A copy of my complaint the the PCC regarding Rod Liddle’s prejudicial and inaccurate article on Disability

To know what I’m complaining about, read here: http://politicalscrapbook.net/2012/01/rod-liddle-disabled-the-sun/ 

 

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to complain about an article by Rod Liddle in today’s The Sun publication. I believe it at is in breach of point 1 and point 12 of the Editors Code.

1) Accuracy
In his article Liddle claims: “My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to become disabled. Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of a bad back or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E.”

This is completely inaccurate. Firstly, the use of the word ‘invented’ suggests the illness is man-made, he basically is saying it’s a figment of the imagination. However, M.E. is a neurological condition recognised by the World Health Organisation. It is in no way ‘invented’ and though understanding of the condition is still growing, it was discovered. The Sun Newspaper and Liddle must correct this prominently and immediately.

12) Discrimination
By claiming that people who suffer from a medically recognised and debilitating illness are ‘pretend disabled’ he is discriminating against them. This to me, is clearly in breach of point 12 of the editors’ code 

The general crux of the article is completely wrong. I would like The Sun to provide evidence for Liddle’s claim that ‘it is easier than ever to claim disability benefits’ or retract it and apologise. I personally know of several M.E. sufferers unable to claim benefit despite being unable to work, but it’s best not to use anecdotes and instead use data and evidence.  Something foreign to Liddle.

To be frank. I’m appalled that I’m having to complain about Liddle at all, his track-record on issues of prejudice is poor and to continue to employ him is, in a way, a flagrant disregard for point 12 of the editors’ code in itself. 

I would like The Sun to issue a prominent apology and to run an article in place of Liddle’s usual column that talks to the sufferers of M.E. about their experiences. I would also like Liddle to offer a personal apology. These are things I would like but again, I appreciate that the PCC probably has no power to enforce such matters.

Kindest,

Mat

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