There is very little that Richard Littlejohn writes that I agree with. Actually, I cannot recall anything he has written that I supported, but there must be some common ground, somewhere ….
Mr Littlejohn has taken a dislike to, what he describes as, the ‘poverty poster girls of Welfare Britain’. He managed to irritate me with the title of his piece; the article itself did not get any better. He is having a go at a recent party political broadcast by the Labour Party – fair enough, no-one wants a world with no dissent. However, he does get rather personal – something which I will refrain from doing to him.
I do not imagine that Jack Monroe will object too much to being described as a cross between Yvette Cooper and Delia Smith, but why mention the tattoos? I am puzzled as to how this is relevant. I am equally unsure why Jack’s son has to be dragged into the fray either.
Littlejohn’s whole tone is misogynistic. Whatever the story behind her pregnancy (and it is none of my business, let alone Littlejohn’s) it was not an immaculate conception. Littlejohn gives every impression of having Victorian values, with all the hypocrisy that involves. If Jack wanted to be a full-time mum I do not see why that should be the subject of scorn. Littlejohn objects to the state helping out you single mothers; their progeny is our future, and it is sensible for the taxpayer to invest in this, in my opinion. Littlejohn likes to take issue with the salary Jack gave up – how about coming clean about your earnings, Richard?
Of course, Littlejohn dislikes the welfare state and berates parenthood for being a ‘lifestyle choice’. The innocent party here, and one that the likes of Littlejohn would be content to see punished, are the children. They did not choose to be born, and welfare means that they are not made to suffer. Besides, are only the rich allowed to procreate? Littlejohn also belittles the role of motherhood – from what I have seen it is as equally hard as any paid job and in many cases harder. (There is an irony here in that the like of Littlejohn are just as likely to have a go at latch-door kids and largely absent parents.)
Littlejohn insults the poor, believing that pasta, kale, and pesto sauce are alien to them. I won’t be trying out Jack’s recipe because I do not like pesto sauce, but I can assure Littlejohn that as kale is cheap and filling it is often found in the shopping baskets of the poor, ditto pasta. Besides, aren’t cooks and their recipes as much about educating as they are about economising?
Littlejohn then trains his right-wing guns on the others in that broadcast. He objects to Beresford Casey on the ground of their not-very-ordinary name – you what? How on earth is someone’s name a guide to anything? Beresford, apparently, is rich – being rich means, in the mind of Littlejohn, that you cannot either be left-wing nor have a conscience! Evidently Littlejohn has yet to read about Frances Evelyn “Daisy” Greville, Countess of Warwick. He does not like Cait Reilly because she objected working for Poundland to get her benefits. He will not like me either – I object to workfare too.
Littlejohn returns to the subject of Jack’s tattoos. For starters I doubt he knows when she had them done (I do not know either, but I am not trying to make political capital out of them). It is rather like those who object to the unemployed having any of life’s luxuries. What Jack chooses to spend her money on is her choice, and if she economises to do so then what business is it of anyone else’s? Her tattoos do not render her statements about poverty illegitimate. Jack also wears makeup, has her hair cut, and washes – are these sins too for the Littlejohns of this world?