Katie Hopkins is rarely surprising, so well acquainted are we with her deliberately controversial remarks.
Until, that is, she shows a side of herself we are seldom party to.
The Sun columnist did exactly that as she hosted a slot on LBC radio on Monday. The first topic up for debate was her belief that the condition ADHD does not exist, was “being over-diagnosed by doctors” and was “really just excusing rubbish parenting”.
“We really have to question, what are we doing?” she said. “Why does everything have to have a medical diagnosis for everything?
“Is it that our children are getting naughtier, or are we not parenting properly?
“You have to point the finger of blame,” she continued. “That is your mother, that is your father that is responsible for that behaviour. Not ADHD.
“I don’t think kids are born naughty. I think some kids are just born with bad parents.”
As slowly seems to becoming customary, the first few callers agreed with her. One mother, whose son was diagnosed with ADHD, even claimed she was to blame for her child’s behaviour,
“I was in denial, it’s not my fault, I’ve got three perfectly well children, I was looking for scapegoat, looking for a label, I was at the end of my tether,” Christine from Wapping said. “He was crying out for attention.”
But it was Lemore from Mill Hill, who told Hopkins as she shook with tears on the other end of the phone lin, that her views on ADHD were ignorant and far from helpful, that really changed the tone of the conversation.
“I’ve got three children, one with ADHD, does that make me a bad parent?” she asked.
“All her behaviour, even though she’s not a bad person or a naughty person, is down to ADHD.
“To judge and say that they are naughty children is just unfair.
“Some days are very, very challenging, but they are just normal children and want to be part of normal life, and to say that is just unfair.
Katie Hopkins' most offensive moments
Katie Hopkins' most offensive moments
1/16 Katie Hopkins on 'plus size'
'To call yourself 'plus-size' is just a euphemism for being fat. Life is much easier when you're thinner. Big is not beautiful, of course a job comes down to how you look.'
2/16 Katie Hopkins on naming children
‘I think you can tell a great deal from a name. For me, there are certain names that I hear and I think ‘Urgh’. For me, a name is a shortcut of finding out what class that child comes from and makes me ask, ‘Do I want my children to play with them?’ There’s a whole set of things that go with children like that and that’s why I don’t like those sorts of children. ‘Hi, this is my daughter Charmaine’. I hear: ‘Hi, I am thick and ignorant.’’
3/16 Katie Hopkins on gender equality
'Women don't want equal treatment, they couldn't handle it if they got it. It's a tough world out there. What a lot of women are actually looking for is special treatment. What women need to realise is that they have to toughen up.'
4/16 Katie Hopkins on immigration
'I've always said if you go into a school playground and shout Mohammad, you'll probably get 100 children running towards you!"
5/16 Katie Hopkins to Benefits Street's White Dee
'Do you not feel like the patron saint of druggies and dropouts?'
6/16 Katie Hopkins on tattoos
'Are tattoos just a badge for the stupid? For me, and for lots of people like me, when you see tatoos you think of someone who is just looking for attention, who hasn't managed to find a way in their life through conventional means and who is just shouting 'I want attention! I want to be looked at!'
7/16 Katie Hopkins on addiction
‘I don’t believe what Russell Brand says about addiction. I just don’t buy it. Gazza likes drinking, let him crack on. He is enjoying himself.’
8/16 Katie Hopkins on The X Factor
'The X Factor 2013 has ended in a painful showdown between a fat mum in a jumpsuit (Sam Bailey) and a small boy in whatever his mum laid out for him on his bed (Nicholas McDonald)'
9/16 Katie Hopkins on the Egyptian uprising
'The difference between most mothers and me is that I didn’t sit around drinking coffee at baby group for 12 months after the birth of my baby. No, in three weeks I was back in my suit, back at my desk earning profit for my business and I don’t see why other women shouldn’t do the same.'
10/16 Katie Hopkins on maternity leave
'Egyptian uprising continues to look like Bonfire Night. Protest fireworks. Right up there with angry cup cakes.'
11/16 Katie Hopkins on 'gingerism'
'Ginger babies. Like a baby. Just so much harder to love. A ginger person with tattoos called Jayden? The triumvirate of horror!'
12/16 Katie Hopkins on affairs
'I lied to get someone else's husband because I wanted him. I give myself 8 out of 10 for ruthlessness for that one.'
13/16 Katie Hopkins on the elderly
‘Personally I hate mobility scooters. I find their owners intolerable. Ran past a mobility scooter going up hill. Made me giggle. I need to grow up and stop being an arse.’
14/16 Katie Hopkins after the Glasgow helicopter crash
'Life expectancy in Scotland is 59.5. Goodness me. That lot will do anything to avoid working until retirement.'
15/16 Katie Hopkins on Ramadan
'Channel 4 broadcasts Islamic calls to prayer for Ramadan. A 30 day reminder that minority rules in the UK. Any more PC, it'd be a bloody laptop.'
16/16 Katie Hopkins on self-harming
'I am advised by the Twitterati to 'cut myself'. I grazed myself on my house gate yesterday. Will that suffice?'
“You don’t seem to understand what it’s like to have someone with ADHD in the house.”
“It takes a lot of courage to come on here and tell me I’m wrong,” Hopkins said. “It’s easy for me to point the finger.”
She went on to praise Lemore a second time, as well as admitting that as a parent herself, she had “softened” to her point of view.
One caller, father Jason, whose son was diagnosed with ADHD, said he sometimes feared that he was a bad parent, and pointed out that some of the defining features of the condition were subtle. He also said that having watched Hopkins’ behaviour in the Celebrity Big Brother house last year, he felt she displayed some of the characteristics of a person with autism.
“I probably am on the spectrum,” she told him. “I did an interview with a journalist the other day, and said, ‘Look I’m definitely on the spectrum’.”
Last week, Hopkins was heavily criticised for branding a nine-year-old child with autism a “twat”, and blaming her parents for not disciplining her properly. She further compared her to a farm animal, made jibes about her weight, and suggested her parents were sponging off the taxpayer for specialist help they didn’t need. Before that, she’d likened former Labour leader Ed Miliband’s behaviour during the debates as “on the spectrum”.Reuse content