Monday, December 22, 2008

LibDem Sanctimonious Hypocrisy: No 94

Various LibDem blogs (HERE, HERE and HERE) have been having a right old go at me this evening, accusing me of homophobia (I ask you) for telling someone their tracksuit was "a bit gay". This from members of the Party which launched a campaign headlined ... wait for it ... HOMOPHOBIA IS GAY.

Since that has been pointed out to them, they've gone a bit quiet. Muppets.

UPDATE: Dizzy gives his characteristically caustic take on this HERE.
LibDems Yorksher Gob and On Liberty Now come to my defence.

60 comments:

Gallimaufry said...

Is an irrational fear of washing powder omophobia?

I'll get my coat.

Stephen Glenn said...

Iain having been the victim of words before I was even sure they applied to me I don't think I can be accused of hypocricy on this issue. Especially as I have also worked with others similarily affected.

You blogged about your use of a derogatory term no matter which definition you seek to use and claim was intended, in retaliation to a 13-year-old. You didn't have to mention it and write about it but you did. Countering anti-social behaviour with anti-social behaviour is that really a wise boast?

Now that people are pointing out a little (and it only is a little) hypocricy on your own part you do a classic bit of counter spin. Chucking the shoe on the other foot. Which I do 'believe'.

This will be my last word on the issue. Truce.

Tachybaptus said...

Gallimaufry: no. Omophobia is fear of shoulders, from Greek omos (long first o), 'shoulder'. Often seen in American football players.

Homophobia is from homos (short first o), 'the same', so it is a fear of the same. The principal symptom is incessant redecorating.

Iain Dale said...

Stephen, you weren't there. I was. A little hug was not appropriate. If having his track suit called "a little bit gay" is the worst this guy ever has to cope with he will be very lucky. Perhaps he shouldnt have called the reporter a fucking c***.

I hate Vista said...

What amazes me is when groups of people take a perfectly normal word such as gay,in the past used,by everyone, for other scenarios,apply it for their own uses. Then start complaining when people use it. Anyway I'm off now on a bender.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, I didn't see it as homphobic, in fact I liked the irony of a gay person using that term. As you know we are not all sanctimonious.

Stephen Glenn said...

I may not have been there Iain but I have been in similar situations and I'm truly sorry that that is the sort of reaction you actually came up with and now have unequivicly defended here. Very sorry indeed.

Iain Dale said...

Norfolk Blogger, you are an oasis of LibDem sanity. Along with the Yorksher Gob.

Stephen Glenn said...

I just wanna know which muppet I am.

Steve Horgan said...

You see to the PC mind it doesn't matter what you meant. It matters that some entirely hypothetical person could possibly have taken offence. So, language is censored and regulated until you get anodyne drivel that is almost useless for communication, and Christmas is cancelled in case it offends diabolists.

glenlivetguy said...

Iain,
I started yesterday with glowing remarks about you and your blog at the end of your Annual Awards survey.
Yet now I am so incensed and disappointed by a kindred spirit that I am writing to withdraw the previous compliments.
How could you have used that word to a 13 year old however bad mannered he had been. In many parts of the rural UK, young mens' lives are still ruined by bullying, rejection by both family and friends if they are thought to be homosexual. the biggest insult in the playground ....far worse than being called stupid, thick, common or handicapped, is to be called gay. That word leads to real despair and often suicide in vulnerable youngsters who dont have others to whom to turn...not even loving parents who feel the family is stigmatised by gayness.
I feel a bit like Christ must have done when one of his disciples to gain popularity with the Romans sold him out for 30 pieces of silver. Shame on you Iain you have sold your soul for cheap popularity.

Tachybaptus said...

Glenlivetguy: Glenlivet is a fine drink, but if you are starting to feel a bit like Christ, maybe you ought to cut down your intake a shade.

no longer anonymous said...

"I may not have been there Iain but I have been in similar situations and I'm truly sorry that that is the sort of reaction you actually came up with and now have unequivicly defended here."

Don't be so bloody wet. I am sick and tried of over-sensitive and easily offended (or want-to-be-offended) cretins who get worked up over something completely harmless. The word "gay" is used in the sort of way Iain used it throughout the land. The fact that an open homosexual acknowledges this and is prepared to use the word just goes to show that the so-called "gay community" is not universally po-faced and worked up into a frenzy by such things.

"In many parts of the rural UK, young mens' lives are still ruined by bullying, rejection by both family and friends if they are thought to be homosexual."

I see, so because of what goes on in remote places Iain shouldn't tell us what insults he used against a pathetic little chav. Reality check - the word "gay" is universally used like this and no amount of moaning by the santimonious or stupidly thin-skinned is going to stop that. Grow some balls and grow up. Sticks and stones etc.

"I feel a bit like Christ must have done when one of his disciples to gain popularity with the Romans sold him out for 30 pieces of silver."

You are comparing yourself to Jesus? You really are a conceited tit. Throw off your armbands and learn to have a laugh for once in your life.

molesworth 1 said...

Perhaps, on reflection Iain, it might have caused a lot less 'uproar' & 'outrage' if you'd just decked the little f***er.
As for Stephen Glenn, it's not your sexuality that makes people want to have a go at you mate, just your personality.

Diablo said...

Iain - thank you for this little anecdote and the ensuing furore.

If nothing else it reinforces my view that LibDems are sanctimonious and spineless apologists for liberalism. They don't know the meaning of the word. (I never bother to read their silly blogs anyway and I ain't going to change that habit of a life time.)

Just because "Vince the Cable" gets feted as some sort of economic messiah doesn't mean that they have the right to lecture the rest of us. Tell 'em to 'eff off!

Jabba the Cat said...

"LibDem Sanctimonious Hypocrisy"

Isn't that Simon Hughes speciality?

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Diablo 1:13
"Just because "Vince the Cable" gets feted as some sort of economic messiah doesn't mean that they have the right to lecture the rest of us."


Isn't the economic messiah bit strictly a function of Cable's vivid imagination?

labourparty said...

What exactly did you mean by the kid's tracksuit looked a bit gay?

Was it:

a) Jolly?
b) Homosexual?

If b, you were using 'gay' as a prerogative. Muppet.

Greg said...

In the words of Simon Amstell, "Jew off, and stop being so bloody black about it."

Dick the Prick said...

Sub Ed: #95

Daily Referendum said...

There's a line between what is acceptable and what isn't. In this case I think Iain falls safely on the acceptable side of that line. Of course for some anally retentive ar*eholes the line moves at their whim. They can watch Julian Clary and Graham Norton knock out gay jokes by the score one minute, but get outraged over nothing the next. Accuse Iain of using Homophobic language? How very dare you? - Get a life.

T England said...

So you say his tracksuit looked a bit bad/crap/gay?
I'm quite sure you didn't mean his tracksuit looked like it liked men ;o).

To Iain & all have a great Christmas :o)

Ruth@VS said...

I have followed this story with interest and am astonished at some of the criticisms. Leaving aside who's gay or not, the fact is that teenage boys in a group can behave like a pack of dogs, and the only way the person they are attacking gains respect is by confronting them in terms they understand.

The lack of robust and challenging responses to the bad behaviour of youngsters is one of the reasons we have the societal problems we have know. The "let's sit down and talk about it" brigade populate large parts of social services, the teaching profession and the public sector and have contributed to the situation we are in now.

I spent years in business dealing with some of the consequences of this - young adults who have no boundaries, little morality, expect things to be handed them on a plate and think they can do what they like with impunity. What's better, to teach a lesson about expected behaviour as a teenager through verbal means, or to teach it by dismissing a person from a job, and defending a legal action 10 years later?

We all learn by being challenged and corrected - but to do this we need to use the language and context understood by the group in question.

Tory Boy said...

I'm gay. I didn't take offence at what Iain said. How could I? Lib Dems - it's known as a joke which is what your party and leader are. Lots of love, Tory Boy

penwing said...

I don't generally comment on blogs (I'd have no life left if I did) and generally enjoy reading what you have to say, but when you use the word "gay" like that I believe it is doing two things:

1) showing that indirect (almost casual) homophobia is alright
2) spreading the idea that "gay" should mean rubbish, uncool, unwanted and therefore that I am rubbish, uncool, unwanted

Just because it's common playground parlance doesn't mean we should support it or pretend it's not homophobic.

The fact that you bragged about it on here is what, to me, made it even worse. You're then saying that not only is it OK to do that in the heat of the moment, but that you still consider it appropriate after the fact.

Alex
x x

Blue Eyes said...

Gay is not a derogatory word.

Travis Bickle said...

Wait until these little loves grow up and have to wear the brand new sweater the wife (or partner) bought them for Christmas to the golf club on Boxing Day......

Unsworth said...

God, what a bunch of big girls blouses you seem to have found, Iain. I quite like gays, they're not my style but they certainly add to the gaiety of life - in most senses. But these others seem to be a bunch of snivelling wimps. Homophobia? So bleeding what?

Remember the Spartans.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I would like to know why homosexuals think they have exclusive use of the word anyway.

In the old days it meant cheerful, bright and lively.Forties movies are peppered with the word.

Who gave them permission to nick it, and then go around telling people how they are to use it and what the definition should be?

It's just another manifestation of linguistic fascism.

Norfolk Blogger said...

There is a propensity amongst Lib Dem bloggers to "out liberal" each other, whilst not realising that their "liberalism" is like an extremism in itself.

However, Lib Dem members and councillors are, in my experience, completely differnt from the majority of Lib Dem bloggers.

As I have stated, I found the whole anecdote rather amusing.

Graeme said...

There is a big issue under this po-faced sanctimony, which one day someone will write about. I hope quite soon. It is that normal gay people are fed up to the back teeth of being claimed as victims, to be waved about in order to secure funding for this or that special-interest lobby group. If I never have to read another 'Oh poor me, my life was so horrible, people were so nasty to me' piece it will be too soon. I can do the 'I've been gay all my life' thing too, it's just that (unfortunately, it sometimes seems) I can't recall a single instance of anyone reacting badly to me because of it. Ever. And if my sexual identity is so horrific to you that you don't want to know me as a result, fine, your loss. It doesn't make me require some counselling.

We went to the Stonewall Mayoral hustings back in May. It was without doubt the most disgusting political event I've ever attended. Wave after wave of questions about how Boris thinks gay people are dogs (nonsense) and how important it was to secure funding (ie council tax) to pay for something called a Lesbian and Gay Museum. Most of the audience actually thought that it was more important to lie about Boris' views on homosexuality, solely in order to give themselves something to feel victimised about, than it was to discuss the future governance of London. "Some people are gay. Get over it" ran the Stonewall campaign at the time. If only the leftwing practitioners of Identity Politics would. But take away the bleating about victimhood and they lose another parcel of votes to call in at election time.

Quite surprised how angry I feel about this! Anyway, aren't all tracksuits gay?

tomcharris said...

I am occasionally told by (gay and straight) colleagues that my choice of tie is "gay". It's funny and utterly inoffensive. Looks like LibDem bloggers share their party's corporate policy of having no sense of humour. They're so gay, aren't they?

The Burbler said...

Iain, I am amazed that my post has helped to cause such a furore. Have you got nothing else better to do? My post was mainly motivated by the amusement generated by your little anecdote, which I thought was very funny. Espeically in Tunbridge Wells. For the record, I did not accuse you of homphobia. I just supported Alex Lanson Boy's remarks that one would not have expected such a remark from an aspiring politician. But as you quite rightly say I wasn't there so I am quite happy to leave it at that and thank you for all the wonderful hits you have given me on this issue and with other links, and wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Stephen Glenn said...

You too eh Paul.

Have to admit this story may well compete with my China Human rights one from last week and yet again all these hits fails to dents the LDV aggregator much.

I notice that one or two are actually ignoring Alex who blogged before me and highlighting me along with this post.

I almost considered moderating my comments for the day but all the abuse seems to only came on here.

The Burbler said...

Well done Stephen. It's very quiet in here - just you and me I think.

"Since that has been pointed out to them, they've gone a bit quiet"

Iain. Could you sit down. I have some shattering news for you.

Some people in the world - including some bloggers - actually have a thing called a L.I.F.E (Dogs, cats, partners, lodgers, TV to watch, beer to drink etc etc) and don't actually hover over their Blackberry all day and well into the night.

As I mentioned on a reply on my blog, I don't need anyone's help to "look a cock". I cheerfully accept that that is my permanent status.

The Burbler said...

Sorry Iain, I forgot to ask the really important question.

When will this be on You Tube so we can all make our own minds about the incident?

;-)))

canvas said...

Iain, the problem might be the phrase "a bit gay" is 'yoof' lingo - it's not at all politically incorrect or homophobic. The people who complained to you are probably just too old or too square to get it.

Stephen Glenn said...

Canvas considering I start my entry by linking to a Facebook group that condones that usage because it is a put down I don't that hold much water.

It is the use as a put down, a silencer (in this case sucessfully) that I do object to.

Not in the word of my native Ulster gie me 'ead peace.

canvas said...

I would hardly consider Iain a homophobe. The fact that Iain was comfortable enough with the phrase to use it shows that the humour, the irony, was enough to diffuse the situation. I personally am more offended by 13 year olds using the 'C' word. Now that's offensive.

The Burbler said...

Noone has actually called Iain a homophobe that I have seen.

canvas said...

burbler, that's because he's not. And Iain wasn't promoting or endorsing homophobia either. He used a phrase that makes people nervous. I understand why it could make people nervous - but humour and irony is subjective... In this instance Iain 'got it'.

Stephen Glenn said...

Canvas the LBGT community are not averse to words being grabbed to mean something new:

'Faggot' were the charred remains left over or the cheap cut of met.

'Queer' meant peculiuar and out of sorts.

So the LBGT community grabbed the word 'gay' to tell the world we're happy about who we are. And 'pride' to show that in public.

The word gay has now be highjacked by a new generation to me stupid, crap, out of sorts. The same thing applies it is because gay in not the majority stand point.

Entimology lesson over. Because and I stress it again I KNOW Iain didn't use it in a homophobic context, however it doesn't mean that others don't.

Windsor Tripehound said...

Do you have to be a sanctimonious tit in order to join the LibDems, or does joining them turn you into one?

We need to know.

The Burbler said...

"burbler, that's because he's not." Of course, I know and knew he's not.

"And Iain wasn't promoting or endorsing homophobia either"

I agree. I didn't say either things and no one has actually written that either, apart from some people who have fabricated the charge that some bloggers called Iain "homophobic" or a "homophobe".

Reading Iain's post he wasn't actually trying to be humourous - he was trying to shut up the teenagers.

The Burbler said...

"Do you have to be a sanctimonious tit in order to join the LibDems, or does joining them turn you into one?"

On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, no. And then again, perhaps both. .....or neither. Only time will tell.

Stephen Glenn said...

Well Burbler haing been called a hyporite, sangtamoneous, a muppet and accused by someone who doesn't know me that I have "personality" issues in the last 24 hours, I like to say you don't have to be an Elephant to be a Liberal Democrat but it helps.

The Burbler said...

Indeed Stephen. The hide of a rhinocerous and all that.

canvas said...

Iain said "Various LibDem blogs (HERE, HERE and HERE) have been having a right old go at me this evening, accusing me of homophobia (I ask you) for telling someone their tracksuit was "a bit gay"."

I'm saying Iain used irony to diffuse the situation. It worked.

canvas said...

"Humour brings insight and tolerance. Irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding."
Agnes Repplier

The Burbler said...

The point he used "irony" to defuse the situation at the disadvantage of a 13 year old who will now bear that hurt for some considerable time.

Iain Dale said...

Get over yourself. That child was no more hurt by it than the reporter was hurt by him calling him a c***. As I say, you weren't there, I was.

canvas said...

Burbler, "a 13 year old who will now bear that hurt for some considerable time."

That really is grasping at straws. 'hurt'?! As if! :)

Stephen Glenn said...

Iain's still reading Richard Milhouse Nixon's crib sheets I see. :)

Roger Thornhill said...

This whole episode shows how dysfunctional and irrational the PC concept is.

A curse upon the Righteous!

The Burbler said...

"Get over yourself. That child was no more hurt by it than the reporter was hurt by him calling him a c***. As I say, you weren't there, I was."

But you said he went quiet. Isn't that a good sign? Children and teenagers swear to cover up for their feelings of inadequacy.

canvas said...

He 'went silent' because Iain challenged his bravado. Not because Iain hurt his feelings. :)

Old Holborn said...

I would have stabbed the little shit.

Sorted

Irfan Ahmed said...

December 22, 2008 11:55 PM

I have to agree with Norfolk Blogger, it is actually funny that Iain said that to the boy. I personally would have done the same if I was in Iain's shoes and the tracksuit looked gay.

Well not really, I would have actually kicked the day lights out of him!

The Burbler said...

Aside from all this nonsense, can I just offer the advice that if you are confronted with rebellious teenagers in the street the best thing to do is to remember their descriptions and report them to the police non-emergency line (or emergency line if a crime is being committed) out of sight of them.

Challenging them by insulting their clothing is the best way to end up in a mortuary.

James Higham said...

Seems like a storm in a teacup, Iain. Merry Christmas to you.