Fibromyalgia Action UK

To be a bigot, or not to be a bigot?

Whilst I was digging about I found something I forgot about online - An column by a journalist. Now, this journalist is well known for his substantial over the top columns and articles. He has no fear of backlash what so ever (mind you nor do I when it comes to writing). And if you search his name you will find some interesting pieces, one of which is taking a pretty tough dig at people who suffer with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (I won't name and shame him here)

This was written in a well known newspapaer back the start of the year (if memory serves correctly), and although I am pretty thick skinned and not let people like this journalist get to me, others are not so as it kicked up alot of fuss, and who can blame them?

He was quoted in saying:

“My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to become disabled. Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of a bad back or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – Fibromyalgia, or M.E.”

“And being disabled is incredibly fashionable. The number of people who claim to be disabled has doubled in the past ten years.”

“I think we should all pretend to be disabled for a month or so, claim benefits and hope this persuades the authorities to sort out the mess.”

“It has become easier to claim those benefits, partly as a consequence of the disablement charities who, out of their own self-interest, insist that an ever-greater proportion of the population is disabled.”

Note on concerning the column in question: Dr Charles Shepherd, the medical spokesperson for the ME Association, said: “This is a disgusting and inaccurate attack on people with M.E. This journalist should get his facts right. The condition is recognised by the World Health Organisation after first being described in the Lancet in 1955.”

Laughable and shocking when you look at it, not to mention mind blowing. But, as I write myself and know how certain journalists work, it comes as no surprise. I remember someone asking me if, as a Fibro sufferer, I am offended by the remarks made by this journalist. In short, no.

Okay some people will say: ''Oh but he is paid to shock people.'' and ''He is like Jeremy Clarkson and should not be taken seriously.'' - Yeah right, Clarkson for one would not go as low as this.

While in the eyes of people who have FM/CFS this is a bigoted dig at people who are disabled by the conditions, this man has no place (trust me he doesn't, because he is no angel) to open his mouth on such issues he knows sod all about.

Easy to claim benefits? Clearly a statement from someone who has never needed to. The current assessment system requires you to be practically dead before they’ll accept that you’re sick or disabled.

What this Muppet seems to have missed is the fact that the majority of sufferers of the two illnesses mentioned here – Fibro and M.E - are refused benefits and have the most crucifying financial problems due to the discrimination from society. There is a lack of basic healthcare from the Government and NHS and this needs stopped now.

Over 250,000 people suffer M.E in the UK alone - are they all faking it? I don’t think so!

Good job I have a sense of humour for people like this ... ;)

2 Replies

yes I did read it, I hope to god he gets his wish and does get fibro


I'm surprised this guy was allowed to print such a discriminatory article! If he'd been racist, sexist etc he would have faced a barrage of complaints and may have been sued for discrimination.

My '...newly invented illness' may upset him, but his stupidity does not upset me at all - in fact I feel quite sorry for the poor fellow who obviously has to belittle others to make himself feel good.


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