That well known bastion of British decency, The Sun, has been at it again. If you didn’t see it, columnist Rod Liddle wrote this of Emily Brothers, Labour’s PPC for Sutton and Cheam who also happens to be transgender and blind:
Disgusting, right? Absolutely. Being the first openly transgender PPC is quite something, let alone being the first female, blind, openly transgender PPC. Given his record, it’s not surprising for Liddle to write something like this, but for The Sun to publish it is ridiculous.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about a petition that has been started on change.org calling on the paper to apologise. I have one simple question: why? It has become a feature of our society to say something controversial, wait for the condemnation and then issue an apology the next day. I can’t stand it. Quite frankly, I’d rather a UKIP spokesperson said something misogynistic/racist/homophopic/etc and then said ‘Yep. I stand by every word’ than issuing some false contrition.
Let’s be clear here; if Rod Liddle cared about not insulting transgender or disabled people he wouldn’t have written the article; if the Sun cared they would not have published it. What good does an apology do? It means nothing and just excuses the paper and Rod until their next scandal. Just call on people to boycott it or advertisers to withdraw funding unless the paper actually does change their ways.
I actually take a very liberal stance on crime and wrongdoing. If Rod had a genuine realisation of the offence he causes with statements like this and issued a heartfelt apology and even offered to donate to Emily’s campaign or an LGBT/Disabled charity I would certainly accept it. But we live in a world now of meaningless apologies and retractions, let’s not have another one please.