Friday, 16 February 2018

The identity politics racket – Part 1 the conservative legacy

Over the past few decades the British people have been living through a slow motion coup, in which the main institutions have increasingly become occupied by cultural Marxists imposing the ideology of political correctness on the nation. Unfortunately, their task was made easier by some of the historical baggage inherited from earlier generations.

Although there was a gradual improvement throughout the first half of the 20th century, by the early 1960s Britain was still a relatively unequal society in which individuals could be openly discriminated against purely on the basis of their sex, race and sexual orientation. Thus liberals and progressives of that time were easily able to portray themselves in a positive way as modern, forward looking, free thinking, open minded champions for a more enlightened society, in contrast to the reactionary, self satisfied, privileged and hidebound conservative establishment which then controlled most of the levers of power.

This conservative consensus began to break down from the mid 1960s onwards with the rise in feminism, opposition to racial injustice and a more frank and open discussion of sexual matters. So some of the early demand of liberals clearly addressed problems that needed rectifying such as the granting of equal pay for women, an end to discrimination in public services for black people and the repeal of legislation which criminalised male homosexuality. So given the reasonableness of some of the early progressive demands it was clearly right that they were conceded.

Not everybody was happy with these changes but they had the strong support of educated and activist young people newly benefiting from the expansion in university education. Since liberals were largely pushing at an open door with their early demands, their self confidence grew and their claims became more vocal. In contrast, the conservative establishment found itself increasingly placed on the defensive.

Future posts in this series will explore how these reforms to rectify past injustices and to promote equality of opportunity gradually morphed into the current obsession by liberals with the pernicious practice of identity politics. The posts will consider in turn how this development has impacted on the politics of gender, race and sexual orientation, and allowed an extensive an entrenched victim culture to develop in all these categories.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Homosexual equality delayed

This blog has previously explored the odyssey of the British political establishment from its detestation and criminalisation of homosexuality in the 1950s to its detestation and criminalisation of homophobia today. As outlined here http://bit.ly/2lHOh9k and here http://bit.ly/2mL2uWo 1950s parliamentarians set their face against any liberalisation of the law against male homosexual activities. By the late 1960s the climate had changed sufficiently to allow decriminalisation for men over 21, but homosexuality was still widely condemned as shown here http://bit.ly/2woxAZd . Twenty years later disapproval continued at a high level sufficient to ban the promotion of homosexuality in schools as described here http://bit.ly/2hZ25zm . However, by 1994 many parliamentarians had reached the conclusion that the time was right for young homosexuals to be given the same rights as heterosexuals.

Conservative MP Edwina Currie proposed an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill that would reduce the age of consent for male homosexual activities from 21 to 16. She declared that ‘homosexuality in this country is subject to enforced discrimination, which is now out of date, indefensible and way out of line with the rest of the civilised world. Most nations have the same age of consent for straight and for gay sexual activity - and have done for years, with no problems at all. They do not bother to make any distinction, even when the age is lower than it is here.’

Mrs Currie reminded colleagues that a case had been brought before the European Court of Human Rights, which she believed would have an excellent chance of success. Her view was that ‘the state should be kept out of the personal lives of the men and women of this country. Everyone is entitled to his or her privacy. What my neighbours get up to in private is their business and not mine, and it is not for the state to interfere’. These are in principle commendable objectives which governments have continued to ignore up to the present, not just for sexual activity but also in respect of recreational drugs and viewing images deemed ‘indecent’ or supporting terrorism.

Mrs Currie drew attention to the effect criminalisation had on ‘young men seeking help, whether through counselling, health advice or sex education. They are too scared to come forward and ask for help, as to do so would involve identifying themselves as breaking the criminal law, so they do not come forward’. This argument would apply equally to today’s young teenagers, but there appears to be no appetite from politicians to change the law to allow problems such as those described to be rectified, and which still form part of young teenagers’ experience.

Despite a massive propaganda campaign over the previous quarter century to promote the normality of homosexual activity not all MPs had been persuaded. One Conservative MP asked ‘on the issue of equality before the law, does the hon. lady realise that it is neither natural nor normal to carry out homosexual activity? That is why there has to be protection for young boys. It is a different matter if they participate in that which is normal and natural, but if they are guided into activities that are neither normal nor natural, protection is required.’ Whilst his observations about natural sexual activity are undoubtedly correct, he failed to justify why private unnatural activity needs to be criminalised, incurring potentially lengthy jail sentences.

Mrs Currie drew attention to an anomaly which more broadly still continues to be unaddressed ‘that the age at which a boy can be held to be guilty of rape was recently reduced from 14 to 10, but in law he is judged to be absolutely incapable of making up his own mind’ about his sexual orientation until he is 21. Society still appears to hold the contradictory view that young males as young as 10 years are fully aware of what they are doing when they commit sexual crimes, yet at the age of 15 are still presumed to be in a state of ignorance, innocence or immaturity to consent to sexual activity. It clearly makes logical sense for the two to be harmonised, most reasonably at the post pubertal age of 13 which would become the age of sexual responsibility. This reform would still protect genuine children, bring about an end to state meddling in personal and private activity that is widely practiced by young teens, and would have the additional merit of removing the current widespread societal pathology over normal sexual attraction, as well as removing barriers for those seeking help and advice on sexual matters.

Mrs Currie addressed the fear that ‘changing the law would result in rapacious, middle-aged homosexuals hanging around school gates, waiting to seduce young boys’ by sensibly declaring ‘I wonder whether anyone ever talks to young people. Most of them are inevitably and naturally seeking relationships with people of their own age. One year is the average age gap between partners at their first sexual experience. The idea that teenagers might be attracted to some wrinkled old biddy is preposterous’. The hysteria that still prevails on this matter overlooks the deep physical repugnance felt by most young teenagers to anyone who looks older than the typical members of a boy or girl pop band.

The Home Secretary Michael Howard, although allowing a free vote, personally opposed Mrs Currie’s amendment citing the Wolfenden Report from 1957 which concluded that ‘a boy is incapable at the age of 16 of forming a mature judgement about actions of a kind which might have the effect of setting him apart from the rest of society’. He considered that the key question was ‘to determine an age at which most young men could be said to be mature enough to take a decision on these matters for themselves’, adding that ‘there will still be some young men for whom a homosexual experience after age 16 will have a profoundly influential and potentially disturbing effect’. This may well be true but youths in such a situation should have been provided with sufficient guidance to have developed enough resilience and confidence to make their views perfectly clear by refusing consent and thus avoid entanglement in the criminal justice system. Mr Howard concluded that ‘the way of life that we are currently discussing involves an abandonment of the possibility of marriage and children, which sets those people who choose it apart and which requires the criminal law to give all the protection that it can to the young and vulnerable before they are confirmed in that orientation and before they take that decision’.

The shadow Home Secretary Tony Blair supported the amendment stressing that ‘let us be clear about the issue before us tonight. It is not at what age we wish young people to have sex. It is whether the criminal law should discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual sex. It is therefore an issue not of age, but of equality’. Mr Blair in making this statement encapsulated the main justification of those MPs who supported reducing to 16 the age of consent to homosexual activities. Mr Blair continued ‘I do not believe that sexuality is determined by persuasion. The overwhelming evidence suggests that being homosexual is not something that people catch, are taught or persuaded into, but something that they are’. This was a viewpoint that the majority of people had by then come to share, in contrast to the alarmism that underpinned the 1950s debates. Mr Blair concluded ‘that people are entitled to think that homosexuality is wrong, but they are not entitled to use the criminal law to force that view upon others’.

One interesting statistic that emerged from the debate was that ‘in 1990, 1991 and 1992 there were respectively nine, ten and twelve prosecutions for homosexual offences between those aged 21 and over and those under 21. This contrasts with the figures cited in the 1950s debate when over 90% of prosecutions involved a male below the age of 21. In practice the number of prosecutions of unlawful but consensual sexual activity has only ever affected a minuscule proportion of those engaged in such behaviour.

Mrs Currie’s amendment was lost due mainly to the opposition of her fellow Conservative MPs, but a separate amendment reducing the age to 18 was passed. In so doing MPs signalled their view that an activity which had previously carried a maximum sentence of five years should never have been a crime in the first place. They also confirmed that earlier societal fears relating to the need to offer protection, through the criminal justice system, to those deemed vulnerable had been exaggerated. With the election of a Labour government possessing a huge parliamentary majority the equalisation of the law on the age of consent for homosexual activity was eventually achieved in 2001.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Victoria Gillick vs the progressives

This blog has come into some flack from the website Biased BBC, for this post http://bit.ly/1O9ci5A about the Rotherham grooming scandal. Biased BBC is undoubtedly correct when it castigates the BBC for its politically correct bias, but predictably some of its commentators suffer from their own confirmation bias. The ill informed comments there overlook a number of facts, namely that the 1400 victims figure bears absolutely no relation to the less than twenty who have been involved in criminal prosecutions, that the girls in care homes were free to come and go as they please within the rules, that none of the girls made complaints to the authorities or police who were thus in ignorance of what was going on, that the Muslim predators acted in opposition to their professed religion not because of it, and that a significant percentage of young white teen girls also engage in sexual activities with youths of their own race without any apparent harm from this experience. This blog has never condoned this kind of activity by young teens because of the dangers of pregnancy and disease, but neither has it regarded such behaviour as a pathology which requires intrusion by the law. This post made a passing reference to what is known as the ‘Gillick competence’ which is examined in more detail below.

Victoria Gillick, a devout Roman Catholic with ten children, was responsible for bringing a legal challenge in the early 1980s against her health authority which had a policy of prescribing contraceptives to underage teenage girls, without their parents’ knowledge. The health authority was complying with a Department of Health circular which stated that the prescription of contraceptives was a matter for the doctor's discretion and that they could be prescribed to under sixteens without parental consent. In her legal challenge Mrs Gillick sought a ruling that the prescription of contraceptives to under age girls must be illegal because the doctor would be committing an offence of encouraging sex with a minor, and that it would be treatment without consent as consent in such a matter rests with the parents.

There was clearly some justification for Mrs Gillick’s concern as parents, in their wish to protect their child’s welfare, would certainly want to be informed about whether their daughters of this age were being prescribed contraceptives. She was supported by many on the right who shared her concerns and wished to bolster traditional sexual morality. However, those on the left were hostile to her campaign, sometimes vociferously so. The case went all the way to the House of Lords which ruled against Mrs Gillick. So what were the arguments that persuaded the Law Lords to effectively condone under age sexual activity and to undermine parental authority in the upbringing of children?

The Law Lords in deciding the case considered that the main issue was whether a female minor was capable of understanding a doctor’s advice and concluded that in respect of contraceptive advice she would be able to do so. In this respect a doctor could provide contraceptives to the minor if the girl could not be persuaded to inform her parents and would be likely to still engage in sexual activity. Additional factors were the potential effects on the physical or mental health of the girl if contraceptive advice was refused. Given these factors the Law Lords concluded that her best interest would be served if contraceptive advice and treatment was given without the parents’ knowledge. As a consequence of this judgement parents cannot prevent minors consenting to family planning treatment if they are of sufficient maturity to decide the matter themselves.

It has to be said that the arguments for and against this decision are finely balanced, and before the case came to the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal took a different view, as did a minority of the Law Lords, one opining that ‘the practice of secretly providing contraceptive services to girls under the age of 16 encourages participation in sexual intercourse which offends basic principles of morality and religion’. This was a viewpoint which Mrs Gillick, motivated by her religion, very much endorsed as sinful, but which was an anathema to progressive thinking of the time.

Nevertheless, the primary risk to be considered is an unwanted pregnancy that will likely cause enormous mental and social problems for a young teen girl. As we have seen from the Rotherham case, it is not possible for parents or guardians to supervise and monitor teenagers all the time, and thus providing contraceptives without parental knowledge is the lesser evil in these circumstances, which moreover demonstrates responsible behaviour. The judgement came down on the side of the autonomy of teenagers to regulate their personal lives on this matter, rather than having it determined for them by parents. This was applauded by progressives but denounced by social conservatives.

Progressive liberal thinking at that time was critical of Mrs Gillick’s objectives. Many of them noted that she took a hostile attitude towards sexual permissiveness and they accused her of being anti-sex. She was denounced in one leftist pamphlet as part of ‘right wingers hang-ups about sex, their objective as far as possible is to stamp out sexual activity outside marriage. This is the main object of their campaigns’. One prominent left wing feminist described her campaign as ‘calling up the social purity movement of the 19th century….to save their daughters from sex’. Agony aunts declared that ‘individuals have the right to choose their lifestyles from about the age of 12 or 13’.

Sentiments such as these were echoed more broadly in the Dame Janet Smith BBC Savile report in which many commentators observed that during this period ‘people were not as aware of the significance of the age of consent as we are today, there was a much more relaxed approach to this question’, and that the important thing was ‘to help the girl avoid pregnancy’. Certainly the prevailing attitude at the time amongst liberals and progressives was that underage sexual activity by young teenagers was not much of an issue, not surprising given their general hostility to what they regarded as the repressive conservative and religious sexual morality which prevailed during the 1950s and earlier, and which they were keen to dismantle through the promotion of sexual permissiveness.

This was all before the paranoia over ‘child sexual abuse’ became established, promoted by children’s charities and adopted by feminists. Under this agenda the incidence and impact of sexual activity by children under the age of puberty is greatly exaggerated with the intention of creating alarm and demonising men, although it is clearly wrong as it must always involve exploitation if an adult is involved. In addition, the definition of a child, requiring state protection and surveillance, has been expanded upwards to include younger teenagers. Since feminism is an integral part of the politically correct agenda, progressives have now adopted the outlook of the moralistic right wingers they once mocked. They are now as virulently hostile to young teenage sexual activity as the traditional conservative moralists, but are much more inclined to use the power of the state to police such activity. As progressives have morphed from free wheeling bohemians into heavy handed puritans, it can only be a matter of time before they succeed in reversing the Gillick judgement, given the calls that it should be made a criminal offence not to report suspicions of ‘child sexual abuse’.

Friday, 1 December 2017

The transgender fixation

The issue of transgender rights and ‘gender fluidity’ have been in the news quite a lot recently. This blog previously touched upon this issue here, http://bit.ly/1Y0HhTf arguing that delusional individuals who attempted to change their sex by mutilating their bodies must clearly be seriously psychologically disturbed. The post concluded, that because of the huge risk of suicide after mutilation takes place, any involvement in this practice by medical practitioners should be banned to also include hormone therapy.

Since then the concept of ‘gender fluidity’ has been gaining traction. It can be defined as someone who to a greater or lesser extent does not feel comfortable in the sex into which they are born. In principle, there is nothing untoward about this, as there must be millions of both men and women who do not conform to popular stereotypes about their sex. This is a matter which reflects their own individual personalities and preferences, which should be of no concern to wider society.

It is worth remembering that not so long ago many ‘progressives’ were arguing that there was no fundamental differences between the sexes other than physical biology. The reason for this was that women were claiming that they were intrinsically just as capable of succeeding in any field of employment on equal terms with men, and so any discrimination against them based on their sex was misguided and should be outlawed. This belief still underpins the complaints of vocal feminists offended that women have not achieved parity with men in (usually) cushy or well paid jobs. So it comes as quite a surprise that these same ‘progressives’ are now claiming that there are indeed intrinsic differences between the two sexes which now come under the umbrella term ‘gender’. Hypocritically they still refuse to accept that ‘gender’ differences might explain why men do better in certain occupations, despite the bending of rules and preferential treatment introduced with the aim of encouraging more women to enter and succeed in such employment.

At some point in recent years the word ‘sex’ was supplanted by the word ‘gender’ in the terminology of the politically correct establishment. Instead of there being two sexes, male and female, these became reclassified as two genders, the term gender politics is a practical example of this change of usage. There has been further confusion as ‘gender’ now covers not only physical differences, but broadened to also include psychological traits deemed to reflect a sense of identity as either male or female.

This change has led to much confusion. The male sex and the female sex reflect a physical tangible reality. But this is not the case for psychological differences which exist only in the mind of the individual, and have no objective external reality visible to wider society. Thus ‘gender’ in its new psychological definition has no real meaning in physical terms since it is all in the mind. Since there is a huge overlap between male and female personalities it is meaningless for any individual to claim that they have the mental characteristics of the opposite sex. So sex differences are real because they are based in physical reality, but the gender differences being promoted are all in the mind - they are subjective and have no basis in external reality. Hence the whole ‘gender fluidity’ agenda is based on a complete fraud.

One aspect of the transgender agenda is the call for gender neutral clothing and the right to wear clothes traditionally associated with the opposite sex. People should of course be free to express themselves in what they wear without hindrance by the authorities. Most women today wear trousers which, unless they are young and very attractive, regrettably makes most of them look butch and masculine. Back in the 1950s virtually all women wore skirts or dresses and as a result the average woman then looked a lot more feminine and appealing than the average woman of today. Clearly women should not be judged purely on their looks, but it is nevertheless a puzzle why so many women present themselves in such an unfeminine way, given the amount of money they spend on fashion and cosmetics which are presumably intended to make them look more attractive.

Whilst it is now acceptable for women to dress in a masculine way, men who want to express their feminine persona, by wearing dresses or skirts, have traditionally been branded as transvestites or cross dressers and held up to ridicule or subject to insults. It is difficult to see the transgender agenda, which is a very top down movement, having much of an impact on popular prejudices. So males wanting to cross dress look as if they will continue to have a tough time for the foreseeable future. Thus there are unlikely to be many boys taking advantage of the new gender neutral clothing options, by turning up for school wearing skirts, and in so doing risking the derision and perhaps hostility of their mates.

Other instances of capitulation to transgender demands, such as allowing ‘trans’ men to enter female changing facilities and toilets, or the enforcement of artificial ‘trans neutral’ forms of address are in practice unlikely to cause that much of a problem. This is because the number of transgender people is vanishing small and thus very few people will ever encounter them. In the rare cases when they do it is very unlikely that women will passively allow their separate facilities to be invaded in this intrusive way. Nor is it probable that the average person will be willing to accept oppressive and absurd speech codes designed to appease transgender sensibilities. So the concern of those raising these fears amounts to little more than scaremongering.

One development that is much more malign and dangerous is the encouragement of children and young people to take puberty blockers or hormone treatment as a prelude to what is perniciously termed ‘gender transition’. This pandering to impressionable youngsters caught up by modish and currently fashionable transgender propaganda must be firmly resisted in their own best interest. It is strange that those who vociferously condemn sexual activity amongst teenagers as child abuse, seem to be the most prominent supporters of the genuine physical abuse of teenagers through invasive and harmful medical practices promoted by the transgender lobby.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Gay liberation – the 1980s backlash

This blog has previously taken a trip back in time (http://bit.ly/2lHOh9k http://bit.ly/2mL2uWo) to discover how previous generations viewed the subject of homosexuality. The prevailing viewpoint in the 1950s was by no means as accommodating on this subject as it is today, indeed it was positively hostile. However, by the late 1960s a greater tolerance had emerged, which resulted in the decriminalisation of homosexual activity between males over the age of 21. During the next twenty years the gay liberation bandwagon became an integral component of the liberal ‘progressive’ agenda. During the 1980s a number of Labour councils, mostly in London, demonstrated their support for this cause by creating gay and lesbian committees. The spread of the deadly disease Aids amongst homosexual men during this period did nothing to dent their enthusiasm for promoting the demands of this vocal and indulged minority group.

The Conservative government of the time took a much less sympathetic view of the matter. It is worth remembering that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was amongst the minority of MPs who voted against the 1967 homosexual reform bill. A number of Conservative MPs were becoming increasingly concerned that Labour education authorities were beginning to promote homosexuality to schoolchildren as an acceptable and normal part of a relationship. This resulted in the inclusion of a clause in the Local Government Bill which sought to ‘prevent a local authority from giving financial or other assistance to any person for the purpose of publishing or promoting homosexuality as an acceptable family relationship, or for the purpose of teaching such acceptability in any maintained school’.

The MP who introduced this clause in 1988, David Wilshire, produced a dossier with examples of the sort of activity it aimed to curtail, ranging from local authority advertisements for lesbian and gay officers, to extracts from books such as the well publicised picture book Jenny lives with Eric and Martin, which depicted a young girl who lived with her gay father and his partner, that was intended as a guide for teaching children about homosexuality.

In the House of Lords the government spokesman Lord Skelmersdale opined that ‘we are all agreed that the most dangerous and pernicious effects of loosening sexual values are on children. Schools must approach the difficult task of teaching their pupils about sexual matters in a responsible and sensitive manner. We must ensure that children are not subject to insidious propaganda for homosexuality.’ He added that ‘there have been instances of the use of unsound teaching methods and materials, and the propagation of extreme and unrepresentative views of sexual ethics and mores, in the main related to the presentation of homosexuality’. This statement reflected the view of the government that although the practice of homosexuality might be tolerated, it should never be promoted or encouraged. It was a viewpoint that is likely to have been supported by the majority of the population at the time.

The clause did not intend to close down all discussion of homosexuality in schools. In the words of the minister the government sought to ensure that ‘schools should be prepared to address the issue of homosexuality, provided they approach it in a balanced and factual manner, appropriate to the maturity of the pupils concerned. The issue cannot he ignored by schools when it is widely discussed in society and when pupils may well ask questions about it’. But he added the warning that ‘any teaching about homosexuality must never, in any sense, advocate or encourage it as a normal form of relationship. To do so would be educationally and morally indefensible’. Within a generation Conservative ministers would take a diametrically opposite view to this by openly celebrating homosexual relationships as entirely normal, to the extent that they were eager to legalise same sex marriage, just one example of the Conservative Party establishment’s craven surrender to politically correct intimidation.

On behalf of the Labour opposition Jack Cunningham expressed his support for the new clause, stating that his party ‘did not believe that councils or schools should promote homosexuality’. However, this viewpoint was at odds with the policies of many of the more militant Labour councils and party activists of the time. The Liberal Party spokesman Simon Hughes (then still in the closet) also supported that part of the clause which debarred local authorities from promoting homosexuality or publishing material which promoted it. So there was a cross party agreement on the main objectives of the clause, which is now difficult to believe given the vociferous condemnation of this measure that was subsequently adopted by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Back in the late 1980s Conservative MPs still had the confidence to voice their true feelings about homosexuality. In the debate one female member retorted to an opponent in these terms ‘it depends on what one means by "civilised". I do not regard the practice of sodomy or buggery as being civilised’. Not a view that you are likely to hear by back bench Tories today. Another sceptical Tory MP stated ‘I accept that it is necessary to protect children and to ensure that irresponsible local authorities do not promote homosexuality’. Under a supposedly Conservative government we now have a LGBT History Month in schools, but needless to say there is no debate on whether it might be ‘irresponsible’. One Conservative MP provided an example of a Labour council’s agenda to promote homosexuality in schools revealing that ‘there was a long and sustained campaign by the council to have homosexual and lesbian relationships taught in schools as being as valid as heterosexual relationships. Parents came to see me in their hundreds to express their great concern about the policy and to express their opposition to it’. He added ‘that children should be protected from any insidious and dangerous influences, such as homosexuality’ before going on to condemn ‘advertisements of teaching posts that contained invitations to men and women of any sexual orientation to apply for posts’. Far from being ‘insidious and dangerous’ most Tory MPs today are happy to bend over backwards in celebration of gay identity.

Another Conservative MP reminded the house of the then religious consensus on the sinfulness of homosexual practice by declaring ‘Christians believe that the homosexual act is intrinsically immoral and evil. That is a respectable view, even if opposition members do not accept it. We should not be browbeaten into accepting the argument that we should not seek to promote what most people believe to be the norm in our society, which is a heterosexual loving relationship’. This was the crux of the Government’s thinking, namely, utilising the power of the state to promote that which is considered beneficial to society and the upbringing of children – traditional heterosexual marriage, and deter the promotion of what is deemed detrimental to that societal norm – promiscuous and risky homosexual relations.

Although there was cross party support for the principle of the clause there was opposition to the details. Simon Hughes for the Liberals questioned the definition of ‘promoting’ in the clause and asked ‘does a leaflet promoting safe sex for homosexuals, which is funded by the Government, count as promoting homosexuality? If not, where is the dividing line? What about the funding of help lines, counselling lines or centres promoted by local authorities for lesbian women or gay men?’ Jack Cunningham for Labour proposed amendments to ‘make it clear, first, that we do not believe that any local authority has or should have a duty to promote homosexuality, but this should not include services or information to homosexual people or those personally close to them, such as their family or friends’. It is unclear why local authorities should ever become involved in these kind of counselling services which, if they are of any use, are better left to private initiatives funded by homosexuals themselves.

Parliamentary opponents of the clause claimed that it would lead to hostility towards gay people. In the words of ex-GLC leader and future London Mayor Ken Livingtone ‘Conservative members are responding to a wave of hysteria and bigotry that has been whipped up by the popular press. It has been absolutely disgraceful. They have come to accept that in some areas children are being taught how to be lesbians. It is easy for those outside who live with the day-to-day prejudice against lesbians and gay men to laugh it off, but that pernicious lie has bitten deep into the popular conscience’. He added ‘that a recent survey showed that three out of five gay people aged 15-21 had been verbally abused, one in five had been beaten up, and one in five had attempted to commit suicide’. This kind of ‘survey’ is an example of 'advocacy research', the main aim of which is to trawl for support to reinforce an already agreed policy position. The respondents are clearly self selecting and the supposed findings grossly exaggerate the true situation. In any case, he appears to be confusing a limited and specific measure to restrict the promotion of homosexuality, with a broad incitement to attack homosexuals, a link that only existed in the fevered imagination of the gay lobby.

Another London Labour MP, future leader Jeremy Corbyn, announced his own brand of alarmism on the proposal declaring ‘since the clause emerged I have received a large number of anguished letters and distressed phone calls from people, previously frightened, who had been prepared to come out as gay and lesbian. They suddenly saw that, in the clause, the light of oppression burnt fiercely. They realised that they would be in physical danger. They have witnessed the attacks on gay book shops and gay clubs and have witnessed the degree of Fascism that is aroused by such clauses moved by Conservative Members.’ It is crazy hyperbole such as this which gives politicians a bad name. In the event there was no discernable increase in public hostility towards homosexuals as a result of the implementation of this clause.

Mr Corbyn continued ‘we shall be introducing into our society a degree of censorship that will be a legal minefield for years to come. Such censorship will create fear in librarians, theatre managers, film directors, writers, publishers and booksellers, as well as in all sorts of other people who want the freedom to disseminate information and views.’ In fact very quickly the censorship would all be in the other direction, anyone criticising homosexuality in any shape or form would be denounced as ‘homophobic’ as the politically correct establishment gradually entrenched its power.

The presenter of the clause Mr Wilshire responded to his critics thus ‘there are those who say that there should be no restraint on the promotion of homosexuality or on its factual presentation. One of the letters that I received says: if it is legal it can be promoted. We have heard claims that any restraint in this area is an attack on civil liberties. If that argument is followed, it will lead to an attitude of "anything goes" in this country’. In time this ‘anything goes’ would apply almost exclusively only to homosexual behaviour. With the rise in the feminist promotion of ‘rape culture’ and paranoia over paedophiles, biologically normal and broadly accepted forms of heterosexual expression would become increasingly circumscribed and castigated. Mr Wilshire finished by proclaiming ‘there is absolutely no need for me to stand here and apologise for seeking to prevent local government from doing something that I know that it should not be doing. I see no need to apologise for making it less likely that people are confronted by homosexual propaganda’.

Mr Wilshire’s clause became widely known as “Section 28’ after it passed into law and remained on the statute book for about fifteen years before being repealed by the Blair government. No local authority ever faced a legal challenge as a result but it probably helped put a brake, for a time, on the gay lobby’s agenda of promoting homosexuality as a perfectly normal, perhaps even commendable, form of sexual expression. After its repeal all the fears of Conservative MPs were realised in full as schools and local authorities became centres of indoctrination for homosexual and lesbian propaganda. There is absolutely no justification for this, and certainly not in schools. The issue of homosexuality, whether for or against, should be of no concern or interest to local authorities, as it is a private matter upon which individuals can reach their own conclusions, without manipulation by the state. In retrospect the Thatcher government’s fears over homosexual propaganda in schools appear more than justified. So there is a strong case for the reintroduction of the Section 28 objectives, coupled with a requirement to promote heterosexual marriage as the as the best means of raising children in a safe and caring environment.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Inappropriate behaviour

Britain is currently in the grip of one of its periodic moral panics. This one is centred around the Palace Of Westminster and primarily involves allegations of insensitive behaviour by some male MPs against women. The chief casualty has been the former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon who has not denied claims that he ‘inappropriately’ touched a couple of female journalists about 15 years or so ago. Sir Michael has admitted that his behaviour has fallen short of what might be expected adding that ‘what had been acceptable 15, 10 years ago is clearly not acceptable now’.

Sir Michael is clearly wrong when he assumes that this kind of behaviour was ever acceptable. Unsolicited advances of this kind by sex pests have never been considered acceptable in a work environment; although a more relaxed approach may be taken in a social situation such as a party. Some women have complained that it is an example of the power imbalance between men and women. In this respect it is certainly completely unacceptable for any man in a senior position to promise career advancement in return for the granting of sexual favours. So it must be admitted that some of the complaints that have been raised are justified. The question that needs to be addressed is what should be done about it.

The allegations appear to fall into two categories, the less serious and the very serious. The former consists of unwanted touching and suggestive remarks or messages; the latter involves accusations of rape. With regard to acts of clear criminality such as rape or a serious violent sexual assault the response is clear – the police should be informed as quickly as possible. One of the women alleged that she was raped by a senior Labour Party activist some years ago when she was nineteen. What is unclear is why she did not report this to the police at the time, rather than raise the matter some years later with a party official. The law is there for women to seek redress in situations such as this and it is inexplicable why this teenager failed to take advantage of her legal rights by reporting this assault to the police. It is absolutely no use for her to condemn the inadequate response of Labour officials, when she herself possessed the power to bring the perpetrator to justice by informing the police, but failed to do so.

The law can also be used for the less serious claims, for example Max Clifford was prosecuted for behaviour not too dissimilar to that indulged in by Sir Michael. However, most women are likely to consider the legal route to be an overreaction that is not worth the hassle and many juries might agree, resulting in a low probability of conviction. Effective alternative remedies are available. For example a woman called the BBC Radio 4 programme Any Answers to reveal how she dealt with this problem in pre feminist days. Her boss, with whom she had a good working relationship, followed her into the file storage room and proceeded to fondle her legs whilst she was on a step-ladder. Her response was swift, she threw a heap of files on his head which sent him sprawling on the floor. No words were spoken, she continued to have an amicable working relationship with him, but she was never again troubled with unwanted advances from this source. A firm response such as this can usually be relied upon to terminate the gratuitous attentions of these kinds of sex pests, and this includes bosses.

Instead of this kind of direct action, in which women take personal responsibility for challenging their more disreputable male colleagues, an agenda for a more intrusive and interventionist workplace disciplinary or grievance procedure is beginning to emerge. The problem with this approach is that is usually involves the word of one person against another, and the management is placed in an impossible position of trying to determine who is telling the truth. In any case it is not really the job of an employer to police workplace relationships, or to reinforce the dismal notion that women are always hopelessly vulnerable to male bestiality. So it is advisable for women to go easy on portraying themselves as helpless victims, and instead become more self-reliant and resilient in handling unwanted advances, rather than depending on officialdom and unreliable work procedures for redress.

The current furore has implications which extend well beyond Westminster. The BBC has been providing a platform for a stream of vocal feminists who are using the current uproar as a means of smearing all men as potential sexual predators, when the vast majority are well mannered and treat women with respect. In pursuit of their controlling agenda there are demands that innocent flirtatious remarks, complements and dating requests should all be deemed sexual harassment, and that such a wide interpretation of what is deemed ‘inappropriate’ should be rolled out in all workplaces nationwide.

Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have voiced comments which suggest that they have strong sympathy with this agenda, which will have the effect of massively increasing the power of disaffected feminist agitators to police and control the attitude and behaviour of male colleagues, leading to a situation where the most innocent of remarks could lead to disciplinary action. The pernicious effect of what can happen with such a policy has been demonstrated at American universities in which officially sanctioned kangaroo courts operate with impunity, in which female accusers are invariably believed and male defendants’ evidence is ignored.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Edward Heath – the spectral paedophile

How is it that our society has reached such an extraordinary level of collective delusion and paranoia that a chief constable can smear a former British prime minister as a potential paedophile without any real evidence, and very few people seem to find this surprising? The answer is that for decades we have all been the target of an agenda, promoted by children’s charities and feminists, to instil fear, concern and outrage in society over the relatively rare incidence of child sexual molestation.

The motive for the charities is quite transparent; it is a scam to mint money, lots of it, by manipulating the emotions and goodwill of a sadly gullible and trusting public. With feminism the incentive appears to be a combination of misandry and sexual puritanism. It should be remembered that feminism and femininity are a contradiction, the former in its 21st century guise being an aberration of womanhood, whose vocal agenda nevertheless has been embraced by the dominant politically correct ideology of our time. So women generally are not at fault, indeed some of the worst examples of paedo-hysterics come from men, who comprise most of conspiracy theorists with their wild unsubstantiated accusations, and the noxious paedo-hunters with their phantom teen girl bait.

The gutter press for its own alarmist motives has helped fan the flames of this campaign, whilst self styled ‘progressive’ media outlets have embraced it as a vehicle to promote the victimhood of those they deem ‘vulnerable’. As a consequence the general populace, the police, public authorities including the government, have all been indoctrinated into the belief that child sexual abuse is widespread, that those who claim to be victims of it must always be believed, and that anyone who questions this narrative must be engaged in a conspiracy to protect the paedophiles themselves, monsters who are widely believed to be lurking in every nook and cranny of our society.

Edward Heath, like Jimmy Savile before him, is disadvantaged by being safely dead, and thus unable to mount a defence against accusations of paedophilia. Both these men, during their lifetime, were subject to innuendo and rumours about their sexuality. In the fantasy world of child abuse paranoia this provides all the evidence deemed necessary to brand them as paedophiles and to dismiss any objections as an establishment cover up. The source of the Savile accusations has been thoroughly debunked and a summary can be found here. http://bit.ly/2dybGYs This post examines whether the accusations against Edward Heath are credible.

Before the recent Wiltshire police enquiry the main rumours about Heath swirling around the internet were that he abused boys from Jersey on his yacht before disposing of them overboard, that he sexually abused a youth in his Mayfair flat in 1961, that he was involved in satanic ritual abuse and that he was also part of the widely reported Westminster paedophile conspiracy centred around Dolphin Square. The latter featured the notorious fantasist ‘Nick’ whose claims were dismissed by the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland. The other claims were examined in the Wiltshire police investigation which concluded that there was no evidence to justify the Jersey yacht and satanic ritual allegations. The Mayfair flat claim is examined below.

The Wiltshire police investigation into Heath, known as Operation Conifer, was launched after a retired senior police officer claimed that in the 1990s the prosecution of a brothel owner was terminated after she threatened to reveal that Heath was involved in the abuse of young boys. In reality the prosecution was dropped for reasons unrelated to Heath, and the brothel owner insisted that she had never threatened to implicate him. The IPCC assessment concluded that the claims of the former senior police officer who caused all this alarmism were without foundation. However, before waiting for these findings to be made public, the police officer in charge of the investigation, standing outside Heath’s former Salisbury home in front of TV cameras, broadcast an open invitation to ‘victims and survivors’ to come forward, insisting they would be ‘believed and supported’. In short, this was a police trawling operation, purposely designed to build a case for posthumously branding Heath as a paedophile, in order to further boost and confirm what is best described as societal and now police paranoia on this subject.

The recently released Operation Conifer report of Wiltshire Police investigation into Heath, consists of virtually no evidence other than unsubstantiated allegations, and appears more concerned with providing a justification for the police actions. Its main conclusion is that in seven cases Heath would have been questioned under caution. No corroboration for these allegations appears to have been provided and the report dismissed the overwhelming majority of allegations against Heath. Virtually no information has been given about those making the claims, some of the more fantastical involving satanic rituals, a throwback to the NSPCC hysteria of the 1990s, which were thoroughly debunked in the Department of Health La Fontaine Report at the time.

The Conifer Report has justifiably been criticised for referring to accusers as ‘victims’ who provide ‘disclosures’, but this terminology has likely been imposed on willing police forces by the government, both anxious to appease the children’s charities lobby. This kind of malignant nonsense was castigated in the Henriques Report, and it clearly gives the impression of unwarranted credibility to those making accusations, an inference of guilt for those accused, whilst at the same time undermining the police’s reputation for impartiality.

The seven allegations where Heath would have been interviewed under caution relate to claims made covering the period 1961 to 1992. The earliest allegation concerns the previously mentioned Mayfair flat incident from 1961, four relate to opportunistic indecent assaults against three children and one adult in public places, another to indecent assault on an under age youth in a paid sexual encounter, and finally the indecent assault of an adult male who had withdrawn consent from a paid sexual encounter. The Mayfair flat story appears fanciful as Heath did not move to this location until 1963, in 1961 he lived in a smaller flat near St James Park. Close relatives of this accuser believe him to be a serial liar, and it has been revealed that he is himself currently behind bars for sex offences.

It should be kept in mind that all these claims were prompted by the publicity generated by the false claims of the retired police officer, which occurred a decade after Heath had died. From 1965 until his death in 2005 Heath was accompanied almost continually by close colleagues, government drivers and police protection officers. Any claims made whilst he was alive would have been subject to much greater scrutiny, and the means of refutation would be much easier as the accused can provide his side of the story with evidence to back it up. Thus the temptations for making false accusations are much greater when the accused is dead as it is that much harder to provide evidence to refute them, a fact which Wiltshire Police would be well aware of when setting this hare running.

The Conifer Report is clearly unsatisfactory as it smears the reputation of Edward Heath without providing any basis to form a definitive conclusion about the veracity of the allegations. What is does reveal however is the willingness of a large number of individuals to come forward with accusations against a dead public figure, which even the overly sympathetic victim centred bias of Wiltshire Police, was able to dismiss as false. The seven remaining accusations could not be dismissed only because, unlike the others, there is nothing actually to disprove them. Since there is no positive corroborative evidence either, they cannot be construed as evidence of Heath’s guilt as some conspiracy promoters are claiming.

The report revealed that none of the police protection officers, drivers and work colleagues who guarded Heath when he was a prominent politician and in retirement, found anything untoward in his behaviour. It must be right that the calls for a review and greater analysis of the seven allegations are granted to allow the unwarranted stain on Edward Heath’s reputation to be lifted. If a former prime minister can be besmirched in this way then every man in the country is now at risk from investigators and prosecutors willing, and perhaps eager, to act upon malicious accusations, however delusional or fantastical they might objectively appear. This absurd madcap investigation demonstrates the extent to which the paedophile hysteria has taken root amongst the ruling authorities since the Savile furore. It is to be hoped that we do not have to wait much longer for the deceit of the ITV Exposure hoax to be revealed to a wider public, which might bring an end to this madness. .