by Stephen Tall on August 6, 2007
Ron Brown – who served the people of Leith as their MP for 13 years, until 1992 – died last week of liver disease, aged 69.
BBC Online chose to headline his death, Former MP ‘Red’ Ron Brown dies. Quite why they felt it necessary to repeat his nickname so prominently even beyond death is a little beyond me. To me, its refusal of dignity shows a casual lack of respect.
Even the most anti-BBC right-wing bloggers might accept that Auntie would be pretty unlikely to come up with equivalent obituary headlines for the Tory dear-departed come the time: ‘Former MP Norman ‘Polecat’ Tebbit dies’ or ‘Former PM Thatcher ‘The Milk-Snatcher’ dies’.
And I suspect most people would find it just a little tasteless if Geoffrey Howe’s departure were to be memorialised as ‘‘Dead Sheep’ Howe dies’. (The same applies of course to David ‘Dr Death’ Owen.)
Everyone deserves a bit of respect in death.