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Lynne Featherstone: Sack Julie Burchill and Observer editor for ‘disgusting’ transphobic rant

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  1. Here’s hoping Bruchill and Mulholland are both sacked. And here’s hoping The Guardian and The Observer stop publishing inflammatory, hateful crap just for page views.

    1. A donation of their fees for the last week to trans* charities would be nice too.

  2. Or you could, you know, let her speak her mind. We don’t need to be protected against by these people, as the appalled reaction from most readers has made perfectly clear. If you can’t beat them in an argument then step aside and let someone else do it.

    1. And you would support the right to similar speech against black people, muslims, disabled people, gays….

      My own view is that if she had written in a simlar way about black people, her feet would not have touched the floor on her way out to the courts.

      If we had a level playing field, I might be inclined to agree with you.

      1. Yes I would support it regardless of who she is insulting. What’s the worst that could happen?

        1. Penny Marie 14 Jan 2013, 1:56pm

          A trans woman could be murdered because of her hateful incitement you twat, THAT’S what.

          1. ?????

          2. If she’s calling for someone to be murdered then that’s a different matter altogether!!!

    2. You’ve got a point. Freedom of speech works both ways. While i dont agree with what she said, i will admit her right to say it. She has freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Thats just the simple fact of the matter xx

      1. Or the simple fact of the matter is that LGBT are a protected characteristic in the law.

        Publishing offensive comments about a group more at risk of discrimination (and the harm that it can do to people) should not be encouraged or enabled.

        1. It shouldn’t be protected. Only by airing irrational views can you hope to convince people of their errors. Like it or not, Burchill’s views are shared by many people – too many, certainly, but how are we to change their minds without knowing what they think? That’s how we beat racism, and it’s how we can beat transphobia.

          1. If Burchill and Moore can dish it out to a victimised group and then say they shouldn’t complain about victimisation then they shouldn’t be able to cry foul when someone criticises their bigoted opinion – she can’t have her freedom of speech and prevent others from having freedom of speech.

            Instead of having a right to free speech the law should formulate it around RESPONSIBILITY. You have the right to say whatever you want but you must bear the brunt of the consequences of doing so without complaint.

            What she doesn’t like is that being on twitter people can publically reply to her and call her out.

      2. Freedom of speech does not include hate speech, vilification or bullying.

        1. It should – the USA has it right.

    3. Daniel Howard 14 Jan 2013, 5:12pm

      I’ve always maintained the view that we should allow the bigots speak because they just show their true colours and ridiculous arguments. By silencing them, we’re giving them a voice to shout “I’m being oppressed”. So she has free speech and prosecuting her is anti-progressive. Instead she should be accountable for her actions because with freedom of speech also comes responsibility. I’m against any form of Nanny State which is what Britain is quickly becoming.

      1. Except inciting hatred gets people killed. Like trans women in South America where over a hundred are killed and mutilated every year.

  3. they wont be sacked -it like with us gays until we take action(peaceful) nothing will ever change. Burchill and Co would NEVER say anything like this about ethic minority group. Why they think it OK to attack transgender I have no idea -easy target i guess.

    1. Wrong. Julie Burchill regularly makes racist comments about Arabs and the Irish.

  4. The reaction to this article is not about freedom of speech. It clearly violates the PCC Editors’ Code – namely that it uses discriminatory and insulting language. As many have pointed out, if this had been said about a minority ethnic group then there would have been politicians across the board calling for an investigation and sacking of those responsible. Trans people deserve no less consideration.

    1. Absolutely right.

  5. Jock S. Trap 14 Jan 2013, 11:48am

    This kind of reporting has no place in the 21st century. People respond to negative reporting as bullies and that cannot be acceptable.

    Sack the two and make the press more accountable for the language it uses.

  6. From recent events, it is becoming clear that trans people have had enough of the dreadful treatment inflicted on them and are fighting back.It is not just the press but the medical profession, various government departments (in particular the DWP), banks etc.

  7. Jason Feather 14 Jan 2013, 12:07pm

    Being offended should not be an excuse for strangling free speech. Both sides in this (debate?) have said some awful things but the price of free speech is that we will occasionally be insulted & we have to be man (or woman) enough to take this. As a gay man with transgender friends I was offended by some aspects of the article but to suggest someone should be sacked for speaking their mind (however distasteful) is just a knee jerk reaction that stifles debate. There is a big difference between Abu Hamza suggesting gay & transgender people should be killed (that’s hate speech) & simply trading in insults. Can we please concentrate on the many transgender people who suffer rape or murder around the world rather than trading insults?

    1. Bill Cameron 14 Jan 2013, 12:45pm

      Julie Burchill has been an unpleasant journalist (are there any other kinds – that’s a joke btw) for as long as I can remember, this is but the latest example of her venting her nasty venom. But I do agree with Jason Feather’s balanced assessment in this case; horrid words are one thing, but physical assaults and murders are very much more serious and it is there that effort needs to be concentrated. A subsequent commenter has stated that a complaint has been made to the PCC – let’s see what happens when this is tested against its [rather weak] rules.

    2. There’s no such thing as free speech – anywhere. Everything is controlled. You’re just suggesting that transphobia is not controlled.

    3. She said that transgender women should not claim the same rights as cisgender women. That’s way beyond an insult, that ís hate speech.

    4. Any bigot is free to publish their filth on their own. Free speech does not give you the right to publish hate speech and directly or indirectly incite hatred and violence in the public media.

      Please learn the difference …

  8. I have made a complaint to the press complaints commission. Breach of section 12. She is probably just writing this to gain self-publicity

    1. GingerlyColors 14 Jan 2013, 12:46pm

      What about Section 5 of the Public Order Act?

  9. Cardinal Capone 14 Jan 2013, 12:39pm

    I’m confused by this article. It seems to talk about a Julie Bindel and Julie Burchill as if they are the same person.

    Who is Bindel, or is this just a typo?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Jan 2013, 12:43pm

      Bindel is another writer for the Guardian who came to Moore’s defence. She’s also an anti equal marriage opponent too.

    2. Which cave have you been living in…..???
      Bindel is a writer who does give a bad name to being lesbian feminist….
      She’s a nasty piece of transphobe.
      She calls for equal rights and protection, but according to this sorry piece of human it is OK to discriminate against those you do not understand or just outright dislike!

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Jan 2013, 12:44pm

    Kudos to Lynne Featherstone. The only MP worth her salt. I’m just waiting now for her to counter the religious nutters regarding equal marriage since nobody else is prepared to do it.

  11. Her article was the most disgusting piece of ‘journalism’ I have ever read in a western newspaper. At least in the daily mail they snidely try and hide their hatred. Her article pure vitrolic hateful trash. Never mind being sacked – why would they employ her in the first place?

  12. Alan Rusbridger may be trying to distance himself from it by saying that it was published in The Observer – but as well as being editor of The Guardian he is also the executive editor of The Observer so should be punishing those responsible

  13. Birch ill has always enjoyed mischievous sh!t stirring but this piece goes far beyond that. She has proved herself to be no better than Jan Moar. I think she should be fired. Why on earth did the editor publish this hate piece??? Someone in The Guardian Comments described it as a drunken rant. Sums it up.

  14. I found it interesting that it was an attack on male- female , with no mention of female-male , is this because Burchill believes that female-male trans people are actually still woman and therefore are protected by her , as a feminist ? She seems to just hate men, and is too dense to realise that trans is a real thing, and not simply having parts moved about dependant on mood.

  15. While I agree that Julie Burchill’s piece was nasty and spiteful, I do not like the idea pf government ministers telling the media who to employ. A very dangerous precedent. The editor should make that decision based on what his readers tell him.

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