Having had the chance to stand back and let the dust settle for a bit, it seems that the problem with the pcc so far falls into three separate strands.
First is the “having their cake and eating it” strand: either Littlejohn is to be exonerated of the charge of writing about “cosmetic” treatments because, however much he may imply that – by reference to immac and ladyshave, to this being a treatment that beauty salons could provide the service, and an accompanying pic appears to be someone having their leg waxed; or he is to be exonerated of inaccuracy when it comes to numbers because when he refers to 400 “cases”, he MEANT “surgeries”.
Like, the pcc let him off the hook on the first point for NOT using a particular word…whilst inferring a word when it suits them on the very next point.
So which is it, pcc? Are we talking precise words? Or what can be inferred? It would help if you explained.
Second and very much related is the question of whether at issue is the word by word dissection of a piece…or its overall effect. In fact, that’s so closely related it may be the same poitn.
So third. Or second, is the question of whether a piece can be said to mislead if it clearly has misled.
Just take a look at the follow-on article by the Christian Institute, which has gone out and obtained quotes from two further campaigners: Laura Midgeley, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness; and Emma Boon from the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
They very obviously think that the issue here is a cosmetic – as opposed to medical – treatment…and so will lend their weight to campaigning against it.
Would that count as far as the pcc is concerned? Or do they inhabit a world in which the fact that an article has clearly misled someone does not count as evidence that it is misleading?
Last but by no means least: how come I am banging on about this particular issue?
First, this was about taking the measure of the pcc – and so far, they have come up as seriously disappointing. Weasels, basically, on account of the first issue. The fact that they refuse to allow that Littlejohn implied anything when it comes to criticising him…but insist he did when they want to defend him.
Compare the weasels:
But there is a much darker side to this altogether. Speaking recently to NHS insiders, it is quite clear that some issues, some procedures are more at risk in this era of austerity than others. And guess what?
Electrolysis for us beauty-obsessed trannies is one such.
Anecdotal stuff – but since around the time Littlejohn published his piece, the volume of letters complaining about money being wasted on trans women getting electrolysis has increased – or, where it wasn’t an issue at all before, has now manifested as one.
At the end of the day that means a strong argument for reducing trans services: and if electrolysis gets cut, then I will be more than happy to argue that a large part of the blame for that will lie with Litlejohn and, in time, with the weasels over at the pcc.
P.S. Whilst i’m not too happy with the line taken by Emma from the Taxpayers’ Alliance initially, i have to hand it to her. When i followed up, she owned to not having understood the backgroud to the issue…and therefore was quite prepared to modify her position on the understanding that we were talkin electrolysis for medical purposes.
Not so Ms Midgeley…whose partner went all defensive…and who never returned the call. Bad girl!