Saturday, 22 February 2014

My Little List

This is a slightly expanded version of an article I wrote for TheGayUK, which appears in their latest downloadable version; expanded because, since I wrote it, a few more names have come forward, who unquestionably deserve to make this distinguished list.

Warning. This article may cause offense. Sorry about that, but the people listed below have caused me plenty of offense over the years. It’s payback time.

“As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list — I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!”

The words are Ko-Ko’s in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, but if only I too could be Lord High Executioner, just for a day. I’ve got my own little list of society offenders who never would be missed. 

Peter Hitchens

Take Peter Hitchens for instance. Does it never bother him that people look at him and wonder why the wrong brother had to die? Presumably not, because nothing ever seems to knock that smug, self-satisfied expression off his face. Much of my dislike of the man, I’ll admit, is an irrational reaction to both his face and his pompous voice, and there have been (very rare) occasions when I’ve actually agreed with something he’s said. Even so, I always feel I want to hit him. When he’s on Question Time, it’s all I can do to stop myself launching a brick at the television. Sorry, but there it is.

Talk of Peter Hitchens, brings me to quite a few other Daily Mail columnists and the editor himself, that “frothing autocrat”, to use Stephen Fry’s phrase, Paul Dacre, one of the nastiest individuals I’ve ever come across. I’ll let the estimable Mr Fry sum up my feelings about  him. 

Dacre is, all those who have had the misfortune to work for him assure me, just about as loathsome, self-regarding, morally putrid, vengeful and disgusting a man as it possible to be. His power is absolute. Cross him either in private or public and you will be assassinated by his sycophantic squad of columnist minions, all of them infected with his brand of repulsive hypocritical and gleeful spite, ready to vomit out a screed against the BBC or any other institution they hate.

Paul Dacre

Dacre and his rag had another go at the estimable Mr Fry after his, as always, brilliant hosting of the 2014 BAFTAs.  Petty stuff and not even worth repeating, but Dacre definitely goes on the list. I’ll even let you pull the trigger, Stephen. 

So that you won’t feel too lonely when they march you out to stand against that wall, Mr Dacre, maybe we could surround you with a few friends; Melanie Phillips, a sort of female Peter Hitchens, only not as womanly; that stupid woman Jan Moir, who started banging on about Stephen Gately’s “gay lifestyle” being responsible for his death, before his family had had a chance to even deal with the shock, and making wild assumptions before the cause of death had been established (a pulmonary edema resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition, as it turned out); the loathsome Richard Littlejohn who outed transgender teacher Lesley Meadows, in a nasty transphobic piece, that no doubt contributed to her suicide. Neither Moir nor Littlejohn ever apologised, but that is the way with the Daily Mail. What’s a life when there’s a good story at stake? What indeed? Line them up.

While I’m at it, maybe I can take steps to burn all copies of the Daily Mail, burn down their printing press and offices, and literally do everything possible to prevent it ever being printed again. I doubt it would be missed, and maybe “outraged of middle England” might actually end up feeling a little happier, and even a little less outraged.

Vladimir Putin

Time now to look further afield and outside the UK. First and foremost would have to be Vladimir Putin, that confused despot, who doesn’t know the difference between homosexuality and paedophilia, but delights in posing for homoerotic photographs. Poor man obviously has quite a few self-esteem issues, as he regularly apes the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, screaming “Off with his head” at anyone brave enough to contradict him. 

Vitaly Milonov
Next to him we’ll put Vitaly Molonov, one of the architects of the present ant-gay law in Russia, who seems to equate homosexuality with bestiality, and proclaims he is only doing God’s work (we’ll get on to religion in a moment). He is convinced that homosexuality is a choice, though one wonders why anyone in their right mind would make such a choice in a country where they are likely to be beaten up, or even killed. The man is clearly mad. Only recently he has proposed granting full citizenship to embryos and forcing women who have not given birth by the age of 23 to join the army. Eh? “Off with his head!”

After the recent screening of the deeply disturbing and desperately sad documentary “Hunted” from Channel 4’s Dispatches team, I’ll also add Timur Islav, a self-styled vigilante and member of Parents of Russia, and the vile Ekaterina Zigunova of the group Occupy Paedophilia (yet again Russians make no distinction between homosexuality and paedophilia) who cheerfully explains to the Dispatches team how she plans to ruin the lives of any gay man who comes within her radar. After the documentary aired on February 5th, there cannot have been a gay man anywhere in the UK, who did not wish her dead. You know, all that pleasure you take in torturing young gay men, and in ruining their lives, Katya? Well you can’t begin to imagine what pleasure I’d take in marching you out in front of a firing squad of gay men. I’m sure they’d like to hurt and humiliate you a bit first, just so you know what it’s like. 

Ehaterina Ziganova

And so I move on to religion, or rather those who commit crimes of hatred in its name. Truth to tell, there are rather too many of them to put in front of a firing squad. It would be a very crowded wall and you might miss one or two, so I prefer to take a few examples and make them scapegoats. After all, scapegoating is something these nasties are all rather good at.

Joseph Ratzinger

Now I know he doesn’t really pose any kind of threat anymore, not since he was ousted, I’m sorry, I meant since he stepped down (the first Pope to resign since 1415!), but Joseph Ratzinger shouldn’t really be allowed to get away with years of shielding paedophile priests, with subjecting women in poor countries to the servitude of continuous motherhood, with furthering the spread of HIV by not allowing people to use condoms. There’s no way he should be holed up in comfort somewhere in the Vatican City, safe from the clutches of journalists. He should be out to face his crimes.

Talk of Ratzinger reminds me that it was he who gave his blessing to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who promised to pass the notorious Ugandan “Kill the Gays” bill as a “Christmas gift”. She should not go unpunished.

Goodluck Jonathan

Nor should Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president, who has just passed a “Jail the Gays” law, which is already spreading untold misery for anyone who is, or is even suspected of being, gay. “One of the most dangerous anti-LGBT leaders that we have in the world today,” according to Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, we should just do the world a favour and add him to the list. He certainly won’t be missed.

Peter LaBarbera
Scott Lively
Only yesterday two long-time opponents of the U.S. Gay Rights movement announced a coalition that will seek to persuade more countries around the world to follow Russia’s example in passing laws that restrict gay rights. The pressure they are exerting has already worked in countries like Uganda and Nigeria and is spreading like a cancer throughout Africa. The coalition consists of Massachusetts based evangelical lawyer Scott Lively, and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which does the exact reverse of what it says on the packet, delighting in unsubstantiated “facts” and un-truths. Feeling that they have lost the battle in the US and Europe, they are taking their hatred  to third world countries, where lack of education and ignorance prevails, their mission to encourage allies abroad to lobby their own governments and follow Russia’s example.  Would they really be missed?

 Back in the UK, some of you may not yet be aware of the name of Andrea Minichiello Williams, a UK Evangelist who recently travelled to Jamaica to urge their government to keep the law that criminalises homosexuality. She links Tom Daly’s recent coming out about his sexuality to the death of his father and, like the Russians, still insists there is a link between homosexuality and paedophilia, despite compelling evidence to the contrary. She is strongly opposed to a bill at present going through parliament that seeks to ban gay-to-straight conversion therapy. Apparently it is the government that lacks compassion, not her radical Christian Concern charity, though why it has maintained its charitable status is beyond me. There is nothing charitable about it. She’s been a little quiet over the last month or so, but I’m sure she has some other dastardly scheme up her sleeve. Society offender? Absolutely.

Andrea Minichiello Williams

And so finally I come to all those religious extremists, most with names too long and complicated to remember. Zealots one and all, the problem with this lot is that you no sooner get rid of one, than another pops up somewhere else. Far more dangerous than any of those I’ve mentioned by name, they’re pretty indiscriminate about whom they kill in their quest for world dominance. Flying planes into tall buildings and blowing up buses and tube stations means you’re probably going to kill quite a few innocent people of all faiths, including your own, but that is just considered damage waiver. What on earth do we do about this lot? I must admit they have me stumped.

Of course one solution might be just to line all Gods up in front of the firing squad. That they may not themselves be responsible for the atrocities continually committed in their name, is very true, but you have to admit that they’re not really doing much to stop them. Then of course there is another problem here. None of these Gods actually exist, so how on earth am I supposed to find them.

I have no doubt that some of the above mentioned will have their own little lists, and I also have no doubt, that in the extremely unlikely event that any of them had even heard of me, I would figure high on those lists. The worrying thing is that, though my list might merely be a bit of harmless fun, I feel sure that they, with the possible exception of the Daily Mail columnists, would have no compunction about slaughtering all the people on their little lists, and would probably glory in doing so. It’s what they do. Whereas I, a self-proclaimed atheist and humanist, have never willingly or wilfully done anything that might harm another human being, most of those above do, and are doing so on a daily basis. Think of that, if you’ve got this far and find you’re a little offended. Well I did warn you.