I don’t really know who Claire Khaw is, or why she feels it necessary to systematically upset so many people. As far as I can tell, she is merely a private citizen with internet access and too much time on her hands. So much time, in fact, that there is now a Facebook group entitled “Who the fuck is Claire Khaw?”.
Facebook is where I first stumbled across her fractured brand of ideological lunacy, as she ranted about immigration levels in the comments section of a Today Programme post in the run-up to the general election. Perhaps unusually for someone apparently of Chinese descent, she then claimed to be the election agent for the BNP candidate in Bethal Green and Bow. Her reponse to inquiries as to why she supported a party that would presumably want to forcibly expatriate her was,
“They’ve actually been perfectly civil to me so I can’t honestly complain… The BNP have a dislike and distrust of many perhaps most foreigners but not all. A healthy and natural attitude, I would have thought”.
She susbsequently cropped up under other Today Programme status updates, baffling other Radio 4 listeners with her apparently contradictory philosophy of “libertarian secular Koranism”: advocating the Koran as a template for a just and fair society without necessarily subscribing to a belief in a supernatural deity – apparently with a hefty dollop of Ayn Rand on top.
Clicking through to her Facebook profile revals that she has in excess of 1,100 “friends”, of whom a disproportionate amount either:
a. are politicians
[including: Zac Goldsmith (Con, Richmond Park), Sir Alan Haslehurst (Con, Saffron Walden), Angela Eagle (Lab, Wallasey), Austin Mitchell (Lab, Great Grimsby), Boris Johnson (Con, Mayor of London), Ed Vaizey (Con, Wantage), Eric Pickles (Con, Brentwood and Ongar), Jean-Marie Le Pen (France, the French), John Prescott, Ken Livingstone, Lynne Featherstone (Lib Dem, Horney and Wood Gren), Margarets Beckett and Hodge (Lab, Derby South, Barking), Michael Fabricant (Con, Lichfield), Ming Campbell (Lib Dem, North East Fife), Nigel Evans (Con, Ribble Valley), Peter Lilley (Con, Hitchen and Harpenden), Peter Mandelson, Shahid Malik, Simon Hughes (Lib Dem, Bermondsey and Old Southwark), Tony McNulty, and Adrian Edmonson (Vivian, The Young Ones)]
b. use the St George Flag as their profile picture.
And, of course, Andrew Neil, but that’s only to be expected.
Now, of course, being a “friend” on Facebook does not imply any kind of endorsement. Many of these people are clearly on Ms Khaw’s list so that she can keep an eye on what they’re up to; Shami Chakrabarti, for instance, cannot have much in common with Ms Khaw, personally or ideologically.
Still, it might be worth David Cameron’s shiny new intake bearing in mind that, no matter the value of Facebook as a promotional tool, it hardly looks good to to call Claire Khaw a “friend” in any context.
There’s a cross-party flavour to this ‘Khaw Committee’, and that is reflected in her belief that our country needs only one party. Luckily for us, she’s already created it at
which heralds itself as “Athenian democracy in the 21st century”, so any potential 21st century Socrati out there had better watch it.
What does Khaw’s single-nation party stand for? Again, we’re fortunate that she’s come up with policies so we don’t have to go through a pesky democratic process, even an Athenian one, to find out. In addition to abolishing foreign aid, national insurance, social services, student loans (“No sports studies, sociology, academic philosophy and crap like that”), the NHS and child and disability benefits, she wants to spend the money saved on policies like:
1. Reintroduce public executions.
Wow. OK, hit ‘em with the big ones at the outset.
2. Reintroduce public floggings.
See? Already this seems positively tame.
3. Reintroduce fault in divorce.
6. Make bastardy a disgrace.
8. Establish local and national marriage bureaux to encourage marriage.
9. Establish a system of Marital Relationship Management.
Perhaps there’s something Claire feels the need to share with us.
10. Establish a single party state.
Obviously this is a piffling triviality next to, say, the serious issue of someone’s husband running off with the secretary he’s knocked up.
13. Citizens’ militias will be established so that they can be called up to keep order. If the CHAVs, NEETs, and single mum sluts, slags and slappers and their feral offspring get restive, the locals who know who they are and where they live will sort them out.
Over at http://www.democracyforum.co.uk, user Mikeuk points out that Clare is “of ethnic Chinese Malaysian origin so her political viewpoints may seem unfamiliar”. So unfamiliar to other users of the democracyforum that she’s since been banned. Just saying.
15. Reintroduce slavery
In the interests of balance, she does have some good ideas.
16. Reintroduce orphanages
17. Establish Homes for Fallen Women and their Illegitimate Children
18. Legalise brothel-keeping.
Well, that’s the world put to rights. We might as well all go home.
Indeed, so popular is she that there is another Facebook group, entitled “Claire khaw’s amazing”. Sadly, it seems to have attracted a number of malcontents who ask questions such as, “This is a spoof, right?”, but Clare doesn’t let that stop her contributing her thoughts to such discussions as “Exactly Why is Claire Amazing in your opinion?”
She also notably contributes her thoughts on the subject of disabled babies to Mumsnet’s Facebook page, pointing out that,
“parents should have the power of life and death over their children… I would not bring up a disabled child. I would tell the midwife that I wouldn’t mind if she accidentally dropped it on its head to save me from doing it myself.”
That prompted outrage, so Clare found herself backpedalling like crazy:
“All right, I shouldn’t have said I would ask the midwife to ‘accidentally on purpose drop it on its head’. That was a bit frivolous, I should have said “dispose of it on my behalf so I don’t have to do it myself.”
That’s all right, then.
Unless you’re one of the many Mumsnet members outraged not only at her comments but at the site management’s lethargy in getting them removed, that is. They’ve since disapeared, but the widespread offence they caused has left what could well prove to be a lasting impact.
Khaw has been widely decried as “vile”, and so extreme are her comments that many have been left wondering whether she is, in fact, real, or some form of elaborate internet hoax. A letter published in the Times in 2003 suggests the former, but is more wry commentary than her current outlandish ravings. Prompted by criticism of her on Mumsnet, they include:
“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Do we really want the world to be ruled by Mumsnet? Mumsnet perfectly demonstrates the fecklessness and vices of women and why a patriarchy would be the lesser evil.”
She’s just proposed to Sir Stuart Rose, CEO of M&S. Or rather, she’s offered him:
“a contract of cohabitation with optional sex and optional fidelity … While I am aware you may not wish for such a limited contract, I do assure you that it has great potential and offers greater protection for the assets of the wealthier partner”.
How could he resist?
Khaw describes her main occupation as being “in the gutter splashing its contents at passersby in order to draw their attention to the fact that our sewage disposal services are no longer working”.
She is instead simply an animal flinging its own faeces through the bars of its cage. She is an object lesson in the true danger of the internet, and that is not Facebook, Twitter or the democratisation of knowledge. It is that, with enough determination – and she has no shortage of that – any disturbed person can make a noise loud enough to be heard above the din. Some may say it was ever thus, but I think that their voices are louder, and carry farther, than has been possible before.