Out there on the far right, a new campaign has been launched, backed by such luminaries as UKIP peer Lord Pearson of Rannoch, MEP Janice Atkinson, who was too poisonous even for the Kippers, and For Britain’s leader Anne-Marie Waters. It has also been endorsed by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson.
Janice Atkinson - before UKIP kicked her out
The 1400 Campaign is so-named after the estimated number of victims of sexual abuse in the town of Rotherham. That estimate has been upgraded by some of those backing the campaign to confirmed cases of rape, a claim that cannot be stood up (hence the use of the word “estimate”). It will “provide the first national helpline for those suffering the rape and exploitation that continues across the country”.
Because of the backstory of some who have backed this initiative, questions have been asked and concerns raised. And that is where the problems have started: instead of responding to the questions and concerns, those doing the asking have been subjected to a welter of abuse. Some have been accused of supporting sexual exploitation because they do not unequivocally support the 1400 Campaign.
Worse, the meltdown exhibited by one Shazia Hobbs, who was involved with the launch event, is beyond unfortunate. There is no lobbying, no persuasion, no setting out of the stall to win over doubters. From Ms Hobbs there is only baseless abuse.
she went: “When Tommy Robinson shared The#1400Campaign promotion, the usual far left blue-ticked haters were all over Twitter quickly smearing it and telling their followers not to back the campaign” [no citation]. “Irrational blind hate led them to jump on the wrong bandwagon and smear a campaign that has been months in the making, solely because Tommy shared it on his Facebook page” [no citation]. And there was more.
“They simply don’t care about these crimes. They aren’t interested in providing the victims all the help they deserve … Not one of them has apologised for their error”.
The 1400 Campaign may be a noble and groundbreaking exercise. It may not. But as long as its supporters behave the way they are right now, it is going nowhere.
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