Preserve Us from a National Trust That’s So Achingly Right-on:

  • on a once-great institution’s plans to promote the gay and transgender links of our finest houses

once-great National Trust

Whenever I read in the papers about some new trendy scheme introduced to the National Trust by its tiresomely PC management under director general Dame Helen Ghosh, I feel a pang of regret at having resigned our family membership a decade ago.

One month Dame Helen is singing the praises of wind farms; the next it’s a story about signs in the grounds of NT properties that read ‘Please do touch the trees — or even hug them!’; then it’s a row about some scheme to pay over the odds for a farm in Cumbria that has infuriated the locals.

Every time I read this stuff, my response is: why can’t I still be a member? Then I could resign, to signal how thoroughly I disapprove of initiatives so at odds with the Trust’s culture, history and core membership.

Read the rest in the Daily Mail.

But gays AREN’T normal…

Some of my best friends are gay and I don’t think any of them would describe their sexual preferences as “normal”. In fact, for one or two of them, the very fact that what they do is abnormal is one of the major bonuses of having been born homosexual: it’s ruder.

Here is what (ex-) Tory candidate for Ayrshire North and Arran Phillip Lardner had to say on the subject:

I will always support the rights of homosexuals to be treated within concepts of (common sense) equality and respect, and defend their rights to choose to live the way they want in private, but I will not accept that their behaviour is ‘normal’ or encourage children to indulge in it.

It’s a bit more of a ruggedly old-school line on homosexuality than mine, but then Phillip Lardner comes from a more traditional part of the world. It’s not the kind of place you’d send Nick Boles to fight a seat, is it? It’s full of the sort of people whose best friends aren’t gay and who might probably raise a mildly disapproving eyebrow if a gay S & M club with a serious backroom – or even a gay bookshop or gay tearoom, come to that – were to set itself up next to the local kirk. And surely that’s their prerogative. They’re not from London, you know. Or Queer As Folk Manchester. They don’t love Graham Norton or Julian Clary. And why the hell should they?

I would quite expect the Labour party or the Liberal Democrats not to understand this subtle point. But I wouldn’t expect it of Conservatives.

First, Conservatism is a broad and tolerant church – and that ought to include toleration of the mild intolerance of free citizens like Lardner.

Second, when the Conservative party starts playing the game of “offence-taking”, “victimhood”, “minority grievance” and so on, it is doing so on terms entirely dictated by the false values of the liberal-Left.

As I argued in a recent Spectator piece, gay victimhood is soooo last year. In fact, victimhood of any kind is not a Tory concept at all.

9 Responses to “But gays AREN’T normal…”

  1. EyeSee says:April 29, 2010 at 12:45 pmThe nub of society’s problem is hinted at, at the end of your piece. Society and the way it works is a human interpretation of natural events. Because someone, individually dislikes the idea that homosexuals are brought into the mainstream (‘normal’) he is branded intolerant. No he isn’t. He just holds a view of a working society being centred around a man and a woman, having children and bringing them up, to hold to society’s norms. It is still true that every homosexual is glad their parents weren’t. To say that to acknowledge homosexuals as harmless and indeed delightful people, but to deny them marriage is intolerant is wrong, it is holding to the strengths of a society. The real intolerance in society is from those who tell us we ‘cannot think’ certain things, including a distaste for another’s sexual predilections. I don’t particularly like Turkish Delight -am I allowed to say that? It is not just that homosexuals used to enjoy using victim status, as have many others, but that they sought advantage anyway. They are as aggressive and as keen to shut down debate as any trendy educationalist or AGW cultist.
  2. Oxfordbloo says:April 29, 2010 at 3:14 pmObviously not all gay people are the same, but all the gay people I know (including my partner) would call themselves normal, albeit not normative. It sounds like splitting hairs, James, but it’s not. To call people abnormal, as you do, and as you defend Mr Lardner in doing, is to invite others to discriminate against them on the basis of a naturally occurring characteristic. We know that homosexuality is normal because countless studies over years of research have shown it to be regularly and normally occurring, albeit at varying levels of intensity, within all human and non-human animal populations.So, James, by your use of ‘abnormal’ you are a) condoning Mr Lardner in inviting discrimination (which is harmful, as anyone who has been attacked or had to live their life in painful secrecy will tell you) and b) actually inviting discrimination against this group of people. I’ll admit a vested interest – that group includes me. I’m not a whining victim. I am a grown woman fed up to the back teeth with pathetic idiots like you trying to stir up some kind of controversy to add to your portfolio when in fact all you are doing is perpetuating the hatred and discrimination that has affected me and so many other normal (albeit unusual) people for so many hundreds of years.Please grow up and stop this.
  3. Quoter says:April 30, 2010 at 9:47 amJames,“Some of my best friends are gay…”My heart always sinks a little when I see those words – especially when they come from a professional journalist… It’s a lazy way of writing – a way of re-enforcing a stereotype in a way that can’t easily be challenged. it leads to the assumption of “well if he’s got friends like that it must be true…”

    I wonder how many of your ‘gay’ friends actually appreciate being called ‘unnatural’ or ‘abnormal’ which is essentially the point you are making…

    When reading an article like this I always find it helps if you replace ‘gay’ with ‘black’ or ‘Irish’ or ‘Woman’. This seems like just another excuse from a right-wing bigot as to why we should accept your repulsive views…

    Please respond.

  4. Frank Tavos says:April 30, 2010 at 2:45 pmJames is busy today, so I’ll respond for him, Quoter:For cough.
  5. Peter Crawford says:April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pmNone of my friends “drop anchor in poo bay” as I believe the Queen Mother used to say. I live in Holyhead where “normal” homosexual behaviour is frowned upon. There is somebody who has written in black felt pen “I luv cock” in the public bogs at Newry Beach. We obviously all have different views on what we consider “repulsive”.
  6. John of Kent says:May 1, 2010 at 8:52 amI’m starting to think James Dellingpole might be gay. His surname is short for:- dell in g pole = Delight In Getting Pole.
  7. Diogenes says:May 2, 2010 at 4:52 pmOxfordbloo
    With the greatest of respect, for some one who descibes themselves as “not a whining victim” your post gives an excellent imitation of one.
    Homosexual activity can be part genetic and part experience/cultural programming. The Ancient Greeks and Romans would be puzzled by the concept of homosexuals being defined as a separate group. In Sparta homosexual activity was compulsory for men and probably socially the norm for women. In Athens it was considered socially de rigeur for aristocratic men. In all these societies the man/woman family was considered “normal” for rearing children, but homosexual activity was considered no different from heterosexual activity (although certain sexual practices were considered “shameful” regardless of whether it was a same or different gender encounter).
    Gay people now have legal rights in this country to effectively marry, bring up children and not be disciminated against. That has effectively “normalised” things, but does everybody want to be classified as “normal”. What is “normal” depends on the culture in which you are brought up, but being called “abnormal” should not be considered a negative mark. I would be insulted if anyone called me “normal” – why should I wish to be categorised as a boring member of the herd? We need to reclaim our individuality and stop categorising ourselves by outmoded concepts like sexuality.
    I’m not gay, but I’m proud to be abnormal!
  8. AC says:September 5, 2010 at 9:58 pmNone of my friends would write such disgusting pieces of ‘journalism’. Who are these ‘gay friends’ of yours? Are they lobotomised or just immensely stupid? They must be one or the other to associate with someone like yourself. Is this the same tactic as the racists who begin their venom with the caveat “I have friends who are black”?Being gay is normal, and it has always existed in society. A substantial portion of the population are gay.Julian Clary is not the Pope of homosexuality. Why would you even bring a comedy entertainer into a discussion like this? It demonstrates what a small-minded, narrow and bigoted view you have of homosexuality. It would be like me suggesting that Jordan is representative of the heterosexual woman, or Gary Glitter of the heterosexual man.

    Journalists are supposed to be critical thinkers and sharp minded. How did you manage to slip through that net?

  9. NC says:September 29, 2010 at 12:05 amFrom a quick perusal of the comments it appears that there are those that fail to appreciate that what is deemed acceptable within certain realms of gay society may not transfer to other, less established gay communities. As such the idea of a dark room to the ‘only gay in the village may’ (or may not) seem repulsive. The continued misconceptions of lazy stereotype-happy individuals does nothing but prove to me that we are all doomed to run around in a demented, rubber-clad crystal (meth) maze until someone finally turns the lights on.