To think that Julie Burchill must be a bit horrible.

(73 Posts)
StuckForAUserName Mon 11-Feb-13 17:39:57
FitzgeraldProtagonist Mon 11-Feb-13 17:42:20

I heard her on Radio 4 yesterday. I wanted to like her, but found her odious. The whole "no regrets" and being thoroughly unrepentant for atrocious behaviour was frustrating. Particularly when it appeared her regrets were very acute indeed.

I think they really hated each other in that marriage and neither could put their feelings aside to do what was best for their son.

SashaSashays Mon 11-Feb-13 17:45:57

Whats annoying is that she is making money out of supposedly being intelligent and having this personality but yet she isn't bright enough to see that she keeps saying she has no regrets but is quite evidently describing her regrets.

It reads to me as "I have no regrets ............ except xyz" why this is considered worthy of column inches I cannot fathom.

StuckForAUserName Mon 11-Feb-13 17:48:08

Its the ''I figured it was best to leave him where he was and go back for him, but I never went back' and the 'I can't lie to you and say that it's a thing that I sit around thinking about'.

I can understand her leaving her marriage but not leaving the son. I assume she has not had much contact with him since then. Not something I would make public while at the same time stating that 'I don't give a damn what they (other people) think of me...

Very cold.

StuckForAUserName Mon 11-Feb-13 17:49:28

I wonder what her son thinks of the article. Very selfishly written.

MrsMushroom Mon 11-Feb-13 17:53:11

I don't know her I couldn't possibly say that about her OP. I think she's an example of a woman who has broken many rules and I admire her in some ways.

Moominsarehippos Mon 11-Feb-13 17:54:17

I don't find her intelligent at all. in fact, her writing is like that of a teenager.
And her voice drives me mad. For years I thought she was putting it on.

JoanByers Mon 11-Feb-13 17:54:48


FrothyDragon Mon 11-Feb-13 17:55:59

This would be a none story if it had been Tony that walked out.

Daddelion Mon 11-Feb-13 18:00:52


Exactly and JB says that herself.

I like her, I don't always agree with her, but she's her own person and if more people didn't care what others thought they'd be happier.

I think that she is honest and self aware.

As a CP SW i wish other women would think twice before taking their children out of a stable home whilst they are happy to live a chaotic, drug/drink lifestyle, all l, because they are female and the children should reside with them.

To many children are forced to live with neglect because their parents think more of "what the neighbours think", than they do of acting in the best interests of their children.

Well, her son doesn't seem to have a relationship with her anyway. Maybe she did him a favour. Imagine having to listen to a Parrot on helium all the time.

AllYoursBabooshka Mon 11-Feb-13 18:06:42

I'm not the worlds biggest Burchill fan but she was asked a question and answered is honestly.

She also says 'I was very selfish and reckless and I could have done that a lot better.' so isn't defending it, just telling the truth.

Or doing what is socially constructed to be thought of as the best because they stay living with the female parent.

If a lesbian couple split, who gets the adopted baby? Where are all these non stories?

LillianGish Mon 11-Feb-13 18:07:10

FitzgeraldProtagonist I agree with you entirely. She spent much of Desert Island Discs going on about how she has no regrets when clearly she has many - hence her need to go on and on about them. I thought the saddest moment was when she said she could never go back to Bristol because hearing people who sound like her parents would be too painful.

AllYoursBabooshka Mon 11-Feb-13 18:07:12

It honestly.

I can't type today.

LillianGish Mon 11-Feb-13 18:09:40

Birdsgottafly - I disagree, I think she is one of the least self-aware people I have ever come across. Jaw-droppingly so in fact.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 11-Feb-13 18:13:22

'This would be a none story if it had been Tony that walked out'

Exactly, exactly, exactly this. I don't think it's nice, or particularly OK, for ANY parent to leave a child, but mothers do come in for more judgement and opprobium than fathers. Always.

Dahlen Mon 11-Feb-13 18:13:26

Haven't read the story and don't know enough about JB to comment, but knowing that this is primarily about her leaving her husband and son, I fail to see what the fuss is about. Men do it all the time and no one ever comments about that or considers them crap parents. In fact, as long as they turn up now and again with a few gifts, they're generally lauded as "good dads", and if they turn up reliably and pay maintenance, they're considered latter-day saints!

AmberLeaf Mon 11-Feb-13 18:15:31

Agree with FrothyDragon.

She is no worse than any of the many men who abandon their children in pursuit of a new lover. She will of course being a woman be judged more harshly for it.

I didn't much like her before I read that though.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 11-Feb-13 18:16:06

If Tony Parsons had done the same, I wouldn't be impressed by that either. As it is, I find both him and Birchill fairly odious, whatever the backstory about their son.

There's plenty enough to go on without that!

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 18:18:03

I think JB is an odious, attention seeking, hypocritical, inverted snob, charmless, loudmouthed twat. I haven't even bothered to look at the link yet but whatever it is, YANBU.

ubik Mon 11-Feb-13 18:19:27

i think a man who left his child and says he has 'no regrets' would also be criticised.

i don't think she is very good as a writer. i don't think Tony Parsons is eithr

recall Mon 11-Feb-13 18:23:37

I think that she shows integrity, if she doesn't experience a feeling of regret.....she doesn't . It seems she is just not prepared to say what other people would like to hear. I admire her for that, and I wish I had the strength to do the same.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 11-Feb-13 18:24:50

It doesn't matter that society might be easier on a man who'd done this (though I doubt he'd win many friends). Society would be wrong to view that more leniently. Both situations are crap.

As I say though - it's the least of my beefs with Birchill!

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 18:28:46

Hmm. Yes, I agree. she always shows integrity. She's honest and true to herself, for sure. But she sounds fucking awful.

Chottie Mon 11-Feb-13 18:32:10

Not keen on her. She tries so hard to be unconventional.

p.s. her voice sounds so awful........

greencolorpack Mon 11-Feb-13 18:37:12

Really difficult listening on Desert Island Disks! She's like a real live Vicky pollard, "yer but no but yer but I didn't regret taking drugs but yer but no but shut up!!!!". I only knew of her from Toby Youngs book where he mentions her,never read her articles before so came at the subject fresh. The Po faced Kirsty Young was funny trying to get her to say she regretted taking drugs. Then I thought the questions about walking out on two sons and two husbands were really intrusive and out of order. But Julie B herself was quite strange in her responses. She seemed emotionally unaware To say the least.

ThatBintAgain Mon 11-Feb-13 18:42:07

I imagine her poor son felt like shit hearing that. Having been in a similar situation myself it really doesn't feel great that a parent can take a decision like (with all its far reaching effects and consequences) and then say they have no regrets. And I say parent as it's shit whoever says it, male or female.

greencolorpack Mon 11-Feb-13 19:15:56

Agreed thatBintAgain.

Her poor sons, and especially I wonder about people like that who have loving caring mothers themselves, you think "wouldn't you want to be like that for your own boys?". She was beloved by her own parents but didn't try to be the same for her own children.

StuckForAUserName Mon 11-Feb-13 19:19:22

Male or female is not the issue. The issue is IMO 'I don't regret abandoning my son'. That is horrible whatever way you want to look at it surely.

GettingObsessive Mon 11-Feb-13 19:22:45

Chottie that was my main reason for switching off. I probably could have taken the whiny teenage attitude a bit longer if it hadn't been for that voice. I know she can't help it, but still.

StuckForAUserName Mon 11-Feb-13 19:23:00

Those that say 'good for her, she knew childrearing was not what she wanted to do, she was honest' well what about the damage to the DC? No regrets huh?

ubik Mon 11-Feb-13 19:25:18

i thought her choice of music was dreadful

anonacfr Mon 11-Feb-13 19:25:43

I agree. I'm also shocked to hear that she married her lover's brother! That's just not on IMO.

Pandemoniaa Mon 11-Feb-13 19:26:00

She might have shown a rare honesty about leaving her son but she remains a charmless, self-obsessed piece of work. I have encountered her several times in rl and still recall a very amusing evening when she threw a "Don't you peasants know who I am" sqwarky strop in a well known club somewhere on the South Coast.

Odious does her a kindness.

chandellina Mon 11-Feb-13 19:28:55

JB is on par with Liz Jones. Even if you only know a little about them, it's sufficient to know you don't want to know anything more.

ubik Mon 11-Feb-13 19:33:21

oh and the 'working class' thing

it's so sentimental

Dawndonna Mon 11-Feb-13 19:35:27

Yeah, Burchill's integrity. 'I have been to the university of life, I don't need a degree to prove anything'. Off she pops to uni. Then there was the let's be a Lesbian for a bit because it's different.
Julie Birchill is the epitome of boorish behaviour.

Daddelion Mon 11-Feb-13 19:42:39

I could be wrong, but I didn't think she'd been to university?

thebody Mon 11-Feb-13 19:49:35

How boring are middle aged adults like this who persist in acting like really young teens and still try to 'shock' when they quite frankly are far far too old to be doing this.

Yawn yawn. Her son was better off without her.

Sad old bag.

anonacfr Mon 11-Feb-13 19:52:15

Why is 'honesty' considered such a great quality? It's usually a license to pile insults on others.
Would you tell an ugly neighbour/acquaintance that they're ugly to their face (random example)?Honesty is often just rudeness with a 'brave' veneer.

Basically she's telling her five year old firstborn that he wasn't important to her. I'm sure he really appreciates her honesty.

PuffPants Mon 11-Feb-13 19:57:29

Based on the little I have read, she writes like a teenager and has nothing to say worth reading. I was gobsmacked the first time I heard her speak - that voice!

Unsure how she had had such a longevity career-wise.

coldcupoftea Mon 11-Feb-13 19:58:12

She said she didn't regret leaving the marriage, not her son! And she didn't abandon him, it's not like she left him in a doorway, he was with a loving parent in his family home.

I'm sure it's devastating for all concerned when a family breaks up, but I agree when it is a male celebrity it is a non-event. Chris Evans walked out on his first child, now he comes across all family man on his radio show.

MorrisZapp Mon 11-Feb-13 20:04:30

Bloody good point about Chris Evans. I detest JB for myriad reasons but I can't get behind slating a woman for doing something that men do without drawing comment.

anonacfr Mon 11-Feb-13 20:06:04

She said she was leaving with her lover and had no money and no place to stay.
As her son was settled she thought she would leave him where he was and then come back for him, but in the end never came back.

Not an easy thing to hear from any parent.

MixedClassBaby Mon 11-Feb-13 20:11:51

Who cares what her voice sounds like? She comes across as pretty chaotic and self obsessed but she's so indulgent it's hilarious. I burst out laughing when the interview went from her giving away loads of money to setting up a donkey sanctuary. Like a real life Edina from Ab Fab. I bet she could be a scream on a night out but best enjoyed from a distance.

thebody Mon 11-Feb-13 20:15:54

I think any parent who walks out on their child with a lover is vile whether they have a penis or a vagina.

AllYoursBabooshka Mon 11-Feb-13 20:26:31

Basically she's telling her five year old firstborn that he wasn't important to her. I'm sure he really appreciates her honesty.

I think it's a hell of a lot better to say "Yes I fucked up and could have done better by you" instead of making up something because it's what people want to hear.

His Father will have told him exactly what happened and she can't change it.

If I were her son I would want to know the truth and make my own mind up about it (which he clearly has), rather than have a mother who left me then lied about it. Insult to injury IMO.

MiniTheMinx Mon 11-Feb-13 20:28:14

I'm sure she probably felt she was doing the right thing. Having heard her speak, I think she probably did the right thing

She is full of dichotomies. She likes a bun fight.....she appreciates her very calm husband and on it goes.......She doesn't care but she can't go back to Bristol because it might upset her. She courts attention but prefers her own company.

She either has some form of personality disorder or she is just disingenuous and false.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 11-Feb-13 20:28:53

If your a piss poor parent and know you are and that drugs will always come first for you . then the best thing you can do is walk away and leave the child with the other parent.

recall Mon 11-Feb-13 20:35:54

I agree with allyours JB is just being honest, and it's others that have a problem with that, would it be better for her to simper publicly about regrets just to please others, yet secretly have none ? She can't force herself to feel an emotion, she could pretend to experience one, but what is the point ?

She never pretends to be anything other than "fucking awful"

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 20:42:09

She only did what thousands of men have done. plenty of mumsnetters are married to men who have done the same thing.

CartedOff Mon 11-Feb-13 20:51:45

She did the whole walking out on a son with a new lover thing twice over. I think that's pretty unpleasant but at least her children stayed with the stable parental figure instead of being dragged along with her.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 11-Feb-13 20:56:41

i doubt very much i would like her but she is just honest, and i usually find myself begrudgingly admiring her ability to give not a fuck what anyone thinks.

i could do with a bit of that.

recall Mon 11-Feb-13 21:16:07

MinitheMinx she openly admits that she must have some form of personality disorder...."there is something missing from me from birth"

recall Mon 11-Feb-13 21:25:54

cartedoff She lost custody of her second child - not the same.

Dawndonna Mon 11-Feb-13 21:34:56

She did Theology at Brighton.

anonacfr Mon 11-Feb-13 22:50:27

Once again I'll say- I find that type of honesty very overrated. The least she could have done is to keep it between her and her sons.

And I am truly the only one to be shocked she married her lover's brother?

Agent64 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:52:08

Not a JB fan, but listened to D.I.D yesterday as I thought it might be an interesting programme.

It was one of the dullest ones I have heard.

She said that she found herself completely fascinating.

Ah well, at least she enjoyed it.

lljkk Tue 12-Feb-13 07:34:15

never pretends to be anything other than "fucking awful"

Do people enjoy reading awful tripe from an awful person? Why is there demand for that?

scottishmummy Tue 12-Feb-13 07:42:51

I dont know if shows horrid,she seems impulsive and egocentric
I find her writing provocative for the sake if it
she doesn't really bother me greatly,and don't get the indigation she provokes

FayCorgasm Tue 12-Feb-13 07:54:10

I listened to part of her Desert Island Discs and I couldn't quite put my finger on why I just didn't like her. It was just something about her, nothing she said, but just a quality I found distasteful or repugnant somehow. I also couldn't stand listening to her awful voice. I think she might be one of those hideous women who uses a baby voice to create a facade of being sweet and innocent but underneath is a cruel snake in the grass. I'm not sure she's the kind of woman other women like. A bit like Samantha Brick but, once again, nothing to doing with being too beautiful or anything else in a similar vein!

Moominsarehippos Tue 12-Feb-13 09:14:31

I am not sure if she actually is a 'real' person of a character (like Lily Savage). Either way, she just spouts to be heard. I never liked her - always thought she was like the class big gob who only ever wanted to be the centre of attention, no matter what. Reminds me of Y3 english class where one such god was wailing 'but miss, we're so pooooor, we can't afford a dictionary!' (which was bull) and the poor teacher gooing into a lengthy discussion aboutb saving pocket money to buy one, etc. The stupid girl just couldn't be bothered to check her work properly.

cory Tue 12-Feb-13 09:29:30

She makes nice money out of being an enfant terrible and she gets attention, which is what she craves more than anything else.

Agree with posters who find it tedious with a teen attitude in a middle aged woman: teens do that sort of thing so much more elegantly.

Eskino Tue 12-Feb-13 09:33:48

I agree with recall. Ive always found her honest and that is worth a lot in my view.

I wonder how many other things that she has written or appeared on that Fellatio "hasn't bothered" to look at before providing us with that insightful picture of JB.

Tony Parsons wrote a book about the whole experience with his son and sons mother. It's a good story, not often told.

FayCorgasm Tue 12-Feb-13 09:39:01

But Eskino, surely honesty isn't as straight forward as it should be nowadays? I think people now have a tendency to think they can do and say whatever they like based on the premise that "they are just being honest". There are many instances where this theory doesn't deserve to be applauded.

FayCorgasm Tue 12-Feb-13 09:39:28

Not everyone, obviously. Just to qualify that post!

Punkatheart Wed 13-Feb-13 10:50:39

Her latest Facebook post:

To all my atheist, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Christian comrades. Against the rising filth of Islam.

Unacceptable. Childish. Offensive.

ubik Wed 13-Feb-13 12:42:08

She's just nuts

Fillyjonk75 Wed 13-Feb-13 12:44:59

I find both of them unlikeable. Poor children.

Xiaoxiong Wed 13-Feb-13 14:55:20

I didn't know who she was until I listened to her on Desert Island Discs, which I listened to like rubbernecking a car crash.

If that's how she comes across in a comfortable "tell me about yourself, interesting person" kind of interview, she must be really truly unpleasant in person.

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