Tin-eared, tone-deaf – Selaine Saxby gets it very, very wrong

No-one should have to tolerate abuse in the workplace and bullying is wholly unacceptable. An MP is a public servant with a duty of care to his or her constituents. Having taken on a public role, MPs must expect to attract opprobrium if they act in ways which their constituents do not like. They should expect criticism when they vote against food standards and protection for local farmers; or deny EU citizens physical proof of their right to be here; or refuse refugee children a route to reunite with their families. And when they vote down a motion for free school meals for the nation’s poorest children? Well. They’re going to get it in spades, aren’t they? The political car crash isn’t likely to be cleaned up by posts like this one today from newbie MP for North Devon , Selaine Saxby.

Unsurprisingly, she has deleted this message, but not before it had attracted 150 plus comments in very short order. Did she finally clock the tin-eared tone set in that first sentence? It’s worth reading it again.

I am delighted our local businessses have bounced back so much after lockdown they are able to give away food for free, and very much hope they will not be seeking any further government support.

I mean, wow! WOW! That is some weapons-grade insensitivity right there.

Dominic Cummings might think that the Overton window is now so far to the right that we all take pleasure in the suffering of those less fortunate than ourselves. Well, Mr Strategy has got that as wrong as wrong can be.

Most people are decent, caring and compassionate. Most people would give anything to shake Marcus Rashford’s hand and anything not to shake Johnson’s. And most people do not, would not, could not think like Ms Saxby and turn acts of generosity into an occasion for sniping.

It really is rather rich of her to imply that these businesses who have felt moved to do the right thing would attempt to rip off the government. Not all businesses act like SERCO.

Please do not make life difficult for Ms Saxby’s staff. Intimidation and harrassment are never the right way to channel the justifiable frustration and anger many feel about this and so many other issues. But call MPs out when they break promises, lie or reveal their true colours? Hell, yeah. Politics has always been a dirty business. Sadly, this government and its slavish foot soldiers seem determined to drag us all into their dirt. We aren’t going to let them, are we? We are better than this. Donate to a foodbank. Cook for a family. Sign Marcus Rashford’s petition. Hope, not hate.