There are just six weeks before UK voters go to the ballot boxes for the 8 June general election. For some in politics, this means any and all targets are legitimate – even children. And forces opposed to Jeremy Corbyn have now targeted a disabled child in efforts to hurt the Labour leader.
An unguarded moment
As The Canary reported previously, Katherine Jack and her son Brett were attending a carers’ conference when they met Corbyn. As the Labour leader and Brett joked with each other, Jack took a film on her smart phone.
Corbyn was attending the event to launch his pledge to carers. There are currently 6.5 million people in the UK who are caring for elderly, sick or disabled loved ones for 35 or more hours each week. If Labour wins the general election in June, Corbyn has pledged to increase the Carer’s Allowance by 17%.
Labour would fund the increase’s cost of £538m by scrapping the Conservative Party’s planned £650m cut to inheritance tax.
Writing about the encounter on Facebook, Ms Jack said:
My awesome little man just had a few minutes with JC, the press were allowed to stay for the first 15 minutes of the carers meeting with JC and they asked some bloody horrible questions! ? l asked him how he copes with the press and he said “with a lot of patience!” And he then winked. I love that man, he’s so calm and is exactly what this country needs!!!
While many people celebrated a rare human moment in politics, others targeted Ms Jack and her son for harassment. Users described Brett as a ‘drooling cabbage’.
Others called them out with a meme saying that trolls die if you don’t feed them. They replied: “So do retarded kids in wheelchairs.”
Speaking to The Canary, Ms Jack said:
Experiencing first hand how nasty twitter trolls can be was eye opening. It was so upsetting to read those things said about my son, and makes me question why these people feel social media is a safe platform to write what is effectively hate crime.
This kind of abuse directed towards those with disabilities has, under the current government, only risen; something I can only attribute to the blatant lack of government attention awarded to disability. Nobody should be allowed to say such vile things against those with disabilities and social media should not pose as an exception to this.
Reacting to the comments without getting upset or angry was impossible and I only experienced it for a day. I cannot imagine how Jeremy Corbyn manages to handle the same social media onslaught daily.
The battle for Britain
The footage and the reaction remind us of the importance of our vote on 8 June.
Voters will have to ask themselves a question: what kind of country do we want to live in?
For the first time in years, UK voters have a real choice at the ballot box. Do we want to build a country which rewards cooperation, innovation, team work and excellence? And where no person or community is left behind? Or do we continue our decline as a tired lackey of the United States, heaping reward on failure, and prioritising patronage over progress?
Let’s make June the end of May.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Read more from The Canary on the 2017 general election.
– Read and support news outlets who hold power to account. Here are some we recommend. Please add more that you like in the comments:
The Canary, Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia,Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via screengrab