The Press ruling in the case of Jan Moir’s column on the death of Stephen Gately concluded that whilst it was “uncomfortable with the tenor of the columnist’s remarks”, a censure would be “a slide towards censorship”. Perhaps. More significantly, if Moir was censured it would surely spell the end of the Daily Mail.
Jan Moir is the Mr Magoo of 21st century moralism. Reading her column is rather like reading a comedian’s take on a small village know-it-all who thinks of herself as a moral compass. She can’t stop writing about the sex lives of others and pronouncing it immoral.
I love to listen to Beethoven, too, Jan.
The ruling is not in any way a validation of Moir. It is an interesting insight into the question of what constitutes free speech. The PCC stated that a distinction needed to be drawn “between critical innuendo which, though perhaps distasteful, was permissible in a free society – and discriminatory description of individuals, and the code was designed to constrain the latter rather than the former”.