TECH

Simon Jenkins Slates Tim Peake's Space Mission And Twitter Turns On Him

17/12/2015 13:05 GMT | Updated 17/12/2015 13:59 GMT

In the wake of Tim Peake's historic mission to the International Space Station, a few grinches have emerged out of the woodwork.

The biggest one of them - journalist, Simon Jenkins.

In a column for the Guardian, he called the astronaut's six-month long stint aboard the ISS "sheer political vanity."

SEE ALSO:

While it is hard to pin point what Jenkins' was basing his argument on, his overriding conclusion was the "astronomical sums could be better spent elsewhere."

His punnage however, fell on deaf ears -- hardly surprising when the 'astronomical' sums he is potentially referring to isn't as big as it sounds.

In his long rant, he quotes David Cameron's £16m donation to the ISS, calling it measly. Side note, if it's so tiny, why dear Jenkins, are you worried about it?

More importantly, by our very rough calculations - £16m divided by the entire taxpaying population of the UK amounts to 53p per person.

Twitter users came out in force, deriding the journalist for demeaning what was essentially a great moment for Britain and science.

Jenkins appears to have done his opening argument a disservice by beginning with "I have always wanted to go into space... It never occurred to me that the government might pay for my ticket, let alone rank me with Mo Farah, Luke Skywalker and Sir Isaac Newton."

He later took issue with Peake's qualification asking why he was chosen to board the ISS, "when he was a pilot rather than a scientist or engineer."

tim peake

The last nail in the coffin came as he banged on about the types of flags the children were waving.

"...he is only there courtesy of the European Space Agency," Jenkins stated.

"The children obediently cheering him on should have been waving European flags, not union jacks. It was like celebrating the first Briton to get to the South Pole entirely on expenses."

He also added: "...I feel for other sciences labouring in less spectacular vineyards, such as neurology, immunology and cell chemistry, not to mention geriatrics and mental health."

"They cannot play the jingo card. They get no tweets from Downing Street or flag-draped school “weep-ins”."

The columnist received grief from Guardian readers too who showed no mercy in the online comments section:

guardian simon jenkins comments

the guardian simon jenkins

the guardian simon jenkins