GRAHAM Phillips might quickly be the primary comic from Dundee to finish up in The Hague.
He was condemned by MPs within the Home of Commons this week for his interview with a British prisoner of conflict taken captive by the Russians throughout the Ukraine battle.
Within the 45-minute video movie, Phillips interrogates Aiden Aslin, who surrendered to Russian forces after combating within the besieged metropolis of Mariupol final week.
He tells the viewers that the person, regardless of being handcuffed and clearly injured and surrounded by Russian troopers is talking of his personal free will.
It could be humorous if it wasn’t so grim.
Although Phillips – like Aslin – was born in Newcastle, he lived in Tayside and was in keeping with one up to date: “Very a lot of Dundee, which doesn’t come over in present press stuff. Scottish accent, by no means considered him as something apart from a Dundonian.”
He was a daily on Scotland’s fledgling stand-up comedy circuit within the late Nineties and early 2000s, performing alongside Frankie Boyle and Miles Jupp beneath the identify Brandon Reed.
He labored lots with one other comedian who glided by the identify Ben Darcy, who ran common comedy nights within the metropolis.
One comic who labored with Phillips described him as assured and warranted, even when the audiences have been detached. “I’m fairly certain Graham as soon as struck a heckler with a beer bottle,” the comedian stated.
Tommy Sheppard, the MP for Edinburgh East, who based the Stand Comedy Membership in 1998, has solely imprecise reminiscences of Phillips.
“Within the early days of The Stand there have been lots of people making an attempt their hand at comedy. I don’t keep in mind him being notably … properly, clearly he’s chosen to not comply with that profession.”
He took his personal present to The Stand for the Fringe in 2001 – From Dundee To Tennessee – the place he visited three completely different cities referred to as Dundee and reported again on what he discovered.
“The impact is like being bored stiff by somebody speaking you thru an hour’s price of vacation photographs,” The Scotsman wrote.
In 2001, he ran the marketing campaign to have David Hasselhoff elected as Dundee College’s Rector.
The competition was between the Baywatch star, Fred MacAulay, the late Countdown presenter Richard Whiteley, Tory MSP Nick Johnston, and Stirling College lecturer Professor Abd al-Fattah El-Awaisi.
Nevertheless, Hasselhoff was pressured to withdraw his nomination as he might solely decide to visiting the college every year. MacAulay finally prevailed.
In the introduction to the interview with Aslin, Phillips claimed he isn’t breaching the Geneva Conference because the captured man is a “mercenary”. That, nevertheless, will not be true. In keeping with his household, Aslin moved to Ukraine in 2018, the place he met his girlfriend and settled down in Mykolaiv. He had been serving as a marine in Ukraine’s army earlier than Russia launched its invasion.
Talking within the Commons on Wednesday, Aslin’s native MP, Robert Jenrick, stated Phillips was “in peril of prosecution of conflict crimes”.
It was, he added, “a flagrant breach of the Geneva Conference”.
Phillips first went to Ukraine when travelling as an away fan to an England soccer match. He stop his job on the now defunct authorities Central Workplace of Data and moved full-time to the nation in 2011 to turn into some kind of gonzo journalist, running a blog opinions of brothels.
It didn’t take lengthy for him to fall in with the pro-Moscow separatist teams within the east of the nation.
He’s a prolific YouTuber, and his channel has obtained greater than 100 million views.
He was briefly employed by the Kremlin-backed RT information as a contract journalist – though he by no means gained full-time employment with the outlet, and says he makes his cash by means of donations from viewers “who need to see the reality”.
Extra just lately, Phillips was again within the UK, filming himself at anti-Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations in opposition to the lockdowns.
When the conflict began, he flew again to Ukraine, importing movies practically every single day, most of them trying to counter the “propaganda” of the Western media.
One in every of his most up-to-date movies claims that the Bucha bloodbath the place Ukrainian civilians, their palms certain behind their backs, have been shot at point-blank vary, was “staged”.
On Friday, YouTube lastly eliminated Phillips’s interview with Aslin, and stated that the blogger’s account would not generate income from commercials.