Mark Dolan: By cancelling Roy 'Chubby' Brown you’re cancelling comedy altogether
Mark Dolan uncancels Roy "Chubby" Brown and Winston Churchill
Roy "Chubby" Brown
I'm no fan of Roy "Chubby" Brown. I've never really understood the whole hat and goggles thing, and much of his material – often nasty and pretty offensive - is not for me.
But he is clearly a talented guy, with a huge following. Bad luck therefore that one of the venues hosting his tour – Sheffield City Hall - cancelled his show and refunded tickets to his fans. This is an appalling decision.
An attack not just on free speech, but on ART form, that of stand-up comedy, something that historically we have been the best at, anywhere in the world.
And stand-up comedy is a broad church.
You have one liner comedians, clean comics, dirty comics, political comics, silly comics, angry comics, happy comics - it takes all sorts.
The hilarious storytelling ramblings of Billy Connolly and the punchy one-liners of Bob Monkhouse.
As with all aspects of cancel culture, this decision is riddled with inconsistencies and hypocrisy.
Seemingly Roy "Chubby" Brown is a bit too naughty for the good people of Sheffield.
But will they be cancelling the shows of Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle?
Full disclosure, those two comedians are among my favourites. Incredible gag writers, incredible performers. But they have respectively, told jokes about sexual assault, and children with Down's syndrome. So if Roy "Chubby" Brown is triggering and offensive, do you not think that gags about kids with down’s syndrome having bad haircuts, are problematic?
Are jokes about gang rape, not a tad problematic too?
'We want acts here that we like, not what they like.'— GB News (@GBNEWS) September 10, 2021
GB News Yorkshire reporter Kevin Larkin speaks to David and Keith who joined protests in Sheffield following the Sheffield City Trust's decision to stop comedian Roy Chubby Brown from performing. pic.twitter.com/9O846lD9RG
In the end the audience should decide what is acceptable - not the modern day censors, who would happily kill all art. Unless they are breaking the law, all comedians should be free to perform their work and we should let market forces decide.
There’s space for Roy, Jimmy and Frankie too. Comedy is under attack and there are comedians OUT there now, afraid to tell a joke for fear of their career, and for fear of the consequences.
And that's not a very funny place to be. If you cancel Roy "Chubby" Brown and other people that don't fit, the prescribed WOKE narrative, whilst allowing other comics to be as offensive as you like, you're not cancelling just one comedian, you’re cancelling comedy altogether.
And the result will be a joyless dystopia, in which we're not allowed to mock or lampoon anything. Comedy is the ultimate weathervane of a free society, and if you lose a plurality of comedic voices, the implications for our society are profound.
And that, is no laughing matter.
Another week, another attack on Winston Churchill, this time from within, as the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust renamed itself The Churchill Fellowship and removed images of the ex-PM from its website.
Now we are told the Churchill family are happy with this, and that the decision is not an attempt to erase the memory of this wartime leader.
Except eliminating his Christian name from the charity's title and taking his face off their website surely does exactly that.
Consciously or unconsciously, it's an apology for a man who, during the second world war, faced off tyranny, and rescued the free world. His full name should be all over that branding and so should his image
Churchill was a complex man, and you cannot evaluate the legacy of any politician from 100 years ago, without placing them in the context of their time. But that's what campaigners want to do.
It’s important for historians and indeed school teachers to look at the grey area of Churchill's time in power, both as a military leader, home secretary and ultimately prime minister. He said wrong things, he did wrong things, he made profound mistakes, much of which are owing to the period of history in which he lived.
But defeating Hitler, one of the worst monsters of human history, must surely define his legacy. If we are weighing up his contribution to humanity, I’ll take that.
The third Reich gathered millions of Jewish people and murdered them in gas chambers. They were tortured, experimented upon and enslaved; gold was prized from their mouths, as well as myriad other horrors that I just can't bring myself to tell you about, and that you doubtless know anyway.
Defeating the evil of Nazism is surely the greatest triumph of any British leader in history. In my book, Churchill is a hero.
The freedom we enjoy today, ironically to debate his legacy, is one for which we have HIM to thank.
After another bizarre week in which we have debated the reputation of a man whose leadership, vision, creativity, hard work and courage saw the defeat of fascism, I'm delighted to use this programme and this platform of GB News, to OFFICIALLY, uncancel Winston Churchill.
And in tribute to this flawed, complex, sometimes wrong, but ultimately truly great Britain, we are dedicating this show to him.
To Sir Winston, Leonard, Spencer Churchill, the man who saved Britain, who saved the West and who saved the WORLD. We celebrate you, and we salute you.