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Thursday 5 November 2015

Don’t Menshn Sue Nelson

[Update at end of post]

Another day, another outburst of unthinking, intolerant and obsessive ranting arrives on Twitter courtesy of (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who has shown herself to be an occasionally over-sensitive soul whenever the name of Tim Hunt is mentioned, routinely shouting down anyone whose point of view does not concur exactly with her own. Peaceable disagreement is something she is not prepared to tolerate.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

One of those whose views do not concur with those of Ms Mensch is Sue Nelson of the BBC, and you can see here the latest outbursts from upmarket Manhattan sent in her direction, beginning with “Oh and @ScienceNelson make sure you declare your @Connie_stlouis interest when you fauxport on #TimHunt”. Who is this “fauxport”?
This is soon explained: “@ScienceNelson you false reported like you always do Sue, and like @deborahblum always does. Come clean”. There’s more: “No, you did it. Lying again. #TimHunt”. And more: “This is the sick sort of stuff @ScienceNelson has flung at Sir Tim Hunt and his family all along”. And yet more: “where's your blog you hideous smearer and liar?”. So accusations of smearing, lying, “false reporting”, and “sick stuff”.
That’s most interesting, if only because on all of those counts Louise Mensch is right now standing in an awfully draughty glasshouse. She “falsely reported” that the New York Times was publishingagent’s names” from Edward Snowden’s trove of NSA information. They were not. She “falsely reported” the Jeremy Clarkson disciplinary case to her readers at the Murdoch Sun, smearing the Corporation - wrongly.
And, talking of “sick stuff” being flung at others, how about Ms Mensch’s harassment of Abby Tomlinson, custodian of the #Milifandom hashtag? As for lying, we have the recent claim that there was an EU coup in Portugal (wrong), a number of totally untrue claims made about the case of Sudanese woman Meriam Ibrahim, and the Hancock-style claim that Charlie Hebdo was an actual person.
Could it get even worse? You betcha, says Sarah: BBC Songs Of Praise was slammed over its broadcast from a refugee camp near Calais, with Ms Mensch claiming the worshippers were fake because they were Muslims (wrong). She claimed that, as a politician, she never lied or briefed. That’s not quite true either. And her pursuit of the HuffPost over an article about Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News was utterly wrong.
On top of all that, she claimed she would sue author and playwright Peter Jukes for libel, and sue me for discussing the matter. That, too, was a complete pack of lies. It should also be noted that Ms Mensch is not averse to using her Sun column to smear those whom she knows do not have the means to take her to the cleaners.

All of that means that neither Sue Nelson, nor anyone else, should take lessons from Louise Mensch on smearing, lying, false reporting, or anything else.

[UPDATE 6 November 1150 hours: it now seems that Louise Mensch's campaign against all those who have not agreed totally with her on Tim Hunt is not all that it seems.

She has now updated her "Tim Hunt Apology Timeline" to include a correction. The wording makes for interesting reading: "I wrongly stated ... I should have checked this more carefully ... I apologise for my sloppiness in this regard".

One has to wonder what else she might have got wrong.

This is yet another reason why the vicious and sadistic trashing of those who do not agree with her - whether directly, or by those supporters who have trusted her every word - is bang out of order.

Louise Mensch needs to look to herself first, and then wind up her little Wild West Show]


Andy McDonald said...

As ever, I'm left furious.

No, not at Louise Mensch, but at my school careers master, for never telling me that you could make a profitable living out of running a university rock society, banging out some shit novels, and farting about on Twitter all day.

Anonymous said...

"...you hideous smearer and liar..."

Untermensch must have been looking in a mirror when she wrote that, the hysterical dope.

There must be a surfeit of that funny white haha powder in New York at the moment. Something has to relieve the natives for slaughtering each other with guns.

Watching her lose it has to be the funniest script since Morecambe and Wise stuck one on Andre Previn.

rob said...

Back in July this year she made uncalled for tweets (since deleted but can be found by googling Nelson & Mensch):

@professor_dave BULLSHIT, and

@professor_dave you have been abusive of an old man based on fuck all. Now sod off. "

Not the usual style of debate recommended by Oxford University I suspect.

Seems to have almost mastered the art of deleting embarrassing output, learning from Miss Becky perhaps?

mikep said...

I am no fan of Louise Mensch in general but in the Tim Hunt case she seems to have got it right. Sue Nelson repeatedly claimed that Tim Hunt was at a session which there is overwhelming evidence he could not have been, as Sue has finally admitted.

Tim Fenton said...


That may be so, but the scale of venom and obsessive pursuit - which Ms Mensch must know drags in others on social media - is uncalled for. Some of the pursuit verges on the openly sadistic.

hatty said...

LM is big on this "guilt by association" thing but in LM's rush to gleefully re-tweet anyone who agrees with her or obediently attacks her latest target, she is re-tweeting some very odious people.

The Tim Hunt thing was messy and sad. But she's made it about herself and her crusade. Can anyone even remember the clumsy joke?

Muggins said...

Nothing you said makes the smear campaign against Tim Hunt morally justifiable. If people false-reported as part of this campaign - they deserve to be held to account.

It's simple really. A brilliant scientist lost jobs & suffered humiliation because of atrocious misreporting and malicious twitter hashtag campaigns.

It isn't fair - and those who so enjoyed getting angry online don't seem to care what they helped do to him. They express no remorse. If their actions and character are brought into focus then that's fine by me. I think Mensch is 100% right.

Tim Fenton said...


You spectacularly miss the difference between whether someone is right, and whether they are entitled to conduct a vicious and sadistic campaign of retribution against someone whose opinion they dislike.

Let me put you straight on this.

Consider this Tweet:


"Today was a very good day.
@LouiseMensch #TimHunt
Let's get @ScienceNelson tomorrow.👍

Plus all you can muster in support of Ms Mensch is to say that others "don't SEEM to care". So you don't know.

Added to all that you ignore Ms Mensch's catalogue of going after others and getting it wrong - then not apologising.

EdinburghEye said...

MikeP - The situation appears to be that there was a Q&A on sexism at the conference, the day after Tim Hunt made his sexist "joke", at which Hunt's comments were discussed.

Tim Hunt was then asked to provide a comment on the Q&A before the report on the discussion was published.

This led some of the people who'd been at the Q&A session to misremember, months later, that Tim Hunt had been there.

Sue Nelson investigated this, intending to write a blogpost about it if Tim Hunt *had* been there, and confirmed to her own satisfaction that he couldn't have been.

None of this strikes me as reprehensible behaviour on the part of Sue Nelson. It's confused by Louise Mensch's ripping into Sue Nelson with insults because Nelson isn't following the Mensch line on Tim Hunt, but that is what happened.

Andy McDonald said...

Mensch's entire modus operandi is as follows:

1. Choose an issue to get outraged about.

2. Pick a name out of a hat.

3. Accuse said name of ignoring, or not supporting/condemning the issue in question loudly enough, to her satisfaction.

4. Repeat.

Anonymous said...

@ Andy McDonald at 09:34. In support.

I doubt Mensch ever gets genuinely "outraged" in these "controversial" issues she raises.

My interpretation is that she's just a cynical opportunist paid for, and willing to engage in, appealing to the lowest common denominator, thus buying circulation amongst the most gullible and stupid. The aim is money-profit, nothing else: which is why the "outrage" is so transparent and disgusting.

Her employers have previous in that regard.

Chris said...

"You spectacularly miss the difference between whether someone is right, and whether they are entitled to conduct a vicious and sadistic campaign of retribution against someone whose opinion they dislike."

This is exactly what has happened to Tim Hunt - a man traduced by lies and inaccurate vindictive journalism.
And frankly it needed a twitter Rottie to expose the truth because the false accusers refuse absolutely to admit error.
Mensch's lamentable history does not change this.

rob said...

@ Andy McDonald

Addendum to 2. If name could be a BBC employee and an apparent "leftie" so much the better.

It's all part of the tribal political war - much like football supporters of one club "hate" other clubs seen to be rivals. And if there is something News UK thrives upon it is sport and in particular football (and the hyped up "controversies).

Anonymous said...

@ rob.

People forget now, but Murdoch's original satellite TV operation was within months of bankruptcy until it got Premier League TV rights. Without that, it was doomed - and still is. Without sports he's fucked. Which is why his Mafia family spends zillions on getting them.

See "Murdoch The Great Escape" by Richard Belfield, Christopher Hird and Sharon Kelly (paperback,a Warner Books, 1991).

Anybody who opposes Murdoch and other Nazis is labeled "left" or "communist." It's a trick he learned form the Yanks when he "converted" to a "born again" Yank/Oz christian. They all fully deserve each other. And anyone who supports them deserves the kind of horrible society they have helped create.

Tim Fenton said...

It is perhaps inevitable that someone has left a personally abusive comment to this post.

That comment will not be published.

Whilst there are inevitably some who are prepared to support Louise Mensch's campaigns, that is no reason to resort to playing the man and not the ball.

The commenter will be aware of their identity.

Anonymous said...

In this case, Louise is right, Sue is wrong, you are too.

REGARDLESS of Louise's behavior, Sue owes Tim Hunt and her readers an apology and a correction.

> that is no reason to resort to playing the man and not the ball.

Seriously? Your entire blog post is dedicated to the proposition that LM is such an evil jerk that neither Sue nor you have to correct the record and apologize to Tim Hunt.

Tim Fenton said...


Your claim that I am wrong is not helped by your providing no evidence to back it up, as well as claiming anonymity.

I am pointing out that Ms Mensch demands apologies of others, while consistently ignoring suggestions that she do so after a series of instances where she says things that are not true.

That is all.