Saturday, 15 August 2009

Express front page inspired by Littlejohn

The Express has plumbed many depths since Richard Desmond has been in charge, but today's front page must rank among its lowest points. Because, believe it or not, it has been inspired by yesterday's Richard Littlejohn column.


Sex swap police scandal is a story about the National Trans Police Association and it begins:

Police chiefs were last night accused of a scandalous misuse of taxpayers’ money after helping to set up a special support group for sex-change staff.

Except, the story doesn't produce any evidence that the NTPA has received a penny of 'taxpayers' money'. Indeed, the second paragraph proves as much:

The National Trans Police Association is in line to pocket thousands of pounds of public money after winning the backing of senior officers.

'In line to'? So it hasn't yet, and may not? Deep in the story, it reveals:

The Home Office said: “We have not provided any funding for the National Trans Police Association.”

And although there is no direct quote, the Express states:

NTPA’s communications co-ordinator Martha Hand ...said the organisation would be applying for public funds to promote its work.

Given that the group has 50 members, it's unlikely to be coining it in, even if any funding application is successful.

But a story about the possible use of public funds...your starter for ten is: who do you think is called on for an 'outrage' quote?

TaxPayers Alliance, you say?

'This is totally absurd and a scandalous waste of money'.

You could almost think the TPA think it's inappropriate? Who else? Yes, it's Tory MP Philip Davies:

'I don’t care if a police officer is gay, straight, trans-gender or whatever, I just want them to catch criminals'.

But Davies doesn't explain how this support organisation - along with the many, many others that are within the police - stops them 'catching criminals'.

Then up pops the Campaign Against Political Correctness, a group with a horribly amateurish website, to add:

'We don’t need organisations like this. It’s just madness'.

It's an interesting use of the word 'we'. Obviously the 50 members of the National Trans Police Association feel they do need it. Compare that with the, umm, 11 people who follow the Campaign Against Political Correctness on Twitter. So who is this 'we' they claim to speak for?

They say on their website that among the problems with political correctness is that tries to:

bully people into conforming with a certain point of view...It undermines personal responsibility and freedom.

But isn't the CAPC bullying people to conform to its point of view, and undermining personal freedom, by saying this group should not exist?

The Express reiterates the idea that the establishment of this group somehow stops them:

concentrating on fighting crime.

But as Jonathan pointed out yesterday, why is there no such article or outrage about the Christian Police Association? Or the Jewish Police Association?

And can anyone explain how the existence of any of these associations stops officers fighting crime?

The Express has now added some poisonous anti-trans sentiment to that spread by Littlejohn yesterday by putting on its front page a total non-story designed to do nothing but stir up animosity towards this minority group.


  1. The Gary cartoon accompanying the Littlejohn column was an abomination too - all ha-ha, hairy-hands. But you probably knew that without needing to look.

  2. It appears short memories abound at the Express and within their readership, from today:

  3. Thank you for this! I'm a transgender person myself and it's so nice to see an outlet treating us as people for once! If only you had as wide a readership as the Express. Sigh.


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