Sunday, 29 July 2007

Jae Kay Is Away

I'll be back August 8th. Have a good week!

I wish I had my time to write about this. Loyal readers can probably guess how I feel!

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Friday, 27 July 2007

The Tories: Homophobic Shadow Cabinet Shocker!

It's hardly unexpected news to hear that the Lib Dems did a survey and found 80% of the Tory Shadow Cabinet to have voted anti gay.

I agree with their statement:

David Cameron's 21st Century rhetoric can't hide his party's 19th Century principles.

The Tories are an old fashioned party lost and disenchanted in a new and scary world.

And the Tory response?

The Liberal Democrats have got their facts wrong. David Cameron abstained in the vote on section 28, he supports gay adoption and he has said civil partnerships should be recognised in the tax system.

The Conservative Party has campaigned for equal treatment for the gay community and on the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality we should be celebrating what has been achieved since, not playing petty politics with this issue.

The Conservative Party has campaigned for equal treatment for the gay community? Since when? 2005??? Big whoop! It makes me sick to read bloody preposterous statements like that from the party that did so much harm to the gay community in the eighties.

And the facts? David Cameron DID vote against part of the Section 28 repeal and abstain one other vote later that evening (probably had to catch a train home!). Hardly a ringing endorsement. And his votes in support of gay adoption? NON EXISTENT!

Check out his gay rights record at They Work For You. I know... I was hoping too much expecting truth from Tories. Imagine that!

And then, on a more personal note, we have the tale of the gay dad sentenced to jail for coming out to his nine year old son and "exposing" him to his long term partner.

I am that partner (no not the exact partner, you know what I mean!). Jim has 4 children and his 8 year old son is aware of our relationship (as far as an 8 year old can be!). I couldn't imagine a time that lying to your child is better than honesty. What a messed up divorce case (no wonder they divorced if his ex wife is that crazy). See his campaign myspace page for more.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Oh Happy Days! But for how much longer?

Every time I see the Tories doing badly in the polls a smile crosses my face. I just can't help it. To be honest I've got to the point that the Tories could propose introducing gay marriage (rather than the seperate but equal civil partnerships), renationalising the railways and a Bill of Rights and I'd still hate them.

The Tories have spent so many years preaching hatred and NIMBYism that I can't see my current attitude towards them ever changing. They need to dissolve the party and see what springs up to take it's place.

Anyway... I think Gordon Brown needs to be careful. With the current flooding in the country and the water crisis caused by it he needs to be seen to be acting decisively and mustn't give the tabloids a chance to show him as not doing enough to assist.

It'd only take one major scandal right now and David Cameron would be back in the race. And that man makes Tony Blair look honest. Yuck.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

USA Crazy Way To Treat Tourists

For all this talk of secure borders we all need to remember one thing... handled correctly tourism can be a big help to an economy. I'm not saying tourism is perfect but you know what I mean.

So the way the US Government is treating travellers at the moment is scandalous.

The USA already has a fairly robust treaty with the EU whereby it receives a lot of info on people entering its borders. A new agreement has been signed which

adds 19 possible new categories, including information on ethnic origin, political and philosophical opinions, credit card numbers, trade union membership, sex life and details of the passengers' health.

The information will be provided by passengers when making bookings.

I can see the booking form now:

Do you require a vegetarian meal option?

Are you an Arab?

Do support the Coalition of the Willing?

Do you think George W. Bush is the greatest President ever?

Have you ever been affiliated with a trade union (example: are you a Communist?)?

Do you top or bottom? (Please select I'm not a homosexual for neither).

Make love not war. Discuss.

I understand that countries should know about those entering their borders. I've got records from some of my ancestors who upon entering the United States had their hair colour, height and general complexion noted for eternity. But your philosophical beliefs???

Now we all know about the famous questionnaire which some people get upon entering the country which has such questions as: Have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? But that's a direct question (and served a purpose for its time). It's not about your philosophical beliefs or your sex life which to be perfectly blunt are no one's business but your own.

America: Land of the (Control) Free-ak.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Sunday Funnyish

This blog isn't always going to be totally serious and it's not always going to be about gay politics (but it will feature more heavily than on straight blogs obviously). So Sundays will be for "And Finally" type stories...

I love Bill O'Reilly. I mean obviously he is some kind of parody of Stephen Colbert... surely he can't be serious?

Yoinked from TGA

Over 100 lesbian gangs in the D.C. area alone? Wow! Sales of overalls must be going through the roof!

Honest to God... I watched this and thought I had left Planet Earth and arrived in some bizarro mirror universe.

I haven't laughed so hard in ages...

The opposing view from Olbermann

Saturday, 21 July 2007

New Statesman And The Self Proclaimed Psychotherapist

I am all for freedom of speech, but I am also for clear indications of vested interests and careful wording of job descriptions to ensure full disclosure.

I think the article that is in the New Statesman must have been hurridly sort from Mr Richard Cohen as a way of balancing out the pro gay statements in some of the other articles in the magazine. I'm all for balance. However I have one major problem... his job description...

About the writer

Psychotherapist Richard Cohen is a leading expert in the field of sexual reorientation and the author of Coming Out Straight and Gay Children, Straight Parents. He is the director of the International Healing Foundation, located in the Washington, DC area.

Psychotherapist? So he must have some sort of qualification then?

Cohen is not a licensed therapist. We were told by the licensing agencies in Maryland that the term “psychotherapist” was essentially meaningless. According to them, one can hang a sign out in that state claiming to do psychotherapy and be completely within the law as long as one does not diagnose and treat from the DSM. As noted above, however, Cohen is spreading his odd techniques via others by training them, presumably for a fee.

Source: Ex-Gay Watch

In fact he has been permanently banned from the American Counseling Association. The word psychotherapist is misleading (in my opinion, anyway). Expert? Well I'll let you decide on that one... here's one of his articles..

And here he is on my favourite TV show... The Daily Show at Crooks and Liars.

I was going to discredit Richard Cohen here but I feel the links on this page do that perfectly well. It's the editors at New Statesman who need to be discredited. How can they publish a description of him without doing even a tiny bit of research on who he is and the debacles he has had when dealing with the media such as on The Daily Show and CNN.

Check out Wikipedia for more info.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Doomed To Repeat It

I know I hold gay people to higher standards than heterosexuals but one article in GT this month has really upset me.

As it's now the 40th anniversary of the legalisation of homosexuality, GT is running several articles to celebrate the occasion. One of the articles involved a panel of young and mature gay guys (Terry Sanderson, yay! His columns are awesome) who were born before and after this historic event.

I'll quote the opening remarks from two of the younger people....

Terry Bryan (born 1980): I only found out a few days ago that it used to be illegal for people like us to be what we wanted to be. From what I gather, the law changed in 1967 and homosexuality was legalised.

Julian Gregory (born 1984): I didn't realise it was so recent.

I felt ill at that point and kept having to stop reading out of sheer disbelief.

The younger guys then blame the education system for their lack of knowledge (I'm going to be polite and not use words that might offend, much as I want to) and the mature guys back them up. Turns out the Government is to blame for these guys not knowing their own history.

I was born in 1983. I've known I was gay all my life but I finally accepted it in 1998. At which point I went out of my way to find out every fascinating fact about homosexuality from its sociology to its history to its current legal status. I followed with interest gay news stories, and read newspapers such as the Guardian to keep informed. Why? Because if I was going to be something, going to accept that I was a gay man, then I wanted to know everything there was to know about it. By the age of 16 I was acutely aware of the unequal age of consent and Section 28 plus the history of the Stonewall Riots and 1967. And here's the thing: I'm not some bloody genius child. I did badly at school. Yet I still know about this.

It wasn't hard to find this stuff. I didn't need to go to the library or search the net. Just reading a daily newspaper and watching the daily news taught me most of the easy stuff. GT informed about the missing bits. By the time of the internet I just needed to get everything into a sensible order.

We even had textbooks at school (even though it was a far from tolerant boys school) which mentioned the law change in 1967 and it's ethical and moral ramifications (including my favourite ever speech by Archbishop Tutu).

So I don't think it's the Government's fault. In fact I think these people are just uninterested in their past and that scares me.

I remember Pride 2003 and I was with Ben and we saw something about Section 28 and he asked me "What's that?". I'd never even contemplated the idea that a gay guy wouldn't know what Section 28 was. I just felt scared a little bit at that moment. But I quickly decided he was just a one off.

And now 4 years later I realise he isn't just a one off. Most young gay guys don't know their history because they don't want to know. And that bloody terrifies me, because history has shown us great steps forward (such as under the Weimar Republic) can be brutely and swiftly crushed. We must be ever vigilant, ever careful to defend our freedoms, ever watchful of the current political climate.

And, basically, to forget what those who went before us suffered in our name is disrespectful. We have a duty to remember the bad times so that we can enjoy these good times even more.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

The English Fallacy

As long term readers know I'm a Unionist. I believe that the concept of Englishness is false and the break up the Union would be a slap in the face to hundreds of years of history. My feelings were reaffirmed today in a strange roundabout way...

I went to Nottingham. Nottingham is about as different from London and Kent as is Scotland or Wales. They speak with a funny accent and have strange shops and listen to weird radio stations (Trent FM???). This whole obsession some people have with being English just seems so misplaced to me... what on Earth do I have in common with the people of Nottingham? Not much...

That's what I love about the UK... it's bloody diverse and only thing that holds us together is the fact we all live on the same group of islands. We work well together, even if we don't always get along.

The concept of England going it alone is based on the idea that there is such a thing as an "English" person, and that the "English" share a culture. But I say there is isn't. I'm Kentish. The people from Yorkshire are proud to be from Yorkshire. The people from Cornwall are Cornish. We all have different cultures, different ways of speaking and different outlooks on life.

So if England ever did gain it's independence from the Union, I'd be the first person calling for Kent to secede. Because if we are going to base our country on the concept of a "shared culture" rather than on a geographical reality (us all living on the same group of islands) then I want to be in a country with all the Kentish Men and Men of Kent not in "England" a place with too many cultures to count.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


Back in April my mate Russell from TVW sent me an email regarding the £100m Mosque in London. It took me two seconds on to uncover the lie and I sent a rude email back to him suggesting he check his facts before forwarding emails. I will mention I hate getting forwarded emails...

Then over 3 months later and suddenly there is a petition on the 10 Downing Street site against the plan (and as far as I can tell it's one individual organisations plan with no Government backing nor planning permission).

The petition is framed with the statement:

"We the Christian population of this great country England would like the proposed plan to build a Mega Mosque in East London Scrapped. This will only cause terrible violence and suffering and more money should go into the NHS."

I am not even going to start on their use of the word "England". Dear Constant Readers will know how much that word annoys me.

I think the 268,840 people who signed the petition should be ashamed of themselves. Why? Because they are the kind of dumb arses who haven't even researched a subject that they supposedly feel so strongly about.

Here's Ken Livingstone's response.

Here's a part of the message I sent Russell which I stole from somewhere and can't remember where so sorry to the source!

Quote from LCGB forum in response to similar thread. Make of it what you will

“I've seen similar stories over the past year.

It's only right to point out that Ken Livingstone is NOT planning to use tax/ratepayers' money for such a mosque. And he has nothing to do with it either way.

Although no formal planning application has yet been made (and it may never be made), any decision would be taken by the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, a body formed on the basis of laws passed in 1980 under the previous Tory administration and used back then to set up the London Docklands DC.

IF it were ever approved in its talked-about form by the LTGDC, a big if, the organisers are planning to build it using private donations.

The mosque is planned to hold 10,000 worshippers, not 70,000 as has been mentioned, although up to 70,000 might fit in the grounds.

Slightly smaller numbers of up to 50,000 people can fit in the grounds of the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in north west London, the largest Hindu temple in the West, so something of this size is not unknown. I lived in the area both when it was built and for a couple of years afterwards and it never bothered the people of NW London in any way.

Moreover, this is an old story, which has become embellished over time by some people who, for their own reasons, don't have much time for Ken Livingstone.

Here is a link to the story, which first appeared in 2005:

Sometimes I wonder if democracy is a good idea...

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Can We Trust Boris?

Can Boris Take Ken?

Sure Ken puts his feet in his mouth more often than not (we all remember the Jewish Nazi Guard incident...) but Boris is in a whole different league when it comes to balls ups...

The Liverpool comments will live in infamy for some time to come...

Anyone know what the difference between lover and partner is? Is lover only used to sensationalise a story? Hmmm....

Monday, 16 July 2007

Unethical Doctor

I've always had my reservations regarding the whole anti MMR jab paranoia. It always seemed a bit like a bunch of uneducated parents terrified by overblown research.

But the revelations that the Doctor behind the accusation that MMR and autism was linked acted inappropriately are pretty disgusting. He basically abused children. Sticking a needle into a child for 5 quid is quite similar to offering the kid a tenner for a few dirty pictures. It's child abuse.

The reason there are procedures to follow when researching illnesses is to protect the patients (and volunteers). Offering the kids a fiver for blood samples is not likely to be an acceptable form of informed consent on their behalf nor their parents.

Dr Andrew Wakefield. Shame on him!

Thursday, 12 July 2007

BBC Apologises To The Queen

I don't know if you caught the story on BBC News before they apologised but it was entitled something like "Queen storms out of portrait sitting". This was based on a new documentary about the Queen where the BBC had privileged access to the Royal Household.

A couple of hours later we get an apology from the BBC regarding a trailer for the same programme which suggested the Queen had stormed off just like the previous story which has disappeared.

So this leads me to believe 1 of 2 situations. 1) The Queen has pressured the BBC into apologising in which case the BBC needs to grow some balls! or, more likely, 2) The BBC lied about what happened in order to get more viewers and then reported it as news. In that case I think someone at the BBC needs to be fired, like yesterday.

The Queen has never struck me as someone who'd get overly emotional in front of television cameras...

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The Love That Dares Speak Its Name

30 years ago today an editor of a now defunct gay magazine was found guilty of blasphemous libel. His real crime to publish a poem about the love of a Roman centurion for Jesus.

And what is shocking is that in 2007 it is still illegal to publish the poem. Who was behind the law suit? Everyone's favourite nasty person; Mary Whitehouse. Glad she was a good old patriot believing in freedom of speech... oh wait... no... she was a Nazi in disguise. Traitor.

Anyway... if you want to check out the poem click here.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Tories Ponder Social Engineering

Now I've always thought that if you have to give people incentives or disincentives to encourage or discourage behaviour then those people probably aren't worth the effort. Good things (such as being courteous or not killing people) are so self evidently good that to not do them suggests a corrupt or idiotic mind beyond redemption.

The Tories disagree. They suggest we incentivize people to follow paths which they think are good (for example "marriage") and use punitive taxes to disuade people from such things as binge drinking.

Now... I don't cause members of the public trouble when I'm drunk and I've got private medical insurance so my drinking will not be a burden on the NHS so why on Earth should I have to pay higher taxes for my vices??? It's not like I go and buy drugs off some dodgy fellow who probably uses his ill gotten gains to cause further social problems (on a completely unrelated note, doesn't David Cameron strike you as a good, honest person who would never take illegal substances?)

The Tories speak of a broken Britain, well they are the ones who broke it. Now bugger off and leave the rest of us to muddle through clearing up your mess.

Oh and the marriage thing... all that giving married people a tax break will do is force the poor to marry just to save some money. That's what the incentive will do and said marraiges will be hellish and brutal in a hell of a lot of cases. Maybe Government should keep it's noses out of peoples private life.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Terrorism? Amatuerism more like!

As Britain is attacked once again I have to say one thing... these terrorists are pretty darn amatuerish.

So you attempt a terrorist attack with the expectation that you are going to die... so you don't bother to destroy your phone records, nor hide any evidence. Instead you expect it all to be destroyed when your car explodes. Is that not the most foolish thing you've ever heard?

These guys have destroyed their entire terror cell because they didn't even consider that they might fail and be captured. Which makes me feel a whole lot safer... terrorists are, by their very nature, stupid. There doesn't appear to be any master criminal behind this particular cell.

As I often do I switched on Fox News for a laugh... and sheesh they provided it. The presenters expressed shock when talking with their British correspondent that no one was in a panic. A panic? Because two car attacks didn't even get off the ground and one spectacularly failed? Are they mad?

Britain has been under terrorist attack for many years. We had a break but now it's business as usual. No one is going to panic over a few Muslim extremists. Previously we had to deal with armed insurrectionists (partially funded by the Americans!)... we'll be fine dealing with this rag tag band of amatuers.