Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Mum Nichola doesn’t deserve to be trolled

Nichola Mallon
Nichola Mallon

Editor's Viewpoint

It is scarcely believable that even in the netherworld inhabited by internet trolls that there are people who believe it is wrong for a hard-working mother to take her child to a meeting.

It does not matter that the mother in question was Nichola Mallon, deputy leader of the SDLP and a former Lord Mayor of Belfast, who was meeting the Secretary of State Julian Smith.

Nor does it matter why she brought her child. Perhaps she could not arrange childcare at that time or perhaps she just thought that the infant would be no hindrance during the meeting. Essentially she was just bringing her child to work, which is not an offence no matter what a misogynistic troll called Richard believes.

Whether he recognises the fact or not, many women today work both within the home and outside the home. There are times when they have to go to extraordinary lengths to juggle their responsibilities. That also applies to many men who feel they should share the burden of childcare.

In this particular incident Nichola Mallon deserves credit for ensuring that she kept her appointment with the Secretary of State and felt it was of such importance that she went along, even if the child had to come too.

What was especially heartening is that even the keyboard warriors turned on Richard, lambasting him for his views and telling him a few home truths about how the modern world operates.

And Nichola also received widespread support from right across the political sphere with even political opponents paying tribute to her work ethic.

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Our politicians often come in for criticism but as happened when Arlene Foster and Naomi Long were subjected to vile online remarks, political opponents were quick to put aside their political differences and rally to support those under attack.

Trolling can make even the most thick skinned person feel abused and isolated and in desperate need of support. Thankfully most people have enough humanity in them to offer the hand of friendship at a time of need.

In the adult world it is most often women who are trolled, be it for their appearance, what they have said or what they have done. The anonymous trolls do not have the courage to spout their stupid and vile comments openly, instead hiding in some part of cyberspace reserved for such dinosaurs. This troll will certainly not be going public any time soon.

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