I hate what Katie did so here’s a quid…

Blog posts, status updates, tweets: we’re all banging on about something and it seems it’s only cool if it gets snarkier and snarlier and nearer the mark.  The line of acceptability in the sand keeps shifting.

Tripled-jumped way beyond the line, there lies Katie Hopkins.

imagesI’ve never previously had much interest in her.  She talks utter shit, occassionally funny, mostly not.  She does clearly tell people: don’t like it, don’t read it.  As writer of a sometimes-crass blog , I suppose in the past I have broadly agreed with that sentiment.

Hopkins’ most recent foray into autism-bashing and ‘Born Naughty’ name-calling has gone too, too far.

When I watched the documentary, my immediate emotions were sadness and compassion.  The first thing I felt when I saw Honey and her family was how broken their spirits were.

However important celebrity, notoriety, money, whatever it is that motivates Katie Hopkins to be so horrible, I still can’t believe how a mother-of-three can look at that 9 year old girl and her family, see their pain and feel SO little that she called a 9 year old child a pig and a twat and made general fat jokes?

But I’m a parent of a daughter on the autistic spectrum and I’ve been through the agonies of being stared at, feeling completely alone, being called a bad parent and the terrible guilty relief of a diagnosis.

I’m also obese – boom! – I’m sure Hopkins would rub her hands together in “I told you so” glee if she got so much as a glance at me…

Pathological Demand Avoidance is a much maligned and misunderstood condition, there are no adequate words. You really have to walk that walk to truly know how difficult a journey that is, as the parent and as the child, bewildered, scared, low in self esteem, resigned to the wrong label: naughty.

Whether you ‘get it’ or not, autistic kids are not joke fodder.

I am an advocate of freedom of speech but I believe that decency, compassion and moral responsibility outweigh an adult’s right to say what they like when they like.

Especially about children and especially because of children.

Apparently Hopkins can reconcile her behaviour with being a mother, a role model to her young family.  Being a compassionate human, I can’t quite visualise how the scene goes:

“Kids, I take the piss out of disabled children and that’s OK. If you want to do that too, I will always support you…”

How can autistic children (or adults, immigrants, people with ginger hair, anyone of minority or difference) ever be safe from bullying and abuse when some infamous celebrity Mum calls one out and a fairly large-sized chunk of society claps their Twittering hands, even more snigger quietly and look at the floor, and the rest of us do nothing about it?

Someone has to fight for the little guys and for principles.  You don’t have to understand every single plight and difference, but you have to accept it and respect it.

I have sat up most of the last couple of nights, incensed, trying to read up on laws around hate speech, wondering if a private prosecution could be launched…

I’m not sure I’m capable of that but I can do something… it’s called:

The “I hate what Katie did so here’s a quid” Fund

heartquidThe idea is that if you hear mention of that awful woman and another terrible or inappropriate thing she said, you can choose to chuck a quid, on her behalf, into this communal swearbox.

If and when there’s a bit of money saved up, we can do something nice for someone who needs it, just because, and try to reset the balance a little bit.

To the cynics: no, I’ve not worked out how it will all be administered, it might very likely bomb.  If it takes off, we can see…

Yes, the money is, for now, going into a Fundrazr – so yes, I could just keep it – but unlike Katie, I am not a sociopath, you can check me out here and here and, call me old-fashioned, but you will just have to trust me…

Does that feel awkward?  Is trusting me with a quid a scary thought?  Welcome to the world that Katie’s helping to make.

Hopkins recently posted an open letter to her kids to the world for more attention on Huffington Post UK.

As heart-bleeding “I’m gonna die kids, this is the advice that I want you to remember me by” type prose, it’s naff and pitifully wan.  Self-serving as ever.

I appreciate that her epilepsy struggles are real and very serious but it’s hard to see this as anything other than a PR stunt.  I wasted a lot of time writing a more detailed and damning critique, now deleted, as I realised I was being a hater too.  It’s too easy to slide into that mode, I want my (meagre) influence to be positive.

A couple of months ago I also wrote an open letter to my daughter called ‘I Stand Quietly ’ and I also posted it on Huffington Post UK.  It was written for autism awareness; to help others, not for personal gain.  I raised £14K for the National Autistic Society.

A few who read it gave me lovely little things like this cake and this bag.  Just because.  It made me really happy.  We should spend our time celebrating that side of humanity not discussing Hopkins.

I know that ‘I Stand Quietly’ did some good but my lasting feeling is how little it has achieved: not enough compared to the media attention that Katie can achieve with one evening of pathetic, nasty tweets.

But I’m going to carry on, championing niceness, and doing something nice for someone now and again, for no reason other than that.  You can choose to chip in or not.

14 thoughts on “I hate what Katie did so here’s a quid…

  1. as a mother of 3 children with an asd, I know you can’t always be too serious and sensitive about the subject, but she is really very un funny and un likeable. I have donated, for my own karma because what I feel like doing everytime I see her horrid face x

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    1. bravo! I have really angsted over whether to acknowledge her, and I know so many others have too… but actually it is really unacceptable and whilst “I Stand Quietly” in many ways, like you, I fear karma would be as fractured as her nose if she happened to pass me in the street… but that’s unhealthy so I’m going to give people gifts instead! xxxxxx

      Like

  2. Count me in. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I watched the programme and all I could see was a family in despair and a little girl hurting. Ms Hopkins didn’t seem to notice that the parents had raised other children in exactly the same way who were happily still in school, which rather defeats the whole ‘bad parenting’ argument. The idea that Honey was somehow to blame and in need of further bullying shows an astonishing level of stupidity and cruelty. But I suppose that’s much easier than recognising how badly parents and children are let down by so many in the medical/social care professions who pass cases from agency to agency without knuckling down to a diagnosis and finding the appropriate help. It can’t have been easy for the parents to expose their situation to the cameras but they did it with dignity in order to get someone with a brain to listen and act. I only wish their sacrifice and bravery had got as much attention as the rants of a spiteful, ignorant and vacuous old baggage with a twitter account and too much time on her hands. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr again. x

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    1. Totally. Brilliantly put. I had to cut back that blog post as I was up at over 3,000 angry words as there is SO much could be said about that programme, let alone Hopkins…

      It is a travesty that some people have to lay their families bare on TV to get the support they need and deserve…

      I really admire them for that brave decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, and don’t ever think that ‘I stand quietly’ was not important. None of us will ever change the views of those who don’t want to listen because they know better (eg Mr Burning Fires). The brilliant thing is that you reached so many people who have open hearts and minds. You did a good thing.

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    1. Thank you… your letter is gorgeously lovely and written like a true passionate parent.

      I don’t know if you have read ‘hers’ but it reads like she bashed it out to a deadline, little love shines through.

      Bullies must never ever be ignored but the right reaction is so hard to find.

      I actually feel sadder at how many people were celebrating what she was saying and urging her to write more. I would like to track all of them down and email their tweets to their employers and see if they stand by them then…

      …but I don’t want a restraining order.

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      1. Yes. Twitterers are brave, when they’re anonymous. I felt the same about them.

        Would we mock people with ‘obvious’ disabilities? No. But it’s ok to mock ones with invisible disabilities, saying you don’t believe expert clinicians who’ve diagnosed her.

        There’s so much wrong with it all – there aren’t enough words. I would like to see her take up the NAS offer of seeing what it’s really like for some people. See if her SuperNanny BS cures autism. Good luck with that!

        Liked by 1 person

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