Thursday, 22 January 2015

Going viral

Yesterday was a bit of a shock. 
All I did the night before was post this on Facebook

In case you can't read it I'll spell it out for you. It's a leaflet that came through my door from Lynton Yates (Leicestershire County Councillor for Glenfield) and it says
"We could remove six million cars from the road if benefit claimants were not driving. Why do they have the privilege to spend the tax payers hard earned money on a car when those in work are struggling to keep their own car on the road.
These people really could catch a bus."
I shared it on my personal profile with a few friends and shared it on a page I've sent articles to before ATOS Miracles

Then I went out. 

While I was away some friends put it on Twitter and by the time I got home with my kids at 6pm it was trending and my original post had had over 50,000 views been shared 500 times and I had messages from 5 journalists, including 2 from national newspapers and one from the BBC. But I also had people who claimed to be senior members of UKIP telling me that I'd faked it and some highly abusive messages telling me I was not just anti-British but also a paedophile.

Here's my opinion: It's my understanding that the largest chunk of the welfare budget is spent on pensions and that of the remainder the majority is paid to people in work. Furthermore, Mobility allowance for the disabled includes an element to get a suitable vehicle to get around in. So it would seem that Councillor Yates suggestion is not only ill-informed and unworkable but born out of the unthinking prejudice that all benefit claimants are able-bodied, urban dwelling, middle-aged layabouts with no dependents and nothing to do. As for the suggestion I faked it, why would I bother? They shoot themselves in the foot as a pastime (or possibly past-time as written in his leaflet). Is it official UKIP policy? Not as far as I know, but then neither are half the things that come out of Nigel Farage's mouth, it was written by Councillor Yates (or at least one of his minions) and put out under his name, it therefor counts as his opinion and I'm not going to pull it off the internet now, nor could I even if I wanted to.

And all this less than a week after I'd talked to my 8 year old about being careful about sharing photo's over the Internet and other devices (I'd found her using a chat app while at a friends house).

I have to be honest the girls and my husband don't know whether to be scared or proud. Neither do I. The number who have viewed the post is now over 72,000 and the total of abusive messages up to 6. So no I'm not going to stand up on national media and give my real name, I have my kids to protect (not to mention my career). But I am proud that I stood up and called out unthinking prejudice and that my little pebble of news caused big ripples on the media pond, at least for five minutes. I can make a difference and now if you'll excuse me I'm going to be the difference to a small group of new mum's who need some breastfeeding support.

Yours, as ever,


  1. You and your family should be proud. You absolutely did the right thing, in showing this UKIP candidate for the nasty, intellectual lightweight he is. Obviously the repercussions are awful, but that further displays the kind of people involved with UKIP. It would be nice if the mainstream media would follow-up on the story to expose the abuse you've suffered. Hopefully, you've reported them to the authorities and a knock on their doors will ensue.
    Anyway, wishing you and yours all the best, with warmest admiration for your efforts.

  2. Be *so* proud. :-) Damn fine work, exactly the right thing to do :-)

  3. Good for you, you should be proud of yourself. Amazing how your post became so widespread so quickly. I saw it on Atos miracles and then it S P R E A D.

  4. Tut, Don't take any notice of UKIP and their apologists .... They are idiots and we need people to share the evidence.

    Which you did

    And Thank you for doing so ... If you need help fighting some trolls RT them to me on twitter @Ms_Anthropy

  5. You did absolutely the right thing by exposing UKIP for who they really are; I'm alright jack, sod-the-poor, far-right scum.

  6. Good for you. Name and shame those who were abusive.