12:44 am

Vanity sounds like he is coping quite well but the bitterness will probably come later. As he said, it has been traumatic and they set out to ruin or even ‘kill’ him as he put it. That is pretty serious stuff. It is prudent for him to have ‘understanding’ dispositions toward other ppl’s motives for doing that to him, in the hope that some good will may be reciprocated, but prudence should never be confused with how one really feels about other ppl. Likely the ‘understanding’ is instinctively affected as a reflex survival mechanism, to get on with ppl, and it may even seem convincing to oneself that that is how one really feels, rather being a default reaction by some ppl in a vulnerable situation. The trauma is likely to eventually resurface and the bitterness is likely to come later. If they would do that to him, then why would he will any good toward them whatsoever, beyond as a strategy of self-defence in a crisis? The desire and opportunity for personal pay back often comes later.

Likely the entire experience has been instructive for him. Anyone who shares a platform with TR is asking for trouble and TR well knows that. Vanity was used with complete contempt for his own well-being, quite likely they had a giggle at him afterwards behind his back. That was well naive. One has to use one’s judgement and foresight, it is called prudence – presumably lesson learnt. A gay drag queen likely lacks some instinctive prudence anyway, so they are going to have to be extra self-aware and vigilant to stay prudent. Honesty is not a virtue, prudence is the virtue. The opposite to prudence is foolishness and no one imagines that there is anything ‘virtuous’ about that. (Titter, stern talk over.)

But moving onto TR’s anti-Muslim thing. Maybe some ppl have some real concerns about what radical Islam may have in store for ppl. But look at what those ppl themselves did to Vanity. They set out to ruin him, maybe even to push him to suicide. Which raises the question of why Vanity or anyone else would even want to protect them, even were radical Islam a serious threat. What if radical Islam made life hell for them? It is no more than they themselves did to Vanity anyway. ‘What goes around, comes around.’ Good will is not unconditional, and it is often lost, and perspective gained, through experiences. So why on earth put one’s neck on the line for other ppl in that way, even if you do genuinely fear for them? When they would do that to you anyway.

So, V seems to be coping reasonably well, lessons have presumably been learnt. However these sorts of incidents do cause long-term bitterness and undermine social solidarity; which is ironic b/c that is presumably the opposite to what those ppl profess to want to achieve. Perhaps some sections of society think that is a price worth paying to enforce conformity but only time will tell on that one. There have been signs of a serious breakdown in good will in recent years, of which IS is only one symptom.

Lastly, it is probably worth bearing in mind pre-existing personality structures, which can be categorised into types. Likely gay/ trans in the past attracted ppl who were independent minded and had fortitude, natural outsiders. Those cultures are mainstreamed now, so they are likely to attract a wider sort of ppl. They may no longer be the niches that some ppl thrived in, in the past. As PT likely recognises now, ironically the mainstreaming of the gay community that has followed upon the success of the gay rights movement has actually negated or destroyed the niche that the sort of ppl involved in the early gay rights movement thrived in. In doing a solid for the masses, they have destroyed their own niche. Those communities may no longer even be safe for the natural outsiders anymore, as Vanity found out. Maybe a similar lesson to be learnt there too, do not assume that acting in the best interests of other ppl will not negate you personally. Prudence is often learnt the hard way. Naivety will exact a price. Insight comes with experience and perspective, but it all a part of how one gets to know oneself, other ppl, and one’s real feelings better, and how one becomes who one is.

Gareth Edward KING

28th April 2020 at 6:33 pm

Fab! What was said about Munroe Bergdorf was absolutely spot on! Exactly, where’s your sense of humour darling? Adviser to the Labour Party executive, pull the other one!

Hayden Wingrove

28th April 2020 at 6:11 pm

It’s so hilarious how Brendan wangs on about being a ‘man of the left’. There’s nothing left wing about Brendan or any of the Spiked mob.

Graham Southern

28th April 2020 at 7:14 pm

Except that he’s on the side of ordinary working people against the elite. Don’t you remember the days when the left used to stand on that territory?

Hayden Wingrove

28th April 2020 at 7:38 pm

Can you explain to me exactly how Brendan O’Neill stands on the side of the ordinary working man?

Graham Southern

28th April 2020 at 8:26 pm

You haven’t listened to a word he’s said, have you?
It’s good that this particular episode has triggered you: “Brenden hates gay and trans people – and here he is interviewing a drag queen… GRRR”. Cognitive dissonance is a healthy first step, Hayden. Keep walking”.

Hayden Wingrove

28th April 2020 at 8:53 pm

There’s an answer to a question I didn’t ask.

Graham Southern

28th April 2020 at 8:58 pm

It wasn’t an answer, Hayden. It was an observation.

Danny Rees

29th April 2020 at 1:01 am

Yeah writing for The Sun a “newspaper” which is anti union and regularly dumps on the working class is really being on the side of working class people.

tim C

29th April 2020 at 2:16 pm

@Danny Rees The Sun isn’t a working class newspaper-are you sure about that?
People on the Left don’t tend to understand that working class people actually want to keep as much of their money as they can. Hence they like lower taxes. They’re also more likely to serve in the army and do hard physical labour.
Hence why metropolitan middle class labour supporters who work in offices and uni students struggle to comprehend why people don’t really follow their ideas.

Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

2nd May 2020 at 10:08 am

@DannyRees have you ever been through never mind worked in a place where actual working class people do actual working class things like actually working?!

If you ever had you would find the Sun is the paper of choice.

(Followed by the Mail!)

That’s probably why the Virtue-Signalling Faux-Left Alt-Lib Ego-Warriors hate it!

Hayden Wingrove

28th April 2020 at 6:10 pm

Oooh the excitement. Another thrilling instalment of Brendan O’Neill’s Safe Space. Who has Brendan invited in this week for a joyless canter round the same old topics?

Graham Southern

28th April 2020 at 7:12 pm

If it bores you, go back to the Guardian.

Danny Rees

29th April 2020 at 1:00 am

Classic if you disagree with Brendan ya read the Guardian.

Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

2nd May 2020 at 10:10 am

So you’re a laughingly labelled “Independent” reader then Danny?

Or is it the Socialist “Worker” student rag?!

Danny Rees

29th April 2020 at 1:00 am

Someone different and new but it makes a change from the usual Toby Young or Meghan Murphy types.

Gareth Roberts

28th April 2020 at 5:37 pm

If you haven’t been banned by twitter, you are not doing it right.

Danny Rees

29th April 2020 at 12:59 am

Clearly not. Getting banned by Twitter then whining about it endlessly until the cows come home is doing it right.

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