It’s funny how people pop up just when you’re wondering what happened to them.
Today’s case-in-point is ‘Loathsome’ Lucy Allan. You’ll remember she’s Telford’s Tory MP – the one with a tendency towards Munchausen Syndrome.
First she made up a death threat against her, over her support for air strikes against Daesh on Syrian soil.
Then she pretended that she sacked an employee due to poor conduct when in fact Lucy herself was guilty of workplace bullying.
Then she refused to do a BBC interview after being told she could not veto questions.
Then, silence for nearly four months.
Now, out of the blue, she pops up to defend embattled BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
Ms K is the focus of two petitions calling for the BBC to remove her from her role due to bias. One, on campaigning website Change.org, is currently running and has picked up nearly 10,000 signatures since it was started four days ago.
The other, on campaigning website 38 Degrees, nearly reached 40,000 signatures, having been started in January, but was taken down by the site’s director, David Babbs, after it attracted the attention of “sexist trolls” who posted misogynistic comments about Ms K in the petition site’s ‘comments’ column.
The petition itself was not sexist. Its text ran as follows: “According the the BBC Charter, the BBC and its representatives MUST remain neutral in it’s approach. Laura Kuenssberg has completely violated that directive so can no longer function as a representative of the BBC. She must be sacked.” It went on to provide an example of such a violation. There is nothing sexist in it at all.
Here’s Loathsome Lucy’s interpretation, as recorded at Prime Minister’s Questions:
“Respected journalist Laura Kuenssberg has been subjected to an online hate campaign, which appears to be a sexist witch hunt to silence her. Increasingly, this is a tool used against people in public life by those who take an opposing view. Will my right hon. Friend condemn this kind of harassment, and will he work with media and social media platforms to preserve the right to speak freely without intimidation or hate?”
“Sexist witch hunt“?
Come to that, “Respected journalist”?
And let’s bear in mind that Ms Allan is no stranger to the four-letter-rant, if her treatment of her staff is any yardstick.
David Cameron’s response is also astonishing, for reasons I’ll outline below. He said:
We must be able to speak freely and we must have a robust and lively democracy, but some of the things that people say on Twitter, knowing that they are in some way anonymous, are frankly appalling. People should be ashamed of the sort of sexist bullying that often takes place.
Firstly, it is important to note that Ms Allan and Cameron were referring to two different social media platforms. Loathsome Lucy – as you can see from the 38 Degrees petition text, was lying bare-facedly about the contents of a petition on a campaigning website; David Cameron changed the subject to Twitter.
It is in response to Cameron that a Vox Political reader ran a Twitter search for recent tweets mentioning the name Kuenssberg and some offensive words.
The first offensive word, “bitch” produced 10 results. Six were genuine – meaning they were referring to Ms K herself.
The second was “whore”, which produced five results, only one of which was “sort-of genuine”, in the words of my commenter (meaning a reference to Ms K): “Media whore”.
The third was… well, it was the ‘c’ word which I shall not repeat here. Four results; three genuine.
Obviously this is not a totally scientific piece of research, but still, as my commenter states: “10 insulting tweets hardly proves that the whole campaign is riddled with misogyny. This is something her supporters have blown up out of proportion.”
True. But then, who would want a supporter like Loathsome Lucy Allan?
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