Elton John's move goes against that which any artist should stand for - freedom of expression, says Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan says Elton John's departure from Twitter goes 'against freedom of expression'.
Mark Dolan says Elton John's departure from Twitter goes 'against freedom of expression'.
Mark Dolan

By Mark Dolan

Published: 10/12/2022

- 21:41

Updated: 11/12/2022

- 10:23

Mark Dolan says 'it's a huge disappointment' to see Elton John announce his departure from Twitter

I'm a huge fan, of Elton John – I've idolised him, since I was about 11. I consider him to be a total musical genius, easily up there with Lennon and McCartney, if not better.

He’s a global beacon, for gay rights, and his legacy, touches everything, from the fight against AIDS, to Watford football club, and he's currently on stage, in the “Farewell, Yellow Brick, Road,” tour, which is the biggest grossing tour on the planet as we speak.

One of the great things, about this man, is his focus, on creating, the greatest music, the world, has ever heard, in playing the piano, and in fighting, for causes, about which he's passionate.

But he's never been political, which is why, it's a huge disappointment, to see him announce, his departure, from the social media platform, Twitter.

All my life I’ve tried to use music to bring people together. Yet it saddens me, to see how misinformation is now being used to divide our world.

'I’ve decided to no longer use Twitter, given their recent change in policy, which will allow misinformation to flourish unchecked.'

I love your music. Hope you come back. Is there any misinformation in particular that you’re concerned about?

Elton John, has a heart, the size of Texas, and he's incredibly clever too, but his remarks, about misinformation, are a misjudgment. As we have learnt, through the pandemic, and throughout history for that matter, many things labelled misinformation, at the time, often turn out, to be the truth.

There was a time, when people claiming, the Earth was round, were imprisoned, tortured, and, even, killed. But last time I checked our lovely planet is a perfect, circle.

Challenging orthodoxies, has good, historic precedent, which is why, it's such good news, that Elon Musk, is restoring free speech to Twitter, which, for many, has now become, the digital town square, a marketplace, of ideas and opinion, where all issues, can be debated.

The problem with the word misinformation, is who decides, what that means. Early in the pandemic, it was misinformation, to claim Covid, may have come from a lab in Wuhan, now it's the most, likely, scenario.

At the time, it would've got you cancelled. It was considered heresy, in many quarters, to argue that lockdowns, might ultimately, kill more people that covid or that masks or school closures were hopelessly ineffective and needlessly damaging.

These views may have been right or wrong, but they have their place. I would argue history is proving those heretical lockdown sceptics right. In Elton’s utopia, there would have been no such free discourse at a time when our lives were being drastically changed through government policy.

Joe Biden said if you have the vaccine you won't get Covid, he said if you have the vaccine you won't spread it.

Both statements have turned out to be palpably untrue. Was that misinformation? You tell me. Do you see the problem?

And I've got to say Elton's decision to leave Twitter is symptomatic of the privileged elite, who are happy to perpetuate any given narrative, and crush opinions with which they disagree.

Not only is Elton John, one of the very greatest artists in the world, he's one of the greatest artists in history. But he has benefited from living in a country with a free, open culture, where he could express himself in his personal life as a proud gay man and through his music with edgy songs, like the bitch is back, which would be banned or censored in radical regimes.

I love Elton and I always will. He was my specialist subject on Mastermind for God sake. 11 questions, 11 right answers – what a saddo I am.

But this move smacks of virtue signalling, and it goes against that which any artist should stand for. Which is freedom of expression.

And if there are some dreadful people on twitter, who have unpalatable opinions, but we can read that stuff and dismiss it. And expose it to scrutiny. But it's all rock 'n' roll.

The best possible example, I can give to Elton about why he's wrong on this one – the journalist, Alex Berenson.

Permanently suspended by Twitter, for highly controversial tweets about the COVID-19 vaccine. Berenson took Twitter to court to reverse the ban, showing the judge that every single tweet, was based on official US government data. In other words, he was publishing official statistics, for which he got cancelled.

Now, I think Elton, you'll agree, that official government statistics are not misinformation, but information, and information to public needs to see. The judge threw out the case, the judge upheld his claim and he was reinstated to the platform.

What about one of the greatest medics on the planet, Professor Jay Bhattacharya at the University of Stanford. Not a nutter in his grandmothers bedroom, but a revered figure of science who it’s been revealed this week, was censored by Twitter, for calling out the dangers of Covid measures.

His tweets against school closures were restricted so they couldn’t be seen by more people. This great man was on a blacklist.

Do you want that kind of censorship Elton? Because that’s what the founder of space X, Elon Musk, is trying to eliminate. So that a revered figure like Bhattacharya, a rockstar in his own right, can add to a crucial debate.

So right now, it’s Elton versus elon. How ironic that the Rocket Man should fall out with the rocket man. It's Saturday night and it's alright for fighting. Especially with Elton John. Because for the first time in his career, on this one, he’s horribly out of tune.

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