Monday, 24 January 2011

Melanie Phillips and "normal sexual behaviour" vs the gay McCarthyites

Reading Melanie Phillips' columns holds a weird kind of fascination for me. Some people just had to watch '2 Girls 1 Cup', others graphic videos of beheadings or extreme porn. I, sadly, have the same morbid curiosity towards Melanie Phillips. I shouldn't read her pieces, I know I shouldn't. It's bad for me. No good can come of it. And yet, I can't tear myself away...

The thing that fascinates me is not so much what she talks about, as her tone. She has this dramatic, apocalyptic tone to everything she writes. The words drip with melodrama. Just look at the very title of today's: Yes, gays have often been the victims of prejudice. But they now risk becoming the new McCarthyites. Gays! The new McCarthyites!
Here’s a question ­shortly coming to an examination ­paper near you. What have mathematics, geography or science to do with homosexuality?

Nothing at all, you say? Zero marks for you, then.

For, mad as this may seem, schoolchildren are to be bombarded with homosexual references in maths, geography and ­science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda.

The Mail has gone big on the story about terrifyingly gay maths and science lessons. I don't want to digress too much here, go read Forty Shades Of Grey for an analysis of the scaremongering bollocks involved. Again, the thing that strikes me is just the palpable fury and drama with which she writes. There aren't simply gay references in these lesson plans; kids are to be "bombarded" with them. And it's not to encourage acceptance of homosexuality, it's "a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda". Ah yes, the "gay agenda". No-one really knows what this is, (who can say for sure what goes on in the crazed minds of The Gays?), but what we do know is that involves brainwashing our kids.

And yes, she does actually say "brainwash":
Alas, this gay curriculum is no laughing matter. Absurd as it sounds, this is but the latest attempt to brainwash children with propaganda under the ­camouflage of ­education. It is an abuse of childhood.
The difficulty in blogging about Phillips is that her sheer absurdity makes her difficult to satirise. How can you top the claim that mentioning gay people in passing in a textbook question equates to "an abuse of childhood"? Next, we come to perhaps the most vile, hate-filled sentence in the piece:
And it’s all part of the ruthless campaign by the gay rights lobby to destroy the very ­concept of normal sexual behaviour.
That's a sentence absolutely dripping with contempt. The "gay rights lobby" isn't about gay rights, it's about "destroy[ing] the very ­concept of normal sexual behaviour". Destroying it. They want to destroy everything you hold dear. Hey, you know that sex you heterosexuals are having? That's normal! It doesn't matter if you're dressing up as Luke and Princess Leia and are shoving toy lightsabres up each's all NORMAL because one of you is a dude and the other one is a chick. Go for it. I mean, as long as you're married. But still, even if you're not, it's normal for men and women to fuck, right? Two guys though? What's that all about? Two women? The world's gone mad!
Not so long ago, an epic political battle raged over teaching children that ­homosexuality was normal. The fight over Section 28, as it became known, resulted in the repeal of the legal requirement on schools not to promote homosexuality.

As the old joke has it, what was once impermissible first becomes tolerated and then becomes mandatory.
That last line is just baffling, isn't it? Can anyone please tell me when it's going to become mandatory? I don't remember being consulted. I'd just like some notice of when The Gay Lobby are going to brutally force me to change my sexuality as part of their Agenda.

The rest of the column is shot through with myopia and misrepresentation.
The bed and breakfast hoteliers Peter and Hazelmary Bull — who were recently sued for turning away two homosexuals who wished to share a bedroom — were but the latest religious believers to fall foul of the gay inquisition merely for upholding ­Christian values.
They weren't merely upholding Christian values. They turned away a couple in a civil partnership because they disapproved of their sexuality, contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the law. It's tales like that which are exactly why there still has to be a gay rights lobby. Let's hope that one day we can all be grown-up enough to treat each other equally. Until then, unfortunately we're going to have to use the law to enforce, y'know, basic fairness and human decency.
It seems that just about everything in Britain is now run according to the gay agenda.
For, in addition to the requirement for gay-friendly hotels, gay adoption and gay mathematics, now comes, apparently, gay drugs policy.

Last week, the Government announced the appointment of some new ­members to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, who included a GP by the name of Hans-Christian Raabe.
Here, Phillips launches into a perplexing rant about the appointment of Dr Raabe. You would think that his actual appointment, in spite of his homophobic views, would be evidence that perhaps not everything is "run according to the gay agenda". But no. The fact that people have complained proves that it is. Presumably, then, by the same token, the fact that Phillips is complaining about gay rights proves that the country is in the vice-like grip of the authoritarian Melanie Phillips lobby. Everything is run according to the Melanie Phillips agenda!
It was the BBC’s Home Editor Mark ­Easton who led the charge. On his BBC News blog, he announced that Dr Raabe’s views on homosexuality were causing such fury among (anonymous) members of the Advisory Council that at least one member was threatening to step down.

Well may you rub your eyes at that. Just what have his views on homosexuality got to do with illegal drugs? Well, according to Easton, more than one member of the ­council is gay or lesbian.

How extraordinary. Just imagine if the boot were on the other foot and Dr Raabe had refused to serve on the drugs council because some of its ­members were gay. He would be out on his ear within the hour.
At the end there, you get a little hint of the reasons for Phillips' beliefs. In conflict with all available evidence, she seems to believe that being gay is a belief, an opinion, a lifestyle. Refusing to work with someone because you believe they have virulently anti-gay beliefs is, to her, the same as refusing because they are gay. Phillips simply cannot see a difference here. And, of course, she singles out a fairly straightforward piece of reportage and presents it as a clarion call from Mark Easton. Because, y'know, he's from the BBC. You know what they're like.

The curious thing about it all is Phillips' claims about tolerance for free speech. She makes a big fuss about various cases where she believes people have been unfairly persecuted for expressing sincerely held, anti-gay, beliefs. Freedom of speech is important, she argues. And yet, the mere idea of mentioning gay people in a textbook is something that must be opposed, stopped, cried out against. Where's the freedom of speech for that? It doesn't matter. That is brainwashing our kids, destroying our ideas of "normal sexual behaviour", and thus it must be stopped.

Phillips finishes off by describing the "crazy, upside-down world of the equality agenda", and expressing fear of the "seemingly all-­powerful gay rights lobby". If there's one thing Melanie Phillips can never be accused of, it's understatement.


  1. well said.

    i think it would be great to have references to gay families in textbooks. you rarely get references to women, let alone gay families!

    i grew up in a gay household from the age of 4. when i was at school, you opened your books and everywhere were references to mummy and daddy, mummy buys 5 apples and daddy bus 6 pears, how much fruit do they have etc etc.

    it's kind of isolating. you see that your life is not reflected, not recognised in the world around you.

    my friend who has a five year old is now facing the same problem. none of the books at her daughter's school reflect her reality of having a gay mum. if this changes, and families of all different types are represented, then good!

    i'm sure the same thing happened when images of families from different ethnicity groups were included in children's textbooks!

    melanie phillips is homophobic and intensely ignorant. she refuses to listen to or engage with any debate that does not fit her view.

    as you say, the very fact that a business thought it was *ok* to turn away a couple in a civil partnership shows we need a gay rights lobby.

  2. God, what is WITH the Mail? Check the date-stamp on this and make sure it says 2011, not 1950. I refuse to believe that there are people in this world that not only think this, but are encouraged to air it. Homosexuality is older than time.

  3. Great post! I think you hit the nail on the head when you point to Melanie Phillips' contradictory stance on freedom of speech - this is what characterises the whole right-wing lobby. They happily spout liberal economics when challenged about social inequalities, but when it comes to the choices of individuals, they'd prefer to have a personal veto over the behaviour of complete strangers.
    On the other hand, I can't help but feel that this is a bizarre cry for help from Ms Phillips (she'd hate me to call her Ms, wouldn't she?). Somewhere, in a dark cave in Buckinghamshire, she's frugging herself stupid over all the attention.

  4. I personally love the bit where she refers to the 'gay agenda' in science, as kids may learn about penguins and seahorses where the males take a lead role in raising their young. So any guys out there who help to look after their kids, Melanie is officially outing you!

  5. The Blind-To-Irony-O-Meter flicked briefly into the red (alongside the Stone-Cold-Cards-On-The-Table-Homophobic-O-Meter, which was quivering there permanently) at this:

    "On his BBC News blog, he announced that Dr Raabe’s views on homosexuality were causing such fury among (anonymous) members of the Advisory Council..."

    Can you imagine that? The sheer clutch-your-pearls horror of a news outlet making a hyperbolic, anonymous, unsupported-by-evidence claim that FURY was abroad in the land - FURY that had ERUPTED, probably.

    Thank God the Daily Mail exists to keep a calm, rational eye on discourse.

  6. Are you asking for her to be censored?

    If yes, say so. If not, then what exactly are you complaining about?

  7. Hello, Anonymous. No, I'm not asking for her to be censored. I'm disagreeing with her publicly, just like I'm disagreeing with you now. I don't see why that would be difficult to understand.

  8. Erm, to the above comment... he's complaining about how ignorant and homophobic Melanie Phillips is. Your comment makes no sense.

  9. To anonymous that is :)

  10. @Anonymous:

    Are you asking for him to be censored?

    If yes, say so. If not, then what exactly are you complaining about?

  11. Anonymous, are you trying to censor criticism of Mel phillips? What about our freedom of speech!!

  12. It is with much relief that I read your blog.

    There was worry here at Camp Towers that the recent unfortunate leaking of our Butch Bulletin had the potential to go viral. Given your lack of intimate knowledge regarding our Agenda, I am convinced Ms Phillips is in possession of a single copy only.

    I note with no small sense of satisfaction that our business plan is still relevant. We can continue to invest heavily in removal vans, cats and Sarah McLachlan. It is imperative to increase the rolling stock, for when all the girls of the country play for Our Team the unfortunate lesbian habit of moving in together after the second date could deplete the nations number of cats named Oscar. Our Agenda (which is classified) would be prohibitively expensive if not for our shares in Sarah and the heroic actions of some of our number wearing their Dads shirts.

    Using an ingenious (and classified) combination of long division and foul smelling compounds, our Lesbian Ninja Unit shall ensure the future is pink.

  13. I wonder what Phillips will do when she discovers that homosexuals aren't the only people whose sexual tastes don't rigidly conform to plain, vanilla, married heterosexual intercourse. A combined effort from the gays, furries and various shades of hentai lovers might actually be enough to transform her into Cthulhu.

  14. I once read a similat diatribe by Melanie Phillips in the Mail under the strapline "The Saturday Essay".

    While I didn't feel any less educated by the end of it, I certainly didn't feel any better informed, either. Sure, I did feel lectured at, but not in a way you could really take seriously. I'd already had a good, balanced education by then, you see.

    I know the PCC can't muzzle this throwback, but maybe Michael Gove can pull some strings so that OFSTED could ring-fence a little public money to send Melanie Phillips on anger-management courses? Or would the BBC somehow end up taking the blame for that "outrage", too?

  15. It always amuses me when people pursuing an agenda (Melanie Philips) accuse other people of having an agenda. I play a game of *spot the dirty word* In this kind of journalism. Agenda and quango are two obvious ones. Bigoted is one obvious word which describes it

  16. There's no excuse for Melanie Phillips' vitriolic remarks on an entire section of the population.

    Most parents would probably worry more about their kids being exposed to Melanie Phillips' views than learning about an awareness of homosexuality.

    And in a perfect world we'd need no 'equality agenda', but when the most influential journalists are spitting out such hatred, we clearly do.

    I don't think she should necessarily be censored, but there's a difference between saying your view with facts and reason, and twisting the truth to fit one's own prejudicial thoughts.

  17. Dear Anonymous, Jan 24th, 22:53

    I think I love you.

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