The mystery of Titania McGrath

Titania McGrath is the name of a parody twitter account hosted by one Andrew Doyle, as discussed by me here at Quadrant Online: Titania McGrath, Meet George Orwell which is itself a discussion of an interview with Doyle. At one level, the account is just as it is described:

Titania, an imaginary amalgam of all the worst excesses in the modern social justice movement, fancies herself a voice for minorities of all kinds (whether they know they agree with her or not). What she lacks in self-awareness, she makes up for in conviction.

Doyle is therefore a man on the right making fun of people on the left. Well, not so fast. This, however, is how he describes himself.

I think if you were to write down all of my political views on various things I would come out more left-wing than right.

So he is then a man of the left who makes fun of people on the left who go too far. Maybe, but he also says this about himself as well.

I’d say I’m quite culturally conservative, however. I believe in high standards of education, because I think that adult autonomy depends on effective socialization in youth. So you need to have a rigorous school system, and children need to have an awareness of the classics and be taught the classics. I think art history, for instance, should be embedded at a primary-school level: not “let’s see what you can create with these paints”; I think you need to learn the classics. That’s a more traditionally right-wing viewpoint. I also believe in politeness, and decorum, and high standards and that kind of thing, which I think might be more associated with the Right.

There’s no “might be” about it. If that’s what you believe, then you are one of us and not one of them.

But then let me look at this, which is the example of a Titania tweet put up at QoL.

That is funny, but which side is Andrew Doyle actually on? It may well be that he believes that both are bad, that the point he is trying to make is that it is just as wrong for a baker not to bake the cake as it is to prevent children from learning about gay rights. The tweet may really be saying, a plague on both your houses.

But no matter how you slice it, Titania is a creation of genius. So perhaps we should just take his final advice:

I think the Left and Right should agree on the basic liberal principles of free expression, free discourse, and free thought. But also we need a shared social contract of how we address each other and how we tackle these issues. It doesn’t work if one side of the debate is just screaming and covering their ears. Nothing can be achieved that way.

I’m all in with that, but how realistic is it? In regard to the screaming and covering of ears, let me draw your attention to this post put up today: REBELLION IN THE KNITTING COMMUNITY. It’s about a woman who in the past had associated with Democrats only but went to a Trump rally the other day in New Hampshire. First there is what she was told by before she went:

In chatting with the folks at the [MSNBC] taping, I casually said that I was thinking about going over to the Trump rally. The first reaction they had was a genuine fear for my safety. I had never seen people I didn’t know so passionately urge me to avoid all those people. One woman told me that those people were the lowest of the low. Another man told me that he had gone to one of Trump’s rallies in the past and had been the target of harassment by large muscle-bound men. Another woman offered me her pepper spray. I assured them all that I thought I would be fine and that I would get the heck out of dodge if I got nervous.

A kind of over-the-top Titania-like reaction. But then she went along to the rally and found this:

As I waited, I chatted with the folks around me. And contrary to all the fears expressed, they were so nice. I was not harassed or intimidated, and I was never in fear of my safety even for a moment. These were average, everyday people. They were veterans, schoolteachers, and small business owners who had come from all over the place for the thrill of attending this rally. They were upbeat and excited. In chatting, I even let it slip that I was a Democrat. The reaction: “Good for you! Welcome!”

“The right” are just normal people. It is the left who are doing the screaming and covering their ears. Doyle knows that as well as anyone. Seriously, which side is he really on? Surely he is not really, as he describes himself, more left-wing than right.

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53 Responses to The mystery of Titania McGrath

  1. notafan

    My assumption is that all he is doing is pointing out how irrational the left are with every position based on, I was going to say shifting sands but shifting sandstorms seems more appropriate, of permanent cognitive dissonance and idiocy based on who is the current highest victim on the slippery totem pole .

    Good homophobia

    Bad homophobia

    LOL.

  2. Nob

    The term “right wing” just means “bad” to most people under forty these days.

  3. Which side of politics sees racism in everything? Which side of politics associates apes with black people? Which side of politics sees (x)phobia in everything? Which side of politics endorses, calls for and enacts violence in the name of racism, sexism, fascism etc?

  4. C.L.

    Interesting post.
    It raises the question really of whether there is anything good or decent remaining on the political left. Is McGrath an ‘old school’ lefty who wants the left to step back from craziness or is he a ‘shy’ rightist who still thinks that broadly identifying with the left is somehow more sophisticated, culturally? Are even the thoughts of Doyle his actual beliefs or is he always on the piss-taking clock without telling us when he’s one and when he’s the other? Personally, I don’t think there is any ‘good old’ left to return to – mostly because it was never very good. It’s just old.

  5. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Doyle penned an interesting piece on Spiked about the Titania persona and why he created it.

    He thinks SJWs are idiots who take themselves way too seriously and who are continually adopting absurd hypocritcal positions on every issue they focus their obsessive endlessly offence taking attentions on.

    See also Titania appearing in person at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.

    McGrath is the continuation of Godfrey Elfwick, by other means.

    Sorry, no links, I’m posting on an iPad and can’t be bothered.

  6. calli

    I think he would find this discussion on his political leanings and the need to pin him down most entertaining.

    There’s a lot of silliness in the world. One “side” or the other doesn’t have dibs, sadly.

  7. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    the left is the spawn of greed, jealousy and envy

  8. notafan

    Definitely post elfwick.

    The left provide Doyle with an endless supply of material.

    I don’t know or care what his political position is, as long as he keeps skewering.

  9. Roger

    Personally, I don’t think there is any ‘good old’ left to return to – mostly because it was never very good. It’s just old.

    Talk with some coal miners.

  10. Mother Lode

    I don’t particularly care what his politics are.

    He is not shouting anyone down or demanding they be unpersoned.

    He is making points in a constructive way – inviting people to reflect on ideas – the homophobia one is brilliant. It is something for both I slamophiles and Christian bakers to consider and discover why the instances differ. They are smarter for having read and solving the conundrum.

    Titania also uses that age old language for people saying what is to dangerous to say: humour.

    There really is nothing wrong with having left wing beliefs if you are open to people with differing views and they are open to you. They must be open. Those people at the rally are a great example, as is the woman who was uncomfortable with the hive mind and so still went to the rally. She was curious. She may or may not have changed her opinions, but she was open.

    She and Titania are good examples for left and right.

  11. Infidel Tiger

    Personally, I don’t think there is any ‘good old’ left to return to – mostly because it was never very good. It’s just old.

    Not true.

    The fact is that most people in history identify as socially conservative and economically centre left.

    Real conservatism has many “left wing” principles.

    We must punish vice and reward virtue. The market does not know best.

  12. Infidel Tiger

    what is painted as “conservatism” these days is usually godless liberalism and outright bastardry masked as “individualism”.

    Thankfully those days are over. We are witnessing the death throes. Ugly to watch.

  13. Lee

    As I waited, I chatted with the folks around me. And contrary to all the fears expressed, they were so nice. I was not harassed or intimidated, and I was never in fear of my safety even for a moment. These were average, everyday people. They were veterans, schoolteachers, and small business owners who had come from all over the place for the thrill of attending this rally. They were upbeat and excited. In chatting, I even let it slip that I was a Democrat. The reaction: “Good for you! Welcome!”

    I think the reaction would be vastly different (and not a positive one) if someone went to a Democrat rally or an Antifa march, wearing a MAGA hat or t-shirt.

  14. jupes

    That is funny, but which side is Andrew Doyle actually on?

    Don’t over think it Steve. That is a pitch perfect parody of the left.

    Funny as fuck.

  15. It all needs to be re-named. Traditional conservatism nowadays extends from ordinary people’s conservatiism to the reaches of humanitarian support for those in need, while progressive is extremist repressive fascism. Old style left and right are now both within conservative traditions, while progressive is a authoritarian cult.

  16. Boambee John

    From the Koal Klux Klan thread, modified to take account of a comment by Winston.

    The left/right (or “progressive/reactionary) political paradigm is a relic of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

    The real political differences these days are between cosomopolitans/parochials (alternatively internationalists/nationalists, or anywheres/somewheres, or fantasists/realists, or collectivists/individualists). Those who adhere to the old paradigm need to get with the program.

    The Titania character helps with that change, by highlighting the silliness of the left/right idea.

  17. mh

    Freedom Fighters vs the Chinese Century enablers.

    The most relevant political paradigm of our times.

  18. John A

    Mother Lode #3323717, posted on February 14, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    I don’t particularly care what his politics are.

    He is not shouting anyone down or demanding they be unpersoned.

    He is making points in a constructive way – inviting people to reflect on ideas – the homophobia one is brilliant. It is something for both I slamophiles and Christian bakers to consider and discover why the instances differ. They are smarter for having read and solving the conundrum.

    Except that “homophobia” is an invented word applied specifically and totally to shut down intelligent discussion.

    There is no “good homophobia” but there is a helluva lot of bad hatred of Christians who hold to a different view of sexuality and moral restraint as compared to the LGBTQ activist bandwagon (which does not speak for all homosexual people).

    Try asking such an activist about the internal contradiction between the B and T parts of that acronym and see how far you get!

  19. classical_hero

    It’s an obvious parody, but the guy behind it wants to remain mysterious as what he actually believes.

  20. C.L.

    Personally, I don’t think there is any ‘good old’ left to return to – mostly because it was never very good. It’s just old.

    Not true.

    The fact is that most people in history identify as socially conservative and economically centre left.

    Real conservatism has many “left wing” principles.

    We must punish vice and reward virtue. The market does not know best.

    You’d have to clarify what you mean by good center-left policies, though.
    Tariffs, statutory marketing authorities, production quotas – all of the mainstays of what Paul Kelly calls the “Settlement” of yesteryear (especially prior to the semi-libertarian era heralded by the advent of the Liberal Dries and Hawke-Keating)? I don’t entirely disagree with you – as a one-time Santamaria-ist. If you also mean that the Settlement was an accepted part of conservatism, you’re right, of course. But I still think leftism as such was never good and cannot be made so.
    We’re agreeing – for all intents and purposes – about the superiority of conservatism – though I prefer rightism nowadays because conservative implies an antipathy to revolutionary change.

  21. Crossie

    Infidel Tiger
    #3323728, posted on February 14, 2020 at 8:28 pm
    what is painted as “conservatism” these days is usually godless liberalism and outright bastardry masked as “individualism”.

    Thankfully those days are over. We are witnessing the death throes. Ugly to

    watch.

    You mean capitalists like Bezos and Bloomberg who move hard left once they’ve made their billions?

  22. nb

    ‘shared social contract’
    This is weird language.

  23. Tom

    Don’t over think it Steve. That is a pitch perfect parody of the left.

    Yes!

    Having wilfully dumbed themselves down and blown their brains out, leftards have zero
    self-awareness of the hilarious freak show they are.

  24. Mother Lode

    Except that “homophobia” is an invented word applied specifically and totally to shut down intelligent discussion.

    My point, John A.

    Get past the boogeyman word and look at what is really going on. Clarify the thinking.

    The one word is being used to equate two very different behaviours.

    The bakers are merely opting to not involve themselves in someone else’s beliefs. I have never heard of them refusing to serve gays outright, lobbying to have the venue for their ‘ceremony’ cancel on them, or launching Twitter tirades., or even contacting other bakers to make sure no one provides a cake.

    This is how we can see that the Christian bakers are targeted, and it is not about cakes.

    The I slamists, on the other hand, are teaching children that the gay couple must be destroyed because Ullah demands it. Their teachings exhort them to kill gays, and when the I slamic creed dominates they really do it.

    So anyone who condemns the bakers but indulges the mullahs clearly does not have the welfare of gays uppermost in their minds.

    So, when someone talks about ‘homophobia’ and bakers it will smack of propaganda instead of being glossed over because they have got used to hearing the expression and reacting as if it was true.

    The loud progressives love trickery like this. Look what they have done to words like ‘fair’ (he worked harder so we should take more of his money) and ‘justice’ (it is terrible that white ditch-digger wading about in sewage in the midday sun enjoys privilege over the rich black lawyer).

  25. DrBeauGan

    If you have to worry about which side someone is on before you can make up your mind about whether his jokes are funny, you’re part of the problem.

  26. Up The Workers!

    The decency-phobic Left condemns Christian bakers for merely refusing to bake gays a cake, while commending their 6th century Musbyterian pals who take the cake-less gay-couple up to the roof of the nearest tall building, brutally tie them together and as a gruesome public entertainment, launch them on a one-way flight to Mecca. It’s all down-hill from there.

    That’s Leftard “finkin” for you.

    No wonder they do such a marvellous job every single time they get their idiot Leftard hands on the levers of Misgovernment.

  27. RobK

    The mystery of Titania McGrath
    I’ve encountered some mysteries in my life, however Titania isn’t one of them, entertaining as she is.

  28. Rafe Champion

    Have a look at Jo Nova’s report on the great divide in the US and an important insight from one person who crossed it.

  29. Boambee John

    Crossie at 0316

    You mean capitalists like Bezos and Bloomberg who move hard left once they’ve made their billions?

    Two points.

    First, only the wealthy can afford a comfortable life under socialism. They will not give up their wealth as part of their move to the left

    Second, when Bezos, Bloomberg et al talk about “equality”, they don’t mean between them and everyone else, they mean among the mass of peasants excluded from the select of the Nomenklatura (which latter will, of course, include them).

  30. Iampeter

    Posts like this are unintentionally hilarious.
    Most people here support Trump, support regulating trade, immigration and basically every aspect of peoples lives right down to who they can marry.
    Which side do YOU think you’re on? You think you’re not leftists?

  31. bespoke

    There’s a lot of silliness in the world. One “side” or the other doesn’t have dibs, sadly.

    That’s so true. The ‘Right’ (used for rhetorical expedience only) is just as needy for conformation they are willing to suspend rational and claimed ethics and follow nutters like Alex Jones.

  32. Not on your side iampeter, whatever that is.

  33. Boambee John

    1ampmeter still stuck in the outdated 20th Century “left/right” paradigm.

    Sad!

  34. mh

    That’s so true. The ‘Right’ (used for rhetorical expedience only) is just as needy for conformation they are willing to suspend rational and claimed ethics and follow nutters like Alex Jones.

    Bespoke, Alex Jones was one of the first to abandon the left/right paradigm.

    You have just shown your ‘need for confirmation’ by calling Alex Jones a nutter.

  35. bespoke

    mh

    Alex Jones is a nutter and I’m not saying dumb he stirs and stirs until the shit hits the fan then turn tail (think pizza gate). All I’m saying is be cautious of people pushing the emotional buttons.

    You have just shown your ‘need for confirmation’ by calling Alex Jones a nutter.

    How?

  36. Disciplined and the undisciplined, that’s the divide.

  37. Tim Neilson

    Iampeter
    #3323983, posted on February 15, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Poor old Iamashiteater, still unable to think.

    Still mired in the excrement of his own intellectually deficient dependence on cartoon like binary labels.

    Desperately sad.

  38. Roger

    …when Bezos, Bloomberg et al talk about “equality”, they don’t mean between them and everyone else, they mean among the mass of peasants excluded from the select of the Nomenklatura (which latter will, of course, include them).

    Equal in misery.

  39. Quibbler

    I left Twitter for my sanity but I do miss Titania and Trump. Both are shit stirrers extraordinaire.

  40. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    My mother’s people in Britain were salt-of-the-earth Labor; my grandfather was a coalminer who took the King’s Shilling and for it was imprisoned for years in a hell-hole by the Turks during the First World War.

    He wanted a ‘better deal’ for the working man, and called himself a ‘free thinker’. He wanted economic change and more sharing of societal wealth and an end to the extreme poverty he lived in and saw around him. He would be completely flummoxed by the current concerns of the British Labour Party – gender-bending, feminisms, educational experimentation, high taxation to only then spend it on social engineering, uncontrolled immigration and even the NHS. He just wanted to be able to ‘pay’ the doctor and feel as good as the next man about his role in life. He was a true collectivist – that was about taking care of your neighbours and your fellow workers as well as your own family. My Nana used to say it didn’t matter if you were ‘black, white or brindle’ you were still a human being who deserved care and respect.

    That is the ethos of ‘old Labour’ – redistribution of wealth with some idea of ‘fairness’ for effort, and collective actions. New Labor was about the rising of all boats on an economic tide of individual achievement. I think Doyle and many like him still adher to the ‘old labour’ view of redistribution at some level, and that is what he sees as differentiating himself from the right who are often seen speak for the ‘ultra rich’. Brendan O’Neill is another one; he still calls himself a Marxist, ie. a wealth redistributionist.
    Neither Doyle nor O’Neill have any time for the ‘cultural’ aspects of New Labour. They are old time conservatives from the ‘redistributive’ working classes, the sort that Disraeli woo’d so well.

    IT here has turned into one of them too. 🙂

  41. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    First, only the wealthy can afford a comfortable life under socialism. They will not give up their wealth as part of their move to the left

    The lessons of communism. It doesn’t work.

    Left or right, a discourse between those who see themselves as this or that has to start with a rejection of totalitarian ideologies and turn to finding a way to live and prosper that doesn’t end up with economic collapse and moral decay. A return to cultural conservatism is a good place to start talking.

  42. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    If you have to worry about which side someone is on before you can make up your mind about whether his jokes are funny, you’re part of the problem.

    +1

    Humor always wins.
    If it’s funny, and you both laugh, you have something important in common.
    Treasure it. It’s what defeated Soviet Communism.

  43. Clam Chowdah

    Interesting post.
    It raises the question really of whether there is anything good or decent remaining on the political left. Is McGrath an ‘old school’ lefty who wants the left to step back from craziness or is he a ‘shy’ rightist who still thinks that broadly identifying with the left is somehow more sophisticated, culturally? Are even the thoughts of Doyle his actual beliefs or is he always on the piss-taking clock without telling us when he’s one and when he’s the other? Personally, I don’t think there is any ‘good old’ left to return to – mostly because it was never very good. It’s just old.

    He is left in the same way that Brendan O’Neill is left. Writes for Spiked.

    For anyone here who wants to know what he thinks, there was an excellent Joe Rogan podcast with him about a week ago.

  44. BorisG

    I also believe in politeness, and decorum,

    Then you are not with Donald Trump, are you?

  45. BorisG

    The term “right wing” just means “bad” to most people under forty these days.

    Not in my extended family. Although they may not be as right wing as Cat’s nuts, they are not afraid to identify with being right of centre.

  46. P

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare
    #3324095, posted on February 15, 2020 at 11:11 am

    This post took me back to the 70s when I watched the series When the Boat Comes In.

  47. Tel

    I think the Left and Right should agree on the basic liberal principles of free expression, free discourse, and free thought. But also we need a shared social contract of how we address each other and how we tackle these issues.

    We had a “social contract” and it was the “Progressive” movement that tore it up.

  48. Squirrel

    Not sure whether Doyle supports the People’s Front of Judea or the Judean People’s Front, but Titania is a very clever, and rather brave, creation in a world where putting your head up above the parapet and launching pot shots at PC idiocy takes a fairly large pair of plums.

    If only we had a Strayan Titania – she would, of course, have a hyphenated surname and would also be a fiercely proud First Nations woman.

  49. Tim Neilson

    If only we had a Strayan Titania – she would, of course, have a hyphenated surname and would also be a fiercely proud First Nations woman.

    Fiercely proud First Nations, and a “refugee” at the same time.

    (Which, according to a majority of the High Court, is perfectly possible.)

  50. Cold-Hands

    If only we had a Strayan Titania

    We had a sorta proto-Titania in Alene Composta.

  51. Iampeter

    Yes a true conservatives intellectual rejects the objective and binary political options of individualism vs collectivism. Instead they embrace a random assortment of glaring contradictions, pretending they are being deep instead of realizing they simply have no clue what they’re talking about.

    This is how you get Trump and the much worse people still to come.
    This is why the left is winning regardless of who is in office.
    This is why any true right wingers, meaning individualists, advocates of rights-protecting government and capitalism, have to fight conservatives as the first priority.

  52. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Alene Composta.

    A creation of a commenter on this blog, no less.

  53. Old Lefty

    I sometimes get the impression that Titania is struggling, because the views from the nether regions of academia he/she is trying to mock are so loopy that they are beyond satire.

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