The silly season has arrived early this year.
Extinction Rebellion has announced that its protest in London will end on Thursday with a day of disruption and a closing ceremony.
The organisation that spent nine days organising peaceful mass civil disobedience said it would leave its remaining blockades after opening up “a space for truth-telling” – and it was time to spread this space both locally, nationally and internationally.
One of the highlights of the protest was the visit by Greta Thunberg, whose speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference last year galvanised a generation – of youngsters – to demand change on environmentally-catastrophic policies from uncaring world leaders.
She’s on her way home as I write this…
Good night from the night train to Stockholm! pic.twitter.com/yOt7SRd8D9
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) April 24, 2019
… but it seems certain malcontents couldn’t wait for her to leave before spreading some “truth-telling” of their own.
And it only proved the truth of Margaret Thatcher’s decades-old claim: “If they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”
Here’s a chap called Tom Harwood, who calls himself a journalist:
This is actually Greta Thunberg's mother. Couldn't make it up.pic.twitter.com/J6OOlic3jh
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) April 24, 2019
The clip is from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, when Ms Thunberg’s mother Malena Ernman, represented Sweden with a song entitled ‘La voix’.
Apparently Mr Harwood wanted us to think this was a bad thing. He didn’t get what he wanted.
Yes she's a massive star here. Fantastic singer and activist. And seems to have done a fab job in raising her daughter. I'm sorry what was the point again now?
— Chairman Mardikins (@IAmMardikins) April 24, 2019
Apparently the point was that Ms Thunberg was one of the fabled “One per cent” – the most privileged people in the world. If so, then she has more brains, more conscience, than most of the rest of them put together and is even more to be praised, This Writer would have thought. And I’m not alone:
This whole thing has literally become a case of the 1% questioning the privileged background a 16 year old girl. And the irony seems lost on them.
— Michael (@mquinnNUFC) April 24, 2019
Jade Azim’s response was right to the point: “I cant believe she has the AUDACITY to have a singer as a mum and not want the ice caps to melt.”
Some chose to make a more pertinent observation – about the origin of the criticism.
Yes, so what? (But he’s a Guido Fawkes hack, so what can you expect?)
— MessyLionel (@art_bowles) April 24, 2019
Not only an employee of the Guido Fawkes blog site, but also a former press officer for the Brexiteer campaign group BeLeave, it seems:
— Saboteur Aesop 🔵 (@TheFabledAesop) April 24, 2019
Yes, it seems Mr Harwood was a press officer for the youth-focused Brexit movement that was used by fellow Brexit campaign Vote Leave to break spending limits in the run-up to the EU referendum in 2016, according to the Electoral Commission. According to Shahmir Sanni, he was Head of Media for BeLeave and Head of the Student wing of Vote Leave.
So before he tries to shame other people, perhaps he should learn a little contrition himself.
At least he didn’t make the enormous gaff committed by Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked.
In an article headlined The cult of Greta Thunberg and sub-headed This young woman sounds increasingly like a millenarian weirdo, he stated: “Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg.
“This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins.
“There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg. One can imagine her in a sparse wooden church in the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s warning parishioners of the hellfire that will rain upon them if they fail to give up their witches.”
He’s entitled to his opinion, right? Well…
She has Asperger syndrome and she’s speaking in a second language, you fatuous pillock. https://t.co/q0mSF4ZM63
— Ben Stanley (@BDStanley) April 23, 2019
… maybe not.
At the end of the day, her critics have good reason to be grateful to Ms Thunberg: She is unlikely to respond in kind. For the reason, I’ll leave you with this:
— Rupert Read (@GreenRupertRead) April 22, 2019