Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
I was vaguely aware of Katie Hopkins. Then recently she dropped into my Youtube listings. It's common knowledge that she upsets a large number of folks with her strident opinions. Plus, her occasional use of offensive language attracted the ire of much of the liberal media. I suppose she’s vilified most for her ‘cockroaches’ remark, aimed at refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea. It’s understandable that many took exception to that.
On occasions, she is prone to firing off opinions without thinking. This approach earned her the title of professional 'gobshite'. She has faced legal action on many occasions. Earlier this year she was found guilty of libel for tweets suggesting an activist defaced a war memorial. That piece of stupidity cost her over £300,000-.
What strikes the observer is that Hopkins remains defiant, unbowed, the unrepentant sinner. Her instances of libel expose her to criticism and with good reason. And yet, there is another dynamic at work here that makes Hopkins a fascinating character. She confounds many on the left, upsetting them by exposing their hypocrisy.
I’d recommend watching her address to the Cambridge University Union. Set aside any ideological baggage before rushing to judgement. Approach it with an open mind to allow the coherence of her opinions to come across. No doubt many filter her stance through the prism of their prejudices. They cite views that Hopkins is a wicked person, without bothering to engage her arguments. It’s classic play the man or woman, not the ball stuff.
Note in the clip that Hopkins needs a bodyguard, while outside you can hear protests. The bodyguard is in response to threats to harm Hopkins. This is real stuff. A Muslim man is in jail for plotting to behead her. The protest you hear is a part of the ‘no-platform’ campaign, with efforts to shut down debate. It appears some students are too delicate; their sensibilities can't handle the opposite. Instead of engaging Hopkins in rational discussion, the mob adopts the lazy approach of banning her.
It’s bizarre that the ‘no-platform’ and the attack on free speech should arise at a university. If students aren’t able to listen to alternative opinions, then to make a cogent counter-argument, they shouldn’t be at college.
In no way do I seek to defend her nor do I agree with everything Hopkins has to say. Some of it is vile stuff, which I suspect she utters for impact. She acknowledges using her female status to point out issues that a man could not address. In that sense, some of her posturing is a nuanced performance designed for effect.
With her engaging, bouncy manner, she disarms an audience. Then, in the next breath, shocks them with a remark. Her style is to dominate the room with a school teacher bossiness, tied to a fearless demeanour. The defensive body language from the students in Cambridge tells of their apprehension. It’s all a bit bonkers at times but effective.
The Cambridge encounter saw her audience intimidated, then shocked, before they lapsed into bafflement. Throughout Hopkins stood resolute in their ‘safe space’ batting questions to the rafters. She took delight in not taking offence, then offending them. The tone of student questions indicated their annoyance. They resorted to challenging her motives because none of them had a decent argument against her. Wit mitigated any venom in her responses. Disarming observations such as “You’ve got lovely skin, my dear” unsettled them.
Quotes such as “Feminists don’t get it. Marching around city centres wearing silly hats doesn’t achieve anything” capture the cop out of the left. Why they aren’t protesting the treatment of their sisters elsewhere in the world remains a mystery. “I prefer my royals ice-cold like Princess Anne” struck a chord. Modern royals trying too hard to be trendy don’t cut the grade.
It has to be said that rational thought does not support some of her ideas. Nor is she always honest with the facts. Her inane opinions on children’s names are laughable.
None of this detracts from her central theme and greatest strength. That is arguing that free speech is under attack. In this domain, her arguments are solid, eloquent, sometimes humorous and unassailable. To those perpetrating the shut down of free speech, Hopkins is controversial. To those who embrace genuine openness, she’s a standard bearer.
Hopkins most significant achievement is that she exposes the underlying hypocrisy and deceit of the left. Why is it acceptable to criticise Israel, but not Palestine? Why are there no feminists on a sinking ship? Why can’t fat people address their situation with exercise and self-control?
The left struggles to bring any cogent positions forward in the face of her bombardment of their hallowed ideas. Usually, they adopt the simple tactic of seeking to shame her or challenge her integrity. In one instance, a fat lady stormed out of a TV studio to call the police after Hopkins spoke. Like the students in Cambridge, they'd rather shut her down then deal with her.
These ad hominem attacks usually take the form of alleging Hopkins is an extremist. Again, this is a lazy position to adopt. It frees the accuser from stating a valid opinion, as the focus switches to a person's character. This gets further switched around and embellished by association.
“That’s what racists say” get used to dismiss a truth. Rational folks will recognise that the facts, or otherwise, does not depend on who supports the issue or past links. In turn, this leads to guilt by association. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany used this powerful tool to root out dissidents. These days the left uses that same approach to silence its opponents.
In 2015 Labour MP Simon Danczak reported Hopkins to the police. Her alleged crime was commenting on the Rochdale sex trafficking scandal with facts. She repeated that Muslim men perpetrated the crimes. This blatant suppression of free speech wasted tax payer’s money and took the police away from more pressing matters. Unafraid, Hopkins continues to speak out.
At times, what she has to say is uncomfortable. At times it's upsetting. What you can’t deny is the ring of truth in it. That kernel of integrity then exposes a higher truth, which rejects the narrative sold by the mainstream media. She calls out the intolerant, sanctimonious moral superiority of the SJWs and their dopey friends. I’m glad we have Katie Hopkins in the world, warts and all.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.