Now I have listened to the Radio 4 Media show it’s clear that several important points that I made were edited out. Thankfully the stuff about #transdocfail made it through. What was cut?
At one point I suggested that, while some of the tweets aimed at Suzanne Moore were undoubtedly indefensibly unpleasant, freedom of speech applies to Twitter trolls as much as to Julie Burchill – though the difference is that, if people choose to, they can report abuse to the Lords of Twitter and offending tweets may be taken down. As was Julie’s piece, when people protested.
I responded to the ‘at least there is a discussion point’ on its second or third appearance with the remark – and I said I first made it forty years ago which indicates just how unoriginal Burchill’s piece was – that no-one would say that republication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion made it easier to talk about anti-semitism.
When I suggested that someone at the Observer had thought, o Julie will stir things up, and commissioned that piece for that reason, and no other, the presenter said I couldn’t know that was the case, to which I replied ‘the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.’
I did explain part of why ‘Brazilian transexual’ was unfortunate and mentioned I had contacted Suzanne Moore to explain why to her – again, that was cut.
More if I remember more – but there are points where I sound nervous because they cut me in mid-word, something they did not do to the verbose Young.
Oh, and I was asked to comment on whether I thought people should be sacked. I said that an internal process was going on at the Observer and it would be contrary to natural justice to discuss that while it was going on.
Freedom of speech is a great idea – I don’t think I got it.