Saturday, 10 November 2012

Some vocab revision for our expensively-educated PM

noun həʊ.məʊ ˈsek.sju.əl/, /ˌhɒm.əʊ -/ˌhoʊ.moʊˈsek.ʃu.əl/ [C]

a person, especially a man, who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex and not to people of the opposite sex

noun ˈpiː.dəʊ .faɪl/ˈped.oʊ-/ [C]

a person, especially a man, who is sexually interested in children

Now, these definitions are from the online Cambridge Dictionary, and personally speaking I'm not convinced by the "especially a man" clauses, but I think it's pretty bleedin' obvious that the two nouns refer to very different things.

So why is it that the immediate response of a supposedly intelligent man - a man who is supposedly the standard-bearer for the modern Conservative Party in which knee-jerk discrimination is a thing of the past - to the luckless Phillip Schofield presenting a list of alleged sexual abusers of children within the Tory ranks is to claim such a list risks "an anti-gay witch hunt"?

For starters, the most prominent name doing the rounds among social media over the last few days was known for being avowedly heterosexual (as well as being a bigoted racist and misogynistic creep - I hope the brain tumour that killed him was agonising), but that aside - equating paedophilia with homosexuality is not only contrary to modern scientific knowledge (which asserts that paedophilia is a pathology, whereas homosexuality is not), it's also a socially irresponsible throwback to everything Cameron claims to have repudiated.

The mask just slipped again - and I genuinely hope that the gay men and women who were willing to give Cameron the benefit of the doubt in the last election have taken note.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Karl Rove channels Warden Norton

(With apologies to Drifty for shamelessly aping his style...)

Watching Karl Rove's increasingly desperate attempts to deny reality even as his Fox News colleagues were grudgingly accepting President Obama's re-election last night

I couldn't help but be reminded of this scene from the classic movie The Shawshank Redemption.

Specifically, the frantic attempts of a man who has always used other people's resources and power for self-aggrandisement and enrichment to use the same bullying, hectoring tactics even as that power has been openly defied, followed by the alternately panicked and incredulous look in their eyes as the enormity of that loss begins to dawn on them.  Their futures are now as uncertain and fraught with peril as those of the people they once lorded over, and they are now at the mercy of people who have no significant interest in their well-being.

As a rule I try to suppress feelings of schadenfreude, because I always end up feeling a little guilty eventually.  But I must confess that I'm going to let myself enjoy this one - at least for a while.

To our progressive cousins across the pond, my best wishes and congratulations.  Your road's still going to be a rough one, and sadly President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are still not in a position to grant every wish you demand.  Push them and hold their feet to the fire as much as you can, because ultimately your voices are the only thing that can give them strength and courage against a well-funded radical right-wing movement that will do everything in it's power to halt progress.  Just don't give in to the temptation to turn on them and each other in the face of the inevitable occasional disappointment - because the heirs to Rove and his ilk will be waiting in the wings to exploit that at every turn and undo the work you've fought so hard to make happen.