On this day a year ago
The “Jack Monroe”/”Bootstrap Cook” situation continues
“@frugally_minded” is a woman who was cheated by “Jack Monroe”, and who, despite being now in a parlous financial state, has been refused a refund by the so-called “Bootstrap Cook”.
I saw an interesting allegation, which may or may not be true, to the effect that “Jack Monroe” is now subscribing to her own Patreon donation appeal, in order to keep the numbers up and prevent the perception that she is being abandoned by her real donors (hundreds of utter mugs).
Quite. There are a number of recognized defences to an action in defamation, one of which is “Truth” (formerly called “Justification”).
Apart from that, as that tweet implies, many potential claimants (“plaintiffs”, as was) will not want their business and life generally, exposed to public view. That of course applies a fortiori to those who may have unethical, or even criminal, matters to hide.
There is a further matter, which is that a claimant claiming that he/she has been defamed will have to spend much money bringing the matter to court, money which can only be recouped (and it may not be) from a wealthy, or affluent, or at least solvent defendant, or one who at least owns valuable real property.
We hear much (mainly on Twitter) about how people can sue others using litigation insurance etc, or “pro bono” lawyers. It’s not as easy as that.
Firstly, litigation insurance will only be available where it is thought that a claim is not only well founded in law and fact but also where the putative defendant has assets, or income, that might satisfy any claim.
You can see where that leaves the “Bootstrap Cook”— up a gum tree. The last thing she wants is forensic and/or judicial examination of her allegedly dishonest and/or near-fraudulent “grifting” cottage industry.
In any event, most of those criticizing her probably have next to nothing, certainly not enough to satisfy the legal costs (and award of damages) flowing from a successful defamation action.
The “Bootstrap Cook” was lucky in her action against then-columnist and socio-political commentator, Katie Hopkins. who quite plainly did defame her (about “Jack Monroe” having allegedly vandalized a war memorial), who had no really arguable defence, and who —crucially— owned a house in the best residential neighbourhood in Exeter, St. Leonard’s. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_v_Hopkins; see also https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/mar/10/jack-monroe-wins-twitter-libel-case-against-katie-hopkins.
The house owned by Katie Hopkins had to be sold to cover both the actual award to “Jack Monroe” (£24,000) and the costs of the claimant (£300,000), most of which went to her lawyers, meaning to her solicitor and —I think, two— Counsel.
The solicitor engaged by “Jack Monroe” in the Katie Hopkins matter was the egregious Jew-Zionist Mark Lewis, resident now in Israel, and about whom I have written quite a lot on the blog in years past: see https://ianrobertmillard.org/2019/01/11/update-re-mark-lewis-lawyer-questions-are-raised/.
Incidentally, “pro bono” properly refers to cases taken by a lawyer for no fee, not the “no win, no fee” speculative type; as when one of my tutors at degree level, who was an Old Etonian, appeared pro bono for Eton College in a 1980s High Court matter involving, I believe, land and trusts.
Someone like me, without real property, valuable assets, or much of an income, is effectively “unsueable”, unless the claimant were willing to accept that any award made, and costs which might top half a million pounds (bearing in mind appeals etc) would be irrecoverable. Of course, what at least used to be called a “prohibitory injunction”, and/or a “mandatory injunction” (those being orders to prevent a repeat of any alleged libel, and/or to order the taking down of the libel complained of) might be ordered, true, but at what cost!
More “Jack Monroe” fakery and nonsense:
So tweeter “@sarahcam3ron”, apparently one Sarah Cameron, thinks that “Jack Monroe’s” suggestion of using a mallet and a chisel or knife to open a can (when you can get a new basic tin can-opener for a little as £1 in a cheap supermarket, or a used one for 20p in a charity shop) is good advice for “the poor” (seen as a “huddled mass” yearning to be preached to). These “Jack Monroe” fans and partisans believe what they want to believe.
In fact, the same tweeter seems to think that the bad behaviour of “Jack Monroe” is de minimis in the face of larger injustices in society: see below.
“Jack writes a book“? Try “Jack fleeces hundreds, indeed thousands, of people out of money most cannot really afford“. In any event her ‘recipes’ are largely carb-heavy slush that must be hard to stomach for many, from what I have seen.
Does anyone not totally loony think that a nutritious feed can be had for (as “Jack Monroe” claims) 11p per person? Even hardcore Con MP Lee Anderson only claims he can make such for 30p, and I (admittedly no cook) doubt whether anyone can make a decent lunch/dinner for less than about £1. I suppose a slice of toast with a Burford Brown very large egg on it— that would cost about 70p.
Frankly, I should rather have a peanut-butter and lettuce sandwich or two (cost? maybe 40p, if that) than any of the stuff I have seen from the “Bootstrap Cook”— and it would also remind me of when I was 10-11 years old and had that (with some slices of rock melon) every day at Middle Harbour School in Mosman, Sydney, in 1967, sitting outside in the warm sun.
Other tweets seen
The world is an amazing place.
It would not matter were a kind of mundane Ragnarok to take place, so long as the 1% —or 10%, so be it— of the population left at the end were relatively cultured, reasonably capable, and European.
There are bigger issues facing the UK than “Jack Monroe” allegedly scamming a few thousand well-meaning or virtue-signalling “mugs” out of a total of maybe (?) £6,000 a month. Yes. No argument.
There are bigger issues facing the UK than “Jack Monroe” (to use the Essex argot) “blagging” her way to a mass media semi-“celebrity” profile in the Guardian or on TV. Yes. No argument.
Having conceded the above, I just find it absolutely infuriating both that that person seems to have cheated all those people, some genuinely “poor”, out of money, and also that the msm scribblers and talking heads in this country are so dim and negligent that they accept many poseurs and/or frauds at face value, without checking them out; and that applies not only to the “Bootstrap Cook”, but to many many others, from “Boris” Johnson and Iain Dunce Duncan Smith, Liz Truss and Woollyhead Trussbanger (Kwasi Kwarteng), to relatively obscure individuals such as Aisha Ali-Khan (featured on yesterday’s blog: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2023/01/02/diary-blog-2-january-2022-2/).
More tweets seen
People might like to peruse my blog for a look at one or two of the several times I myself have had both brief and somewhat extended brushes with poverty in my own chequered and (some would say) picaresque life…e.g. https://ianrobertmillard.org/2022/08/25/diary-blog-25-august-2022-with-a-few-thoughts-about-poverty-and-living-through-hard-times/.
“Jack Monroe” has surely descended into the realms of Monty Python now. Nutritious lunches made for only 11p a head, opening cans using a knife and a hammer, or mallet (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, ROSPA, must love that one), and her various weird and not very wonderful “tips” reading like a dystopian Blue Peter charade.
I think that it is no accident that most of her supporters on Twitter seem to have mental problems of one sort or another. Many seem pretty stupid as well. Example? See below:
Another idiot? See below:
The sheer inanity of idiots like that!
People are angry about “Jack Monroe”, and the reason is that she has been making a good living by pretending to care about “the poor”, while taking money from, in some cases, genuinely poor people, and not even giving them what she promised, and because her food looks to many like “Mahashma Gandhi”, a dog’s dinner of beans and noodles mixed with curry powder etc.
Below, someone with more sense:
I’m with “@belfaststeve”…
She is right, just as I and others were. People, many of them, don’t want to hear that. No, our national economic problems, they say, are caused by “Covid”, by Putin, by the war in Ukraine, by “climate change”, by anything other than the 2020-2021 ridiculous lockdown shutdown(s) of the UK for up to 2 years.
Enjoy your 11p “Jack Monroe” dinner in the dark and cold, once you get that can of ASDA cheapo spaghetti hoops open with a mallet and knife! And don’t forget to bring a couple of forks to the feast!