Piers Morgan tweeted his New Year’s resolution on Hogmanay 2018: to continue to be “annoying, argumentative & unbearably right about everything.” He then gave, “Zero apologies in advance to the whiny, PC-mad snowflake idiots who will be terribly offended by absolutely everything I say or write.”
The 55-year-old journalist and host of “Good Morning Britain” likes to take on anyone, wherever. Despite voting to stay in 2016, he infuriated parts of the left last year with his stand on trans rights and support for Boris Johnson’s Brexit agenda. Since then, the pro-Boris right has earned the same treatment, and seems to have been boycotted by the U.K. After scolding its management of the pandemic, the government.
“It’s been a strange year,” he muses. “In December, I was very popular with Boris fans and Brexiteers, but then, during the pandemic, I started criticizing the government a lot, and all my Brexiteer fans suddenly started hating me. The Liberals, who thought it was a pity I hadn’t joined the ‘Remoaner’ campaign, all started to fall in love with me again.”
His latest novel, Wake Up, is likely to turn the tide again, and he is already predicting “some terrible reviews from the ‘wokies,'” while he adds: “The story of ‘woke’ is absolutely commendable. It’s about having an awareness of social and racial injustice, and if that were all there was to it, I’d be woke myself. But it’s been completely hijacked, and the ultra-woke liberalism borders on fascism.”
“liberal”liberal,”go back to being liberal.”go back to being liberal.”Much has been written by liberals about how insufferable, intransigent and self-righteous the right is, but many liberals are now behaving the same or worse. Everything is offensive to the ‘wokies,’ and they don’t believe in free speech.”Much has been written by liberals about how the right is insufferable, intransigent and self-righteous, but many liberals are now behaving the same or worse. The ‘wokies’ are all offensive, and they don’t believe in free speech.
Morgan is as strident on the page and in person as you’d expect. His book is combative and divisive, discussing everything from the culture of stamps to veganism to the position of modern masculinity. Morgan enjoys his position as provocateur, not especially troubled by self-doubt. “I’m a conscious provocateur – my whole life is about inspiring arguments. But I have Susanna Reid beside me, always contradicting me. We’re the perfect template for liberals – you should be able to debate passionately about anything, but remain friends.”
He has been called a lot of names, but he sees himself as one of the “albeit flawed.” good guys. In person, he is personified by civility, more thoughtful but no less optimistic than the brawny battering ram that graces morning TV.
While several newspaper articles would certainly say the Cultural War, Morgan reserves perhaps his strongest words for the British government. “Their incompetence has made me very angry, and the boycott is a pathetic, cowardly neglect of public duty to our viewers. I make no apology for coming down so hard on them because we have the worst death toll in Europe and the worst economic record. Frankly, it couldn’t be worse.”
Morgan’s writing is definitely passionate, but charges of hypocrisy would eventually occur. He disputes the “wake” hype, but when Greggs came out with a vegan sausage roll, he was delighted. He staunchly defends complex dialogue, but labels “purple-haired, ring-nosed, meat-hating, misanthropic maniacs.” his critics.
He doesn’t dodge criticism, to his credit. I don’t pretend to be Mr. Perfect – I know I can be violent and obnoxious. I go along with it sometimes, I go a little overboard sometimes, and I was part of the issue in that sense.
But without ending up arguing with them, I am perfectly able to listen to people and discuss things with them. If I wanted to eliminate people, I would be a hypocrite. For the rest of my life, I would protect my right to hate vegan sausage sandwiches, but I do not want to prohibit people from eating them.
“He is similarly philosophical about bullying allegations, which he refuses to dismiss out of hand. “I don’t entirely deny it. The main thing is to always punch up, not down, and I look back at some debates and think,’ This individual didn’t really have enough resources to compete.’ That’s never a good look, and I’ve been trying to step on.’
Looking back at his conversations – and there are plenty of them – what stands out above all is what stands out.