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29 September 2017

The many problems with Katie Hopkins offering to tour schools

Won't somebody think of the children?

By Nesrine Malik

I have a question. Is English actually Katie Hopkins’ first language? I ask because she has just released a flyer promoting a school tour, and it contained spelling mistakes. It contained spelling mistakes, on a flyer targeted at schools.

I mean, for one spelling mistake to find its way all the way into a final document could just be extreme sloppiness, but three suggests some manner of problem. The sentences are also sort of half written, words are randomly capitalised, and spaces are missing after full stops and colons.

It scans like a phishing email from a Nigerian prince who has Just come Into some MoneY. I’ve seen local bake sale flyers written and printed by seven-year-olds that have better scansion. The flyer ends with the words: “Go you good things, go”. Nope, no idea either. Go where? Gentle into that good night? Towards the light? Do you think it sounds like something someone who didn’t speak English very well would say, while trying to sound poetic and failing?

I also ask because I have a theory. What if English isn’t indeed Hopkins’ first language? Think about it. It makes total sense. I am thinking along the lines of the phenomenon of violently homophobic activists being secretly gay and acting out their self-hate.

What if Katie is actually an immigrant who is so ashamed of the fact that she has dedicated her life to demonising them? What if she is playing out some deep-seated shame and the only tell is in her bizarrely poor English for someone who claims to have been born and bred here and cares very much about the integrity and purity of British culture?

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Isn’t it strange? For someone who claims that her military training instilled in her a discipline and attention to detail that defines her, isn’t it strange that she thinks “Israelis” needs an apostrophe? Although English not being your first language is still not even remotely an excuse for that. It’s not mine and I have never been quoted with as many “[sic]”s as Katie has. Or any in fact. To quote Hopkins in a piece is to include a large overarching “[sic]” above it all, so as not to overrun your word limit.

It’s the only thing that could explain the utter urgency of her mission. The absolute barrel-scraping desperation of it all. She promises to teach your children to “stand strong” by using examples of contemporary discourse that include the election of Donald Trump, Cecil the lion, and the Women’s March.

Except she writes “Woman’s March”. Sorry to go on about this, but “Woman’s March”. She wrote it twice so it didn’t just slip by the subs who are, judging from the quality of the flyer, herself. Was it just the one woman marching? Was the march dedicated to just one woman, you know, like the Unknown Soldier? Maybe she thought they were marching for Hillary?

Even if she thought that was the name, two seconds of Googling would have sent you to the helpful “did you mean ‘women’s march'”? Did you, Katie? Because if you did, this flyer is the absolute worst promo for me to let you anywhere near my children because you cannot spell and are too lazy to Google. 

Well, that and all the hate promotion, immigrant-bashing, fat-shaming and racism. But the spelling would come first for me. If my child still cannot spell by the time they are 42, that would be a bigger impediment to their career than any poorly thought out attention-seeking “opinions”.

But maybe the flyer is so crap because it was never meant to get her in the door. The whole thing is so badly thought out and put together it reeks of no-platforming bait. That’s the Katie model, you see – knock on your door to sell something you don’t want, and when you politely decline she runs crying down the road fabulating that you violently and injuriously shoved her off your premises when all she was trying to do was sell some hate and feed her kids.

She is the footballer that runs into you on the pitch then clutches her groin and falls to the ground in a fake fit of pain. She is the neighbourhood bike gang kid who throws herself on to your windshield to shake you down for a pay-off. It’s a scam. A pyramid scheme of offence-taking creation. Let me sell you some offence so that you can take offence and then I can write an article about how offence-taking is all around us. Upon which you take offence at my fabricated claim and off I go again. She is the Bernard Madoff of hate.

Perhaps, after all, there is a place for Katie in schools, but less as a guide to modern politics and more as an adviser at the careers fair. Do you have no tangible skills, poor logic, bad spelling, and yet no shame and a strong sense of entitlement? There might be a slot for you in the Hate Ponzi Scheme.

Unfortunately, most such schemes are grubby affairs that inevitably collapse under their own weight when it becomes clear that there is no tangible product at their heart, but there is no honour in not being able to pay your mortgage. Go you good thing. Go. 

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