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Taking The Myth – Jan 2022 Edition

  Edward Colston statue case could be sent to appeal court - BBC News

This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight (@GSpellchecker) and Iram Ramzan of (@Iram_Ramzan) discuss the big topics.

0:00 Intro
0:59 Reporting from the Covid related protests in London
5:22 Vaccines becoming part of the culture war
10:53 Alleged lockdown Tory drinks ‘parties’.
19:19 Harry Miller legal victory over ‘transphobic tweets’ and ‘non-crime hate incidents’.
25:37 The gender debate and the impact on free speech
32:18 Edward Colston statue toppling court verdict
43:34 Maajid Nawaz gets fired from LBC Radio
51:23 How can you tell if people are playing to their audience rather than being objective?
55:06 Handling a sudden increase in audience size
1:00:00 Angela Rayner playing the ‘working-class northerner’ card.
1:13:00 Texas synagogue hostage taker was from Blackburn, UK

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Ep#184 – Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens – Radicalisation

This week on The Knight Tube, Stephen Knight (@Gspellchecker) welcomes Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens (@AMHitchens). Alexander is a Lecturer in terrorism at King’s College London and the author of ‘Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad’. They discuss radicalisation, terrorism, and the influence of al-Awlaki on modern Islamic extremism. 0:00 Start
0:35 About Alexander
1:51 The approach and style choice when writing about Anwar Al-Awlaki
5:35 Who was Anwar Al-Awlaki?
11:09 Foreign policy versus religious ideology?
19:08 Is the doctrine of Islam a special case when it comes to extremism?
26:33 Should Islamist and Jihadi sermons remain on platforms such as YouTube? What role do digital platforms play in radicalisation?
34:27 The government response to the killing of UK politician David Amess at the hands of a suspected Jihadist.
39:39 Are counter-terror organisations better prepared than our politicians?
45:58 The public opposition to linking Islam with violent extremism
52:05 The ‘reactionary wave’: Similarities between salafi-Jihadists and white supremacists.

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Ep#183 – James Esses – Expelled for gender critical views

This week on The Knight Tube, Stephen Knight (@Gspellchecker) welcomes James Esses (@JamesEsses). James was a trainee psychotherapist and children’s counsellor until he was expelled for publicly expressing his opinions on gender ideology and transitioning. James is now taking legal action against his former place of study on grounds of discrimination.

0:00 Start
0:17 About James and his background
1:41 What is Childline?
3:26 Where was James studying before being expelled?
4:41 When did James first start taking an interest in the issue of gender dysphoria?
6:59 What is ‘gender dysphoria’
8:07 Gender dysphoria vs. social contagion
13:02 Parents with ‘trans babies’.
16:51 How do we separate the bigots from the genuine concerns?
20:25 James’s online petition to the UK government.
24:56 ‘Conversion therapy’ in the context of transgenderism
27:33 ‘Watchful waiting’: Do most people with gender dysphoria ‘desist’ if given time?
28:43 Getting expelled from his psychotherapy course.
30:59 Has academia been captured by gender ideology?
34:38 Taking legal action
38:02 Updates on the legal action
39:46 James’s relationship with his employer
41:26 Any precedents that provide hope for successful legal action?
43:47 Legal action as a last resort

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James’s article in Quillette:

Support James’s legal action:

London Covid Protests: A surplus of conspiracy and anti-vax misinformation


Over the years I’ve been on the ground at many street protests and events
with the goal of documenting opinions and fairly reporting a flavour of the messaging.
Like many, I have been deeply frustrated to then read via mainstream sources
that these same events were either ‘far-right’ or ‘racist’.

There’s something incredibly classist (and lazy) about journalists judging
thousands of ordinary people as bigots from the distance and safety of their
keyboard. I’ve pushed back against these narratives because they simply did not
map on to the observed reality. This did me no favours of course, as I’d simply
be accused of ‘defending racists’. But I didn’t care, because pushing back
against misinformation and documenting truth is all I need.

My test of what a gathering is about relies on what you can see and hear
most. Which themes and opinions dominate. Basically, if an impartial observer
was to turn a corner and stumble across a protest, what would their ears and
eyes reasonably inform them it was about?

This brings me to the protest I covered outside Parliament in London UK on
Saturday the 18th of December. The protests were organised with the intention
of challenging the government’s plans on vaccine mandates and potential further
restrictions. As a staunch liberal, this is all perfectly valid and important
stuff to be engaged in. If you can’t peacefully protest state restrictions,
then what can you protest?

The problem however, is that there are some deeply troubling components to
this sort of protest. And the truth is, there was not a single direction you could
glance without seeing or hearing anti-vaccine misinformation, Holocaust
comparisons, or antisemitic conspiracies about Rothschild controlled governments.
Some of this made ‘the great reset’ banners seem quaint. 

Furthermore, these extremists seemed perfectly at home, waving their placards
and shouting through their megaphones without so much as a “steady
on” from other presumably more reasonable protestors.

You can watch my coverage below:

If an impartial stranger was to come across this protest on Saturday, they
would almost have no choice but to conclude it was organised to peddle conspiracies
and spread vaccine misinformation. That’s the difference between previous
protests I’ve defended and this one. The cries of ‘anti-vaxxer’ and ‘conspiracy
theorist’ would be much easier to defend against were it not for a shocking
surplus of anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists. 

It is certainly unfair to generalise all those present as being equally untethered from reality. Of course there were people present with genuine and reasonable grievences. I’d also be happy (and relieved) to accept the plausible view that the cranks and
conspiracy theorists present did not represent the majority of those that gathered.
But if that isn’t even close to being apparent from your own protest, where would it

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

Taking The Myth – December 2021 Edition

This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight (@GSpellchecker) and Iram Ramzan of (@Iram_Ramzan) discuss the big topics.

0:00 Intro
0:24 Omicron and the NHS
4:17 Is it even possible to vaccinate the planet to a sufficient degree?
5:30 Jeremy Sleath wins unfair dismissal case after being fired for anti-Islam Facebook post
12:56 New Zealand Professor Garth Cooper faces disciplinary action for refusing to teach Māori creation myths in Science class.
16:47 The weird worship of Jacinda Ardern
17:41 Rod Liddle’s Durham university controversy and the cowardice of leaders in Academia
26:26 J.K.Rowling and Scotland to log rapes as committed by women if the male perpetrator identifies as a woman.
35:09 The erasure of the word ‘woman’.
40:25 Remembering Christopher Hitchens
45:05 Jussie Smollett found guilty of a hate crime hoax
52:09 Audience Question: Is the BBC downplaying religion in reporting on extremism?
53:36: Audience Question: Why do people love some animals but are ok with eating others?
57:16 Audience Question: Any Aslan contenders for the end of 2021?
01:00:11 Christmas plans
01:02:21 Christmas movie choices

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Ep#182 – Being Trans and Opposing Gender Ideology – Debbie Hayton

This week on The Knight Tube, Stephen Knight (@Gspellchecker) welcomes physics teacher and journalist Debbie Heyton (@DebbieHayton). Debbie transitioned in her 40s and talks about why she opposes the popular narrative on transgenderism and gender ideology.

You can watch the video version on YouTube:

0:09 Start of interview
0:17 About Debbie Hayton
2:00 Debbie’s transition
4:43 Affirmation versus treatment. Is transitioning always the solution?
7:19 Are transgender rights the new gay rights struggle?
12:51 Why has defining sex become taboo? How do we define it?
18:17 LGBT & Stonewall: Should gay and trans issues be contained under the same umbrella?
24:26 Are Stonewall damaging the conversation on trans rights?
29:04 The diversity of thought within the transgender population.
30:38 What are your political leanings?
34:22 Misgendering and the importance of pronouns
40:24 Statistics on trans suicide and murder
46:35 Are trans people being presented as dangerous by default?
54:48 Is support for Self-ID a big problem for Labour’s election chances?

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Debbie’s writing can be found at


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