Simon Heffer on Saturday
Nike magista opus fg speaking on Radio 4, he said that, in his view, homosexuality was « harmful » because of the moral consequences of the practice, and that it spread disease.
As a result of these remarks, Sir Iqbal is being investigated by the police. He has allegedly been « homophobic, Had he also pointed out similar failings in heterosexual activity many deeply religious people believe much of that is immoral too, unless conducted within marriage for procreation, and it has been known to spread disease perhaps he would now be investigated for making heterophobic remarks as well. Or, perhaps the two offended groups would be deemed to have cancelled each other out. The whole thing is so dementedly stupid that, frankly, I can’t begin to understand it.
We can begin to see, however, that it is an affront to our historic liberties as Britons. It is not as if by saying what he did and I must emphasise, these were remarks in keeping not just with his own faith but various others Sir Iqbal has incited someone to commit a crime. It is not like that minority of evil nike magista opus fg nutters who get up, from time to time, and speak of the urgency of murdering Jews or Christians. He was merely expressing opinions that some of us, even if we do not agree with them, would hold to be perfectly reasonable. And, for that, the police are investigating him.
Perhaps they would like to come and investigate me. I share certain parts of Sir Iqbal’s thinking, but also hold one or two other views that certain minorities (including the one he represents) might disagree with. I unequivocally, like Sir Iqbal, find civil partnerships « harmful, They harm what I consider to be the orthodox balance of our society and, by falsely equating even permanent, loving homosexual partnerships with marriage, debase and distort what I believe to be the proper perception of that institution, and its place in society. I freely admit I may be wrong about this. But why on earth should I, or Sir Iqbal, be prevented from saying it?
I would not claim that homosexuality is immoral per se, and I certainly would not wish to prevent homosexuals from having happy and fulfilled lives within the law. But to argue that there might never be adverse moral effects from the practice is as obtuse as arguing that there will not be such bad effects from heterosexuality. Is someone who condemns the social effects of single parenthood, or draws the public’s attention to the incidence of Aids and venereal diseases among heterosexuals now to be pursued for heterophobia?
I happen to think Islam has much to commend it, but I find the treatment of women by some in that faith appalling. Is that sentiment going to land me in trouble? I can’t see why it shouldn’t. After all, an attempt was made this week to prosecute a man for calling a police horse « gay, A devout Christian couple who expressed their distaste for modern sexual morality were hauled in by police for 90 minutes before being released without apology. What on earth was the point of that? Why are we allowing these fetid outrages against our freedom with so little protest?
A prosecution of Sir Iqbal would be a disgrace. We urge Muslims to live here in the same spirit hypervenomx ic of tolerance as we do. But when we try to punish a man for saying a horse is homosexual, or that homosexuality can spread disease, what must we expect minorities to think? Why should they not be equally intolerant of free expression? Perhaps the Prime Minister could turn his urgent attention to this. After all, the police are also investigating him, for allegedly saying something nasty about the Welsh. I’ll see you in jail, Tony.
Prescott: why waste money on this oaf?
Are we surprised John Prescott hadn’t paid his council tax for nine years? Haven’t some of us been writing for ever about how this incompetent, useless oaf tries (and fails) to run his ministry? Why should we nike magista opus fg expect his private affairs to be any less chaotic?
There is rich irony in a man who supports such painfully high taxation for others not actually paying it himself, but don’t expect the Mouth of the Humber to be smart enough to see that. Now the rule is being run over other aspects of the deputy prime minister’s financial affairs.
Whether or not he has made nike magista opus fg any other « mistakes, the whole episode at least provides an excuse for the Prime Minister to rid himself of this embarrassing, and utterly pointless, individual. How many nurses, for example, could be employed if Mr Prescott’s salary, cars, flunkeys and perks were all to be wiped off the public payroll?
Mr Blair is always talking about the need to put more money into key public services. Wouldn’t pensioning off Prescott be a superb means of doing so?
A lesson hypervenomx ic in courage, dignity and good taste
Last week, I expressed my great admiration for the family of murdered backpacker Katherine Horton, and for how they have coped with their appalling loss with dignity and courage. This week, I salute them further. They have said, however, with their customary good taste, that they prefer not to seek to interfere in the judicial procedures of a foreign country.
Leaving aside the fact that a death sentence is probably the least the murderers deserve, the Horton family’s conduct is an object lesson to our politicians. I recall John Major debasing himself by begging for a correctly convicted drug carrier to be allowed to serve her sentence in England rather than in Thailand.
The rule must be that if we choose to travel to other countries, we choose to accept their justice, whether as potential criminals or, indeed, as victims.
Galloway: shameless, vulgar and absurd
A great miracle of our age is how George Galloway has managed for so long to be taken seriously as a public figure.
This associate of Saddam Hussein has taken himself into the Big Brother house, where yesterday, in what even for him was a new low in indignity, he pretended to be a cat while grovelling on the floor in front of an actress of a certain age, Miss Rula Lenska. He then ate food out of Miss Lenska’s hands.
I wonder what his constituents in Bethnal Green, one of the most deprived parts of England, think of their MP disporting himself in this way, missing important votes in the House of Commons, making an exhibition of himself, and all while the taxpayer is supplying his salary? Do those who voted out a perfectly good MP, Oona King, last May, feel they made the right decision for the representation of Bethnal Green in Parliament?
As Mr Galloway didn’t say to Saddam, Sir, I salute your vulgarity, your shamelessness, and your absurdity.
Judas not guilty? Who next Hitler?
One of my favourite books of the 19th century is James Fitzjames Stephen’s Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, an assault on John Stuart Mill that includes a brilliant defence of Pontius Pilate. Now, 130 years later, theologians are riding to the rescue of Judas Iscariot. He was, they say, an important part of God’s purpose.
History is full of rehabilitations the child murderer Richard III is the subject of a long running campaign but I fear where this might all end. How long before Stalin, Hitler, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot and even « Butcher Bob » Mugabe have people telling us that they served a useful purpose after all?But sadly, if you log on to the internet you will, within five minutes, find no shortage of fruitcakes happy to tell you just that.
The graceless Chirac needs a prayer or two
It is one of the lovable quirks of our own country that the Head of State is also the Supreme Governor of the Established Church. In France, hypervenomx ic though, they do things differently.
Ever since 1905 the principle of a rigid division between Church and State has been formally, and proudly, enshrined in law. So we can imagine the horror when Bernadette Chirac, wife of the oleaginous French president, invited a bishop present at a formal lunch at the Elysee Palace to say grace after the meal. M Chirac and their daughter, who was also present and is one of her father’s cunning political henchpersons, were said to be horrified at this intrusion of spiritual matters into a state function nike magista opus fg.