Today's www.ThorHolt.com Write With Courage guest is Claire Fox @fox_claire
Claire is a regular panellist on the BBC's Moral Maze and wrote the book, I Find That Offensive (2016) Claire is director of the Institute of Ideas, founded in 2000 to provide a forum committed to robust public debate in which ideas can be interrogated, argued for and fought over. The institute of Ideas challenges knee-jerk orthodoxies and ensures new generations look behind headlines and avoid over-simplistic conclusions on difficult topics.
To this end, http://www.instituteofideas.com organise a range of high-profile public events http://www.battleofideas.org.uk
On writing - It was the sucker punch...recognising that writing was able to completely devastate you, but, brilliantly, make you understand the World in a completely different way.
On herself - I'm not a natural writer, and partly that's because of vanity!
On writing versus public speaking - Writing is a far more difficult discipline than speaking because you get pinned down...
On identity politics - I really hate that attempt, particularly in literature, to categorise people through their politics, rather than through great writing.
Profound life advice - The greatest regret is to not say what you believe.
Today's guest on www.thorholt.com Write With Courage is Alan Muir. Alan is the Editor of the Scottish Sun Newspaper @ScottishSun on Twitter
On the profession of Journalism - I always thought newspapers could be tools for good.
On starting as a journalist - Get into the local paper, get involved in the local community, get to know the people who are the decision makers, the law-makers, the people that have got their ears to the ground…
On the future of Journalism – While the technology moves on and we’re all wondering where we’re going to be in the next 10-20 years, the basics I think, remain the same. Journalism relies on you being a people person and having the contacts to get the stories in the first place
Todays www.thorholt.com/writer-podcast guest is Joanna Williams @jowilliams293 Joanna is the Author of Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity (2016) and Consuming Higher Education (2012). She’s a Writer, academic, and last but certainly not least, Joanna is education editor @spikedonline
On Europe and Brexit - I just wanted to be able to vote out people who have control over my life. Being left wing doesn't automatically mean you are in favour of super-national institutions.
On Free speech - Terms such as left and right are pretty much meaningless these days. Terms like Free Speech would not remotely have been seen as associated with the political right (in the 1950s)...it has gradually become the left who are more associated with censorship.
Today's www.thorholt.com/writer-podcast/ guest is James Lindsay. James is an Author. His latest book is, ‘Life in Light of Death’ and previous work includes, ‘Everybody Is Wrong About God’, and ‘God Doesn't; We Do: Only Humans Can Solve Human Challenges’
How he started writing - I got pissed off that for my entire life there's all this...stuff about religion that I've never been allowed to say... I started to write it down and the next thing I know I'd written 200,000 words!
James Is a thinker, not a philosopher and used to be a professional mathematician. Catch him @ on Twitter.
Today's guest on www.thorholt.com is Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini. He’s a
Imam who famously defended so-called ‘hate’ Pastor James McConnell. Muhammad is a Senior Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Westminster Institute, and also runs a rather wonderful YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/muhammadalhussaini based around his passion of playing the Irish Fiddle and traditional sean-nós singing.
Catch him on Twitter @MYAlHussaini
Muhammad Al-Hussaini - I'm very committed to honesty because there's a huge trust deficit built up in the minds of western audiences.
- We must be able, through relationship to debate and discuss and disagree about stuff.
- I've not had problems from Muslims so much as from liberal white campaigners!
- the answer to bad speech is always better speech and more speech. It's important that we debate and discuss difficult texts within Islam and Judeo-Christian traditions. there's a real risk that the only solution we have, academic freedom, is being chipped away at. To debate and discuss and indeed to ridicule ideas.
Today's guest on www.thorholt.com Write With Courage show is Dr. Frank Furedi (@FurediByte) Frank is an Author, commentator, sociologist – he writes for SpikedOnline which is how I discovered him. Frank’s most recent book, What's Happened To The University? was published by Routledge on 17th oct 2016… he’s also done a very interesting TEDx talk, Dare to Know - which affirms the value of experimentation and risk.
Freedom and open debate is often seen as a threat, because when you exercise freedom it does have uncertain consequences.
Frank highly recommends, Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing, to the Parlament of England is a 1644 prose polemic by the English poet, scholar, and polemical author John Milton opposing licensing and censorship.
www.thorholt.com talks to Simone Rodan Benzaquen. Simone is AJC's Paris Director. She previously served as adviser to the Ambassador for Human Rights in the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. She holds a law degree from Kings College London, is currently working on her first book and has written for Le Figaro, Atlantico, Le Monde and Huffington Post.
On what is her life guiding force, Simone quoted ex-French President Mitterrand - You can't do anything against the will of one person!
On Jews life in France- anti-Semitism is obviously a problem for minorities, but at the end of the day it is a problem for all... if a democracy is incapable of defending its' minorities anymore, something is profoundly wrong.
www.thorholt.com guest today is Hunter Swogger. New Grad Hunter, is a writer (Heatstreet.com and Allthink.com) and proven viral video genius with upwards of 6.5 million direct views on one video alone and 30 + Million if ripped Facebook videos are included. Hunter’s Melania Trump Rick Roll video currently sits at 1,841,923 views. Hunter runs the swogblog at swogblog.me and also run’s Milo Yiannopoulos YouTube channel.
On speaking up as a college conservative - It is so freaking worth it to speak out. The vast majority of the left's power is in silencing you before you even start talking
On creating the Milo Yiannopoulos versus Julie Bindel debate at University of Michigan.
- I was in my senior year of engineering degree and was only taking 6 credits. I wanted something to go out on a bang with. That's how I found Milo. I was so happy to find Milo. Milo was such a complete firebrand and was causing such vitriol from the left. That's what you want, if you want to get attention to a cause you need to be entertainment first, content second, and substance second. And he (Milo) had the entertainment in the bag. And debates always seemed like the way to go for me... the platform of the debate had potential.
On social media shaming: Even if you're wrong, don't ever ever back down. These are evil people who want your life ripped apart... The perfect example of this is Mitt Romney versus Donald Trump.
On old-style conservatives: Their style of 'facts should win', just doesn't work. The formula of entertainment first, substance second has to be followed. That's a big mistake that conservatives always make. Liberals, the left has always had the entertainment industry and media. They've had all the entertainers foreever!
- Their style of 'facts should win', just doesn't work. The formula of entertainment first, substance second has to be followed. That's a big mistake that conservatives always make. Liberals, the left has always had the entertainment industry and media. They've had all the entertainers forever!
www.thorholt.com talks to CH4 Documentary Maker and Writer Mark Sparrow @Markgsparrow
"Don't use long words and don't write for other writers..just get your message across with the greatest economy you can"
Thor from www.thorholt.com talks to an 'Indigenous Jewish Rights Writer' and Settler living in Israel. Despite his title Brian of LONDON, he seems to be based in Tel Aviv, and is a contributor at http://Israellycool.com
The Israelis are the only indigenous people who've successfully won their country back after centuries of conquest and exile - Brian of London.
www.thorholt.com Today’s guest is Gary Bell @GaryBellQC: One-time homeless drifter, ASDA forklift driver and Pork Farms production line worker-turned-defence Silk (Lawyer) and Writer. His preposterous (and funny – very funny!) life story is told in 'ANIMAL QC' and he writes semi-regularly for the Spectator, and has written for The Week, The Guardian and The Big Issue recently.
"Just get round to it Thor. Everyone says they've got a book in them, but it just stays in them!"
http://www.thorholt.com/fear-can-be-helpful/ Fear can be helpful. At least The Rottweiler guard dogs we passed, helped calm me down, though...
See http://www.IJM.org/ for more on cutting edge slave rescue work around the world.
www.thorholt.com Controversial Southern Conservative, Pro-Constitution, Pro-Gun Vlogger and Novel Author Bre Faucheux.
@ on Twitter
Timothy Garton Ash. Our guest today @ is a Historian, political commentator at The Guardian among other places, author of many books including, The Magic Lantern & The File. his New book: is, ‘Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World’
“A major piece of cultural analysis, sane, witty and urgently important. Timothy Garton Ash exemplifies the "robust civility" he recommends as an antidote to the pervasive unhappiness, nervousness, and incoherence around freedom of speech.” So says Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
"What I have to tell you is, in the five years since I started doing this, free speech has been eroded, has been pushed back almost everywhere..."
"There's a whole new front in defending freedom of speech which is about checking the power of the private superpowers - facebook, google and twitter...the home office is now what's called a 'privileged flagger' on facebook!"
"What i saw in East Germany was the power of censorship...how the big lie, can fill the whole public space..."
"we've moved into a World neither Orwell or Havel could have imagined..where because of the internet and the smartphone, and mass migration, everyone is becoming neighbours with everybody else."
"So there's never been such a threat to free speech, because of course, the internet is such a fantastic surveillance tool. beyond a Stasi General's wildest dreams.. and what happens if you think someone is always listening in is you censor yourself and don't say what you really think..."
"What I call, The 'assassin's veto' is a disease of our time... people saying 'if you say that, if you publish that, we will kill you'...every thought is a provocation! And not to accept this means solidarity with those being threatened... because we have to show that violent intimidation won't pay."
Thor from www.thorholt.com interviews Brendan O'Neill of SpikedOnline - ‘…one of Britain's leading left-wing thinkers' says the Daily Mail, and an 'obnoxious intellectual wind-up merchant'! says the Guardian! Here he is speaking at The Oxford Union on Free Speech
"The right to be offensive is the engine of progress! Unless you give people the leeway to experiment with ideas, and the scope to be offensive and dangerous, and to shake the status quo, then we can't have the kind of progress and leaps forward, that have generated the conditions we live in today."
"Lots of leaders in the West, Theresa May, President Obama, various other European leaders, will say that internet freedom is very precious, and these evil foreign 'regimes' shouldn't be clamping down on it so much, but they do the same thing!"
On those who see his being Marxist and Liberal as a contradiction: "...if they really took on the arguments in Marx, they would know, the idea of the radical left, was always an idea for expanding people's liberty and expanding people's choice!"
"The left should be about liberating people from poverty AND official dictates!"
"Self-editing is fine...but self-censoring is bad!"
He recommends 'Common Sense' by Thomas Paine
Brendan is the editor of Spiked, the magazine that wants to make history as well as report it, and is a columnist for The Big Issue in London and The Australian in, er, Australia. He blogs for the Daily Telegraph and has written for a variety of publications in both Europe and America. He is the author of Can I Recycle My Granny And 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas, published by Hodder & Stoughton and described by the BBC as a “skidmark on the gusset of environmentalism”, his book, ‘A Duty to Offend: Selected Essays by Brendan O'Neill’ is available on amazon.. in Duty to offend, he explores everything from free speech to feminism, porn to Thomas Paine, coal (good) to Chomsky (bad). Fuelled by humanism, the essays put the case for a new enlightenment, and for rediscovering our faith in 'the dignity and excellence of man'.
Brendan is the only journalist to have written for both the Catholic Herald and Abortion Review…oh, and He does NOT tweet!
Our guest today is David Boaz. David is Executive Vice President of The Cato Institute
Peter Thiel says about David Boaz new book, "The Libertarian Mind is so convincing critics will want to condemn it, regulate it, tax it, fleece it, and forbid it. Fortunately, good ideas haven’t been outlawed...yet."
"People have a right to be free...society works better when people are free...The right and the responsibility to make the important decisions...what you smoke, read or spend your money on... should not be governed by coercive government!"
"I'm like Bruce Banner. I write best when I get angry!" On writing despite danger and death threats - "I couldn't sleep knowing that i didn't put my foot on the throttle."
Today's Guest is Taleeb Starkes. Taleeb is Author of two Amazon #1 Best Sellers: ☆BLACK LIES MATTER☆ & ☆THE UN-CIVIL WAR☆ Thought-Police Fugitive. NAACP Image Award Non-Winner.
"...I worked with juvenile delinquents in a group home setting in Philadelphia. That has been my passion. To try and take these seeds and help them grow into flowers. Not all grow as we may like. Some grow into weeds, not flowers. I grew up as part of this delinquency. I went to jail... went to prison. 3 hots and a cot!"
"I still mentor...but not in delinquent homes. Now that I gained some notoriety with my writing, I had to take my skill set and apply it in a different way.... because people try to get you fired these days because they don't agree with the position I take"
Being poor is no excuse for poor behavior" - Taleeb's Grandmother
I don't like the way Muslims have co-opted the political correctness and victim mindset of the left."
You can sit at home and worry about a 'clash of civilisations', or taking your belief in non-aggression, you can do something to promote understanding. These kind of conversations are more likely to lead to solutions than one-sided ranting.
Guest today, Nabeel Azeez. Nabeel is Founder and blogger at ‘Becoming the Alpha Muslim”, he also writes professionally for business clients at Dropkick Copy and recently wrote for the Huffington Post.
Our second guest is Anni Cyrus. Anni is originally from Iran. She is the producer of web tv show, ‘The Glazov Gang’ and also runs a site called Live Up To Freedom
Nabeel Azeez - "When it comes to things like free speech ad political correctness...I personally can't stand this so-called alliance that a lot of Muslims have with the left for fear of 'islamophobia...I don't like the way Muslims have co-opted the political correctness and victim mindset of the left."
Anni Cyrus - "First I want to thank you Nabeel for asking that question. A lot of respect to you for this article...thank you for being honest"
"It's the drug war that's corrupted society" Neil Woods
Our guest today is Neil Woods… Neil is a former undercover drugs operative, and reached the rank of Detective Sergeant. He is now is part of the @UKleap team, working towards drug law reform. His Memoir ‘Good Cop Bad War: My Undercover Life Inside Britains Biggest Drug Gangs’ was published by Ebury on the 18th August 2016.
"I thought I was fighting the good fight.But all I ever did was interrupt the drug flow to a city for a few days. The war on drugs is a devastating terrible thing and gangsters are getting rich!'
Our guest today is Saurav Dutt. Saurav is an Author and Political Commentator whose writing focuses on human rights issues, ranging from women's rights, honour-based violence, racism and geopolitics. His new book "The Butterfly Room" chronicles the issues of violence against women as well as the taboo issue of homophobia. His political columns cover wide-ranging topics such as the GOP, Conservatism, and geopolitical issues. His book has met with considerable critical acclaim, leading to appearances on BBC Radio and Television, Sky News, RT (Russia Today), Press TV (of Iran) and has been showcased on ABC and MSNBC News amongst others [and has made it across the desks of Amnesty International, The UN, Former PM David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
On Brexit: "I'm a proud British Indian, but that didn't stop so many 'fans' calling me a sell-out c**t"
On Writing: "It's a bit like vomiting. You just have to get it out. The art is in the editing. Just like film."
"...any writer who doesn't read, needs a whack on the head!"
"Don't let anyone rain on your parade. You'll get a lot of criticism in writing. Bear in mind they probably don't even have a parade to rain on!
Connect with Saurav and enjoy his varied and incisive blog sauravdutt.com
Jack Donovan - @starttheworld on Instagram - is Author of a number of books including; ‘The Way of Men’. and ‘Becoming a Barbarian’.
He also Hosts ‘Start The World’ Podcast on Itunes/Stitcher Radio
"You get into a survival situation - which would be prison - and guys are gonna gravitate towards guys like them. Tribalism is our natural instinct and we are preventing that because tribalism is very inconvenient in the modern world... because it effects commerce."
"...try to not follow the news cycle. Writing about that stuff, no one cares about it in a week. So I want to write about more universal things so right now I'm writing an essay on Brotherhood."
"I don't have a small vocabulary. I'd much rather write short tight little sentencesI like to try to write the way I'd talk to someone in a bar. Not using fancy long words to show how well you write. That's the worst writing to read... people who are pretentious about their writing."
'The Seawolf' by Jack London.
Michael Auslin ( @MichaelAuslin ) is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and National Review. He has advised the US government on Asian and global security issues. He is a resident scholar, and the director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he specializes in Asian regional security and political issues. Before joining AEI, Dr. Auslin was an associate professor of history at Yale University.
"The only good dissertation (or book) is a finished dissertation - just write it!"
Our guest today is @ Greg Stevens. Greg formerly taught at UCLA and is now a research scientist - a Data Modeling & Analytics Specialist to be precise. Greg still writes on science topics for Second Nexus and The Daily Dot. His writing has also appeared in Salon.Com, Inside, The Week, The Good Men Project, and Real Clear Technology. Greg also blogs about science, philosophy, politics, religion, history, culture and fitness at www.gregstevens.com
"The fact that you can come up with an intelligent argument for your position is not by itself evidence for that position. You need to ask yourself, can I come up with a really smart argument for the other side as well. And that is what you need to argue against!"
He recommends we all read 'Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid' by Douglas Hofstadter.
Today's guest is Raheem Kassam @ - Editor in chief @BreitbartLondon If you don’t know about Breitbart yet… they’re a news organisation founded in 2007 by commentator and entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart in the USA and are currently top of the Twitter league table for news sites.
On his background - 'I was a previous regular Mosque going Muslim, but it's just not for me... I was more interested in going to the pub'
How he ended up as UKIP and Nigel Farage advisor - "I got to know Nigel Farage by drinking in Westminster pubs!'
'You don't quite realise how corrupt almost everything, and everyone is!'
Michael A Sherlock. Michael is an Atheist and Humanist Speaker.. the Author of books including; 'The Gospel of Atheism and Freethought: according to Sherlock', Blasphemy: The Selected Works of a Blaspheming Atheist', 'I Am Christ' and 'Tell Me More'. Michael is also the founder of Founder of ‘Human Rights for Atheists, Agnostics & Secularists’. He holds a BA, Pol Sci & Sociology. He's Studying MA in Religion and his aim as an author is to expose the "sacred" lies, frauds and forgeries of religion.
"To live an honest life, you're going to necessarily make people angry, and you need to develop a thick skin. Better to make some people angry than to sit by and let atrocity and injustice carry on without hindrance."
Catch up with Michael on Twitter @