To secure a column on the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, one need not be an experienced journalist, or indeed, a journalist at all. And in one particular case, it means having a total lack of self-awareness, to the extent that “telling it like it is” veers across the decency line into hate speech, with criticism dismissed as mere “lefty outrage”. Here we enter the deeply unpleasant mind of professional loudmouth Katie Hopkins.
You OK with that pal, Dave?
Ms Hopkins has crossed the line before, of course, not least in her attitude to the Scots, even having to apologise for one particularly insensitive outburst when her sneering observations on life expectancy north of the border coincided with the Glasgow helicopter crash. Then, undeterred, she was back to the abuse when nurse Pauline Cafferkey contracted the Ebola virus on return from Sierra Leone.
But now we’re in a General Election campaign, and she desperately wants The Blue Team to win. She is a great fan of Young Dave, having been snapped with the Tory leader recently. So what does she do? She makes this “joke” about Mil The Younger: “Pollsters say Justine is the least popular of party wives. He might stick her head in the oven and turn on the gas”. Jeremy Duns tries to point out that this is just vile.
Ms Hopkins was not deterred: “Lefty outrage - you gotta love it” she trilled. Piers Morgan tried ever so gently to suggest the error of her ways: “Miliband’s Jewish”. Yes, making gas oven “jokes” about someone who is Jewish and many of whose relatives were victims of the Holocaust is not clever. Still Katie was unmoved, replying “And you're a Catholic Piers. Isn't this a fun game?” Fun for one person, perhaps.
It was so much fun for Ms Hopkins that she was convinced nobody who really mattered would be really, properly offended, telling that “Look peeps, Jews and Gays love me. Get over it. The Scots and Palestinians aren't so keen. I give you that”. Self-awareness? She wants the world to know she is Cameron’s pal, then makes a nasty gas oven “joke” about his Jewish opponent? Nope, no self-awareness at all.
She’s also rather hopeful when it comes to her appeal to Piers Morgan, batting his criticism off with “Piers - it's OK love. I know this is just sexual tension. I bear children and arms”. A former tabloid editor has taken time out to give her a helpful hint about what is acceptable “telling it like it is”, and what is definitely not. But still the message remains unheard and the Tories get damaged by association.
Ms Hopkins even tries to pass her gaffe off as mere trolling, telling “Lefty fools, if you don't like the freedom of my speech - get off Twitter” and linking to one of her all too many media appearances. But it isn’t just trolling, it’s anti-Semitic hate speech, way beyond what anyone - well, apart from her - can even hope to justify as “telling it like it is”. Katie Hopkins has hobbled the Sun, the Tories, and her own remaining credibility.
[UPDATE 30 March 1000 hours: Ms Hopkins and her pals may have rather more difficulty shrugging this one off, now that the Mail has got hold of it.
The headline of their piece, "'He might stick her head in the oven and gas her': Katie Hopkins accused of using anti-Semitic jibe at wife of Ed Miliband, whose parents fled the Holocaust", tells you all you need to know about the angle being used.
Before long her pal Dave will be getting quizzed about it, and he won't think twice before throwing her under the nearest bus. And what will Creepy Uncle Rupe make of it? Time will tell]