I remember my Grandma saying to me when I was a little lad, ‘Robbie, you’re a fool to yourself.’
I never knew what she meant, I’m sort of learning now. There are times on the twitters when my hackles get the better of me. I’ll open the little laptop (a middle class liberal MacBook Air) and check the tweet stream. I’ll read a load of lovely comments, wonderful links and just a handful of essentially right wing nonsense and instead of doing what any sensible person would do, ignore it, I respond.
‘You were right Grandma, I’m a fool to myself.’
This doesn’t happen very often, tonight my Mrs is in Paris, my daughter is staying with her pal up the lane and my son is waiting for his friends to land here. I’m a bit tense about that, I don’t know how many are coming, they are all really big and I’m supposed to supply pizza and cauliflower cheese. Don’t ask.
Anyway, in the little gap, I started tweeting and I got upset. The whole Fortnum and Mason thing is so unpleasant, I don’t in any way condone the violence and damage caused, but I understand the anger, dismay and corrosive cynicism that comes from the endless list of greedy, short sighted bullies who own and run this country and yet cruelly refuse to support our economy. The tax dodging owners who hide behind convenient walls of ‘charitable giving’ and spend a bomb on PR spin to prove it.
For every £1 some crusty hooded scrounging anarcho-syndicalist graffiti spraying wazzock screws out of the welfare state, there is £100,000 of discreetly re-distributed wealth managed fiddling going on behind well painted Mayfair doors.
We should be disgusted at the massive gap that has appeared between the richest and poorest in this country, it’s staggering and getting bigger all the time. It's so not a party political thing, most of this increase in the wealth gap happened under the bloody Labour wazzocks.
I don’t resent people earning good money for their hard work, I don’t want to take it away from them in some Soviet style communist revolution, but the swaggering arrogance of the hyper rich is sending such a brutal ‘fuck you’ message to the rest of the population, I am not in the least surprised some people are screaming ‘fuck you back, bitch!’
I’m sad about Fortnum’s, sad for the people who work there who’ll have to clear up the mess, I used to have tea with my mum there when I lived in London and she came to visit. She’d go to the Royal Academy exhibition and then we’d meet up for tea and a bun. She loved it, she’s no longer with us, but clearly I don’t have some rabid hatred of Fortnum’s.
I am just reminding myself, when someone utterly misinterprets what I have said in 140 characters, rise above it and carry on.
When they twist facts to suit their own extreme right wing agenda of supporting tax dodging corporations, believing, as they do, that all government is bad government so all tax goes directly to lefty scroungers and dirty immigrants who get given houses and free food forever by limp wristed liberals like me, I must ignore their goading tweets.
Not because of some fear of expressing myself and exposing myself to more criticism, it’s not a curtailment of my free speech, it’s for my own selfish wellbeing. I don’t want or need to get that upset about some trivial little prod from some angry white man, because the goading tweets always come from angry white men who feel hard done by.
White men, in the UK, oppressed? Hello, this is the rest of the human race calling, just a quick history lesson. No, I'm starting again.
I’ll still say what I think on Twitter, after all that’s what it’s there for, but I am reminding myself that I don’t need to be, as my Grandma so rightly said, ‘a fool to myself.’