Don’t feed the troll: The five stupidest Brendan O’Neill articles

To call Brendan O'Neill a professional contrarian would be to elevate him to the status of something he isn't. Brendan O'Neill is a troll. A professional troll, but a troll nonetheless.

To call Brendan O’Neill a professional contrarian would be to elevate him to the status of something he isn’t. Brendan O’Neill is a troll. A professional troll, but a troll nonetheless.

The Brendan O’Neill formula is a simple but effective one: work out what any reasonably decent human being would think about an issue and write the opposite.

With that in mind we’ve compiled five of the stupidest things Brendan O’Neill has ever written to give you an idea of how his whole get up works.

1. In an Age When It’s Trendy to Be Ill, Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomy Revelation Is Far From Rebellious

Angelina Jolie announced on Tuesday that she had undergone a double mastectomy after learning that by doing so she would reduce her risk of breast cancer from 87 per cent to five per cent. Jolie made her announcement in an article for the New York Times, and as a result earned praise from breast cancer experts for highlighting the heightened genetic predisposition to breast cancer run by women who’ve inherited a faulty version of either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene from one of their parents.

Most people had absolutely no problem with that. Brendan O’Neill felt otherwise:

“Is she really rebelling against celebrity culture or conforming to it? You know what would have been truly brave, properly rebellious, delivering a little personal blow to today’s conformist celebrity culture of talking about sickness and scrubbing away the line between private life and public life? If Ms Jolie had never told anyone except her family about her decision to have surgery.”

2. Homosexuals were once branded as mentally disordered. Now homophobes are treated the same way

Until relatively recently gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals risked being jailed, beaten, fined, publicly humiliated, murdered, mutilated and ostracised from public life. In many parts of the world that’s still the case, and as I reported for the Independent on Sunday in 2011, hate crime is something many LGBT folk continue to experience.

According to Brendan O’Neill, though, homophobes are now treated in much the same way:

“In the past, moralists and psychologists conspired to depict homosexuality as a mental disorder. Today, in a flip reversal so profound it could give you a headache, gay rights activists and their cheerleaders depict homophobia as a mental disorder. The sinned against have become the sinners.”

3. So what if a few horses die in the Grand National? It is our pleasure, not their wellbeing, that is important

Strangely enough, lots of people don’t think it’s acceptable to inflict pain on animals for the titillation of human spectators, be that through bear baiting, cock fighting or, indeed, making horses jump over unnaturally high fences. Not Brendan, though.

The fact that right-thinking people are increasingly concerned about the number of horses dying after being pushed to the limit by well-paid jockeys so that bookmakers can make a great deal of money doesn’t rile Brendan, however:

“It’s just a horse, a dumb, unfeeling creature, unaware of pain, unaware even of its own existence, and with no concept of past, present or future. When you whip a horse it doesn’t think, “This is so painful and humiliating”, because it is incapable of thought. It just runs.”

4. Posh-bashing has replaced prole-bashing as the nastiest strain in British politics

Considering the fact that more than half of the cabinet were educated at independent schools, with two attending Eton; and despite the fact that polling in recent years has shown attitudes hardening significantly towards the poor, it is the chinless and plummy-voiced who are the most persecuted group in Britain, according to Brendan O’Neill.

Rather than let it console him that 24 per cent of vice-chancellors, 32 per cent of MPs, 51 per cent of top Medics, 54 per cent of FTSE-100 chief execs and 54 per cent of top journalists went to private school, O’Neill believes posh people are the new “outsiders”:

“Indeed, posh-bashing has eerie echoes of that older pastime of prole-bashing. In both instances, in both today’s pseudo-radical assaults on toffs and yesteryear’s reactionary attacks on a feckless underclass, moralism stands in for serious analysis and invective takes the place of cool-headed commentary.”

5. Breivik: a monster made by multiculturalism

Anders Behring Breivik’s deranged worldview led to him carrying out a sequential bombing and mass shooting in Norway in 2011 which claimed 77 lives. Breivik was very clear about why he went on his rampage: to promote his fascist manifesto which called for the forced deportation of all Muslims and the violent annihilation of “Eurasia”.

Much like the rape apologist views the rapist as the creation of the woman in the short skirt, to Brendan O’Neill Anders Breivik was created by the very thing he sought to destroy – multiculturalism:

“Breivik is not an implacable foe of multiculturalism; he is a product of it. He is multiculturalism’s monster, where his true aim is to win recognition of his identity alongside all those other identities that are fawned over in modern Europe. In essence, his barbarous act last year was not about dismantling multiculturalism but about expanding it…”.

Don’t feed the troll

The most important thing with any troll is not to feed them. Like a big fat hungry caterpillar chewing on a luscious green slice of lettuce, a troll feeds on the ‘outrage’ generated by their ‘opinions’ and gets hooked on it.

As a rule, you should ignore Mr O’Neill. DO NOT express outrage and DO NOT Tweet or Facebook his articles in order to show your companions how disgusted you are. In other words, do not hand him the big green slice of outrage lettuce he craves.

I note that in writing this article I’ve sort of fallen foul of my own sage advice, but I thought you knowing how his whole ‘journalism’ thing works would be worth it. I won’t do it again.

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42 Responses to “Don’t feed the troll: The five stupidest Brendan O’Neill articles”

  1. Graham Barnfield

    “I won’t do it again.” Until next time.

  2. Brendan

    Who is this guy?

  3. Matthew Blott

    I agree with the last paragraph. Rod Liddle does exactly the same, like the toddler who says “bum” because he thinks it’s naughty and gets attention. I despair whenever I see some lefty expressing their outrage in the comment’s section because that is exactly what they want!

  4. Axel

    this made my day…to my shame i have fed that fucker till he’s almost bursting with sanctimonious shit.

  5. magnolia

    Any chance of you posting your other four so I can start a collection?

  6. magnolia

    Any chance of you posting your other four so I can start a collection?

  7. magnolia

    Any chance of you posting your other four so I can start a collection?

  8. magnolia

    Any chance of you posting your other four so I can start a collection?

  9. James

    This article is the best endorsement of Brendan O’Neill that could possibly have been written.

  10. owen

    I quite like him

  11. NT86

    Isn’t it surely feeding the troll by giving that person attention in an article with a list of some of their past writings?

  12. MJ

    “Breivik is not an implacable foe of multiculturalism; he is a product of it. He is multiculturalism’s monster..”

    This statement is correct for logically if multiculturalism did not exist neither would Breivik.

    “In essence, his barbarous act last year was not about dismantling multiculturalism but about expanding it…”.

    This statement is false because culture is necessarily interested when push comes to shove in its own advancement. Breivik is the usual warrior of a cultural behavioral variance which appears when their culture is actually or perceived to be threatened. To perceive a threat against ones culture in a Global context the attack against your culture does not have to occur in your neighborhood – the terrorist conversion message is for Others culture wherever it exists. Cultures inform behavioral variance based on their individual codex (genetic and textual authorisation).

    Breivik’s motivation for his terrorist conversion message I perceive was based on his dependency anxiety reaching a critical level, he felt he could no longer depend on fellow adherents to toe the cultural line, rather than outward in major part Breivik’s message was inward – ‘Realign to cultural norms and their protection or else.’

    This is not to say Breivik’s terrorist message was only for fellow adherents it is in my opinion never the case there is always an element of delivering a message to fellow adherents and Other alike – just depends where and how the horror occurs.

    So as with most narratives there may be an element of truth in what the most despised have to say, it is not that we have to respect them for it. Or means we have to be an advocate, far from it but sometimes if you want better outcomes in the long term throwing out all they have to contribute may not be a good idea.

  13. ArfurTowcrate

    Who is this fuck?

  14. MJ

    Does it matter Who?

    “But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less concern for credentials, and the greater the concern for content.” Noam Chomsky

    I am not sure, but I do not think “Who is this fuck?” passes the ‘intellectual substance’ test so maybe your right the level of debate allows for such an informative response.

  15. English teacher

    “Excellent” is the correct spelling. Your ignorance invalidates your opinion.

  16. leftythinker

    trollign shoud be baned.

    that woud be fair.

  17. Kalooni

    I fear you’ve totally missed the point of his Grand National article. Oh well.

  18. Tim Atkinson

    O’Neill’s also been promoting climate scepticism in The Big Issue, which I would have thought would have known better. See article here:

    With some help from my learned colleague Dr Inigo Montoya, here’s my fairly straight-batted response:

  19. Ozalid

    If I ever meet Brendan O’Neil, he’s having it.

  20. Rebecka

    Pleased to find this. Feeling confused: Bought a Big Issue – a magazine I really want to support – only to find his column applauding Cameron’s cutting of sickness benefits to prevent people from ‘festering’ on welfare… The cuts are in fact swelling the number of vendors selling the magazine. There’s an unbelievably ugly irony in asking the homeless to promote his column, and I wish I could boycott him without boycotting the Big Issue.

  21. gulberwick

    You should be banned. You’re one of the worst trolls I’ve ever seen.

  22. Hugh7

    So “The latest anti-Semitic cry: ban circumcision: Foreskin-envying hippies and Eurocrats are waging war against an age-old tradition, under the guise of ‘human rights’ ”
    can be number six. Protecting babies from having their genitals cut is antisemitic, and human rights go in scare-quotes now? I don’t think so.

  23. Steve Darragh

    Unless of course you can completely annihilate and make him an embarrassment for the publication he writing for. Probably will not get through the vetting process!

    My answer to his article regarding the new use of the gay word…

    The kids around my way are now using ‘you gay nigger’ innocently as a
    lighthearted insult and niggerish meaning naff and rubbish etc too.

    I identify gay culture as a ridiculously high and totally
    disproportionate percentage of the World population. By this I mean it
    covers every aspect of culture from low end commercial trashy pop music
    to top end classical and avant-garde and everything in-between. For an
    estimated less than 10% of the population being responsible for a
    greater % of all the arts, far larger than the remaining 90%.

    However, I do believe that the unique psychology belonging to
    homosexuals can have a drastic influence on their creative abilities.
    Characteristics that lead from homosexuality (such as enforced or
    voluntary rejection of stereotypical gender roles, social isolation, the
    lack of a natural family etc.etc.) can lead to an increased interest
    into the creative mediums.

    It’s also possible that if homosexuality is actually biologically
    inherent, the predilection for musical talent and other forms of
    creativity come with it.

    Gays are not without sin either as for a long time they have used the word
    straight to mean the exact same as the word gay has adopted now, ie
    naff, rubbish, crap, boring,bland etc so perhaps this is divine
    retribution! I do believe the sign of a civilised society is when the
    majority recognise and protect the rights of minorities.

    Afterall 90% can hurt the 10% to a much greater degree than vice versa.

    As for the culture debate, a quality rag such as yourselves would have a
    greater degree of input from gay culture than perhaps you underestimate.
    Think designers, photographers, the arts, fashion, journalism, interior
    decoration, general design in fact all but the sports section which is
    seen by gays as not worthy of much creative input and hence why there is
    not a high proliferation of gay personalities but perhaps that is
    debate for another time .For now, Only stupid people are using gay as an
    insult. A fact the Telegraph should face up to. Get over it!

    The Gay Telegraph… now there’s a thought.

  24. James Abrahams

    yes! This person really really misses the point of Brendan in pretty much all those articles. At no point does he really argue against anything Brendan is saying. Just says “The title of these articles makes me sad!!! Lets call this guy names!!!”

  25. Rob

    My god…the soft left are up in arms. A person who is willing to express his view in a democratic society, stick his neck out & challenge the conventional modern day left! Although a Marxist (libertarian) which is more left than “left” he advocates that the current left thinking is to rein in industry, despise consumerism & and has given in to the green movement.

  26. eipertti

    O’Neill is a typical right-leaning “libertarian” with a massive persecution complex about the left. You only have to say something vaguely progressive and libertarians like him start wailing about how they are victims of reverse oppression.

    The last article by O’Neill I read was a tirade against films in which homophobic village hicks gradually learn to accept gays. Gay-friendly cinema!? It’s that creeping leftist totalitarianism again!

    Another source of paranoia for him is anti-racism, which for him is an attack against white working-class football fans who just want to express their love for the beautiful game – by hurling racial abuse at the players.

  27. Peter Gilkes

    Marxist(libertarian) to you, gobshite to decent people everywhere.

  28. Neil Saunders

    I don’t agree with everything that Brendan O’Neill writes and says (although he’s certainly right about the crushing, manufactured pseudo-consensus on issues like same-sex marriage), but he’s a good deal more than a troll, and you know it, otherwise you’d realise that writing about him is tantamount to “feeding” him.

  29. John Collison

    It is encouraging to observe just how oblivious this “forward” thinking prog is of the the fact he is utterly bereft of an actual argument, is staggeringly unfamiliar with any working definition of the word journalism, and is himself a garden-variety troll.

  30. AK

    Well he sounds nice doesnt he?

  31. Haloge


  32. Haloge

    Steady now owen.

  33. Haloge


  34. Haloge

    Your pedantry invalidates yours.

  35. Penny L.

    O’Neill is the Wurst (twat, that is)

  36. Valencian

    Only just come across Brendan’s BS. He’s just like Katie Hopkins, Ann Coulter and all the other morally bankrupt asswipes who make money out of being nasty. Just shows that some people are prepared to do anything for cash and have no soul or moral compass. Hope he gets some really bad news very soon..

  37. Valencian

    no point arguing against what Bredan is saying as he is talking shite. Never argue with an idiot because from a distance no once can tell who the fool is…

  38. Valencian

    you would do…

  39. Ian

    I love O’Neill and agree with most that he says – was great on QandA last night (22/08/16).
    Australia once rode on the sleeps back – now our citizens are the sheep!
    Keep’n it real O’Neill

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