If you really want to read the full contents Cardiff Blogger has the full sorry piece with his commentary here.
I read it and logged a complaint with the PCC under three of their clauses. Accuracy, Intrusion into grief or shock and Discrimination. As the last of this has been widely covered elsewhere in the blogosphere I'm going to blog about the later.
Jan Moir writes:
"The sugar coating on this fatality is so saccharine-thick that it obscures whatever bitter truth lies beneath. 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."
Well I'm sorry they do. At only a few years older I thought I may have been facing something like that. My case was even more bizarre, I'd just left the gym, I may not have been in the peak of fitness but I still was pretty fit, but I experienced my first diagnosed cardiac episode, although I may have been having them for 20 years before. So yes I may very well have been one such person, so I question you accuracy.
When I was 16, one of our school friends did go to sleep and never wake up the day before our second Maths O'Level paper. So the whole school knew and the was there together to hear the news. The whole year was in shock at after the first hour when people could leave the hall, over half of my year did. Those of us who stayed couldn't settle for a good five minutes. At my 10 year reunion we marked the passing of 5 of our year, that is out of 200 or so pupils, as well as the one above 3 others were of natural causes. We had only just started to turn 28 never mind 33. Jan Moir must really have led a charmed life if she has never encountered someone young who has just passed away in their sleep.
As for her total disregard of the official cause of death, well as others have covered that heavily as well what more need I say. Her insinuations that there is something dark and sinister behind everything would mean many gay men should never again offer a bed or sofa for the night to a friend who has missed their last train, or can't be bothered waiting for the long queue at the taxi rank*. But then it appears that Ms Moir doesn't think that a member of Boyzone could be overflowing with the milk of human kindness, let alone the rest of the gay community.
The intrusion into grief and shock is maybe the hardest of the three clauses to apply. In the code it states:
5 Intrusion into grief or shock
i) In cases involving personal grief and shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.
*ii) When reporting suicide, care should be taken to avoid excessive detail about the method used.
Now of course, Ms Moir seems to correlate the tragic death of Stephen Gately with the death of Kevin McGee the former partner of Matt Lucas. So maybe she does think it was a suicide despite all evidence to the contrary. So she does manage to avoid using excessive detail about the method used, firstly as there wasn't any, but more to the point she just makes it up.
The more solid ground of course it point about publication being handled sensitively. There is no way on this earth that this piece in the Daily Fail this morning cold possibly have been considered sensitive. To also publish on the eve of the funeral on the day that the body is returned to Ireland merely heightens the crassness of the piece as well as the timing.
Stuart Sharpe told me there was no point me blogging about this as I was heading out. Then when I got back that there was nothing new under the sun to add. I'm not sure if I have gotten a new take on this ridiculous woman's poisoned pen piece, but it certainly is mine and avoided too much of the obvious.
* You have been warned if you see the two of us out over the next few weekends lads. No can do, Ms Moir might get the wrong idea, the canasta game is just not going to happen.