April 10th, 2014

“I am writing to inform you of the gay wedding between Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow taking place this Saturday,” gushed the PR agent’s email from Essex that dropped into our GayMarriageNoThanks inbox a few days before the first gay marriage day on 29th March.

Drewitt-Barlows“We… actively invite protesters to turn up and be interviewed,” burbled the blurb. “The national press already confirmed are Sky TV, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Sun. A significant number of regional publications, radio stations and TV channels are also confirmed…

“Stars of The Only Way Is Essex are among the many celebrities set to make appearances at the wedding of the gay dads,” the puff piece went on. “Elton John has been invited,” they oozed.

Clearly the event was to be an exercise in spin, hype and mirrors. The Drewitt-Barlows were legally bound together in a massively publicised Civil Partnership ceremony in 2006; they cannot therefore legally be married until more laws are changed, probably later this year. So there was to be a celebration, a party and a booze-up, but no wedding. The event was a fake.

We decided to go anyway. Having confirmed with the PR agent that no children would be in the media zone outside the event, and that we came in peace to explain our opposition to gay marriage not to protest, we set off with our GMNT posters (one shown below: ‘I want my Mum’) and arrived just before it started.

Elton JohnSurprise, surprise: Sky TV was not there. Neither was The Daily Mail. Nor The Sun. Not even Elton John.

But we had half an hour in the sunshine with the media nonetheless. We were interviewed by eight or so journalists and cameramen; most of them were local and – like most people – had never considered the adverse effects of gay marriage on children.

The problem is that all gay marriages are a counterfeit. According to the government and unlike conventional marriages, gay marriages cannot be consummated and adultery cannot be reason for divorce. So same-sex partners in a gay marriage are free to play the field whereas husbands and wives in a real marriage promise to be faithful ’til death us do part’.

By firmly bolting a counterfeit on to the hallowed institution of marriage, parliament has diluted, distorted and, in the end, dismantled an invaluable social institution. And it is the nation’s children, who need stability, commitment and faithfulness at home to best flourish, who will suffer.

Furthermore all children are necessarily created by both a mother and a father, and they have an innate right to the people that gave them birth. This child’s right should trump all adult selfish interests and rights, straight or gay. But fifteen years ago gay dads Barrie and Tony led the UK field in legally obliterating mothers from their children’s personal history (here). No mother is mentioned on their children’s birth certificates but rather Parent 1 (Barrie) and Parent 2 (Tony). It is a legally-sanctioned form of child abuse and the documents are a physiological and legal lie.

GMNTIwantmymumFurther, the gay dads deliberately have allowed no mother figure in their children’s upbringing and they have stated clearly they want to keep it that way (here).

For anyone, including the state, to refuse or absolve a mum of her child-rearing obligations without good reason also is a form of child abuse; offspring have a right to their dad and mum partly because “both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child” (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 18). Children should not be passed around like possessions or bought and sold like slaves.

What’s more the Drewitt-Barlow kids have suffered a further form of abuse. A few years ago Barrie and Tony displayed the children’s pictures on the gay-dating website Gaydar where it seems the two dads advertise for male sexual partners; apparently they prefer “firemen, married men, muscle men and rugby players” (here).

The Drewitt-Barlows are well-connected media-savvy millionaires who run surrogacy businesses in Essex and California. Tony runs seminars on same-sex parenting and promotes himself as a public speaker. Barrie claims he an expert in same-sex parenting too.  Barrie also informs us that he is a social worker whose “aim at all times is the welfare of all children born through surrogacy” (here).

What a masterclass in falsehood and hypocrisy!

March 10th, 2014

I was back in Nigeria again last month for the second Stefanos Foundation conference for  minorities sponsored by Gatestone Institute, which I helped to put together. Media interest was even greater than for the January conference (here) and I found myself again calling on the British government to rectify colonial wrongs on NTA (Nigeria Television Authority) and AIT (Africa Independent Television) news programmes as well as elsewhere (here). 

boko_haram_logoMy report on the conference was published last week by Gatestone (here  and below):

The security situation across northern Nigeria is unstable-to-terrible. Islamists Boko Haram have threatened to eradicate Christianity through a campaign of violence against Christians and churches (here) and have killed 2,000 people including moderate Muslims in four years (here).

Further, the next Federal elections are planned for just twelve months’ time; during the last ballot in 2011 the re-election of Christian presidential candidate, Goodluck Jonathan, resulted in the death of 800 Christians and other minorities and the destruction of up to 300 churches at the hand of rioting Muslim protestors in the twelve northern Sharia states (here). 

Nonetheless, Dr. Bala Takaya, vice-president of Nigeria’s Middle Belt Forum, former head of the Department of Political Science at Jos University and alumni of the London School of Economics, is hopeful. Speaking to the media outside the second Stefanos Foundation conference for the country’s northern ethnic minorities – an initiative of Gatestone Institute held in Abuja recently – he claimed that the northern minorities are becoming stronger and more united. “We have come of age,” he said.

Bala-TakayaInside, he had reminded the gathering how for a hundred years the minorities in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria had been oppressed and held back both by the Fulani Islamic elite and, until independence in 1960, by the British colonial masters.  But now better education, increasing consciousness and hard-won political experience has resulted in the grass-roots growth of a “Middle Belt” identity separate from the dominant Fulani-Hausa Muslim culture. “The yoke is broken. The shackles are being thrown off. The time is now,” he told delegates.

In line with the governance structure imposed by colonial administrators, Nigeria – at 170 million, Africa’s most populated country — is frequently recognized as two separate regions with a common border and a joint Federal government: and the larger but more dispersed mainly-Muslim North, and the geographically smaller but more intensely populated Christian-majority South.

Ethnically the North is dominated by Hausa tribal language and culture, while the South is identified with the main Yoruba and Igbo tribes.

But these political and ethnic monoliths betray an on-the-ground diversity that is politically inconvenient and therefore regularly ignored. It has been calculated that there are over 800 different tribal and linguistic groups across the country. A recent book by the journalist Rima Shawulu Kwewum, for instance, calculates that Bauchi — the seventh largest of Nigeria’s 37 states – has ninety ethnic groups and nationalities, while Adamawa and Taraba States have over a hundred. For many Nigerians the local tribe is a prime source of identity.

Nigerian Sharia MapNowhere is tribal attachment stronger than in the polyglot southern areas of Northern Nigeria – the “Middle Belt” of the country which was first tentatively claimed as a separate collective entity as long ago as the 1930s. Comprising mainly Christian and Traditional African (British administrators called them “Pagan”) tribes, ‘Middle Belters’ – who are found indigenous in even the most northerly Sharia states of Borno, Yobe and Kebbi – have increasingly asserted their ethnic distinctives, and rejected northern Fulani/Hausa hegemony with its second class dhimmi status for non-Muslims.

“(We have) historically found solidarity and expression in feelings of alienation and deprivation based on (our) crude and systematic subordination, oppression, suppression and exploitation,” explained a Middle Belt Forum leaflet some years ago. MBF counters the oppression today by “promoting freedom…, respect for human rights, human dignity and the sanctity of human lives” (here).

But ethnic diversity can be a weakness: tribes frequently have a history of local disagreement and even fighting among them. Unity may be strength but cooperation is not necessarily easy.

This is why, according to many delegates, the Gatestone-Stefanos conferences have been important, unique and timely. The events are the first grass-roots initiative for local people rather than state politicians, although some key public figures have attended too. The aim is to find common interest and facilitate local collaboration between minority groups in fifteen of the nineteen northern states. The emphasis is on training: appointing local co-ordinators, drawing up action plans, planning networking opportunities and setting time-lines.

Despite the tension, the conferences have been calm and focused. During a priority-setting session, “equal opportunity for all tribes and groups,” “job creation,” “better education,” and “recognition of excellence” were rated significantly higher than “defeat of Boko Haram,” perhaps because that is seen primarily as the job of the military.

Although the events were about asserting minorities’ human rights in the Muslim north, the mood was conciliatory; the organizers anticipate that some marginalized Muslim tribes will join the initiative too in due course. National unity and “One Nigeria” were, informally, the conference strapline; peace-making and nation-building at the local level were the task in hand.

“Middle Belt is in the middle of the country,” said Dr. Takaya. “We are the glue that holds north and south Nigeria together.”

February 13th, 2014

HenryJacksonSocietyThe Henry Jackson Society (here) is an admirable Atlanticist think tank based in London that among other things gives home to the redoubtable Douglas Murray (here). But yesterday, for a robust and independently-minded organisation, HJS got it badly wrong.

Their bias was on the tin. They held a meeting in Parliament called ‘LGBT Rights In Russia, Sochi 2014 and Beyond’. The only speaker was Peter Tatchell and the event was chaired by sponsoring gay MP Chris Bryant.

What I see in the mirror: Peter TatchellThe director of HJS’s Russia Studies Centre, Andrew Foxall, tried to persuade us that the event was also about corruption and security issues at Sochi 2014, Russia’s current Winter Olympic Games, but Peter Tatchell put paid to that; “LGBT rights is our main focus” he stated firmly at the beginning.

There is nothing wrong with discussing the issue of course. Russia’s abuse of human rights is a matter of real concern. But there was no discussion. The audience were allowed only to listen and ask questions. It was a one-way platform for the promotion of international gay rights under the guise of attacking the fairly easy target of Vladimir Putin and his regime – with the added bonus of Bryant and Tatchell recounting juicy stories about their own experiences as gay men in Russia. The former apparently had to wait 20 minutes at the reception desk of the Moscow Marriot hotel while he patiently explained that, yes, he planned to share both his room and his bed with his male partner.

PutinInterestingly the MP also objected strongly if briefly to the “obscene” amounts of money that have been spent on Sochi 2014, with no reference at all to the many billions spent just down the road at London 2012. It’s not difficult to see why Putin is gaining global traction with his claims about ‘Western hypocrisy’.

The rest of the world listens to the Russian President but, despite him being named The Times’ International Person of the Year last year (here) partly for his brilliant out-manoeuvring of Obama and Cameron in order to stop their military adventurism in Syria, we don’t. So when Putin claims that his prime concerns are the protection of children and Russia’s traditional family structure (here), we are so deafened by the West’s gay rights discourse that we cannot or will not hear.

But he does have a point and ironically, as a prime anti-Putin protagonist, Tatchell’s sexual ideology also makes Putin’s point for him. It is foully anti-children and, as I told the HJS meeting, the ideology renders Tatchell utterly disqualified from addressing the issue:

wolf in sheeps clothingFrom the 80′s when Tatchell was part of a team of contributors to a depraved pro-paedophilia book Beyond Youth edited by former vice chair of the Paedophile Information Exchange (here) Warren Middleton  (Tatchell wrote a chapter about reducing the age of sexual consent), to the views on his website today that school children should be taught anal sex and sadomasochism (here), he has demonstrated that Putin is right. Our children do indeed need protecting from this sort of sexual propaganda.

The HJS meeting was set up to promote Tatchell’s LGBT line and my interventions – “What about children?” I asked loudly a number of times – were not welcomed by the chair. I was faced with being ejected or leaving. I chose the latter.

Before I did so I distributed my contact details and a flyer with the following text:

Fathers Against Child Sexualisation 

Putin is a fascist brute but maybe he also wants to protect his children from this Tatchell-promoted sexualisation:

1. Tatchell advocates teaching anal sex and sadomasochism to school children:

“Sex education has an obligation to give all the facts and tell the whole truth about every kind of sex and relationship. This includes… anal intercourse and sadomasochism… Nothing must be off limits.” (www.petertatchell.net/sex_education/schoolsex.htm)

2. Tatchell bewails robust punishment of pederasts:

“…any man who has sex with Lee (a 14 year old boy) could face a maximum sentence of 10 years for kissing, touching, sucking or wanking, and life imprisonment for anal sex.” (www.petertatchell.net/lgbt_rights/age_of_consent/14-gay-boyfriend.htm)

3. Tatchell quotes sex abuse of 9-year-olds as “great joy”:

“Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of 9 to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy… It is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.” (The Guardian: 26th June, 1997)

4. Tatchell contributes chapter on reducing age of sexual consent to 1980′s paedophilia book about (inter alia) ‘Incest’, ‘Child Pornography and Erotica’, ‘Child Prostitution’ and ‘How to Make Paedophilia Acceptable’, edited by paedophilia advocate and former vice-chair of Paedophile Information Exchange, Warren Middleton:

“(I)n the realm of sexual ages of consent, we need to ask whether the law has any legitimate role to play in criminalising consenting, victimless sexual activity.” (The Betrayal of Youth, p 118)

So who offers the greater threat to our children’s welfare?

It’s a relevant question especially if you’re a parent. Putin or Tatchell: whose views do offer the greater threat to your children’s wellbeing?

January 31st, 2014

gatestone logoI helped put together a conference for indigenous and ethnic minorities in Jos, northern Nigeria, earlier this month. Gatestone Institute, who generously sponsored the event, today published a report I wrote (here and below).

The British Government‘s Responsibility for the Crisis in Northern Nigeria 

It is a truth not universally acknowledged in Western politically-correct circles that Christianity has become the most persecuted religion in the world and that most of the oppression comes from the hands of Islam and in Muslim-majority areas (here).

Nowhere is this more true than in northern Nigeria where, in 2012, 70% of all Christians murdered worldwide were slain (here). Not only death but discrimination, too, is rife across the country’s twelve northern Sharia states in which Christians and other minorities live with second-class dhimmi status, and with inferior rights to jobs, justice and worship.

stefanos foundation logoMuch of this inequity is Britain’s responsibility according to the keynote speaker at a recent human rights conference, a program of Gatestone Institute and organized by the Nigerian aid and advocacy charity Stefanos Foundation (here). 150 delegates from many minority groups met in Jos, a city on the fault-line between the mainly Christian south and the majority Muslim north, where, in September 2001, over a thousand people were reported killed in ethno-religious clashes (here). These clashes were followed by further major riots and fatalities in 2008 and 2010, and suicide-bomb attacks on Jos churches in February (here) and March 2012 (here).

The speaker was Dr. Yusufu Taraki, a mild-mannered academic who, given the keynote platform, talked with passion on the issues in which he has specialized. With a PhD in Social Ethics from Boston University, Massachusetts, and currently Professor of Theology and Social Ethics at Jos ECWA Theological Seminary (JETS), he was given a warm reception as he delivered his speech about the place of ethnic minority groups in northern Nigeria.

Nigeria was a British colony until 1960 during which time, he argued, “the British colonial masters took our land and handed it over to Muslim rulers… They gave us [non-Muslim groups] an inferior social/political role in the colonial hierarchical system in northern Nigeria, and that is exactly where we are right now.”

When first published in his book The British Colonial Legacy In Northern Nigeria (here), this thesis earned Professor Turaki a British government ban from entering the UK.

Professor YusufuTurakiTruth hurts even hardened British authorities, but Professor Turaki was bold enough in his speech to spread around the honors: “The worst kind of slavery in Africa was conducted by Arabs and Muslims,” he said touching on another specialist subject. “The majority of African slaves went to the Middle East and Arab countries… not to the Caribbean, the US and Latin America.” He advised the audience, for further information, to look into his book, Tainted Legacy: Islam, Colonialism and Slavery in Northern Nigeria (here).

Later, privately, he pointed out that, once British troops had conquered the northern Muslim forces of the Sokoto Caliphate and Kanem-Bornu Sultanate in 1902/3 with the laudable objective of terminating their slave trade, the colonial administration and the defeated Fulani Muslim elite found they had much in common. They both had top-down authoritarian views of governance and an ordered elitist view of the world; they saw the many different non-Muslim groups (NMGs) across the north as pagan, uncivilized and inferior. “Read the memoir But Always As Friends by Sir Bryan Sharwood Smith, the last British governor of Northern Nigeria (here), to understand the British colonial outlook,” Dr. Turaki said.

Ahmadu BelloA corresponding Nigerian autobiography, My Life by Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna (traditional leader) of Sokoto and first Premier of the Northern Region after Independence (here), also tellingly shows the Sardauna playing English cricket and Eton Fives. The English and Muslim Nigerian upper classes became close.

Working with Fulani and Hausa Muslim elite, the colonialists instituted a system of Indirect Rule which was cheap and effective. A limited number of British administrators were placed at the top of the power structure; the educated Muslim elite were next; other Muslim groups were below them; and everyone else was at the bottom. Frequently the British would foist, say, a Fulani Muslim chief on a non-Muslim village or district thereby disempowering the locals and creating an alienated hostile underclass.

Nigerian Colonial StampIronically, during colonial rule many of the pagan tribes converted to Christianity and caused tension between British colonial authorities and British missionaries on the ground. The indigenous new Christians, actively supported by the missionaries, enjoyed “redemption lift” (here) and began to assert a moral vitality, ethnic identity and spiritual independence that sometimes challenged the cozy Anglo-Islamic status quo.

But Nigerian Independence in 1960 saw the British depart, leaving behind unamended the unjust governing structure and unfettered Muslim hegemony across the north, which Professor Turaki describes as “internal colonialism.” This was the seedbed of the crisis we see today.

Libya and – until thwarted by Parliament – Syria have amply demonstrated British Prime Minister David Cameron’s liberal interventionism and his desire to reassert British power on the international stage. And, when it comes to issues such as gay rights, he has Commonwealth and former colonial countries specifically in his sights. To the fury of African leaders who want to protect their traditional values and cultures, he insists they must dance to his liberal gay agenda or risk losing overseas aid (here).

But Mr Cameron might do well to replace colonial arrogance with Christian humility; and he could, and should, acknowledge some British responsibility for the Nigerian crisis.

The Gatestone-Stefanos conference gave unique voice to minorities who, after half a century, continue to be marginalized across the north. Among other projects to rectify residual colonial injustice, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the British High Commission in Nigeria should consider giving strong moral and financial support to this exceptional grassroots initiative.

December 17th, 2013

Dear Tom,

I never knew your late father Rob of course, but through even the distorting prism of media reports and as a Dad myself I can appreciate his outstanding paternal commitment to you. Young diver Tom Daley going for gold for his father RobertHe clearly spotted and supported your talent on the diving boards well before your age was in double digits (here), he was rightly protective of you (here), he sacrificially gave up his business to mentor you, to accompany you to events and to support you when you were under the pressure of national and international competitions. He even gained the sympathy of hard-bitten journalists for fulfilling his difficult parental role in your developing teenage celebrity life (here).

The cost to him of your career was high, but his love for you was such that he will hardly have noticed. Instead he will have been full of fatherly pride in you and your achievements, and relished the close affectionate and bantering relationship between you. Your words “my best friend, sounding board, taxi driver and biggest champion” (here) would have meant the world to him.

When he finally succumbed to cancer aged 40 just a few days after your 17th birthday, the hole in your life no doubt was massive. Your anguished tweet “I love you so much Dad” moved many hearts. Your prime source of support and security had gone. He’d been solidly there for you for all your life and, away from the bright lights of your burgeoning celebrity and diving fame, your feelings of emptiness and vulnerability must have been gut-wrenching.

But nature abhors a vacuum and vultures pounce on the vulnerable. So, a matter of months later, onto your personal stage steps gay activist and glittering Oscar-winning Hollywood screen writer/film producer Dustin Lance Black aged 39, just about the same age as your father.

81st Annual Academy Awards - ShowYou’ll know by now that Black is obsessed with MSM (men who have sex with men) issues and has written the script for and/or produced a number of gay films including The Journey of Jared Price, Something Close To Heaven, On The Bus, Pedro and, famously, the award-winning Milk. He campaigns too; provocatively he wore the pro-gay marriage White Knot (here) on stage at the sumptuous 2009 Oscars awards where he won the Best Original Screenplay prize. He’s right up there with Tinseltown’s top glitterati although regrettably, Tom, all that glitters is not gold.

You’ll also acknowledge that even before your Dad died you had become a major gay icon and focus of sexual interest in the gay community. You have been named ‘Sexiest Man of the Year’ by Attitude gay mag, ahead even of David Beckham (here). And to your credit you took it in your stride; the award is “very cool“, you said amiably. “I’m not (gay) but I wouldn’t be ashamed if I was… I’d love to have a girlfriend.” (here). It was a warm and presumably honest response.

Certainly I’ll defend your right to choose whatever friendships and relationships you like – even when you are vulnerable on the rebound from the loss of your Dad.

But it is relevant for you – and, given your national sporting and celebrity status, for the rest of us too – to wonder about Black’s intentions. Does he, like your Dad, have your interests at heart?

Or let me put it less delicately. When daily you were strutting your stuff poolside in your skimpy Speedos, freshfaced, athletic and focussed, your father would have watched over you full of paternal pride, protection, concern and support.

Tom Daley divingHow, in comparison, do you think Black viewed you on the diving boards? Was his interest in you selfless and sacrificial like your Dad’s? Was he concerned for your diving career and sporting development like your Dad? Was he motivated by self-giving love like your Dad?

Or rather was it by something altogether more self-centred, recognised universally as carnal desire?

One day you will discover for yourself the true answer: Despite protestations that he is besotted with you (here), his ‘love’ is not sacrificial like your Dad’s love. It’s much more sinister and selfish.

And now as you climb into his bed, note well that you are no longer just a gay icon; you’ve become Black’s gay trophy too. Not just a personal trophy as he delightedly deflowers your virginity and teaches you gay sex, but a massive trophy for gay ideologues and activists around the world.

You see, your diving success and fame have made you a role model for many ordinary teenage boys. This is an awesome responsibility that you have actively sought by publishing your autobiography (here) and promoting your personal TV series Splash! (here).

Cat mouseMany of these teenage boys too are subject to advances from older gay men; gay writers from Michelangelo Signorile (here) to Kirk and Madsen (here) indicate that gay men’s attraction to boys is intrinsic to the gay scene.

At a stroke you have both emboldened predatory gay men and encouraged many boys to submit to them. So we must have a look at the hedonistic unhealthy adult gay world which you yourself have now entered and into which, unwittingly, you are leading others:

First read what gay businessman Ivan Massow wrote with riveting honesty earlier this year (here)?: “Am I the only one to notice that the gay scene today seems obsessed with drugs? Obsessed with sex. Unable to take responsibility for its part in the spread of HIV. Inhabiting a soulless and empty world of hedonism… We the gay community are becoming a group of people who suddenly have everything and nothing, all at once… It’s a miserable way to live. Chemically-induced highs and kids addicted to ‘chem-sex’ is all fake b****cks. B****cks that leads to depression and, frequently, death. B****cks that is just plain boring and ultimately empty.”

AfterTheBallThen, to show things were just the same on the gay scene yesterday, read After The Ball published before you were born by gay authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen (here). With similar searing honesty they tell us “the gay lifestyle – not our sexuality but our lifestyle – is the pits” (p 276), and then for 60 pages give us chapter and verse exactly why – the pathological lying (p 280), the rejection of morality (p 289), the narcissism and self-centred behaviour (p 295), the HIV/AIDS-inducing contempt for ‘safe sex’ (p 299), the self-indulgence and self-destruction (p 302), the fear of aging and loss of youthful looks (p 317), the transience of relationships (p 318), the drugs and heavy drinking (p 336). “(T)he fast-lane lifestyle leads to exhaustion and dissatisfaction, loudly expressed, by gays who feel that ‘something is missing’, that their lives are ‘empty’ – as indeed they are: of health; of peace of mind; of contentment; of love; of genuine interconnection with others” (p 305).

Is this really the world into which you want to lead your young fans Tom?

With much concern for you and for other young people, and wishing you a really happy Christmas whether you are at home in Plymouth or with Dustin Lance Black in Hollywood,

Yours

Alan Craig

November 13th, 2013

Pakistani fundamentalists are at it again. Jamaat ud Dawa demoTheir favourite sport is threatening and menacing the vulnerable minority Christians, sometimes to the point of summarily executing them in cold blood (here).

This time it’s a young man in Lahore, Adnan Masih, who, while bored at work last month, wrote amendments in a book about the Bible and the Quran (here). His Muslim workmate shopped him to the police for defiling the Quran and defaming Islam’s prophet under Pakistan’ notorious blasphemy laws. He also informed the banned extremist group, Jamaat ud Dawah.

Rightly fearing for his life Masih went into hiding. Soon a bearded JuD mob was gathering outside the local police station. “The police had better arrest the blasphemer and hand him over to us,” demanded the group’s spokesman Hafiz Abdul Malik. “How dare someone use derogatory language about our beloved Prophet?” The protestors met every day to clamour for Masih’s arrest.

Last week hardline UK gay activists were at it too.

Valery Gergiev is a leading Russian conductor, musical reformer (here) and friend of Vladimir Putin. In London to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra for a series of works by Berlioz, the musician was compelled to issue a statement about his attitude to gay issues: “I do not discriminate against anyone, gay or otherwise, and never have done…

“It is wrong to suggest that I have ever supported anti-gay legislation and in all my work I have upheld equal rights for all people. I am an artist and have for over three decades worked with tens of thousands of people in dozens of countries from all walks of life and many of them are indeed my friends.

“I collaborate with and support all my colleagues in the endeavour for music and art. This is my focus as a conductor, musician (and) artist…”  (here).

Tatchell demoThis of course is not good enough for UK gay activists who brook no compromise, take no prisoners and delight in humiliating anyone who, they judge, doesn’t submit to their gay demands. Last Thursday Peter Tatchell and friends protested loudly outside the Barbican concert hall in order to hound and harass Gergiev. “He’s a friend of Putin,” thundered Tatchell. “He must suffer public condemnation. He must face the music.” (here).

So, spot the difference between the Lahore police station last month and the Barbican concert hall last week. The bullying and venom is the same. The nauseating hardline intolerance is the same. The claim to be judge and jury and the refusal to give any credence to the selected defendant is the same.

And, while it is true that the protestors didn’t threaten death at the media-driven event outside the Barbican, away from the spotlight gay activists in the UK are as up for criminal violence as any turbaned Muslim militant, as both the gentle unassuming B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull (here) and our reasonable reasoned GayMarriageNoThanks campaign (here) have discovered to our cost.Jamaatuddawa-banner

gay-flagBullying and barbarism are not the sole prerogative of Islamic fundamentalists.

October 25th, 2013

I’ve just finished Damien McBride’s controversial page-turner Power Trip: A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin (here), the launch of which put the cat among the Labour Party pigeons at their annual conference last month (here). McBride was Gordon Brown’s special adviser, attack dog, spin doctor and dirty tricks operator who was forced to resign from the Downing Street staff in 2009 in a scandal over plans to smear Tory MPs by leaked “lying-without-lying” stories about their private lives (here). As a proponent of political dark arts McBride is down there with Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson.

DamienMcBridesbookThe book is fascinating and foul in equal measure. Fascinating because McBride entertainingly lifts the lid on the state of politics today with humour, a good turn of phrase, telling anecdotes and buckets of self-deprecation. Foul because of the stench that arises from the decaying body politic that McBride exposes under the lid.

There are popular book reviews from varying standpoints, eg (here) and (here), and it’s not my purpose to add to them. Rather I was interested in McBride’s fulsome praise for one of our local Labour MPs, Stephen Timms, the member for East Ham and Financial Secretary to the Treasury under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. According to McBride, insiders call Timms ‘Ten-Foot’ because of his “legendary height”; he is 6’ 3½” tall (here).

Much more significant is McBride’s view that Timms is “the nicest and most morally upstanding MP and minister I’ve ever met” and that, despite all the in-your-face temptations of power, politics and a public profile, Timms remained “utterly grounded, moral and principled”.

The only other person in the book that McBride similarly eulogises is his boss, Gordon Brown, who he loyally cloaks in words like “greatness” and “genius”. But you can be an evil genius, and McBride’s book itself provides little to persuade us that Brown has the personal ‘moral compass’ that he famously claimed for himself.

But Timms does. Not only is he “morally upstanding” and “moral and principled” according to McBride, but he was also amongst the small group of MP’s who the Daily Telegraph categorised as ‘saints’ at the time of the 2009 parliamentary expenses scandal (here).

Stephen-Timms MPI don’t know Stephen Timms well, but my limited experience of him confirms his integrity and his refusal to play the crude political games of his colleagues:

From 2002 to 2006 I was the sole opposition councillor – for the Christian Peoples Alliance party – on Newham Council, facing 59 Labour councillors and a Labour executive mayor. With relish I undertook my democratic duty of opposing some of the more crass decisions of the mayor and his colleagues, who were universally hostile to me for my pains. As a result at civic, council and other functions almost all Labour councillors would, amusingly, fulfil their party’s tribal demands and blank me.

But not so Stephen Timms. He would acknowledge me and usually stand with me publicly for a passing chat. It must have been unnerving for loyalist Labour councillors to see their Labour MP demean himself – as they would view it – by engaging very visibly with the loathed opposition councillor.

So why does Timms stand out from his party colleagues as “morally upstanding” and “moral and principled”? Is it his family backgound? Is it his grammar school and Cambridge University education? Only Stephen Timms himself can truly know.

But I’ll hazard a guess and it is Timms’ Wikipedia entry that blows the gaff (here).

He’s an evangelical Christian.

September 28th, 2013

40dayslogoforwebI was standing on Earls Court station when I took a call that lifted my heart. It was Robert Colquhoun, head of the pro-life organisation 40 Days For Life UK (here). “We’ve been planning our autumn campaigns and we’ve decided to hold a 40 day prayer vigil at the BPAS centre in your neck of the woods,” he said. “We’d like you to join the local organising team.” I’ve blogged before about our local abortion centre (here) and (here) and I leapt at the chance to oppose it again.

HydraIt seems that by their prayers and God’s grace Robert and others had been successful in ending abortion at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service’s headquarters in Bedford Square, central London. But BPAS had now moved these repellent child-cull activities to their centre in Stratford, east London, about a mile from my home (here). “BPAS is like a many-headed hydra,“ said a friend referring to the reptilian monster of Greek mythology that grew another head each time one was cut off. “Then we’ll have to pray and play whack-a-mole,” I responded referring to the American pop-up arcade game.

After much planning the vigil started outside BPAS on the Romford Road last Wednesday and it will continue from 8am to 8pm every day for 40 days until 3rd November dv. It is intended as a visible and peaceful witness against the slaughter of unborn innocents that takes place in Newham, which has one of the highest abortion rates in the country (here). The vigil has been cleared with the police and local authorities and each participant is required to sign a Statement of Peace which enjoins respect and compassion towards all people and proscribes any violence or hatred.

praying-handsSo now each day we pray and watch and wait and see what happens; some fast too. On Tuesday a group of pro-abortion campaigners shouted slogans outside the pre-vigil meeting. On Wednesday we were so loudly harangued by a young Somali man about the superiority of Islam over Christianity that people had to ask him to stop so they could pray. But rather than their noisy activities, we are looking to see what God himself will do in the coming days in answer to our prayers.

And, coincidently, next Thursday the CEO of BPAS, Ann Furedi, will go head-to-head in public with seasoned pro-life campaigner Gregg Cunningham from the Los Angeles-based Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. They will debate CBR’s peaceful but graphic vigil displays outside abortion centres in the US and UK. It’s a must-see. The details are (here).

August 7th, 2013

“We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British parliament in one of its periodical fits of self-righteous morality.” Or so Macaulay might have said about the nights of 21st May and 16th July this year when MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage, accompanied by much cheering, applause and self-congratulation. madnessThe votes created, too, an oleaginous and telling unanimity amongst government and opposition party leaders, the latter of whom is paid by the taxpayer actually to oppose the government in power.

And at the subsequent celebration party at Downing Street for the gay great and good (surprisingly and unnecessarily excluding Peter Tatchell (here)), the parliamentary smugness turned to colonialist superiority – originally honed no doubt on the playing fields of EtonEton – as the prime minister promised to export gay marriage around the globe (here). This of course closely followed his previous threats to cut overseas aid to poor Commonwealth countries and former British colonies that refuse to jump to his gay agenda (here).

Apparently, therefore, we British are the world leaders on gay marriage and the uncivilised untutored peasants in Africa and Asia need to follow our lead or be brought to heel. The sun will never set on Britain’s imperial reach while David Cameron is at No 10 as, clearly, he now intends to re-paint the whole globe Empire pink (here).

There was more prime ministerial politics of fiction and special effects too: “We’ve set… something of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time,” the premier opined to the fawning company (here). bulldozerBut his legislation was without democratic mandate or legitimate consultation, was rushed and bulldozed through parliament without full debate, is without safeguards on matters of conscience for public servants like teachers and registrars, and is recognised to be full of unplanned and unintended consequences. Only a self-satisfied politician with his head in the clouds could consider this “good legislation” delivered in “good time”. Your mirror is lying, Mr Cameron.

The superior and exclusive nature of the celebrations would be irrelevant if they weren’t so spot-on symptomatic of the whole wider issue. Brendan O’Neil has written searingly about how the top-down elitist drive for same-sex marriage by ”tiny handfuls of sharp-suited gay lobbyists, lawyers, celebrities, commentators and the Notting Hill/Hampstead sections of the political class” has “completely destroyed the meaning of social progress” (here).

He is killingly accurate too in describing the new gay marriage conformism – “the slow but sure sacrifice of critical thinking and dissenting opinion under pressure to accept that which has been defined as good by the upper echelons of society” (here).

And as usual with upper echelons, the travails of people in the inferior classes are ignored. It is not just coincidence that while the gay leadership were drinking Pimms and hobnobbing with Mr Cameron on the manicured lawns of the sunlit gardens at Downing Street and he was telling them with monumental insouciance – but without noticeable dissent – that Britain is now “the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe”, the real gay community outside the bubble was and is undergoing a huge health crisis.

party scene“Alarming rise in HIV amongst gay men,” cried the recent headline in The Independent (here). Based on a study published in The Lancet it showed that the 20%+ annual increase in HIV infections amongst gay men was due to their increased use of party drugs and unprotected sex. “This is one of the most serious public health issues we face in the UK and it must be treated as a public health priority,” said Yusuf Azad of the National Aids Trust.

“Young gay men 15 times more likely to develop genital cancer than straight men,” shouted Pink News (here) on the day the same-sex marriage Bill became law, using figures taken from the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. The HPV virus can cause penile, anal, throat and cervical cancers as well as penile and anal warts. As the lifestyle and behaviour of gay young men makes them particularly susceptible to the infection, the British Medical Association has argued that the NHS’s HPV vaccination programme should be extended to include them.

Even more concerning was an article by businessman and gay campaigner Ivan Massow (here) published three weeks earlier. “Am I the only one to notice that the gay scene today seems obsessed with drugs? Obsessed with sex. Unable to take responsibility for its part in the spread of HIV. Inhabiting a soulless and empty world of hedonism. 

“Each week the number of kids who die while out clubbing or in south London apartments from drug overdoses or choking on GHB goes up… Prosecutions are practically non-existent as the gay scene hides behind its new anti-discrimination laws and calls any such policing ‘homophobic’. 

“We the gay community are becoming a group of people who suddenly have everything and nothing, all at once. 

depressed man“It’s a miserable way to live. Chemically-induced highs and kids addicted to ‘chem-sex’ is all fake b****cks (my asterisks, Alan). B****cks that leads to depression and, frequently, death. B****cks that is just plain boring and ultimately empty.” 

Massow, who personally pushed hard for gay marriage, admits with surprising honesty what we all knew, that gay leaders like him in steady leafy civil partnerships are “not representative”. No, neither are the gilded gay groupies who attend Downing Street soirees.

Same-sex marriage will, in the event, be taken up only by a miniscule minority who will be feted, facebooked, photoed and make glossy national headlines out of all proportion to their numbers, no doubt alongside a beaming self-congratulating David Cameron. It will be media heaven.

But meanwhile gay young men will be ruining their lives and dying for lack of appropriate intervention, alone in the hell of empty south London flats. Same-sex marriage has done nothing for them.

I doubt they think Britain is the best place to be gay.

July 24th, 2013

In my previous post at the end of last month (here) I told how we, the GayMarriageNoThanks.com (here) campaign team, planned to display ‘Sophie’ posters on billboards across London ahead of the third reading of the same-sex marriage Bill in the House of Lords on 8th July. The purpose of the poster was to draw urgent attention to the issue of children: at the heart of marriage for most people and, with the honourable exception of a very few parliamentarians (here), kids have been entirely ignored in the gay marriage debate.

EvidenceShowsThe ensuing Sophie story shines a small but penetrating light on the declining democracy in which we now live:

We tried first to book space for her with two of the major billboard companies, Clear Channel UK (here) and Primesight (here). They both examined the artwork and declined our business, the latter informing us it was “due to the content” which was “too contentious”.

This was ludicrous. Of course Sophie was contentious – how could she not be? She brought a specific, relevant and legitimate viewpoint about a highly contentious issue that was currently being discussed in the mother of parliaments and democracy just down the road, and we wanted to exercise our right as citizens to influence that discussion.

So we took Sophie along to the Advertising Standards Authority or rather to its associate, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which offers ‘authoritative advice’ on the UK’s advertising rules (here). In the light of their guidance we amended the statement along the bottom of the poster from ‘FACT:’ to ‘Evidence shows…’ and set about finding a new billboard company.CAPlogo(To clarify: CAP in no way endorsed or approved our poster, and they make it clear that advertisers are not to imply any such endorsement or approval. We listened carefully to their advice some of which we accepted, but the responsibility for the poster remained entirely ours.)

A colleague in Scotland had used AdTRAILERS (here) mobile billboards in the past so on Sunday 7th July, the day before the third reading, Sophie found herself being driven around Westminster and central London on one of their trucks. Response to her was both positive and very negative, and in Trafalgar Square some hostile gay marriage supporters shouted obscenities and ripped part of the poster from one side of the truck.

But much worse was to come. Early the following morning as the day of the Lord’s debate dawned I took a call from AdTRAILERS. Their staff member was apologetic but informed me they were cancelling the contract with immediate effect. The company had received “horrific” and “frightening” threats to the driver, the staff and the company, and for their own safety’s sake they could not allow the truck to go out again. “I have known nothing like it in ten years – it’s violent stuff,” said the shocked representative.

We subsequently received an email from the company cancelling the contract because of “threats” and “offensive complaints” and offering a refund. We asked them to report the intimidation to the police and supply us with the relevant crime numbers, but they declined. Fear of reprisals – to persons and business – by the gay marriage supporters paralysed the company who simply wished the matter would go away.

RainbowFlagThus Sophie’s campaign was derailed after just one day. She had been silenced by gay marriage bullies.

No doubt her antagonists crowed about their ‘victory’. But more thoughtful observers may pause to reflect on the implications for our society. The silencing of legitimate public debate through violent threats and fear are the hallmarks of autocracies and tyrannies.

The UK is not yet Putin’s Russia or Taleban-controlled Pakistan. But inch by inch our free speech is being closed down, our liberties are being curtailed and our democratic space is shrinking. So maybe, just maybe, we are on the way.