'Doug Stanhope's just an abusive bully'

Disability campaigner joins Twitter row

A leading disability rights campaigner has attacked Doug Stanhope for heaping abuse on a journalist – even though he was defending a severely paralysed man at the time.

Nicky Clark has branded the outspoken comic a bully for wishing that columnist Allison Pearson developed a ‘'fetid ovarian cyst’ for her views on assisted suicide.

Pearson wrote a piece in the Daily Telegraph last week arguing that Tony Nicklinson, who is paralysed from the neck down, was wrong to fight for the right to die. In her piece, she said he could have his wish to end his suffering if he contracted a serious infection and refused antibiotics.

Clark – who successfully took Ricky Gervais to task for his repeated use of the word ‘mong’ – said Stanhope’s reaction to the column was ‘abuse not intelligent debate’, adding: ‘This is documented by the torrent of further abuse delivered by his fans. 

‘He's called a genius by some to me he now he just seems like another bully with a microphone and an army of fans doing his dirty work for him… When bigots hear intolerant ranting they don't trouble themselves to seek the subtext.’

Clark has previously taken issue with Stanhope for using the word ‘retard’ to describe Sarah Palin’s son Trig, who has Down’s Sydrome.

She told Chortle: ‘The problem with Stanhope both with Pearson and with Palin is the notion that there are no boundaries to attacking those with extreme views.

‘Stanhope reserves his defence of disabled people for those who agree with him and his savage attacks for those disabled people whose parents have a different political view point.’

Clark says she, too, was ‘targeted’ by Stanhope’s fans when she expressed her opinion on Twitter, and accused the American comic, now on tour in the UK, of ‘refusing to engage with me directly himself’. 

In the initial row, Pearson accused Stanhope of ‘hoping my beautiful children get paralysed’ and being an ‘online misogynist and creep’.

In reply Stanhope wrote: 'In your article, you say that Mr Nicklinson should hope for an infection in order to die - unlike me, you weren't kidding.'

Stanhope has first-hand experience of the issue, as his mother took her own life rather than live with emphysema.

In an interview last year, he said it was ‘the single bravest thing I’ve ever seen anyone ever do’ adding: ‘She was dying and drowning in her own fluids so she ate a shitload of morphine and said goodbye.’

In a blog written before the current hoo-hah, Clark criticised Stanhope for referring to Trig Palin as a ‘spastic’ that came from her mother’s ‘Tard-launcher cunt’ and Louis CK for making a similar comment about the former Vice-Presidential candidate’s ‘retard making cunt’.

The activist, who last year launched the People Not Punchlines campaign, said: ‘All this is puerile and childish and utterly irrelevant to political debate. If anything, their tantruming elicits sympathy for Palin and her family, due to their undisguised loathing of learning disabled people in general and Palin’s son in particular,.

‘Making justifiable targets out of learning disabled people is the accomplishment of the bully not the intellectual.’

Published: 18 Mar 2012

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