The Guardian (comment piece by Peter Tatchell)
The backdown came after a day of scathing attacks by critics including Jean MacColl – the mum of Kirsty, who died in 2000 aged 41. Jean said: “It’s pathetic, absolute nonsense. Today we have a lot of gratuitous vulgarity, which I think is quite unnecessary. “But these people in the song are characters and they speak like that. It’s a great song – it’s like a play.” Enraged fans also bombarded BBC radio, television and websites – as well as The Sun.
What concerns me is not so much the use of the word "faggot" as the hypocritical condemnations of Radio 1's original decision to bleep it out. They wouldn't endorse the use of the n-word and p-word, "yid" or "spastic". For the sake of consistency, either the f-word should be disallowed too or these other bigoted words should also be permitted. It's the inconsistency that grates. Let's also remember that in Fairytale of New York the word "faggot" is being sung as an insult, alongside the words scumbag and maggot. In this abusive context, it difficult to feel comfortable about its usage. But the crunch issue is double-standards. I challenge those who defend the use of the word faggot in these lyrics to state publicly that they would also defend the right of white singers to use the n-word as a term of abuse in a song. They won't and that makes them cowardly homophobic hypocrites.