“a repulsive nobody writing in a paper no one of any decency would be seen dead with”

That was Stephen Fry’s description on Twitter of Jan Moir, who has written this extraordinarily hateful piece in the Daily Mail today. I’ve just sent the Mail the following complaint. I’m not expecting a reply, but it’s made me feel better:

Shame on you for publishing today’s poisonous, under-informed, illiterate article on Stephen Gately by Jan Moir.

The circumstances of Gately’s death are still unclear. That being the case, speculation on Fleet Street may well be rife but there’s no excuse for making such unsubstantiated, homophobic and uneducated views public in a way that can only distress further the family and friends of the dead man.

There are many cases every year of sudden death in apparently healthy young people. The causes are myriad and it’s always devastating for those left behind. The only official indication we have of what caused Gately’s death suggests natural causes. But frankly, even if there were drink, drugs or sex involved, how on earth does Moir jump from that to her breathtaking claim that his sexuality or, unbelievably, his civil partnership, is to blame? It’s ungrounded, insulting and stupid.

And why on earth does she feel the need to be rude about Gately as a singer? What wrong has he done her to deserve this rancid poison, other than being a gay man? He had an unremarkable but perfectly good singing voice, so this:

A founder member of Ireland’s first boy band, he was the group’s co-lead singer, even though he could barely carry a tune in a Louis Vuitton trunk

is just spiteful and silly. And this:

He was the Posh Spice of Boyzone, a popular but largely decorous addition

demonstrates that Moir has no idea what the word “decorous” means. If you’re going to publish offensive drivel like this, then at least proofread it beforehand.

I was already reading in open-mouthed astonishment when I got to this gem:

After a night of clubbing, Cowles and Gately took a young Bulgarian man back to their apartment. It is not disrespectful to assume that a game of canasta with 25-year-old Georgi Dochev was not what was on the cards.

Actually it is extraordinarily disrespectful. Moir is making assumptions based on her own unreconstructed, stereotyped view of gay men. How dare she? And how dare you publish this rubbish?

I have no idea what goes on in what passes for Moir’s mind, but there’s no place for her seedy little fantasies in a piece published by a national newspaper.

Edit: if you feel the same way, complain to the PCC. The article breaches points 5 and 12 of the code of practice.
There’s also a good blog post on it here.

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