Lucy Meadows, and the tabloids that harassed her


7:12 pm - March 21st 2013

by Tim Fenton    


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Last December, the Mail’s talentless churnalist Richard Littlejohn observed: “Twitter is a playground for vicious trolls and cowardly cyber-bullies who can ruin people’s lives with the most vile threats and smears” – the inference being that he and his fellow pundits are people of the purest and noblest motives who would never sink to such levels.

What you will no longer see in that column, as it has been hastily removed, is The Great Man’s comments on teacher Lucy Meadows. This is because she has just taken her own life. Ms Meadows had previously been Mr Upton, and had transitioned to live as a woman. There was no public interest whatever in this, save the prurience of our wonderful free press. And the subsequent hate mail.

Hence the papers gleefully that reported this as news. Daily Mail Shock at CofE school where Mr Upton will return after Christmas as Miss Meadows. Perhaps the Anglican church is supposed to cast such people out into eternal darkness. But they did find one parent who objected.

The Sun: Sir becomes Miss” was the typically imaginative headline from Rupe’s downmarket troops. At least they talked to a grandparent who was supportive and said it was a very brave thing to do. Sadly, the attempt by local Government staff and councillors to emphasise that this was a personal and private matter went unheeded.

Littlejohn, who as I recently observed takes his prurient interest in transsexual people as far as asking how they take a pee, went on the offensive. “He’s not only in the wrong body, he’s in the wrong job … The school shouldn’t be allowed to elevate its ‘commitment to diversity and equality’ above its duty of care to its pupils and their parents.”

And there was more.

It should be protecting pupils from some of the more, er, challenging realities of adult life, not forcing them down their throats. These are primary school children, for heaven’s sake … he isn’t entitled to project his personal problems on to impressionable young children.

Now, Lucy Meadows is dead, and those impressionable young children are having to deal with one of their teachers no longer being there, as the actions of another fearless pundit cause them to have another of those challenging realities of adult life forced down their throats.

Meanwhile, Littlejohn continues to trouser a million a year.

In the Trans Media Watch (TMW) submission to the Leveson Inquiry, there was concern about the portrayal of Trans people by parts of the media.

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About the author
Tim is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs more frequently at Zelo Street
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Reader comments


Where is the evidence she took her own life?

Castigate the scum that is Littlejohn by all means but at least wait until an inquest has decided the cause of death. Other wise you’re no better than those you criticise

2. Chaise Guevara

@ codhead

Jumping the gun on whether someone committed suicide is kinda different to harrassing innocent individuals in national newspapers. Regardless of whether she took her own life (and if so whether it was due to the media), she didn’t ask for this and didn’t deserve it.

Littlejohn’s justification of his outrage reminds me of one of the complaints that got a TV commercial pulled because it featured a man kissing another man. It was along the lines of “My kid asked me why two men were kissing, what am I expected to tell him?” Apparently having to admit that gay people exist isn’t an option.

And so a paper that regularly acts like local health and safety policy is fascism wants people to be sacked from their job for being trans. There’s either no self-awareness there, or a hell of a lot of it.

@ Chaise Guevara

Libcon’s speculation serves absolutely no useful purpose though. They could have done better to fllow the line taken by David Allen Green (Jack of Kent).

I cannot begin to describe my loathing of Littlejohn, the rag he works for or his bosses. I just don’t want to give the little scrote another excuse to blame the twitterati of bullying him

4. Shatterface

Apparently “Gender Dysphoria” will remain a mental health condition in DSM-V so the medical profession continues to add to the notion there’s something ‘wrong’ with transexuals.

Littlejohn’s a funt* but transexuals haven’t had much support from the Burchills and Drears in the liberal press either.

Which means the medical practitioners, the rightwing press and the liberal press are lagging somewhere behind Coronation Street and Paul Abbott’s Hit & Miss.

*He is, however, correct about Twitter – the social media equivalent of mooning from a bus window.

if littlejohn is proud of his comments why have they been removed?

Littlejohn is a a little tub thumping bully. He is paid the money he gets by the Mail stealing peoples private lives, and putting pictures of 15 16 year old girls in skimpy clothing and swimwear and then making lurid and suggestive remarks about them. The Mail encourages the perv element to ogle prepubescent girls and then flogs advertising space to the “family value” corporate market.

Littlejohn should be done for living off amoral earnings. He lives of the pervs and peeping toms who come to see the underage girls.

“Ms Meadows had previously been Mr Upton, and had transitioned to live as a woman. There was no public interest whatever in this, save the prurience of our wonderful free press. And the subsequent hate mail. ”

So your argument is that the press shouldn’t report certain things which happen to be true then is it?

There may or may not be public interest. It may indeed be prurience. But are you actually, seriously, suggesting that the press should stop reporting simple fact?

Interesting world you want really……

@ Tim Worstall

It was reported, locally, there was no reason other than Littlejohn’s continued bullying of anyone her perceives to be “different”, for the Wail to report it nationally. Where is the “public interest” in the story? Apart from the pupils and parents of the pupils at Lucy’s school, there is none.

Although Littlejohn et al are unspeakable, it’s a bit soon to definitively blame them for this. Who really knows what goes on in someone else’s mind? Could there have been other reasons?

10. Jennie Kermode

Several independent pieces of research show a rate of suicide attempts among trans people of 35%-45%, as opposed to 5%-9% among the general population. Trans people are frequently vilified in the press or are subject to lurid exposés for no other reason than that they are trans. Nobody is suggesting hat the press should not be entitled to report facts. People are suggesting that responsible journalists might elect not to report on the prvate lives of ordinary members of the public in vulnerable groups, where there is no compelling reason to do so; and, especially, that they might refrain from making sensationalist personal attacks in such cases.

“So your argument is that the press shouldn’t report certain things which happen to be true then is it? ”

No surprise the Adam Smith, pro 1% butler troll does not understand proportional.

Funny that the Mail has removed the piece. A kind of admission of guilt.

12. JimmyRushmore

Littlejohn is a complete and utter prick. But If you believe in free speech you have to believe it for complete and utter pricks too. And it’s a price worth paying.

Incidentally, the most popular comments on the Mail article are supportive of the school and teacher.

13. Shatterface

Littlejohn is a complete and utter prick. But If you believe in free speech you have to believe it for complete and utter pricks too. And it’s a price worth paying.

Supporting the right to free speech isn’t incompatable with calling someone a twat for bullying.

I also think more condemnation should go to the people that always get let off the hook: the arseholes who read this shit. People have way too much ‘interest’ in other people’s business.

14. So Much for Subtlety

2. Chaise Guevara

Jumping the gun on whether someone committed suicide is kinda different to harrassing innocent individuals in national newspapers. Regardless of whether she took her own life (and if so whether it was due to the media), she didn’t ask for this and didn’t deserve it.

Deserve what? This is part of the passive aggressive bullying of the Left – in what way was she harassed? You mean Littlejohn expressed an opinion you did not like? How is that harassment? Someone had a sex change operation. Someone else used a national tabloid to express an opinion about it. This seems like the normal cut and thrust of a free society to me. Perhaps if LJ had called for a baying mob to stand outside his house with burning torches you might have a point. But I fail to see what the Daily Mail did that was wrong.

Littlejohn’s justification of his outrage reminds me of one of the complaints that got a TV commercial pulled because it featured a man kissing another man. It was along the lines of “My kid asked me why two men were kissing, what am I expected to tell him?” Apparently having to admit that gay people exist isn’t an option.

So you have no problem with racism being casually expressed on TV? Because, after all, you can just explain to little ‘uns that racism exists?

4. Shatterface

Apparently “Gender Dysphoria” will remain a mental health condition in DSM-V so the medical profession continues to add to the notion there’s something ‘wrong’ with transexuals.

So …. you want political correctness to take over from medical science? I think what is in the DSM ought to be determined by the evidence. And the evidence is strong that many transsexual are not happy by and large. Even if you refuse to allow that diagnosis to apply to all Trans people, it clearly applies to a sizable proportion of them. Some people are just unhappy with their dangly bits and changing them does not make them happier.

15. JimmyRushmore

@13 No I agree absolutely, but given the sarcastic statement about “our wonderful free press” and the context of Leveson it’s pretty obvious that it’s supporting the utterly crazy idea of state regulation.

16. So Much for Subtlety

10. Jennie Kermode

Several independent pieces of research show a rate of suicide attempts among trans people of 35%-45%, as opposed to 5%-9% among the general population.

But we have a problem assigning causation. Are they unhappy because of some underlying condition – as the DSM-V seems to imply – or are they unhappy because, you know, Littlejohn hates them. I would think the evidence is fairly strong that it is not Littlejohn. Lady Boys in Thailand also report high levels of unhappiness and yet Thai society is a lot more accepting.

Trans people are frequently vilified in the press or are subject to lurid exposés for no other reason than that they are trans.

So are racists and people who follow Gorean teachings and so on. People are interested in the unusual.

Nobody is suggesting hat the press should not be entitled to report facts. People are suggesting that responsible journalists might elect not to report on the prvate lives of ordinary members of the public in vulnerable groups, where there is no compelling reason to do so; and, especially, that they might refrain from making sensationalist personal attacks in such cases.

So you want people to have the right to report, as long as they don’t, or at least if they do, in a positive pro-trans sort of way? Littlejohn thought there was a compelling reason. I have not read what he said but if he made a personal attack I would like to see it. Does this pass the Mosley test? If the son of a Nazi engages in some paid BDSM, well, that is pretty sad for all concerned, but there is no real public interest in my opinion. I would not publish it – however there is no reason for it to be prohibited as long as it is true. This case involved a teacher and so there was slightly more public interest. Still no reason not to publish. If in fact this teacher was a member of the BNP would it still not be in the public interest – and no, I am not comparing trans people with racists. I am comparing people’s private gender life with their private political life.

@Shatterface:

Yes, Gender Dysphoria is still in DSM-V and for a very good reason.

Almost all health insurance in the US is tied directly to the main diagnostic manuals, which means insurance cover for treatment is available only for conditions listed in those manuals, which include DSM.

Take it of of DSM right now and a majority of trans people would immediately cease to have access to hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries as they lack the means to privately finance their transition.

No recognised diagnosis in DSM would mean, for many, no means of transition unless they fancy trying their luck in an unregulated clinic in Tijuana.

“So your argument is that the press shouldn’t report certain things which happen to be true then is it?”

We’re talking about the Daily Mail. Why start now?

The sad reality is, sensible people wouldn’t expect anything less then this vile garbage puked from the mail, who posture as the right people for the right job! I actually hope that elveden et.al net scum like this. Less powerful than Murdoch was, but equally as dangerous.

20. Richard Carey

The irony of Liberal Conspiracy’s support for press regulation will become apparent when LC finds itself on the receiving end, with a well-paid lawyer arguing it has defamed the reputation of Littlejohn by accusing him of being responsible for this poor soul’s death.

I don’t think this is likely at the moment or in this particular case, but something like this is not inconceivable.

“the reputation of Littlejohn”

I think I may have spotted the flaw in this argument.

That this scandelous reporting would have happened could and should have been predicted the moment Mr Upton considered becoming Ms Meadows. I’m unsure of what the requirement is now but some years back when I worked with a young man who was intent on this transition, for which he had full support from his employers and his colleagues, he volunteered to go through two years of counselling and coaching before his surgeon would agree to operate.

If the school and the local authority didn’t see that the likes of the Daily Mail would report this in the way they have, then they have been negligent. Indeed the same might have been said of the late Mr Upton / Ms Meadows.

However I suggest that this article is an attempt to justify what I believe is the policy of Liberal Conspiracy of cooperating with the proposed Royal Charter on the Press, rather than, like the Spectator, opposing it.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8869751/why-we-wont-sign-2/

Chris and Sally,
give it up.
the commenters on the LC are more preoccupied with grammar and showing off how clever they are.
needless to say
there is no clem attlee, nye bevan or john smith amongst them.

Littlejohn is like that guy who calls in sick for work every week, and thinks that if he comes up with an excuse each time then people won’t remember he calls in sick every week. The last person who produced this much literature on LGBT issues was Harvey Milk.

Richard Carey – though Littlejohn is of course free to sue now.
The proposed regulation is irrelevant in that respect.

Wasn’t Sunny begging to be able to sign up when it was supposedly a Miliband “triumph”.
Seems to be back-pedalling fast at the moment on that!

To whoever left that nonsense comment about trans happiness. I’m trans and the only reason I am unhappy is because you can’t go out and casually pick up a paper, or stay in and watch TV, without being castigated for existing by society. The reason Thai trans women aren’t happy is because they don’t have it easier over there. They are treated like third class citizens and they can’t even change their gender legally. They have to front the money for surgery themselves so have to turn to shows for tourists and even prostutution. Get your facts straight

27. Pete Handy

Why are writers on this thread equating being trans gender with being racist as though each are equally evil?

@26&27 That’s just So Much For Subtlety, best just to ignore him.

29. Shatterface

So …. you want political correctness to take over from medical science? I think what is in the DSM ought to be determined by the evidence. And the evidence is strong that many transsexual are not happy by and large. Even if you refuse to allow that diagnosis to apply to all Trans people, it clearly applies to a sizable proportion of them. Some people are just unhappy with their dangly bits and changing them does not make them happier.

DSM isn’t an objective measure of what is or isn’t ‘normal’ – it’s normative. Homosexuality was previously classed as a mental illness and earlier editions included psychoanalytical ‘neuroses’ that are long discredited. The latest edition will abolish Aspergers and NDD-NOS and lump them all in with more severe autistic spectrum disorders.

DSM is as a legal and insurance tool rather than an objective measure of what is or isn’t ‘normal’.

Being transgendered isn’t a mental illness; depression as the result of bullying and harassment is

#7 Littlejohn’s column wasn’t ‘facts’, it was his opinion on somebody’s private decision to change gender. Even the headline is a negative judgement about that person. It’s about as far away from factual reporting as you can get.

In any case if newspapers reported on every factual event that happened then it would be impossible to produce them never mind read them. They pick and choose what they think will be the most shocking and sadly the general public are still not accepting enough of trans people to make this a case of ‘so what?’

We have a LONG way to go as a society.

”he isn’t entitled to project his personal problems on to impressionable young children.”

Says the bigoted and judgemental ‘writer’ that projects to a readership of millions every week.

No.14 ”Some people are just unhappy with their dangly bits and changing them does not make them happier.”

You really have no idea of what you speak, summed up by that ridiculously ignorant ending to your post. I wouldn’t waste another moment of time explaining to you either. The quality of troll on this blog is really quite poor.

Yes the press have a right to report what they like but that has to be married to a responsibility to print that which is in the public interest, in the case of the Mail, the NATIONAL public interest (not that i think that Littlejohns article was in the public interest). The level of abuse and condemnation that the trans community receive in this country is awful and if the gay community got just half of what the trans community receive there would be uproar, and rightly so.

“Yes the press have a right to report what they like but that has to be married to a responsibility to print that which is in the public interest, in the case of the Mail, the NATIONAL public interest”

Err, no. You seem to be missing the point of this “free press” thing. It means that newspapers can, just as you or I can express ourselves freely, publish anything they damn well choose. We do place one or two limits: libel for example, immediate incitement to violence. But we absolutely and totally do not insist that they publish only what is in the “public interest” or the “national interest”.

They get to print what they want: we get to decide whether to buy them or not.

Think this through for a moment. You can imagine, easily enough, politicians insisting that revealing that half the House of Commons are lying, thieving spivs, is not in the public or national interest. At which point what about the expenses revelations?

You failed to mention my point about the responsibility that the press have and my acknowledgement that the press have a right to report what they like.

”Think this through for a moment. You can imagine, easily enough, politicians insisting that revealing that half the House of Commons are lying, thieving spivs, is not in the public or national interest. At which point what about the expenses revelations?”

Yep, thought it through, and it makes no sense whatsoever. I can’t imagine politicians thinking that they would get away with that, thinking it maybe, but reporting that is absolutely in the public interest.

So who is missing the point Tim, really?

It really takes a suicide or a tragedy to reveal the nasty bullying nature of your typical brownshirt troll. (As we have seen time and time again on LC)Faced with the death of an individual or defending their intellectual hero and brownshirt tub thumper the brownsirt troll sides with their bully boy hero everytime.

That is why the Lib dems have made such a mistake. You never appease brownshirt tories. They are the lowest form of human scum you will find. And one of the reasons they so defend their little brownshirt tabloid friends is they love to bully the weak. A very typical tory trait I find. Particularly middle class, middle aged tory males are deeply inadequate human beings and bullying the weak improves their miserable existence. Horrible people.

35. Gallbladder

“I can’t imagine politicians thinking that they would get away with that, thinking it maybe, but reporting that is absolutely in the public interest.”

Umm, the point about free press is that the politicians don’t get to decide what is in the public interest. The public is the one who should decide what they are interested in.

Because: if politicians get to decide, then you’ll see censorship of things that are inconvenient to politicians. Plenty of evidence about this.

Personally, I think that if someone’s transsexual, that’s purely his/her own business (particularly if no public money was needed in the conversion) and his/her privacy should be respected just like that of anybody. It is not my business.

But it is up to the public to decide what is their business, and the role of newspapers, blogs and other media is to offer information for the public to decide. I myself am not interested in some random teacher’s sexuality, and won’t buy papers that make their headlines about such things.

However, I still think that it should be up to newspapers to decide what stories to run. Not politicians, who have been caught with a hand in the cookie jar far too often.

36. Planeshift

“We do place one or two limits: libel for example, immediate incitement to violence”

We then construct a legal system around these that ensures that only wealthy people get to enjoy these protections.

With regards to….. Tim Worstall… “But are you actually, seriously, suggesting that the press should stop reporting simple fact?”

And a quick jump to the left…. Because that what us liberals want!… If you are going to join a serious debate where someone has lost their life have some decency and respect for her and her loved ones and the school involved.

The article by Richard Littlejohn was clearly a piece of ignorant, poorly written and incite-full junk. There was some news, but smothered with transphobia. And I hate the word ‘transphobia’, but it exists, and the Daily Mail print eight times the amount of stories about transgender people that any other newspaper, which for me is worrying.

Just like Julie Burchill’s article, which was poorly written, with no credibility, and filled with hate and ignorance.

I am all for free press, but not hate filled, ignorant and that treads all over innocent peoples lives with no value to the public.

Interesting world you want really……

I’m fully supportive of Ms. Meadows, and I find the Littlejohn article abhorrent. However- the media just now is victimising Littlejohn (I know, I know…) There is no proven link thus far between that horrendous article and Ms. Meadows death. We should not create a link where one hasn’t been suggested by fact.

39. Shatterface

Some of you seem to be being deliberately obtuse. I’m not sure anyone is arguing that Littlejohn should be prosecuted or that newspapers should be banned from publishing – this is a straw man.

What we arguing is that we have the right to respond and call newspapers – and their readers – on their prurience and their bullying.

And you don’t get to abuse members of the public then go hiding behind mummy’s skirt. Littlejohn is a coward who can dish it out but can’t take it.

Somebody really out to look at his hardrive some day: somebody with a beard like that must be into something really sick.

40. So Much for Subtlety

27. Pete Handy

Why are writers on this thread equating being trans gender with being racist as though each are equally evil?

No one is.

29. Shatterface

DSM isn’t an objective measure of what is or isn’t ‘normal’ – it’s normative.

That is interesting but irrelevant.

Homosexuality was previously classed as a mental illness and earlier editions included psychoanalytical ‘neuroses’ that are long discredited. The latest edition will abolish Aspergers and NDD-NOS and lump them all in with more severe autistic spectrum disorders.

So not abolishing Aspergers but renaming it. They did not drop homosexuality because medical science changed. They did so because Gay activists threated and used physical violence to disrupt their meetings. They gave in to the pressure. However I still do not see the relevance. That some people loosely classified as trans are deeply unhappy with their genitalia is not really open to discussion. Someone like David Burgess who, despite being one of the best immigration lawyers in the country, chose to work as a prostitute. Or the other trans person who killed him.

DSM is as a legal and insurance tool rather than an objective measure of what is or isn’t ‘normal’.

It is normative, it isn’t normative. Which is it? No, it is used as a legal and insurance tool. It is meant to be an objective measure of mental illness.

Being transgendered isn’t a mental illness; depression as the result of bullying and harassment is

These are two political opinions dressed up as facts. I am happy to let the first one go – even though it is open to discussion and obviously some trans people are, as is obvious, deeply unhappy (for some reason not necessarily connected with begin trans). The second one is garbage though. No doubt you wish it to be true, but you have not shown it to be so. Certainly prejudice has slowly decreased over the years. Yet trans unhappiness does not seem to – although admittedly there are so few trans people it is hard to get a good sample.

41. So Much for Subtlety

17. Unity

Yes, Gender Dysphoria is still in DSM-V and for a very good reason.

Almost all health insurance in the US is tied directly to the main diagnostic manuals, which means insurance cover for treatment is available only for conditions listed in those manuals, which include DSM.

Take it of of DSM right now and a majority of trans people would immediately cease to have access to hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries as they lack the means to privately finance their transition.

Excuse me, I may have misunderstood, are you saying that there are some people who are working to keep Gender Dysphoria in the DSM, even though they think it is not a medical condition, because they want to get money out of medical insurance companies? Isn’t that, you know, fraud?

39. Shatterface

Some of you seem to be being deliberately obtuse. I’m not sure anyone is arguing that Littlejohn should be prosecuted or that newspapers should be banned from publishing – this is a straw man.

The OP ends with the point that TMW made a submission to the Leveson Inquiry about the representation of trans people by the media. I do not think that is a strawman at all. And I think a lot of people are arguing that Littlejohn should be prosecuted or banned.

What we arguing is that we have the right to respond and call newspapers – and their readers – on their prurience and their bullying.

Which no one has denied. Call Littlejohn an odious little toad if you like, but you want to bet that the submission to the Leveson Inquiry was not a robust defence of Littlejohn’s right to comment as he pleased?

And you don’t get to abuse members of the public then go hiding behind mummy’s skirt. Littlejohn is a coward who can dish it out but can’t take it.

How is Littlejohn hiding behind anyone’s skirt – if you do not mind the sexist imagery? Littlejohn gets a lot of stick but he still publishes under his own name. I fail to see how you can claim he can’t take it.

Somebody really out to look at his hardrive some day: somebody with a beard like that must be into something really sick.

Uh huh.

42. Fiona scorr

Lucy meadows was my sons teacher for the last 4 years. The children accepted her for who she was. An excelent teacher, freind and wonderful person. It’s a shame some adults couldn’t do the same. The kids are heartbroken. Littlte John should be ashamed of himself! He knew nothing but still had to put his penny in.. I thought bullying was a thing of the past. Maybe we should learn from our kids.

43. the a&e charge nurse

[42] well said – children are naturally more accepting until corrupted by bigoted, small minded adults.

44. Churm Rincewind

Tim Worstall @ 7: “It may indeed be prurience. But are you actually, seriously, suggesting that the press should stop reporting simple fact?”

No, he’s not.

Tim Worstall @ 32: “Yes the press have a right to report what they like but that has to be married to a responsibility to print that which is in the public interest, in the case of the Mail, the NATIONAL public interest”. Err, no. You seem to be missing the point of this “free press” thing.

No, he’s talking about responsibility, not freedom of the press.

Tim Worstall – Still a far-right ‘kipper ‘tard

@So Much For subtlety

Argh, Go Fuck yourself

@Tim Worstall What’s it like in UKIP fruitloop land?

48. Just Visiting

Interesting to hear this trans-gender guy give his thoughts:

I suggest you fast forward the video past the opening monologue – and get to the interview:

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/search/all/source/the-arena/not-born-this-way/2198349243001

He makes a very calm, believable,serious source on what is a sensitive issue. He has reverted: and makes the case that there are often deeper roots than gender to the discomfort that transgender folk say is the reason they want the operation.

49. Just Visiting

The opening monologue does make some good points, but is probably too tabloid for LC taste :<), hence I said fast forward it.

“Littlejohn’s a funt* but transexuals haven’t had much support from the Burchills and Drears in the liberal press either.”
Burchill is a liberal ?
Also Littlejohn is very good friends with Littlejohn and supports his views on most subjects.
“Deserve what? This is part of the passive aggressive bullying of the Left”
Because they pointed it out. I thought you believed in free expression. I have the feeling you want just your views expressed. Up tight Opus die ramblings. Homosexuals and gender changes must be purged.

in what way was she harassed? You mean Littlejohn expressed an opinion you did not like? How is that harassment?

So to pick on a vulnerable individual, who has no chance of reply, is not bullying.
You Catholics are full of love.

“Someone had a sex change operation. Someone else used a national tabloid to express an opinion about it.”
Why is that anybodies business but the individuals?
I don’t stick my nose into you and your business. What you do at opus dei HQ
” This seems like the normal cut and thrust of a free society to me. Perhaps if LJ had called for a baying mob to stand outside his house with burning torches you might have a point.”
Cut and thrust. I suppose the der steiner used that argument when it showed pictures of rats and Jews. Oh yes Godwin’s law. Baying mob is now the scum we call the press.
“But I fail to see what the Daily Mail did that was wrong.”
No, I don’t think you do and that is your problem. You are the one with a condition of having no empathy, not shatterface (who I may disagree with, but at least shows he has quite large amounts)

There seems to be confusion about free speech. Apparently the righties think it should mean that people with whom they sympathise can write what they like without suffering consequences.

Bullying people who are a bit different is not reasonable. The Mail should not be censored, but they should suffer proper consequences for their actions.

“What we arguing is that we have the right to respond and call newspapers – and their readers – on their prurience and their bullying.

And you don’t get to abuse members of the public then go hiding behind mummy’s skirt. Littlejohn is a coward who can dish it out but can’t take it.

Somebody really out to look at his hardrive some day: somebody with a beard like that must be into something really sick.”
Spot on.
There ids nothing in this legislation that will stop newspapers commenting on any political issue, any investigation into public issues or public figures as long as they do it legally.
It will not stop Cohen or littlejohn spit their right wing venom, nor should it as long. as it is aimed political figures and issues who have the access to reply.
Also SMFS, your for all open discussions. What about the taping of confessions, if a gender changing teacher cannot keep her/his secret , what about a Irish catholic bomb maker.

Further to my post 22, the Guardian has now posted the following:

“.. just before Christmas, pupils at St Mary Magdalen’s C of E school were told by the head that when they returned after the holidays, the teacher they had known as Nathan Upton would henceforth be known as Miss Meadows.”

We don’t know whether this was all the pupils were told or whether the head and / or governors had prepared class teachers for what for them must have been a quite unique teaching experience. But if the letter written by the head is any indication, using the term “transitioning to live as a woman” is hardly the most unambiguous description of what was happening:

“Mr Upton has recently made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman,” wrote the head, Karen Hardman, in a letter that made headlines in the national press.”

I’ve no idea whether this situation has occurred in English primary education before this tragic event but it has certainly occurred outside the education sector. It can only be hoped that those involved in any future occurrence, learn the lessons of this one and are better prepared to deal with the prurient British public.

Also Littlejohn is very good friends with Littlejohn and supports his views on most subjects.
Sorry what a doughnut.
It should sya Nick Cohen is very good friends
I apologize

This is about not outing members of the public in national newspapers on matters not of concern to the wider public, not camping outside their house so they have to stay in with the curtains closed for days, not ringing around all the parents for pics or condemnatory opinions on said member of the public and most importantly…not bullying people into committing suicide.

I really do find some of the apologists on here genuinely disgusting, and trying to make this an issue about free speech displays a distinct lack of empathy and wilful misdirection. Not to mention the fact that some contributors are barely coherent.

So Littlejohn is a mate of Cohen hey? Why am I not surprised?

2 cowardly arse wipes together. At least Littlejohn does not pretend to be a liberal,and a journalist.

Cohen will end up at the The daily Wail. It is his spiritual home. Just like mad Mel, who discovered there is money to be made selling out your integrity. Of course Cohen has no integrity to start with so the Darce’s Perv school of pictures of pubescent girls, will be the ideal retirement home for him.

Littlejohn is like the protestant ministers of the Orange order who would stand outside a house with a baying mob and say look ” a nasty, stinking Catholic lives here” and then scuttle away and let someone else throw the petrol bomb through the window.

He might not have thrown the bomb but he has blood on his hands.

58. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“Deserve what? This is part of the passive aggressive bullying of the Left – in what way was she harassed? You mean Littlejohn expressed an opinion you did not like? How is that harassment? Someone had a sex change operation. Someone else used a national tabloid to express an opinion about it. This seems like the normal cut and thrust of a free society to me. Perhaps if LJ had called for a baying mob to stand outside his house with burning torches you might have a point. But I fail to see what the Daily Mail did that was wrong.”

Littlejohn used a national forum to accuse a specific individual of doing things that were “devastating” to the children in his care. I see no right of reply given to Meadows. Littlejohn has failed to cite a scientific source for his claim that the concept of a sex-change blows children’s minds so much that it devastates them.

He’s demonised someone in the national media for no reason. You don’t have to use the word “harrassment” if you don’t like it. You can come up with another term for the powerful harming the weak for their own benefit.

“So you have no problem with racism being casually expressed on TV? Because, after all, you can just explain to little ‘uns that racism exists?”

If I objected to racism on TV, it wouldn’t be because I was worried about the idea of children having to be told what it was.

I think the Charter argument misses the point. The real press scandal was not so much about what the press published but how they went about getting their information. As others have pointed out that however unpleasant Littlejohn’s piece was there is no evidence that Meadows even read it, let alone was upset by it. What plainly was bothering her was the constant harrassment she and those connected with her had to endure and once again the focus seems to be on the wrong target.

“Deserve what? This is part of the passive aggressive bullying of the Left – in what way was she harassed? You mean Littlejohn expressed an opinion you did not like? How is that harassment? Someone had a sex change operation. Someone else used a national tabloid to express an opinion about it. This seems like the normal cut and thrust of a free society to me. Perhaps if LJ had called for a baying mob to stand outside his house with burning torches you might have a point. But I fail to see what the Daily Mail did that was wrong.”

http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/03/press-regulation-freedom-speech-and-death-lucy-meadows

“[Meadows] complains bitterly of how she must leave her house by the back door, and arrive at school very early, or very late, in order to avoid the press pack.

She talks of the press offering other parents money for a picture of her; of how in the end they simply lifted an old picture from the Facebook pages of her brother and sister without permission. A Year 5 drawing removed from the school website was simply recovered through the magic of caching.”

If you, Subtlety, had to leave your house by the back door and arrive at your place of work very early or late because of a press pack, wouldn’t you think you were being harassed? No flaming torches, just flashing lenses. Of course she was being harassed. If money was being offered for your photo, wouldn’t you find that harassing?

She was a private citizen, who had done nothing criminal. She wasn’t a politician or even a celebrity (though I don’t think celebrities should be harassed).

If Littlejohn has strong opinions about transgenders teaching at a primary school after sex change operations, he could discuss these without naming individuals. In fact, it’s normal journalistic practice to change names and identities in a story about some issue.

61. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 60

I really don’t understand the article. Until this death Lucy Meadows was no longer news, it was an old story, no-one was expecting to read about it. So which newspapers were supposedly paying out a lot of money to have photographers standing around on the off chance of getting a photo which wouldn’t really be of much interest.

Seems to me that the New Statesman is using a tragic death to advance its own agenda.

62. The Maelstrom of My Memory

OK, I understand it now. Lucy Meadows sent an email which said:

“I became pretty good at avoiding the press before Christmas. I live about a three-minute walk from school so they were parked outside my house as well as school. I’m just glad they didn’t realise I also have a back door. I was usually in school before the press arrived and stayed until late so I could avoid them going home.”

And this has been re-interpreted by the New Statesman as being harassment that was still continuing rather than taking place more than two months ago. So using it in this way tied in with the columnist’s diatribe even though it did not reflect reality.

By the way, I assume that Lucy Meadows did not have the operation over the Christmas period and so, even to the people who accept that a person’s sex can really be changed in this way, was still a male at the time. I mention this only because there is also pressure being placed on people who used, quite correctly, the word “he.”

63. the a&e charge nurse

[60] ‘If Littlejohn has strong opinions about transgenders teaching at a primary school after sex change operations, he could discuss these without naming individuals’ – does this also imply that Heil churnalists might be expected to use actual evidence rather than highly selective anecdotes to support their, bigotry, sorry I meant articles?

Surely it’s easier for them just to make stuff up, especially stuff that excites the intolerance gene amongst the heil’s army of finger wagging disapprovers?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPlEIryW8zA

64. Charlieman

@53. Bitethehand: “I’ve no idea whether this situation has occurred in English primary education before this tragic event but it has certainly occurred outside the education sector. It can only be hoped that those involved in any future occurrence, learn the lessons of this one and are better prepared to deal with the prurient British public.”

Indeed, it is common if not in primary school education. Lots of people start the “real life test” (living in non-birth sex up to 24 months or so to establish suitability) before reassignment surgery. Some participants revert to birth sex during the test, others choose to live in adopted sex without undergoing surgery.

Based on the timeline, my understanding is that Lucy Meadows was starting the “real life test”, to live as a typical woman of her age. Living as a typical woman means normality, whatever that implies. Normality does not include being followed by the press.

@7. Tim Worstall: “There may or may not be public interest. It may indeed be prurience. But are you actually, seriously, suggesting that the press should stop reporting simple fact?”

As a free press supporter, I think that it would be fair for the local newspaper to report that a teacher was entering the “real life test”. I think it may be beneficial if reporters investigated the psychological/surgical aspects of transgenderism and told us some intelligent stories.

But the Lucy Meadows tale is not about reporting simple fact. Nor is it about serious investigation into sexual/gender identity. It’s about bullying a person receiving medical treatment.

65. Charlieman

@53. Bitethehand: “But if the letter written by the head is any indication, using the term “transitioning to live as a woman” is hardly the most unambiguous description of what was happening…”

I should have payed more attention to what you wrote.

“Transitioning” was a euphemism for “real life test”. Lucy Meadows, in school and everyday life, dressed as a woman but retained her male genitalia; at some future time, she would have chosen what to do with her or his life.

On LC, it is easy to talk about “real life test”; it is about conducting yourself as a woman and fitting in; not the perfect brick in the wall but one that sort of fits.

To explain “transitioning” without resort to euphemisms requires a lot of skill, so I am going to duck out too. I don’t know how you tell a school hall of children and parents that a teacher who they know will wear clothes of the opposite sex next term and, depending on how they feel, will undergo an incredible form of surgery.

66. Charlieman

@62. The Maelstrom of My Memory: “[Referring to avoidance techniques used by LM] And this has been re-interpreted by the New Statesman as being harassment that was still continuing rather than taking place more than two months ago.”

If you have to change how you conduct your life owing to press intrusion, it is harassment. If you leave our home by the back door because you fell compelled, do you not think oppression?

“By the way, I assume that Lucy Meadows did not have the operation over the Christmas period and so, even to the people who accept that a person’s sex can really be changed in this way, was still a male at the time.”

At least we have acknowledgement that men and women will be bullied in the same way.

“I mention this only because there is also pressure being placed on people who used, quite correctly, the word “he.””

That’s because you have no manners.

A horrible story. I am glad to see the humane and logical views of Jayne B, Shatterface and others, even those I often disagree with here, typify the response here.

Interesting that supposed defenders of free speech like the Daily Mail are crying ‘twitterstorm’. Bullies always like to pretend they are the real victim. A human being is dead. And it is our freedom of speech to to call for those who hounded that person to their grave are called to account for it.

Someone else used a national tabloid to express an opinion about it.”

Ah yes, of course – the opaque ‘an opinion’, one of the favourite euphemisms of those trying to defend the indefensible – just like accusing your opponent of ‘an agenda’.

@ Rosie: “She was a private citizen, who had done nothing criminal. She wasn’t a politician or even a celebrity (though I don’t think celebrities should be harassed).”

Absolutely. There was no justification apart form indulging their sick taste for bullying people much less powerful than temselves. Littlejohn, Suzanne Moore, the Mail and co are happy enough to demonise minorities from their perch in the press, but scream like the little cowards they are when the focus is turned on them and their bloody hands.

68. Chaise Guevara

@ 62 Maelstrom

“By the way, I assume that Lucy Meadows did not have the operation over the Christmas period and so, even to the people who accept that a person’s sex can really be changed in this way, was still a male at the time. I mention this only because there is also pressure being placed on people who used, quite correctly, the word “he.””

When you say ‘correctly’, it depends on two things: whether you’re talking about he/she as physical gender or stated gender, and whether or not you think pedantry is more important than courtesy. It’s not like there’s a rule or anything, but Meadows had or was going to change her name to Lucy. She was intending to have a sex-change operation, which last time I checked required the patient to live as their intended gender for a period beforehand (two years, I think; maybe I’m wrong or it’s only if it’s NHS).

Someone called Lucy Meadows would almost certainly have identified as female. Referring to her as “he” thereafter is at best thoughtless, at worst a deliberate sneer at the whole concept of gender reassignment, and in any case rude. I don’t believe Meadows has done anything to incur our rudeness, do you?

69. Chaise Guevara

@ Lamia

“Bullies always like to pretend they are the real victim.”

This. Time and time again. “The only people who suffer discrimination these days are white straight middle-class Christian males from the Home Counties!”

Not to say that people in that group are bullies (leave the Christian bit out and I’m a member), but I’m betting there’s correlation between people who make that sort of remark and people who discriminate against others.

70. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 66

If you read my post you would see that I agreed that there was harassment. Was means in the past, it happened in December and the reported suicide was in March. I objected to the story being put forward as something which was still happening.

However, I can appreciate that there would be press interest in the story. basically Lucy Meadows was imposing their wish to be of the opposite sex on children and force them to accept it as fact. I don’t agree with that and would be upset if it happened at my children’s school. Lucy Meadows had not actually changed sex and there was no reason why others, especially impressionable children, should be made to accept the delusion.

I may have no manners but the correct pronoun to use for a male is he and for a female she. To address the person properly you conform to the rule.

If you have to change how you conduct your life owing to press intrusion, it is harassment. If you leave our home by the back door because you fell compelled, do you not think oppression?

“By the way, I assume that Lucy Meadows did not have the operation over the Christmas period and so, even to the people who accept that a person’s sex can really be changed in this way, was still a male at the time.”

At least we have acknowledgement that men and women will be bullied in the same way.

“I mention this only because there is also pressure being placed on people who used, quite correctly, the word “he.””

That’s because you have no manners.

71. the a&e charge nurse

[70] ‘I don’t agree with that and would be upset if it happened at my children’s school’ – but she was an excellent teacher (@42)

What is the basis of your objection – you haven’t been spending too much time on Daily Mail island have you? (see link @63)

72. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 68

I’m a simple person so I’m not too bothered about the difference between gender and sex, it’s only a matter of words anyway. In this case we have a person who’s actually one sex but wants to be the other. The grammatical rule is as I have stated. For me to change means that I must implicitly accept that the person has actually somehow changed sex. I don’t accept that this change has occurred because it hasn’t. Why should I have to play along with this idea when it is wrong?

My father in law is transgender, my 6 yr old son has absolutely no problem with it. And why would he?! We explained that some times people feel that they were born in the wrong body but luckily for them they can take medicines & have operations to make them feel better ie change their gender. After we explained it his response was. “Ok.” And then a little later “Can we call Grandad Nandad now as he’s a bit man and a bit lady?” (We said that’s fine) then unprompted he declared “Nandad is really lucky! He gets to be a boy and a girl!” Kids won’t have a problem with it if the adults around them don’t.

74. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 71

Sorry, the old leftist trick of shaming someone by saying they like the Daily Mail doesn’t work with me. I’ve been reading the Guardian since I was eleven or so and it’s the main paper we buy in our house but reading the Daily Mail is nothing to be ashamed of. It addresses the interests and concerns of its readers who are more likely to be female than the average Guardian reader and also likely to be from a lower socio-economic class and income bracket.

The Guardian is targeted at a successful liberal elite and so doesn’t really match my aspirations, the Daily Mail is targeted at a more normal reader. The Sun likewise is successful because it writes in a style its readers approve about subjects which interest them. No-one forces you to read any newspaper, you decide which you like best.

75. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 67

“Bullies always like to pretend they are the real victim.”

No they don’t, why would they want to admit to any weakness? It’s as ridiculous as saying “Bullies are really cowards. Stand up to one and he’ll run away.” No he won’t, he’s probably a lot bigger and nastier than you. Stand up to a bully and you’re likely to get hurt. It doesn’t sound so nice but it’s a lot more honest.

76. Charlieman

@73. Sally: “My father in law is transgender, my 6 yr old son has absolutely no problem with it. And why would he?!”

My best wishes, sincerely, to you all.

77. the a&e charge nurse

[74] your musings on the grun vs heil still do not tell us why you object to an excellent teacher.

Are you having a Section 28 moment?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_28

78. Charlieman

@70. The Maelstrom of My Memory”

Never, ever quote me.

I am not about you. For ever.

73 is not me. I suppose I should be flattered by having a stalker.

Anyway what is interesting is that when parents went to the journalists to say how much they liked their teacher the hacks waved them away. That truth didn’t fit with the agenda of the papers. Hacks were waving about wads of money to any parent who would criticise the teacher. So much for the so called free speech ,free media model propagated by the usual free market morons.

Corporate media is a cancer on democracy and truth.

@75 ”No they don’t, why would they want to admit to any weakness? It’s as ridiculous as saying “Bullies are really cowards. Stand up to one and he’ll run away.” No he won’t, he’s probably a lot bigger and nastier than you. Stand up to a bully and you’re likely to get hurt. It doesn’t sound so nice but it’s a lot more honest.”

Yes they do like to pretend they are the victims when confronted. Facing down bullies isn’t hard and they ARE generally cowards, its got nothing to do with who is ‘bigger and nastier’ its all in your head. And what is in their head is fear, and then after they have been put in their rightful place they invariably want to sidle up and ingratiate themselves with you. Don’t get out much do you no.75?

81. Charlieman

Have you ever met a bloke who is 400 times bigger than you?

82. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 77

Strangely enough, no-one was ever prosecuted under Section 28.

Still more strangely people have sanctions taken against them now (including dismissal) if they do not promote homosexuality.

liberal is a strange concept in practice.

83. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 78

“Never, ever quote me.”

You’ve put your comments in a public forum. You can’t prevent people quoting you if they want to.

84. The Maelstrom of My Memory

Post 80

“Facing down bullies isn’t hard and they ARE generally cowards, its got nothing to do with who is ‘bigger and nastier’ its all in your head.”

Fantasies are wonderful things.

85. the a&e charge nurse

[82] You remain reticent about why you object to this teacher?

Can you at least gives us a clue?
Is it a hypothetical concern about adverse affects on sats results, or is it more a case of mailesque moralising, or Littlejohnism if you prefer?

86. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

No surprise to see Timmy ignoring the externalities generated by privileged speech.

@12

And it’s a price worth paying

Presumably it’s ‘a price worth paying it’ in the same way Madeline Albright thought dead Iraqi children were ‘a price worth paying’ – worth it because you’re not the one paying it.

Until you’ve been on the receiving end of ‘press freedom’ (and I’m part of a group that over a very long period of time, has been) you’ve got no business declaring what is or isn’t worth it because there is no opportunity cost to you.

If there were some grand journalistic payoff, I might agree with you, but there isn’t is there, genuine exposés of power are very few and far between and when they do come it’s usually way after the fact.

Free speech and consequence free speech are not the same thing as far as I’m concerned.

“However, I can appreciate that there would be press interest in the story. basically Lucy Meadows was imposing their wish to be of the opposite sex on children and force them to accept it as fact. I don’t agree with that and would be upset if it happened at my children’s school. Lucy Meadows had not actually changed sex and there was no reason why others, especially impressionable children, should be made to accept the delusion.”
Imposing their wish. He had an operation. Where is the evidence that he/she said anything to the children about his life style change.
Also you should be more concerned the quality of the teaching for your children, whci I doubt you have,
than the sexual orientation of the teacher.
Also MoMM (no pretensions there eh) read the post before by a parent. It seems most of the parents were very happy with the teacher.
This story had nothing to with public interest but more to with selling newspapers, bullying, bigotry and good old fashioned nastiness.

There is no ‘public interest’ angle here – as has been pointed out, the response of parents was overwhelmingly supportive. The Mail were not doing the local community any favour by making an issue where none existed, it is simply another case of journalists making sport of ‘little people”s lives.

Now a person is dead – and the Mail are whimpering about being on the receiving end of a twitterstorm. Poor scum.

PS,

If the Mail really don’t think they have done anything wrong, perhaps its defenders on here can explain why have they taken down the vile attack on Lucy Meadows by littlejohn?

No, doubt tell me… it’s because the Mail have been ‘hounded’ and ‘harassed’ into doing so. Aren’t people cruel?

90. white trash

Maelstrom – I can’t see why some people seem to get so hung up about whether a person wants to wear trousers or a skirt. What’s the difference?

Hardly worth writing a newspaper article about. So why did Littledick take any interest in this teacher if not to attack and harass?

91. So Much for Subtlety

50. P. Diddy

Burchill is a liberal ?

If you’re going to quote me, could you please do so clearly and accurately. I have not mentioned Burchill once. You are replying to someone else.

Because they pointed it out. I thought you believed in free expression. I have the feeling you want just your views expressed. Up tight Opus die ramblings. Homosexuals and gender changes must be purged.

I am not sure I believe in free expression, but let’s say that I have a general leaning that way. I don’t mind them pointing it out. Just as I see no problem with me calling it what it is – passive aggressive bullying.

So to pick on a vulnerable individual, who has no chance of reply, is not bullying.
You Catholics are full of love.

What on Earth makes you think I am a Catholic? Find a single post of mine that would even hint I was Catholic. How is this person vulnerable? The person had a full range of legal options if Littlejohn offended any of the manifest laws and regulations of this nation. And how did Littlejohn pick on anyone precisely?

Why is that anybodies business but the individuals?
I don’t stick my nose into you and your business. What you do at opus dei HQ

I think you do actually. In so far as you and yours support endless laws designed to regulate my business. But it is not for you to say if it was anyone else’s business or not. The Press thought it was a story. I am not sure it was, but it is not for me to say either.

51. Cherub

There seems to be confusion about free speech. Apparently the righties think it should mean that people with whom they sympathise can write what they like without suffering consequences.

This is such a reversal of reality it is impressive. Littlejohn has not broken a law that anyone can show. But he has written something people here do not like. What the Left here is saying is that freedom of the press means Littlejohn can write whatever he likes as long as they approve of it. Literally arguing that in some cases. The Right, in so far as it exists here, is trying to say that a free press means a free press.

Bullying people who are a bit different is not reasonable.

Calling what Littlejohn did bullying is, as I said, just part of the normal passive aggressive bullying we have all come to know and love from the Left. In reality he did not bully anyone.

The Mail should not be censored, but they should suffer proper consequences for their actions.

Yeah they shouldn’t be censored, just jailed and put out of business. Hypocritical passive aggressive bullies.

55. Jayne B

This is about not outing members of the public in national newspapers on matters not of concern to the wider public, not camping outside their house so they have to stay in with the curtains closed for days, not ringing around all the parents for pics or condemnatory opinions on said member of the public and most importantly…not bullying people into committing suicide.

There is no evidence anyone was bullied into committing suicide. Claiming someone was is just, as I said, part of the normal passive aggressiveness of the modern Left. Why shouldn’t a matter of public record be discussed in public? No one was outed. Although if you’re going to go down that route, I look forward to you denouncing Act Up and any number of other Gay groups for doing so. But it is of concern to the wider public – and even if it wasn’t, how are you going to police that? Give the government the power to decide what the public deserves to hear? Ringing around parents? Looking for pictures? You mean journalism? Banning that may be a problem. I fail to see the civil liberties implications of asking someone for their opinion. Perhaps you can explain that.

I really do find some of the apologists on here genuinely disgusting

A positive development as you are a little less passive aggressive. More just aggressive. Good.

and trying to make this an issue about free speech

You want to ban journalists reporting. How is that not about free speech?

displays a distinct lack of empathy and wilful misdirection.

A lack of empathy? Ahh, we are back with the passive aggressiveness. The idea that we all have to sympathise before we are entitled to comment is sad. As it happens I do sympathise with the poor person. I just do not think we need to regulate.

57. Sally

Littlejohn is like the protestant ministers of the Orange order who would stand outside a house with a baying mob and say look ” a nasty, stinking Catholic lives here” and then scuttle away and let someone else throw the petrol bomb through the window.

Someone threw a petrol bomb? Where and when?

58. Chaise Guevara

Littlejohn used a national forum to accuse a specific individual of doing things that were “devastating” to the children in his care. I see no right of reply given to Meadows. Littlejohn has failed to cite a scientific source for his claim that the concept of a sex-change blows children’s minds so much that it devastates them.

So it is a problem with a lack of citation?

He’s demonised someone in the national media for no reason.

No he did not. He raised an issue that is an on-going and growing problem in Britain. We will all have to learn to deal with trans people in a variety of public situations. We will have to have the conversation one day, why not today? It is an issue that is of interest to large numbers of people.

You don’t have to use the word “harrassment” if you don’t like it. You can come up with another term for the powerful harming the weak for their own benefit.

I did not. You all did. Because you can only demonise if you use shaming language You have not shown any harm at all. You assume it. Because you need to.

60. Rosie

“[Meadows] complains bitterly of how she must leave her house by the back door, and arrive at school very early, or very late, in order to avoid the press pack.

The NS has no standing on any issue at all, but notice we have moved on from Littlejohn. If there was a “pack”, one car parked out front I believe, then blame the pack for lacking a sense of proportion. Was a single one of them from the Daily Mail?

She talks of the press offering other parents money for a picture of her; of how in the end they simply lifted an old picture from the Facebook pages of her brother and sister without permission.

My God. What a crime!

If you, Subtlety, had to leave your house by the back door and arrive at your place of work very early or late because of a press pack, wouldn’t you think you were being harassed?

Depends on the circumstances, but no, probably not.

She was a private citizen, who had done nothing criminal. She wasn’t a politician or even a celebrity (though I don’t think celebrities should be harassed).

And no one was accusing her of being a criminal.

If Littlejohn has strong opinions about transgenders teaching at a primary school after sex change operations, he could discuss these without naming individuals. In fact, it’s normal journalistic practice to change names and identities in a story about some issue.

Perhaps he should have changed the name. Perhaps not. It is not shameful to have a sex change is it? Why should Littlejohn behave as if it was?

92. white trash

@Sm4S

What a smokescreen of words you’ve thrown up!

Trying to confuse the issue by any chance?

93. Chaise Guevara

@ 72 Maelstrom

“I’m a simple person so I’m not too bothered about the difference between gender and sex, it’s only a matter of words anyway. In this case we have a person who’s actually one sex but wants to be the other. The grammatical rule is as I have stated. For me to change means that I must implicitly accept that the person has actually somehow changed sex. I don’t accept that this change has occurred because it hasn’t. Why should I have to play along with this idea when it is wrong?”

It’s not wrong. “She” refers to women but there’s actually no clear definition of what a woman is: it’s just that we don’t notice this until we find ourselves talking to someone who’s physically male but mentally female (or vice versa).

Self-identification is a totally valid way of defining gender, and it’s the one that’s more polite, so all else being equal a decent person will use it. There’s no benefit to insisting on using physical rather than mental gender to determine your pronouns other than a desire to be rude while hiding behind the facade of accuracy.

Also, if you declare that you’re refusing to engage with an issue (on account of you being a “simple person” apparently), then you kinda lose the right to be taken seriously when you then tell other people they’re wrong about the issue. You can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to discuss this, you can’t wave away something that’s inconvenient to your argument on the grounds that you’re too “simple” to care about that bit.

94. Chaise Guevara

@ 91 SMFS

“So it is a problem with a lack of citation?”

That’s one way of saying he made it up, yes. And incidentally I’d set the bar pretty high for a claim of “”devastating”.

“No he did not. He raised an issue that is an on-going and growing problem in Britain.”

False dichotomy. He did both. Although as the only problem I see around “people dealing with trans people” is transphobia, I imagine the problem is lessening rather than growing.

“We will all have to learn to deal with trans people in a variety of public situations. We will have to have the conversation one day, why not today? It is an issue that is of interest to large numbers of people.”

All very worthy, but nobody’s saying we shouldn’t talk about the existence of trans people. Littlejohn’s the one who wants them hidden from view, remember? The problem, as stated already, is that this individual has been picked on for no reason other than the fact that Mail readers are expected to find the story amusing/outrageous. Littlejohn could have avoided naiming names, and making shit up.

“I did not. You all did. Because you can only demonise if you use shaming language”

Like Littlejohn did.

“You have not shown any harm at all. You assume it. Because you need to.”

If I were accused, in a national newspaper, of doing something terrible on the basis of no evidence, I would consider the resulting hurt and fear harm unto itself.

Codhead99, by the time the inquest is done, pretty much everyone will have lost interest and Littlejohn will have dodged the bullet. For good or ill (mostly ill I would say), this an age of instant information and opinion. We are better than him simply by virtue of having a conscience and not working for the Daily Fail. It is perfectly right and proper to go out to get him right now.

SFMS No.91 As you defend the actions of Littlejohn and the press in general with regard to this unnecessary harrassment and personalisation, It sounds like you are ok with the press pack acting more in keeping with a pack of hounds and mauling members of the public for, seemingly, their own and their readerships gratification. Oh and lets not forget their sales figures. Having read about Lucy Meadows, quite widely now, including quotes from parents of some of her former pupils and colleagues too, it is apparent that she was a very committed, talented and respected teacher who cared for and did the best for her pupils. Transitioning from one sex to the other is just about the most difficult thing i can imagine so when she found herself subject to national attention and condemnation i’m pretty sure that it had a devastating effect on her, she said as much in emails to friends and colleagues, or maybe the shock and wave of negative emotions that i would suspect engulfed her had nothing to do with her death, no sirree, of course it didn’t. Lets wait and see what we find out from the inquest huh?
This is not a story about free speech, her story could have been related anonymously if there really was a need for the wider public to be informed of and debate the circumstances surrounding teachers transitioning. I didn’t call for anything to be banned so i won’t be explaining that, maybe you could explain why you are trying to attribute words and sentiments to people that you seem to just pluck out of the air?

With regard to what you claim about being passive aggressive, I thought that that pertained more to non-verbal aggression, which cannot be said about an online forum really, but in the sense that it relates to creating negative energy, i’d say you fit the bill more than anybody else. I’m no psychologist, and you certainly don’t seem to know what you are talking about in that respect either, or any respect frankly. Sh*t troll is sh*t, come at me again.

65. Charlieman, thank you for that contribution and I can’t say I blame you from “ducking out”, although I do think you have shown considerable skill and understanding in describing the situation faced by all concerned.

Having said that, even without the hounding of Ms Meadows by the journalists of the gutter press, the situation is still fraught with difficulties, especially if as you say this was the start of a “real life test”, and even more so given the way transexual people have been and are being portrayed in popular culture.

98. So Much for Subtlety

93. Chaise Guevara

It’s not wrong. “She” refers to women but there’s actually no clear definition of what a woman is: it’s just that we don’t notice this until we find ourselves talking to someone who’s physically male but mentally female (or vice versa).

Actually there is a very clear and simple definition of someone who is a woman – someone with two XX chromosomes. It is a little more complicated due to extremely rare genetic conditions, but they are so rare they are not a definitional problem. Nor is there a problem when we talk to someone who dresses as a gender different to that of their DNA.

What you actually mean is that you want everyone to adopt your political position before we even start to have a conversation and you’re willing to bully other, even use the law, to make sure they do.

Self-identification is a totally valid way of defining gender, and it’s the one that’s more polite, so all else being equal a decent person will use it.

Is it a totally valid way to define race? Species? There is actually nothing remotely valid about self-identification as a means of identification. Otherwise a lot more people would be competing in the Olympics in the female sections.

There’s no benefit to insisting on using physical rather than mental gender to determine your pronouns other than a desire to be rude while hiding behind the facade of accuracy.

On the contrary – and again I like your passive-aggressive bullying. There is a clear benefit to using DNA and the like. We have an objective test. We know that physical expression of DNA has important implications for things like muscle mass. Which is why the Olympics likes to use it. It matters. It does not matter if the brain in a male body thinks it is female if it has testosterone levels so high it makes competition unfair.

94. Chaise Guevara

That’s one way of saying he made it up, yes. And incidentally I’d set the bar pretty high for a claim of “”devastating”.

You have no idea if he made it up and given you have not cited a damn, I assume you made that claim up. You don’t know. I doubt you would actually, but how devastating was Littlejohn’s comment? How many months passed before in fact the suicide took place?

All very worthy, but nobody’s saying we shouldn’t talk about the existence of trans people.

No, everyone is saying we need laws to make sure that only views you all approve of can be expressed about trans people.

Littlejohn’s the one who wants them hidden from view, remember?

Mentioning them in one of Britain’s best selling papers is an odd way of going about that then. And of course he said no such thing. He said a primary school is perhaps not the best place for someone transitioning.

The problem, as stated already, is that this individual has been picked on for no reason other than the fact that Mail readers are expected to find the story amusing/outrageous. Littlejohn could have avoided naiming names, and making shit up.

You have yet to show anyone was picked on much less picked on by Littlejohn. Again you need this shaming language because otherwise you won’t be able to feel so outraged.

Like Littlejohn did.

What demonising language did he use precisely?

If I were accused, in a national newspaper, of doing something terrible on the basis of no evidence, I would consider the resulting hurt and fear harm unto itself.

But Littlejohn did not accuse anyone of doing anything terrible so yet again your argument falls at the first hurdle. You need to think he did because it is a way of demonstrating you are not an oik – a class marker. But that don’t make it true.

96. Jayne B – “As you defend the actions of Littlejohn and the press in general with regard to this unnecessary harrassment and personalisation, It sounds like you are ok with the press pack acting more in keeping with a pack of hounds and mauling members of the public for, seemingly, their own and their readerships gratification.”

There are so many mistakes in that I hardly know where to start. I am rarely ok with anything the media does. You have not shown any harassment or even personalisation. No one was mauled. There was a public interest. Apart from pretty much everything you have said, spot on.

Having read about Lucy Meadows, quite widely now, including quotes from parents of some of her former pupils and colleagues too, it is apparent that she was a very committed, talented and respected teacher who cared for and did the best for her pupils.

1. They are hardly going to say otherwise are they? and
2. It is irrelevant. No one says otherwise. The issue raised was the impact on the children. It is entirely possible that a teacher can be all those things but still have a devastating impact on young minds – not that I am saying this took place in this case.

Transitioning from one sex to the other is just about the most difficult thing i can imagine so when she found herself subject to national attention and condemnation i’m pretty sure that it had a devastating effect on her,

You’re pretty sure. You don’t know, but you are going to assume it anyway.

she said as much in emails to friends and colleagues,

Actually the e-mails, in so far as I have read them, seem pretty level headed to me. Not devastated at all. Which ones do you have in mind?

This is not a story about free speech

Given so many people here are calling for bans on such reporting it has certainly become one.

“Is it a totally valid way to define race?”

Actually yes, unless you prefer the sort of legalistic approach in vogue in parts of 1930s Europe.

“You have no idea if he made it up”

It’s Littlejohn and it’s the Daily Mail, so a reasonable working assumption at least.

Although this article is specifically about the late Ms Meadows, it should not be forgotten that depression and suicide rates among teachers have been a major issue within education for some time.

“In the UK, suicide rates in teachers are 40 per cent higher than the average for other occupations,”

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6243035

The number of teachers committing suicide in Britain each year has almost doubled, Channel 4 News learns, with educators saying they are failing to cope with the stresses of the job.

http://www.channel4.com/news/teachers-suicide-rates-double-in-a-year

Ali G, eat your heart out.

Though Littlejohn is a complete and utter scumbag it should also be remembered that the “newspaper” that started this whole witch-hunt off was the Acrington Observer – a Guardian Media Group paper.

103. Charlieman

@102. Demonica:
No, the Accrington Observer is part of MEN Media which is owned by Trinity Mirror plc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MEN_Media

It’s disappointing that the Mirror is or was involved.

Having avoided getting involved in phone hacking and related activities, this was a foolish fence to fall over.

@ 103 Charlieman

Oops, thanks for the correction.

@ 104 Jack C

Having avoided getting involved in phone hacking and related activities…

You are joking right? You do know about this?

The Hysteria around Lucy Meadows – An Alternative View
WEDNESDAY, 27 MARCH 2013

The following was written by a number of anonymous national newspaper journalists. They’re not asking anyone to like – or even agree with what they say. But they do throw a new light on much of what has been posted here and elsewhere.

“Post script: 20 minutes after I finished writing this I read that the inquest into Lucy’s death, as is normal, had been opened and adjourned without hearing evidence. But one new fact which did emerge was that Lucy had attempted to take her own life at least twice before. Coroner Michael Singleton told the short hearing: “I understand there have been previous attempts to commit suicide. I don’t know if they are relevant or not.”

It remains to be seen if those attempts pre-date any publicity. I wonder if anyone from The Guardian or Independent will resign if they do.'”

Tim! Dennis is here!

108. Richard Phillips

This article was of no use to anyone’s national interest, and the same thing goes for all the celebrity rumours about cheating on so and so, we are not interested. We shouldn’t care what politicians get up to either, as long as they can do their job, without cheating the public.

But I do believe that a better campaign would be to try to get people to stop buying the Daily Mail.


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