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MEA files complaint against The Sun/Rod Liddle

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Merry, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/?p=10323#comment-2290


    The Sun newspaper and their columnist, Rod Liddle: MEA complains to Press Complaints Commission

    by Tony Britton on February 9, 2012

    In addition to our letter of factual correction to The Sun, which was printed on 1 February, we have now forwarded a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) regarding the article by Rod Liddle that appeared in the paper on January 26.

    The purpose of the formal complaint is to:

    1 Support the numerous complaints from members of the public that have been sent to both the PCC and the paper in relation to Sections 1 and 12 of the PCC Editors Code of Conduct.

    2 To point out that letters of reply and correction did not receive the same prominence as the original item as is required in Section 1. ii of the PCC Editors Code of Conduct.

    3 To request an apology from Rod Liddle as appears appropriate according to Section 1. ii of the PCC Editors Code of Conduct.

    4 To point out that several parts of the article were prejudicial in relation to disabled people in general and as such the article appears to contravene Section 12.i of the PCC Editors Code of Conduct.

    5 To request a meeting with editors of national newspapers to discuss the prejudicial and inaccurate way in which some sections of the media still report on ME.

    6 To request a meeting involving representatives from a group of medical charities to discuss the way in which some sections of the media are now demonising people with disabilities as welfare scroungers during the debate on welfare reform.

    We are very grateful to the Countess of Mar, who has offered to be involved with these meetings if the PCC is willing/able to arrange them.

    Our formal complaint has now been passed to The Sun, who will have to respond.

    We will keep people informed of any progress through further announcements on the MEA website.
     
    justinreilly, currer, Nielk and 2 others like this.
  2. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Good for the MEA! I'm wondering whether piggybacking a general complaint about overall press bias against ME onto this particular incident is going to help or hinder things, though.
     
  3. Firestormm

    Firestormm

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    '6 To request a meeting involving representatives from a group of medical charities to discuss the way in which some sections of the media are now demonising people with disabilities as welfare scroungers during the debate on welfare reform.'

    Now that would also be a great outcome if it can be achieved. What with the Levison enquiry and all - it just might happen! I believe that it would consist of representatives from all the major news outlets and has parliamentary support too!

    The PCC do tend to be toothless and these actions from the MEA may actually be more conducive to the way the PCC acts. So perhaps they stand a better chance of occurring? I don't know.

    Levison is I believe heading towards lending the PCC more 'bite' and/or legislation against such blatant acts of discrimination. However, I don't rule out the effect of the Sun's 'defence' - they did allow reader's views a la published letters (but see above), and they might use that feature on ME I posted (yes, yes, I know) as further 'evidence' of their 'balance'.

    Of course Liddle was writing an opinion piece but that doesn't mean he can write what he likes and he does has form, just search in the Guardian for example, see the pending case against him for what he wrote in Spectator I believe about the Lawrence business. Not to mention his previous strike against our condition.

    I wonder what the PCC can do in terms of maximum ruling. That would be interesting to discover I think.
     
  4. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Yes it just might now (current investigation into Press ethics) and thanks for posting Merry.
     
  5. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Is the MEA taking any action against that more recent Sun article, the one about the two con artists who are pretending that one of them was miraculously cured of ME through recording a music album?
     
  6. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    The Sun has the highest circulation of any daily newspaper in the UK. The day before yesterday I read that in Wikipedia, and I was dumbfounded.

    I know next to nothing about the MEA, Calathea.

    Why not calls for a boycott of The Sun? Why not picketers at newspaper headquarters? Easy for me to say since I'm in another country. Sorry. And yeah, I know: ME people are too ill. One person with a sign? Phone calls and emails of complaint?

    Rupert Murdoch so needs to hear from us. Well, from me. I would love to write a letter Rupert Murdoch.
     
  7. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Thank you for posting this Merry.
    We need our own Countess of Marr here in the U.S.! Someone high up in the government to stand up for us,
     
    justinreilly likes this.
  8. Needs brought up at the Levenson inquiry, big governmental inquiry into the Press caused by the "hacking scandal"
    Proof of how vile the tabloids are.

    Merry
    yes, and it's evil purience seeps into national conscience....they play to the worst, lowest common denominator in society, and hype up gingoistic nasty crap, racial, gay, etc hatred.

    What's always annlying though is how many folk who should know better read that vile crap.

    Rupert Murdoch is a FAR worse threat to Democracy than Stalin was, because the latter was an obvious evil and thus was fought, the former is a insidious, internal threat, whom our government bent over backwards to kiss his slimey arse (as has been proven time after time at the Levenson inquiry).
     
  9. Firestormm

    Firestormm

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    'Disabled crossbench peer the Countess of Mar told him that disabled people were facing public hostility, with strangers accosting them in the street and accusing them of faking their impairments.

    She said: I dont need to remind you what happened in 1930s Germany when disabled people and older people were regarded as a burden on the state. We do not want to sleepwalk into that situation.

    Burstow said he found it completely abhorrent that anyone would take the governments legitimate discussion about how our welfare systems work and translate that to an entitlement to abuse and degrade a person who lives with a disability.

    He added: I do not accept that we are in conditions that [could repeat] the history of the German state in the Thirties and Forties.

    But disabled Labour peer Baroness [Rosalie] Wilkins said the vilification that people are getting on the streets was causing such damage to peoples lives, and said Burstow should ask fellow ministers to make positive statements that disabled people are not scroungers.

    Burstow agreed to put the request to Maria Miller, the minister for disabled people, and her fellow Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ministers.'

    http://www.candocango.com/ministers-warned-over-adding-fuel-to-disablist-fire/

    Lady Mar has given permission for this all to be used in any discussion orchestrated by the PCC and referred to in my previous post on this thread, in relation to the SUN and MEA complaint.
     
  10. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    I'm really glad that Mar has brought up that issue, it's important. However, I think the comparison with Nazi Germany was a big tactical error. It usually is in internet discussions, after all.
     
  11. Firestormm

    Firestormm

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    I agree Calathea, and regard what she and Baroness Wilkins had to say, as more of a warning: 'We do not want to sleepwalk into that situation.' It served a purpose I suppose in that it grabbed the attention (the reference to Nazi Germany), though only in this particular article and not I note the Guardian or elsewhere; perhaps for the reasons you outline.

    There was another article recently (I don't have a link handy) which did carry the story of teenagers assaulting an old man (from memory) simply because he was disabled (and assumed by them) to be a burden, therefore somehow 'no loss'. It is to this tale I believe Lady Mar is referring.

    It might be said that in order to fight 'fire with fire' one needs to make such analogies; although I think it should be enough to point out the inaccuracy in government figures and their manipulation of them. However, this APPG meeting was for ME and as someone with ME I think Lady Mar was especially irritated by Liddle's comments against a background of this government-sponsored discrimination where it might be said that 'anything goes' and is thereby excusable.
     
  12. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    I've been verbally abused in public and private many times due to being disabled, and have had a couple of situations which bordered on assault. Some of it has been from so-called professionals in healthcare or social services. I think the Guardian ran a story about this issue not too long ago, actually, though not about how the professionals can be at fault as well.

    With regard to the Nazi Germany comparisons, read up on Godwin's Law. In the internet circles that I hang around in, invoking Nazi Germany is generally the death of your argument and associated credibility. It's somewhat more appropriate here than in the other situations where it tends to come up, but I still think it will be very badly received.
     

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