The only way is (without) Ethics

I get the feeling that today is going to make me cross. Very. And i will probably end up getting in trouble with my fellow journo’s again.

However, am i the only person starting to get seriously sick of this vindictive and, in the end, pointless obsession by the family of a homicide victim?

Simple story. Back in 2000, Robert Page killed Clive White in the course of a bungled burglary. The killing was particularly vicious – and there can be little sympathy for the perpetrator. Initially convicted of murder and sentenced to life in 2001, Page’s crime was marked down to manslaughter on appeal two years later.

Not clear what the tariff was at that point – though technically it could be longer than the original.

Even then, there were rumblings about the possibility that Page was (repressed) trans of some form – and in the years since, that fact has bloomed, to the point where Page is now taking hormones, called Emma and en route to grs. Possibly. As all of those who have gone thru the system know: there is no certainty of that until it is pretty much done.

Family outrage

In between times, the victim’s family claim to have been told that Page would never be allowed to transition. That’s bad. No professional psych would breach confidence in that way: whereas if police or probation officers were saying that, one really has to question their judgment…pronouncing on mental health issues in which they have no expertise and no direct involvement.

Clive’s brother is up in arms, having been alerted recently to Page’s progress thru the system by a well-balanced story in the People (er…that was sarcasm!).

Apart from just wanting Page to hang – which would be a novel development for manslaughter – they are also jumping on the bandwagon of prisoners not being allowed treatments “like this”.

Not too clear like what: presumably prisoners should get SOME medical attention. But for all i sympathise with the individuals concerned, they are a graphic example of why victims and their relatives should be involved in the judicial process – but that involvement does not give them expertise in the law or other specialised matters.

Yellow Press

Well, the family outrage is understandable, though perhaps becoming just a bit shrill.

Less forgiveable is the press response. I’ve been tracking the cost figure in the story since it appeared (£45k for grs: £200 per week for hormones) and, when i can, sticking an oar in and asking for it to be changed.

It is very clear that the press does not have any reason to print that – beyond the fact that the People put that figure up in the first place and therefore that allows some of the cleverer journo’s to write that Clive’s brother “has been informed the op will cost £45k” (you see what they did there: not technically inaccurate, even if the end result is).

But overall, the more i grapple with this cost issue, the more disgusted i am with the newspapers. Its the defensiveness that gets me.

It is absolutely clear that 9 out of 10 papers have not done any hard research on this figure. Each one is following the previous, slavishly. So, if journalism was genuinely about the truth, you’d think they’d be happy to put the facts straight.

But no: call after call is leading to nit-picking defence based around the phrasing used. IN some cases, if one is utterly literal, it is clear that no inaccuracy has been printed: but the impression given is plainly inaccurate.

ANd what is beginning to grate, and why i am going to be losing my rag later today is: they mostly don’t care. Mostly they prefer to defend what they have done, than admit…concede even that they might, just, possibly have got things wrong.



8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Liz Church said,

    Is the main man at KM group still Bob Bounds? I have a flag set for him and I know where his burrow is…

  2. 3

    Particularly timely XKCD then: although it shows Wikipedia, today’s MSM seem to work in the same way.

  3. 4

    Particularly timely XKCD then: although it shows Wikipedia, today’s MSM seem to work in the same way.

  4. 5

    Shirley Anne said,

    It doesn’t surprise me that you are livid Jane. Where do they get their information? It proves one thing to me (and is the main reason I do not and never have read newspapers), they are so biased, one this way, one that way. There isn’t a neutral paper in print!

    Shirley Anne xxx

  5. 6

    This really is a monster of a story. All the most horrible aspects of tabloid journalism rolled into one. The baying for blood of the family, the blatant misinformation and the gutter press egging them on. I do applaud your work in highlighting sloppy journalism. I have often heard you criticise the NHS approach to ‘gate keeping’ and the length of time people are held within the system. Now please take this as constructive criticism but I believe that you are, I hate saying this, of relying far to much on the experiences conveyed to you by people who either experienced the horrible ‘old guard’, Don Montgomery et al or are just that little bit, errr, mad.

    Now I would like to offer my positive take on my NHS experience of Charing Cross GIC. I was through the assessment procedure in almost 12 months flat. In fact it was on leaving my third appointment I asked Stuart Lorimer whether he was now satisfied enough to provide my letter of referral for GRS to which he replied positively. he has also been a great help in supporting my application for facial electrolysis. He is well aware that there is no need for my partner or myself to attend regular assessments but unfortunately we have to as our GP insists on there being a shared care arrangement.
    My overall experience of CXH GIC has been very positive and I do wish people would stop knocking them without first hand experience. I definitely believe that Mr Greedy and co simple take the money and tell people exactly what they want to hear with all the inherent risks of another Charles Kane type unpleasantness.
    I don’t think that you have ever had the pleasure of taking part in the wider TG scene Jane (your very luck not to) but it is filled with delusional TG/TV/CD people who would quite willingly or is that wilfully try to become very unhappy failed women if there weren’t such gate keeping. I know of a closet transvestite who seriously asked my partner how he could use CXH to obtain hormones as he wanted breasts which he could strap down for work. Insane yes but true.
    Sorry to take this post off topic but in the interests of journalistic accuracy I think it is about time CXH had some good press for the work they do.
    All this said please do accept that although I might come across as perhaps a little brusk at times I am completely and utterly none violent in the physical sense but will always argue a point which I feel is valid.
    After the events of the last couple of weeks I intend to put as much distance between myself and the minimal contact I have with anything trans and the ignorant and self serving people of TMW and their thuggish followers. In truth Jane I have all the time in the world to talk and argue??? 🙂 with people like yourself but can no longer put up with the general stupidity and ignorance.

    • 7

      janefae said,

      Thanks for this Sophie and a conversation is long overdue.

      However, one clarification. There are two issues I had with ChX. The first was the way it gate-kept in a control freaky sort of way. I did have a very bad experience there…which led to long chats with their office admin, Linda.

      Since then, I’ve made my peace and am generally supportive of what ChX do…and keep good linear open to Stuart and one or two others.

      The second issue I have is more theoretical. That is, by definition, the treatment they offer is grounded in a therapist led (ergo gate-kept) model.

      Some need that. Others don’t. My objection is to the fact that that is effectively the only model available on the nhs. I’ll happily and amicably discusss that with ChX any day.

      Jane x

      • 8

        Hi Jane, in truth the only issue I’ve had with CXH has been with the, how can I put this politely, less than efficient and down right rude admin. After a pretty awful at the time but funny now conversation with the charming Paulette Mulins I made a rather serious complain Ms Mulins. Mulins was apparently pulled in and sent for retraining. I mean, who on earth needs to be trained to answer the phone politely? My nieces could manage that pre teen.

        I do wonder if the some of the patients seen at CXH might to some extent may come from different demographics than though who go private. Personally, and this is purely my own take, is that Greedy and his lot create in effect a two tier system. I have no idea why I passed through the system with so little trouble and others seem to get locked in this loop of appointments. I suppose it would be impossible to tell without full access to case details which is never going to happen. If you can discuss this with Stuart at some point perhaps he could explain in a general way.. One thing I did notice years ago was a propensity for some gender variant people to seem to want CXH to decide for them whether or not to transition. I firmly believe that ones transition and the decision to do it. This is far too intricate a subject to discuss here so I’ll look forward to chatting to you on that one.

        My total disillusionment with the whole TG thing means that my real interest now is in trying to change the way genuine transsexual people are given choice and access to practical help and treatment and not being dragged under a spurious banner to boost LGBT numbers.

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