Thursday, October 01, 2009

(Not) An Apology from the Daily Mail

UPDATE 12.20am: It seems I have been hoaxed and that the apology I posted earlier was not in fact from Peter McKay at all. This is what he has written in his Ephraim Hardcastle tomorrow (Friday)...

Tory blogger Iain Dale complains about an item here yesterday. I mentioned that Dale, who is gay, is hoping to become the Tory candidate at Bracknell, Berkshire, and invited subscribers to PinkNews, the homosexual website, to attend the open primary on October 17, saying: 'You don't even have to be a Conservative to attend.' Dale says my comment - 'Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally likeminded chaps to their cause?' - is homophobic, as is my description of him as 'overtly gay'. He has complained to the Press Complaints Commission, and suggested his readers email complaints. I have nothing against Dale. Nor am I homophobic. But if he wants to become an MP, surely he'll have to become a little less sensitive. Incidentally, the Tories are having their first gay pride event at their Manchester conference next week. They'll promote a new 'gay-friendly' logo, Conservative Pride. Isn't life grand?

Isn't it just. Oh well, PCC here I come.

UPDATE 9.30am: Peter McKay has confirmed it didn't come from him.

I have just received this message from Peter McKay, the editor of the Ephraim Hardcastle column in the Daily Mail.


Hi Iain,

I must say I'm quite surprised at the furore created by the piece in my
column yesterday. As regular readers will be aware the EH section is meant to be
a lighthearted gossip piece and is certainly not meant to be taken
seriously.

However I understand that perspectives on these things are different for
different people and realise that though no offence was intended, you did indeed
find the piece offensive.

I'm certainly happy to offer my fullest apologies for any offence caused
and reflect that I may have made an error of judgement on this occasion.

Of course I'll happily through a few bobbies in the direction of your
nominated charity and hope that all is now fine and dandy.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours etc

Peter


I accept the apology and shan't be taking the matter any further. I think the point has been made, not just by, but by the dozens (perhaps hundreds) of you who have been in touch with the Mail and the PCC. Thank you all for your support. It means a lot.

I think there are two lessons here. Don't take this sort of thing lying down. Fight back and you can get a result. It wouldn't have been possible without the internet, though, would it?

It is all very well for me to do this. I am in a position to. But what about if it had happened to someone else without the facilities to do what I did today? Think on that.

I am going to ask the Daily Mail to make a donation to Help for Heroes.

UPDATE: I shall also be asking for the article to be removed from the Daily Mail website.

118 comments:

Tachybaptus said...

The perennial apology of the crude oaf who has put his foot in it: 'It was meant to be a lighthearted gossip piece ...'

I don't think the word 'lighthearted' is ever used in any other context.

Daily Referendum said...

Result

Rich B said...

Mr Dale, with all respect I don't care one fig about your sexuality. The only reason I became aware of it was because you bang on about it all the time. Think on that.

Nigel said...

>>I'll happily through a few bobbies<<

Nice of him to apologize... shame about the illiteracy.

Quietzapple said...

"But what about if it had happened to someone else without the facilities to do what I did today? Think on that. "

It has, not least to the PM, who was savagely traduced by many, and the nastiest item began in the Mail.

Anonymous said...

I think the message has now gone out loud and clear..

"Don't mess with the Tories, 'cos the Tories don't mess !"

Or something like that..

Mind you, I wouldn't want to live in a world where Marina Hyde could not work because Elton John could shut her up through a silly court case.

Blue Eyes said...

Nice one Iain. Nobody should ever ignore stuff like that, despite what many of your commenters suggested earlier. Always challenge.

Oscar India said...

Bravo!
I'm delighted this has worked out, but you should take huge pride in what you did here regardless of the result.
You were able to risk the hours, days and weeks of work that goes in to winning a seat, not to mention your political and career aspirations, and risk them on a point of principle.
Isn't that the kind of person most people have, of late, been lamenting doesn't enter politics any more?
Don't underestimate what you did.

Unsworth said...

Good.

Help for Heroes needs very substantial support. I hope that Mr McKay recognises that his apology should be equally substantial. No doubt The Mail can afford to make extremely generous amends.

Cardiff Blogger said...

What awful spelling. And he's a columnist? Deary me!

'through' .... it doesn't even sound like 'throw'.

Congratulations anyway, good has come of this!

DespairingLiberal said...

Can we now look forward to your campaigning on behalf of other people whom the Mail crudely smears then Iain?

Or will you in fact join in the jeering, as you have done in the past at times when the Mail has run vicious campaigns against others?

toryrascal said...

Good to hear about the positive outcome - and that there'll be a donation to Help for Heroes as a result.

Jessica Asato said...

Congratulations on the result Iain. Glad you made a big deal of it - it's so important that these things aren't left to go unchallenged

Jimmy said...

"It is all very well for me to do this. I am in a position to. But what about if it had happened to someone else without the facilities to do what I did today? Think on that.?"

If? Are you serious? Have you never read it before?

Stephen Glenn said...

Well that is action one of my letter answered.

My blog post has been updated accordingly.

It Matters said...

You achieved nothing. No change of heart, no acceptance that anything was wrong with what was printed.

Read that paper very closely in the future Iain and see if anything is different. Or do you only care when it's aimed at you personally?

Dr John Crippen said...

Good for you, Iain

It's an apology, though I don't much care for the first two paragraphs. Apply the Jewish test to it again.

He's "surprised"?

"Not meant to be taken seriously?"

"No offence intended..?"

But the third paragraph is acceptable.

Well done for standing up to him.



John

PhilC said...

So taking your, very valid, point "what about if it had happened to someone else without the facilities to do what I did today?" how would you propose that such people be helped to seek redress?

Ted Foan said...

Make sure they make a substantial donation, Iain!

Anonymous said...

pedant said...

pity he cant spell throw...

Cynic said...

Oh well done...and it was a graceful apology

tomandclaire said...

Very rare nowadays for the little man to be heard. Well done

dominic gilham said...

Well we'll all see how much they mean their apology by checking just how much over the £5000 target your help for heroes campaign barometer goes.

dominic gilham said...

Well we'll all see how much they mean their apology by checking just how much over the £5000 target your help for heroes campaign barometer goes.

The Grim Reaper said...

So you weren't over-reacting earlier today, then?

Richard said...

Well done, Iain! An even more rapid McKay climdown than the DD debacle :)
Who needs lawyers? :)
Who needs The Mail? Sadly we all do which is why it was so important to nip this in the bud
Maybe he'll endorse you now before the open primary :)

True Belle said...

Money will never ever be sticking plaster for hurt feelings.

It is never the answer- We all need to be respected, sorry oh but I think Tory men are so Misogynistic and spiteful when they are altogether, women do feel sidelined- we are only useful for tea making and envelope stuffing!

Women get a lot of flack !

I am so pleased the Mail had the grace to say sorry to you Iain.

Max Atkinson said...

Well done - though I don't expect they'll apologise for publishing similarly obnoxious stuff about people with red hair whenever it suits them: http://maxatkinson.blogspot.com/2009/10/hateful-daily-mail.html

Anonymous said...

It would've completely undermined your argument, but how great would it have been if you'd asked them to donate to a gay men's charity?!?!

It Matters said...

Just to add, I see that today entry is so much better.

I am especially impressed with this passge "Incidentally, the Tories are having their first gay pride event at their Manchester conference next week. They'll promote a new 'gay-friendly' logo, Conservative Pride. Isn't life grand?"

A cynic might ask if the "isn't life grand" comment was a thinly veiled snide comment about "the good old days" when "this sort of thing" didn't happen.

Certainly not at a Conservative conference.

Dissenter said...

"Nice of him to apologize... shame about the illiteracy."

Says the one. Correction: 'apologiSe'

BOF2BS said...

Good - lets all move on...... if possible to Bracknell!

Soho Politico said...

I'm very glad you got an apology, though it does not sound heartfelt by any stretch. I don't doubt that he was surprised at the reaction - indeed, I am sure that, even now, he does not really understand what the problem is with what he wrote. Still, though, you got the best result possible.

I do think it would have been nice, given the circumstances, if you had specified a charity that works on combating homophobic prejudice and bullying. You rightly draw attention to the fact that many gay people who do not have your influence would not be in a position to defend themselves. Why not, then, make the donation to an organisation that addresses that very problem?

Anonymous said...

So will you be watching closely to see if/ when it does happen to somebody else?

The real test will be when you satnd up for somebody weaker than you or who's not Tory establishment.

Hopefully your very existence will make McHackey et al be more careful about their salacious and lazy prejudices.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I think a few commenters on the previous post about this should be aware of the difference between being a prissy poofter, into faux martyrdom and attention-seeking - all to keen to play the gay card to score a few points in the name of political correctness - and being quite genuinely offended by the kind of journalism which seeks to make a political issue out of sexual orientation.

By that, I don't mean party politics, I mean that being gay is, like it or not, a political issue. It's political because it is contentious and threatening. Being gay challenges society in a way that being straight (like me) does not. It's the same if you are Jewish or Black. Exactly the same and cannot be ignored and importantly, informs almost everything a person does in a world that loves to use lazy stereotyping.

Iain did not make an issue out of it on his campaign website, but Peter McKay certainly did by beginning a paragraph with "Overtly gay Tory blogger Iain Dale..and then effecting some semantic sleight of hand by suggesting, quite spitefully, the Iain was trying to mobilise the Pink vote in his favour. He was doing nothing of the sort, he was merely doing what any democrat would do and encouraging people to go along and join in.

I hate political correctness. I am tired of some minorities, including gays, who play the gay card for no other reason than to draw attention to themselves. This issue is not about that.

It is about plain old homophobia.

Anonymous said...

So Iain,

If the Mail offers you a weekly column next month, you'll refuse it as a matter of principle?

Anonymous said...

well done on all counts.

Anonymous said...

Quietzapple...new avatar...same old crap...

Gordon Brown is a lost cause, much like yourself.

Pam Nash said...

He's apologised, the DM will give him 'the few bobbies' to hand over, job done. Except the article in question is still there, anyone reading it won't know he's apologised and he's no worse off. If you're happy, Iain, fine - but I'd have wanted it removing, just to prove the point.

denverthen said...

Well done.

Anonymous said...

They can be "un-pc all they want, but the sentence as I'm not one for an overly PC society. However! the sentence.

"Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?"

Was the main issue in my opinion, that one sentence turned it from jokey to crossing the line.

POLIS said...

I hope the charity involved has something to do with supplying a decent striker for struggling East End football team...

Elliot Kane said...

Good :)

Anonymous said...

through?

He's a HOMOPHONE!


Haha, I'll get me coat.

Iain Dale said...

Soho Politico, and others, I did indeed consider nominating a gay related charity, or indeed a local charity in Bracknell, but I decided to continue my support for Help for Heroes as they are getting all my charitable efforts this year.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Having said what I said, I notice there is a special gay friendly panel of QT, from Brighton, featuring the usual suspects - Ben Bradshaw and David Starkravingbonkers and of course shadow equalities minister and gay icon, Theresa May.

The BBC. Patronising. It's what they do.

Captain Haddock said...

Why not ask for a donation towards a gay charity such as Albert Kennedy Trust or THT? Might be a novel idea for The Mail.

jon dee said...

Well done - a pleasing outcome.

Tayto said...

did you see this from cllr Tim at Barnsley on twitter

Gay blogger Iain Dale on shortlist for Tory parliamentary seat (via @June4th) this is news that's good, bad AND ugly.
5:40 AM Sep 30th from Tweetie


and then a post today commenting on this one

will you get Cllr Tim to apologise

Richard said...

"UPDATE: I shall also be asking for the article to be removed from the Daily Mail website"
And from Lexis et al as well, which is how most hacks research their stories.

Colin said...

Good call on the charity, Iain.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Well done: you behaved with dignity.

'Nuff said.

Oop Norf said...

I shall also be asking for the article to be removed from the Daily Mail website.

Please consider asking them to add the apology to the story, rather than simply hiding it. It's better for the record to add a retraction rather than simply make a mistake disappear like it never happened.

Weygand said...

I am pleased to see that the apology did eventually arrive - even if through gritted teeth.

BTW is that 'through' a few bobbies your typo or theirs?

Gallimaufry said...

Well done. I hope the voters of Bracknell will be impressed by your ability to right a wrong calmly and quickly. The donation to Help For Heroes is the icing on the cake.

giordano said...

Did you see today's piece?

Tory blogger Iain Dale complains about an item here yesterday. I mentioned that Dale, who is gay, is hoping to become the Tory candidate at Bracknell, Berkshire, and invited subscribers to PinkNews, the homosexual website, to attend the open primary on October 17, saying: 'You don't even have to be a Conservative to attend.' Dale says my comment - 'Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally likeminded chaps to their cause?' - is homophobic, as is my description of him as 'overtly gay'. He has complained to the Press Complaints Commission, and suggested his readers email complaints. I have nothing against Dale. Nor am I homophobic. But if he wants to become an MP, surely he'll have to become a little less sensitive. Incidentally, the Tories are having their first gay pride event at their Manchester conference next week. They'll promote a new 'gay-friendly' logo, Conservative Pride. Isn't life grand?

Real contrition there.

David W said...

Glad you got an apology, Iain, though I'd be more impressed by the DM's genuineness if it didn't make excuses about "a lighthearted gossip piece and is certainly not meant to be taken seriously."

Now, can you also get an apology from your dear leader for aligning his MEPs with homophobic MEPs from Poland and Lithuania?

Johnny Norfolk said...

Have not read it, will not read it.
I am pleased that you have had some action from the Mail for something they should not have done.

Road_Hog said...

Hope you're going to be quiet about your sexuality now, unless you want people to comment on it.

Hate to think that you were courting publicity?

trevorsden said...

The grudging comment from certain quarters speaks volumes.

The Mail did not start the rumour about Brown. And it's tories who were to be the victim of labour smears which Mr Dale and others (like me) objected to.

I have always expressed doubt about the Brown rumours and like Cameron I found the BBC question uncomfortable (not to mention poorly phrased - if that was his best shot he should not have fired it). I judge Brown by his poor response.

I am not a fan of 'gay pride' but given previous prejudice its understandable. I do not like Tatchell but I'll give him credit for being beaten up by Robert Mugabi's bodyguard.

The Grim Reaper said...

Ephraim Hardcastle's latest column says: "He has complained to the Press Complaints Commission, and suggested his readers email complaints. I have nothing against Dale. Nor am I homophobic. But if he wants to become an MP, surely he'll have to become a little less sensitive."

He's right though, isn't he? Iain, your temper tantrums on this blog are the stuff of legends. If someone completely disagrees with something you say, you go totally AWOL with them. You did it to me a few months back - though personally, I take being called "mad" a compliment. I get called far worse at the day job, I assure you.

If you become an MP, (and you're an MP I could actually like, incidentally) journalists will be picking through your blog with a fine toothcomb to see whether anything you've said contradicts something else - not to mention there'd be a fair amount of interest in your expenses claims. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword!

trevorsden said...

Rumour being spread by Dianne Abbott is that Mandy is thinking of standing as MP for Wigan.

My home town - oh dear, I hope they mean Leigh.

Tories should get their open primary organised now.

meantime the RAF (and I am sure the other srvices) let slip what they think of Brown
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6857284.ece

The Grim Reaper said...

Now that's interesting. I've just submitted my last comment - all of a sudden, this entry has been updated. If this "apology" wasn't from Peter McKay, who was it from?

A Daily Mail reader said...

Iain, I don't think it matters one iota whether you are gay or not, I would vote for you purely because I think you are an extremely capable and intelligent guy who would make an excellent MP.

Red Kite said...

It all sounds a bit queer to me mate.

Pam Nash said...

Have seen the new piece in the DM - the PCC will NOT be amused. Let the game begin......because, sure as hell, YOU won't be the loser.

Ted Foan said...

This is going to be a massive story now!

"Tory PPC, who is leading blogger, hoaxed into thinking he had won a victory over MSM slagger but was fooled by Labour dirty tricks machine"

Thank you Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell!

René said...

What is sad is that the DM really think that their readers think in this nudge-nudge, sniggering, childish homophobic manner. Grow the fuck up, DM. Immature, bigoted, closet cases probably. The PCC is a waste of time. But DC needs to take a stand, as does the Party generally.

Adrian Butterworth said...

Even though McKay's insult was undoubtedly nasty and rude, I think Mr Dale's overreaction was grotesquely totalitarian. Anyone who runs about, moaning that he has been hurt by insensitive words as though they were a stick taken to his back, and calls for legal action and social ostracism to punish the offender, is an enemy of free speech. It is extremely disturbing that the idea of thought-crime has become accepted and internalised among self-described conservatives. It is a sad testament to the total domination of our culture by the intolerant Left.

Kath said...

That Hardcastle, is a nasty piece of work.

STB2 said...

Bigots and bullies are experts at using language that makes you feel small but that their supporters will not see as objectionable. "Grow a thicker skin," they say, or my personal favourite, "It's political correctness gone mad!" Whenever I hear that expression, I smile to think of all the scumbags who've been shut up by the 'PC Brigade'. Our work is not yet done.

Thatsnews said...

So. Mr McKay isn't the man to issue an apology? More fool him.

wv seems aimed at him. Luniu!

Disco Biscuit said...

Was the spoof apology the work of Alex Hilton, perchance? Just his style to highlight what the Mail ought to do, but would never dream of doing, in that way.

Daily Referendum said...

Is the Mirror's Paul Routledge threatening Andrew Marr?

Anonymous said...

Lesson to take from all of this: don't read the Daily Heil.

startledcod said...

What a pity. The non-apology apology would have been just fine and wold have allowed everyone to backto whatever they want to.

Today's addition is tiresome in the extreme.

Ho hum. PCC do your work

Blue Robbo said...

It's a pretty sorry newspaper. It thought Mr Hitler just fine and dandy in the 1930s. Dacre has for many years been a Blairite/Brownite lickspittle years behind the public mood. Geoffrey Levy is the reactionary, character-assassinating, muckraker-in-chief. It represents all that is atrophied and wrong about conservative middle-England it purports to represent. It's a pretty sorry day when somebody as progressive and reasonable and conservative as me starts a subscription to The Sun and vows never again to buy the Daily Hate.

Wa**ers!

denverthen said...

Wars (even metaphorical and/or sociological ones) are always inconvenient, but never pointless. Stay the course.

The winner gets to frame the tale, for one thing.

You have my total support, Mr D, (for what that's worth ;)

Incidentally, it might be time to quiz your party leadership about its priorities - and its views on "matters arising" from this thing.

Cameron and his crew's reaction to this provocation for me will be pretty definitive. And I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that way.

Craig Ranapia said...

Rich B:

Couldnt't agree more. I, for one, am sick and tired of heterosexual politicians and political candidates "banging on" about their sexual orientation. Really, its perfectly disgusting watching people like Gordon Brown, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy flaunting their heterosexualist lifestyles on the world stage, when their wives should be kept behind closed doors along with the rest of their chosen lifestyles. I've nothing against "straights" (which I believe is the PC-term for such people nowadays), but why do they have to ram it down our throats all the time?

Anonymous said...

this guy is off the hook if he prints over the next few months;

1 mr x is overtly muslim

2 mr y went to a comprehensive.

i am so bored of the chippy uk media taging 'old etonian' after people that probably left school 30 years ago.just because his dad was more successful than theirs.horrible stuff all round.

Johnny Norfolk said...

If you make your private life public, then it is open for comment more easily.

Anonymous said...

Well if the tiny number of people who take part in the pointless publicity stunt, sorry open primary want a MP who overreacts at the slightest provocation and is easily fooled, I think the nomination is yours.

Sir Lancelot de Boyle said...

Slightly off topic. Just received H4H newsletter. They have collected £30m in 24 months and spent or allocated £23.5m. Only 0.2pence in the £ is spent on operating costs which is quite remarkable. One can only admire the inpirational concept, the drive and tenacity of the founders and their team. Good luck with your assault on the DM!

True Belle said...

Will the real Daily Mail reveal itself! The newspaper is an imposter/ a hoax ridden rag!

Quietzapple said...

Good luck with the PCC.

I shall complain also.

Ironic that from your account a Newspaper (one might have imagined the Mail to be such) has less interest in the truth than a rather tendentious Tory Blogger:

http://www.markpack.org.uk/the-curious-case-of-iain-dale-the-daily-mail-and-the-missing-comments/comment-page-1/#comment-2259

Pauline Fowler said...

"Leave it Iain! 'e's not worf it!"

Iain I think you have over-reacted.

People are sick and tired of political correctness, and this or that group being offended or outraged by the slightest thing.

It's a well known tactic for closing down debate used by the left and esp. New Labour.

To see you as a potential Tory MP using it shows the next government (tory) will be just as bad as this despicable shower we have now.

We need a massive change in the way politics are done. The people must have more say. Your PC attitude doesn't bode well for our future freedoms.

David M said...

I went to bed last night thinking myabe my views of journalists were sometimes unfair, this morning all my attitudes are confirmed.

Anonymous said...

I have great respect for you Ian but think you have over-reacted.

Havocman said...

Finall got an email repsonse yesterday evening to say that Peter McKay is out of the office from 01-10-09 to 18-10-09. Bit too convenient for my way of thinking.

John Moorcraft said...

I personally would not waste time, money and resources on even bothering to contact the PCC regarding this. I would be surprised if anybody outside the Daily Mail really cares about the article in question and you must have far more important things to do at the moment then mess around responding to third rate journalistic articulations.

As an aside, I agree with a previous contribution expressing annoyance at the readiness of the contemporary political class to use the qangocracy or the legal system whenever they consider a bad word has been said about them. Its an unwelcome recent development and I would rather politicians spent less time defending themselves and more time defending their constituents.

Anonymous said...

Do we now know for definite that the "apology" wasn't from McKay?

It would, sadly, be absolutely typical of him to try and have it both ways, apologise and suck up privately meanwhile stabbing you in the back to their other audience.

Newspapers are so unaccountable to anyone, they probably think they can get away with it. In this
week's Sun debacle no one has pointed out that the rag espouses different party politics between editions in Carlisle and Dumfries.

I see many repulsive rabid rightwingers, presumably UKIP and BNP nutjobs, are here defending the Mail and doing their "Freedom of Speech" bollocks deliberately missing the point and ironically trampling over your freedom of speech at the same time.

It's not shutting down debate to identify a quacking water bird as a duck.

Anonymous said...

"People are sick and tired of political correctness, "

I had no idea not being a bigot was just "political correctness".

I just thought it was common decency.

Oh well.

Adam Pritchard said...

A number of comments have accused you of drawing attention to your sexuality (Rich B etc) implying that it is therefore acceptable for the Mail to mention it pejoratively. That's bunkum. It's perfectly reasonable to tell people one's sexual (or indeed religious) orientation. It is natural to mention one's spouse or partner.

But, the fact that someone states that they are gay/straight, jewish/christian/muslim/atheist etc does not excuse someone else attacking them for it. Bizarrely there are still Tories who think that gay people should keep their sexuality secret. Presumably they are also annoyed at Gordon Brown's recent apology to Alan Turing? The modern Conservative Party should have no place for intolerance of any kind.

As for people who tell you to grow a thicker skin, 1) No one should have to deal with this kind of comment no matter how thick-skinned and 2) They've clearly never put themselves up for election, it's a strange process that results in vast amounts of rejection - those of us who have done it have plenty tough enough hides as I'm sure you do!

Anonymous said...

I'm not your biggest fan by any means, Iain, but good luck with this complaint. The Mail is bang to rights and only compound the offence with today's further unpleasant sniping.

As soon as you read the words, "I am not homophobic/racist/sexist [delete as applicable] but..." you know what's coming and what the truth is.

Anonymous said...

War he wants, then war he gets.

Paul said...

It's easy enough with hindsight, I know, but the editor of the Daily Mail, rag though it may be, would probably not have written 'through' when he meant 'throw'.

rented said...

What is a "homosexual website"?

Marc said...

Iain - have put a complaint into the PCC on your behalf, and encouraged others on Facebook to do the same. I think it was the word "charming" that got to me ... he clearly finds it anything but. These people should grow up and realise that it's pretty naff these days to even notice which or either gender people prefer going to bed with.

Philipa said...

And I thought there was just one bully in Derry St, working for the Mail on Sunday. Glad you can stick up for yourself, Iain, not all of us can.

neil h said...

I tried leaving a comment on the Daily Mail comment section against the original article, but it seems that they are not accepting comments. They can dish it out, but they can't take it!

Flemingcrag said...

Iain I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, the way you were too quick to accept the "first apology" without 101% verification of its authenticity, underlines the fact that you are just too nice and trusting to survive in politics.

As a politician many, many people will try to dupe you, many who you might believe are on your side. That's sad to say but, it is true. That is why this Government has failed so spectacularly they believed their own propaganda and were intolerent of any opposing view.

Only the cynical can deliver honest Government, if a survey recommends a certain course of action always find out who paid for it, before acting on it. If a Government enquiry exonerates an individual from wrong doing, study closely the terms of reference it was conducted under before accepting any part of it.

Here endeth the first lesson on how to be an honest politician. The second part on how to fill in an MP's expense form is in the post.

kinjy said...

i don't see what the big deal is. You ARE gay, right? And you ARE rallying like minded people to your cause, right? Correct me if i'm wrong. Also, what is wrong with 'overt'? It seems you are "out of the closet" as you people like to say. I have heard your people use the word "openly gay". Is overtly gay not the same thing?

Anonymous said...

Let it go, Iain.

This is just going to end up making you look as silly as John Prescott tilting at windmills when Christopher Meyer was around...

Philipa said...

Just read this:

"And who is chairman of the PCC's Editors’ Code of Practice Committee? Step forward the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail ... McKay (who Private Eye now call Peter McLie, or the "World's Worst Columnist") is a joke. If Iain gets selected at the open primary, there will undoubtedly be more of the same, and as Nick Davies demonstrated in Flat Earth News, the Daily Mail tends not to apologise unless you've got the means to sue them, and even then you need to be persistent"

So that is how Mail employees get to be such confident bullies! I wondered why they needed so many free gifts to make people buy their product, it doesn't seem to rely on the journalism.

Charlie Banner said...

Good on you Iain for making a stand on this. Why should you have to put up with bigoted comments like that simply because you are standing to be an MP? It's a symptom of the times that candidates/MPs are expected to be fair game for any words that can be thrown at them, however offensive or untrue.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you just need to start getting medieval on Rothermere's ass with a few choice questions about his tax 'non-dom' status..

But the trouble is they would just up the ante by bringing up Michael you know who..

This is like the mafia - don't get into the business unless you are sure you can win.

Anonymous said...

Winkled Weasel @ 10:43 PM “being gay is …. threatening “

I think that you’re talking nonsense. In what way and for what reason am I (as a straight male) meant to feel threatened by gays ? Ditto Jews, blacks etc.

I also think that you’re talking unhelpful nonsense. We all know how we are meant to think in response to this statement. We “feel threatened”. Therefore we must be acting unfairly/aggressively/in a prejudiced way towards gays/blacks/Jews/…. Therefore the special pleading / discrimination against the majority etc. is OK. The meme is a barrier to progression to a post-sexist, post-racist, post whatever-ist society where these things don’t matter.

yozza said...

Not sure what your problems is Iain. A)You're a Tory- Section 28 anyone?

B)The Mail is a nasty little hated-fuelled Tory supporting rag.

The Mail is merely giving its (mostly Tory) readership what they want.

adamcollyer said...

I wouldn't worry too much about comments in the Daily Mail, if I were you. Britain really has moved on. (At least, it seems so to me as a straight, married guy with kids.)

Good luck in Bracknell, Iain!

Fausty said...

I echo Rich B - it matters not a jot.

Just move on and laugh the stupid buggers off!

You might be interested in taking a brain wiring test, though - to see if you have a male or female brain. Just a bit of fun!

Soho Politico said...

For what it is worth (and I doubt it will help appreciably) I have answered your call for readers to complain to Dacre and McKay. You can read my letter here:

http://www.sohopolitico.com/2009/10/my-letter-to-mail-re-iain-dale.html

Perhaps, in the same spirit, you will also take the opportunity to condemn serious homophobia taking place elsewhere:

http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/09/30/exclusive-david-camerons-european-ally-supports-deeply-homophobic-legislation/

It Matters said...

I'm always stunned when I read people defending any form of discriminatory remark, designed to dehumanise another person so that one can feel superior to them. Racism, sexism, homophobia or anti-semitism, it really doesn't matter which, is offensive and breeds hatred.

This isn't about "political correctness" (incidentally a term adopted by the very exponents of bigotry), it's about humanity. It's about treating others how you would wish to be treated yourself.

If you don't stand up to this kind of abuse, regardless of how "bad" you might think it is, then you effectively condone it and you allow breeding ground.

The Daily Mail is well renowned for it's ability to shroud it's bigotry by carefully using the english language such as "indigenous" when they mean "white people" or to talk about homosexual people in a manner which effectively means "deviants".

All those people who dismiss this should remember, one day it will be your turn to be the figure of hate. Who will be left to defend you?

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

- Martin Niemöller

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Let's hope Peter Hitchens doesn't start on you.

You need to grow a skin, mate.

Apologies for the rant said...

I've read the comments, and I've no idea what you're complaining about.

I think Peter may have misunderstood your invitation to attend the conservative primary even if not conservative as being an invitation specific to the audience of PinkNews, (and possibly an attempt to stack the audience in your favour,) rather than something you'd say at *any* media interview. (Just like you would invite any readers of the Daily Mail to attend too, right?) That's worth correcting, but the rest of this seems a bit over the top.

If you aren't overtly gay, that must mean you're covertly gay, yes? But you say it openly, and everybody knows, so I don't see how that can be. Is it your position that "overtly gay" is a bad thing to be, that it be considered an insult or pejorative? That makes no sense either. So I don't understand.

(Incidentally, I'd have no objection to being called overtly straight. It's not an insult.)

As for bringing up the Jews (a blatant invocation of Godwin if ever there was), I'd advise you to ask Ezra Levant. Free speech includes the freedom to offend.

If your comments were considered to incite hatred of the Daily Mail, or of homophobes generally, not for their actions but only expressing their opinions, it would be obvious that this was attempted censorship. But the system doesn't work that way round, does it? So long as some favoured groups are protected from criticism while others are not, Political Correctness will continue to be seen as the hypocritical evil it is. It does tremendous damage to the image of minorities, and that's a shame.

Philipa said...

"Mr Hitchens said it was not possible to be a "publicly-declared homosexual campaigning for equality of status for homosexuality and be a Conservative." " So, now we know. Is Iain Dale to be targetted by the Mail group I wonder? Does he care?

Cinna said...

'Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally likeminded chaps to their cause?'

Now Iain, if you had invited West Ham supporters instead of gay men, I wonder if he'd have thought it worth passing comment?

Of course he wouldn't! He's an ass.

Merseymike said...

I'm afraid that the Daily Mail simply doesn't like gays - in fact, it probably dislikes gay Tories more than gay lefties like me.

However, even though I would never vote Tory, I strongly believe that gay equality should be something which people in all the mainstream parties should be able to believe in and I think you do a good job within the Conservative party

The day I read people being described as 'overtly heterosexual' will be the day that homophobia departs the Mail!

Anonymous said...

"Dale says my comment - 'Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally likeminded chaps to their cause?' - is homophobic"

Of course it is, as well as patronizing. Saying that all 'homosexuals' - in what almost sounds an antiquated clinical term in its ude here - can be "rallied" simply because of their sexuality?!

Complain to the fullest capacity Iain!