‘It’s become a tyrannical movement’: Political writer condemns the Pride movement for dropping Howard Donald

18 June 2023, 11:14

Political writer finds Howard Donald's Pride removal 'unnerving'

By Alice Bourne

Political writer for Spiked Online Brendan O’Neill spoke to Andrew Castle about Take That member Howard Donald being dropped from a pride event in Nottingham: “We have to get to grips with just how authoritarian cancel culture can be.’

Following the news that Howard Donald has been dropped as an act for Nottingham Pride after liking a string of homophobic and transphobic tweets, Brendan O’Neill spoke to Andrew Castle asking: “Why should we put up with this constant churn of what is acceptable to do or say?

“I find it deeply, deeply unnerving," he continued.

The singer, 55, liked a series of offensive tweets on his Twitter account prompting the Groovebox Nottingham Pride Festival to act.

He continued, “I think that one of the mistakes that Howard Donald made was that he apologised for his actions- saying ‘I am clearly uneducated and have a lot to learn’- he’s basically putting himself forward for re-education by the narcissistic woke elite.”

In an Instagram story on Saturday, Donald wrote: "I am really disappointed in myself and I am sorry for any hurt that I have caused by my uneducated actions. I clearly have a lot to learn and it's a priority for me that I do this."

Explaining why he thought this was so wrong, Mr. O’Neill said: “Every time we apologise to these people they grow more and more powerful.”

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Andrew then commented on the culture war at play saying: “There is a line, there is a place where everybody can operate with tolerance but at the moment there seems to be one side of things or the other with a whole load of silence in the middle."

“People like me are going ‘oh christ what can we say and what can we not say.’”

Brendan O’Neill agreed saying: “It’s virtually impossible to navigate and it’s a scary situation to be in.”

He then proceeded to describe Donald’s axing from the pride concert as “very ruthless policing of a man's mind, a man's ideas, a man's thoughts. We must get to grips with just how authoritarian cancel culture can be."

“Pride now has nothing to do with celebrating gay equality and gay rights it has become this rather tyrannical movement that will push you under the bus if you express a disagreeable thought," he concluded.

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