12 November 2012

Liz Jones and Mumsnet Blogfest.

Liz Jones - Picture courtesy Mumsnet Blogfest FB.

On Saturday I went to the Mumsnet Blogfest, wasn't going to say much about it and then something happened that gave me the urge - you know, one of those times when it just takes over and, if you listen to yourself, you have to.

The sad old bint above, the Daily Mail's Liz Jones, graced us, sort of, with her presence on a Keynote panel - 'Private Lives on a Public Stage' - in the afternoon, then wrote a spiteful article about it in their Sunday paper.

The woman is full of tripe, orange in the flesh, vacant, hostile, disdainful and hypocritical.  I can guarantee she'd mostly written the article before the event even occurred because it's full of mis- conceptions and blatant lies.

'I mingled among the mums.'  No.  She didn't.  No-one caused quite the stir she did, particularly on Twitter (I have never been re-tweeted quite as much), so we'd have known if she were 'in the building!'

'I expected bile as I weaved my way between the prams.'  A) You expect bile because that's what you dish, darling and B) there was probably one pram per hundred attendees, if that.

She claims to have spoken to The Bottom of the Ironing Basket, Cambridge Mummy and Mush brained ramblings.  They print quite a different story - on their blogs and on Twitter.  She doesn't even get their names or their set-ups right.  

We all felt quite sorry for her.  That was the general consensus, be assured, despite her opener about it being 'wrong' to write publicly about your children - to a conference full of Parent Bloggers!  There was rather a stunned silence, stifled giggles and guffaw making tweets galore about the gaff. 

We truly didn't mind though. The rest of the day more than made up for the misery she shared about having spilled her guts and her friends and family being increasingly wary of anything they say in fear of being fodder for her - well, any of those she has left.  She confessed to wanting to be able to turn back the clock and not write the stuff she has, alienating practically everyone she knows, including her neighbours.  Even a crisis around her Dad's death had to be kept from her.

Miriam Gonzales Durantez - picture courtesy Mumsnet Blogest FB.

When a woman like Miriam Gonzales Durantez opens the day, moved practically to tears by the support the people of Mumsnet showed her, when her husband became leader of the Liberal party, because she had to fight to keep her own identity and protect those of her children, against all expectations of the press, the full power of other women pulling together can be seen, felt, heard.

He is now, of course, Deputy Prime Minister and she remains a lawyer with a team of 25 under her, as well as a (formidable I would imagine!) wife and mother of three sons. 

Liz Jones, on the other hand, speaks of 'queasy feelings' in her 'empty womb.'  There was nothing queasy making in that Mumsnet day. There was Caitlin Moran, who followed her and lifted the room again - with her hilarious anecdotes, writing tips ('Always ask yourself why you're writing what you are,' 'look for joy,' 'avoid snarking,' 'let things flow') and full-on frankness.

Caitlin Moran. Picture courtesy Mumsnet Blogfest FB.

There were some other top-notch journalists and Bloggers, an MP, technical expertise abounding for every level and not too many sponsors.  The day was well paced, professional, full of useful information, friendly and fun.  A bit like blogging (and even most bloggers) really.

So when Liz Jones felt she was 'in a tangled tepee of virtual knitters instead of with women who want to change the world,'  she obviously hadn't bothered to attend a session actually called 'Blogging Can Change the World' or she might have been able to write a better piece, a more accurate one, an honest one. 

And she accuses us of having 'narrow vision!'  Shame on her.

Thank you to all at mumsnet for organizing such a great event.

Here's a nod to the sponsors who made the day possible:

The Portland Hospital
Pizza Express
The Times

And another nod to some of the bloggers who made it so magical:

Older Mum
Hello Wall
Every Silver Lining.
New Mum Online
Sara Bran
Mush brained ramblings.