Jan Moir

I have a billion things to do – not least get up at 5am tomorrow morning but I cannot sleep until I’ve vented a little of my rage at the woman who has caused such hurt and offence to the family of Stephen Gately.

I loathe the Daily Mail and I’m regularly appalled that my parents continue to read it but it’s a free country and people should be allowed to do what they want. However, when a ‘journalist’ (and I deliberately bracket that word) writes an ‘article’ only a few days after the death of a charming young man who tragically died of a heart failure aged 33 – in which she insults his grieving mother, smears the circumstances of his untimely death and makes a ludicrous but nonetheless disgusting link between his death and his marriage – then voices (and my voice especially) should be raised.

The fact is that Jan Moir is a nasty homophobe. She believes that gay people’s lifestyles explain tragic deaths like Gately’s. She makes the vile assumption that his marriage to another man somehow led to his death – and what’s worse that all civil partnerships cause similar tragic ends.

I urge you to read the copy of the article (please do not give the Mail any more hits on their site) and then consider making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission on the basis that she breaches clause 1,5 and 12 of its code of practice.

Charlie Brooker writes a fine piece on it in the Guardian and this is a spirited dissection of the work.

One of the things that most annoys me in the commentaries around this affair is the tacit criticism of Gately and his husband possibily having sex with another man. It continually endorses the idea that men going on holiday and having sex is somehow ‘suspicious’ or ‘not so innocent’. Since when did human beings drinking and having sex on holiday become so unnatural? There is nothing unnatural about sex. Period. And people who don’t grasp that fundamental point are missing the whole point.


  1. Simon

    October 17, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Even stranger is Moir’s complaint through the mail’s PR agency that she is the victim of an ‘orchestrated campaign’. That word orchestrated is designed to portray all of us not as independent thinkers but sinister puppets of some Bin-Ladenesque force behind the scenes. Although hang on…. PR agency…. who’s campaign is being orchestrated?

  2. Courtney

    October 17, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I live in the United States, and equate the ‘Daily Mail’
    with rags such as ‘The National Enquirer’. The articles
    written aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, let
    alone the price of the paper or the time to read them.

    As for Moir’s ‘article’, it is laced with bigoted innuendo
    and caked with prejudice. BBC America’s Anglophrenia
    blog’s most recent post is about this very topic. And
    my absolute favorite line is the closer, ‘Well, if it squawks like a bigot…’

    As for Moir’s response to the backlash: sounds like she’s
    trying to defend herself in a not very sympathetic world,
    and not succeeding all that well.

  3. Athene

    October 18, 2009 at 3:14 am

    Is this, in essence, about ‘gay bashing’ or is this mean spirited and extremely judgemental ‘Fear Factor’ mentality speaking in all its darkness, designed to sell papers to other judgemental and similarly programmed minds. This smacks to me of an ill informed attack on an imagined/perceived/projected lifestyle, not sexuality. Desperately and lazily ‘backed up’ (in an attempt to qualify her bigoted standpoint) by attaching it to other terrible ‘unhappy’ endings she is clutching at straws to pay the bills.
    If it had been a celebrity heterosexual couple who had taken a third party home for a cup of tea, a game of cards or, dare I say it, even for sex (because it does happen), and this event had taken place, it would be equally tragic and equally ‘Spun’ into a hotbed of ‘bad’ living by this (and other ‘journalists’) who seem to have no soul and no empathy.
    Actually it seems that Jan Moir has opened the floodgates of the nation for a very positive reaction in favour of the defence of a much loved person by the public and by people close to me (he was the godfather of a friends child) and unrelated I have other friends at his funeral today in Ireland.
    This woman has probably gone too long dishing out her opinions and Pollyanna style innuendos but actually is the issue here not the fact that she has potentially cast aspersions on a lifestyle or choice of sexuality but that she is a vocal manifestation of all that is downright mean and nasty about the society we live in today dealing in ‘spin’ to make money out of salacious drivel.
    I don’t care if they were having a 12 person orgy its still a fucking awful terrible loss. Does it change anything that he died of natural causes? Would it change anything if he died after a 72-hour drug filled session? IT’S STILL TERRIBLE. He is still someone’s husband, he is still someone’s son and he is still a friend to many.
    Why is it that its so important to all of us that we justify that this death was ‘clean’ as much as it is important to another to suggest it was ‘unclean’, an interesting point for all of us to think about because it was still tragic, still unbelievable and still totally untimely.
    My heart goes out to the people that he has left behind and those who loved him deeply, and I cannot imagine reading those words about my flesh if I was his Mother but if Stephen’s death has caused this discussion, has caused people to think about how they view other peoples lifestyles, has caused people to question what, why and how they treat people IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE and encourages acceptance, empathy, open mindedness and heart felt understanding then he will have brought more light to this world than a gazillion of her (‘the journalists’) most inspired moments of which I feel there are very few.
    Acceptance is and comes from a place acceptance

  4. Robert

    October 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Unfortunately, there is no shortage of wing nut types who are only too happy to use their positions to further their own mean-spirited, bigoted hind bound agenda. I would say she ought to be ashamed of herself, but clearly she and her editors have no shame!
    I would urge your readers to lodge formal complaints. Perhaps his family and loved ones might consider a suit for slander once they have had time to grieve.

  5. Richard

    October 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I too have dispised this biggoted rag for many years. I can’t believe how they continue to get away with such blatantly bad and hateful ‘reporting’.

    My complaint to the Press Complaints Commission has been logged. I hope that Mr Gateley will rest in peace.

  6. GMC

    October 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I only saw an article in The Guardian on Saturday
    and I was quite alarmed by it. Isn’t it incredible that there are
    ignorant people like that still exist? This sort of article should never be
    allowed to go in print.

    But the comforting thing to know is that the numbers of people
    who complained this article as offensive and
    homophobic were quite overwhelming – the website crashed due to
    the huge numbers of complaints. “Unity is strength”.

    To quote the famous speech by Winston Churchill: “…whatever the cost may be,
    we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds,
    we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
    we shall never surrender…”

    PS. Thanks for playing a lovely rendition of Strauss’ orchestra song
    by Felicity Lott on last Saturday on BBC Radio 3. I’ve never heard this performance before.
    I’ve always learned something new from listening your radio programme – it’s a great way to start my weekend!

  7. elise

    October 23, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I read the Mail online occasionally, amongst
    other papers. It is interesting to see how they try
    to provoke reaction in their readers.
    However two articles have really stood out for me
    recently. In one the headline read ‘Wife guilty of
    trying to kill husband after luring him to woods for
    drug-fuelled sex before meeting her internet lover’.
    The ‘drug’ turns out to be ‘horny goats weed’, which
    as far as I’m aware is a widely available herbal
    supplement. The second was the Stephen Gately article
    which I thought made Jan Moir look like a curtain
    twitcher from a bygone era.

    I think the DM is getting worse. I can only think
    that they are now deliberately writing contentious
    headlines which they know will get clicked on, in
    order to satisfy the needs of their advertisers.

  8. Chris

    October 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I do not read the Mail and only read the offending article when the publicity about it broke. Sadly journalists seem able to print what they want regardless of accuracy. Then should the unthinkable occur and they have to back down/apologise, then this ‘apology’ will be tucked away out of sight. Once anything has been written or said you can never retract it completely. Mud always sticks. For every good and fair journalist there are there are always legions of those who think they are in the same league and who most certainly are not.

  9. EM

    November 2, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    I’m, straight (more fool me!) and can’t stand the wretched Daily Heil and it’s creepy homophobia and insults against any woman who isn’t its ‘ideal’ size 10/12 or not put her makeup on. And you have to take your hat off to homophobes that insinuate it at every turn, assuming the unwashed masses are too naive to notice, then sit back blinking in shock when someone calls them on it. I read her article and was aghast somebody could blitz someone’s work, relationship/s and private life on the back of innuendo mainly coming from The Sun, who also appeared to be eager to churn out any morsel of ‘a source said’ fluff it could concoct, contrary to medical evidence. And what grown adults do in their own homes is their business. Stephen Gately was not hurting anybody, he was not out trashing bars and vomiting on locals, the kind of actions we take for granted in the UK and just shrug off now. He was not mugging and raping people, or holding knives to someone’s throat. Neither was he soliciting young boys, or coering adults who didn’t want to be coreced into his house and for all anyone knows, it may still have been friends having too much to drink and sleeping it off. If Stephen hadn’t have died, nobody would have known or cared about what he did in his private life, because he never felt the need to divulge it with the public (unlike say, Jordan or Kerry Katona). I loved it also how Jan Moir insinuated the gay internet mafia were after her, threatening her. Right-wingers always cry victim like this, they probably phone themselves up and post voodoo dolls through their own letterboxes.

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