Dick of the year: Charlotte Metcalf
This is a nomination for #dick2010 from James Shield
Judging by the number of nominations here, 2010 might just be the angriest year in recent memory. But if you’ve been enjoying a Christmas-based haze of angerless, boozy merriment, allow me to get you all raged up into a splenetic fury again just in time for the New Year.
Meet Charlotte Metcalf: the face of modern poverty. Does she know it’s Christmas time? Oh, barely. You see, Charlotte is one of thenouveau pauvre, the newly poor, scraping by on £500 a week. (I should say at this point that it will help if you listen to An Ending by Brian Eno as you read this). Gone are the days of Christmas shopping in Harrods. No iPads or designer labels for the kids this year. Frankly, it would’ve been a blessing for the “thousands of middle-class paupers” like Charlotte if the whole damn thing could have been cancelled. Christmas just isn’t the same without spending excessively to meet your obnoxious children’s every demand.
It’s surely no surprise that a Daily Mail journalist should be nominated for this award. But Charlotte Metcalf’s vomitous, ignorant self-pity in a time when others are enduring real hardship is representative of the worst of 2010. At £500 a week, she earns around £26,000 a year. To call this ‘poverty’ is to insult the real poor; to say that a decrease in earnings makes it impossible to enjoy a bit of festive cheer is to misunderstand entirely the point of the holiday, and, dare I say it, to be a bad parent.
The Tories’ inability to view their policies through the eyes of normal people will result in more anger and more harm next year than anything Charlotte Metcalf will write, but for me, her articles were the most visceral examples of privileged myopia this year.