Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Hateful Daily Mail

Just by writing this blogpost, I will probably damage my chances in Bracknell. Some will say 'if you can't take the heat...'. But I am damned if I am going to stay silent when I see a national newspaper indulge in a homophobic attack on me. A year ago, the Richard Kay column in the Daily Mail printed a fairly vile column about my civil partnership - full of innuendo and just plain nastiness. Today, the Ephraim Hardcastle column goes one better. Here's what they had to say about Bracknell...
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 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.


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PSB said...

"overtly gay": what a phrase. It's shocking that that paper is the second most read in the country.

You couldn't make it up.

Shaun said...

The Daily Mail peddling hate and bigotry? Surely not! I'd expect better from a paper who's proprietor in the 30s enthused over Hitler. Or maybe not...

BJ said...

Good luck getting anything at all out of the PCC -- easily the most useless regulator of any industry in Britain.

It's lucky you're not a single, Muslim woman with a child who moved to this country from overseas, and has a job in the public sector (or the BBC!). The Mail would probably be asking DOES IAIN DALE GIVE YOU CANCER? by now. It is a hateful, bile-strewn rag.

Daily Referendum said...


I was sure that the days of this kind of idiocy were over. This idiot is obviously living in his own little twisted bubble. I'm also sure that you will be overwhelmed with support.

Chin up!


Croydonian said...

Not nice and utterly uncalled for. You have my sympathies

Jack said...

I sincerely hope that the decision to choose a new candidate in Bracknell is done without any prejudice whatsoever - other than selecting the best possible candidate.

(But - honestly Iain - do you expect any better from the Daily Mail?)

Bob le flaneur said...

Where is your sense of humour, Ian?

Anonymous said...

Great post, but I wonder why it's taken you so long to note the Mail's tactics. They do similarly to anyone on what they perceive as the wrong side - whether it be travellers, foreigners, left-wingers, feminists, the unemployed, union leaders, even intellectuals (I once read a ridiculous article saying that Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis were responsible for the decline in moral in Britain). Sneering, smears and outright lies: didn't you realise this was the Mail's defauly setting?

Charles Letterman said...

Ah, Middle England, bigotry at its greenest.

Personally I would be more offended if they called me 'overtly Tory'.

Margot James said...

I left a comment but it didn't show - testing again

Anonymous said...

If you are going back into politics I think you need to grow a thicker skin. Sure, the Mail is vile, but complaining is not likely to help you. As somebody once said "You may as well complain about the weather."

Possibly you are described as 'overtly gay' because you frequently remind us of your sexuality. Someone like Mandelson, in contrast, is not 'overtly gay' because he never discusses it and indeed took steps to ensure that the BBC never did either. On balance, I think it is better when people of any persuasion do not seek to put their sexual orientation to the foreground.

Nic said...

here Iain - stand up to them... I may not agree with all your views, and wouldn't vote for you in an election, but at open primary I certainly would!

Plato said...

Well done Iain. Ephraim is the most vile and unfunny column.

Pam Nash said...

I have made my complaint to the PCC - any one wishing to do it online can do so at

The article is a nasty, vicious little piece; I thought that this kind of writing had died out years ago. It serves no purpose whatsoever, other than to show up the author as a bullying homophobe.

Don't worry, Iain, it says a lot more about the author than it ever could about you. I'm certain that the good people of Bracknell will be as appalled by it as all rational people.

Paul said...


I'm a first time commenter here (being Paul from the revoltingly socialist Bickerstaffe Record, no 2councillor blogger on your list blah blah).

I will indeed 'attack (you) for my beliefs and actions, by all means' necessary.


But not on this one.

On this issue I'm fully supportive of your stance and action, and will write to the PPC as you suggest. Well done.

Best wishes

davidc said...

and a 'not terribly' flattering mention in private eye (issue 1246 page 27), still things can only get better !!!

Anonymous said...

What the flying f*@k does your sexuality matter, surely in this day and age nobody really cares whether or not you bat for the other side.

Anonymous said...

Strange! for years you've been telling us all, that the, 'Right' has been purged of homophobia. I not it wasn't the Guardian that ran such an attack, but the Tory Party's house magazine.

Anonymous said...

I just came across that line in the Mail and did a double take, I could not believe what I was seeing. I came straight to your blog to find your spot on retort to this absolutely outrageous comment and I fully support your complaint to the PCC, so much so that I am about to send my own complaint in too. Keep up the good work Mr Dale.

Anonymous said...

Can understand why you're upset (as a gay man as well) but still think rising above it and ignoring their needling might have been better than letting it get under your skin. Doesn't always pay to wear your heart on your sleeve. Gay people get a tough ride but so do those who display how sensitive they are to sleights.

Unknown said...

qu'elle surprise. The Hate Mail is shameless in its stirring up of (largely imagined) bigotry amongst the suburbanites that they seek to market their crap at. Why anyone reads it at all amazes me, unless I read a real newspaper, I'd sooner read The Mirror or (now!) The Sun, than that gossipy, bitchy little rag.

eeore said...

So to summarise....

Gay man appeals for gay votes and then complains when it is reported that he is gay.

Very adult and mature.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I'd be happy to drop the Mail a word or several on your behalf but if the article is online I can't find it. I can't write to them about something I haven't seen. Link?

Old BE said...

That is a simply disgusting attempt to undermine you. So what if you asked Pink News readers to come to your primary? You also asked people who read your blog to come, and people who get your newsletter. You probably even ask people you meet in Bracknell when you are out canvassing. Shock! Horror!

I am currently overtly drinking a cup of coffee - sue me!

Ean Craigie said...


You do more harm spelling your name instead of Ean the correct way. As one who knocked on the doors and walked the streets to get Andrew and Maggie elected I believe you will be welcomed down here in the sticks. Brave stand hope they do something.

Anonymous said...

Good for you and well done!

Anonymous said...

not one of your political allies but I respect your honesty . hope you win the seat and face down these small minded bigots
good luck

Matthew Richardson said...



1. Open and observable

Perhaps Peter McKay has been standing the in the bushes outside your house peering in. Maybe that is why he uses the word.

What a vile bigot he is.

Stu said...

Iain I had no idea you were gay untill I read it in your blog 6 months ago and frankly I couldn't give a shit.
Very suprised at the stupidity of the Mails article

Plenty said...

You might want to read this rather damning article from a colleague on the citizen journalism website

Well blogged Iain. I hate the DM too!

Anonymous said...

call me cynical but aren't you playing the sympathy card?

penlan said...

Don't worry too much although it must be upsetting.People have been eating their fish n' chips out of McKay's deranged ramblings for hundreds of years.They've never influenced anyone.

benevetts said...

Shameful comments from a shameful excuse for a newspaper. I would give my eyeteeth to see that hateful rag closed down. The worst thing about the Mail is that its readers are under the misguided impression that they are reading informed comment, rather than hateful, twisted extreme right wing bile.

Anonymous said...

Completely unacceptable, even by daily mail standards.

How it ever got through the editor, let alone printed proves what sort of newspaper this is.

Complained to PCC and the column Editor

Newmania said...

I think you would be a fantastic MP I agree with you on almost every point . I would ,however , be interested to know why you think this is any worse than the sort of thing that gets chucked around and everyone else
It is a thoroughly nasty remark but why should you be the only person no-one is allowed to insult? Its not as if the Mail are pleasant about anyone else and the whole business of aggressive offence taking has an inglorious history in this country
I doubt Alan Sugar much enjoyed being called stupid which he is not (odious he is ) . You said he was 'thin skinned' .I doubt Gordon Brown much enjoyed having his use of anti depressants publicised or the continuous questions about his sanity.

If I were you I `d laugh it off and the worse thing you could do is throw a hissy fit for obvious reasons

James B said...

Iain, you are overtly Conservative for sure and that's all that matters. Well done for going to the PCC. The Mail needs to be reprimanded for making fun of your sexuality.

Daily Referendum said...


Read the article again.

And then apologise.

Anonymous said...

I ;know you think they won't listen but if it were me, I'd always register a complaint, thats what is wrong with people in Britain, they don't complain. When they do they usually don't get heard or are villified for it.

When something I consider unjust happens to me, I always register a complaint. The way I see it you have nothing to lose and all to gain, I'll toss them an email, even if only to be counted along with the rest.

Good luck with it anyway. And long live the moaners!!

Desperate Dan said...

I don't think the Mail article will influence the outcome but your reaction to it might.
You should have had the sense to know that no-one likes candidates interfering with the selection process by overpacking the hall with their own narrow-interest personal voters.

Nick Thornsby said...

Complained to the PCC and emailed Dacre. An absolutely vile column from a vile newspaper.

Sarah said...

Iain, good luck with the PCC, and I hope your readers are effective in making it clearly to the Mail how unwelcome this sort of hate-fuelled slander is. I find it highly objectionable that the Mail continues to trade in resentment-feeding ideas of homosexuality as some sort of subversive movement, out to hijack a vote. The Mail does this sort of thing all the time, and any organised opposition to their bad journalism is welcome.

Anonymous said...

didn't know you were;
don't care if you are.

moorlandhunter said...

I hate these petty, small-minded comments from whoever belches them out.
Who cares if someone is Gay, not me? Who cares that I am married and a heterosexual? No one, except the petty mean spirited bigots who snipe and sneer at people who are different from the ‘norm’ if there ever is a ‘norm’ that people can be classes as. You know, some of the most bravest men known, some of the most valiant VC winners were gay and do you think that it bothered the men who they served along side with, did it heck, they were pals, friends and mates who fought to stop bigotry and petty minds like this. Even the foremost Bletchly Park code breaker who saved so many Allied lives was gay but due to the pervading society at the time he could not ‘conform’ to the stereotype of a hero and killed himself. Shocking!
Iain, forget trolls like this, carry on as you are and metaphorically spit in their eyes for the two-faced bigots that they are

Unknown said...

I have to marvel at the Mail's ability to turn anything into a sign that the whole world's heading to hell in a handcart.

There was a piece on the iPhone yesterday which started off asking if it was the best gadget ever, then moved onto "but are iPhones wasting a generation's time?".

But away from the cynicism and world-weariness, the flagrant nastiness towards anyone in a group they don't like is far more serious.

More power to your elbow (is that overtly homosexual too?)

Anonymous said...

I don't mind those gays, but those gingers are a bit sly, aren't they? Especially the short ones.

Munguin said...

I never read the Mail but I understood that it was normally a pro-Conservative organ. I do agree with you that sexual orientation should not be made an issue in this way. But if they had not had a go at you, but at say Lord Mandelson would you still be so upset about it? As for your chances in Bracknell, well you haven’t been selected yet have you? So that’s up to the members of the local Conservative organisation isn’t it? Has your leader David Cameron not just finished telling us that it’s not papers that win elections? I should have thought that went doubly so for actual members of the party, or do they listen more to the pages of the Mail than to DC?

Rebel Saint said...

The "hate mail" epithet is wearing a bit thin now.

It was a bit snide and childish, but nothing as nasty or hateful as you'd read on guido's blog (or plent of others) and is the type of thing that all sorts of other groups of people put up with too.

If that's the sort of thing that's going to rattle your cage then maybe getting deeper into political life isn't the right move for you.

Michael Wincott said...

I'm Labour and I disagree with most of your blog posts, but on this I'm 100% behind you. The Daily Mail in consistantly disgusting.

Null said...

Pretty shoddy stuff from the the Daily Hate. I don't care whether you bat for Yorkshire or Lancashire. What should matter is your ability to represent your suitability for the job. And of that, I don't think there can be any doubt.

Flemingcrag said...

I would have thought that Paul Dacre would have had some objection to the tone of this homophobic article. After all he appears to all intents and purpose to favour the Labour party these days, you know that left wing party who champion the cause of all life's minorities.

Therein may lie the true purpose of this article, it may not be about straights versus gays, its possibly about attacking anyone who opposes Labour.

However Iain take heart if Lord Mandelson had taken a dislke to you, you could have been called something much worse than "overtly gay", you could have been called a "chump".

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Iain. That paper really is a disgusting read.

The sad thing is that my father's been reading it for the past ten years now, and where have its columns sent him? Straight out of the arms of the Tories, and into those of the BNP.

It's all about the hate. And it causes the readers to hate.

I thoroughly applaud your stance in this.

Better Regulation said...


The fact that the Mail (and the Guardian, Sun, Mirror and the News of the) can continue to smear politicians and public figures with seemingly little fear is a wider sign of the broken regulatory model for journalism in the UK.

Self-regulation isn't working. The PCC clearly doesn't have enough teeth to seriously deal with breaches of its code, nor much willingness to do so.

We need better industry regulation, perhaps similar to models used in the health and pharmaceutical sectors.

Current regulation of journalism standards isn't working.

Perhaps you're the man to champion this change?


Crossfire said...

Its a staggeringly old fashioned, prejudiced position. But my advice to you is to now say nothing more about it.

Your comments so far will probably help galvanise any local pink vote but if you get more coverage on the issue then you will just get labelled in Bracknell people's minds as the 'The Gay Candidate' rather than the 'Highly Experienced Political and Media Guy' that you should be viewed as.

Are people more likely to vote for a seasoned political player who has a chance of high office and/or of making a real difference or for someone who simply has a gay label?

A few people will vote for/against their prejudice but most will vote for the person positioned as the best candidate and if all they know about you is overshadowed by a big 'Gay' message then it will get in the way.

Maybe you can use it as a way to get attention and then use the opportunity to position yourself as someone with more depth but I think it would be risky. Most people will only hear/see the 'headline'.

Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I like the comment from Gordon Brown..."I'm not sure what Iain Dale thought he was going to achieve by being just plain nasty to the Daily Mail this morning.
What is the old saying about goose and gander and whatnot...

David T said...

How disgusting.

We've blogged it here:

Ben G said...

The Hardcastle column panders to every prejudice there is (and I speak as a former target of their bile).

I admire your stand, but be careful about antagonising the Mail. If you try and get back at them they will just retaliate even more.

Hopefully, you'll win Bracknell, and then get your revenge.

Judy said...

Iain, I can understand how you feel, but don't let the DM sidetrack you into being defined (and then responding as defining/defending yourself) as the Gay Candidate.

Your case for your candidacy stands on the view of politics and the needs of the country that comes across on your blog. And that has never been driven by your personal agendas, gay or otherwise.

I actually think your greatest challenge in Bracknell is to demonstrate that you really do get and fully respond to the outrage of that electorate, including the local constituency party, about troughing and a sense of entitlement on the part of MPs. I think you've tended to be a bit too indulgent of your fellow Westminster villagers on that front.

Keep watching the video clip of the local constituency party confronting Mackay. There's your real challenge. Stick to that, not the ground that the nasties want to corner you into.

I'm not a Tory voter but I do know Bracknell very well through almost 30 years of working with trainee teachers in local schools.

By the way, the left-wing Harry's Place blog has a post deploring the attack on you. Sure, they have an agenda for doing that, but hope you enjoy the comments.

If day after day, you keep blogging on the changes and the politics that the electorate of Bracknell want and need, and you do that in your usual clear, modest and witty style, the bigots won't get anywhere.

I hope you're going to keep blogging about what comes out of your encounters with the Bracknell electorate.

Best of luck --and by the way I also think a battle with the PCC is a total waste of time. You've done one complaint. Leave it at that and get on with the real task. It's a great goal, so go for it.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, how depressing, and yet how comforting, it is to be confirmed in one's prejudices. I have found it a reliable guide for life that if anyone reveals themselves to be a reader of the Daily Mail, their opinions on anything can be safely discounted. They should not, in my opinion, be allowed to vote or breed.

It's a paper for women who want to be seen to read a paper, but are unable (or too lazy) to think for themselves. In years past I jettisoned girlfriends (both potential and actual) on this principle alone, and have never regretted it. The eventual Mrs Bankment passed the test many years ago, I am glad to say.

It's almost always women who read it; men read honest papers. Whether it's the FT or the Daily Sport, a man's paper does not have that loathsome air of sanctimonious hypocrisy which is the almost exclusive preserve of the Mail.

I have employed this rule throughout what passes for my adult life, and it is one which has never failed me. It's as immutable as "men who drive in hats are always inattentive, unpredictable and therefore dangerous drivers". There is, however, the obvious get-out clause for drivers of convertibles. [Discuss!]

DespairingLiberal said...

Yes, it's strange that you are in a fine old lather when the Mail runs one of its nasty little attacks on you, whilst being apparently quite OK with all the nasty little attacks they run on other people. Oh well.

treacyphoto said...

That Daily Mail is a disgusting little rag. What I find so pathetic is that so many people read it as gospel. That's shocking to me.

Sexual orientation is a private matter. It's just sex. What's the big deal, Daily Mail? It's none of your business. How dare you attack someone so maliciously over something so private and so ordinary.

"Overtly gay"? That's entirely stupid.

Anonymous said...

Iain - the Daily Mail is a generally distasteful newspaper and there is an unpleasant, sneering tone to what they wrote.

But they do have a point about you specifically inviting Pink News readers in Bracknell to the open primary - the subtext by specifically targeting gay people, given that you yourself are gay and have written lots about it, is that you expect their support.

To point out that a politician is deliberately targeting a demographic based on his own sexuality is fair comment, I think. Just as it would be if a Daily Mail columnist was standing for Parliament and had specifically invited all Daily Mail readers living there to the hustings...

So they just about had a right to say what they did, I think - but the way in which they did it was unpleasant bordering on homophobic...

Andrew Reeves said...

My blog post supporting Iain (and no, I am not a Tory) against this homophobic rant

Pete said...

Email sent to DM - the best of luck in Bracknell!

Anonymous said...


Alan Sugar is not odious. His TV persona is certainly odious. He is far from it. He's a rather pleasant, immensely interesting, very amusing man, despite being "overtly Jewish" (yah, boo, hiss).

He's a victim of the need of the media to imbue every personality with a distinctive trait, just like every character in every soap-opera has a distinctive flaw. It's a lazy identifier for the hard of thinking, who do, after all, constitute most of the population ;-)

It's the same with 'experts'; Magnus Pike, Barbara Woodhouse, Simon Cowell, Keith Floyd, Jamie Oliver, Nicholas Crane. Take a single element of their dress or character, and then exaggerate it until it's almost beyond parody.

Alan Douglas said...

On their basis, no doubt they would say you will have Peter Mandelson voting for you, not to mention Peter Tatchell !

I have written to the 2 DM people you mention, also emailed you a copy.

I hope Bracknell is fairer than the Damned Mail.

Alan Douglas

Paul Ross said...

Feeling a little sensitive this morning Iain? Having a Gordon moment? You will definitely need thicker skin if you are to advance with your political ambitions. I wish you all the best in the Bracknell OP and genuinely hope you succeed. But the EH column this morning was relatively mild. Take a deep breath, withdraw your PCC complaint and get on with the your usually excellent blogging. Self-indulgence is not a luxury you can afford when standing to represent others.

Anonymous said...

Don't think anyone in the real world cares who does what with who under the duvet ( as long as it's legal ! :))
People more worried about jobs and mortgages.
Think you should've ignored it, it will only be tonights chip wrapper.

Graham Smith said...

To the person above who said "On balance, I think it is better when people of any persuasion do not seek to put their sexual orientation to the foreground." I'll say this:

Do you therefore think that couples should not hold hands in public? If they've had children they shouldn't bring them out in public either? Should weddings be held in secret? Should wedding rings be banned?

What nonsense.

Well done Iain for lodging the complaint, and good luck with it. Daily Mail are a bunch of low lifes - if anyone is ever in doubt of that read Nick Davies' "Flat Earth News".

startledcod said...

I think you are right to make the complaint. Even the Editor of the Daily Mail must realise that it was a very poor, snide piece of 'journalism'. It is more akin to a Jim Davidson stand-up routine from the 70s than a modern newspaper.

The funny thing is why they would publish something like that knowing that the only people who would find it amusing or clever are unpleasant, unreconstructed homophobes that not even the Daily Mail would wish to attract.

I think it is poor editing that let it slip through and that an apology will be forthcoming.

As to whether complaining will harm your chances in Bracknell; I think you know it won't. Your opponents for selection are not getting publicity in a national newspaper. The thing you should be careful of is a backlash that because you are well known and able to get a bandwagon rolling through your blog the voters feel you have had an unfair advantage. Maybe.

I will write to the editor of the Daily Mail.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this Iain, despite being "overtly straight".

I used to think that the theatre critic approach worked best - you know, "a good review will make you a star, a bad review will make you famous. No review will mean you stay right where you are - nowhere" - but this is plain wrong.

I don't know who the writer is behind the EH column, but they should be ashamed of writing this rubbish.

Anonymous said...

How I wish I lived in Bracknell, so that this overtly straight, overtly married and overt football, small-dog and Abba hater could throw his vote your way.

Adam Pritchard said...

They are disgusting - but they always have been. Have complained to the PCC.

Left Libertarian said...

Iain I have mixed views on this one. I agree that you should write to the Daily Mail to complain. After all its your choice.

I came across your campaign site yesterday and was surprised you didn't mention anything about your current family circumstances. You will probably say its not anyone's business, but the fact that you left it out means that you are sensitive about the issue.

Sadly I think it comes a point when sexuality and politics becomes inextricably lined to personality and you have become a target.
But you have also said in the past about your sexual orientation on your blog - so you could always argue that using the word gay and homosexual in itself isn't bad.

I agree that using the term "overtly gay" could be a potential problem - but i wouldn't go as far as to say its homophobic.
Tread very carefully on this one Iain is my advice to you. If you start criticising people for being homophobic - Whether its journalists, members of the public and so on. You might face a harsh response or even libel action for the accusation.
I agree that it might even harm your chances, because I think you said its not an issue but some would view it as you making it an issue.
It doesn't excuse the Daily Mail, and I agree with your main points - but then again coming from a single parent family on a council estate I was considered 'illegitimate' by some in the Daily Mail. But I believe people should rise above it.
I would be writing letters everyweek to the Daily Mail the amount of times I have been offended.

I don't disagree with what you are doing in principle, it's your choice and you have every right to do so, but think about this - what are the implications of such an action? what do you hope to achieve?

Andew Efiong said...

This is the problem with The Mail, everyone has a label. You are gay, black, an immigrant, a banker, a scrounger, a motorist, a cyclist etc. You're never a plain human being with them!

I support you Iain but maybe this is something you should not have blogged about. Call the silly hack and consider making an official complaint.

But be careful about playing the victim card in public, be careful about being seen to rise to the bait each time.

Just my advice, I wish you well.

Iain Dale said...

Left Libertarian. point of correction. On the About Iain section I mention my civil partnership.

Anonymous said...

Good luck but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!

Anonymous said...

I don’t like to go against the flow but I quite like reading the Mail whereas I have never until moments ago read the Pink News. I cannot understand why you would solicit support from the readers of Pink News, better I would have thought to offer an article to the local paper in Bracknell.

Why are there so many lefties reading your blog? A tad worrying!! I do by the way support your position.

Paul O said...

Hmm .. I'm not sure about this. Overtly means not hidden or concealed and you don't try to conceal it Iain.

If someone described me as being overtly heterosexual I would be quite chuffed.

Are you uncomfortable with your sexuality or just generally sensitive? Either way, expect a lot more of the same if you become elected.

I agree that your sexuality has little to do with being a PPC but is that really something to complain about so early in the game?

TheBoilingFrog said...

I entirely agree with your sentiments, and it’s a shame the Mail continues to produce such bigoted bile, however if you become an MP you’ll have to deal with far worse than this.

And I do wonder whether it would’ve been better, if you left it well alone. Firstly because you’ve enacted a kind of ‘Streisand effect’ where the article will now be more widely read than it would have been if you hadn’t mentioned it.

Secondly by kicking up a fuss, and possibly getting them to apologise (good luck with that) is not something the odious chump that is Dacre is going to take lying down. Expect them to trawl through every thing you’ve ever said and done and produce a hatchet job.

I don’t think you should allow the DM to sidetrack you like this. It would be more productive to bite your tongue and play the long game, and concentrate on becoming an MP, because then (in a more than likely Tory Government) you will have better opportunities of dealing with the likes of the Mail, than writing to the PCC now.

Pam Nash said...

It seems, to me, that some of the posters on here may have missed the point. If the DM had merely said that you were part of an open primary and were gay, not really a problem. It was the sneering, homophobic tone of the article that is my problem with it.

Emily said...

Anonymous at 9.14am:
'On balance, I think it is better when people of any persuasion do not seek to put their sexual orientation to the foreground.'

Fair enough, but we live in a political climate where heterosexuality is foregrounded all the time (supportive wives, devoted husbands, happy-family-Christmas-cards).

Without knowing anything about the other candidates in Bracknell, I'd be willing to bet they are mostly 'overtly straight'.

RustyD said...

I think you've acted as you saw best - and well done for not losing your top. But I agree with the boiling frog - and probably wouldn't take it further.

If you ignore the bullies - they'll get bored eventually anyway!

Complaint submitted - Good luck with the campaign in Bracknell!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

The Daily Mail piece is vile. As for rallying "like-minded chaps" all you said in the Pink News piece was to ask readers to go along and "chose a candidate" - which is merely an exhortation to be involved in the democratic process, not support Iain Dale.

To be fair though, I would ignore it. It can't be the first time you have had this sort of thing and it won't be the last. Enlightened people will ignore it and despise the writer for the nasty piece of work that he must be.

As for "overtly" I have only ever thought you were "overtly" bland (cf taste in music, soft drinks, cars etc and I don't mind you being overtly bland, as long as you don't shove it down my throat or make it compulsory - when you become an MP/Minister - to wear ties, slacks and drink Fanta) ;-)

Colin said...

Better get used to it buddy.

Despite your credentials and your commitment to the cause, you're not one of them, really. That's why I'll never join the party and will only ever consider funding individual candidates.

I don't think it's about sexuality, you're just not really one of them. As a result, they'll use every weapon in their arsenal to hurt you.

Best thing to do is grow a thicker skin and take them on, head on, but don't do it publicly, it'll just encourage them to paint you as a whinger.

Anonymous said...

@ Left Libertarian...

"I came across your campaign site yesterday and was surprised you didn't mention anything about your current family circumstances. You will probably say its not anyone's business, but the fact that you left it out means that you are sensitive about the issue."

What utter rubbish. Sensitive? Iain has never sought to conceal anything, and indeed why should he. All it means is that personal orientation has nothing to do with aspiration or capability to become a candidate.

Why do you think it is important? What possible impact could it have on the ability to be a good constituency MP? That you should seek to highlight your own prejudice merely proves your own intolerance.

SMF said...

You should tear up a copy of the Mail at the Tory conference next week!

John B said...

Well done Iain, I may be a Labour member but will email MacKay to express my disgust. Although even if you were 'overtly gay' it'd still be wrong! And to those warding Iain off becoming the 'gay candidate' - why? Would you ask a black candidate to chalk their face 'so it didn't define them'?! Clearly Iain's sexuality is a big part of who he is (as for anyone!), and I'm damned if he should have to shy away from it just to get into Parliament in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the Mails on-line edition it majors on female celebrity fatness grossness and cellulite count.
Lets face it most (all?) newspapers are crap.

Its pretty clear to me that 'overtly gay' is pejorative and prejudicial. The whole tone implies that all the 'queens' in Bracknell will come mincing down the High Street to vote Dale.
The Mail is clearly miffed that an asian was voted the candidate for the Bedford mayor election

Annon 9.14 is being totally disingenuous.

Ian said...

What surprises me is that you're shocked by the Mail's attitude towards homosexuals. Have you never read this paper? You should. Check out their perpetual fear of brown people. It's not like homosexuals are the only group they dislike.

Paul Carter said...

People, institutions, countries tend to run in straight lines in life.

Let's not forget it was the Daily Mail in the early 1900s which urged its readers to check out the identity of any foreign waiters working in UK cities and if they were Germans to refuse to be served by them.

Many Germans including German Jews suffered due to this (Our own Royal family changed its name along with many others).

The Mail continues to act as a catalyst for fuelling people's fears.

Well done Iain for taking a stance. I hope your on-line campaign works to stop the bigotry.

Good luck Paul Carter

Ann-Marie said...

Totally and completely unacceptable. I am a Lib Dem but will write and complain. Sadly its not a surprise from this paper.

Non Runner said...

Why do you think 'overtly gay' is pejorative?

Are you ashamed of being gay?

You're doing a Jason Donovan here.

Left Libertarian said...

I stand corrected Iain on that point - However I do think you should take into consideration the points i have made.

Bunny Smedley said...

Like Left Libertarian, when I read your campaign site last night I was, at first, surprised that you didn't say anything about your civil partnership. But then, thinking about it, I wondered whether you hadn't simply taken a rational decision to brand yourself as 'the Tory blogger candidate' rather than 'the gay candidate' - and since your sexuality is hardly the most unusual, relevant or interesting fact about you, this seemed a good choice.

This Mail thing, however repulsive and distressing, surely won't matter much, in the sense that the sort of idiots who are bothered by homosexuality, 'overt' or otherwise, probably wouldn't have voted for you anyway. It's tiresome beyond words, though, that you and those close to you should have to put up with this sort of stuff.

What a messy primary this is turning out to be ... and what a shame these distractions keep getting in the way of a rather more positive debate.

Nigel said...

Daily Mail - overtly bigoted.

Left Libertarian said...

One of the questions I would like to ask is why are you against increased funding in the NHS?
David Cameron has been on record for voting against increased funding in the NHS, while saying he is committed to the universal health care funding at current levels. A bit contradictory don't you think.

Also why did you campaign in the late 1990s against the minimum wage?

I couldn't give a s*** about your sexuality because it doesn't concern me but I would like answers to those questions.
I wouldn't vote for you because of your policy stances not because of your sexuality.
I do believe you want to reward the richest estates in England while wanting to cut EMA's and campaign against increases in the minimum wage and the NHS budget.

Old Holborn said...

Dear Iain,

The only one who has ever made any noise about you being gay is you.

Constantly. Every single day. Your sexualty is your reason d'etre and you have used it to your advantage at every single opportunity, as indeed you are doing today. Yet again.

I doubt I am alone in not giving a damn what you get up to in your private life but you choose to further your career by using your sexuality, not us. If you think your sexuality is your business, then make it your business, not ours.

Even Mandelsons donation of £300,000 of tax payers money to Stonewall will not convince some people that homosexuality is wrong. And they are perfectly entitled to think that homosexuality is wrong. Freedom of thought is not yet a crime.

Your chickens are coming home to roost, mate. It's YOUR big gay bed, you made it, you lie in it.

Ryan Dean said...

What a disgrace, I have written to the editor about this.

Old Holborn said...

Ephraim Hardcastle says

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

Iain is offended

"So I have sent in a formal complaint. Perhaps readers might like to do the same."

How we laughed.

OscottLocal said...

Its papers like the Mail & Express that made me join Labour, they are the voice of a bigoted, ignorant past and your party has spent decades pandering to their views.

Keynesian Man said...

Iain I think the only criticism I can apply to you is one on policy not one of sexuality and personality (I couldn't care much about either).

I want a fiscal stimulus, return to neo-Keynesian economics, progressive taxation, massive council house building effort, a Green New Deal - these are all things I think you are against.

So no I don't support you politically, but personally you taking on the Daily Mail is brilliant. Good luck to you mate.

Bob said...

why are you against the minimum wage?

David said...

I was on holiday in Florida this year and the Mail (printed in New York apparently) was the only British newspaper available on a daily basis. I needed it for the cricket but I have honestly not read anything like it.
I am a committed Tory but it really troubles me the party is still reliant on such obnoxious, hateful, arrogant incompetents. With luck the backlash will help you Iain but this paper and its support will remain a horrible potential liability to the party undoing much of DC's good work.

Steve H said...

Good luck, Iain. And the Jews analogy is entirely appropriate. But McKay is a complete tosser so, although trash like him has to be stood up too, I wouldn't take too much personal offence. One could even see being "outed" as the sort of person he dislikes as a badge of honour just short of the VC.

How appropriate BTW that the word verification I've been given for this post is "racish".

Is that short for racistish?

NewsBrain (better blogging) said...

Hilarious. A Tory moaning about being rinsed in a Tory paper. Pathetic. Any minority that chooses to side with the Political Right (the leaders of post-war intolerance and pre-war anti-semitism) needs to look at themselves. Conservatives were FORCED to accept equaity for all, kicking and screaming. Absolutely no sympathy from me.

Jamie said...

I want a party which wants to promote greater equality and a fairer society - both of which you are against.
But you being gay is not a concern of mine. I couldn't care less.

I am not bothered about that mate, but i am bothered by your laissez-faire free market small state views.

Rankersbo said...

I'm gobsmacked at the idea that overt= not right far back in the closet.

To non-kooks the fact Iain doesn't hide his personal life doesn't mean he makes a big thing of it, and the fact he doesn't make a big thing of it doesn't amount to hiding it.

Jon said...

Do you believe in council house building in the constituency you want to represent? if not- why not?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I don't remember you getting quite this aereated when Livingstone gave them what-for with his rather ill-judged but definitely not anti-semitic remark about a journo being like a 'concentration camp guard'..

Steve Tierney said...

It is precisely this sort of shit that made me dump the Daily Mail and read a paper that wasn't written by dickheads.

Excuse my French.

Anonymous said...

Overtly Black/Asian/Muslim/Christian Tory blogger Iain Dale has reached the final stage of parliamentary selection for Bracknell, telling (1Xtra/BBC Asian/Muslim times/Christian Times): 'I hope any (1Xtra/BBC Asian/Muslim times/Christian Times)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 Blacks/Asians/Muslims/Christians rally like-minded chaps to their cause?

Yup, it fails the test. May have to join you all in complaining.

Anonymous said...

But Iain, you should welcome this as it can work to your favour...

You can pitch yourself as the 'anti old fart' candidate. If the young people who are most likely to turn up to the 'open auditions' know that the Daily Dacre-graph are against you then that makes you a man of the future, rather than like that man of the past, Paul's friend Gordon Brown.

The Purpleline said...

Iain, playing devils advocate here, but I do not see this as an attack on you.

I see this as a natural reaction to the positive promotion of Gay rights in this country. I am not saying that is bad in itself, but there has been a campaign with ruthless efficiency to normalise a once illegal act.

By taking the stance you have on being described as Overtly Gay, in a national news- paper, it gives one the impression you are not happy in your own skin. I do not see that description as being negative, more a reflection of your own feelings and possible concerns that your position may be more about your sexuality than political abilities. The old quota syndrome.

It is a known fact that you are Gay; it is possible that you will attract Gay voters in Bracknell, Yes, and you will be politically attractive to the Tory party for this. I hope that is not the only reason they will vote, you want to be voted in for your abilities to work and produce good results for your constituents, and the last thing you want is to be a token. So once again, I think you have overreacted and this complaint may come back to haunt you in your quest to become a MP.

Anonymous said...

You are talking of a paper whose most cogent voice is Fred Bassett.

Laurence Hodge said...

You should be above noticing this stuff and why not avoid references to your own sexuality as a general rule.

Also please avoid a phrase like "in a mature and adult way". 'Mature' and 'adult' are adjectives that now belong in the lexicon of the right-on politically correct. Ditto 'conversation' and 'debate'.

As these words and other like them are forming on one's lips hear this special alert: "am I trying to dragoon others into my way of thinking?"

sockpuppet said...

Devil's advocate: if you had appealed for gay people to vote for you because you were gay, rather than because you were a Conservative, it would be crass, bigoted and nasty but justified.

You didn't. So it is crass, bigoted, nasty and unjustified.

But what did you expect from the Daily Heil? I won't have it in the house.

William said...

Right on. Link this to the anecdote in Nick Davies Flat Earth News about the newsdesk calling a reporter back from driving down to visit the site of a murder with words to effect of "oh dont worry - the victim was black"... What can we do to wake people up and get them to stop spending their money with the purveyors of such unprincipled garbage?

Old Holborn said...


If you converted to Islam you could throw TWO cards up everytime someone dares to criticise you. You'd be untouchable!

Go for it, In'sh Allah.

Dimoto said...

Iain you need to grow a thicker skin.
The Mail is successful because it reflects a substantial sector of public opinion, do you really think Joe Public doesn't share the innuendo ?
Just ignore it, and make an anti-Europe speech - they'll be eating out of your hand in no time.

Old Holborn said...

Ho Ho!

The plot thickens!

Anonymous said...

Iain, Bob Piper is probably right in that it's pay back. Thing is, I sympathise with your predicament and respect your complaint, but to be real, can any of us ever really fight the press? It's almost a who rules Britain scenario, and the price we pay for a free press is that we shamefully applaud when it unfairly demonises our opponents, but not when the boot's on the other foot.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Iain. You continually refer to your sexuality - no reason why you should not. But you can't then complain when others do. The Mail's article is in very poor taste, but that's it.

Elliot Kane said...

For the Daily Mail to resort to this kind of puerile, pathetic childishness is beneath contempt. I would expect better of a local paper, never mind a national. I had hoped this kind of wretched casual bigotry was long gone from any paper that aspired beyond the gutter and I'm sad to find that I was wrong.

I trust and hope you will get a profuse apology from them for this.

Anonymous said...

You're a gay???

Savonarola said...

I think you protest too much.

I think you should have waited a day or two and perhaps this 'attack' on your sexuality will not seem anything other than a tastless comment.

Storm. Teacup.

Gordon Brown said...

That just seems to be the way the Daily Wail operates. Write exaggerated bullying articles to draw in the readers.

We're currently running a Facebook campaign to try to get James Martin sacked for writing an article suggesting it is a good idea to use your car as a weapon against cyclists. Incredibly, the Mail actually deleted the paragraph where he suggested this. I emailed their Editor but did not receive a reply.

neil craig said...

It is a rather nasty post. I was dishonestly accused by a newspaper of being both pro-Nazi, involving altering a photo & later pro-Orange, over my objection to our participation in the genocide of Serbs & the Press Complaints Rejectors said they had no problem with that. While an honest body would find for you it would clearly be hypocritical of them to do so. I doubt if speaking out will harm you in fact you might get an Obama effect from it.

I have put this elsewhere but wish to repeat it because the Mail has been given a bad name by the "left" & gets to easily hung:

I wish to say that I think the Mail is the best national newspaper in Britain. As well as having politically incorrect columnists it is the only one which does not censor to protect established untruths.

Specifically I have written letters on a large number of subjects to newspapers & the Mail is the only UK one which has been willing to print one on evidence that low level radiation is not harmful (called hormesis) & the only one, apart from the Morning Star, to publish ones about our government, not Milosevic, being the war criminals in Yugoslavia.

You don't have to agree with these, though I assure you that I know far more on the subjects than most readers & the evidence is overwhelming, to think it important that at least one part of the UK media does not censor all discussion on the subjects.

Anonymous said...

Well done for being bold on this one, Iain.

You have my full support in shooting down Paul Hardcastle and the Daily FAIL!

MYox said...

Silly stuff. You have my support.

Pam Nash said...

I first read that story late last, 12 hours later, there are NO reader's comments. Funny that - the DM couldn't, possibly, have stopped them could they? I'm sure that if there'd been a positive one the DM would have let it through.

col said...

Absolutely right to call the Mail to account, it's a disgraceful comment.
Standing up to them will enhance not diminish your reputation in Bracknell and elsewhere

Anonymous said...

Those comments are disgraceful Iain, they are probably trying to scupper your Parliamentary hopes in revenge for the thousands of pounds you cost them when an article you wrote in the Mail earlier in the year ended up be successfully sued for libel

Anonymous said...

I understand we're you're coming from but I think an official complaint is over the top and will have the reverse effect.

tory boys never grow up said...

Congratulations on your discovery of the Daily Mail's bigotry now that you are the target of its pernicious hatred.

Of course some of us have been aware of the national disgrace that is the Daily Mail for rather longer - the Zinoviev letter and appeasement of Hitler were perhaps early giveaways.

As for emails trying to reason with them - don't bother you will be wasting your time - just don't buy the paper.

strapworld said...

Iain, I have always respected your openness in respect to your sexuality.

That you have included your civil partnership within your 'personal' part of your website for the Bracknell selection is, I believe, testimony to your honesty and pride.

Some people, however, may interpret what the Daily Bilge print as meaning just that 'openly' and 'plain'!

But taken into context,Printed within the Ephraim Hardcastle column, known for its favouring the salacious rather than a fair minded approach,I agree with you and can well understand your anger.

This underlines why I stopped buying the Daily Mail after forty odd years.
It is lower than the gutter press! It belongs in a sewer on its own!

But, I hope your complaint results in an apology, but that will be on the foot of page 72!!!

Paddy Briggs said...


The Mail is repulsive. Good luck in your efforts to get them to behave in a civilised way. But don't hold your breath that they will.


Peter North said...


Letter of support sent, I've cc'd you.


Road_Hog said...

As has been said, you play/use your sexual preference to your advantage. Did this not stem from pinknews and you asking for them all to come down and vote for you (maybe not in so many words).

You can't use it to your advantage and then complain when others mention it.

Let us dissect the phrase "overtly gay". You are openly gay, so nothing wrong with that. I looked up overtly in the dictionary just to be sure.

done or shown publicly or in an obvious way; not secret

Seems to be spot on. I think overreated comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

This again raises the question you have been asked, and which AFAIK remains unanswered;

Why do you want to be an MP, and why should people vote for you?


Daily Mail Reader said...

I think the DM article springs from the attitude prevalent amongst some that the continual promotion of "minority communities" and their views somehow disadvantages those people who don't see themselves as members of a minority.

I think when people form communities based on religion, sexuality or race it creates a tension between those who belong and those who don't that is qualitatively different and damagingly divisive.

For instance, there is Pink News but no Straight News. Black Police Officers association, no White Police Officers association.

Is it possible to be completely unprejudiced about people who are gay but resent the way they organise themselves into separate interest groups?

Unknown said...

When I look at the vile Peter Mandleson, I see a smarmy, sneaky, pestilential creep. When I look at you I see a cuddly teddy bear who I love to email when he's on the radio!

But although I know you are both's certainly not the first thing I think of as you can see from above!!!!

Good luck in Bracknell Iain!!!!

Unknown said...

You are overtly West Ham though Iain and THAT is a crime against football.

Matthew said...

Damn right and good luck with the complaint.

Some of the comments here are pretty disgusting.

Why the hell shouldn't Iain be open about his sexuality and talk about it? To suggest that that somehow entitles the Daily Mail to make sneering and offensive comments about him is a straightforward apology for homophobia.

And why the hell shouldn't he be allowed to urge Pink News readers, or the readers of any other publication for that matter, to participate in the primary? It is called campaigning and it is what candidates do.

Peter Mackay is peddling the Daily Mail's favourite line that there is a huge gay mafia that always sticks together. It is nonsense. As a gay Labour support, I would never vote for him, but I will sure as hell stand by him when he is the victim of this kind of disgusting smear.

Anonymous said...

Iain, don't let the bastards get you down! Good luck in Bracknell.

Edward Sutherland.

guardian reader said...

I totally agree with Iain. I doubt it will do your political career any good to make a fuss about this, but it will certainly go some way in the fight against insidious homophobia.
However, I'm afraid I really don't have the time or the inclination to complain to either the PCC or that idiot Dacre every time the Mail carries a "prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability".
You know what the answer is? Don't read it. Don't buy it, don't look at in the shop and don't read it online. If society changes, there will be no market for puerile little Englander drivel like this. I haven't read the Mail for years and I sleep much better at night for it.

Reuven Leigh said...

i agree 100%. but:

i looked through your campaign site and was at first surprised that you were ambiguous about your sexuality in the about me section. then i thought, why should he make it clear that he is gay by saying the name of his partner, it is totally irrelevant etc. however, you did mention the name of your dog and it would have been more consistent to mention the name of your partner, it leads me to think that you were purposely avoiding that point which seems out of character.

good luck anyway and i hope people will judge you on your merits

guardian reader said...

It reinforces the long understood axiom: if you are not straight, white, British-born, or able bodied, the right wing is not for you.

Anonymous said...

I think you're taking the wrong track here Iain. I'd rather have a root around in Ephraim Hardcastle's closet or Richard Kay's and see what's hidden in there. There'll be something. With a name like Ephraim Hardcastle there may be quite a lot. Get your spies onto it and we'll out them for something. (In the mame of public service of course).

Ed said...

Good for you Iain. I'll be sending in my complaints this evening.

Anonymous said...

Being gay Iain will stop you being picked in this seat.You need to pick a seat with less tories in that dont read the tory journal.GOOD LUCK ANYWAY.

Anonymous said...

Godwin's Law at comment 2, as I live and breathe. Is it possible that the Mail's comment on Iain might be disgusting anyway, Shaun, without your kneejerk-off reaction?

Display Name said...

Have to say I don't get all the fuss about the "overtly gay" comment when compared with his closer... Now that is particularly hatefilled it seems to me.

To be honest, even without those 2 particular phrases, it's pretty clear what the article is saying anyway.

What a bunch of "chumps*" the DM are.

(*a la Mandelson.)

Anonymous said...

If a Jewish candidate had used a puff piece in the Jewish Chronicle to effectively solicit support from its readers based on their common Jewishness then I hope another publication would have pounced on it and ridiculed the candidate concerned.

OBC News said...

'Like-minded chaps' etc does somehow make it sound as though gays can be equated with the BNP or some other loathsome mindset, and I agree it's a reprehensible way to end the piece.

But Iain, you ARE openly gay. Overtly has no stronger connotation than that - it just means openly (or perhaps deliberately but clearly that isn't meant here.) Thus the chances of the PCC sustaining the first part of your complaint are absolutely nil.

Now if it had said ostentatiously...

Anonymous said...

The Hate Mail has been doing this sort of stuff for years - why anybody reads the nasty little rag i fail to understand. And frankly what will hurt them most is if people stop buying and reading it - so if you are gay, or have gay family or friends - tell them about this homophobic rubbish and they will decide themselves to stop reading this vile vile stuff.

Jimmy said...

It's the Daily Hitler for heaven's sake, what do you expect? By their standards this is mild. Good luck with the complaint, but this excuse for a paper prints homophobic and racist abuse every single day and it would be nice if tories didn't have to wait to be attacked personally before calling them on it. said...

Bizarre to read this in 2009, it's the sort of thing I'd expect from the 1970s. If someone like me, who is rabidly right wing, can't cope with the vile Mail, I don't know who can.

Anonymous said...

This outpouring of hate in the comments for the Daily Mail (a paper, I would add, that does what a paper should do, extra-ordinarily well) is most "malest" .

I think I shall complain to Hattie Harpersons.

Anonymous said...

Email duly sent, Iain. Are you sure they weren't reprinting a column from 1947?

Word verification - silyw. Few letters missing there I think.

Weygand said...

Even if Hardcastle believed (rightly or wrongly) that you were trying to use your sexuality as a rallying point (or just that it might be made such by others) and wished to comment on the question, there is no excuse for the vile way in which he did it.

Furthermore, if what he wrote somehow had slipped past the Mail editors, now that it has been brought to their attention I am astonished that no apology has been issued.

Without such an apology one must presume that the Mail endorses Hardcastle's remarks.

Edwin Moore said...

An excellent piece Mr Dale, dignified and witty - you won't have been harmed in Bracknell at all.

norfolkandchance said...

The Daily Mail, racist and homophobic so you don't have to be.

Cynic said...

I think you should go for it Iain.

My 20 year old daughter is exceptionally bright and intelligent and holds centre right views. I am much more conservative / right wing than she is but by preference she reads the Mail. I have tried everything. Advice, argument, banter, sarcasm, abuse....I am now considering resorting to counselling and electric shock treatment for her.

It's so, so, so carp a newspaper and personally I wouldn't use the Ephraim Hardcaste column page to wrap up dog pooh

So you are absolutely right to complain.

This one is so bad that I suspect it slipped under the radar

Anonymous said...

"For the Daily Mail to resort to this kind of puerile, pathetic childishness is beneath contempt".
'Resort to'?
It's it's raison d'etre.

elf said...

Iain, I have a very low opinion of the Mail anyway but that is just beyond belief. How on earth it got printed in this day and age I do not know. But nasty bigotry like that will turn more people against them than against you.

Patrick said...

So are you saying that you are not part of the 'gay mafia' which runs the country????? - ( currently headed up by Peter Mandelson and Elton John).

Anonymous said...

Iain, you should be careful what you post in Twitter at the top of your page:
"Bugger the diet. Sausage bap"

Now what would The Mail make of that?! :)

John said...

Good luck Iain - as a gay Tory I completely support you, and wish that the DM was ignored by all.

Anonymous said...

I think that your response to the Mail is more damaging to you than what they have written.

1. Bad as it is, it is within the normal scope of political attacks. Many people are fed up to the teeth of minority groups expecting special treatment by playing the victim, and you are opening yourself to this accusation.

2. People, and newspapers, are entitled to their opinions, beliefs and prejudices. To deny this is to buy into the “thought police” mentality of New Labour – not what one would hope for from a prospective Tory candidate. The use of the word “hate” in the title of your post signals that you are invoking “hate crime” logic.

AJ said...

Absolute disagrace Iain.
I thought those days had gone .
Thank god you don't smoke too.

Pat Nurse MA said...

Substitute "gay" or "jew" with the word "smoker" and you have a legal reason to attack, discriminate and say as many hateful and bigoted things as you like -- all with govt and political backing and support.

Oh how I wish I was gay, jewish, black, asian, disabled, or any of those things that rightly get equal treatment in this country. My sin is to be a cultural smoker. Getting me to quit is like asking a moslem to eat pork!

Unknown said...

@ Anonymous 914am

There is a difference between being openly gay (ie not hiding it) and overtly gay (ie obvious).

You can be open and not overt (Iain Dale) and you can also be not open but overt (Mandy).

Many of my friends who watch Iain's many television appearances have no idea that he is gay.

You say that people of any sexuality should keep quiet about it - er? Does that mean Mrs Cameron should hide away next week in Brighton? Or that Gordon Brown should make no references to his family, wife and children.

Get a grip.

Best of luck, Iain.

Unknown said...

Shame on the Mail.

Perhaps they might care to learn something from the Germans...

John B said...

Er, Pat, that could be cos smoking harms OTHER people, unlike, say gayness or Islam!

God, tories can be stupid...

Angus said...

Sadly uninformed bigotry lingers in parts of the press. Good luck with your complaint although I note there was a rather lowbrow, innuendo laden account of Mandelsons speech by QL earlier in the week that has gone largely unnoticed.

Nigel said...

Like others, I thought overtly gay?
I saw Ian give a jolly good talk at the Aylesbury Conservative’s dinner. Didn't strike me as gay at all. Even the pink shirt didn’t give me any clues.

True Belle said...

We have called them the Daily Flail for years -

It is running to tabloid form- they are the type who probably go to soccer matches and scream insults of every description.

What the devil are their journos doing saying vile bigotted macho bullying things for. This type of nastiness by inference is what should be clamped down on -

Simon Lewis said...

Fraid to say Iain this is typical of the right wing media and dare I say it typical of the Tory views in the shires.

Just look back at all the great social reform acts since the war.

They were all under Labour governments. I feel for you, I really do as I think you would make a great MP. Perhaps the Daily Mail should target some of the complete arseholes in the Tory party who are not fit for sitting in the house.
Some of them on the opposition front bench

Anonymous said...

Keep it going Iain - ignore them.

jailhouselawyer said...

Iain: When I first saw your Twitter claiming that Ephraim Hardcastle had written homophobic things about you, I was surprised enough to go and have a look. However, I did not see any homophobic comment there.

Overt is openly gay, as opposed to being closeted.

"Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?", Gay Pride springs to mind.

Neither comment I found homophobic.

I don't like the Daily Mail. This appears to be a diary piece. Perhaps, there was nothing else worth writing about.

Of course, it is having a little dig at you.

However, it does appear as though you are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Jimmy said...

"if what he wrote somehow had slipped past the Mail editors, now that it has been brought to their attention I am astonished that no apology has been issued."

That may be the funniest comment I've read in ages.

Dan M said...

Email sent to PPC. Have cc'd you from their website. Best of luck with it. This kind of language should always be challenged.

Best Wishes.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you are all getting your knickers in such a twist. You ARE overtly gay (your gayness isn't hidden or secretive, and in fact you make great play of it).

If he had called you a screaming queen, then you might have reason to be upset.

You need to get a thicker skin and/or look for more important things to worry about IMHO.

BOF2BS said...

"Get Bracknell" has, recently, gone with openly ..... so thats the first shrug - here's to many more.

Nip & bud come to mind!

Anonymous said...

They said you were a tory too, the nasty horrible lot.

Madame Arcati said...

Well done. And while you're about it, would you ask Ephraim to desist from lifting my stories without credit (as he did recently over a Princess Diana related item) or pay me the usual fee.

Pat Nurse MA said...

Er ... John B - no one needs to be harmed by smoke if we had CHOICE. I fail to see that if we had both smoking and non-smoking premises how anyone could be harmed.

In truth, anti-smoking views = snobbery. Antis simply don't like the smell so they campaign on health because that is the only way they can insure getting the stupid on side!

Discrimination is just that. It matters not what the subject is.

John B said...

Oh Pat, you are silly. Clearly bar staff etc would have to serve those in the non-smoking areas of pubs, and I fail to see why they should have to suffer risk of disease simply to put food on their table. Likewise friends of smokers often felt obliged to say it was ok when, frankly, it wasn't. Comparing smoking to homosexuality is utterly laughable and shows that you've never been subjected to real discrimination. One is a choice, the other isn't - simple as (and I say that as an occassional smoker myself).

PS. If you really wish you were Jewish, it is possible to convert. It's a choice again, see...?

Clarrisa said...

Iain saying overtly gay is not homophobic... I can recall quite a few posts you have on this blog which has radiated around the issue of your homosexuality.
Be careful about throwing mud at people accusing them of homophobia - it will bite back at you.
I think it seems to me you have a problem with it, and not everyone else so my simple message would be - grow up.
Why do you seem to have issues about your own homosexuality?

Also another thing i would like to bring to your attention - why didn't you mention the name of your partner on your campaign website.
You mention your dog's name but not your partner's. it seems slightly suspicious to me.

Smithy said...

i have noticed that you don't write about anything meaningful on your website anymore except about personality politics and occasionally your homosexuality.

Why not write about something a bit more important like the economy which we will all care about? I don't think however you understand the economy...

Thats why as a possible constituent of yours I will not vote for you.

Plus you want to cut funding to the NHS.

Brian said...

How very dare Ephraim Hardcastle write that.

simon carter said...

iain why are you against the minimum wage?

Fred said...

Are you gay? Grin. The Daily Mail needs to grow up.

Anonymous said...

Bless you Iain, imagine anyone tarring/calling you names.

Remember the `Institutionalized incompetence` you called every copper in the land. Imagine if you called them `Jewish institutionalized incompetents`.

Get the offence yet?

Anonymous said...

The Daily Mail does this to somebody *every* day.

I can honestly say that I could never vote Conservative while the Mail remains chief cheerleader, inseparable from the Conservative Party. They show up the right of centre as life's bad guys, the "nasty party!"

It's not even just Mackay. Letts, Littlejohn, Phillips- all snide cruel fantasist bullies immune from accountability, factual correction, right to reply and free speech for their opponents.

It's great that you've noticed and now you've felt revulsion I'm glad you're going to take them on.

I think you and Parris have probably done more for gay acceptability than most in UK politics, mainly because the vocal ignorance is all on the blue side of the fence.

LancashireCat said...

I was sorry and disgusted to have to read that. It wasn't even written on any mature level of communication. It was more like a child in the playground thinking up the most obvious and pointless insult because he can't think of a real argument.
Professional writer? Ha Ha.

Jane said...

well Iain, you're currently at 36%, and well in the lead - on the getbracknell poll.

The next one is 18% - so no immediate worries about this having a negative effect!

Peter from Putney said...

What use is a two sentence "apology", buried at the foot of page 19 on a quiet Tuesday?
Instead, how about a six figure fine to be donated to a charity of your choice?

Quietzapple said...

I do wonder wether the loathsome, trolling homophobic Mail recalls their encounter with your writing here (which is top of a search for your name on their website when I tried to access their article):

Likely it will rebound to your advantage methinks, especially as it is an "Open Primary."

I shall keep my views on Bracknell to myself, this time . . .

Atlas shrugged said...

Iain, you state the opinions of Ephraim Hardcastle, not that of the Daily Mail, or its readers in general. Myself certainly not EVER being one of them, can you Iain say the same? Obviously not.

My advice would be that you should not go around taking cheep shots at daily news-papers, simply because of the OPINIONS of one, or even some, of its contributors hold in there own names.

By all means say what you wish about the words and views of Mr Hardcastle, it is your right. As it is also Mr Hardcastles right to hold and publish his own views.

You are supposed to be a conservative, so please be so kind to start thinking like one.

The general or COMMON PURPOSE of rags like the Daily Mail is to selectively suppress, repress, divert, pervert, or if instructed positively instigate reaction.

If you did not know this, then you should have by now. If you did know, then IMO you are simply practising your Polly Toynbee stile political posturing. While making a bit of a twit of yourself.

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