#CameronMustGo: Thanks for taking the flak, Jack…

… But you really didn’t deserve what you got.

For those of you who aren’t in the know, Jack Monroe (she of A Girl Called Jack blog fame) has come under attack from pro-Tory Twitter users after she tweeted, as part of the #CameronMustGo drive, the following:

141124jackmonroetweet1

The Huffington Post, reporting on the hashtag drive, told us: “Some tweets directed against Cameron were deemed too far. Guardian cookery writer Jack Monroe faced criticism for a tweet accusing the PM of using the memory of his dead son to further his agenda. Ivan died aged six in 2009 after suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Cameron invoked his memory when defending his record on the NHS in a recent PMQs. Monroe subsequently received a number of messages of abuse.”

She really did. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes (Conservative), stated that Jack’s was “the most shameful tweet; you understand nothing about grief.” She then addressed Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, asking if Jack’s tweet, from her personal account, reflected the values of the newspaper.

Fortunately this miserable excuse for a public representative doesn’t need a put-down from me. Here’s Nick Portch, who did it with ease by asking if Dr Wollaston was “A Conservative trying to get somebody sacked for exercising their freedom of speech?”

Nice one, Nick.

As for understanding “nothing about grief”, back to Jack herself: “And because 2 years later, I can’t open my own front door, suffer anxiety attacks, the mental scars of poverty are ruinous, .” Okay, “mental scars” might not indicate grief to you but it seems very likely that if you suffered those effects as a result of them, you’d spend a certain amount of time grieving about it.

Other criticisms were less civilised.  Vernon Vega’s ran as follows [asterisks mine]: “Re the Cameron tweet…you really are a bit of a c**t aren’t you?” What a charmer. Absolutely no substance whatsoever.

Sarah Vine gave us: “No one is privatising the NHS.” We’ll examine the stupidity of this statement momentarily.

‘Angela’ tweeted: “I have no idea who you are, but you are a truly disgusting specimen. You deserve the biggest karmic kick in the face,” and Daily Referendum continued the theme with: “If Karma does exist, then you should be pretty worried right now.”

It seems likely there were worse, because Ms Monroe subsequently tweeted: “I can express my opinion on it, so can you. We disagree, debate, discuss. But death/rape threats, & threats to my son, are a crime.” If karma does exist, then it seems likely these are the people who should be worrying.

She remains unrepentant, as this shows: “Doorstepped by . Short statement, politely delivered, don’t regret pointing out that DC closes down debate on NHS & disability and that his experience of caring for Ivan was not comparable to experiences of others, many of whom are now victims of welfare cuts.”

The Mail subsequently – and gleefully – reported that Sainsbury’s is cutting its ties with Ms Monroe (after using her in advertising campaigns for its Value range of food for people with less money). The headline: “Sainsbury’s axes left-wing blogger for vile PM slur”.

In short, there’s been a lot of fuss over this tweet by Ms Monroe.

For Vox Political, this has been fascinating, because she posted it around 21 hours after Yr Obdt Srvt, the author of this very article, tweeted the following:

141124jackmonroetweet2

Who knows what might have happened if the Tories mentioned above had seen that, instead of Jack’s comparatively mild tweet?

Vox Political stands behind every word and has the evidence to prove it, as this article from last month demonstrates.

Neither this blog nor its author have received any adverse comments in response to the tweet or the article that preceded it.

What does this tell us?

Perhaps it indicates that Ms Monroe was targeted, not because she suggested anything that was beyond the pale or unforgiveable, but because she is a person from the lower orders who certain people believe has ideas above her station.

Her A Girl Called Jack blog catapulted her into the public eye because it offered ideas about how to make decent meals to people struggling to feed their families on a low budget – in other words, people on benefits. She did it to chronicle her own efforts to feed herself and her son on a food budget of just £10 per week – and she started blogging in response to a local councillor who claimed that ‘druggies, drunks and single mums are ruining the High Street’. A book of recipes went straight to the top of the charts at the start of the year, and a sequel may do the same before Christmas.

She built herself up from ‘Benefit Street’ and the blogosphere to become a success – and the vested interests don’t like it. It disproves their narrative that everyone on benefits is a scrounger, a skiver and a sponger – and they need working people to think what they tell them to think in the run-up to next year’s general election.

That’s why the Tories and the trolls have gone after her; it was an opportunity to put down a lower-class upstart and stifle the facts she was broadcasting.

Take a look at the Vox Political article referenced above; Jack Monroe was right in every word of that tweet. David Cameron is selling the NHS, Sarah Vine – around £9.2 billion worth of NHS contracts have been offered to private companies since the Health and Social Care Act became law (around 10 per cent of the NHS budget in England), meaning public money has been wasted on profits for corporate shareholders – including members of the Conservative Party and donors to the Conservative Party.

This writer hopes Jack Monroe can rise above the noise created by the Tories, those with vested interests, and the trolls. Their messages are meaningless. Let us all hope that for each of them there are at least a dozen of us who know her message has reached people we could not, and therefore can only offer her our gratitude and love.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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32 thoughts on “#CameronMustGo: Thanks for taking the flak, Jack…

  1. casalealex

    https://twitter.com/FuzzCookies/status/522433489338368002

    Freya ‏@FuzzCookies
    I see Cameron immediately mentions his dead son so that he’s immune from any criticism or being answerable to bad policies re: disability.

    http://politicalscrapbook.net/2014/10/cameron-invokes-disabled-son-to-defend-nhs-policies/

    Political Scrapbook – Wednesday 1 October 15:46

    Angry Cameron put his dead son in conference speech. Here are the disabled kids he left out.

    One of the most remarked elements of Cameron’s conference keynote was the ‘angry’ section, in which he invoked the experience of NHS care for his disabled son, who tragically died in February 2009.

    Attacking what he called “complete and utter lies” promulgated at Labour conference last week, the PM jutted his jaw and grimaced:

    “I just think: HOW DARE YOU!

    “For me, this is personal. I’m someone who’s relied on the NHS and … who knows what it’s like when you go to hospital night after night with a sick child in your arms

    “How dare they say that I would ever put that at risk for other people’s children.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes – the Political Scrapbook material is all in the Vox Political article from October, that is referenced in this one.

    2. Michele Witchy Eve

      Things have changed so much since Cameron’s son was under the care of the NHS, and most of those changes are for the worst, and made under the governance of one David Cameron.

  2. Ian Duncan

    See what Conservatives choose to get upset about? Jeering and laughing in Parliament during the food bank debate, entirely ignoring the many dead at the hands of the DWP, not a peep about the increase in homelessness but make one (accurate) criticism of David Cameron…

    Never, ever let the Conservatives claim any sort of morality again. That’s a claim they can never make again with a straight face, along with any claims at economic competence.

    Splay-footed,, hunchbacked morally demented homunculi to a man (and woman)

  3. Jeffery Davies

    Well thank god for people like jack but then we all
    now about cams and his crocodile tears shamefull excuse for humans
    are the tory party forgeten their drastic deeds of shame
    more like jack we need jeff3

  4. Jeff

    I’m sorry to say that I read the Hate Mail article. It mentions that old standby “a source” which merely says her contract is coming to an end.

    1. andylucia

      Which is, apparently, news to the redoubtable Ms Monroe. She’s tweeted to say as yet she has heard nothing from Sainsburys; but it MUST be true, can’t imagine the Mail would make anything up …..:-p

  5. Damien Willey

    Anyone would think he’d never donje it before, but its EVERY time his integrity on the NHS is called into question – its his non-answer on NHS reforms at every PMQ’s! She is absolutely right, I support her opinion wholeheartedly and have said so in numerous posts today

  6. victedy

    I had an an extremely nasty tweet off a Tory troll, I won’t repeat what he called me, but, after I’d asked him ‘what charm school he’d graduated from?’ He continued abusing me, so I concluded by saying: “The Nasty Party isn’t a misnomer at all is it?”

  7. Em

    I’d not heard of Jack prior to this and I’m pleased to have been made aware. I, too, am one of those the Tories are persecuting and I’ll support anyone standing against it. The attacks on her are deplorable but a little good has come from this.

  8. CatherineCooper

    Good on you, Mike and Jack! They don’t get it! Those of us who have had hard times, faced eviction, lost a parent at a young age, lived in a council house, not been able to afford the right school uniform and had a son at death’s door, understand. They are nasty, cruel excuses for human beings. Please God that they are kicked out in May.

  9. Clive Arnold

    Many of us (carers and disabled people) have been saying the same thing since poor Ivan died. Cameron is p***ing on his memory to defend his attacks on those disabled people that have the temerity to stay alive

  10. Tony Dean

    Relevant article form Ekklesia:-

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21076

    David Cameron and disabled children

    Last paragraph of the article:-

    Somebody in Mr. Cameron’s government has actually sat down, looked at perhaps the poorest and most disadvantaged children in the country, and thought it was a perfectly acceptable idea to cut their support further. This would be extraordinary coming from any government, but from a government led by the father of a disabled child, it is inexplicable.

  11. jaypot2012

    I wholeheartedly agree with Jack, and everyone who has said that Cameron uses his poor son as an excuse for backing out of discussions on the NHS. Doesn’t he also use his son’s memory at the end of each Tory Conference as well?
    For all the trolls and the haters of Jack and the poor, all they have to do is go to Hansard and see how many times Cameron has brought up his son when in a tight spot with debates about the NHS.
    The poor little mite didn’t have a long life, but Cameron, and his wife, are abusing his name and his memory!

  12. hstorm

    Cameron’s routine references to his late son are bordering on predictable now, and Jack Monroe was quite right; Cameron has begun using what happened as emotional blackmail to silence all questions and objections to his NHS policies.

    If people feel it is unfair to make this accusation, well, Monroe is not the one who keeps raising the matter of the boy’s death in the first place. Cameron will always have the option of simply not mentioning it, especially as it seldom has much to do with what is being discussed – nobody wishes to drag up his private grief apart from Cameron himself.

  13. Mike Sivier Post author

    What do people think about the fact that I made the same point, almost a day before Jack did, but it was Jack who was targeted? My contention is that I’m ‘small fry’, they wanted a big, media-darling Leftie scalp and Jack’s happened to fit the bill.
    Do readers agree that this was the (cynical) point behind it all?

    1. andylucia

      Certainly likely to be part of the reason, but Jack Monroe ticks all the Mail boxes – single mother, gay, strong & successful (but very much her own person), a “leftie” and the Guardian’s poverty poster girl. Dacre must have thought Christmas had come early.

    2. casalealex

      Mike I did notice this, and was reminded of the number of times I would say out loud, “Oh Gawd, here we go again!”, every time Dastard Dave brought up the subject!

    3. Michele Witchy Eve

      Mike, there’s a whiff of ‘easy target’ about this. I suspect (and fervently hope) that the DM has badly misjudged Jack’s perceived vulnerability to a sustained attack. You, on the other hand, probably strike DM head bods as someone who would relish a sustained attack – give-’em-enough-rope sort of thing. Suffice to say the DM and trolls all deserve a huge raspberry – that’s all they are worth.

  14. Tim Gray

    It also happened because she’s a woman. We’ve seen from other fields like computer gaming that there’s a sizeable community who think it’s fine to say any horrible thing to women on social media.

    I wish she’d been more sensitive about it. But it is a tactic that Cameron uses.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      In fairness, though – in comparison to me – she was more sensitive! And you only have 140 characters on Twitter.

  15. izzythedram

    Hi, I think it’s probably not just due to JM’s higher profile. I agree with the sentiments behind both of the tweets, yours and JM’s, but hers was more of a personal attack. She refers to Cameron’s misty eyed hypocrisy and him using his son for political ends. That expresses a personal contempt which I share but which can easily lead to a slanging match, when expressed.

    I think your pointing out that the disabled who have died as a result of welfare cuts are also and equally mourned is more telling and harder to reduce to an abusive exchange.

    Cheers.

  16. Nick

    David Cameron policies have only ever left the majority of people in the uk feeling desperate and bad about themselves leaving themselves vulnerable to committing suicide as we have all to often seen over the past few years

    his son Ivan was lucky and was well cared for sadly most children or adults will ever get to that level of care

    the one person we all need to care for and think of is David Cameron elder daughter as it will be her to pick up the pieces of the failure of her father in politics and i just hope David Cameron understands that

    when your in public office as prime minister you need to be the backbone in the helping of others so that your children are proud of you when they grow up

    you need to show you care for others not only just to the public who you serve you also need to show your family you care and that you are the real deal

    David Cameron has a hell of a lot of work to do in making the uk a fairer society of which is has never had any knowledge of

    personally i think he will fail as he has no life skills and should never have gone into politics in the first place

    my advice to him would be to resign and to go to another poor country and undertake research on how you could make it better

    with death all around i feel you would be able to make headway when working along with the likes of bill gates and also to be able to turn your life around

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If Cameron’s elder daughter has any sense, she won’t have anything to do with politics, ever.

      1. Nick

        indeed mike but she will still have to live with the fall out and it will only hit home to her when shes around 21 or so

        kids today get to know everything good and bad so she will judge him when the time is right to do so

        as a father myself you can not force your child’s love either on yourself or anyone else it has to earned over a 21 year period from their birth till they hopefully get to stand on their own two feet with a first degree from uni

        at that point in their life they will hopefully be fine young adults with a loving nature and to be able to take on life with all it’s up and downs while at the same time looking out for the vulnerable along the way and hopefully how they turn out will be down to you the parents

        as i say if i were David Cameron i would forget about making life hell for the sick and disabled and go to war on those that make their life hell and in doing so making certain at the next election you win it

  17. Maria

    not fair what they said about her, she isn’t a troll she is just expressing her opinion and I don’t think it is at all right for Cameron to have pictures of him and his son when he is promoting political agendas. If someone from other polical parties did it I would say the same.

  18. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

    I posted a comment on the Daily Mail stating that I agreed with Jack, stating I was fed up with Camoron waving his poor deceased son like a flag in the face of anyone who disagrees with him especially on disability issues (remember him in PMQ when he berated Milliband over the Lord Fraud comments about disabled people working for £2 an hour) and guess what the Daily Mail did not print it … wonder why, because they’ve printed plenty of comments that make derogatory comments about Jack. Balanced reporting? I think not!

  19. Peter

    That pic he posed with his son where he just looks into the camera instead of at his son was very cold and heartless.

    I support Jack 100%
    #CameronMustGo

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