Originally sent as a twitlonger, Written after reading Grace Dent’s stonking, and also bang on, piece in the Independent this morning.
Dear Lord McAlpine.
I understand you are suing everyone on twitter, after this marauding herd with the turning circle of a London Cab, retweeted information coming from a journalist purporting to name a senior tory grandee and created an apparent jigsaw which could identify you wrongly.
Now, I am not tweeting to apologise. I think being accused of something you didn’t do must be terrible, it is an occupational hazard when you work with children and young people for instance.
I would like to point this out- Often when children are abused, the seriousness of the abuse creates a situation filled with guilt and shame, and can be difficult to process. Children and the abused adults they become often exhibit behaviour patterns which show the damage they have suffered and occasionally with children they misidentify their abuser, while trying to talk about their abuse.
I have to say Mr.Mcalpine, that when you say that being accused of abuse is the worst thing you can possibly think of, this leaves abused children in quite the situation. Because when you say that the worst thing that could possibly happen to someone is that they be misidentified as responsible for abuse, that places responsibility for accidentally doing the worst thing possible to an adult, on abused children with perfectly understandable behaviour patterns. I think someone should point this out to you.
When a tory grandee is pointing out the seriousness of being accused of abuse, while Micheal Gove is telling families they should prepare to have their children removed as a policy, I think you may find some sympathy from the poorest families in the country, who find that their relationships with their children are about to be bound by the same suspicion as you are experiencing, purely on the basis they will experience poverty the conservative government is deliberately creating. They do not have the option of suing the government. When you are simultaneously saying that being accused of abuse is something worse than anything you can imagine, you reinforce that children should shut up about it. Whether you meant to or not. WIth the state of our care system and a government threatening to take our children, this is concerning.
I agree with you about the marauding hordes of twitter, its quite a self contained hysterical and juvenile little bubble. Nobody except those who run live blogs on it, or who have found second chances at careers they blew through it, put any credence in it.
This is not a bubble that shows discernment, they live on, as I said on the evening of that particular newsnight, speculation and conjecture and are largely unconcerned with the effect of their actions. A culture fed by a political media, long insulated from the effect of their actions. I commend you on scaring them a bit, the twitter bubble was largely popping because of the toxic nature of the culture that has sprung up around our journalists and celebs in their internet paddling pool.
What I wonder though is what you are trying to achieve by sueing everyone on twitter. If it comes out that I retweeted any offending articles, I wont be apologising to you, and I’ll address the context in which they were retweeted. You can take me to the cleaners and you wouldnt even get enough for a service wash.
I am writing to you to let you know that you were the least important of the questions I wanted addressed, I was largely uninterested in a twitter horde witch hunt and the media war that resulted from the situation with newsnight. I was interested in the opportunity for a change in the way child abuse would be discussed, and a move towards listening to victims and understanding the complex truths these cases throw up.
I wont be discussing you or apologising, because now it seems like all anyone wants to discuss is twitter and your name, and while this was entirely expected in a country where noone wants to discuss child abuse, it is just a rerun of a situation I am more than familiar with.