It’s funny, but who’s laughing at whom?

I have an article up at Quadrant Online today: Titania McGrath, Meet George Orwell which is at one level about how the left seems to know nothing about the conservative right. It’s based on a quite fascinating interview with the creator of one of the great creations of the twitter universe: Titania McGrath. She is an invention of a comedian by name of Andrew Doyle. Andrew wants the left and the right to get on with each other. He therefore made up Titania as a super-woke rich female activist who goes around tweeting as a parody of the way certain SJWs behave. Here is the example put up at QoL.

That is funny, but which side is Andrew Doyle actually on. After reading the interview it may even be, to take the above example, that he believes that both are bad, that the point he is trying to make is that it is just as wrong for a baker not to bake the cake as it is to prevent children from learning about gay rights. He may not be siding with us at all. The tweet may really be saying, a plague on both your houses.

My central question after reading the interview was therefore this: does he know that just about everyone on the right has the same beliefs as he does, or does he think he is making fun of people on our side and is laughing at the right because we don’t get the joke. I found this a puzzling quote from the interview given what else he had said:

I think the Left and Right should agree on the basic liberal principles of free expression, free discourse, and free thought. But also we need a shared social contract of how we address each other and how we tackle these issues. It doesn’t work if one side of the debate is just screaming and covering their ears. Nothing can be achieved that way.

The puzzle I was left with at the end of reading the article was whether Andrew Doyle believes that it is the conservative side of politics that is guilty of preventing this dialogue from happening because of what he sees as our own obtuse beliefs. It is hard to tell, but it is possible that he believes that it is the left that represents “the basic liberal principles of free expression, free discourse, and free thought”. How else to mesh that with this:

“I think if you were to write down all of my political views on various things I would come out more left-wing than right.”

As for birthday cakes, the issue is not that no such cakes should be baked, but that no one should be forced to bake such a cake by government. Doyle is undoubtedly funny, but it is hard to say who he is laughing at. Given what he writes, I am not at all sure he is laughing at his comrades on the left.

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