Sunday, 18 October 2009

Jan Moir's opinion

From the Yahoo News pages

Police have received a complaint about an article written by newspaper columnist Jan Moir concerning the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, Scotland Yard said.
The article, published in Friday's Daily Mail, also prompted more than 1,000 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We have received a complaint from a member of the public."

In the column about the gay singer's death, Moir wrote: "Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again. Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one."

And she signed off: "For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see."

Moir defended her opinion piece, which ignited a huge debate on networking sites such as Twitter. She issued a response in which she branded suggestions of homophobia as "mischievous" and claimed the backlash was a "heavily orchestrated internet campaign".

Stephen Fry was among those using his Twitter feed to mobilise opinion about the article. At one stage he wrote: "The Press Complaints Commission website is down. Sheer volume of traffic. That says something about the strength of feeling I think."
A spokesman for the PCC said of the 1,000 complaints received, many were relating to questions of accuracy, intrusion and discrimination. He said the PCC had already established links with Gately's family in case they had wanted to express an opinion about the coverage of his death.

Moir questioned how many of those who had complained had read her column.

Well, Ms. Moir, I did read your full article. Far from being swept up in a "heavily orchestrated internet campaign" I have looked at what you said and read some of the responses, both in support of your viewpoint and against, and I'm sure you'll be disappointed to learn that I still find your remarks, especially those quoted above, offensive. Therefore I am one of the 1,000 who have lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.


  1. Yay, good job! How do I submit a complaint?

    I've been so MAD about the Jan Moir piece all day. I posted my response on my blog at but I couldn't resist using a swear word.