Trevor Lock on Dapper Laughs, Andrew Lawrence and the rise of liberal Fascism (my phrase not his)

trevor Lock, as seen by Poppy Hillstead

Trevor Lock, as painted by Poppy Hillstead

In yesterday’s blog, comedian Trevor Lock explained that he does not think Third World charity aid is always a good thing.

We talked at the end of a week in which there had been a social media maelstrom in the UK about comics Dapper Laughs and Andrew Lawrence.

Dapper Laughs had been at the centre of a storm about misogyny. Andrew Lawrence had posted on Facebook about the UK Independence Party’s poll successes and immigration.

I told Trevor Lock: “I don’t think Andrew Lawrence is being unreasonable if you actually read what he says.”

“Yes,” said Trevor. “If you read what he says. But it’s just… People… It’s absolutely terrifying… You can understand how Nazi Germany got off the ground. You really do see the witch huntery delight in identifying ‘the enemy’. It’s horrendous. Chilling. I found it chilling. That and the Dapper Laughs thing I find chilling.”

“Dapper Laughs,” I said, “I have no opinion on, because I’ve never seen or heard his stuff.”

“I don’t find him funny,” said Trevor, “but the point is he is not the anti-Christ.”

“Can I quote you?” I asked. “You might get hate mail.”

Andrew Lawrence’s Facebook postings ruffled feathers

Andrew Lawrence’s Facebook postings

“Yeah,” said Trevor. “I don’t care. I got hate mail for the Andrew Lawrence thing. I was ‘outed’ on Facebook for liking Andrew Lawrence’s thing. I was described as being a Right Wing, misogynistic whatever. It’s weird.”

I suggested: “It was the three-word description of some women on panel shows that did for Andrew.”

Women impersonating comedians,” said Trevor. “He didn’t say all female comedians and it’s true. They have a lot of people who are not comedians on the shows. I didn’t agree with everything he said and the way he put it, but the shocking thing for me was how people took delight in deliberately mis-representing him or jumping to the worst possible conclusion in order to hate him. It’s frightening.

“I find the self-righteousness of it terrifying,” Trevor continued. “This certainty – this chilling certainty – that they are right. That is how most of these people think. They are certain they are the good guys. Did the Nazis walk around thinking they were the bad guys?”

“That is something it’s dangerous to even talk about,” I suggested. “Presumably Hitler, while committing unspeakable evil, thought he was doing good.”

“Well, of course he did,” said Trevor. “Stalin thought it was a good idea to kill people. On Facebook, a propos the Andrew Lawrence debate, someone wrote something to the effect of It’s funny how, if everybody who opposed liberalism were to be shot, the world would be a much better place. It was there on my Facebook Feed and I just thought: This is interesting on so many levels.

Hessy Levinsons Taft's photograph was selected by Nazi party for the front cover of Sonne Ins Haus publication, but Joseph Goebbels' propaganda machine never discovered she was Jewish, 1935.

This photograph won a contest to find the ‘ideal Aryan infant’. It was selected by the Nazi Party as front cover of Sonne Ins Haus in 1935. They never realised she was Jewish.

“Well, Hitler was a National Socialist,” I said. “And that’s not a misnomer. I’ve always thought that Socialism is not a political system; it’s a religion. If you follow the true path of Socialism without deviation, it will create a perfect heaven on a perfect earth. That’s bollocks. That’s religion not reality. If you’re a Conservative and someone disagrees with you, then you think: Someone disagrees with me. If you’re a militant Socialist and someone disagrees with you, then you think: They are evil.”

“That’s what we’re talking about,” said Trevor.

“There’s that thing in some universities,” I said: “We are liberals. We are democrats. So we must not have people coming to talk to us if they disagree with what we think.

“It’s astonishing,” said Trevor. “This time last year, someone invited me to talk at Leicester University. He said: I am chairman of the Oxfam Society. I would like you to come and give a speech on the importance of charity. So I said OK.”

“Why did they invite you?” I asked.

“He said: I love listening to you and reading about your philosophical take on life.

“They also wanted me to write something for their student magazine and it was just after Russell Brand had said Don’t vote! when he was on BBC2’s Newsnight.

There is a YouTube clip of Russell Brand’s appearance on Newsnight last year.

“So I wrote this piece explaining my views on charity and they were on the phone to me saying: We’re not sure we can publish this and we’re really worried about you coming to talk to us.

“And I was like: Whaaatt?? You can’t publish my views on charity – about how I have a completely different understanding of charity and how giving money to an organisation is not what I understand as charity. And I was sympathetic to Russell’s idea about not voting.

“And they changed the wording of my piece. They edited bits out to make it sound like I was in favour of charity. They sent it to me and said: This is what we are going to publish. Is it alright?

How would that be alright? I told them. You have made me say Vote! when I did not say that; it was a complicated thing. And I am actually against organised charity. 

Yeah, they said, we’re really worried about what you’re gonna say.

Well, I asked them, why have you booked me? I even said it in the article. I said I didn’t know why I had been booked to talk about charity.”

“Did they keep the booking?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Trevor.

“How did it go?”

Trevor Lock may go to a variety of counties in South America

Trevor Lock talked to me at Soho Theatre earlier this week

“It went fine. There was one clever know-it-all trying to make me defend Russell Brand’s point of view, which I don’t fully share. But what was amazing was that this was a university unable to hear… I don’t think I’m known as being Right Wing; I don’t think my opinions are particularly Right Wing… I was just saying: This is what I think charity is.”

“And did they print your piece?” I asked.

“In the end,” said Trevor. “But it took me a long long time and I had to accuse… well, two of them got very angry.”

“They printed your original version?”

“Yes. Because I told them: You have to put THIS back in. Then they said: It’s too long…. I thought: Don’t tell brazen lies to me! You are telling me you have had to edit the article to make it sound the opposite of what I said because my article was too long??

“If they disagreed with your views,” I said, “all they had to do was commission someone with opposite views to write a counterbalancing article and then it would be an interesting debate.”

“This is the thing,” said Trevor. “When I went to university, it was about hearing and talking about ideas. I am 40 years old and here are young lads in theirs 20s who should be debating interesting thoughts. But they are frightened to hear my thoughts. It’s almost like being in Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

Welcome to 1984 Doublethink “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.” Welcome to the Big Brother House.

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible”… Welcome to the Big Brother House.

I said: “Whenever wankers use the phrase ‘positive discrimination’ I think Have they not read about Doublethink in Nineteen Eighty-Four? Positive discrimination is discrimination.”

Trevor said: “What I have taken away from reading Facebook in this last week about Andrew Lawrence and Dapper Laughs is that Hitler could have happened here.”


Filed under Censorship, Charity, Politics

5 responses to “Trevor Lock on Dapper Laughs, Andrew Lawrence and the rise of liberal Fascism (my phrase not his)

  1. Arlene Greenhouse, aka stalker

    Great piece.

  2. On why Dapper Laughs is such a bad man … this is interesting …

    I have supplied my wisdom

  3. The willful misrepresentation of detailed views, instead reduced to a simple but inaccurate (and damaging) statement, is brand spanking new and is undoubtedly a result of Twitter, but the ideological certainty that allows the Left to think themselves moral while doing immoral things is as old as Socialism itself. It’s what allows Lefties to man gas chambers or dash babies’ heads against trees. They’d kill everyone on the Right if they could. These good decent Lefties, in our country today – they’d do that, they really would.

    The misrepresentation angle is hugely damaging to democratic debate, generally. If your point takes ten minutes of discussion to make, but their fraudulent precis can fit into 140 characters, then their version will win out. The lie is retweeted a hundred times and becomes the “truth”.

  4. Here’s our views on Dapper Laughs and the campaign to keep it even from ever reaching your screens in the first place in more detail

  5. I didn’t agree with what Andrew Lawrence said but I do think positive discrimination like censorship is something people see as a panacea for all evils. I mean having tried positive discrimination in favour of women not just because of some ideological socialist ideal but because we get bored of listening to just men moaning all the time you do hit several problems. One is women seem to have a higher no show rate than men… I don’t know if this is real or it is because of how I’m percieving them but that is how it is … I think. Also I think there’s more women that start and give up than men …who tend to keep going in spite of the fact they’re shit forever having no self-perception. But whatever … I can book women more often but I can’t increase the pool of talent. Sometimes you just feel as if you’re booking the same few people over and over again …. And if we booked all women …it’d presumably create an all men club down the road and we’d just be dividing people not solving the problem. I don’t think it’s a sociological accident that as discrimination on the circuit has decreased (and I think it has) that Funny Women degenerated into a weird pay to pay scheme. Anyway …he may have talked a load of pastures but it did result in this which I thought this was a great piece…

    …where Alan Varley actually does the maths on positive discrimination – sorry “affirmative action” – dont want to end up down an Employment Tribunal. There’s some kind of difference between targets and quotas … Anyway…. Really the BBC’s positive discrimination policies based on this do seem to be proportionate. But it’s interesting no one else had thought to do the maths like this.

    I mean I’m not a big fan of positive discrimination but what’s plan B? this is what gets me with Lawrence I wouldn’t mind so much if he’d come up not with criticism but an alternative answer – even if it’s let not bother.
    You could argue that we don’t need to socially engineer more women into comedy but then … are they staying out because they think it is “a man’s game”…? I dont know the answer to this but given that there clearly still is some discrimination although it’s not as bad as it was … you’d hope the ones that do try would realise that they have to be BETTER and MORE RElIABLE than the men to get on. But many of them dont seem to get this… is the problem women just aren’t as naturally competative as men. And I can kind of forgive Lawrence some of his comments just for having a go at MTW. I do think he’s got a point about boring programs packed with middle aged white men. I dunno…

    That said Lawrence doesn’t know what it’s like to be an “ethnic” act. They dont just have to put up with all the people who tell them to talk about race but all the people who tell them not to talk about about race …it’s a sewer of endless self-righteous opinions that goes right over the spectrum from left to right … and instead of leaving them to make up their own minds whether to talk about it or not every promoter seems to feel it’s their job to have an opinion on their opinions. This is a problem that I dont think can be solved.

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