Rachel Johnson has caught my ire three times recently. Sister of the disgraced prime minister of the UK, privileged by birth and by station, given platforms from which to speak- Ms. Johnson wades into subjects affecting a populace she isn’t even close to, speaking with an air of expertise and confidence so iron solid you’d believe she is a boffin in every subject- but entitlement and experience are two different things. It’s time we tune out those who don’t live our lives and listen to each other.
What was it that made me focus this article mostly on Rachel Johnson? Was it the article she wrote in the spectator expressing sympathy for Ghislaine Maxwell, exhorting the public to feel bad for her too- yes, the poor disgraced daughter of well to do family who chose- not resorted to – child trafficking for paedophiles rich and powerful. So no, it is not “easy to feel sympathy for her”, but perhaps if Oxford elitism comes with a side of sympathy for paedophiles the urgency of doing away with it should be hastened.
Was it when she, with clear entitlement and absolutely no expertise, talked on LBC, one of the biggest radio stations in the UK, that it’s a GOOD thing that we’re facing mass infection with COVID-19. Johnson no doubt has a huge house, can work remotely if she chooses, could not work for the entire duration of the pandemic and still have money left to pay bills- so why on earth should we take advice on how to feel about facing a potentially serious pathogen from someone who can easily elect to avoid it should she wish to do so?
Or was it when she continued to blithely defend her brother, the PM? I would not trust myself to be non partisan were one of my sisters prime minister- so why on earth is the prime minister’s sister being given a platform to defend the brother who heads up the most openly corrupt cabinet we’ve ever seen – from PPE scandals, flat money mismanagement and a woeful response to covid which has rolled on for two years now- I do not want to hear the opinion of someone so biased.
But let’s expand this net further: Maajid Nawaz, another LBC presenter, is presenting essentially anti vaccine and anti lockdown conspiracies to a wide, complicit audience. When it comes to sharing viewpoints we need a grain of common sense and as someone who hates the tories with a passion, you’d have to be somewhat extreme to make me defend them- but the tories aren’t causing situations to enact lockdowns, they are just inept.
Julia Hartley-Brewer isn’t talented enough to work on LBC in my opinion, mostly because she spends any time she does get angrily chortling to herself about everyone else in the world- she hails herself a feminist and a TERF even, and yet spends a disturbing amount of time attacking women on the internet- Julia Grace Patterson runs a nonprofit to protect the NHS, and Brewer in her usual ignorance accused her of profiteering- now she’s being sued. She openly stated that a glamour model shouldn’t be surprised she is sent unwanted dick pictures by random men, because of the pictures she posts- so women should, according to this feminist woman, cover themselves up or expect dick pictures? That, my dear readers, is creeping blithely over the borders of rape apologism.
And an MP, Stella Creasey, was talking about how there is a rule in parliament preventing her from bringing her child- Hartley-Brewer spent days relentlessly attacking Creasey for daring to do both career and child rearing.
Feminism… I think not.
If you stop, and look at the lives these pundits- Nigel Farage, Katie Hopkins et al, live, you start to wonder why we ever decided to listen to them. Farage is inconceivably wealthy, Hopkins openly doesn’t believe half of the nonsense she comes out with and has trampled over the line of controversy because it makes her money. We allow punditry and paegantry to speak loud over those of us who are familial, those of us who live each other’s lives and have each others’ experiences.
The true issue underpinned here, is that those of us who could reach each other with true opinions, who understand each other’s lives never get the chance- because those platforms are taken up by these rich pundits who have not a clue what it’s like to live each other’s lives. Platforming the common person is overlooked- but why? Do we love the controversy shoved in our faces by these eternally offended pundits? Or are we just never aware of another option, of the possibility of platforming those of us who understand each other and could actually offer reasons we’d understand for their stances? I can’t relate to the sister of the PM who met an heir’s future paedophile enabler daughter at oxford…
When you look outside of the paradigm that we’re in- being asked to come at societal issues from the angle of rich, entitled and privileged folk instead of thinking about each other’s commonalities, you start to realise why society is quite so twisted- where are the opinions of our fellow working class folk? Nowhere but the carefully selected editorial letters the newspapers or magazines may choose to print.
It’s far past time that access was granted to normal folk, actually able to relate to others, to share our experiences of life rather than having our notions and feelings dictated to us, often by those who can elect to avoid those issues.
Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.