The polemical LBC presenter on why hes not smug and undertaking prejudice
James O’Brien is an award-winning radio presenter and podcaster whose current things phone-in show on LBC has almost a million weekly listeners. Described as ” the shame of radical Britain “, O’Brien is the author of the bestselling book How to Be Right…In a World Gone Wrong , a guidebook to challenging those who hold” unchallenged rulings “.
How do you respond to critics of your reveal who say that it isn’t a fair oppose between you and your listeners, because you have the upper hand and can end at will ? strong>
It is a fair fight, because I’ve been on the radio for 16 years. I have what I suppose you could call a reputation. The times that get viral are watched by millions and millions of people, so anyone who rings me[ must be] particular they’re going to get the better of me. Occasionally, you get the sense that someone might be prone and then you take your hoof off the pedal, because there is no pleasure in beating up someone intellectually who announces a bit unwell. I ended because you can’t come on the radio and say stuffs who the hell is untrue.
I’m not interested in minds unless they’re based on fact and, tragically, too many places in the media, particularly with regards to legislators, will allow people to say stuffs that are simply not true and leave them unchallenged.
How often do you think you alter people’s minds ? strong>
Not as often as I’d like. I had a chap at a festival of debate a few weeks ago who was a amply paid up member of the EDL before he started listening to my prove and he stood up in front of 600 parties and said:” I believed to be saved my life .” Those instants are incredibly important to me, but that’s extreme. I’m not egotistical or naive enough to think I’m moving the needle on national discourse anywhere near enough.
If you call your book How to Be Right , is it fair for parties to allege you of being smug ? strong>
I think people who peddle lies for a living call people who tell the truth smug. I’m not smug- smug would signify I was enjoying this.
Your volume destroys the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic expressed the belief that you encounter on your present. But how much aggression or altered in attitudes are you showed in your day-to-day life ? strong>
I’m a white-hot heterosexual male and despite what numerous parties are currently saying, I remain the most privileged constituency on the planet … I don’t have[ that] knowledge. The whodunit is how much of[ this] there has always been and how much of it you now have because of emboldening.
I’d argue it was already there, but the lid has simply been lifted . strong>
Sure. You’ve got Farage on the radio time flirting, knowing exactly where the line is, and Donald Trump crossing the line on a daily basis. So we’re realize parties, pre-eminent parties, unbelievably powerful people saying these happenings and the “breaking point” advertisement[ Farage’s 2016 anti-migrant poster]- there is no way you can unveil that sign in public and not think some people will think it’s OK to spit at brown-skinned parties in wall street. It’s the scale of how much the recent rhetoric of takeover, about cultural identity and about ethics being deteriorated- which is all bollocks- has impacted on ideas. People who deemed to be find a reasoning to their anger.
Do “youre feeling” people are fundamentally good ? strong>
Of course I do; “youve got to”. Look at their own efforts being put in to do beings accept bad things: their own efforts is immense, it’s the richest parties on the planet, the most powerful media proprietors, it’s the demagogues with the biggest scaffolds, the season ticket owners on Question Time . There is a commercial and audience imperative in this country where if it gets chatter moving and it gets clicks, a big reaction, then it must be good. But of course, when regular punters watch this stuff, they don’t see a circus or bonfire, they just get persuasion by the narcissism and you don’t have good pitches if you’re on the side of kindness and modesty – you have nothing to moment at.
You sound overcome even by the engage back ! strong>
It’s pathetic. It’s astonishing; the factionalism and the infighting is so much more important to a certain kind of leftwinger than taking on the Tories or in the last few years, the government. They’re preoccupied with centrists, they’re obsessed with Blairites, they’re haunted with denying antisemitism when it’s right there in front of them, so all that has incubated the problem.
Does a occupation in traditional politics summon for you ? strong>
I have a silent rule that anyone who wants to go into politics should be banned – you should be forced to go into politics by plebiscite because people think you could bring something to the table. So it’s highly unlikely.
Given the success of the Brexit party, Farage might believe the same applies to himself ? strong>
Farage is simply a unusually very good heckler. He couldn’t be involved in delivering Brexit, he couldn’t be involved in delivering policy, he couldn’t be involved in putting together a proper proclamation or assembling a suitable registered political party, all he can do is assemble a dizzying regalium of shitty tomatoes, stand at the two sides of the stage and lob them at the poor sods who would like to induce some smell of the current matter.
You’ve just been on holiday – what did you experience reading ? strong>
I’m halfway through The Ministry of Truth , Dorian Lynskey’s biography of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four , and it’s absurdly good.
What was the last thing that manufactured you laugh ? strong>
My 13 -year-old daughter is addicted to Saturday Night Live sketches on YouTube and Pete Davidson’s attribute Chad creates me pretty close to drying myself every time I watch him.
How do you tighten and switch off ? strong>
Crime fiction. We live near the Thames and I like to walk the dog there as often as I can. I adoration marching up to Brentford where there’s still a boatyard and a real sense of when the river was an industrial hub. And I try to play Fifa on the PlayStation once a week with one of my oldest friends- we’ve been doing so for nearly 30 years! I restrain meaning to take up meditation properly but can’t find the time.
* How to Be Right … in a World Gone Wrong is out now in paperback( WH Allen, PS8. 99 ). To degree a emulate go to guardianbookshop.com or bawl 0330 333 6846. Free UK p& p over PS15, online guilds merely. Phone orderings min p& p of PS1. 99