Katie Hopkins has done it again. The opinionated former-reality TV star stirred up yet more controversy in a debate on ITV's This Morning, when she and Bob Geldof's 24-year-old daughter Peaches met to discuss the pros and cons of attachment parenting. For anyone who missed it, this is the idea that parents should form a close relationship with babies by feeding them on demand and having them share their parents' bed, in an effort to aid emotional bonding and a sense of wellbeing. Although many viewers deemed Peaches the winner of the live TV debate, Katie didn't lose any time in hitting back in her column for The Sun, claiming that her opponent only appeared victorious because she got 'an easy ride'.
The two mothers - both clad in flattering blue dresses - appeared on This Morning on Tuesday 12th November. While Geldof spouted off the virtues of attachment parenting, Hopkins cast it as 'new age nonsense', drawing particular mention to a photo of Peaches talking on the phone as her son Astala fell out of his push chair and onto the pavement.
However, the crucial elements of the debate have been somewhat lost in the resulting fall-out from the This Morning piece. Both celebs have taken to Twitter to defend themselves and smear each other in equal measure. Peaches immediately tweeted 'I think I know who won that one' and added that Katie had been 'shaking' when they left the set: 'The panto witch finally met her match!' she crowed. A few days later, Katie's column for The Sun claimed that Peaches had 'never worked a hard shift in her life' and only agreed to join her on the This Morning sofa if Katie toned down her usual aggression, something Katie branded as the actions of a 'spoilt child'. Predictably, this triggered a fresh wave of tweets from Peaches, furiously calling Katie's column 'pure lies'.
Parenting styles will always attract controversy, with each mother and father bitterly defending their own strategies to the hilt. Whether you agree with attachment parenting or not, This Morning's TV debate and the mud-slinging that followed seems to have missed the point, with the pair conducting the matter rather like children themselves. Katie Hopkins has wholly embraced the role of public enemy and it's no longer a great surprise to hear personal and intensely rude comments from her on a wide variety of issues, often around the matter of families and children. What is more surprising is that people still bother to engage her in debate, whether in person or online, since these inevitably turn into juvenile catty competitions.
The only people to benefit from this uncomfortable clash were gleeful producers who saw their viewing figures soar. While Peaches might have given a more convincing argument on set, the following social media ranting proves her immaturity rather than a victory in a matter that is actually quite personal to each parent. The verdict? A tap on the wrist and early bedtime for both.