Is the fuss over Kirstie Allsopp smashing up her children’s iPads justified? Or was it actually a very clever publicity stunt on her part?
On Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show on Monday, one of the panel, The Hon. Kirstie Allsopp, shared that she’d smashed up her children’s iPads because they weren’t using them responsibly. Outrage invariably ensued.
“This is the first time I’ve said this publicly. In June I smashed my kids’ iPads, not in a violent way. I actually banged them on the table leg.”
“There is a game called Fortnite and another PUBG and I decided… We had made all sorts of rules and all sorts of times when we said you can’t play them and all those rules got broken and in the end I said: ‘Right that is it, I have to physically (break them).’”
In the ensuing hours, Allsopp was both lauded as a sensible parent and slated as reckless and ridiculous on social media and in reply, Tweeted:
“If you found your kids with a packet of cigarettes would you say: ‘I wouldn’t destroy these because they are worth a tenner but please don’t smoke?’ No of course you wouldn’t.”
Before subsequently deciding to delete her Twitter account due to the level of abuse she had been subjected to, she added:
“The second hand value of the iPads is about £70 each, if I feel a lesson was learned about following through then it was worth far, far, far more our family than £140. This is about the value of trust, and the value of people over things.”
Of the debacle, on ITV1’s Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, author Anna May Mangan leapt to Allsopp’s defence:
“I’ve heard her being called ‘Kirstie Allstropp’ on Twitter today. I’d have probably unplugged the router but she certainly didn’t deserve this public hanging. Is there such a thing as a perfect parent?”
Joining the thousands who’ve condemned Allsopp, another guest replied:
“It’s just a waste and sets a really bad example of how to look after possessions. Wilful smashing up an iPad is wasteful.”
Whilst the Independent’s Anthony Cuthbertson bizarrely over-analysed the story by suggesting it “shows a darker side of gaming,” on Twitter, the pugnacious Brexiteer and all-round loudmouth Nadine Dorries MP decided to weigh in also. She remarked:
“Gameboys that [sic] spoilt a family holiday for us once. Wish I’d thought of doing this. I’d have chucked them in the pool.”
Just like the reaction when the foul mouthed yet highly amusing aristocrat Francis ‘F***ing’ Fulford’s wife threw her television in a lake because her children wouldn’t “turn the f***ing thing” off” back in 2004 on the reality show The F***ing Fulfords, ‘Allstropp-gate’ is nothing but a storm in a teacup. It is one, however, that has done one thing: It has generated Ms Allsopp more column inches and thus yet more money making opportunities. To her, that’s most certainly worth smashing a couple of no doubt worn out old iPads for.