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Inside the theatre Rod’s name was again emblazoned across the back of the stage in an array of ten-foot-high, lightbulb-lit letters. The star was greeted with huge applause from the capacity audience. And for two hours, with an interval for drinks or cigarettes (or, for Rod, both), these thousands of people heard Liddle digress on matters including political correctness, Brexit, Trump and “hate crime”. The distinctly mixed audience lapped it up, laughing a lot and applauding even more.

Of course Rod is not an ordinary journalist. Yet still, nobody could have left the theatre thinking that these are ordinary times. Something is happening. People are showing up to things. Or to put it another way, can anybody imagine a 2,500-seater theatre being packed to the rafters with people looking to attend an evening with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown?

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The Jordan Peterson phenomenon certainly deserves that moniker. On a recent swing through London, Peterson sold out the 5,000-seater London Apollo for an evening in which he discussed a whole range of deep and serious issues, many of which are contained in his bestselling book 12 Rules for Life. Yet still the UK media seems to have a problem understanding Peterson or even approaching him in a way which is halfway decent.

On a number of the programmes he appeared on during his latest UK trip (including the BBC and Channel 5) he was countered not only by the host but by another guest brought in specially to oppose him. In each of these cases — and many more besides — the media reveals more about itself than it can possibly mean to. For though they bring Peterson on they still seek to in some way “contain” his views.

When a member of Hamas is brought onto the BBC they do not find themselves countered by the host and another person brought in specifically to argue against them. But then the media class appears to view Peterson and the few voices like him as in some ways more of a threat than Hamas. As well he might be, for although Hamas are trying to annihilate the Jewish state, they are little immediate threat to female television presenters in Britain.

On the other hand, someone who points out that equality of outcome is a chimera and disagrees about the gender pay gap is a direct threat to their livelihood and all the things they have decided to hold most dear. Narratives of oppression can become deeply important to a person, and someone telling you that you are not oppressed can deal a terrible blow to your self-esteem.
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observer
June 4th, 2018
9:06 PM
I look forward to a time when Western capitalism and conservative values will no longer be seen as something shameful. Perhaps the interest in Rod Liddle and Jordan Peterson show that some people at least are just beginning to outgrow the socialist/PC delusions that have held us in thrall for decades.

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