Regarding yesterday’s blog which also appeared in the Wales on Sunday I have received the following complaint which has gone off to various organisations. My responses are in brackets.
David Davies MP for Monmouthshire and the Wales on Sunday newspaper
Re: Article published on page 10 headlined ‘A crude form of justice’ published on Sunday 26th June 2006.
I am absolutely appalled by the article written by David Davies about the story of the young man Jody Dobrowski, who was savagely beaten to death by two men in London. In the article David Davies categorically states that the only reason the long prison sentence was imposed was because the victim was gay, this is totally and completely unacceptable and homophobic. (One may or may not agree with the statement but why does this make it "homophobic" or unnaceptable?)
There is absolutely no basis for this comment, (Oh yes there is look at what Stonewall say
)it has no basis in fact whatsoever. ('It's absolutely right that murder motivated by hatred of minority communities should be treated with this sort of severity.'said Stonewall Chief Executive - but what about the majority community?
In stating this David Davies has clearly made an issue yet again of someone's sexuality, (Not at all he was the victim of an unprovoked murder and it was right that those responisible should be severely punished) he claims in the article that he wants these types of sentences handed out regardless of whether the victim is gay, straight black or white. (Quite true and what is wrong with wanting equal rights for all victims)
If this is the case then why make an issue of this case? (Because it demonstrates that we are not equal before the eyes of the law) It can only be for one reason and that is because the victim was gay. He goes on to say that if the victim had been heterosexual then the sentence would have been much shorter. This is preposterous and outrageous, and he doesn’t seek to back this up with any facts or examples of other cases,(This is another quote from Stonewall: "The 28 year sentences were increased to reflect the way in which the killing was aggravated by homophobia")
just a further attempt by David Davies to divide homosexuals and heterosexuals with bigoted insinuations. (Divisions between homosexuals and hetrosexuals are more likely to increase if the law puts more value on the lives of one group than the other)
The article he has written is a complete contradiction and straight out of the mouth of someone espousing the principles of the BNP, (Now you're gettting hysterical) he claims to want long harsh sentences for these types of crimes (yes I do) but then complains its because the victim was gay,(no I wasn't I welcomed the sentences) this is absolutely disgraceful, would he made a similar statement if the victim was black,(yes ) highly unlikely but if he had he would have been condemned as racist (doubtless by someone else who hadn't the comments properly) and quite rightly so. Essentially a young man was brutally murdered, the murderers got a long sentence, what’s his problem? (None at all as I kept saying) If he’s insinuating that long sentences are handed out to those who only commit crimes against gay people, then let him produce the evidence, (see above) this article is as unintelligent as it is crass.
I believe this article is offensive, mis-leading and homophobic, it will reinforce the very negative attitudes towards gay people in society, it also contradicts the attitude of the new leadership of the London based Conservative Party. In allowing the article to be printed I believe the Wales on Sunday have fallen below the standard expected from a national newspaper in terms of responsible reporting, in this instance I believe the WOS have been irresponsible and insensitive.