Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gays and the BBC

The BBC has commissioned a report that says it is doing a good job portraying gay people, but could do more.

Personally I'm sick to death of the BBC's obsession with sex and sexuality, be that gay or otherwise. Do the people at the BBC really think that the population is as obsessed with sexuality as they evidently are?

I can't help wondering how gay people feel about their portrayal by the media, almost as if they are a product to be promoted rather than human beings who live lives pretty much as boring and run of the mill as the rest of us, until they close the bedroom door.

On the one hand the media promote people like Alan Carr and Graham Norton as the latter day John Inman and Larry Grayson, I won't mention the ultra camp little dancer with the terrible lisp who pops up on comedy panel shows while being not in the least funny. Almost Carry On style caricatures.

On the other hand they disproportionately promote homosexual tyrant and bigot Peter Tatchell. He who, amongst other things, loves to 'out' famous gay people whether they want to be 'outed' or not. Anybody who dares disapprove of his orthodoxy is treated with a pink Hitler style attack of hatred and venom. Don't expect to be tolerated when you are so incredibly intolerant of others. Surely 'hate crimes' work both ways, or they should.

The best thing the BBC can do, and the Labour Party come to that, is drop their politically correct obsession with sexuality. It was their obsession with race and perceived racism that encouraged the rise of the BNP, they do everybody a similar disservice obsessing about sexuality.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Labour Party Conference, Zombies and the EU Referendum Petition

I met up with Nikki Sinclaire and her team in Manchester yesterday, it was great to catch up with the people I'd worked with as Nikki's campaign manager in the general election. Other aspects of the afternoon and evening I found quite disturbing though.

We met up in Manchester to leaflet the Labour Party conference inviting delegates to join us at Nikki's EU referendum fringe meeting yesterday evening. The campaign is demanding a straightforward referendum on whether we should be in or out, and in just over a month of actively seeking signatories, she has gathered over 20,000. The aim is to get 100,000 which could trigger a House of Commons debate on the issue. If only a few more supposedly withdrawalist MEPs were campaiging as hard as Nikki then progress would be so much swifter. But quaffing champagne and chomping foie gras in Brussels seems to have seduced so many other MEPs into a startling level of inactivity.

I have some concerns about the referendum option, shared by a couple of people at the meeting last night. If the campaign succeeded who would frame the question? It could be worded: "Do you want the UK to remain a member of the European Union?". Or it could be worded: "Do you want to see the UK isolated from the rest of Europe?". Let's face it if they can hold second referenda when the first result is not the one they want, that scenario is not implausible.

The second concern is the resources for the two campaigns. After many years the European Union admitted that they had pumped massive resources into the campaign for Britain to stay in the EEC in 1975. By comparison the out campaign was funded largely by individuals digging into their own pockets and savings.

If those issues can be addressed then let's have the referendum and finally, whoever wins a properly balanced and fair referendum, we can say that people have had their say, now let's just get on with it be that in the EU or outside.

What really shocked me yesterday was standing outside the Labour conference. It felt a bit like being in some kind of low budget film about the living dead. I've never seen so many zombie like, miserable politicos as I saw leaving Manchester Central yesterday. But I suppose after losing an election, then listening to the new leader spouting empty rhetoric about wimmin, gays, lesbians, BMEs and talkin' 'bout my generation, that would finish off even the most optimistic. I swear I saw a couple of speech bubbles above delegates' heads bearing: "Oh no, Ed Miliband, what have we done?"

At least a few years ago Labour delegates used to resemble living, breathing, real people. I know because I've picketed a few over the years. But the last two I've stood outside, yesterday being the worst, I think they've attracted political clones and professionals interested only in a career, little about genuine beliefs or principles. But this year they are particularly hurting as they are, for the first time for many, losers. Like the Tories in the 1980s their years of government have attracted a bunch of chancers and now it's over and I suspect, over for many years.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Independent Safeguarding Authority

It looks like the government are scrapping of New Labour's more oppressive police state quangos, the Independent Safeguarding Authority. Let's hope they do anyway, at the moment it's under review.

It was set up after the Soham murders because Ian Huntley hadn't been found guilty of any offences so passed his police check to work in a school.

Everybody working with 'vulnerable' people was supposed to register, in addition to being vetted by the police. 'Vulnerable' included anybody on prescription drugs. It meant that at least one parent had to register if they were to host a child on a foreign exchange visit. It included parents offering lifts to their childrens' friends, and so on. What it actually was was a further attempt by Labour to get us all onto a database and keep tabs on us.

But what if you were accused of a child related offence but found not guilty in a court of law? The ISA had the power to ignore that and decide you could not register with them anyway, making you unemployable in many cases.

Good riddance to what was, even by Labour standards, an oppressive authoritarian outfit.

The Police State

The police state manifests itself in all kinds of ways, some bigger some smaller. Yesterday we were in Lancaster and checked out a new bar and restaurant, the Dalton Rooms. There is a picture of the front of the building in the gallery on their website.

The way the police state manifests itself here is in front of the bar. There is a large covered terrace affair that is roped off from the street with tables and chairs in it. I thought it was a very civilised smoking area now poor old smokers are forced to huddle up outside pubs and bars in all weathers. But no, smoking is not allowed.

The sign on the wall in this terrace area makes it clear that it is not the bar owners or staff responsible, but the authorities. The sign informs customers that smoking is not allowed on the terrace only on the pavement outside the actual premises. So you can take a very short step onto the pavement for a smoke. Fine, but you will get nicked if you take your drink with you because drinking on the street is illegal.

So you need to straddle the rope, lean one way to take a drag on your cigarette, then lean the other way to have a slurp of your pint. Just shows how petty minded the authorities can be.

I wonder when they will ban class TV adverts like the following. After all, we need protecting from alcohol as well as nicotine!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Autumn, the Start of the Political Year

I always feel that autumn ushers in the new political year. The serious parties hold their conferences and elected parliamentarians return to work after a lengthy break from mithering, lecturing and dreaming up new ways to tax us.

As well as conferences autumn sees serious local election candidates preparing their latest newsletters and hitting the campaign trail, ready for elections the following May. Even after promising themselves to start campaigning straight after the previous May elections, most leave it until autumn to begin.

Of course the cocky, or maybe naive candidates begin their May election campaigns in April, then blame everybody but themselves when they fail to get elected. But that happens in many cases and is one of the reasons why people complain that they only hear from politicians when they want a vote.

Having my birthday in October I've lost count of the number of birthdays spent at party conferences or other political events. I even spent my 21st birthday en route to the Tory conference drinking Newcastle Brown Ale. But this year will be different. I'll be joining Nikki Sinclaire MEP at her EU membership referendum fringe meeting at the Labour conference in Manchester on Tuesday 28 September, if you would like to join us it's at Central Hall, Oldham Street at 7-00pm. Then, for the foreseeable future that's it, no meetings planned, no conferences to attend and certainly no election campaigns to fight. After over 30 years in politics I need a breather.

My disillusionment started setting in about five years ago. While I've met some fantastic people in politics I estimate that for every one person that reaches a high position in a party, there are probably about three who I would rather not touch with a bargepole. It seems to be a higher concentration in smaller parties for some reason, perhaps small parties attract obsessives. And I speak after spending the last ten years in UKIP then the Libertarian Party. Remember, throughout the expenses scandal little was said of two smaller party MEPs who actually went to jail, Tom Wise and Ashley Mote.

But the electorate aren't blameless in the shambles that is current politics. I have personally leafletted streets for months and months only to have residents claim to have received nothing for years. There are millions of people who moan but don't vote. People who are so incredibly angry about a local issue that you organise a protest, and the usual half a dozen turn up but the moaners stay at home watching Corrie and moaning.

Then there are the party members who turn up to every meeting, especially if there is food and drink around, but are nowhere to be seen when there is real work to be done. But they talk the talk and usually slag off the people that actually get off their arses and do something.

Of course our system works against truly representative democracy, you only have to look at the Frankenstein monster that seized power after May 6th. Even with pots of money smaller parties find it virtually impossible to break through the three party system. Look at the money James Goldsmith threw at the Referendum Party in 1997. So Caroline Lucas was elected in May for the Green Party. But her being elected in Brighton was a bit like George Galloway being elected in Bethnal Green. Hardly typical constituencies. And her great statement to date as an MP? She wants MPs to job share. Wow.

Smaller parties increasingly demand some form of proportional representation. But cynics like me often wonder if they would be so much in favour of PR if they could win an election under the current FPTP system. Or are they genuinely anxious that all parties, even the BNP, get proportional representation in the House of Commons?

Maybe part of the problem is that the line between pressure group and political party has become blurred. The Greens and the environment, UKIP and the EU, BNP and immigration, English Democrats and an English parliament and so on. But the overwhelming majority of people don't vote on a single issue, so they have very limited electoral success. But instead of accepting that, they increasingly campaign for PR, blaming the system for their own failures perhaps.

If we get PR that is likely to create new problems. The smaller parties will still only get a handful of seats, but months and months of haggling could follow general elections with no party having a clear majority. More and more compromise during negotiations could lead to even fewer voters getting something near what they voted for than under the current FPTP system.

The real question that needs asking about PR is whether we want the current system of representative democracy, where governments are formed on the number of representatives elected by electors voting in groups known as constituencies, or would we prefer the numbers to be divvied up on the basis of percentages? Once people have made their minds up on that, then a proper debate can begin about our form of representative democracy.

Either way I see nothing but increasing disillusionment with our democracy, and the smaller parties may find that when the light of electoral success shines on them, the public like what they see even less than they like the big three parties.

Maybe the future for those of us disillusioned with party politics is to campaign within pressure groups to influence the current three big parties. Only time will tell.

Peter Tatchell

Yesterday I received an abusive comment from a supporter of Peter Tatchell about this earlier post on my blog. He claimed that Tatchell had been misrepresented.

So below, reproduced again in full, is Tatchell's letter to the Guardian of 26 June 1997 that caused the apparent misunderstanding. I hope this clarifies the matter:

ROS Coward (Why Dares to Speak says nothing useful, June 23) thinks it is “shocking” that Gay Men’s Press has published a book, Dares To Speak, which challenges the assumption that all sex involving children and adults is abusive. I think it is courageous.

The distinguished psychologists and anthropologists cited in this book deserve to be heard. Offering a rational, informed perspective on sexual relations between younger and older people, they document examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal, beneficial and enjoyable by old and young alike.

Prof Gilbert Herdt points to the Sambia tribe of Papua New Guinea, where all young boys have sex with older warriors as part of their initiation into manhood. Far from being harmed, Prof Herdt says the boys grow up to be happy, well-adjusted husbands and fathers.

The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.

While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.
Peter Tatchell

Forgive me if I misunderstood the following line:

While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.

I foolishly read it and understood it to mean:

While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.

Silly me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Respect and Good Manners

An old pal of mine, Steve Allison, has a comment policy on his blog, which I have reproduced below:

Anyone is welcome to read this blog but the blog settings require my approval before a comment made by a reader is posted for all to see. Only on rare occasions will I accept anonymous comments and I will never allow anonymous comments that are insulting or attack me personally. If someone wants to have a go at me then I see no reason to give them a platform to do so.

Steve and I know each other through politics but, as I am now less politically active, we tend to keep in touch via our blogs. I've always felt sad that Steve has found it necessary to have this comment policy, but don't blame him in the least.

Over the years, although generally on the same side, Steve and I have disagreed on various issues, often quite heatedly and even intensely. But we have never resorted to personal abuse or childish name calling. By and large we have always treated each other with respect.

While the internet has opened up countless opportunities for millions of people, to make their working lives easier, research easier, the chance to comment on issues easier or just to keep in touch with friends and family, there is also a downside. Too many people seem to lose respect and good manners when they sit behind a keyboard. And I'm not going to try and say that I am completely innocent, I'm not. There have been times I've said things, on blogs or emails for example in the heat of the moment, and afterwards deeply regretted what I've said.

The last week has really brought into sharp focus the problem of abuse on the internet, and elsewhere, in our ever more intense and accessible media environment. Nobody in this world is, or should ever be, immune from criticism but what the iternet has done is opened the doors to nasty and unnecessary personal attacks on others by people who seem to lack the intellect to argue fom a constructive and respectful position against those they disagree with.

As a libertarian I oppose limitations on free speech. In my view we have free speech or we don't, you cannot have degrees of free speech. A common argument among libertarians is that just because something offends somebody somewhere, it shouldn't be banned. But responsible libertarians, indeed responsible people, should not go out intending to cause offence. Merely hurling vile personal abuse is an abuse of free speech. The internet has opened up a whole culture of people wallowing in their ability to be as personally unpleasant and foul mouthed towards opponents as they possibly can. That is demeaning.

One of the reasons I oppose limits on free speech is because I would rather know what Tom, Dick or Harry actually believes so that I can decide whether to associate with them, join their club, vote for them or whatever. That self regulation has been extremely effective this last week. I don't claim to be holier than thou, I'm not saying we should sanitise communication and debate, passion is vital and that often leads to heated debate that often goes too far, but that's life. I'm concerned about gratuitous insult, often accompanied by lies or, at best, half truths.

There are so many ways that self-regulation can come into play. Indeed, it's actually quite simple. When writing we can consider how we would feel if what we are saying was directed at ourselves. If we would be offended then why offend others?

Another way is to consider whether or not we would be prepared to say what we are about to write to the person's face. If not, then don't write it. It used to be called cowardice.

Many of us are proud of the reputation we British have for respecting others and for our good manners. It would be nice to think that those qualities would naturally limit the potential abuses of true freedom of speech. But sadly too many people, many claiming to be libertarian, play into the hands of those who want to control what we say by resorting to foul mouthed abuse, half truths or lies to attack opponents and anybody they disagree with. It's also about responsibility.

There used to be a phrase my grandparents used that we might well consider anew: "If you've nowt decent to say, keep your trap shut".

Monday, September 20, 2010

After the Papal Visit

What a few days we've just witnessed. Attending the Beatification Mass in Birmingham was my personal highlight of a fantastic four days. For millions who couldn't attend any of the events, the TV coverage was excellent, and gave millions of people outside the church an insight into what being a Roman Catholic really means.

But now the Pope has returned to the Vatican and we must carry on, inspired and heartened by his presence and his words. There are many ways we can live our faith and we have a duty to try hard to do that. Faith is more than thoughts and words, although they are important, it is about how we live our lives day to day.

The modern media gives even the busiest person the chance to pray. Before Easter I went on a retreat to Pantasaph Friary in Wales. The few days there were so rewarding and, among other things, I decided to continue with my morning and evening prayers after the retreat, especially as Fr Louis Maggiore had been kind enough to give me a fine prayer book.

But many people are so busy they find making time for prayers difficult. Step forward Universalis. This gives you the chance to spend a few minutes at the start and end of your day to pray at your desk.

We must work hard to be guided in our everyday lives by our faith, and to defend our faith even when that may be difficult. If we ignore the guidance of our faith when we take positions of responsiblity, what is the purpose of our faith? We must all try hard to do what we know is right, even if that is difficult at the time and may make our lives less comfortable as a consequence.

The Pope inspired us all on his visit and there are things I intend to do differently as a consequence of his wisdom. We all have a duty to question what we do and why we do things, and to continue learning and trying hard to improve as human beings. We owe that not just to God, but to each other.

An interesting article on the Papal Visit from the Telegraph Online.

From the Mail Online.

An account of yesterday's Beatification Mass from the Telegraph Online.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Joy of Pope Benedict's Visit

What has been so heartening about the Papal Visit has been the response of the public at large. Many people have commented on the negativity of the media towards the Pope, and the Roman Catholic Church, in the weeks leading up to his visit. Now, having seen him live, without the negative spin of the media and the anti-Catholic bigots, they have been extremely impressed.

During my working day I meet the public constantly and have spoken to many, the vast majority of whom know nothing about my faith, and I have been amazed at the positive comments from people I meet. Many comment, quite unprovoked by me, about the contrast between the the mean spiritedness of the anti-Catholic bigots, and the generosity and wisdom of Pope Benedict XVI. The intensity of the modern media can be a curse, but remove the spin and bias, show people live on TV uncensored, and you really see the reality.

The generous response to the Pope has renewed my faith in the basic decency and courtesy of the overwhelming majority of people in this country. So many people, especially yesterday when the Pope spoke in Westminster Hall, have said how relieved they are that at last somebody has spoken what so many of them believe or feel. There is a mean spirited and nastiness among 'aggressive atheists' who, judging by the public response these last few days, have a massively disproportionate amount of influence in public life, especially within the media. But the public have seen through that.

The Pope has truly struck a chord with people. Many feel that there is a vaccuum in public life, be it in politics or business, and they are not happy. Something is missing and the Pope, on this visit, told us all what is missing, and people have accepted that.

Tomorrow I will be in Birmingham for the Mass and Beatification of Cardinal Newman. The more this visit has progressed the more priveleged I feel to be a part of it in a very small way. Maybe there won't be a huge resurgence in Catholicism in this country, but I am convinced that we will see more people turning to our church and more people, believers and non-believers, learning from this visit and starting to question the world around them and what is wrong with it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Haagen Dazs TV Commercial Music

Who is that haunting music from the Haagen Dazs TV commercial? Richard Hawley:

Poor Ian Paisley

Great quote from Ian Paisley yesterday about the Papal Visit:

"I don't want his blessing and I will be keeping as far away from him as possible..."

Mr Paisley speaking in Edinburgh, the day the Pope arrived, in Edinburgh.

Book Review: David Nicholls-One Day

I've just done a quick book review on my new blog Gregg's Library.

Feel free to pop in and have a browse.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Pope in Britain

The first day of the Pope's state visit to the UK has surpassed all expectations. Huge crowds greeted the Holy Father and the Mass in Glasgow was a wonderful experience, even for us watching on TV.

I really can't wait until Sunday when I'll be at the Mass and Beatification of Cardinal Newman in Birmingham.

To keep up to date please go to Papal Visit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nikki Sinclaire MEP

I'll be joining Nikki in Manchester later this month for a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference. The meeting's about her EU referendum petition that is going down a storm. But more of that anon.

She's now writing a new blog Thoughts of an independently minded MEP. It's worth a read, but you have to also tolerate her rambling on about Liverpool FC. Amazingly she never once stole my hubcaps when I was working with her in Meriden in the general election. Then again, she's not actually a Scouser!

More Bull from Aggressive Atheists!

You know when a bandwagon is building up, media whores like Stephen Fry jump onboard, which he did today via the Grauniad. Yes, he doesn't see why British taxpayers should foot the bill for the Pope's visit.

Poor Stephen, maybe he's skint! But please remember, we Roman Catholics pay tax too. Shame these 'not from my taxes' imbeciles don't shoot their mouths off so vindictively when assorted third world despots come on state visits, entertained and protected with our taxes.

Talking about third world it's been fun today seeing the media and 'aggressive atheists' twist the words of Cardinal Kasper. He told an interviewer that Terminal 3, or maybe 5, at Heathrow was like landing at a third world airport. Of course it's being reported by the BBC as shock, horror, 'Cardinal calls Britain third world'.

I haven't used Heathrow in 20 years or more. But people I know who use it regularly have also likened it to a third world airport. But eh, the Pope arrives tomorrow so let's say what the hell we want if it means slagging him and the Catholics off.

Then Cardinal Kasper is attacked for mentioning the 'aggressive atheism' that is rife in the UK. Only for aggressive atheists to attack him. You know, those who have been ranting in the media for days snow, led by aggressive atheists like Dawkins, Tatchell and now Fry.

And these people call us Catholics illogical.

But, as the Holy Father arrives in Blighty tomorrow, let's end on a high note:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Papal Visit

I accept that plenty of people have criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church, and they have every right to voice their concerns and the Church has to defend itself. But what we are witnessing today in the UK is an outpouring of bigotry, lies and half truths about the Church and, more especially, Pope Benedict XVI.

For the first time in my life today, after looking on the internet and listening to a BBC phone-in, I was ashamed to be British. There is a sick level of hatred directed at Catholics as the Pope's visit draws nearer that should shame all who regard themselves as tolerant and, dare I say, liberal? It was so refreshing then to find the following article in the Telegraph Online:

This week will witness the historic spectacle of the Pope delivering an address in Westminster Hall to the leaders of British society. Later on Friday, Benedict XVI will visit Westminster Abbey – but it is his speech in the Palace of Westminster that carries the greater symbolic weight. No building in Britain reveals more of the foundations of our constitution. Medieval kings were feasted and deposed in the 900-year-old hall. Guy Fawkes and King Charles I were tried there. So, too, was Sir Thomas More, for refusing to accept the right of the monarch to exercise papal powers.

The last fact underlines the sensitivity of the visit of Pope Benedict, which begins on Thursday; for, unlike John Paul II, he will be here as the guest of the Queen. Matters are made even more delicate by scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, for which Benedict XVI has been put on trial by the British media. As this newspaper has argued, that is the wrong spirit in which to approach this remarkable state visit. The attempts to implicate this Pope in paedophile abuse have fallen apart under scrutiny – and, in any case, he will be here as our guest, not as a defendant. In the past, Westminster Hall may have served as a courtroom; but it is also a setting for hospitality, and that will be its function this week.

The role of host is an opportunity for people to show off – in a good way – all that is best about themselves. At the Palace of Westminster, the former Joseph Ratzinger will breathe the air of an institution that, in contrast to Continental legislatures, has resisted tyranny. He is expected to recognise this by referring to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, a gesture rendered all the more poignant by the fact that as a very young man he served, briefly and unwillingly, in Hitler's armed forces.

In 1940, the British people fought not only to resist conquest but also to preserve their tolerant values. Today, this country permits and even celebrates many things of which the Catholic Church disapproves. But it should be stressed that this Pope, perhaps more than any other, is an admirer of British democracy. As a devotee of Cardinal Newman who speaks our language fluently, he appreciates our tradition of civilised discourse with people whose views we do not share.

In recent months, that tradition has been threatened by the anti-religious rhetoric of "defenders of the Enlightenment", who display an intellectual intolerance almost worthy of the Inquisition. That is a shame. By all means, let critics challenge the Pope's teachings while he is here. But this four-day visit is not an invitation to drown out the voice of the leader of a billion Christians with sneering and mockery. Visitors to these shores as well as British citizens have the right of free speech. Our distinguished guest must be allowed to exercise it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Peter Tatchell, The Pope and Hypocrisy

It is interesting to see the anti-religious bigotry being ratcheted up as the Pope's visit gets closer. Facebook is especially entertaining at the moment with those proclaiming their hatred of the Pope and all things Roman Catholic screaming that we Catholics are 'homophobes', 'child torturers', 'paedophiles', when they can actually spell it correctly. Oh yes, and it seems, we 'still burn people at the stake' in one particularly amusingly irrational diatribe.

Of course these people, represented by the likes of Dawkins and Tatchell, proclaim to oppose Catholicism because they are open minded, liberal and tolerant. Course they are, until you disagree with them, then they spit bile and venom in a quite irrational way. Peter Tatchell, talking about irrationality, is a fine one to talk. Following is an article about Tatchell from The Christain Institute:

‘Homosexual rights’ campaigner Peter Tatchell has repeated his call for the age of consent to be lowered to just 14.
His position has been strongly rebuffed in the past, with one commentator saying that sex is for people who can cope with the consequences, “In a word, adults.”

Mr Tatchell’s latest comments echo those made by him last year as well as in a controversial letter he sent to The Guardian in 1997, in which he talked about the “positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships” and even said he knew cases of nine-year-olds for whom sex with adults “gave them great joy”.


Mr Tatchell’s recent remarks feature on an American forum website, Big Think, during a month in which the site published debate articles about “dangerous ideas”.

The ‘gay rights’ activist claimed that: “Despite what the puritans and sex-haters say, underage sex is mostly consenting, safe, and fun”.

He believes that laws which put the age of consent at 16 are harmful to teenagers. “They signal that a young person is not capable of making a rational, moral choice about when to have sex”, he said.


In an online article in 2009, Mr Tatchell wrote: “An age of consent of 14 might be more realistic and reasonable than 16.

“If sex at 14 is consensual, and no one is hurt or complains, is criminalisation in the public interest?”

He added: “Some teens, and even young children, innocently and spontaneously explore and experiment at an early age. In most cases this causes them no harm at all.”

But commentator David Lindsay, writing on The Daily Telegraph’s website, slammed these remarks saying “sex is for people who can cope with the consequences, physical and otherwise. In a word, adults”.


In an outspoken letter to The Guardian in 1997 Mr Tatchell went even further, saying several of his friends had had sex with adults when they were aged between nine and 13.

“None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy”, he said.

Mr Tatchell went on to say that while “it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful”.

The letter, dated 26 June 1997, is reproduced in full below:

ROS Coward (Why Dares to Speak says nothing useful, June 23) thinks it is “shocking” that Gay Men’s Press has published a book, Dares To Speak, which challenges the assumption that all sex involving children and adults is abusive. I think it is courageous.

The distinguished psychologists and anthropologists cited in this book deserve to be heard. Offering a rational, informed perspective on sexual relations between younger and older people, they document examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal, beneficial and enjoyable by old and young alike.

Prof Gilbert Herdt points to the Sambia tribe of Papua New Guinea, where all young boys have sex with older warriors as part of their initiation into manhood. Far from being harmed, Prof Herdt says the boys grow up to be happy, well-adjusted husbands and fathers.

The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.

While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.
Peter Tatchell

But then again Tatchell has always been a self-obsessed publicity seeker, a self made man who is in love with his creator. When the best that opponents can do is trundle out a loony like Tatchell, you know they are on a sticky wicket.

Of course one thing the Pope's visit has done is to highlight the number of small minded, mean spirited puritans we still have in this country. The next Oliver Cromwell is just around the corner sadly.

I remember the first Ulster Protestant I discussed politics with claiming that I couldn't be a patriot because I owed my allegiance to a foreign state, the Vatican. I found it quite laughable at the time. But in 2010 I think I would prefer to owe my allegiance to the Vatican than to the United Kingdom.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Papal Visit Radio Station

If you would like to follow the Papal visit, other than on the BBC, there is a dedicated Papal Visit Radio Station.

As the Project Director says below, it may not be as polished as the BBC, but I'll certainly be giving it a try other than next Sunday when I'll be at the Beatification Mass in Birmingham.

Here is the introduction from the HGUH website:

The radio station is another part of my ‘crusade’ to give Catholic young people, who have creative talent, an outlet for their gifts within the Church. HeartGivesUntoHeart (HGUH), our own Catholic community internet radio, would not exist without them. We took the decision in February to go ‘live’ for the Pope’s Visit (a full 15 months before the original schedule). Life has been manic ever since with a very steep learning curve!

I would like to dedicate the project to Pope Benedict and all the many people (some young and some not so young) who have contributed to the gigantic task of going live within a 5 month timeframe – they’ve all been fantastic. There have been so many people giving freely of their time and gifts and I would like to say "thank you" to you all.

Many of the programmes were made by young Catholics who had never done anything like it before – without their hard work and dedication this radio would not have been possible.

We may not have the polish of the BBC, but I think you’ll agree it's more than compensated by their enthusiasm, fresh thinking and vibrancy!

Thank you all

God Bless

Gerry Coates

Project Director

Friday, September 10, 2010

Burning the Koran Threatens World Peace!

There's nothing like a sense of perspective is there? A loony Christian in a church in a Florida swamp threatens to burn the koran and a loony on the other side of the world claims, or maybe threatens, that it could finish world peace if it happens. So who is the loony who made the claim? Not some semi-educated tribesman in the Hindu Kush, or a loony Imam in Iran. No, it was the President of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country. There's nothing like proving your detractors, otherwise known as Islamophobes right is there?

I regard myself as a pretty tolerant person and was instinctively appalled at the church in the USA when it was announced that it intended to burn the koran on September 11th. But then I saw the reaction, yet again by, muslims throughout the world and began, yet again, to wonder whether christianity and islam will ever be able to live side by side. Do we want to see people ripping each other apart in acts of religious terrorism while we sit back in the warm glow of self righteousness at our nice liberal tolerance? It seems ever more apparent to me that that scenario is a distinct possibility.

Those in the west who are full of politically correct self-loathing of our culture love to attack christianity, especialy the likes of Dawkins as the Pope's visit approaches. But I can't bring easily to mind a christian state that forbids women to drive. Or a christian state that chops off the right hand of thieves. Or a christian state that stones to death an adulterer, then kindly changes the sentence to ninety lashes.

The best the strident atheists in this country can do is to criticise Ireland for not allowing abortion and the Catholic church for failing to approve and encourage homosexual activity. In many islamic countries homosexuality is punishable by death. I wonder when the likes of Dawkins and Tatchell will be demonstrating outside mosques and trying a citizens arrest of an imam? No, a bit too risky that for them I suspect, or perhaps it is about not having the courage of their convictions.

Throughout the muslim world christians are oppressed and many are murdered. I know of no christian country that systematically oppresses people of other faiths. Saudi Arabia doesn't even allow people to take the bible into that country, or crucifixes or any religious texts other than those of islam. What is worse, banning a bible or burning a koran? What is worse, a tiny church of 50 people burning a koran or a state banning the bible?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Liverpool's a Shithole-Official!

Something Mancunians have known for decades has been confirmed in the Independent and elsewhere after a government survey:

Liverpool's a Shithole-The Independent.

And if you wonder what they use their allotments for in Liverpool there's the following from the BBC:

A woman has told of her shock after she found firearms three times at her Liverpool allotment.

Librarian Joanne Radley said she found shotgun barrels, cyanide and a silencer at the plot in Greenbank Lane.

A man has been arrested over the firearms find and is being held in custody.

The discovery is being linked to a chemicals find at a flat in Ullet Road on Saturday, resulting in the evacuation of 30 residents.

Ms Radley, who works at Garston library, said despite showing police her discoveries it took them over a month to act.

She said: "My daughter Fawn was helping me dig the allotment up in July when we made our initial discovery.

"She found what she thought was a pipe, but it turned out to be a flask containing the barrels of a shotgun.

'Took firearms'

"We were pretty shocked - it's not what you expect to find when you're digging up your veg - so we immediately contacted the police.

"They took the firearms and told us to get back to them if we found anything else.

Joanne Radley said she was told the white powder was cyanide "A few days later we did - two boxes of ammunition and white powder - and told the police again. They did a surface search and cordoned off the area.

"Twenty-four hours later we were allowed back and we found more ammunition and a silencer. This time I took it to the police station because I was so fed up of no action."

Merseyside Police said that part of their investigation was "under review". Det Supt Ritchie Davies said the suitability of officers' allotment searches would be looked at

Those loveable Scousers eh!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tony Blair Cancels Book Launch!

I can just imagine Blair looking across the breakfast table and telling Cherie he's scared about his book launch party after those nasty people were horrible to him in Dublin.

After looking across the breakfast table at her ugly mug for all those years I'd have thought he could face anything. But no, Cherie looks at her very own cash cow and tells him not to worry, if it's a bit dangerous they'll cancel it.

Good job Cherie wasn't Sergeant Major B'Stard listening to Private Blair telling him why he would prefer not to have to go to Iraq or Afghanistan if Sergeant Major doesn't mind awfully.

Two faced, cowardly, hypocritical, war mongering, lying piece of shit!

I was considering advertising Blair's book for sale at £500, on the grounds that anybody stupid enough to buy it would be stupid enough to pay it. But I can't bring myself to buy a copy, even at 50% discount.

Sign the Petition to Support Our Soldiers

Like many I oppose our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq but applaud the professionalism and courage of our armed forces. What a contrast they are to our politicians. Please follow the link at the end of this post to sign the petition:

Early Day Motion [EDM 1053]
Rank and Pension of Soldiers Killed on Active Service

‘That this House, convinced that the courage and devotion to duty of members of the British Armed Forces who are killed while on active service for their country should be recognised and rewarded in every possible way, particularly by the pensions and help given to the families they leave behind , recommends that the Ministry of Defence’s rule providing that pensions on promotion are payable only after the role for the new rank has been held for a year should be revoked for those killed in the service of their country so that their families are paid the rate appropriate to the rank held at the time of death; and considers that the family of Sergeant Matthew Telford of Grimsby, promoted to the rank in June 2009 but killed by an assassin in Afghanistan in November of that year, along with Guardsman Jimmy Major of Cleethorpes and three other soldiers, should be paid the full pension appropriate to the rank he was proud to honour at the time of his death’.

Please click here to go to the petition.

Sandwell Councillor Elaine Costigan

At a Libertarian Party meeting at weekend we were having a chat about the qualities needed to be a local councillor. Most of us agreed that some councillors were genuinely in it to help their local communities, some just to push their parties forward regardless of the impact on local people and some were just in it because they craved status. Elaine Costigan, a Sandwell councillor who defected last week to Labour over the school rebuilding programme, falls into the third category.

I've just seen Councilor Costigan on BBC news, and she doesn't strike me as being very bright. Because the government cocked up its announcement about the schools rebuilding programme, she has defected from the Tories to Labour. The rest of the piece showed kids in Sandwell who claimed their schools were so cold that they could hardly hold their pens in classes and had trouble concentrating. As the Coalition only seized power in May I assume that cold hasn't been a problem in the last four months.

So Councillor Costigan leaves the Tories to join Labour, the Party that has been in power since 1997 and, in that time, allowed the schools of Sandwell, which also has a solid Labour majority on its council, to deteriorate to such an extent that kids are too cold to hold a pen in the classroom. Thank God I was educated in the 1970s, in a good old fashioned school built by the Victorians. Even with power cuts and fuel shortages we were never so cold we couldn't hold a pen!

I'm even more grateful that it was a direct grant school so that idiot councillors like Councillor Costigan couldn't cock up my education.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

History, Idiots and the Blitz!

The problem with radio phone-ins is that it gives us a chance to hear what a bunch of half wits and idiots inhabit these islands. No wonder we are in the shit. Let's not forget, before I get attacked for unfair generalising, that this is the country that inflicted Blair and New Labour on itself repeatedly from 1997 onwards.

Today has been the commemoration of the London Blitz, when the Germans, yes GERMANS not just a handful of Nazis but thousands of Germans, dropped bombs on London then other cities. My parents lived through the bombing of Manchester and survived, obviously and thankfully.

But no, idiots with an evident lack of historical or moral awareness had to whine on about what happened to Dresden and Leipzig. Sad yes, but today was about London and our cities. Anybody who campares Churchill with Hitler, or our forces with the German forces, is obviously clueless about history, morality and warfare.

Stalin, being a totalitarian despot and protected from public opinion, could send millions of men to their deaths fighting in the traditional way. Our government, on the other hand, knew that 'excessive' British casualties would turn public opinion against the war, and lead to a loss for us and victory for Hitler. We focussed then, on mechanised or total war. We had to do that to stop Hitler.

My pet theory is that Dresden and Leipzig, so late in the war, may have hastened the inevitable end, but there was another reason. The British people had had enough of war and wanted an end. They, unlike Churchill, had no stomach for a fight against Uncle Joe Stalin and a regime that was just as murderous, if not more so, than Hitler's. So we left half of Europe under the Soviet rather than the Nazi jackboot. My theory is that we used Leipzig and Dresden not only to hasten the end of war, but to warn Stalin that we still had the firepower to stop him if he was considering marching any further West towards us.

So if today's moral and historical retards had been around then, we would probably all be speaking German or Russian now and asking what elections are and why we don't have any. There probably wouldn't be any gays, gypsies or Jews around either, let alone Asians, Africans and countless other groups in this country. Not only would there be none here, but millions more would have been slaughtered by Nazi or Soviet death squads.

So well done Bomber Harris and Bomber Command, not to mention those who lived through the Blitz in London and elsewhere. Heroes all.

Now don't get me started on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The NHS-Let's Cut the Crap!

I get tired of people drooling over anybody associated with the NHS. Referring to nurses as 'angels' is puke inducing and should stop. Yes, there are many great doctors and nurses in the NHS, inevitably as it is a state controlled near monopoly, but there are also a lot of idiots and skivers, as you find in any walk of life.

My beloved recently blogged about the appalling treatment her mother continues to receive at the hands of the health service. They turned a pretty lively older lady into a housebound shell of what she was before they got their hands on her. You can read it at Rosie's Forum.

Last week I heard a self obsessed bag on the radio informing the presenter that she needed a holiday "probably more than most people because I work in the NHS" she said. Oh really? Of course the rest of us laze around all day picking our noses don't we?

When I spent a night in hospital about three years back it was so grim it prompted me to stop smoking to minimise the chances of having to go in again. In the morning I found a great pool of clotted blood under the bed from a previous occupant. It took me three hours to summon somebody for a glass of water, then when I needed the loo it was an hour before I could get somebody to help me get there.

Recently somebody I know was suffering terribly from depression. She is manic depressive, euphemistically called 'bi-polar disorder' these days, doesn't sound quite as much like a form of madness I suppose. Well we eventually persuaded her to see her GP who claimed to have a special interest in depression. She had a chat and he sent her away with a telephone number to ring if she got any worse. She did, and she rang the number. It was an Age Concern day centre! Useless.

Returning from one of her many visits to see her mother in Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, my beloved showed me a photo she had taken on her phone. It was a particularly filthy and unhygienic lavatory with 'these bogs are filthy' daubed on the wall in felt tip. They weren't public toilets on the local housing estate, they were the toilets in the hospital.

Today I read about a complete bastard called Edward Ruddick, a nurse found guilty of stamping on a dementia sufferer. Thankfully he's in chokey now, but for only 6 months.

I always used to warn people that countries with 'democratic' in their name were usually anything but. Similarly anybody with 'care', 'carer' or 'caring' in the name of their job title, or their employer's name, needs keeping a very close eye on.

Sunday Drivers

They really do piss me off, not just Sunday drivers but weekend drivers on the whole. This weekend was particularly bad as I had to drive to Clitheroe on Saturday and Manchester on Sunday, and it's the back end of the holidays so the M6 in Lancashire was full of them.

Why do the prats sit, mile after mile in the middle lane? Or lane two if you prefer, or the second lane. They really do piss me off, so much so that I can feel my blood pressure rising and end up screaming words of abuse that I didnt even know I knew when I see one ahead.

Then, as if that's not bad enough when you try and pass them they start to accelerate, so you start passing them at 70mph but reach 80mph by the time you succeed. As soon as you pass them they then return, still in the middle lane, to a serene 65mph and drop right back. Bastards!

But when you glance to your left as you pass them you see some silly bleeder, nose an inch from the windscreen, gripping the steering wheel so tight their knuckles are pure white with veins bulging. They stare ahead with a look of concentration that makes them look like they're desperately trying to break wind because their lives depend on it. If they are that scared when driving on the motorways piss off and use the 'A' roads.

I can just imagine Cecil turning smugly to his beloved Celia as he hogs the middle lane and saying: "Oh look behind my dear, three lanes of the motorway all jammed up and the road ahead is perfectly clear. Think we timed our departure just right". No you moron, it's jammed because you are sat in the middle lane doing 69mph, while the inside lane is empty, thus causing a tailback from Lancaster to the Scottish border! You are screwing up the bloody motorway network you tit.

Then you get to J32 of the M6 and there are four lanes. Yes four lanes for them to screw up. So Cecil the nobhead stays in what was the middle lane, but has now become lane three for a few miles and hey presto, he's fucked up the whole motorway network, quite possibly causing traffic jams as far back as Inverness, or at least Aberdeen now.

Thanks to these prats we effectively have a two lane motorway network. What the pillocks do is effectively close the inside lane, unless you want to be highly dodgy and overtake on the inside. So if you are one of those tits who sits in the middle lane mile after mile when the inside is empty please leave a comment explaining why you are such a selfish, useless, moronic prick of a motorist.

I think we should be allowed to force them off the road. Preferably at the top of the Thelwall Viaduct or the Dartford Bridge. What a satisfying splash that would make.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Are You Racist? Take the Test!

Following my earlier post today, here is a test to check if you are racist or not.

The original puritans ducked women in the village pond. If they drowned they were not witches. If they didn't they were.

Today's puritans like to see racists everywhere. Are you one? Take the test and find out.

Q. Do you have any black friends?

A. No. Then you are obviously racist.
A. Yes. All racists say that. You are obviously racist.

At least a dead 'witch' had cleared her name.

Morrissey and the Chinese

Morrissey's done it again, and the Guardian reading pinko liberal misfits are spitting feathers and accusing him of racism.

If you don't know Morrissey is a musical genius and dedicated vegan and animal welfare campaigner. Personally I have no problem with eating meat, indeed foie gras is one of my favourites, and I enjoy the odd bullfight. But in a free world we are all entitled to our likes and dislikes and are free to criticise those we disapprove of.

Morrissey's mistake has been to take free speech literally, how very naive. In a magazine interview he described the Chinese, because of their appalling treatment of animals generally, in circuses especially, as 'almost a subspecies'. Fair comment in my view. Even as a dedicated meat eater there are limits and I think the Chinese, as with their human rights record, are a pretty vile mob. Their treatment of humans is what really angers me, and the fact that the pinko liberals prefer to ignore it and instead slam the USA for the odd execution just highlights the left's stinking hypocrisy.

It's worth Googling Morrissey to have a laugh at the bleeding heart liberals' response to his commonsense. Here is a good starter, The Guardian's coverage.

Here is a clip of Morrissey on meat:

Friday, September 03, 2010

Poor Old Hare Krishnas in Leicester

We have a Buddhist temple up the road in Cumbria where monks and other Buddhists head to for retreats and things. Our local train from Lancaster often has Buddhist monks in their saffron robes heading up there. I still get a shock when I pass through the carriage to find, when I reach them, that they are not Tibetans but often Mancunians, Scousers or Cockneys. I find it quite eccentric, but admit to liking it, as far as I know Buddhists don't tend to hurt people.

So I was saddened today to hear that a Hare Krishna temple in Leicester has burnt down. Thankfully nobody seems to have been seriously hurt.

But it does remind me of a wonderful verse from Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by The Smiths:

I was delayed, I was way-laid
An emergency stop, I smelt the last ten seconds of life
I crashed down on the crossbar
And the pain was enough to make
A shy, bald, Buddhist reflect
And plan a mass murder
Who said lied I'd to her?
Oh, who said I'd lied because I never? I never!
Who said I'd lied because I never?

Tell you what, why not listen to the whole wonderful song?

I hope the Hare Krishnas in Leicester soon recover.

Paloma Faith

I have had a great day, working with somebody who is a bit of a hero of mine, so here's a bit of music to ease in a relaxing Friday evening:

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tony Blair: The Turd That Won't Flush Away

I was roused from my slumber this morning to find myself back in a living nightmare that I thought we'd left behind, Tony Blair talking bollocks on the radio. Shit, I must have dreamt his departure and he is still in charge, talking about how perfect he and the 'New Labour Project' were.

Then I thanked God that I heard the word 'were', he must be in the past. I was just in a nightmare after all. Except I wasn't, he was pushing his autobiography on the BBC, the presenter cooing over him in typical sycophantic, arse licking BBC style.

If you buy his book you deserve to have a white hot poker inserted up your Khyber Pass. He will need little encouragement to write the sequel and then we'll have to endure the slimey turd beaming and talking shit over the airwaves yet again, so don't be a prick, don't buy it!

Interesting that his autobiography A Journey translates into Eine Fahrt in German. Quite apt for Blair, the turd we just can't seem to flush away.