Mischaracterised by nefarious methods such as “playing the entire clip in full”
I think it’s good and necessary that Bruce has stepped back from Refuge. It’s a charity I’ve supported for many years and give to every month. They do vital work that is not really replicated on the same scale by any other organisation. Their response to Bruce’s comments was really ill thought out and chose protecting a valuable supporter over giving a clear message in their core area of activity.
Having said all of that, and despite generally finding Bruce particularly irksome, I do think some of the comment on this topic has been very uncharitable. It’s on record that she has been a hard-working supporter of Refuge for 25 years and has often spoken publicly about domestic violence and in support of causes that seek to help victims. It’s inconceivable that she was meaning to diminish the seriousness of DV in those comments, and in fact if you look carefully at what she said it wasn’t that she thought Johnson’s violence was a ‘one-off’ and therefore unimportant, but that the ‘friends’ (who she was generally citing as supporting the fact that the particularly heinous piece of violence she was mainly dealing with had actually happened) had said that. She didn’t need to say that and she shouldn’t have done so, it had the effect of giving a voice to someone who was seeking to diminish the violence, but it was clearly a slip, albeit a serious one.
That’s why I think it was unfair to say that she was ‘advocating’ for Johnson. What she was actually doing was inappropriately and unnecessarily allowing someone else to partially mitigate for him. That was a a mistake and a bad one, but not as bad as what some are accusing her of.
As someone who speaks in public for a living, often in highly charged situations, I’m perhaps particularly aware of how easy it is to make a mistake like this in the spur of the moment. Speaking live is not the same as drafting and redrafting a document. The irony is that pretty much everything she said was legally mandated and unobjectionable apart from the very last few words. If she’d just shut up after ‘it happened’ no-one could object. I suspect that she had the first bit pretty much prepared in her head but then her tongue ran away with her at the end and just came out with something she had read as part of her preparation.
Personally I was more cross with Refuge for their mealy-mouthed response than I was with her for her clumsy error. In their defence, if they’ve worked with her for years and know where her sympathies really lie it can be difficult for them to step outside and see how it looked to the rest of the world.
My issue remains is there’s still no apology. There’s never an apology, and if there is, it’s always too late. Honestly, how fucking hard is it to just own your mistakes and not immediately go to gaslighting on technicalities?
“Oh gosh I’m so sorry I really shouldn’t have said that last bit and I absolutely know better than to do that as an ambassador for Refuge. I’ll be speaking to them to see if I can repair the harm my clumsy wording has caused; again, I apologise profusely and unreservedly, I would never intentionally seek to cause further damage those who have been abused.”
It’s that fucking easy, Fiona. Do that within a few hours of your fuckup and the social media storm doesn’t even start.
Don’t disagree with that and it’s valid criticism.
My issue is with those who are treating her as an advocate for DV, rather than as someone who cocked up and didn’t make a proper apology.
I do think that sometimes the ferocity of the criticism conditions the inadequacy of the response though. It just makes people over defensive and stops them from reflecting properly. When you are being vociferously accused of being something that you know that you aren’t it’s easy to shut down and not really consider what you actually did get wrong.
Above all I find it infuriating that she has become the focus of anger on this issue rather than Stanley fucking Johnson.
Bit Private Eye that isn’t it?
Calling Davie ‘editor in chief’ is particularly ironic given that he’s not even a journalist, and never has been.
What’s interesting about this is that they don’t mention she’s a tory until the second paragraph and even then spell ‘conservative’ with a lower case ‘c’…
“I find racism in any form abhorrent, I have therefore reported myself to the monitoring officer at both Hampshire County Council and New Forest District Council.”
You’ve got to say though, that’s a pretty funny sentence.
apparently she called him a ‘typical black hypocrite’ (CW: no strong language but still racist as fuck)
she then said she finds racism in any form abhorrent.
Nerves increasingly jangled with these big outfits, from the looks of it. Maybe an unspoken sense that you are even if indirectly, confronting the Tory machine, the foam mouthed headbangers who make up the Tory press and their base, in these situations.
Very excited for what I’m sure is going to be a constant drip feed of this stuff over the next few weeks
Pretty irresponsible of the Guardian to mainstream a crank conspiracy theory like this.
BBC (Newsnight) launch investigation/campaign to get women deported to Afghanistan…
Is this a bit?
Yes. Anyone who made the same observation in 2019 or earlier was dismissed as a conspiracy theorist or as niave by our brave journalists.
And on here tbf
Imagine feeling proud of yourself for being part of this “investigation”
Like that boats wanker reporter…