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The Mail’s Alexander Boot is a real cunning stunt isn’t he?

April 14, 2012

So, the Daily Mail have (unsurprisingly) done it again. If you’ve been watching the news recently you’ll have noticed the furore over the anti-gay bus adverts that rip-off Stonewall’s “Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!” adverts that currently adorn a number of London buses.

But the purpose of this post is not to argue back against Mr Boot, the ‘writer’ of the ‘article’ in question. That is an exercise in futility, given that the only reason he wrote what he did was to get hits for the Daily Fail’s website. Apart from commenting ruthlessly on celebrities’ weight and poor fashion choices, all the Fail exists to do is stir up excessive controversy and, through the ensuing online indignancy from those not stupid enough to actually buy the Fail, generate advert revenue from the visits to its website. Observe, if you will, the following diagram (I found it on Twitter, if it’s yours and you want acknowledgment then say so and I’ll put a credit up for you):

In a move designed to thwart this endeavour, I have copied Mr Boot’s idiotic diatribe in full and reproduced it here so you can read it without giving the Fail the hits it desires.

Also, if anyone disagrees with this and is thinking about bringing legal action for copyright infringement or whatever, I’m sure that the defence of fair dealing for the purposes of criticism and review under s 30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 will protect me as long as I acknowledge the source of the original work. Given the absolute rock-bottom moral, journalistic and literary standards displayed in the following piece of writing it could hardly have come from anywhere else but the Daily Mail really, could it?

********

“Homosexuality IS a departure from the norm: We must beware of our civilisation being battered by the PC brigade

By ALEXANDER BOOT

Boris Johnson is a long-standing champion of sexual tolerance – at least that’s what he seems to expect from his poor wife.

This time he has shifted his innermost convictions into the public arena by banning from London buses a Christian campaign aimed at reforming homosexuals.

‘London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance,’ he said. I agree.

London is so tolerant it could be twinned with Sodom – or alternatively with our neighbourhood French villages called Orgy and Anus (I’m not joking, they are both next door to us).

True to his word, the good mayor found nothing wrong with the blatant propaganda of homosexuality launched earlier by Stonewall, the charity devoted to promoting homosexual agendas, such as same-sex marriage.

The thrust of their campaign was the probably correct message that homosexuality is innate and therefore irreversible.

In response, Christian groups created a campaign typified by the ad saying ‘Some people are gay. Get over it.’ That’s where Mr Johnson drew the line on his tolerance.

‘It is clearly offensive,’ he thundered, ‘to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.’

Our erudite mayor is a writer, but he’s clearly not a reader. For anyone who actually read the ad would know it says nothing of the sort. Any reasonably educated person will be aware that homosexuality isn’t a disease. It is, however, an aberration.

Now before I’m tarred and feathered as yet another manifestation of the prevailing tolerance, I hasten to add that I use the word ‘aberration’ strictly in its dictionary definition: ‘a departure from what is normal or desirable’.

Since only about one percent of us are that way inclined, homosexuality is obviously a departure from the norm. Surely, 99 percent are in a better position than one percent to judge what is normal?

The constructive campaign from Christian groups telling gays that they have the choice to ‘get over’ their homosexuality. And, indulging in a bit of reductio ad absurdum, reversing that proportion would spell the end of the human race, which is clearly undesirable. So the dictionary definition applies in its entirety.

It may well be true that a propensity for homosexual, which is to say aberrant, behaviour is innate.

And it’s indisputable that people ought not to be reproached, much less punished, for the way they are born. They can, however, be legitimately asked not to act on their aberrant tendencies.

A kleptomaniac only becomes reproachable when he actually steals. A man who’s violent by nature is on safe grounds until he commits a violent act. We aren’t responsible for where we begin in life. But we are responsible for where we finish.

The campaign that offended the Mayor enunciates the traditional Christian attitude to homosexuality. Rather than regarding homosexuality as a disease from which one could be cured, Christianity regards it as a sin from which one should abstain. It’s only in this sense that a homosexual can ‘get over it’.

Abstaining from sex for moral reasons is tantamount to heroism, and most people can’t be expected to be heroes. That’s why I don’t think homosexuality should be banned, or homosexuals in any way abused.

But Christianity would be remiss in its mission if it didn’t call on them to adhere to the absolute moral standards stipulated by the founding religion of our civilisation.

And all of us, Christians or otherwise, ought to be wary of the systematic campaign to destroy everything our civilisation stands for.

It’s not only our religion but also our constitution, our aesthetic sense, our education and our general morality that are being smashed by the battering ram of PC modernity.

That propaganda of homosexuality can be used in this capacity is beyond question. Witness the fact that the first European country that liberalised homosexuality was Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1934 – neither the time nor the place known for an all-consuming love of Western civilisation.

In parallel, the Bolsheviks, who were almost as tolerant as Mayor Johnson, abolished marriage, and Lenin’s mistress Inessa Armand likened sex to drinking a glass of water.

The Bolsheviks were aware of the destructive potential of sexual licentiousness in all its forms, and they were out to destroy.

Boris Johnson doesn’t want to destroy. He just wants to be re-elected – as a Conservative (!) candidate.

To establish his conservative credentials, he is flaunting his moral relativism, what he calls intolerance of intolerance.

In doing so he denies the right of free speech to a constructive campaign asking homosexuals to reform and suggesting it’s possible – while affording this freedom to a campaign that’s utterly deterministic and destructive, in effect if not in intent.

I’m willing to accept for the sake of argument (and only for its sake) that, rather than simply indulging in full-time electioneering, Mr Johnson really does disagree with the sentiment expressed in the ‘Get over it’ campaign.

But that’s no reason to ban it. For freedom of speech to mean anything at all, it ought to cover the freedom to say things we don’t like. After all, allowing only those statements that please us involves no hardship at all.

Judging by his action, Boris Johnson is rather vague on our constitutional liberties, Western moral and intellectual tradition, and the boundaries of his remit as a politician.

His response to what the ads actually say also betokens a need for a remedial reading class. An ideal future candidate for Prime Minister, I dare say.”

***

There you go then. What a ****.

***

Update: I recently received a ‘pingback’ on this post from the Jamtheory blog (see below and here) and I would encourage anyone who’s considered making a complaint to read that post as it details the PCC’s relevant complaints procedure. Specifically though I’d like to point out something said in the last paragraph of that post, which is the quote “just because homophobia is everywhere doesn’t mean it’s ok”. Sadly this is true, as homophobia is everywhere even these days, but just because it’s common doesn’t, and shouldn’t, make it ‘normal’. Contrary to Mr Boot’s definition-twisting use of ‘aberration’ above, I would say that homophobia itself is an aberration from normal morality, as well as being an abomination, an atrocity and a downright shame, and is something that all of us could happily do without.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Lloyd permalink
    April 14, 2012 12:45 pm

    Excellent article (by you, not by Boot, obviously). He gets several things terribly wrong. First is the misappropriation of language contextually which given time and distance, can only be thought of as like that of child, or perhaps someone who’s expert at self-delusion. That he says “strictly in its dictionary definition” of the word ‘aberration’ is a trick which many Daily Mail and other people who are generally anti-PC love to criticise those who uphold political correctness (or just common courtesy really) of.
    When someone criticises say, Clarkson, for what they deem an inappropriate comment on his show, those who are anti-PC often shout how it’s taken out of context, comments such as “have a [i.e., our] sense of humour” are rife, and often equate PC with people being busy-bodies, hopelessly kafkian and willfully telling people to speak a certain way.
    While this is obviously untrue, it’s interesting that it is completely okay for this to work in reverse, say for example, when you want to prop up conservative views of homosexuality.
    While he acknowledges that homosexuality is innate, he cannot pull himself away from the idea that it is ‘aberrant’, and therefore, why can’t we just say so. But he’s completely confusing the statistical fact that homosexuality is rare in comparison with heterosexuality, with the the cultural attitude and label given to it. Just because something is rare doesn’t mean it has to be treated as abnormal – and to me using the word aberrant, and giving a completely irrelevant and decontextualised dictionary definition of the word ignores the fact that he wants to homosexuality at the margins and allow hetereosexuality to be presented as the ahistorical norm for societies.

    I’ve kinda wandered maybe, but I hope i made it clear. I can’t quite the summon the energy to criticise the disgusting last paragraph!

    • April 14, 2012 12:50 pm

      Thank you Lloyd, don’t worry you did make it clear. And I agree with you on the last paragraph, and particularly on the part about how he cleverly defines ‘aberration’ to twist it into a form that forwards his apparent opinion. If I could be bothered I’d have rather enjoyed picking the article apart, but given that it’s so blatantly a work of agenda’d, narrow minded, attention seeking rubbish anyway there seems little need to actually do so.

  2. Holly permalink
    April 16, 2012 5:36 pm

    It’s been taken down off the Daily Mail website, thank goodness. Here’s a video blog I did on the article, if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbCPFwOq1t0&list=HL1334597579&feature=mh_lolz

    Brilliant article. There is no way Boot should be able to get away with things like this. I agree that freedom of speech is important, but in cases like this, only so that we can be aware of how bigoted people can be, no matter what day and age we live in or how highly-esteemed the person in question is.

  3. April 19, 2012 7:29 pm

    I did a song about this if you want a listen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExAfFg1PotY&feature=youtu.be

Trackbacks

  1. Some People are Homphobic: Don’t Put up With it « jamtheory
  2. The Daily Mail’s Self-Defeating War on Sexualisation – An Analysis « militantskepticism

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