Could Milo Yiannopou­los treat Aus­tralia like a lu­cra­tive panto gig? Oh, no he couldn’t!

The Guardian - G2 - - News - Ma­rina Hyde

Has Milo Yiannopou­los not thought of do­ing panto? I am moved to ask after doc­u­ments sur­faced this week re­veal­ing the level of the fallen provo­ca­teur’s debts, and the level of his in­abil­ity to han­dle it. He’d make a ser­vice­able Abanazar, emerg­ing from stage smoke in Ket­ter­ing to a bar­rage of sweets thrown by small chil­dren. In­deed, with the right di­rec­tion and a will­ing­ness to com­mit more fully to his Joe Wicks DVD, he could even be a But­tons.

How­ever out­raged Milo may cur­rently feel about his di­min­ished star sta­tus, we should re­mind him that Christ­mas the­atre has al­ways been a friend to per­form­ers who have been forced – forced! – to send email laments along the lines of: “This week­end I re­turned my wed­ding ring to Cartier to wipe out my out­stand­ing debt to them.”

The lat­ter is but one high­light of an ex­change be­tween Milo and the or­gan­is­ers of his can­celled Aus­tralian tour, in doc­u­ments ob­tained by Hope Not Hate. Milo ap­pears to have treated the pro­mot­ers as a cash line, as well as the only guests at his pity party. At one point, they re­luc­tantly of­fer to wire him money for “liv­ing ex­penses ie to keep food on the ta­ble”, only for him to shoot back that he “will have no way of pay­ing my clean­ing lady or pay­ing back the loan from my phone bill. These are not op­tional ex­penses … You must pay my doc­tor and you must do it now … At an ab­so­lute bare min­i­mum I need you to pay two months rent …” Blahdy-blahdy-blah. It goes on.

The specifics of Milo’s debts il­lu­mi­nate the real­i­ties of the politico-in­tel­lec­tual strug­gle in which he has been such a … lead­ing light, is it? For in­stance, he claims to owe $52,016.14 to the Hualalai Four Sea­sons re­sort in Hawaii. The CEO of Milo Inc states he owes $1.6m to Milo Inc. Milo him­self es­ti­mates his per­sonal debts at $496,123.04.

As for the tour it­self, it was due to take place this month, dur­ing which he would have shared top billing with fel­low rightwing provo­ca­teur Ann Coul­ter at events in­clud­ing a “VIP yacht cruise” with the pair on the Gold Coast. Alas, this just wasn’t meant to be. The Aus­tralian pro­mot­ers have fi­nally pulled the plug on it, break­ing cover this week to speak to Aus­tralian re­porters. “It’s been the worst six months of my life,” one of them told a TV news re­porter. “He’s a night­mare.”

Yes. If only there’d been some way of sus­pect­ing this in ad­vance. The pair seem rather sur­prised that a man fa­mous for doxxing peo­ple has this week doxxed them in re­tal­i­a­tion. For his part, Milo has gone full crys­tal-tipped King Lear, promis­ing the can­cel­la­tion will pro­voke “a class-ac­tion law­suit on be­half of my fans”. I am re­minded of a re­cent blovi­a­tion of his I read, in which he re­flected bit­terly on some per­ceived slight by Jor­dan Peter­son. “Peter de­nied Je­sus,” railed Milo, “just as his nom­i­na­tive de­scen­dant Peter­son has de­nied me and oth­ers.” Waa waa waa.

As I say, would a stint in sea­sonal en­ter­tain­ment not take his and his bank man­ager’s mind off things? Then again, in many ways, that was what he was plan­ning with this trip to Aus­tralia.

Over the past year or so, Aus­tralia has be­come the equiv­a­lent of panto for the alt-right/rad­i­cal right/far right. You do a few lu­cra­tive weeks there; you tell the au­di­ences you love them even as you scream back­stage for the hand sani­tiser; you get the first plane out and tell your­self your dig­nity is in­tact. It’ll be the Pal­la­dium next year, and your agent is bound to call with a slot on Fox Na­tion soon.

Nigel Farage vis­ited the coun­try a few months ago, selling tick­ets at up to $100 (£55) for a se­ries of lec­tures en­ti­tled An En­ter­tain­ing Evening With Nigel Farage. En­ter­tain­ments in­cluded Nigel ex­plain­ing his step­fa­ther’s un­cle had fought with the An­zacs and got a VC, Nigel ex­plain­ing that he was the most pop­u­lar politi­cian in the UK and Nigel nick­ing his mate’s ma­te­rial and lead­ing the crowd in a “lock her up!” chant. Un­for­tu­nately, he didn’t men­tion Robert Mueller, deny­ing the au­di­ence the op­por­tu­nity to shriek: “HE’S BE­HIND YOU!”

So that was Nigel. Then there was Ann and Milo, but once they’d pulled the plug on that gig se­ries, for the rea­sons de­tailed above, the pro­mot­ers at­tempted to per­suade pun­ters that they’d much rather see the new speak­ing tour dou­ble act they’d booked in­stead: Ukip spad Tommy Robin­son and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.

Mmm. At­tend­ing a Tommy Robin­son speak­ing en­gage­ment feels a lot like at­tend­ing a gi­raffe swim­ming en­gage­ment. Amus­ing at some level, but dis­tress­ing in fairly short or­der. You’d feel more in the pres­ence of a pro­fes­sional if you sim­ply watched him com­mit mort­gage fraud for an evening.

Ei­ther way, even this re­place­ment op­tion has gone tits up. Ac­cord­ing to Tommy Robin­son’s PA, he “cocked up his di­ary” and for­got he was lead­ing a Brexit be­trayal march this com­ing Sun­day, as part of the fes­tive pro­gram­ming we’re all so much en­joy­ing at the mo­ment. Mean­while, McInnes’s visa has re­port­edly been turned down by Aus­tralia on grounds of “bad char­ac­ter”. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to those tire­less pro­mot­ers, the tour will go ahead next Fe­bru­ary, with pun­ters asked to pay as much as $995 for “a preshow din­ner … cham­pagne re­cep­tion and VIP seat­ing”.

I sup­pose there’s a rich tra­di­tion of cham­pagne fas­cism. Even so, I’m not sure quite why Aus­tralia is al­low­ing it­self to be used as a piggy bank for dis­tressed provo­ca­teurs. On a sim­ple watch­a­bil­ity level, it does seem such a waste of their vast col­lec­tion of lethal wildlife. Why not re­lease the Mi­los, Nigels and Tom­mies into it and film the re­sults? It would be big­ger than Home and Away and Neigh­bours com­bined.

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