Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mid Table Mediocrity In the Pink List

According to the Independent on Sunday's 2008 Pink List, I am the 49th most influential gay person in Britain. That's a bit like West Ham finishing in 10th place in the Premier league! Having compiled several of these Top 100 lists I know how difficult it can be. But if I am honest, am I really more influential than Angela Eagle (57), Rupert Everett (58), Peter Mandelson (64), Alan Cumming (70), Nick Herbert (76), Matthew Parris (78) and Andrew Pierce (80)? I could go on. I would rank all these people more highly than me, not to mention most of the others in the bottom half of the table. Brian Paddick onlyu scrapes in at 101, I ask you! If you extract the political people from the list, this is the Top 15...

1. Nicholas Boles (11)
2. Ben Bradshaw (24)
3. Margot James (27)
4. Greg Barker (29)
5. Sir Simon Milton (30)
6. Peter Tatchell (33)
7. Dan Ritterband (40)
8. Iain Dale (49)
9. Waheed Alli (54)
10. Angela Eagle (57)
11. Darren Johnson (59)
12. Peter Mandelson (64)
13. Nick Herbert (76)
14. Chris Bryant (84)
15. Brian Paddick (101)

There's a part of me that views a Pink List as slightly insulting. No one would ever compile a list of the Top 100 Most Influential Straight People, would they? But I suppose anything that marks you out from the norm is fair game for this sort of thing. They did ring me up and ask if I would allow my name to be included, so I can hardly complain.


conand said...

I don't think thats a bad result really Iain. I'm willing to admit you've got some way to go before you're mixing it with Alexander The Great, Hadrian and Queen Anne but there is still time!

Anonymous said...

where's alan duncan

Liam said...

It is a bizzare list, as you say the first paper to publish the Straight List would get, well, slapped I'd imagine :)

Now yonder man indoors is going to be bringing this up at the breakfast table, Iain? "Look at that, just in the top 50, I could have been civil partershipped with someone higher up but no, follow my heart...."

:) =D :)

Paul Pinfield said...

Iain, you mean to tell us that Ben Bradshaw and Peter Mandelson are gay?

What next, rising tractor production?

Henry Rogers said...


'Influential' is double edged. All of us here would agree that you are a good influence. But would 'we' (and that includes you too) say the same of all the others on the list? Would 'we' say that 'influential' people in general are necessarily a good influence?

Anonymous said...

I would have put Mandelson at the top.

Anonymous said...

I've not heard of most of these people. Who is Nicholas Boles?

scott redding said...

I never understand these lists. Margot James, but not her partner, the controller of BBC One?

scott redding said...

Ah. I see. Two different Jay Hunts.

verity said...

I agree it's a silly list. What next, the influential Slender Blue-Eyed People's List?

I'd never even heard of the top five.

I hadn't heard of most of the rest of them, either.

They're gay. So what?

Anonymous said...

Just shows how out of touch the Sindy now is! Reckon there is now more people on their Pink List than they have readers. A sad and small newspaper which no one reads and fewer care about..

Another Cath said...

"They did ring me up and ask if I would allow my name to be included, so I can hardly complain"

So you're actually 49th Most Influential Gay Who Allowed Their Names To Be Included.

Helen said...

Um, Brian Paddick? Influential? With whom? And Darren Johnson? I bet nobody on this forum has even heard of him. He is one of the two Green members in the London Assembly, the body that has no (repeat, NO) powers at all.

Scipio said...

I look forward to the top 100 most influential heterosexual people, the most influential ginger people, bald people, short sighted people....blah blah blah!

Does anyone really give a flying f***k about someone being influential and gay? Why do people still feel the need to define themselves (or others) by their sexuality? Isn't it all just a bit irrelevant?

It is good that gay people can at last be themselves without fear of being hanged, and I support pretty much all the recent moves to equalise life for gay people. BUt when we ALL realise that our sexuality is merely one aspect of who we are, and not the sum of all its parts.

So - enough about your sexuality Iain please. Tell us something about you which is interesting and relevant.

And I know, you didn't raise the subject - the newspaper did (so it is fine for you to comment on it obviously). It is the general trait of 'listen to me everyone - I'm gay you know' that I object to.

Anonymous said...

Where's Gordon Brown?

Anonymous said...

Some mistake surely?

Why isn't Gordon Brown on the list?

Or has his standing slipped so low?

Tom FD said...

I can't believe Henry Conway is deemed more influential than Brian Paddick!

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I'm very confused by this, Iain.

1. Nicholas Boles (11)
3. Margot James (27)
4. Greg Barker (29)
5. Sir Simon Milton (30)
7. Dan Ritterband (40)
9. Waheed Alli (54)
10. Angela Eagle (57)
11. Darren Johnson (59)
13. Nick Herbert (76)
14. Chris Bryant (84)

I've never even heard of these people AT ALL. I therefore can't imagine that they're particularly influential.

And with all due respect, you're not terribly influential to me, either: if I disagreed with you, I would say so and the fact that you, Iain Dale, hold a particular opinion would not sway me in the same way that a well-constructed, reasoned argument would.

Even those who you might well argue have some influence because they can command newspaper space and some kind of power, like Tatchell or Mandelson, have little influence on our day-to-day lives.

This article looks more to me like someone at the Indy said, "How can we extract a few extra sales from the gay community? I know, let's mention lots of names of gay people in some sort of list."

It's bollocks. As is this reply, which by now is probably longer than your original post. :o)

Anonymous said...

agree with anon above - i too would put Peter Mandelsson at No.1 , considering his powerful position as EU trade commissioner.

Praguetory said...

Who's Darren Johnson?

Praguetory said...

Also, how can Greg Barker be influential? Ever since he was outed he has had a lowest of low profiles.

verity said...

Scipio - Let's not get a rumour started here. Gay people have never been in fear "of being hanged" in Britain. In fact, they've always been accepted as part of normal life.

It was Oscar Wilde, with his endless inyerface show-boating that motivated some people to become hostile.

On the list, I've heard of Chris Bryant, although I have no idea who he is, and Nick Herbert. Iain, of course. And Hugh Paddick. Iain's influential to some extent because of his blog and his prominent presence in the media, but I don't see that most of the others have any influence at all.

Prague Tory - who the hell is Greg Barker. And he's "keeping a low profile"? Why put the energy into it? He's never had a high or medium profile.

Ian Thorpe said...

Look on the bright side Iain, you're probably the most influential West Ham supporter in the country :-)

mad as hell said...

Pissy Mandelson ? Chiefly influential for still pigging in the Euro trough despite being sacked for dishonesty twice by his bum-master Blair.

Bendover Bradshaw? The Minister Who Jumps From Place To Place ( formerly my Member of the Piggery; Jesus H Christ, what a sad fake tan !).
You,Iain, despite not knowing you, are far more influential to me.
Before anyone jumps on the "homophobic" banwagon for my remarks above, I am known among my family as 'Not the marrying kind'.

Glenn Vowles said...

A very subjective exercise indeed. How do you measure influence? Influence over what, why and how?
The list is so varied can it possibly be talking about the same thing for each person?

Gordon said...

What does Chris Bryant actually do apart from come across as a rather nasty and aggressive attack dog whenever the govt is in trouble? His arguments have the inadequacies of Blears and Harperson, he just doesn't get invited on tv as often to make them.

Additionally, don't Hughes and Oaten count as influential any more? I know Oaten especially had (deserved) bad press, but to be MPs and be less influential than that guy from the green party? that's just amusing

JessTheDog said...

Waste of time. Pink Lists are so 1990s. We are in the post-gay era.

niconoclast said...

A veritable rogues gallery of inverts and moral change agents. Alan Cumming? You couldn't make it up.

There's only one Cath said...

It is of course possible that the reason the political names on the list are so comparatively insignificant (with one notable exception, Iain!) is that being gay remains a serious impediment to success in politics.

As a PP has said, where is Alan Duncan? Would it be fair to assume he was asked to be on the list but declined?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

It is of course possible that the reason the political names on the list are so comparatively insignificant (with one notable exception, Iain!) is that being gay remains a serious impediment to success in politics.

Really? I thought it was nearly mandatory!

Although, you could never become Prime Minister if you were a closet homosexual, could you?

Mr Angry said...

Sir Simon Milton is the new Chair,am of the Local Government Association. As such he manifestly has more genuine, usable, power and influence than all those above him on the list. How Nick Bowles, an opposition member, can be at No 1 not Milton I find hard to understand and to my mind that discredits the entire order of the listing.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Sorry, but how would an objective observer know, except by subjective experience or self-serving declaration?

It all seems self-cancelling or introspective to me.

[Hic. Hic. Just back from a very well-lubricated, and significantly-gay garden-party. Hic.]

Merseymike said...

I don't really take these things all that seriously, but I do think there is still something to be said for good role models. As hard as it may be for some sophisticates to imagine, there are still plenty of people out in the small towns and provinces who find the public presence of gay people an encouragement. Not everyone lives in central London or Manchester!

Of course, on one level it shouldn't matter, but given that we don't live in a totally unprejudiced society, it still does.

Anonymous said...

There's something wrong with a list that puts Screecher Ben at No.2

Anonymous said...

Iain, congratulations: you are the mid-90s Leicester City of homosexuals.

Anonymous said...

Can you do a list of influential smokers please?
freedom to prosper

Anonymous said...

I really couldn't give a toss! What has your sexuality got to do with anything? Please, please, please. give the 'gay' stuff a miss.

Weygand said...

I have always thought that true test that one is not prejudiced re a particular personal charateristic was that one didn't even notice it, save for those occasions when it might be impolite not to.

Thus, the very fact of classifying someone as a 'woman' novelist a 'black' poet or 'gay' anything would seem to be demeaning; almost tantamount to saying 'isn't it surprising what some of them can do'.

Reminiscent of Dr Johnson and his famous remarks about women speakers.

Being male, white and heterosexual, I have no sensitivity to protect in these areas, but I must say that I find the idea of a pink list patronising and cannot understand why Iain feels it might be positive to be judged according to his sexuality rather than simply according to his ability.

verity said...

Weygang - I agree about these moderating terms. They are ghastly. It's like referring to Gore Vidal as a "homosexual writer".

I don't like his novels. Does that make me anti-gay? Personally, though, I wish he would bring out a new collected essays every year. (Or every month would be good.) Does this make me pro-gay? Oh, wait a minute, I was just anti-gay for thinking Gore Vidal can't write novels...

Worse, it's like referring to someone as a "Jewish ballerina".

This mad thinking washes up the human race on the wilder shores of lunacy.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Iain Dale, who is in effect just telling people what they already know, to confirm the prejudices they already have, has more influence than Peter Mandelson has been drinking very heavily from the EU 'Lisbon is just a tidying up treaty' Propaganda designed to make us believe that our sovereignty is 'safe in our hands'.

I can't believe you're recycling this cheap churnalism...

canvas said...

I think this 'list' is divisive and weird.

Why compile a list of people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion? what's the point?

machiavelli said...

Did they ask Gordon or did he just not get onto the list...?

Good to see the vast majority at the top of the political entries are Tories...

dirty uropeansocialist said...

It is an OK result. B

Stephen Glenn said...

Mind you it says something when you consider how influential sportpeople would be on a Non-Pink list of influence that there are only 5 I can spot with any connection however weak with sport.

1 Elton John (6) One time Chairman of Watford Football Club
2 Alan Carr (9) Son of football manager
3 Clare Balding (16) Former Jockey, member of racing family and racing presenter.
4 John Amaechi (61) Basketball player
5 Nigel Owens (63) Rugby Union referee