AN MP who came under fire for labelling football fans “scumbag hooligans” on Twitter has defended his comments.
Thousands of Sunderland fans gathered in Covent Garden last night ahead of Sunday’s Capital One Cup final clash.
Tory MP Robert Halfon sparked fury when he posted a picture of litter in the streets on Twitter and wrote: “Went to London for dinner. Wish I hadn’t. Scumbag football hooligans turn Covent Garden into a disgusting Cesspit.”
The member for Harlow in Essex soon found himself at the centre of an online firestorm and facing criticism from his own party.
Sunderland Conservative councillor Lee Martin wrote: “Nice to see @halfon4harlowMP has labelled the 5000 Sunderland fans in Covent Garden last night scumbags and hooligans. Idiot.”
But Mr Halfon denied his attack has been aimed exclusively at Sunderland fans.
“My tweet was to do specifically with the state of the area I saw and walked on, which was much broken glass and huge amounts of dropped litter in the roads. Why is it wrong of me to point that out?
“I asked a police officer who told me that there were six clubs in the area. In no way was I, or did I, identify one club over another, in fact I was not sure who had actually done it other than it was people associated with football.
“I specifically did not attack fans from any club but was referring only to those who had left the broken glass. It is wrong to say I have mentioned or described any fan’s from any club in the manner described.
“I also make clear the distinction between genuine fans of which there are many, and have every right to enjoy themselves, and hooligans who throw and smash glass all over the road. As a football fan myself I have huge admiration for most British clubs.
“That was the context of my tweet, which inevitably has been twisted or misunderstood as attacking a particular group of fans, or particular club, which was far from the case.”
Other Twitter users questioned whether Mr Halfon would have been similarly critical of the mess left behind after other events.
The Times football writer Tony Barrett posed a picture of the debris left after New Year’s Eve celebrations, with the question: “London after New Years Eve – “scumbag New Year revellers” or just not enough bins?”
And freelance writer Daniel Storey posted a link to details of the clean-up operation after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, with the comment: “30 tonnes of rubbish on streets after diamond jubilee. Scumbag jubilee hooligans?”
Source – Sunderland Echo, 03 Mar 2014
An MP has said she’s determined to stand up to internet trolls after she received a barrage of abuse online.
Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, became a target for cyber bullies after she spoke out on theissue of children’s toys.
She hit headlines earlier this month when she led a debate in parliament on gender-specific toys.
Chi pointed out that it was “illegal to advertise a job as for men only but apparently fine to advertise a toy as for boys only. Why should girls be brought up in an all-pink environment? It does not reflect the real world.”
She also condemned toy shops that have a pink aisle for what they see as girls’ toys and a blue aisle for boys’ toys.
But, ever since Chi spoke out, she has been on the receiving end of a stream of abuse on social networking site Twitter.
Chi said: “I’ve had quite a bit of intense abuse, the whole range right up to, although thankfully not including, death threats.
“Everything from aggressive sexual swearing to bizarrely being told that I’m both a publicity seeker and that no-one is interested in the issue.
“I’ve been told I’m stupid, lazy and had the strongest swear words directed at me.”
But she vowed: “I’m determined it’s not going to stop me.”
In her speech to parliament, Chi claimed that directing girls towards pink toys featuring princesses and domestic tasks, while boys are encouraged to play with construction toys and characters who have adventures, limits their horizons and is bad for the economy.
She pointed to a page from a 1970s Argos catalogue that featured toys such as a baby buggy or shop till in variety of colours and compared it to the current catalogue, which has the same toys but only in pink.
She said: “I’m not calling for legislation.
“There is a fear that you are accused of wanting a nanny state but we are just fighting for more choice so children can play with what they want.
“It causes a lot of distress among parents to see their girls forced down the route of being pink puppets.
“I’ve had a lot of parents contact me since the debate too.”
Fellow Labour MP Stella Casey received rape and death threats after she called for more women to be featured on bank notes.
And Isabella Sorley from Newcastle and John Nimmo from South Shields were jailed after they sent messages to campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.
Another alleged troll is due to face court this month.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 24 Feb 2014
I really dont think they’ve thought this through (as usual). Should be good spectator sport for a few days..
— DWP (@DWPgovuk) January 6, 2014
Even David Cameron has been plugging the DWP’s social networking pages, having no doubt been convinced by Employment Minister Esther McVey that she’s down with the kids on the internet. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
On Wednesday Jobcentre Plus busy-body Caroline will be live on facebook lecturing people on how to find work, then on Friday a DWP related twitter account will be hosting a live chat promoting workfare.
Learn how Work Experience can boost your employability from Nisha, Guest Editor on @SouthLondonJobs this Friday during
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Feel you’ve been fucked over by the DWP ? Now they’re offering you out for money too. Gives a whole new meaning to the term Poverty Pimp…
An advert for a job as a prostitute has appeared on a Government website.
The bungling Department of Work and Pensions allowed the “no experience necessary” offer for a single girl willing to work as a hooker to be posted on Direct Gov.
The ad, offering £10 an hour, put up by an agency called Horny Escorts on a board popular with jobseekers, offers work on a “flexitime” basis with the only qualification needed listed as “must like sex”.
The description said: “Female worker wanted to go out with guys maybe for evening or have full on sex.”
In grammatically incorrect English it continues: “This would be better if you was single and be able to work at your own pace.
“Looks and race unimportant. You will need a mobile phone. No experience necessary.”
The advert was posted on the Universal Jobmatch area of the Direct Gov site last Monday by the boss of the agency.
It only has one man and woman working for it but boasts of having “the most gorgeous and sophisticated women and men in the UK.”
The manager said: “I put the advert up there because it’s a job site and it’s a job. I was a bit shocked they allowed it.
“I also do deliveries and I had posted an ad for a same-day delivery service and then I just put the escorting one underneath it.
“The advert says ‘must like sex’ because if a man pays for it obviously he’s going to want that. I thought the Department of Works and Pensions would admin it.
“I didn’t know it would go straight online.”
He said he decided to advertise after business slowed down, saying: “It’s not been that good.”
A DWP spokesman admitted the blunder but refused to say if ads were read before they went live.
He said: “The post was inappropriate and was taken down next day.
“When advertising jobs, employers have to agree to terms and conditions. Where an inappropriate job is identified it is quickly removed.”
Source – Daily mirror, 29 Dec 2013