Facebook Post 17th February 2020
Right then…..it’s a long one. If you can make it to the end…..I thank you.
I have watched the tragic story of Caroline Flack this last couple of days with an enforced kind of detachment but with my brain doing its usual churning of thoughts.
I didn’t really know anything about her, not ever having watched Love Island or anything with her in it (that I was aware of) however I did see her name on the news recently when it was mentioned that she was no longer presenting Love Island because of the case being brought against her for domestic violence. Again I don’t really know much about those circumstances but I have read a few tweets and comments about the case and have had those thoughts musing through my overly crowded mind…..and now it is time for me to try and put them in some order.
Firstly….domestic violence is WRONG….in any shape or form and from anyone – male or female. It is wrong and should never be tolerated…..
It was still, as far as I can make out, to go to trial so, even if she had abused her partner she was still innocent until proven guilty…..and this is my first bone of contention.
There is such a culture these days of “name and shame”, scam artist, blame game and trial by internet. Everyone (the keyboard warriors) has an opinion on someone’s guilt before being aware of all the facts, of both sides of the story, and everyone simply has to have a say (I am using the ‘royal’ everyone by the way not making a mass generalisation).
The reason we have a judicial system in place is to discover the facts of a case before a decision is made for innocent or guilty. Only by listening to and investigating the facts do we get to the truth.
There are two people I know who have been accused of the most horrific crime (in my opinion) of child abuse. For those of you who know me and my back story I was a victim of it myself and have been teaching my own children about the subject since they were 4 because forewarned is forearmed and I hope this knowledge will help prevent them from ever having to go through what I went through but I digress (as usual). Due to my history, if I thought there was ANY truth in the accusations there is no way I would consider being in the same building with them, especially not with my children, but investigations were carried out, the claims were shown to be completely inaccurate or fabricated and the pair were both vindicated. The reason I mentioned this is because, if their accuser had gone public with it on the many platforms of social media these people would have had their whole lives completely ruined by the “no smoke without fire” syndrome, make them pay, hang them up by their genitals kind of comments that are made in circumstances like these….despite the protestations of innocence.
Remember the Big Brother case involving Roxanne Pallet? Where she accused him of punching her and abusing her? If those hundreds of cameras hadn’t been there Ryan Thomas’s life would have been over. One false accusation and he would have been fired, vilified and could have ended up in a similar position to Caroline Flack.
Caroline Flack, along with so many others, made mistakes and the media pounced like the pack of starved painted wild dogs that they are. They tore into her and continued a tirade of vile stories despite her not having been found guilty. They have done it to so many others…a regular favourite of theirs is Katie Price, another Meghan Markel, and people lap it up, they tweet obnoxious comments, threaten them with wishes of them being raped, hurt, killed…..the internet trolls, fuelled by the current international emboldenment of “free speech” and the complete lack of regulation of the media.
The lack of people’s ability (read inclination maybe) to fact check before sharing or commenting results in people being endangered or taking their own lives because they have been accused of having done something or incorrectly being someone else (one of Jamie Bulger’s killers example). They were hounded, “named and shamed”, accused, lied about and threatened……
And now another life has been lost and the hypocrites and haters are out in equal measure. Many holding the “she beat her partner up and deserved what she got” line (remember she was still innocent) and, even if she had….that is what our judicial system is for. It may be a flawed system but it is one that we need to work on changing for the better….and not by taking it into our own little vigilante hands. We need to be better than that.
The media who attacked her now running with “here is a number if you need support against suicide” are the very same media who lie and spread front page hate about so much and, when found out, put the tiniest of apologies in the dregs of page 37. There is no accountability and the results of the Leveson enquiry, the lessons learnt, have been consigned to the sewers of the gutter trash press.
Another life lost resulting in post after post about how tragic it is, be kind, show love……and whilst that is an amazing thing to be seeing…..why does it take a tragedy like the death of Caroline Flack for it to happen?
I am proud of many of my friends who preach and practise the “be kind” thing on a regular basis but there are so many people who are only posting about it now it is “trendy” somehow. I do appreciate that often people don’t share things like this for their own personal reasons and they do practice the kindness and help people in their own quiet way……the people I mean are those who will share this advocating kindness but will then share a meme villifying someone like Greta Thurnburg or the youth of today protesting climate change, a post about how immigrants are stealing our jobs or comment about how.a celebrity can’t possibly be depressed when “they have everything”. These are the trend jumpers. The ones who don’t actually believe what they are posting.
The real challenge is if they continue that onwards and start spreading kindness. I really hope they do but sadly I don’t think it will happen once the “Flack effect” has passed…..just like the wain of smear tests after the Jade Goody effect passed.
Kindness can take many forms. Complimenting someone on their hair/shoes/children’s behaviour or manners; holding the door for someone; talking to a parent whose child is in meltdown to offer them a word of support to let them know that not everyone is watching them thinking them a failure (been in that position so many times); scan your contactless over one of the homeless collection points around the city; offer to buy a drink for a homeless person without expecting any reward back; help someone carry a bag of shopping to their car.
Kindness doesn’t need to cost anything at all but a kind word can be the difference between life and death…literally. I have been there and it was only the cyber presence of my friend who talked me out of it, kept me in the moment and stopped me doing something awful. It was her kindness and time that kept me a survivor of the black dog with a 100% record of survival…not matter how dark the night,
Kindness…..a word, smile, cyber handhold. Making the offer of help (even if it isn’t taken up) makes a massive difference to someone who may just be hanging on by a thread.
Be the difference.
Be the change you want to see and don’t just jump on the sympathy bandwagon for a few days then forget about it.
And in the words of one of the most inspirational people I know, “make the rest of your life, the best of your life”. Carry that through to help someone….anyone….at least once a day.