Ben Fogle slams 'grotesque' Guardian for calling David Cameron's grief for dead son 'privileged pain'
BEN Fogle has slammed the Guardian for its “grotesque” article describing David Cameron’s grief over the death of his young son Ivan as “privileged pain”.
Fogle, who lost his stillborn son William in 2014, blasted the article as “deeply offensive” and claimed it had “relapsed his grief like PTSD”.
'THERE IS NO PRIVILEGE IN LOSING A CHILD'
David and Samantha Cameron’s boy Ivan died aged six in 2009, after being diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Ohtahara syndrome.
In his new autobiography he wrote: "Nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for the reality of losing your darling boy this way. It was as if the world stopped turning."
However, in a spiteful editorial published this week, The Guardian fumed: "Mr Cameron has known pain and failure in his life but it has always been limited failure and privileged pain.
"His experience of the NHS, which looked after his severely disabled son, has been that of the better functioning and better funded parts of the system."
The piece was met with widespread outrage and the paper was forced into making a grovelling apology before taking down the article from its website.
In an open letter to the left-wing newspaper titled “Pain” TV presenter Fogle, 45, said the “despicable” article left him “reeling”.
I am not a Tory and I am certainly no apologist for David Cameron, but to describe the loss of his son Ivan as "privileged pain" is grotesque.
The dad wrote: “I am not a Tory and I am certainly no apologist for David Cameron, but to describe the loss of his son Ivan as "privileged pain" is grotesque.
“Deeply offensive to the many thousands of us who have lost children of their own. I too am privileged and I have also lost a child. Your editorial insinuates that I too only experienced 'privileged pain'.”
Fogle was away from his family when wife Marina went into labour five years ago.
She had suffered acute placental abruption at 33 weeks and was lucky to survive the stillbirth of the couple’s son.
Fogle described the ordeal as like "having your heart ripped out".
There is no privilege in organising a memorial service and headstone. There is no privilege in holding my tearful wife once a year as she sobs uncontrollably on his birthday
Re-living the trauma, he said: “There is no privilege in losing a child. There is no privilege in being called in the middle of the night, on the other side of the world, to tell you your son has died and your wife may die too.
“There is no privilege in being turned away from a Ryanair flight because I didn't have time to print out a boarding pass and lost my wallet in my haste to get to the hospital.
“There is no privilege in holding your dead son in your arms and having a photo with him. There is no privilege in organising for your sons cremation and the repatriation of his ashes.
“There is no privilege in organising a memorial service and headstone. There is no privilege in holding my tearful wife once a year as she sobs uncontrollably on his birthday.”
Fogle then accused the Guardian of “inflicting hate” by “plumbing the lowest depths” of journalism.
He said: “I don't want this to sound angry, but beneath my tears, your editorial has relapsed my grief like PTSD. You have made me feel such rage that I want to punch the editor in the face.
“As a pacifist, it doesn't make sense to me but the pain of bereavement is inexplicable.
“Unlike your despicable journalism, the pain of bereavement is universal and it is unifying. Unlike the hate you have inflicted, the loss of our son connected us to others who experienced the same terrible, life changing loss, unified by pain.
“Your editorial decision has plumbed the lowest depths of journalism, as a lifelong reader and contributor of The Guardian you have left me reeling.
“Less hate, more love.”
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