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Well now, there’s pittance and there’s pittance

She became a weekly columnist for her local paper and wrote columns for HuffPost. Her profile was growing, but her bank balance wasn’t. She was paid a pittance for her work.

Local papers – these days – are around £100 per thousand words. HuffPost could well be less than that, could be more. That’s just what journalism pays these days.

When people contacted Monroe on social media to ask how much money she had made on Patreon or what has happened to the money (she has 643 followers at the time of writing), she declined to answer and said she was being bullied. It wasn’t a good look.

People say you’ve taken money, I start to say. “Yes: ‘She’s a fraud, she’s a liar, a thief, a chancer.’ I’ve heard it all.” How do you answer that – you don’t seem like a fraud to me, but it does look as if you’ve taken a lot of money. “I’ve been an absolute chaos. I’ve been very ill, physically and mentally.”

I ask if the simple truth is that lots of the money was spent on alcohol. “I was drinking a lot so I was losing work left, right and centre because I was unreliable and chaotic. I was spending money.”

Which is the Jack Monroe defence. She was/is an alcoholic. Which, well, it’s a pretty good defence actually. Doesn’t let you off, but does explain.

“A couple of things happened to get things as precarious as they were. My partner and I split up a couple of weeks after I had the lease on our house. It costs me £3,300 a month to run that house, and that is on a tight budget, without turning the heating on and a single lightbulb.” She breaks down the sums for me. It’s a far cry from the stringent budgeting that made her name.

Err, well, yes. That’s not quite breadline. Tho’ of course if the income doesn’t match then after those costs it might be.

30 thoughts on “Well now, there’s pittance and there’s pittance”

  1. When Huff Post started, they were recruiting bloggers to write for them. The fee was the glory of exposure.

    At the time, blogging was seen as the next bandwagon and various grifters were writing to bloggers expecting us to write for nothing. They all got the same answer from me – go forth and multiply.

  2. This is the bit that got me:

    “In 2021, she finally took herself to rehab. At the time she was engaged to Louisa Compton, Channel 4’s head of news.”

    I would have thought that Head of News for a major TV company (even Ch. 4) was a responsible job calling for good judgement. So why get involved with someone as hopeless in every way as Monroe?

  3. and for many years found dealing with financial matters and/or government departments extremely traumatic

    And yet she would like the government to take even more money from people, via this very same “extremely traumatic” process.

  4. Sing along with the common people
    Sing along and it might just get you through
    Laugh along with the common people
    Laugh along even though they’re really laughing at you
    And the stupid things that you do
    Because you think that poor is cool

  5. Grifting, lies, scams then bleating about mental health when caught. Pretty standard stuff. I’ve no doubt she is mentally ill, incidentally, but that is no excuse.

    why get involved with someone as hopeless in every way as Monroe?

    Compare photos of the two…

  6. This grifter started off as a poor unemployed single mother. Per the awfulmolly site she added various labels every time she’s been caught taking money with false promises. These include (in no particular order)- working class, disabled, lesbian, non binary, adhd, alcoholic, anorexic, autistic and of course trans -you get the drift. What’s she going to claim next in buzzword bingo?

  7. What’s she going to claim next in buzzword bingo?

    Claiming to be black at this late stage would result in ridicule while conversion to Islam would attract attention from those who take their religion seriously and not in a peaceful sense. Right now, as you have listed, she’s probably as far up the intersectional ladder as possible although the potential for being the first passably attractive person in a polyamorous relationship remains untapped.

  8. Always came across as utterly ghastly and indeed is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of why the country is to all intents and purposes at the end of the line. Maybe marginally better than Richard Murphy or Owen Jones but that’s as good as I can say

  9. That Kathleen Stock article is very good, witty without being nasty. Her last one about Dua Lipa and Rita Ora ( apparently not pornstars ) was funny too.

    My Instagram timeline is full of people posting handy tips that are either incredibly intendive and difficult ( welding bits of spanners together ) or downright dangerous ( looping wires around each other ) to achieve things that could be done with a few quid spent after perusing the Screwfix catalogue. Well that and young ladies telling me how to layer clothes for winter.

    As Ms Stock rightly points out, all Monroe’s tips will not make a dent in the household budget. I think personally that all of her grifting and inability to maintain a consistent story don’t really matter. The people for whom she purports to write are not actually her audience, it is the middle class veggie/green/progressive woman who devours this kind of stuff.

  10. £3300 per month to run a house? A house for a single mother with one kid (or even a couple with one kid)?
    I am middle-class living with my wife in moderately comfortable retirement in a four-bedroom semi in a fairly expensive area in walking(/running during marathon training when I was middle-aged) distance of London and my after-tax monthly income is less than that.

  11. Say one thing about Jack she’s given her boy a head start in the family business. Should be plenty of good stuff there in the woe-is-me genre being brought up by an alcie,spendthrift, poor not poor, trans not trans guardian freelance mum.

  12. Nobody has to call you up and ask how much you make on Patreon – if the page is public so is that info.

  13. “Nobody has to call you up and ask how much you make on Patreon – if the page is public so is that info.”

    Some Patreon sites show the number of subscribers but not the amount earned per month. You can often guesstimate the amount earned, based on subscriber numbers and what you think they might be paying on average. But that’s probably not very accurate, since Patreon users often report the support they receive is very long-tailed – a handful of presumably far too wealthy subscribers can pay a lot more than the average subscription, or even that the top lister tier. So a few more or a few less of those can make a big difference – I reckon you can get the order of magnitude right but your error is going to be a lot more than +/- 20%.

  14. I read the AwfullyMolly pages, and dear god, it brought back memories. Back when when she started writing at the Guardian I posted a response listing all the benefits and things a person in her situation would clearly be getting and so clearly not be in poverty, only to get banned.

  15. That Kathleen Stock article is very good, witty without being nasty.

    That didn’t stop Frances Fraud-Coppola shitting the bed on Twitter about it. Christ.

  16. JuliaM- “depends. Is he ginger?”= ha…probably not else we’d have heard by now. But even if it is so, the lad can never surpass the achievements of his famous mum. All his woes were given to him on on a plate whereas saint Jack- she had to fuck things up all by her self.

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