Lichfield’s MP has said members of a local group for people with learning disabilities should not be upset by a post he made on social media.

Michael Fabricant. Picture: UK Parliament

Michael Fabricant had been criticised after using the term “remonger” in one of his posts.

The Friends 2 Friends group said they were “upset and dismayed” by the use of the term and called for an apology.

In a reply on social media, the Conservative MP said the word did not mean what the group thought it did.

“You shouldn’t be upset – the phrase coined by someone else was about ‘remainers’ scaremongering (not unusual) as was very clear from their tweet.

“My own sister had severe learning difficulties so I understand the issues personally let alone professionally.”

Michael Fabricant MP
Danny Wallace

Among those to respond to the MP was comedian and writer Danny Wallace, who said the explanation wasn’t sufficient.

“For that to work it would be ‘remainmongering’, like fishmongering.

If you’d said ‘remaingering’ the shortening almost works, but that’s not what you did.”

Danny Wallace

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29 Comments

  1. If he had interpreted, at the time. the word as a twisting of “fearmonger” or “ironmonger” then it would not have taken him 3 days to provide this “explanation”.
    He does so today because he only thought of it (or, likely, had it suggested to him) today.

  2. To paraphrase “I’m a rich white man, who are you to tell me what I can or can’t do, now shut up and accept I’m better than you.”

  3. Maybe it’s just me, but if someone tells me I’ve upset them my natural response is to say sorry. Whether I believe they are right to feel upset is irrelevant – they ARE upset. I have no right to try to tell them how they should feel – how they actually feel is the only relevant factor. Certainly I’d go on to try to explain if I felt I’d been misinterpreted or my choice of words wasn’t adequate to convey what I wanted them to convey, but “I’m sorry” would come first, and it would be a proper sorry, not a “I’m sorry if…”.

    You’re very wrong on this one Michael – just say sorry (and mean it).

  4. Since when did Fabricant get to decide whether third parties may or may not be upset by his offensive and ill considered clap trap? He should do the decent thing and apologise. Except he won’t, of course.

  5. Meanwhile, Mr Fabricant will no doubt continue to insult Remainers at every opportunity. Even in this very article he can’t resist branding Remainers as “scaremongering (not unusual)”. Perhaps he has forgotten that Jo Cox was murdered by a Brexit extremist. I’m sure her family are painfully aware of the kind of vocabulary being promoted by the likes of Mr Fabricant. His offensive language is divisive and damaging to our community. He needs reminding that the Brexit vote was linked to an upsurge in hate crime – including towards the disabled. When someone in a position of influence, like an MP, constantly spreads vitriol and hate, it has consequences. It’s time he behaved more responsibly.

  6. Mr Fabricant, I’m aware of the Latin verb which ‘monger’ derives from, thank you. So the etymology for ironmonger, warmonger, costermonger, etc, is clear.
    Also clear, is the abusive, disgraceful use of ‘monger’ in Modern English slang where the etymology is from ‘mongol’ a nasty, abusive slang word against certain people which I haven’t heard since the playground in the 1980’s and you surely know how abusive it is as you have a family member with learning difficulties.

    The two modern uses of ‘monger’ and their etymology are exclusive and not from the same stem at all. But keep clutching your straws…

    It’s incredible that as an elected representative of this area you think it’s fine to say these hurtful things and think you can get away with them by just saying ‘don’t be offended, you’re wrong’.

    I would be sacked for using this language, it’s unacceptable. But no, you think you can just carry on and hope we all forget. No.

    You thought you were being funny, didn’t you, ridiculing people who don’t hold your views. Shame on you.

    Say sorry, Mr Fabricant and don’t tell those you’ve offended that they’re wrong…you didn’t know what it meant a few days ago, apparently.

    Patronising the electorate won’t work with this offensive Twitter material.

    It’s a disgrace these tropes remain in certain people’s dialogue and you’ve fallen for that because you seem to love your Twitter fans more than some of your constituents.

    Mr Fabricant, you’re supposed to represent all of your constituents, not just your Twitter fans.

    And crickets from the local Tory Cllrs who do know better and yet have remained silent about this, that is deeply saddening and very revealing.

  7. @ Paul Taylor, I believe that someone did indeed make the claim in the relevant thread on Mr Fabricant’s Twitter feed that ‘-monger’ in this context was clearly related to a manufacturer of something (ie, ‘ironmonger’), so it was all a fuss about nothing.

    Mr Fabricant seems to have subsequently seized on this as the best explanation, and as a reason why no one should get upset. However, as you and others have pointed out, if this was the real explanation, it shouldn’t have taken several days to get there. Instead, after his initial explanation of ‘I didn’t know what it means’ fell flat, Mr Fabricant seems to be resorting to his past tactics of muddying the waters with semantics (as in his infamous claim to have confused ‘twat’ and ‘twit’) once it’s become clear that enough people in a group he wouldn’t want to seem to have insulted are clearly insulted; or at least that’s the understandable perception.

    And while I accept Mr Fabricant’s point about his sister, given his past form with this sort of thing on social media, he shouldn’t be entirely surprised if people aren’t prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  8. Well said Joanne Grange. At least someone in public office has scruples and moral decency.
    Unfortunately our MP has neither and the silence from the local Tory Councillors implies they agree with him.
    What has Lichfield done to deserve such vacuous individuals on its council?
    Fabricant – swallow your pride and ego and apologise to those you have insulted.
    Doug Pullen & Co – why are you not criticising your Tory colleague for making such crass comments?
    Lichfield Live – is it possible to remove the advert for Fabricant from the site? It would save us from viewing this grinning image of an imbecile. At least Trump has been barred from using social media.

  9. Michel Souris – as we’ve explained previously, we require advertising as one of the mechanisms to ensure we can cover the sizeable costs of our website and keep it free to read as well as avoiding the need to use hundreds of pop up ads as other sites have opted to do. Carrying adverts neither constitutes any support or otherwise for a particular cause, organisation or individual. As we also make clear to advertisers, it also does not impact on editorial coverage. We have carried adverts for other political organisations (and have slots available should any others want to fill them).

  10. @Michel Souris – Any good adblocker gets rid of that hideous mug from appearing, and I believe the good people at LL still get Fabricant’s cash. Win-win.

  11. At the risk of verbal attack, I have a Downs Syndrome god daughter who lights up a room when she comes in but I actually did not understand why the word ‘remongering’ was an insult. Even with MF’s explanation I still cant see why. Yes I understand it uses a name that was used in the 80’s as degrogatory, but so do many other words.

    I’m actally glad I’m old, and wont be about long, as I really don’t know where this country is going to where you are unable to use certain words. A list which is added to daily.

  12. I would quite like the idea of Fabricant paying to provide a forum for people to insult him if he wasn’t just charging it all back to us anyway.

  13. @PO The derogatory term used in the 1980s is not used in “many other words”. Although it is spelled the same way, it is pronounced differently and has a different meaning. Belated attempts by Mr Fabricant to claim that this was the origin of the word he liked are preposterous. It wouldn’t be an insult at all (even to remainers) if that were the case, and Mr Fabricant is keen to defend his right to insult at least 40% of his constituents by using this word among many others.

  14. Three things you should never break – promises, trust and someone’s heart.

    I’m afraid Mr Fabricant has managed to do all three with one careless social media post.

  15. @PO. Your short sightedness in this is really alarming. You said you have a “Downs Syndrome God daughter”. Well I can tell you that you are ignorant of your God Daughter’s status. Because anyone with a disability should not be referred to by their disability first. What you should have said is you “have a God Daughter who has Downs Syndrome”. The difference is massive, as it is not the disability that defines a person. This then highlights why you are not able to understand the offence that Michael Fabricant has caused. And as someone with links to a child with a disability, you should know better. And being old is no excuse, you have just as much duty as anyone else to show respect and understanding.

  16. For heaven’s sake why does Clare Scholl have to bring up bloody Brexit into every comment that she makes on any subject on LL?! It’s so utterly predictable and so boring as well! Just accept that the UK is out of the EU and that is final and maybe just move on eh?

  17. @Bazz Clare Sholl didn’t bring up Brexit. Michael Fabricant did. Or have you failed to understand what he tweeted? Anyway, Brexit’s not over. It’s still damaging the UK, it’s damaging Europe and it’s damaging truth in this country, with a Government that used lies to gain power and is continuing to use lies to deceive the people. “Bloody Brexit” – you’re right on that at least.

  18. Bazz – Brexit has turned out not necessarily to our advantage. We are taking our lead from those who whingedf and moaned for over 40 years of our succfessful membership. Sauce for the goose and all that.
    Closing one’s eyes to the problems caused by Brexit won’t make them go away, nor putting your fingers in your ears and shouting, “la la la.”

  19. Bazz the remainers and the reminders bring brexit into everything they can’t help it. Unfortunately they can’t move on. Clare did mention brexit in her post ( he needs reminding that the brexit vote was linked to a upsurge in hate crime ) I am sure i will be reminded.

  20. The point of Fabricant’s vile tweet is that he was referring to people who’d voted remain. That’s why people have commented about brexit.
    I hope the mp will meet with F2F as they’ve invited him to, and I hope the Tory Cllrs will distance themselves from his language.
    But increasingly I am less hopeful of that, despite them knowing how wrong his comment was, they are silent. Shameful.

  21. Kitty well said: ” The point of Fabricant’s vile tweet is that he was referring to people who’d voted remain.”

  22. @Ed : I stand corrected by your verbal attack that I predicted. It should be said that’s the first time I’ve used that expression as I just say ‘My god daughter’.

    But I will admit your post brightened up my evening.

  23. Oh look Mr Pineapple has come crawling out from underneath his stone to come out with more drivel and high brow rubbish. These pro EU fanatics really are a bitter bunch of losers and I bet they are so much fun to be around!

  24. Billy

    Here is a poem for you to enjoy, not too high-brow I promise.

    Roses are red,

    Passports are blue,

    Now stand over there,

    In that very long queue.

  25. Billy

    Here is a little joke for you to enjoy, not too high-brow I promise.

    I don’t like playing monopoly with my remainer friends they keep throwing the dice until they get the outcome they want.

  26. Here’s a little poem to brighten everyone’s day, you’re welcome.

    There was an MP called Mike
    He used to ride naked on a bike
    He tweeted rude stuff
    It was a load of old guff
    Just so his Twitter mates could give it a like

  27. @Bazz. Re: “For heaven’s sake why does Clare Scholl have to bring up bloody Brexit into every comment that she makes on any subject on LL?!”

    I think you need some help getting your facts right. In the past few days alone I have posted a number of comments which had nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit. On 8th October, for example, I posted two comments on the anti-vaccine protesters outside the Friary School and one on the original article urging Mr Fabricant to apologise for his tweet. No mention of the ‘B’ word at all. I could point to plenty of other examples.

    Furthermore, I have not at any point indicated that I do not accept that the UK has left the EU, so I think you need to check your facts there too. What I have said I do not accept are lies, bigotry and hate – separate issues.

    If all this bores you and you think I should just “move on”, I’m afraid that really is your problem. The UK is, apparently, a democracy, and so I have just as much right to voice my opinions as you have. If you don’t like my opinions, tough: I don’t particularly like your lies.

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