Rector interview and analysis: Milo Yiannopoulos

Published

Selena Jackson and Kate Snowdon
Features Editor and Editor
Interview

The following interview contains content that may be distressing.
Content warning: belittling and denial of sexual violence, use of offensive language with reference to race, mocking the LGBTQIA+ community, intention of discrimination towards Muslim students, and transphobia.

What do you understand about the role of Rector for Glasgow University, and why do you believe that you are a good candidate for this position?
Higher education on both sides of the Atlantic is in crisis. Intellectual curiosity is dead, murdered by pearl-clutching students egged on by irresponsible professors. Instead of opening their minds to different ideas, students seem come to university to cover their ears, create atrociously-designed and poorly-spelled placards complaining about nothing very much, and try to run anyone with a different opinion off campus. I’m not the only one who finds it funny: everyone from Chris Rock to the creators of South Park are taking the piss out of coddled uni kids. Your own side thinks it’s a problem: just read any New York Times or Atlantic article about safe spaces and trigger warnings. If Glasgow students want to break away from the snowflake stereotype – and I hope they do – then I’ll gladly represent them, and push back against any member of the administration that tries to impose a culture of trigger warnings and safe spaces. My election would be a clear signal that, at Glasgow at least, this culture is coming to an end and that people come to university to be challenged and to grow.

What would your main aims be if you were elected?
Making Glasgow Great Again.

There has been speculation since your resignation from Breitbart that you are planning on remaining in the U.S. With the current Rector Edward Snowden having been criticised for not being active in his role, how do you propose that you could represent students without being physically present in Glasgow?
The presence of MILO is felt always, in all places, and all universes. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together. Also, I have a lot of money and it’s only a plane ride away from my home in Miami. Despite its garrulous dranks and drab, spiky-haired lesbian “comedians,” Glasgow is a great town. And I like a drink and a smoke as much as the next gay boy.

There have been calls to boycott the election since you were nominated. Given that a significant proportion of the student body have actively opposed your candidacy, how would you intend to represent the students at Glasgow?
I’ll represent them by banning their safe spaces, pulling funding from their therapy sessions, and making sure they encounter as much upsetting, offensive, and bubble-bursting material as possible during their time at university. They’ll thank me for it later in life.

How would you represent immigrants and ethnic minorities on campus, specifically in the wake of Brexit and the potential threat that it poses to non-UK nationals resident in Glasgow?
Anyone familiar with my dating history knows that I discriminate in favour of ethnic minorities. With me, the phrase “coloureds only served in rear” takes on an entirely different meaning. My sexual preferences aside, however, I don’t believe that a university is obliged to represent anyone other than the academically gifted. I don’t give a shit whether you’re a boy, girl, gay, straight, black, white or otherwise. Just be interesting, smart and funny.

1 in 4 female students and 1 in 20 male students have reported being a victim of sexual assault on campuses in the UK. I would like to know your views on the sexual violence prevention classes run at Glasgow University, given that you have previously said that campus rape culture is “bogus”.
You clearly aren’t keeping up with your feminist scare-statistics. A 2015 study for The Telegraph’s women’s section actually managed to come up with a 1-in-3 figure, not 1-in-4. Soon it’ll be 1 in 2! Of course, these studies are all bullshit. They include things like “unwanted advances” and “groping” under the category of sexual assault, lumping them in with molestation and rape. Sorry, but if you’re in a college club you’re going to receive unwanted advances and have to deal with the handsy advances of an inebriated creeper. By all means pour your drink on them, but don’t make it into a huge socio-political issue. It isn’t – it’s just human nature. And if they’re hot, chances are you won’t mind anyway.

[The Glasgow Guardian would like to note that groping and unwanted advances come under Part 1 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 as sexual assault and/or communicating indecently.]

The role involves working closely with the Students’ Representative Council. One of the common aims of the SRC is to improve representation of groups such as the LGBTQ+ community, women, and ethnic and religious minorities. Would you be willing to support them in this pursuit, and how would you intend to do so?
Yes, I’ll gladly protect the LGBTQ+BBQAA community. My first step will be to ask the administration to ban the Muslim Students Association. I mean, if the LGBTQ+GIMKULTRAUUIPU*(*(#$%* community wants to feel “safe,” surely their first priority would be the representatives of a homophobic, theocratic system currently on campus, right?

The Diversity and Equality Policy provides that transgender students must be supported by others on campus, and that those who are transitioning must have access to a range of facilities, including gender-neutral toilets. Everyone at Glasgow University is expected to adhere to these standards, but you are particularly outspoken in your opposition of what you deem to be the “special treatment” of trans individuals. What do you think of those requirements?
I don’t care too much about gender-neutral toilets, so long as there are also toilets for women to pee in without having to encounter a man in a dress who is confused about his sexual identity.

[The Glasgow Guardian would further note that discrimination on the grounds of religion or gender identity is illegal as per the Equality Act 2010.]

The Glasgow Guardian does not endorse any of the views contained within this interview.The Glasgow Guardian requested Yiannopoulos’ official manifesto from his campaign team, and was told that; “Obviously we only engage with proper news outlets, and so refuse to comment on this one. Sincerely The Milo Squad.”

Analysis

Only one theme runs throughout The Glasgow Guardian’s interview with Milo Yiannopoulos; that of mockery and disrespect. He fails to answer in any useful way on what he understands of the role of Glasgow University Rector. His supposed plans for his time here – a reflection of Trump’s campaign speech – would be incredible if only they could be taken seriously, and not as the absolute farce that they blatantly are. His lack of interest in the needs of the students should be a warning sign of his capabilities for this role, if the rest of his attitude doesn’t serve to dissuade you. No doubt he will thrive on the content warnings we printed at the beginning of our interview transcript, shouting them down as no more than evidence of censorship of free speech. But when his speech carries a genuine risk of harm to the parties involved, any reasonable person will see that a line must be drawn in the interests of protecting vulnerable groups.

The main thrust of the manifesto, when questioned on specific university policy and widely held values of the student body, damns Yiannopoulos as a viable candidate. He is clearly unaware of university policy and structure, and makes no attempt to put forward a manifesto [this has recently been made available on the SRC’s website] or any indication that he has an interest in this position other than for publicity. His mockery of the LGBTQIA+ community, discriminatory rhetoric regarding the Muslim Students Association, and disparaging comments about trans women do nothing more than highlight just how unsuitable he is to hold a position of trust and assurance within the student community.

He deflects focus by mocking the questions he is asked, telling the interviewer that she “clearly [isn’t] keeping up with… feminist scare-statistics” when questioned about his plans to tackle the rising problem of sexual violence on university campuses across the UK. This highlights his complete lack of understanding of the severity of the issue. Denying the validity of “groping” being considered a legitimate form of sexual assault, and expressing his view that “if [the accused] is hot, chances are you won’t mind anyway” is nothing short of repugnant, and is indicative of his blatant lack of regard not only for victims of sexual assault but also his ignorance of the law, and his unwillingness to do anything to tackle the issue.

It’s worth noting that the exact answers Yiannopoulos gave in his interview with The Glasgow Guardian have been printed in a number of other publications over the last week (including the BBC, The Independent and The Huffington Post). Surely the fact that he could not spare the time to formulate some original answers, in what amounts to a job interview, says a lot about the amount of effort he would put in were he elected as Rector. We deserve better than a candidate who speaks exclusively in hateful soundbites, and whose campaign serves simply to feed an insatiable ego, rather than present any constructive or progressive plans that would benefit the students of this institution that he claims to represent.