The Sun: False and defamatory

by Roger Helmer MEP (UKIP)

I was deeply shocked today by today’s report, and editorial piece, in the Sun. It claimed that I had said “It’s fine to despise gay people”, that “being gay is a mental health issue”, and that I had suggested that “homophobia is OK”. None of these propositions is true, or remotely relates to my views.

I was phoned (as I was driving, and concentrating, at least in part, on the traffic) by the Sun’s deputy political editor Steve Hawkes, who asked about my views on homosexuality.

In the course of a short conversation, I simply made the point that people were entitled to their personal preferences. It is morally acceptable to prefer heterosexuality over homosexuality, or vice versa. Most of us prefer one or the other. So let’s look at the Sun’s claims:

“It’s OK to despise gay people”: How the Sun gets from “It’s OK to have personal preferences” to “It’s OK to despise gay people”, I’m not sure.

“Being gay is a mental condition”. In about thirty seconds I was able to identify two blog posts in my extensive blog archive in which I make the point explicitly that homosexuality is not a disease.

“Homophobia is OK”. As a technical linguistic point, I have questioned the use of the term “phobia” in this context, since it has a specific meaning in psychiatry which does not (it seems to me) apply in this case. But I have also written very clearly (and in the same piece) that prejudice, hostility and violence against homosexuals are wrong, and totally unacceptable.

UKIP supporters will recognise the principle at work here: the mainstream media are engaged in a feeding frenzy against UKIP, and are prepared to twist the facts to suit their agenda. It seems that prejudice and hostility are alive and well at the Sun. This journalist’s boss is (I assume) the Sun’s Political Editor Tom Newton Dunn, the son of Bill Newton Dunn, the Lib-Dem MEP whose seat is under threat in the East Midlands.

8 responses to “The Sun: False and defamatory

  1. Sorry about this. I had Thunderbird set to Spam Mode.

  2. Dear Mr Helmer.

    Although we are now in different political parties, I am disgusted by the libels directed against you – I have met you and I am certain you would never use language such as “it is O.K. to despise Gay People”. The reporting against you is clearly both false and defamatory (designed to cost you and your party votes at the upcoming Euro elections) and I hope you remember to sue the liars as individuals (as well as the newspaper itself).

    There is a indeed a personal connection between the Sun’s Political Editor and one of the Lib Dem candidates in the East Midlands, but it is wider than that. There is a clearly a large scale campaign of smears and disinformation in the media (including the “conservative” newspapers) against your political party, the only newspaper in which I have not (yet) seen such smears and disinformation is the “Daily Express” (however I am not a regular reader of newspapers – and thus can judge only by front page stories). This campaign of smears and disinformation must be opposed – and opposed by people in other political parties.

    If it is O.K. to tell lies about UKIP candidates (such as yourself) then it will be considered O.K. to tell lies about the candidates of other political parties.

    The policy of “they are just lying about UKIP so it does not matter” is short sighted (as well as dishonourable) in the extreme.

    Yours Sincerely.

    Paul Marks.

  3. Hugo Miller

    I have a friend in Florida who despises both Negroes AND homosexuals. By what possible authority could I or anyone else presume to tell him it is not ‘OK’ for him to hold those views? Those are his views and he’s perfectly entitled to them.
    Another question for you Paul; you write that you and Roger are NOW in different Parties. This implies you were and possibly are a Conservative. Yet on another page you write against the possibility of ‘reform’ of the EU, which is the main plank of Conservative policy. So you belong to a Party which is not UKIP and is unlikely to be Conservative. You don’t write like a Socialist, so that doesn’t leave much – BNP, Greens, ???
    This puzzle is bugging me – do tell!! (I’ve been in UKIP for twenty years myself).

  4. Paul Marks

    Hugo – the issue is what Mr Helmer said and what he did not say.

    Neither your friend in Florida or Ming the Mercyless of the Planet Mongo, have anything to do with Mr Helmer said or did not say.

    Although (if you insist on brining in your friend in Florida), your friend in Florida can say anything he likes as far as I am concerned.

    As for how I vote.

    I have repeatedly said that I live in Kettering and vote for a Member of Parliament who has publically (and repeatedly) said he wishes the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

  5. Paul Marks

    By the way I (like my parents before me) am a Tribal Tory (Kettering politics is very tribal) and have been a member of the Kettering Conservative Association since 1979-1980..

    I am certain I have said this before.

  6. Hugo Miller

    Yes, the issue you address is one of accurate reporting, but there is another issue, and that is one of freedom of speech, and indeed of thought.
    Mr Helmer would indeed have been foolish to make the comments attributed to him, if only for electoral reasons, but you or I, who are not public figures, would be similarly denounced if not arrested for making such remarks, and that is the trend we must fight, and if that means defending remarks we find repulsive, then that is what we must do.
    You may well have stated your political beliefs before – I don’t pay close attention to the computer & don’t see all the posts that come in. If I may say so, it is my belief that the Conservatives find it electorally useful to retain a number of ‘Eurosceptic’ MPs, together with the magnificent Daniel Hannan, to ‘soak up’ the Eurosceptic vote and to maintain the pretence that they might be able to succeed in ‘reforming’ the EU. On another page you wrote of the impossibility of reforming the EU, and yet you continue to support a Party which has this as its main objective. The inescapable fact is that the one principle the Conservative Party has clung to while jettisoning all others is that we must remain a member of the EU whatever the cost.

  7. Paul Marks

    Hugo I have already said that your friend in Florida should have the freedom to express his opinions.

    However, I will say it again – your friend in Florida should have the freedom to express his opinions.

    As for how I vote – you seem to be under the impression that the M.P. for Kettering votes the way that Mr Cameron says (on the E.U. and so on).

    You are mistaken Hugo – please consult the Parliamentary record.

  8. Hugo Miller

    All right, don’t bite my head off! I don’t think I am mistaken – I said the Conservative Party is committed to our membership of the EU. Everybody who aspires to lead the Party must toe that particular line regardless of their personal views (vide Messrs Howard, Hague and Duncan Smith). I had to look up your MP and yes, he is a good man. I have the misfortune to be saddled with Francis Maude. But the sad truth is that he (Hollobone) supports a Party that is committed to EU membership. If he had the courage of his convictions he would join UKIP, as Roger Helmer has done. But, like so many other MPs, he puts Party before country.