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Tuesday 28 May 2013

Lucy Meadows – Mail Get-Out Clause

Regular Zelo Street readers will need no introduction to the tragic story of Lucy Meadows, the transgender teacher monstered by the press following the leaking of a letter from her school telling parents that one of their staff would be transitioning to live as a woman. Ms Meadows was then subjected to a characteristically crude hatchet job by Richard Littlejohn.
What's f***ing wrong with monstering a few oddballs, c***?!?

Dicky Windbag would not be my first port of call when it came to expertise on such matters, but then, actually knowing your subject is not the name of the game when it comes to the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his motley collection of attack doggies. What matters is to have that all-important conversation with his readers, and that conversation means telling that trans equals not normal.

Since Ms Meadows took her own life, Dacre has been gradually rowing back on the hostility towards trans people, notably publishing an article by trans author Jane Fae about her experiences, which was at least a step in the right direction. And Littlejohn has been silent on the whole business, which is a further bonus. But, as ever with the Mail, no heads rolled after Lucy Meadows died.

Perhaps Dacre thought that if he threw a few scraps to the trans community and otherwise got his hacks to keep their heads down, all would be well and the protestors would melt away. But he reckoned without Michael Singleton, the coroner who has been charged with investigating Lucy Meadows’ death, whose message to the press was as unequivocal as it was hostile.

To the members of the press, I say shame. Shame on all of you” he began, and went on “Lucy Meadows was not somebody who had thrust herself into the public limelight. She was not a celebrity. She had done nothing wrong. Her only crime was to be different. Not by choice but by some trick of nature. And yet the press saw fit to treat her in the way that they did”.

He was particularly harsh on the Mail, concluding the paper had “sought to humiliate and ridicule” Ms Meadows. “It seems to be that nothing has been learned from the Leveson inquiry”, he went on, adding that he would write to the Culture Secretary urging implementation of the Leveson recommendations (the Mail only removed the Littlejohn column from its website after Ms Meadows’ death had been announced).

But the Mail has a get-out clause: the teacher “had made no reference to the media intrusion in one of the suicide notes she left in her house”. So Dacre and his doggies will be able to claim victim status once more, sickening though that might be. That, though, is how the tabloid mindset works. There will also be talk of the Mail only repeating what had already been published locally.

And so the whole nasty business will go on to the next victim. No change there, then.

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