I have just writted to the PCC, like many other people today, to register my sheer seething anger about Jan Moir’s article today in the Daily Mail.
Here is what I wrote to them:
Before you ask, no, I’m not directly affected. I just wanted to add my voice to the other people sending you complaints, because Jan Moir’s hateful article should not go without repercussions.
She has clearly breached clause 5 of the code, but I would argue that for good measure, the Mail and its dog-whistle queerbashing has also contravened clause 12. Clause 3 is contravened because the curtain-twitching, prurient horseshit about “lifestyles” has nothing to do with Gately’s death, and there is therefore no public interest in its discussion, particularly if Moir were trying to abide by clause 5.
Gately’s cause of death is reported, but then immediately discounted from Moir’s version of reality (which contravenes clause 1 of the code; it’s not that his mother “insists” anything, that’s what the coroner has concluded), in which the news that he “smoked cannabis” is enough to overturn established medical evidence, in favour of foaming, bigoted crap about “the ooze” of a “dangerous lifestyle”. Moir’s piece, in case I need to remind you, has homophobia running right through it like a stick of rock.
Moir’s assertion that:
“Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael.
Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately’s last night raise troubling questions about what happened.”
… is also bizarre. In treating the revelation that a few civil partnerships have not ended “happily ever after”, Moir’s contention is that in fact, gay marriages are not “just like heterosexual marriages”, and yet the sentences which follow this suggest that, for Moir to be making any kind of coherent point, heterosexual marriages do, in fact, all end happily ever after. This insinuation also breached clause 1 of the code, since it is clearly bollocks.
As such, another breach of clause 1 is contained in the sentence “Another real sadness about Gately’s death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships.” No it doesn’t, and there isn’t any such myth anyway.
Oh and: “It is not disrespectful to assume that a game of canasta with 25-year-old Georgi Dochev was not what was on the cards.” This is perhaps the most spectacular sentence of the whole thing, breaching both clauses 1 and 12. Yes, it is disrespectful (the assertion is therefore innaccurate), and the assumption is one of pure homophobic speculation: Gately was gay, therefore I know what his behaviour was on the night of his death. He was gay, and *therefore*, even though Jan wasn’t there, she just somehow knows that Gately’s death was somehow “strange”, “lonely”, “sleazy”, a result of his “dangerous lifestyle”. This is homophobic crap.
I would also, while I’m here, like to draw your attention to Jan Moir’s half-arsed excuse for an apology, in which she asserts that my complaint, and those of others, are a result of “a heavily orchestrated internet campaign”. This, in itself, again breaches clause 1 of the code, because, once again, Moir is talking meretricious drivel. I haven’t been “orchestrated” by anyone (other than Moir herself, perhaps, since it is her statement that has pushed me over the edge and driven me to write to you). What has happened is that someone (several people, in fact) drew my attention to the article on Twitter, and I reached the conclusion, entirely by myself, that Moir is an awful witch and that I wanted to complain about her odious little piece.
Please, PCC, take this matter seriously. No, I’m not a relation of Steven Gately, or a friend, but as a nation we are all affected when one of our biggest selling newspapers is allowed to print this kind of hateful snidey not-quite-outright-lying with no repercussions.
That is all.