Laurie Penny · @PennyRed

25th Jun 2012 from Seesmic

Hey, to clear up any misunderstandings over Starkey's 'mean and grasping' accusation, what happened was this. I was asked to debate Starkey at the beginning of June and really didn't want to, partly to avoid just this sort of ugly circus. However, I was in a rent crisis at the time, and thought it might be worth the stress, preparation and risk if I could earn enough from it to cover the money I was missing, which was several hundred pounds. I asked the Thomas Paine society if they could afford that, and as I expected, they said no - which I was glad about, and I made up the rent money elsewhere. Being a multi-millionaire who loves publicity, Professor Starkey may not understand what it's like to be a low-earning journalist in your early twenties, but I feel I did nothing wrong. The only reasons I agreed to be on a panel with him at the Education Festival at all were because it was not one on one, and as a personal favour to two former teachers of mine, of whom I am immensely fond. 

By the way, I'm still not on Twitter today, this has been posted via a trusted comrade to whom I've given my passwords. If any arse-photos appear in my timeline, rest assured it's not my arse.

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