The problem with Gill's article is not that it doesn't make a few good points. Even though they are uncomfortable, a number of his observations might find a basis in reality or truth. Unfortunately, his seemingly boundless capacity for vitriolic and unnecessary comments damage any real credibility he could have established with a reader of this article.
While I'm tempted to write a point-counterpoint rebuttal of the piece, I'll resist the urge to legitimize his article with my full attention. However, it's a shame that Mr. Gill couldn't even attempt something actually journalistic, rather than a pandering, salacious piece.
As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Guilty as charged. Here is his article:
Unlike Mr. Gill I like to do my research. Here's a little of what I uncovered about him so you can take this article with a grain - make that a shaker full - of salt. A rap sheet that would make any mother proud:
- He was once ejected from one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants after calling him a "second-rate human being". Hasn't he watched Kitchen Nightmares?
- Gill (who is Scottish) has described Welsh people as "loquacious, dissemblers, immoral liars, stunted, bigoted, dark, ugly, pugnacious little trolls" in The Sunday Times (he was reported to the Commission for Racial Equality as racist).
- Gill has described the English as "embarrassing" and an "ugly race" as well as a "lumpen and louty, coarse, unsubtle, beady-eyed, beefy-bummed herd". I would love to see what a sketch artist does with that description!
- Gill sparked controversy by reporting in his Sunday Times column that he shot a baboon dead. He said he knew "perfectly well there [was] absolutely no excuse for [the shooting]", and that he killed the animal in order to "get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone". He went on to state that "[t]hey die hard, baboons. But not this one. A soft-nosed .357 blew his lungs out." The action prompted outrage from animal rights groups.
- The Sunday Times disclosed Gill had been the subject of 62 PCC complaints in five years.
- Gill was nominated for the Stonewall Awards as Bigot of the Year for his remark calling Clare Balding, a "dyke on a bike, puffing up the nooks and crannies at the bottom end of the nation"
- In February 2011, Gill described the county of Norfolk as ‘the hernia on the end of England’,causing outrage across the East of England (no problems in the west, apparently!)
- In September 2010, the Press Complaints Commission made a formal judgement against Gill for referring to the sexuality of the BBC Sport presenter Clare Balding in "a demeaning and gratuitous way". They couldn't even print what he said.