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