After it became widely known that pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins was proposing to tour schools and dispense her questionable wisdom to their pupils, reservations surfaced. Ms Hopkins’ tendency to defame individuals and groups, and voice opinions repellent to many, did not help her cause. Now the resistance is becoming organised, helped by her being unable to demonstrate a coherent grasp on reality.
Viewers may still want to look away now
The promotional material for the tour, which contained a generous smattering of grammatical and spelling howlers, was not a good start. Nor was the assertion that “there are no right or wrong opinions”. Added to those is her ignorance of what teachers actually teach, which might be thought a handicap when proposing a school tour.
“I think it’s really important that we encourage our young people to open up the debate, to listen to both sides of the argument and then decide their own opinions. I think it’s a great pity these days that teachers seem to tell their children what to think, not how to think” she told ITV News yesterday. Note use of the word “seem”. Doesn’t she know?
That would have been enough to set alarm bells ringing across the education system, but there was more to come, as Hatey Katie decided to pontificate on Government expenditure: “There is no such thing as government money. There is only money taken from the pay packets of the responsible few”. That is complete tosh.
According to the IFS, there were, in 2016-7, just over 53 million adults in the UK, more than 30 million of whom paid Income Tax - over half of them, not a “few”. In addition, VAT is paid by almost the whole population at full or reduced rate, but does not come “from the pay packets”. Nor does the duty paid on fuel, or that paid on alcoholic drinks. And then there are duties on property transactions, insurance premiums, and shares.
That level of ignorance is only going to switch head teachers across the United Kingdom off the idea of allowing Ms Hopkins near their pupils. That is what will decide her presence, or more likely the lack of it, not taking to Twitter to claim “Looking forward to joining @ITVWales to discuss why 77% of respondents are supporting The Strong School Tour” or “If your friends don't like your opinion, don't change your views, change your friends”.
Her delusion is completed by claiming “Many call me an extremist. I am extremely British. Deal with it”. Being “extremely British” does not explain backing a group of neo-Nazis in their Mediterranean jaunt to disrupt the rescue of refugees. It doesn’t justify calling such people “cockroaches”, or demanding that Muslims be subjected to a “final solution”.
There has been opposition in Scotland to the idea of Ms Hopkins fetching up at schools there. The brother of a Manchester Arena bomb victim has declared “If you are a school that rightly said no to Katie Hopkins, I will come and speak to your pupils for free about the real effects of extremism”. And Nesrine Malik at the Staggers concluded “If my child still cannot spell by the time they are 42, that would be a bigger impediment to their career than any poorly thought out attention-seeking ‘opinions’”.
The Katie Hopkins school tour is not yet dead. But it’s already on life support.