Eyeball rocket fuel for the Twitterati
A barrister has been suspended from the legal business she founded after being accused of making racist comments about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new baby.
Barrister Joanna Toch made the remarks on Twitter in an exchange with Telegraph journalist, Julie Burchill, as they commented on the Sussexes' naming their baby Lilibet Diana.
"What a missed opportunity. They could have called it Georgina Floydina," wrote Burchill.
"No Doria? Don't black names matter?" responded Toch, referring to the name of Meghan's mother.
"I was hoping for Doria Oprah," commented Burchill; to which Toch replied "Doprah?"
The tweets drew immediate condemnation and calls for her to be reported to the Bar Standards Board. "This is an open forum from a practising and highly regarded family barrister. Appalling and exhausting," wrote @legally_lola.
Toch posted a repentant message in response to the backlash: “I am very sorry for the comment and what I saw as a joke. I’ve fought during my professional life against racism which is abhorrent." She added, "I have children of colour and I apologise unreservedly.” Her Twitter account was then deleted.
The Family Law Bar said, "Comments on Twitter about the Sussex’s newborn baby have been brought to our attention. As one of the individuals is a member of the Family Bar we have written to the individual and are referring the exchanges to the BSB, the Bar Council and other relevant bodies".
Chastising Toch, the association said, "We make it clear that FLBA condemns the comments by the individual which are completely inappropriate and have no place in our society. Racism of any kind cannot be tolerated and cannot be justified as a ‘joke’."
Toch founded the Family Law Cafe (FLC) in 2017, along with solicitor Peter Tahany.
In an apparent attempt to distance itself from half of its directorship, a statement from FLC's 'board of directors' said that it had "suspended Joanna Toch with immediate effect pending an internal review into her recent comments on Twitter".
"FLC considers her comments as offensive, unacceptable and highly contradictory to the inclusive manner in which FLC has always and will continue to work with members of all communities in managing challenges of matrimonial and family disputes."
Look at the brave people punching down and making fun of a new born baby and it's name.
Waiting for someone to make a jibe about women attempting banter.
To be fair to them, I hadn't appreciated until now that the baby was called Lilibet Diana. That does come across as a bit "PR"-ey. But honestly, if you are getting exercised about the Sussex-Coburg-Gothas, in either direction... give yourself a shake.
Content aside, how much alcohol does one need to consume to think posting on La Burch's Twitter feed is ever a good idea?
A classic example of people forgetting that Twitter isn't conversation. Anyone could cheerfully have made similar jokes to their friends in a pub - or on a satirical news programme, if they still existed - without it being at all unreasonable, but posting on Twitter is essentially writing an open letter to the world and expecting it to agree with you.
Well done FLB
@Andrew Philip - if you think naming your child after its grandparent and great-grandparent is “a bit “PR”-ey”, I have some very alarming news for you about naming traditions across the entire world for most of recorded history…
Casual racism at its best!
"Look at the brave people punching down and making fun of a new born baby and it's name"
I'm pretty sure they're making fun of its multi-millionaire mum and dad.
F*** knows what your wallet looks like if you think they're downwards...
Can someone explain why this is racist? I legitimately cannot understand what has ruffled the feathers.
Can we suspend all legal professionals who interact with [former] telegraph hacks?
Why is it racist? Tweet 1 suggest that they could have used Doria, Markle's mother's name. Tweet 2 concatenates "Doria Oprah" to form a compound word, "Doprah". It's the sort of silly wordplay that children would do - or aging dads.
Is this just a furore whipped up by life's failures and perpetual victims, who are seeking emotional gratification by engaging in a cathartic, McCarthyite witch hunt, for the thrill of having participating in a public lynching? Or is there some subtext that I'm missing - e.g. is Doria actually a well-known codename for the KKK, or Oswald Mosley's favourite pet dog, or something which only Kool-Aid drinking members of the social justice warrior club would know?
I'm pretty sure that the BSB will clear her of all wrongdoing soon enough.
@ Can someone explain why this is racist? I legitimately cannot understand what has ruffled the feathers.
The comments made by Joanna Toch needs to be considered in the wider context of the treatment of Megan (and Harry) by the increasingly right wing British media, fueled by the cultural war agenda being pursued by the current government.
As a person of colour, Megan (and Harry) have been vocal as to their treatment as a royal couple and why they left the UK.
The comments of the Telegraph journalist (Burchill) read:
"What a missed opportunity. They could have called it Georgina Floydina," .
The comment is intended to belittle the murder of George Floyd and in the very same sentence mocking the name of a child, of a high profile couple who have first hand experienced racist abuse.
There are subtle but important undertones to Burchill's comments and the response of Toch. If we start to accept the mocking of the murder of an individual which has sparked important introspection in society (for the better) and in the same sentence you belittle the name of a child of two high profile individuals who have been vocal about the impact of negative attitudes on their mental health, there is a real danger that you start to change the narrative (to suit those who reject change for the better) by (trying to) chip away at the validity of Megan and Harry and the wider injustices present in our society.
As a society we should all be working to be better human beings with equality and better understanding of each others individual struggle.
Burchill and Toch consciously issued messages contrary to that ethos. The impact (whether intended or not) was to dismiss and denigrate the memory of a murdered individual, a new born child, with language which had clear racist overtone and in a wider context, the need for change.
Stepping off the milk crate . . .
The good thing about Twitter is get an insight into how some people converse on topics such as this. Quite a horrible conversation, and to think one is a family barrister who has probably been preaching for the last decade or so says a lot.
This seems to fall along partisan lines between those who sympathise with the Markles, and those who regard them as terrible people. Just to recap some of the bases on which the latter do so:
- We need to get out of spotlight. Then a $100m Netflix.
- We need to protect Archie. Then put him on podcasts.
- We need to leave the Royal family. But keep the titles.
- And the constant "we need to explain to everyone else how to live their lives".
The sheer hypocrisy used to be grating, now tiresome. They seem more contemptible every day.
Mrs Markle is an obsessive narcissist with a desperate thirst for publicity. Everyone should regard with extreme scepticism anything she says whenever she opens her mouth. She is 39 and is older than Diana was when she died. She had reached her sell-by date as an actress and wanted a rich husband. She was a C-list celebrity and was trying her luck in London. She hit the jackpot with dimwitted manchild Harry. The Oprah interview seems to be the point at which the Woke flocked around them. As a reminder, here were the obvious interview lies:
1. There was no ‘secret wedding’.
2. Archie does not have the title of Prince because that is the effect of the Letters Patent issued by George V in 1917. He would be entitled to adopt the style of Prince once Prince Charles becomes King.
3. Contrary to the ‘passport lies’ about being imprisoned, they went on 13 foreign holidays while still working royals, plus 3 official tours.
4. There was never any suggestion that security would be provided outside of the UK. It was both extraordinarily stupid and arrogant to both gallivant off to pursue an independent life overseas, and yet expect the taxpayer to remain on the hook.
5. Meghan refers to being told by Harry of conversations in the plural about Archie’s skin colour and claims these were related to a decision not to confer the title of Prince on him. Yet Harry describes only one comment ‘right at the beginning’ of their relationship, so well before they were even married let alone before Archie was even thought of. Further, the only reason to voice the allegation without naming an individual must be to (a) lie; (b) prevent any rebuttal; and/or (c) taint an entire class of people. To paraphrase Jane Austen, it is truth universally acknowledged that when anyone starts talking about 'their truth', 'our truth' or 'my truth' they are telling you anything but the truth.
6. Harry claimed he felt ‘trapped’ in the Royal Family. He went on to say that Charles and William are ‘trapped’ as well. At that point Ms. Winfrey asked if he felt trapped prior to meeting Meghan. Ms. Winfrey said it appeared that until that time he appeared to have good relations (family, media) and was quite popular with the public as he carried out his duties. His response was revealing: he admitted that things were fine prior to Mrs Markle getting her claws into him. That tells all you need to know about what has happened here.
These articles are also illuminating:
In the context of the above, it seems that Joanna Toch made the mistake of wandering into the cross-hairs of the usual Oppression Olympics, Diversity Top Trumps, professional victimhood, Grievance Studies scholars, who are ecstatic with masturbatory excitement at yet further proof that the world is arrayed into ranks of “evil oppressors” and “the virtuous oppressed”.
Toch was silly. Everyone should know by now that it's not worth engaging with the Woke. Instead, on a micro scale we should all simply tick every single box on the SRA diversity survey (by virtue of self-identification) to increase supposed diversity, and on a macro scale we should vote for the most anti-Woke party. Never, ever, engage on Twitter, Facebook, or god forbid LinkedIn, though.
I bet you're a right barrel of laughs at a party.
"The comment is intended to belittle the murder of George Floyd and in the very same sentence mocking the name of a child, of a high profile couple who have first hand experienced racist abuse.
There are subtle but important undertones to Burchill's comments and the response of Toch. If we start to accept the mocking of the murder of an individual which has sparked important introspection in society (for the better) and in the same sentence you belittle the name of a child of two high profile individuals who have been vocal about the impact of negative attitudes on their mental health, there is a real danger that you start to change the narrative (to suit those who reject change for the better) by (trying to) chip away at the validity of Megan and Harry and the wider injustices present in our society."
That is an amazing series of leaps of logic.
Throws out a proposition with no particular evidence or logical basis, accepts it as true, throws out another as if it's contingent on the first despite there being no particular nexus between them, and before you know it you've built a whole edifice of gibberish that tries to assert that mocking a pretentious name chosen by wealthy narcisscists is actually an insidious act designed to oppress the downtrodden of society (which society is never made clear).
Next up let's do Brooklyn Beckham - tell us how all of the people who thought that was a daft one were really plotting to bring about the downfall of the dollar as a reserve currency.
Oh, no, wait! Let's do Gwyneth Paltrow's kids - surely everyone who laughed at her absurd choices were actually misogynists who thought that the Handmaid's Tale was a How-To Guide?
Oh good lord 14:33 has a dossier of grievances...
If there was ever evidence that people who use the tired word "woke" are just people unhappy with their sad lives here it is
Get off the Twitters and Facebooks and go outside
@14:33 - hello Joanna
I think that 17:33 has got it all wrong.
I'd go for more of a "Hey Joanna" with a slight roll of the 'y' and a suggestive raise of the eyebrow.
Follow it up with a wink, see where it goes.
OMG -14:33 - wow that's a lot of emotional investment!
Best advice to lawyers is keep off twitter. We live in McCarthyist times.
14:33 is a bit of a sad sack.
Did anyone bother read it to the end?
I know they say you should never read below the line but there's something quite funny about the poster(s) who think their sixth form / talk radio type analyses of every issue are interesting, relevant and worth posting.
Mate. If I want to know what the Daily Mail or Spiked or Julia Hartley Brewer think on a subject I can find out for myself. All I have to do is look at my own excrement.
@ - 09:03
Agreed. It's like being given a reading assignment by the dullest boy in the class. Sadly there's no Sven Hassel or James Herbert - not even a Harry Potter.
Just the Daily Mail.
@ 09:03 - and yet, there you were at nine o'clock on Saturday morning, opening RoF and coming below the line to trade barbs with them. Probably your first meaningful action of the weekend.
Personally, I think you're probably a regular below the line commenter who contributes every week and who kept up a regular vigil through the Weekend.