Voice of an angel, mouth of a __________ (insert your own faecally related insult here). Voice of an angel, brain of a ___________ (enter whatever imaginative metaphor you like; my favourite was “sponge” because, really, it’s a compliment). Voice of an angel, vagina of a / face of a / liver of a / intelligence of a… and so it goes on and on.
The I’m-alright-Jack right-wing are hilariously bad at coming back. I had never seen it so blatantly until I was castigated for making a case against the government’s policy of austerity at the weekend. You’d be hard pushed to find a single Tory/Ukip zealot on social media who’s willing to put forward any valid argument to counter my opinion. Instead I’m called “a moron”, “a hypocrite”, “a cunt”, “a fat cunt, good tits though”, “a hard faced bitch”, SHOCK-HORROR “a potty-mouth”, CRIPES “a chav”, SAVAGERY “a silly cow”; It goes on and on and on.
I could keep myself awake at night, Arya Stark-ing it (“Katie Hopkins, Andrew RT Davies, Louise Mensch, Paul Staines, The Hound…”), but actually there’s some comfort to find in being the target of so much toothless abuse. It means I’m NOT useless. It means I have a purpose. I am a litmus test for bigotry. I’ll bring ‘em all out of their dank little caves. You may not like me, and that is entirely your prerogative. I’m far too long in the fang to worry about popularity; I’ve been doing this for ages now. But to detest me to such an extent that you would waste your time broadcasting said loathing means a) you have far too much time on your hands, haven’t you got candy to steal from babies, and b) I’ve got right up your goat.
So the standard laughing-tory response to any criticism by the left is “yeah, but, you’re stupid so…” Apparently a good argument for austerity is calling those who oppose it “illiterate”. One of the best logic-when-it-suits-you arguments I regularly have filling my twitter feed is some tripe about Labour being responsible for the GLOBAL financial crisis; like the uncontrollably capitalist Tories wouldn’t have deregulated the financial sector as well; like New Labour didn’t learn it all from Thatcher in the first place; like the Tories wouldn’t have made even more of a Jackson Pollock of it. I find this argument directed at me baffling frankly, as never have I come out in support of the Labour party. I voted for them in the general election, sure, because the Tories hold a marginal seat in the constituency I live in. I will never vote tactically again. It didn’t work and I wasted a vote that could have gone to the Greens or Plaid. I might consider supporting Labour in the future, maybe if they vote Jeremy Corbyn leader. Right now I’m sticking firmly unaligned. But of course anyone who doesn’t agree with the Express is a labourite, and is therefore directly responsible for the crash. It’s so bloody boring saying it again, but the banking crisis was caused by unregulated bankers. It was greed manifest. And punishing benefit claimants for the wealthy’s meltdown, whilst defunding legal aid to make it virtually impossible to appeal against the effects of this pitiless “belt-tightening”, is quite simply corrupt.
The most frustrating aspect of rightwing response to what the left have to say is that it’s flagrantly obvious that they haven’t been paying a blind bit of attention to the content. Anti-Islam campaigner, Douglas Murray perfectly illustrated this in a blog post he wrote in The Spectator on Monday. Rather than saying anything constructive at all, he condescends (whilst claiming that he isn’t doing so), calling my speech “fascinatingly over-written” and mocking my use of the phrase “neo-liberal vernacular”. Coz i iz #2stoopid. He derided me for stumbling over some of my sentences. I’m not a very competent public speaker and I’m fairly new to it in all honesty, but I do wonder when it was that Mr. Murray last spoke in front of a quarter of a million people, and whether he was nervous.
One point I made did get past the blinkers. It was that when the NHS was formed in 1948, the deficit to GDP ratio was significantly greater than it is now. He addressed me directly with a number of astonishingly patronising questions. Firstly, “Does Ms Church know why Britain was so in debt in 1948?” Yes Douglas, I do know. Then “Does she think that any of the debt accumulated in recent years has anything much to show by way of comparison?” Arguably you could say that the context is very different from the post-WW2 economy (although we have just spent the last 15 years fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, which the Royal United Services Institute says cost us over £30billion), however the forming of the NHS gave the UK economy something to work with, much like FDR’s New Deal. Shouldn’t we be doing the same with green energy? The New Scientist says that if we cut carbon emissions as we said we would, 60% of 1990 levels by 2030, “the average household would be £565 better off.” Low-cost fuel, 190,000 jobs, and you get to save the planet. Telegraph journalist, Geoffrey Lean says that David Cameron’s government have “heavily cut back on energy efficiency measures, promoted a virtual free-for all for development in the countryside, resisted measures to combat deadly air pollution, initially cut spending on flood defences and promised to “go all out for shale” while declaring apparent war on onshore wind farms – and the Prime Minister himself has reportedly sworn to cut the “green crap”.”
The last question I was asked was: have I ever been to Greece? Yes I have. I’m going to work out with my lumbering concrete lefty brain that the tree you’re barking up is the Greek economy, which bears such little resemblence to our own as to make the comparison utterly bizarre. Considering that he just knocked me for putting forward an argument out of context he should maybe think about checking his work before he posts it.
There’s just a couple of other things I really feel I need to address here, and they are all to do with defamation. Guido Fawkes has revealed my deepest hypocrisy: I have an accountant. This is duplicity of the highest order; how can I possibly say that I’d pay 70% tax (when asked by a journalist, by the way, not something I wanted to become the story of that press conference) when I use an accountant; an accountant who says “Lowering and deferring tax is, of course, a key aim” on his website. Shame on me! Although, to be fair, this is not what I employ him for.
I’ve been invited to interview Pussy Riot at Glastonbury this weekend, and I’ll be partaking in a debate at the Leftfield stage with Shami Chakrabarti and Ken Livingstone. DISGRACE! £225 a ticket, oh yes, that’s very rich coming from a self-proclaimed prossecco socialist. “Why doesn’t she give all her money away if she cares so much?” “So I assume Charlotte Church has got a new record she wants to plug.” “Like she gives a fuck about Austerity” “Charlotte Church can fuck off and die!” “Just dip her tampons in petrol and set them alight…when inserted.” It goes on and on and on and on and…