A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stephen Gately PCC complaint rejected

The article written in the Daily Mail last October by Jan Moir upset quite a few people. In fact the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) received a record 25,000 complaints about the comment piece which was perceived by many to be homophobic. Now that the PCC has ruled it met the criteria of free speech more complaints are coming in about the PCC's judgement.

Free speech in Britain is being seriously undermined by certain interest groups that say you cannot express an opinion if that opinion is trenchant and totally opposite to a specific interest group. Any discussion of homosexuality that introduces opinions that see it as "not normal" is rounded upon as being "homophobic". Homophobia is only a perceived phobia against homosexuals and not against men in general or against similar things. So a person cannot be held to be homophobic about heterosexual men or twins or semi-detached houses. The English language is hostage to those who want to create their own words and meanings. Humpty Dumpty was not wrong.

The article was indeed strongly-worded. I did not read it then but have done since. Regardless of whether Gately was a homosexual or not, the article was prurient and disrespectful. My humble opinion, of course. If Moir wanted to write about such stuff she could have done it in a different context. But this raises the question of rights and privileges. It seems that certain sections of the community (community meaning us all and not an interest group) want their position to be outside the scope of criticism or discussion. But it is fair game to denigrate and abuse others because they are seen as "old-fashioned" or "reactionary".

I find it upsetting that the media in general finds it amusing to mock and denigrate religious symbols and sacred beliefs. But I'm not going to try to get the perpetrators arrested, or fined, or censured. Because I feel free speech, so long as it does not incite violence or physical hatred, is something to be cherished. If we do not have the freedom to speak our minds, then we need to accept we will become a cowering breed of pyscophantic followers.

Last night I was shopping and the supermarket was throwing away bagloads of bread (which happens nightly). I pointed out this to a girl who was filling a plastic bag full of donuts, bread rolls, anything that she could get her hands on. As I disapprove of this arrogant wastage policy of supermarkets I spoke up. The reply was "It get's recycled". One has to wonder whether as bread or as fertiliser for the next wheat crop. A fellow customer felt this was a standard reply that they have "been told to say".

Without free speech we get no change. We cannot highlight rights and wrongs. I trust we can continue to speak our minds without fear or favour, so long as it is with the pen and not the sword.


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