Scandals are like trams, in that they have flanged wheels and use an overhead electric power system. Also, three come at once after a long hiatus. Gliding in as the Lawyer X scandal powers up is the Great Milo Yiannopoulos Right-Wing Cluster-fuck Email Dump, which is a real Christmas treat. With Milo, Neil Erikson, Penthouse and a duo named the Spiller brothers involved, what’s not to like?
Milo is of course the “right wing provocateur” of recent fame — a British-Greek chancer who came up through tech journalism, and used “Gamergate” to cross over into the foetid world of US-British right-wing provocation. Gay, gay-married, smart and funny in a Spectator-ish way among mouth-breathers, his brilliant US-UK career was derailed somewhat by protests closing down his campus lecture tours, and the surfacing of a radio transcript of him talking “neutrally” about paedophilia.
That did for him in the US. In the UK, he was done for by revelations that he had actively built neo-Nazi connections with Breitbart, for whom he was working.
Australia put out the welcome mat, of course, with a sold-out tour last year, at, of course, martial arts/wedding venues. This was under the auspice of Damien Costas, a Sydney identity, who owns Penthouse magazine in Australia.
The Milo tour showed that there was the prospect of a hard-right circuit in the country. Enter the Spiller brothers, two young lads who made it big selling water tanks in north Queensland, and may have got a touch of the sun. According to Erikson’s website, Dan Spiller contracted with Milo for a video appearance at a touring “Conservative Forum” he was running. That fell apart, as these things do. Nevertheless they powered on to organize a full Milo tour, with Erikson involved, as Australian Events Management.
That’s when it gets delicious. Most of us can spot Milo as a lost-boy hair gel grifter from way back. But not the right. Though everything about his life and attitude is toxic to the idea of a genuine social conservatism, Milo is political Viagra to the repressed and resentful people who flock to such politics.
So AEM began to give Milo money. A US$30,000 loan in May of this year. A US$40,000 deposit on fee a week later. A US$25,000 payment for social media posting about the tour in June. In between that, another US$30,000 for, and I quote from Erikson’s notes, “because he needed the money”.
By July it’s becoming clear that the tour is in trouble. Milo had agreed to get right-wing valkyrie Lauren Southern on board. It turns out he never contacted her. Nothing has been done by Milo’s organisation to organise right-wing valkyrie Ann Coulter for the tour.
What to do? AEM’s answer? Give Milo more money. US$5500 is transferred — the grifts are getting smaller — and Dan Spiller now begins to try to help Milo manage his personal budget by email. This includes these gems:
-health insurance: Skip a month or two AND reduce as much as possible.
– Leave doctor for a month (since you have what you need), we can pay after we get some income in a few weeks. reduce his service level. My doc charges $100 max per visit once a month. A dollar saved is a dollar earned.
Milo’s reply email should form the script of his tour appearances. I would pay to see that. Some highlights:
I am stunned to receive this. As so often, just when I feel like we are getting somewhere, you renege on an agreement and change course …
Why did you deduct $2,000, without telling me … I will have no way or [sic] paying my cleaning lady or paying back the loan for my phone bill. …
… Medical expenses. How could you not pay my doctor … You do not live in America. Healthcare here is not subsidized. … There is no “service level” to reduce. My doctor charges $10,000 a year to cover me and John. The $2,500 installment plan was a favor he did me due to financial hardship …
It goes on like this for some time, speaking of “intense camaraderie”, before the sting:
ACTIONS YOU MUST NOW TAKE:
I … require you to cash wire another $14,500 as soon as the bank opens Tuesday for arrival Wednesday.
What’s a canny right-wing entrepreneur to do? Give Milo more money. Another US$40,000 or so for work that is never begun, much less completed. As part of his appeal for funds Milo forwards AEM an internal “Milo Inc” document showing the company owing $2 million, to, well everyone: his backers, the billionaire Mercer family, his ghostwriters, banks, a Four Seasons hotel in Hawaii and so on.
It gets boring from there. Penthouse launches a rival right-wing tour, with Gavin McInnes, the Canadian hard-right organiser. That falls over, and there is talk of a joint tour. Then Milo decides he maybe can’t work with Damien Costas, who he calls a “criminal-adjacent, dishonest pornographer“. Islamophobic English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, also booked by Penthouse, says he won’t do the tour if Milo’s on it.
Milo has since said that while his company owes $2 million, he is personally solvent. Except that, from week to week, he can’t pay his cleaning lady — short of finding another bunch of right-wing backers to pay upfront for the hit they need to keep their sad politics on the road.