I wonder how Richard Littlejohn feels.
I wouldn’t like – in fact I refuse to see him bloated and happy in a leather office chair, whisky in hand, chortling at the fact that another tranny just hit the dust.
I hate even to think he’d be hardened enough, by a life of journalism and the faux security of only ever spouting ‘opinion’ (which as any fule knos doesn’t count towards negative effect on people), to be lying in bed reading todays stories about Lucy Meadows’ death thinking ‘hey ho’ and moving on to the sports pages.
When our lives touch another persons even briefly it ties us to them… whatever your job and whoever you are but some careers have more effect on other people.
This is the case for teachers most definitely… every child who passes through a teachers class takes a piece of that teacher with them and a little piece of the child stays in that class. Even as an ex classroom assistant I’ve had children get back in touch after a decade or so to remind me of something we did, something they learnt, sometimes to say thankyou…. for a teacher over the years that feeling, year on year, must be amazing…. that you’ve sent children onwards into life better people for being in your class.
That feeling has been taken away from primary school teacher Lucy Meadows.
The same applies to journalists… every person whose life story you touch is linked to you. I doubt there is a paid journalist in the country who can say they ‘only’ ever write good positive things about people… good positive things tend not to be newsworthy…. merely ‘worthy’ – and papers avoid worthy as a rule.
I guess over the years, if you write negatively about people, you have to cut off from those you write about, cease to see them as people in the real world with feelings and emotions. You have to disassociate your words from reality in case you have to admit they have an effect.
Maybe thats why so many seasoned journos turn to drink… its not just the long paid lunches… but the need to forget.
Thats why I wonder today how Richard Littlejohn feels, has the death of Lucy Meadows punctured his veneer?
I know in our house her death has upset us… not only for the sheer waste of a life tragedy of it, not just becuase as she was a transwoman we have common experience and empathy for her story but also when the original monstering of her took place late last year Jane connected with the story and counteracted and corrected the damage of the mainstream press as best she could and then wrote a thoughtful piece that moved the story on in the New Statesman.
But to wake up and know that the way you touched someones life was so negative that their life was made a misery, that they had to take time out from a job they loved, that they… well… the coronor report isn’t back yet… but chances are that Lucy took her own life.
It’s not just Littlejohn, though his voice and therefore impact are the largest. Its the badly written articles (even now surrounding Lucy’s death), misgendering, sniping, insulting, demeaning. Its the person who took the story of their childs teacher to the press… its every parent who reveled in their ignorance in the playground about a teachers ‘otherness’.
It’s everyone who turns and points and laughs in the street at someone for being different.
It’s everyone who reads the papers for ‘this’ sort of story.
So no it’s not just Littlejohn…. but this story… this one story… lets let him own it. Let him have the death certificate of Lucy Meadows in a frame on his office desk.
I’m sure, underneath the justification of ‘getting paid’ ‘only having opinions’ and needing to support his family he must feel awful… he MUST, he’d be inhuman not to, and he needs to hold on to that feeling with all his might.