Friday, October 23, 2009

Jan Moir: Strange, Lonely and troubling

The news of Jan Moir's profound homophobia was deeply unshocking. It was not just that another young star has been pilloried by bigots.
Through the recent travails and sad ends of the careers of assorted hacks, fans know to expect the usual drivel dipped in poison - particularly if those journalists live a life that is shadowed by dark appetites or fractured by private vice.
There are dozens of journalists out there with secret and not-so-secret troubles, or damaging habits both past and present ; we all know who they are. And we are not being ghoulish to anticipate, or to be mentally braced for, their bad end: a long night, a mysterious stranger in the Groucho club, an odd set of circumstances that herald a sudden end to a once glittering career.
In the morning, the page has already been turned over before anyone reads the lofty concerns of a self appointed hypocrite. It is not exactly a new storyline, is it?
In fact, it is rather depressingly familiar, and somehow we completely expected it of her. Always her. But then I'm definitely not thinking what she's thinking.
In the nastiness around the Daily Mail, Moir was always bitchy, stupid and vile.
A founder member of Britain's Glenda Slagg tribute band, she was the group's self appointed queen bitch, even though her intelligence was too small to fit inside a Louis Vuitton credit card holder.
She was the excrement of the Daily Mail, an unpopular and illiterate additional after thought.
Moir came out as a bigot in 2009 after discovering that someone was planning to pay her lots of money to write in a newspaper.
Although she was had little intelligent and nothing nice to say, she became the meddlesome self publicist of sleazy journalism, albeit a deeply unreluctant one.
At the time, Moir worried that the revelations might end her ultra-right wing career as a put-down merchant, but she received an overwhelmingly positive response from the BNP. In fact, it only made them love her more.
All the official reports point to a natural death, with no suspicious circumstances, but that doesn't stop Moir - perhaps unforgivably - from stirring the grief of the family before Stephen Gately is even buried by trying to pin their boy's demise on the national consciousness as just punishment for gays and not a tragic accident.
Even before the post-mortem and toxicology reports were released by the Spanish authorities, she launched into rant mode.
But, hang on a minute. Something was terribly wrong with the way this incident could not be milked to make more money for Jan Moir, so she shaped and spun it into much more than a broken teacup in the rented cottage of journalistic standards.
Consider the way it has been largely reported, as if a menopausal hot flush in the grounds of the Bide-a-Wee rest home while hoeing the sweet pea patch could be taken as serious commentary.
The bile on this hypocrisy is so crusty-thick that it fails to obscure the bitter truth that lies beneath.
Daily Mail journalists don't give a toss about the truth but invent lies to fit their nasty, blinkered right wing bigotries. It is a shame that healthy and fit 33-year-old men who have just died can get no respect from the rancid nastiness that is routine in female journalists of a certain age.

Moir's family have always maintained that drink was not involved in the death wish of her career, but it has just been revealed that she had at least three gins on the night she wrote.
Another real sadness about Moir's career near-death is that it strikes another blow to the "we are not bigots" myth of the Daily Mail.
Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about right wing journalists, arguing that they are just the same as normal people. Not everyone, they say, is like Richard Littlejohn.
Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent career near-death of Chris Moyles, and now the dubious events of Moirs's last column raise troubling questions about what is happening.
It is important that the truth comes out about the exact circumstances of her acquiring this strange and lonely world view.
As a human being, I am sure she would want to set an example to any impressionable young journalist who may want to emulate what they might see as her glamorous byline.
For once again, under the carapace of glittering hedonistic pseudo celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous journalism has seeped out for all to see.

12 comments:

Newmania said...

Do you think if a Conservative MP `s wife died ,while he was screwing a third Party they picked up there might not be adverse comment ?
I think we might say nothing and leave it at that but he would be unlikely to receive the sort of Beatification accorded to Mr. Gately . No ?

Richard T said...

There's a very strange effect if you hold the Mail up to a mirror. You get a reflection of Nick Griffin in it.

Jan Moir's column is part of this in demonising the enemy; for the Mail, this includes not only gays but immigrants, moslems, the unemployed, the poor and anyone who comes into its editor's sights. She is, as you say, a part of the Mail's team of Glenda Slag attack bitches. I still remember Lynda Lee Potter's assassination of Mo Mowlem's loks just after her chemo therapy for a brain tumour. I guess Jan Moir is toasting her memory.

Ron Todd said...

To most of us straight men there dose seem something a bit sleasy about a man buggering another man while his 'husband' is dying in the next room.

Julian H said...

Haha, bravo!

I do hope the comment directly above is some kind of joke.

Ron Todd said...

No speak to the non 'liberal' working class who don't think free speach is good until somebody says something they do not agree with the and you would get a lot more robust responses than mine.

What two concenting adults to is up to them. But what they do is not always going to be things that most of us want to read about.

Ron Todd said...

No speak to the non 'liberal' working class who don't think free speach is good until somebody says something they do not agree with the and you would get a lot more robust responses than mine.

What two concenting adults to is up to them. But what they do is not always going to be things that most of us want to read about.

Julian H said...

Ron, thanks for responding. I'll try to respond to your points although, without wanting to be rude, I'm not exactly sure what they are.

Firstly, what's class got to do with this? I'm not sure if you're suggesting that the entire British working class (however we define that) is illiberal, but if so then this is entirely untrue.

Secondly, if Gately's other half was having sex with someone else while he died then yes, some people (whatever their sexuality) may see this as "sleazy". But it would be the same if one, two, or even all three of the people at the unfortunate scene were women. Moir's article suggested that Gately's death was somehow a result of him being gay, when it's blindingly obvious that this kind of death (however odd it may or may not have been) can and does happen to straight people. If I die with a satsuma in my mouth and two hookers asleep in the next room, this may be odd, but it wouldn't be because I was straight. It wouldn't be an issue for the straight community.

Your comment about not wanting to read about gay men is even more strange. This story made the front pages because Gately was famous for being in a (pretty dire) pop band. And if you're disturbed by articles involving gay men then how about just not reading them?

Equally, Newmania, your argument strikes me as peculiar - are you saying that Moir's article is ok because the response against it has been greater than if someone had written an article showing prejudice against Tories? Aside from anything else, being a Tory is a choice, and suggests you hold views that you choose to voice and (if an MP) legislate on. I'm happy for someone to slag me off because I'm a Liberal. I slag off socialists all the time. But if someone slagged me off for my race or sexuality, then I'd think they were stupid. Like Moir.

Ron Todd said...

I was suggesting that there is a middle class liberal bubble of people who think that they are somehow better than the rest of us, That their minority views are the only views that count. People that think politically correct is more important than factualy correct. The Jaqui Smiths who think they can lie and steal but would send the rest of us to jail for the same offence. Who will support free speech until somebody wants to criticise one of the ruling elites client groups.

I do not read articles that detail what gay men get up to and I would think it just as sleazy if two men and a woman were involved.


Yes that type of thing does happen with straight people and when it does it gets a lot of critical coverage. (more so if the person is a centre or right wing politician less so if left wing or a pop singer/actor) That there was so little comment on the circumstances is a good indicator that there is a standard of behaviour that is accepted amongst gay men and their liberal supporters that would not be accepted amost the majority.

When I say 'liberal' I do not mean the old fashioned liberal that supported the rights of the individual above the power of the state. But the modern libersl that divides us all into groups and wants to give most rights to those groups that can be counted as victems. Or can be expected to vote the 'correct' way in elections.

That is why the response was greater he was in a privaledged grouping that haas to be protected from all critacism.


Take the case of Mark Oaten compare the media response with what you think the coverage would have been if a straight Tory MP had paid two prostitutes to shit on his face.

Anonymous said...

"profound homophobia" - I love the way one can sling this fatuous in the general direction of someone without any form of evidential weight and the requirement of a fair trial. Nothing so tedious as 'winning an argument' or 'burden of proof' is required.

Just like the asinine assertion that "something is racist if the 'victim' says it is" nonsense generated as a result of the Stephen Lawrence trial. Yeah, right.

No wonder that the BNP are on the march when the law appears not to distinguish between a real hate crime and Anton du Beke making an arse of himself. Or Jan Moir saying something intolerant but not hateful about a specific gay person, and someone getting his head kicked, in a 'queer-bashing' incident.

Julian H said...

Ron, your arguments are still tribal rather than principled. "gay men and their liberal supporters", for example. What on earth does this mean? I don't "support" gay men (who are hardly a united mass, in terms of their views et cetera), I just don't think people's sexual preferences are a remotely political issue, and do think that prejudice against people on the basis of their sexual preferences is absurd. Your complaint about the misuse of "liberal" while labeling the entirely illiberal Jacqui Ashley as part of the "liberal elite" is frankly mad. If you don't like the misuse of the word, don't misuse it yourself. And I write this as a real liberal, ie. someone whose views are entirely driven by the need to free individuals from the power of the state.

Newmania said...

I did not , myself take from that article the inference that Stephen Gately died because he was gay , clearly he did not .There was however an accumulation of features , drugs , promiscuity / high risk sexual adventure and unusual orientation that cast doubt on the rationale behind gay marriage. It is not a marriage I recognise personally
You say one is only allowed to make judgements based on voluntary identities ( I think ) , but that is a absurd and until some New Labour Reich finally lobotomises us all we shall continue to make judgements right or wrong based on what we know. Sorry .
I have a some close gay friends and in the past have known quite a few gay men of various sorts and it seems to me to be undeniable that there is a culture of hedonistic sexual carpe diem that is far more common on the “scene” than in the general population . I am well aware that this is not remotely uniform but nonetheless in real life we take best guesses .
As you may be aware the only category of person against whom it is illegal to discriminate when it comes to adoption is homosexual men and women. The beetles scutting in this of the failing national catastrophe freely draw inferences about the unsuitability of white Christian , smoking and renting people but not homosexuals although there is a good reason to
This strikes me as odd . It also strikes me as odd that in order to make a public commitment to eachother gay men should feel that laws of married estate bound up with children are essential to them ?
..and come to think of it why exactly are we obliged to have our children introduced to Johnnie’s Two Daddies at our expense , whatever your view , it is certainty that the overwhelming majority of parents would rather their children were not .
Gay men are not an embattled minority any more they are an economically powerful confident category of people and I see no reason to be unduly precious about chucking stones at aspects of gay life . Everyone else gets it in the neck, why not them ?

Cicero said...

I wrote this as a direct parody of Jan Moir's original article, which I thought was tactless and tasteless and simply the epitome of the nastiness that the Daily Mail seems to foster across the board. I think that to draw spurious links and generalisations about gay people was at best sloppy journalism at worst an insult to the dead man and his family. I don't know what happened, and neither did Jan Moir. As for the personal morality of gay versus straight, I can only guess and if some kind of swinging was going on, that is not so rare amongst straights either.
I think it is best to be kindly towrds people who are different from oneself unless their behaviour has a negative impact on you. The persecution of gays is not kindly and I am glad that as a society we do not now think that it is acceptable. However the rise of gay bashing and the nastiness of Moir and others suggests that we still have some way to go on the road to general toleration, and still less equality.