Crowdfunding. Some people find it difficult to talk about. Others find it difficult to do. And one person who finds both concepts less than straightforward, if only out of misguided loyalty to Rupert Murdoch and her trolling obsession, is (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who has decided to go after writer Peter Jukes, whose crime has been to live-Tweet the Hacking Trial.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
In order to allow him to accomplish this task, Peter, who is a freelance journalist who must meet all his outgoings, including paying the mortgage, from earnings, turned to the crowdfunding tool Indiegogo. Many people contributed: some as little as £5, others into three figures. All their names, provided they wanted them to be known, are displayed on the site. So are amounts, although some are not disclosed.
Ms Mensch has taken issue with campaigning group Hacked Off having contributed. She missed someone called Adam Boulton, and another person by the name of Rupert Murdoch, as well as missing me, but then, most people tend to. That more than 90% of Peter’s funding did not come from Hacked Off is not allowed to enter: for Ms Mensch, she can now claim bias (for whatever reason).
The Mensch massive attack did not get off to an auspicious start: “‘Hacked Off sponsored my Tweets while I pretended to be impartial and a journalist’ is a great quote. Do use it” she leered, but missed Peter’s Twitter handle and so he never saw it. The stupidity was compounded by her not understanding how crowdfunding works: no condition can be attached to payments.
So funding via Indiegogo is not, repeat not, repeat NOT tied sponsorship. It can’t be withdrawn if the recipient does something that displeases the donor, for instance. But Louise was not listening: “‘I list Hacked Off’ does not absolve your bias, sponsored Tweeter pretending to be a journalist” she ventured, unaware that Peter does not need to pretend to be a journalist – he is one already. Unlike her.
And, as will be apparent, every time she had a go at him, someone jumped in and reminded her of her debt to Uncle Rupe, such as when she snarked “‘Peter claimed to be impartial while sponsored by Hacked Off’ has a ring to it”. What part of “Indiegogo funding is not tied sponsorship” does she not understand? The whole lot, by the look of it. And, as the man said, there’s more.
Claiming that Peter had admitted her accusation (he hadn’t) she wibbled “You claimed impartiality while Hacked Off sponsored you? And here’s a transparent list of people who sponsored me”, pretending nobody did so, while, once again, the first Tweeter to add their opinion mentioned Murdoch. The combination of wilfulness and stupidity was as consistent as it was tedious. And it had only one effect.
Sales of Peter’s forthcoming book Beyond Contempt have increased as a result.