As with the Julie Burchill witch hunt, this is about the left asserting its power to crush common sense journalistic dissent.
Nathan Upton, a troubled man who taught school at St Mary Magdalen's Church of England Primary School while insisting that everyone refer to him as Lucy Meadows, committed suicide.
Upton's suicide is unfortunate, but not surprising. People who struggle with mental illness do take their own lives. And Nathan Upton was denied the psychiatric help that he clearly needed by a leftist agitprop community that saw him as a political trophy in the war against gender, rather than a man with severe problems who attempted to deal with them through medical self-mutilation followed by suicide.
Even less surprising is that the left, instead of taking responsibility for pandering to Nathan Upton's delusions that he was really a woman, chose to target Richard Littlejohn, a talented conservative columnist in the UK with a campaign to get him fired from the Daily Mail for, what else, causing Nathan Upton's death.
Upton first came to Littlejohn's attention when the male teacher insisted on parading about in women's clothing. Then the school told the children that Nathan Upton would now be turning into Miss Lucy Meadows.
Confirmation came in the school’s Christmas newsletter. "Mr Upton has made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman after the Christmas break. She will return to work as Miss Meadows."
It went on to stress that the school is ‘proud of our commitment to equality and diversity’.
Teachers told them that Mr Upton felt he had been ‘born with a girl’s brain in a boy’s body’ and would henceforth be living as a woman.
Richard Littlejohn expressed some proper skepticism about the impact of imposing Upton's issues with his body on the children. Littlejohn went overboard to be sensitive to Upton, even saying that he supported the NHS carrying out sex change operations. What he didn't support was the school and Nathan Upton traumatizing children for their own selfish need to put diversity over their welfare.
After Nathan Upton's suicide (not altogether unusual in someone so mentally troubled as to seek to destroy his entire identity right down to his name and gender), Littlejohn is being blamed for a fairly mild column and there are calls for his firing.
As with the Julie Burchill witch hunt, this is about the left asserting its power to crush common sense journalistic dissent. In this case, Nathan Upton's suicide has given them a martyr. But it wasn't Richard Littlejohn who killed Nathan Upton. It wasn't even Nathan Upton. It was the myth that Upton could solve his problems by destroying his body rather than by healing his mind.
Brendan O'Neil at the Telegraph says much of what needs to be said about the cynicism of gay rights martyrs.
There’s a nauseating new trend in campaigning circles: the exploitation of suicides for political gain. All sorts of activists are indulging in this most ghoulish political behaviour. They’re claiming that the thing they hate and campaign against – whether it cuts to welfare benefits, student debt, or Daily Mail articles – is causing people to kill themselves and therefore it must be brought to an immediate end. They think their suicide exploitation adds weight to their arguments, but really it exposes their intellectual cowardice and their barrel-scraping morals.
The milkers of Ms Meadows’s death have now launched a petition to get Littlejohn sacked, and more broadly are campaigning to tame the allegedly feral tabloids. It all brings to mind the similarly opportunistic exploitation of the suicide of the nurse Jacintha Saldanha after she was duped by two Aussie DJs pretending to be Prince Charles. Then, too, liberal observers grotesquely use the late Ms Saldanha to mouth their concerns about low-rent media outlets. They went very quiet when it was later revealed that Ms Saldanha had suffered from deep, dark, suicidal depression for years, and had attempted suicide in the past.
Also, consider how internet activists have held up the suicide of hacker of Aaron Swartz as a cut-and-dried case of government “murder”: it was the authorities’ decision to threaten Swartz with a prison sentence that drove him to suicide, they say, and now there must be reform of how hackers are dealt with by the police and courts.
In each of these cases, the spectre of suicide takes the place of clear-headed or decent political arguments. Having failed to win the living over to their political causes, campaigners seek to stir up the dead instead. This isn't politics: it's emotional blackmail. Stop cutting welfare or people will die. Stop publishing Richard Littlejohn or vulnerable people will perish. Stop arresting hackers or genius webby people will kill themselves.