Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Queer Blue Water?

Next autumn, Biteback will be publishing book which will tell the history of homosexuality in the Conservative Party, telling how the party has struggled to come to terms with the issue. This is what the blurb says...

An authoritative but accessible account of the Conservative Party’s attitude towards homosexual law reform and gay rights, from the 1950s to the present day.

The book will draw upon extensive primary research and numerous exclusive interviews to chart the party’s progress from an unwillingness to decriminalise homosexuality, via Section 28 in the 1980s, to the current Liberal-Conservative Government, which has produced the first comprehensive statement on equal rights in British history. This will all be presented in the context of contemporary social and political developments. The book will be accompanied by a short documentary, which will tell the same story in a very different and complementary way.

The reason I am telling you this now is twofold. The author, Michael McManus, would like to talk to any of my readers who have a story to tell, or relevant views on the whole issue. If you'd like to get in touch with Michael, email me and I will pass on your details. Michael is a hugely accomplished author, having written a superb biography of Jo Grimond and assisted Ted Heath with his autobiography.

The second reason for posting this is that we're not sure about the title and wondered if any of you can think of anything better. I may have opened an unfortunate well by asking that, but if you have any (decent!) suggestions, please leave them in the comments. Personally, I liked Queer Blue Water, but that was felt by my colleagues to be a bit too risque!

54 comments:

Sancho said...

The Backdoor Blues?

Michael Heaver said...

Queer Blue Water! Haha, quality. Why did you bottle it? Booo.

subrosa said...

I think your suggestion of Queer Blue Water is perfect Iain. It has the right balance doesn't it.

Mr Eugenides said...

Queer Blue Water is much better!

Praguetory said...

I prefer your suggestion.

It's a PC minefield but surely there is a decent title in

Right (insert as appropriate)

IanVisits said...

Personally so-called witty headlines for gay events/books usually make me cringe with embarrassment.

I'd actually go for something more sombre such as "Right-Wing Homosexuality" or "Tories and Gays - A History"

The Grim Reaper said...

Here come the gay puns...

Climie said...

Out Of The Blue

P. Stable said...

No fresh title suggestions, but I promise to buy a copy if instead of having numbered chapters the book is split into "Sections". 28 of them, naturally.

Queer Blue Water is a great title, BTW.

Charles Fifield said...

Pride and Prejudice

Mark said...

Sky blue pinks

Tom said...

Friends of Margaret

Mark said...

Sky blue pinks

trevorsden said...

You do not have a title and do not have content?

More like 'into the blue' surely?

But I digress. I can see why you are interested in the subject but generally I think that the attitude of the conservative party generally has followed that of the general public.

I do not think we should lose track of the fact that there have been some pretty unsavoury homosexuals in public life - like Tom Driberg for instance.

Dilettante said...

I think Queer Blue Water works best, although 'Out of the Blue' is also good.

Geoffers said...

How about "The Lady's not for turning"

Nick B said...

You turn if you want to!!

Hamish said...

Surely this is a subject for a paper in a dry-as-dust sociology journal.
The only way you can sell it as a main-stream book is if it includes salacious details about individuals all name-checked in the index.
Have you thought this through?
Err, perhaps you have.

strapworld said...

I note the cover shows two males, surely lesbians have a story as well?

'From darkness into light'?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I vote for "Out of the Blue".

Concise and clever. Dare I say, it will be a niche book, so your main punters will find it anyway. Also, there may be a few gays left who would not feel comfy reading "Queer Blue Water" on the tube.

I hope he does a little background reading - George Chauncey is the man. His "Gay New York" an authoritative tome, has over one hundred pages of notes and references and is relevant here in relation to middle class conservative (small c) attitudes, particularly the reaction against what he calls "visible stereotypes". It only goes up to 1940, but it is the definitive anatomy of the subject.

Political Scrapbook said...

I sympathise with you bottling it on "Queer Blue Water".

We nearly titled our post on Pink News' Labour leadership poll "Gay blow for David Miliband".

Ian said...

What an awful idea for a book!!! I am also hoping the author's name is by an unfortunate coincidence shared with the anti-gay American columnist and not the same person.

Unsworth said...

Big book, then. How many volumes?

Richard said...

Lots of sycophantic comments about your book here Iain, but I tend to think that many others are seriously turned off. I certainly am.

Your focus on gays, gay behaviour, and gayness detracts from the general excellence of your blog. How about giving the topic a rest, permanently?

Jimmy said...

Will you be offering Guido the serialisation rights?

kasou said...

Time youy guys published a serious book about what the Labour party and its media spin doctors really got up to while in power.

Don't try and say they were lily white and in light of their continuing spin and anti-government media blitz I think its time to shed some serious light on what dirty tricks they got up to.

Start with Precott, maybe we can shut that fat gob up once and for all.

Macha Maguire said...

Pride and Prejudice gets my vote... and, as to the Tory lesbians... very, very few of us vote Tory. I suspect it'd be a chapter too short to be worth publishing.

Dilettante said...

@Richard: Well, Iain runs a publishing company that is publishing a book about the Conservative Party and he invites opinions from his largely conservative readership. I don't see the problem, especially as he presents other books Biteback is publishing on this blog as well. And I wouldn't say that there so such a surfeit of homosexuality-related content in this blog as to be at all noticeable or problematic. Would you prefer it just wasn't mentioned?

Tom said...

I'd go for a less gimmicky title personally though it depends on the tone of the book. Something like "Out and Proud: a history of homosexuality in the Conservative Party"

It's a little bit ironic, or maybe it's looking towards the future. But I think it works better than trying to link homosexuality and Conservativsm in some pithy and silly phrase.

Bill Quango MP said...

Iain Dale: "Mum, Dad? I've something important to tell you. "

Iain's Dad: "Oh no...Son, you don't mean to say...I mean .. You're not..You're not.."

Iain Dale: "I'm Gay."

Iain's mum. "Oh, thank goodness pet.. Your father was worried you might be a Tory."

Extract from "The Iron Ladies"

mtrcricket said...

Beyond the Blue Horizon

Paul Linford said...

Given that the book is about how the Tories struggling to come to terms with the issue, I trust Sir Nicholas Fairbairn will be getting a mention.

Lord Palmerston said...

Does 'next autumn' mean autumn 2010 or autumn 2011?

I think 'Queer Blue Water' is a little on the nose and 'Over The Blue Rainbow' a little convoluted. 'Out of the Blue' sounds better to me.

I think this book is timely. Gay opinion formers, if I can put it like that, bang on about Stonewall as if the goings-on in a New York bar are of relevance to twenty-first century Britain whilst appearing to give less attention to the fact that homosexuality was decriminalised in this country thanks to the trial of (amongst others) the Tory peer Lord Montagu.

Stewart Cowan said...

I hope the book, whatever it gets called, will record the fact that Section 28 was extremely popular.

The Keep the Clause referendum in Scotland, where over a million people voted, showed 7 out of 8 favoured keeping the protection of Section 28 (2A in Scotland).

P.S. legitimising homosexual behaviour is liberal, not conservative. Maybe the book should be called Queer Yellow Custard?

Yellow for the Liberals and for the fear which has driven the Tory Party to cave in to political correctness.

Gordon Brown said...

What about, say,

"Poofs and Toffs" ?

Whoever would have thought that a political party which has a very significant number of ex-public schoolboys in it, has some gayers in it? I am shocked.......

Gordon Brown said...

What about, say,

"Poofs and Toffs" ?

Whoever would have thought that a political party which has a very significant number of ex-public schoolboys in it, has some gayers in it? I am shocked.......

Richard said...

@Dilettante. Yes.

tapestry said...

Pink And Blue

bear of little brain said...

how about "why gay people who vote conservative are turkeys voting for christmas. and have no self respect."

John said...

Along with the others, I agree that Queer Blue Water is an excellent title for the proposed book.

Why one earth wouldn't you use that?

torypier said...

How about:

"The Conservative Party: Straight to the Point?"

Sunder Katwala said...

"Queer blue water" is a truly genius book title. go for it!

Since you are going to have get "gay" or a synonym into any title or subtitle to get across what it is, is that really too risque to use.

Why not "Queer blue water: the Tory journey from prejudice to pride 1950-2010' esp if author is broadly positive about the trajectory and end point.

otherwise

Tory pride and prejudice: gay rights and the right from the 'fifties to today

jacob said...

conservatives in the closet?

Thorpe said...

Well, I hope the book does well.

Your proposed title leaves me cold, but only because in my limited experience the truth is several hundred leagues away from the aspiration implied.

A more accurate view would be that many Tories are in the closet, desperately holding the door shut, while other heterosexual Tories are on the outside, also desperately leaning on the door to keep it shut. Such oddities who do escape - Matthew Parris - are co-opted to be the tame gays as proof of modernity. No doubt Crispin Blunt will fulfil the same role in months to come.

What's my evidence? Two people who stood, between them, for 9 constituencies to become a Tory PPC. One gay, unhappily married, one lesbian, publicly single. One is my son's godfather, one my sister. I know them. Neither feel that the Tory Party - particularly in the rural constituencies - is one in which they can be themselves.

Curle said...

"The Other Tories."

Curle said...

"The Other Tories"

tapestry said...

Pink Meets Blue.

Cover diagonal colour split - pink top and left. blue bottom and right.

Adam said...

My vote goes with Macha Maguire's "Pride and Prejudice", it's got the lot... relevance, wit, everything.

Tom said...

It's simplistic, and an old joke, but

"Coming Out as a Tory"

might do the trick.

Goodwin said...

How about "The Conservatives, Leading from Behind"?

William said...

Maggie and Dorothy

William said...

Margaret and Dorothy (or Maggie and Dot)

also1 said...

Conhomie?

David Cottis said...

'Lavender Blue' ?