The abuse directed at Charlotte Church amounts to a vile misogyny and intellectual snobbery that's as misguided as the pre-election opinion polls. The result on the 8th of May seemed to spark a fire in Church's heart. Let it burn. Why is it anyone else's business to tell her what she should or shouldn't feel passionate about?
I'm sure part of it is down to the fact that the public feel they own celebrities. People feel threatened when a young, successful, attractive female from the glitter-ball world of entertainment decides to take a stand on an issue, because, in their minds, it doesn't come close to what's expected of that person i.e. chat about award ceremonies, what they wore to the shops, what club they went to on Saturday night and if they carry a tiny dog in a bag. Newsflash: that tedious info only exists to satiate the tedious minds of those who want to know about it. But, don't for a second expect the person in the spotlight to necessarily embody that tedium. Don't get angry when you realise that - well I'll be damned - they can string an intelligent sentence together. Don't immediately assume Charlotte Church doesn't know what she's talking about when she uses the phrase "laissez-faire"- she used it - she knows.
What marked out the singer's anti-austerity speech for me was its sincerity. She is clearly nervous and out of her comfort zone. She reaches for the mic to talk politics and economics and she does it with passion, aplomb and insight. Part of me thinks people would've preferred it if she'd sang it. That would've been easier to digest wouldn't it? Anything to not have to take her seriously, anything to put her back in her pigeon-hole, anything to not have to acknowledge Church as a strong woman who knows what she is talking about. I don't recall Michael Sheen getting any of this abuse when he stood up and gave a fantastic speech about the NHS. He didn't get called a moron or a chav. Nobody questioned the validity of his passion or his right to pursue the cause.
Charlotte Church has blogged about some of the reaction she's been getting. Most of it is downright rude. The rest is along the lines of "I'm a bit sick and tired of the celebrity hijacking of causes just so they are painted in a better light- Charlotte Church an example" (taken from Twitter) and "How could Charlotte possibly care about LIFE when she's floating about in prosecco in a crystal flute with a gold gilded rim" (taken from my head).
Both of those arguments are weak. Again, I make the point: if you get a bit seasick when you see a celebrity showing support for a humanitarian cause or being vocal about politics it's because your boring, staid, rigid boat has been rocked. Shame on your limited expectations, they need to embrace a healthy open-mindedness.
I prefer the Voice of an Angel to the Voice of a Troll. So, Charlotte Church, please keep at it.