Following Lucy Meadows’ death last week, a lot of people are angry. Spontaneously so, despite the lie from the Daily Mail that this is all some sort of orchestrated campaign put up by Alasdair Campbell and his friends.
So what CAN people do to make a difference?
Sign the petition(s)
After a slow start yesterday, a number of petitions have been gaining momentum online, calling for the removal of Littlejohn. One, at least, appears to be snowballing to the tune of 100 signatures every couple of minutes.
As of right now, there are two large-ish petitions out there in need of support. These are:
Even allowing for overlap, that’s significant. Though I wonder how many signatures will be needed before any of the tabloids actually report their existence.
Put pressure on advertisers
A new Facebook group has started up, suggesting that ordinary consumer folk put pressure on companies that currently advertise in the Mail to stop doing so until they lay off on the homophobia and transphobia. We-ell, to be honest, I’d be happier if it was them laying off on all bigotry, full stop. But we have to start somewhere.
Its also on twitter as #dontbuytransphobia.
Go for it. Because right now, the calculation in the Mail boardroom is that despite all the fuss, the additional publicity that the furore is causing them is good for business. But if we can remove a couple of major advertisers, then.. .their laughter may be just a little less fulsome.
As an example of what might be done, here’s one interesting response already from M&S.
No idea yet where to go with this one. Ideas would be nice. And maybe it needs to be about much more than the trans and LGBT communities.
At present, while individuals have all manner of protection (from libel, from harassment, and the like), no similar protection exists for groups. Keep attacking a particular woman on twitter, and chances are you may be blocked or even have your collar felt nby the long arm of the law.
Post the most vile misogynistic claptrap and.. . Twitter will do nothing: and there is little the law can do either.
So maybe it is time to look again at hate laws: to make them not just an add-on, should someone assault you or commit another crime; but make it a crime to print vicious hateful material about groups; to provide protection to individuals whose only reason for being in the news headlines is because they happen to be gay or trans or a woman or disabled and doing something that ordinary white middle-aged men do without comment every day of their lives.