Podcast Ep. 25: the Autumn Statement, COP21 and blanking Katie Hopkins

Iceberg in Antarctica, January 2011 by Liam Quinn

George Osborne’s latest budget, this week’s climate change conference in Paris, and Brunel students’ spurning of rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins are the subjects of our latest episode, in which Jimmy and Jazza sound off about subjects they are vaguely familiar with.

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Brunel students who protest Katie Hopkins still don’t get free speech

Brunel became the latest university this week to diminish the standing of free speech as students turned their backs on rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins and then quit the lecture theatre.

Footage uploaded to the Internet showed the incident, which took place on Monday as Hopkins and other panellists debated the future of the welfare state as part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

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Katie Hopkins suggests we seal up House of Lords and ‘gas the lot of them’

House of Lords during Queen Caroline trial, via Ashley Van Haeften

Rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins, formerly of the Sun and now of the MailOnline, has an original approach to constitutional reform, albeit one with some rather questionable overtones.

Speaking at an Electoral Reform Society event on the fringes of the Kipper conference, Hopkins was asked what she would do to fix the House of Lords.

She said:

“As for the House of Lords, sir, people like me, the people I represent, the things I articulate for the nation, actually, we don’t really give a shit about the House of Lords because we think they’re all a bunch of plonkers.

“They’ve just put [bra tycoon] Michelle Mone in there – frankly, once you’ve got Michelle Mone in anywhere you really don’t really care about it. Frankly, I don’t really mind if you seal up the room and gas the lot of them.”

Later in the day Hopkins told ITV’s political correspondent Paul Brand that she thought the widely spread photo of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi had been “staged”, a comment even the Farage himself thought went a bit far.

Image Credit – House of Lords during Queen Caroline trial, via Ashley Van Haeften

‘No silencing’ Katie Hopkins despite 57,000 signatures to swap her for refugees

Cockroaches, February 2014 by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins said there would be “no silencing” her in the wake of a petition to swap her for some of the 50,000 refugees she sweepingly termed “cockroaches” in a column for the Sun earlier in April.

The “television personality” took to Twitter to criticise the response to the images of dead Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi last week, arguing that Britain was not thinking with its head over pressure to take in more migrants from the strife-ridden regions of North Africa and the Middle East.

Some 57,000 have signed the Change.org petition to swap Hopkins for the migrants only five days after it was created by the freelance journalist Ben Fletcher.

Writing in an update on Monday, he said:

“Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I am sure that we can all agree that Hopkins should probably see someone about hers – perhaps a doctor. [We have] 56,000 [signatures] and counting. It is going well, but 44,000 are still required for the most amusing news headline of the year to take place: PARLIAMENT CONSIDER DEBATING SWAPPING KATIE HOPKINS FOR 50,000 REFUGEES.”

If a petition on the Parliament.UK website reaches 100,000 signatures the House of Commons is obliged to consider it for debate in Parliament. However this obligation seemingly does not apply to petitions on other websites.

After Hopkins published the piece she was questioned by police over incitement of racial hatred allegations, though no charges appear to have been brought since.

Even the United Nations heaped criticism on the media slut in the wake of the piece, with the human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein comparing the language she used to that used by the Nazis, thus violating Godwin’s Law and instantly losing the argument.

Though Hopkins rowed back somewhat on her comments, she stood by the essence of the message, which according to her “isn’t about the idea that we want to see migrants and people suffering, it’s an idea that we need to find solutions to problems.”

Right.

Image Credit – Cockroaches, February 2014 by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab