I'm not the first to make this call. Tim over at bloggerheads
(in a post entitled Rebekah Wade hijacks victims of terrorism
) beat me to it, as I'm sure have many others.
And of course, it's probably a bit silly to criticise The Sun
in its capacity as a newspaper. It is a shameful and sordid publication whose pages rarely if ever contain anything resembling "news". The editorial and journalistic staff are scum. Opportunistic, money-grubbing hacks with no integrity and a willingness to misinform the public in order to push a foul corporate agenda.
There's nothing new about that of course, but it seems clear that they have crossed a line with regards to recent politicial events and must be held accountable in some way. The resignation of the editor, Rebekah Wade, is the very least that should happen (I'd also favour a hefty fine for the newspaper's owner and perhaps a slap around the face for everyone who works there).On the day of the House of Commons vote on whether to allow the police to detain people for 90 days without charge, The Sunt ran with the following front-page...
Tell Tony He's Right
Now, as I've already argued; it makes no sense to bestow legislative powers on individuals merely because they, or a family member, have suffered a traumatic experience. Indeed while those people should be listened to, sympathised with, and comforted; they are the last people we want creating new laws. Laws need to be drawn up, voted upon and enforced with objectivity. The victims of the terrible attacks in July may well possess that objectivity but it should be assumed that they do not (human beings have emotional responses to extremely traumatic experiences, which typically have a tendency to cloud their objectivity).
Also, and I don't wish to sound callous here, but the fact remains that in a society that's democratic (in name at least) we don't decide who gets to pass laws and who doesn't based upon whether or not they were injured in a suicide-bombing. The chap on the front page of The Sun has suffered more than I have at the hands of extremists. But I'm afraid that doesn't mean he gets to vote more often than me in the next election, and it doesn't mean that his voice should be listened to more than mine on the subject of legislative policy.
(assuming I wasn't asleep during the meeting when we decided to choose our law-makers by suicide-bomb-lottery rather than one-person-one-vote)
But I'm not calling for Rebekah Wade's resignation because of her piss-poor understanding of representative democracy. You'd have thought her incredible ignorance on this issue would be a hindrance for someone editing a national newspaper, but that's really a matter for her employer.
And I'm not even calling for her resignation because of the decision to exploit the suffering of an individual to further a political agenda. That - after all - is one of the primary functions of The Sun. It's the sort of unethical and objectionable behaviour that should merit resignation of course. But Rebekah Wade works for a tabloid... objectionability and a total lack of ethics is a job requirement.
No. The reason Rebekah Wade needs to resign is this.
When Tuesday's Sun featured one of the iconic images from 7/7 alongside the headline 'Tell Tony He's Right', the implication was clear: the victim backed the PM's tough anti-terror measures. There was just one problem: John Tulloch doesn't. In fact, [...] he is angrier with the politicians than the bombers.You see, it appears that The Sun ran that front-page image without consulting the person pictured in it. Not only that, they have clearly misrepresented him in a manner that I'm shocked is not actually criminal.
This is using my image to push through draconian and utterly unnecessary terrorism legislation. It's incredibly ironic that The Sun's rhetoric is as the voice of the people yet they don't actually ask the people involved, the victims, what they think. If you want to use my image, the words coming out of my mouth would be, "Not in my name, Tony". I haven't read anything or seen anything in the past few months to convince me these laws are necessary.