Overtly gay Tory blogger Iain Dale has reached the final stage of parliamentary selection for Bracknell, telling PinkNews: 'I hope any PinkNews readers who live in Bracknell will come to the open primary on October 17 to select their new candidate.
You don't even have to be a Conservative to attend.'
Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?
Overtly gay. Nice. Anyone who has ever met me will have a good laugh at that one. I wonder if Peter McKay, the editor of Ephraim Hardcastle ever describes himself as "overtly straight". Just imagine if I was Jewish and the same words had been used.
Overtly jewish Tory blogger Iain Dale... Isn't it charming how Jews rally like-minded chaps to their cause?Get my drift? And of course the payoff line is something out of the Nick Griffin handbook. As Stephen Glenn points out, I do not rally anyone to my cause. I don't even ask for support - I just encourage people to attend. Normally I would think it's just not worth bothering with, and accept that in politics you have to take the rough with the smooth. But I'm afraid I have had it with the Daily Mail and their particular brand of hate. In my view, this breaches section 12 of the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct. So I have sent in a formal complaint. Perhaps readers might like to do the same.
I wish to complain about an article about me in the Ephraim Hardcastle column of the Daily Mail today. I believe it breaches Section 12 of the PCC code.
The story refers to my application for the Conservative candidacy for the parliamentary seat of Bracknell and in my opinion breaches section 12 of the Code of Practice on discrimination, which states that "i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability".
The paragraph in the Ephraim Hardcastle diary column rests specifically on the fact that I am gay. It describes me as “overtly gay”, which to anyone that knows me is ridiculous. It is designed to be pejorative. The article concludes: "Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?". This is clearly pejorative, snide, unkind and sneering - and in breach of the code of practice. It is designed to hurt, and designed to make readers of the column think less of me as a political candidate. My sexual orientation is irrelevant to my decision to stand as a candidate in Bracknell.
I hope you will investigate and ask the Mail to apologise.
I'm not holding my breath, but if I just ignore it, it will encourage the Mail to think that they can print it and get away with it. I really thought that we had got away from this sort of thing and it's very sad that we haven't. Attack me for my beliefs and actions, by all means, but for this? The only thing which will make the Mail sit up and think again before it does it again is for there to be a backlash. If you want to tell the Mail what you think, I'd encourage you to email the column's editor firstname.lastname@example.org or email the editor Paul Dacre. Be rational - don't abuse them. Just calmly explain why you believe this column is wrong.
If by standing up to the Daily Mail, and drawing attention to this issue, it hijacks me in Bracknell, then that will be a bitter blow to have to take, but if I sat back and just accepted this sort of thing, what sort of person would that make me? And worst of all, if I did say nothing, it would just encourage them to do it again to someone else in the future. I simply cannot do that.
I will live in hope that the local media in Bracknell will approach the issue of a candidate's sexuality in a mature and adult way, and give it a massive shrug of the shoulders.