Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh, best known as the author of Trainspotting, has sat down with Lovin Malta to discuss his views on the moral panic facing the world right now, cancel culture… and Malta.
Welsh warned that the decline of industrialism in the West has led to the crumbling of the entrenched definition of work and masculinity, and subsequently to the crumbling of people’s identities.
“When people don’t have these certainties to hold on to, you get this big upheaval, moral panic and political change,” he says.
“You see all this kind of identity crisis, from toxic masculinity to sexuality – everyone seems to be in a position where we don’t know who or what we are anymore and we’re trying to work out what we do next.”
Welsh decried cancel culture as a battlecry of “a kind of liberal fascism” that argues the world will be fine so long as everyone is nice to each other and watches what they say and do.
“It’s very weakening for society,” he says.
“I know some people have faced so much cruelty and oppression and we should try and end that but without ripping layers of skin from people and expecting them to be able to function. All you’re doing is make them more vulnerable.”
Welsh was invited to Malta as a special guest for the 2021 Malta Book Festival, organised by the National Book Council.
He had words of praise for the island.
“The architecture is beautiful and the weather is fantastic, compared to where I come from,” he remarked.