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The more that politicians seek to regulate the smallest details in the lives of the public, the more it is relevant to know about their interests and preferences. Only then can one judge if their proposals are misguided, justified or simply feeding their own desires and needs.

These points are well made in other ways, perhaps better made, on the New Statesman website. Why does the register of members interests assume that only financial considerations are likely to colour their judgement?

Cottaging is a very horrible thing. Brian Coleman's allegation is very unfortunate and is only being made now because Sir Edward Heath has died and is unable to sue the cowardly Mr Coleman.

One thing he is right about is that the Conservative Party, and public life in general, attracts a disproportionate number of gay men.

That's a bit sweeping. Any evidence? Or is it that you are one of those Tories that doesn't mind gay men just so long as they don't "flaunt it".

How is cottaging a "serious" matter? Surely the cruel laws that made gay sex illegal were rather more serious?

"That's a bit sweeping. Any evidence?"

Sweeping maybe but understated if anything! Ive always wondered why butgays often make up a majority of male tory activists at London events, especially CF ones. There are a disproportionate number of gays in the other parties too and in politics genreally but not as much as in the Conservatives. Its a self-sustaining social network in London, I wonder what attracts gays to the party elsewhere? Are they naturally "sound"?!

His article is bizarre! I actually like Brian Coleman (not in that way - sorry Mr Coleman) but these allegations are completely unfounded and unnecessary. They do dovetail with other things I've heard from people who I believe are in a position to know, but having said that Derek Conway is a great ally for gay men in the Tory Party and I trust what he says. I think that sometimes, gay Tories (of which I am one) are a bit too keen to claim Ted Heath as one of their own. Having said that, there's barely any evidence that he was heterosexual.

I think I'm right in saying that we have now selected more gay candidates for Parliament than either of the other parties so far, and in fact most of them are in winnable seats.

Tim, I suspect you'd better have your red pen ready as this thread is bound to degenerate into an argument about whether homosexuality is immoral. And was putting Alan Duncan on the advert a deliberate choice?!

The MessageSpace adverts are beyond my control, James!

I must say I'm not at all sure about the wisdom of starting this thread! On a political blog I really do not think it is appropriate to discuss people's sexual proclivities. Frankly I could not care less what people do as long as, to quote The Late Mrs Patrick Campbell, "They do not do it in the street and frighten the horses"!

Extremely disappointing to read Brian's article and outrageous that he can make unsubstantiated claims that cannot be defended. He should issue an immediate retraction and move on to what he was elected to do (representing the people of London, not raising his profile...)

"a" - I don't think Tim was being critical; he was pointing out that there are far more gay men in public life and political activism than we would expect even if we accepted the most wildly-inflated estimates of our numbers in the populace generally!

I could start speculating why but I must leave - my partner and I are meeting a gay friend of ours who is a Cabinet minister's special adviser (we try and avoid talking politics too much.

If any gay Tory women are reading this perhaps they'd like to venture an opinion as to why they are so thinly-represented in the party?

Brian

Everyone knows you are gay - nobody cares.

But every time we approach polling day, any polling day (except the ones that might affect your campaign, you shove your foot in your mouth, presumably to get attention for your tiny ego.

Why not make everyone's life simpler, when you feel the need for publicity just run down Barnet High street with your underpants on your head and leave serious politicans alone.

Cottaging is a very horrible thing

I don't like the thought of sex in a public lavatory, homosexual or hetrosexual. However it is important to remember there wasn't the kind of gay social scene then we have now. To me, the really 'horrible' thing is that gay men were forced to behave in this way until very recently.........

The gay scene is as ugly as Coleman describes (MPs putting their hands down young activists trousers) because men usually need women to civilise them.

Just read the new statesman piece. One thing I'm sure we can agree on, this is a deeply distasteful magazine article.

Agreed comstock. Every phrase and paragraph is attention-seeking. I'm disappointed that ConservativeHome is feeding Brian Coleman's desire for the limelight.

Would it not have been more advisable to ignore Brian Coleman's comments if you don't like them, rather than publicising them on a widely-read website like this?

Sorry to be critical, but Coleman was obviously looking to cause a bit of a stir with his comments and you've played right into his hands.

I'm glad ConservativeHome has published what Coleman wrote. I now know what to think of him.

I never knew Ted supported Fulham.

Ultimately I think that is a pretty non-descript and uninspiring article, but I think the editorial stance here is a bit over the top. He is stating an allegation in a throw-away comment that could quite easily be more urban myth than anything truthful. I'd say it's an unnecessary comment, but should be treated as a rumour, not a claim.

"In my experience the only people fascinated as to who does what and to whom are other gay men." was one of the bits of the article that I thought showed a great naivity. Are the only people that care about John Prescott sleeping with his secretary also fat men that sleep with office staff? No, of course not. Gossip is just very popular. I don't think the press would make a big thing about Oaten and Hughes if they didn't think people were interested.

That is merely an article about the media's stance on scandal. You could replace homosexuality with adultery quite easily and the article would be the same.

I was informed by a policeman some years ago that a wide cross-section of males, many of them heterosexual and happily married, go cottaging. It is about thrill-seeking, and the danger of getting caught is part of that.

It appears to be a part of the male psyche that some men cannot resist, particularly those who are seen as restrained and civilised in all other aspects of their lives.

Accusations of a gay mafia running CCHQ have been rife for decades - maybe it's because not having a family leaves you free to devote lots of time to politics? Who cares? I don't.

The only thing Ted loved was Brussels, sadly.

I don't think it matters what sexuality Heath was. Someone said it wasn't proven he was homosexual, but it wasn't proven he was heterosexual, either. I think that's true, and it's best to just leave it like that.

Accusations like those made by Coleman are not fair without evidence anyway, but it's particularly unsavoury to talk of the deceased like that, knowing there will be no rebuke.

Ah well. I'm not bothered about it. There are more important things to discuss, aren't there?

Politics can be a hugely time consuming business so it may be that gay men have both the time and the inclination to devote to political activity. I used to struggle to combine council business with my own family life (2 children under 4) since my wife works full time in London.
Many of my university contemporaries were politically active but have slipped away from the 'scene' as marriage, work and their children have become higher priorities. Simple as that, I suspect.

I have never seen so many Conservatives come to the defence of Edward Heath. Well it makes a change.

And as for Brian Coleman wanting to raise his profile, it that not what all politians do or at least are suppose to do?

What a disappointing thread. There's more filth and smut on a Guido thread talking about the price of fish.

"Cottaging is a very horrible thing. Brian Coleman's allegation is very unfortunate and is only being made now because Sir Edward Heath has died and is unable to sue the cowardly Mr Coleman".

I don't know if he would have sued. He did not sue the late Jimmy Goldsmith after he, I believe if memory serves, placed an advert in the national press accusing Heath of lying about the aims of the then Common Market.

I have no time for Heath whatsoever (his sexuality or lack of it was his affair); he deprived us of our sovereignty, fishing, conservative instincts and acted like a woman scorned. I could n't less what people allege about Heath.
If you want to delete this post, Mr Editor feel free. The mention of the name Heath breeds anger.

I think that this only makes Brian Coleman appear indiscreet and attention seeking; not necessarily good qualities.

It occurs to me that his article doesn't really appear to have a point to it. His allegations about the late Sir Ted and his sex life are unverifiable, as everyone accepts, so what was the point in making them?

public life in general, attracts a disproportionate number of gay men

The word disproportionate is discriminatory at a time when we try to reflect society in public institutions; at some stage there will have to be political parties more reflective of the makeup of the nation rather than the highly cliquish organisations that currently exist.

"I don't know if he would have sued. He did not sue the late Jimmy Goldsmith after he, I believe if memory serves, placed an advert in the national press accusing Heath of lying about the aims of the then Common Market."

Possibly because that was the truth...

I've never liked Coleman's politics. He's an absolute lunatic and liability to the Party. Hypocritical, disloyal and lacking political sense. He also hates Turks and is bought off by the Greeks (sue me if I'm wrong!). A non-academic, I would find it very difficult to vote for him if I lived in his constituency. He knows my views.

Don't beat about the bush Justin, Say what you think!!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1695767.ece

great article about this by Matthew Parris

"The late Ted Heath managed to obtain the highest Office of State after he was supposedly advised to cease his Cottaging activities in the 1950s when he became a Privy Councillor."

Having re-read this I'm sure there is a joke on the word 'privy' to be made.

This really is a non story imho. Personally I don't care what anyone does in their private life so long as it doesn't wilfully hurt anyone else.

There is indeed a long a distinguished history of gay activists in the Tory party and the party has been the better for that (& no I'm not one of them before you all jump to conclusions). Not so sure that either the Party or the Country was the better for Ted Heath's views on Europe though.

As somebody who ISN'T Brian Coleman I can honestly agree that his words are disgusting.

I sincerely hope that his actions do not equal to what he's said.

Having thought about (for all of five seconds) Heath's sexual orientation and preferences the answer to it is staring us in the face: I have stated previously that Heath for much of his failed political life acted like a woman scorned, therefore Heath was probably a bit of a transvestite. Problem solved. Fell free to delete this comment, Mr Editor.
Who would have thought it with that adopted impressive accent an orl, but then again he fooled a lot of people.

As other posters have said, Gay men normally have more time to devote to politics or their careers. My eldest could not have gone round the world a few times working for P&O if he had been straight. No woman would have stood for it. I daresay the reason there are more gay folk in the Conservative Party, is simply that we are more inclusive, fair, and broad minded if you like, than NuLab. I'd better leave the Limp Dims out of this particular equasion.

As a straight man, with no interest in cottaging, I happen to think that historical intolerance of homosexuality was the reason that cottaging ever existed. Thank goodness we now live in an age where people are free to enter stable loving relationships without the stigma of being labelled a criminal.

If Edward Heath was starting out on a political career today he would probably still reject any lifelong relationship and be unable to obtain high office due to a privacy-intolerant media.

I sat in Parliament with Ted Heath for five years. A shy man who found it difficult to form relationships and who was embittered for the rest of his life by his defeat by Margaret Thatcher in 1975 he was however fundementally a man of integrity. He sometimes was gruff and stiff but at other times he could be witty and kind hearted especially to new MPs.

I didn't form the impression that he was homosexual and I certainly don't believe he would have prowled around public lavatories as Tom Driberg did.

It is a pity that these allegations have been made which slur the dead.

Cottaging? I thought 18DS was a terrace. ;-)

I just wish Ted was alive today so he could stand trial for treason.

I think the last sentence of Nicholas' 00:53 post sum the matter up.

The last comment by Better Dead @ 06:10 sums the matter up better.

Ted Heath was certainly capable of sparkling in younger male company, as I experienced myself when a group of about eight Tory undergraduates, which happened to be all male, had dinner with him in the late 70s. He was supposed to be in his great sulk at the time but you would never have known from the gusto and wit with which he took on us young "monetarists". More in retrospect than at the time, I think his orientation might have had quite a lot to do with his enjoyment of the occasion.

I neither know, not care other than as an interesting historical curiosity, if he went "cottaging", but it seems unlikely. Might a future historian find something on a police file - probably not, as it would have been deliberately destroyed. What about the secret services and the vetting process - again, perhaps some future historian might be able to dig it up?

The most relevant thing about his personal life to me, which was rather sad although not confined to probably gay men, was in his last interview, not coincidentally given to a 17 year old for his school magazine, which was reprinted in the Spectator just after he died. When asked about his hopes for the (world's or country's) future, he said he had none, as that was for the interviewer's generation. How sad that someone who presumably once cared so much had no children, grandchildren, or vision of future generations beyond them. Biologically it would be full stop when he died, which he did a few months after the interview. I don't believe any retired statesman with grandchildren would ever have made that remark.

Those of us with children, for all their trials and tribulations, should never forget how blessed we are.

One final thought. The thing he cared most about was of course Europe, based in essence on avoiding another war. He was not unique in his generation in being driven by that, but I wonder whether the true possessor of his heart was a slain fellow wartime officer. Once he had done his "duty" by him, perhaps he no longer cared.

It is strange that after any Statesman dies, people come out of the woodwork and say "they were homosexual" without any proof whatsoever. It happens nearly every time.

It is as though homosexuals want to claim support from someone who could add a seal of approval to their activities, and cannot refute their claim,

It is strange that after any Statesman dies, people come out of the woodwork and say "they were homosexual" without any proof whatsoever. It happens nearly every time.

It is as though homosexuals want to claim support from someone who could add a seal of approval to their activities, and cannot refute their claim,

What a perceptive comment from Torygirl... she's absolutely right of course! I've nearly finished my "I always had my doubts about Yeltsin, you know" banner, just in time for the Hackney Conservative Lesbian & Gay & Deceased Statespeople Pride march now (some pictures here).

Yes Torygirl, but only if they are Europhiles. If they're eurosceptics they can be accused anytime - Liam Fox was so accused, on the eve of the party leadership battle for example...despite a long marriage and no evidence at all.

The Europhiles are the more homosexual it appears, and have been referred to before now as the 'gay mafia', running across party lines. Portillo for example is on friendly terms with Mandelson, and they occasionally dine ensemble.

Europhiles can be assured of discretion by the media at all times, so few are told. Mandelson, for example had his Brazilian holiday romp stories removed.

On the hetero front, Major was able to keep his Curry silent by being a good boy and signing the Maastricht Treaty. IDS who only porked his wife by all accounts, had to be defamed with false allegations about financial misconduct instead with Betsygate - all concocted for the BBC by Michael Crick.

Edward Heath was well protected as the guy who signed us into Europe. By the way, who paid for his yacht Morning Cloud? It is unlikely he could have funded it himself. Was that part of the deal with the EU too?

This has to be one of the most ridiculous debates in recent memory on this site.
It is nobody's business to discuss the sexual preferences of a public figure unless there is a clear indication of hypocrisy or the public figure makes their preference a key part of their 'appeal' to the electorate.
It is high time this country's media gave it up and turned to the very real threat to national life posed by a government paralysed by infighting and a loss of seld-confidence.
Don't give the author of this piece any additional publicity or reason to think he matters.

Editor,

The comment from National Association of Ted Heath Burners @ 10.25 must have slipped through the net and must surely be deleted.

Regardless of their political persuasion and feelings towards him, the comments are extremely abusive and must surely be deleted from the thread??

Wasn't it "Morning Sickness"?

Heath's premiership was a disaster for this country.

Euro-realists have indeed been subject to the same gossip. Canon Eric James of Gray's Inn similarly accused Enoch Powell of having a preference for the company of men shortly after the latter's death. Whether it's true or not in either case is of the utmost irrelevance. Heath and Powell will both be remembered for their respective selling out and defence of British parliamentary sovereignty.

Canon Eric James of Gray's Inn similarly accused Enoch Powell of having a preference for the company of men shortly after the latter's death.

He was a Professor of Greek in Sydney, it is likely he had to write papers on Greek poetry and verse...it is not unusual for scholars to have to comment on Graeco-Roman artefacts and practices

As for having a preference for the company of men I should think that would be quite natural instead of the inanities often offered in conversation when men find themselves isolated.

We live in a peculiar age when everything is sexualised and politicised

By the way, who paid for his yacht Morning Cloud? It is unlikely he could have funded it himself.

Before becoming an MP, Edward Heath had been a lieutenant-colonel in the army and a merchant banker. By the time he bought Morning Cloud I in 1969, he had been working in senior positions, without a family to support, for 29 years. It's not at all unlikely that he could fund his passion for sailing without the sort of scandal that you're wondering about.

I'm impressed at your claim to be one of the "Top 100 Conservative Bloggers" though!

This was always a brave thread for you to start, Editor, but at least it has ended up just being bonkers rather than rabidly abusive. That is a material advance from where the site was a few months ago whenever anything about sexual preferences came up.

Only continuing it because I think bonkers have charm (pun intended), Tapestry's fantasies are undermined before they even start by two wrong facts. Whilst I have no reason to think he is anything other than heterosexual, Liam Fox has not had a long marriage. I stand corrected but I am fairly sure that he got married for the first time just after the leadership election. Secondly, Portillo is not and never has been a europhile - he was a eurosceptic "bastard" in Major's cabinet. And, as it happens, has had a long marriage, which Tapestry sees as a clincher (albeit inaccurate) with Liam Fox. Further, anyone seeing Portillo flirting with Diane Abbot on TV each week could not possibly think he is gay, whatever the variety of his past experiences.

I think we will just have to assume that Tapestry got back from a good lunch rather early - and I don't even care if it was in the company of men or women.

By the way, who paid for his yacht Morning Cloud? It is unlikely he could have funded it himself..

He had an account with Slater-Walker and an account at Brown Shipley. Slater Walker was very lucrative for Heath as an investor

I would offer a comment. But it would probably be inane. Eh, TomTom.


There ought to be a remake of "Death in Venice" called "Death in Salisbury". It would be about a retired English statesman, who becomes infatuated with a strikingly attractive choirboy, but without any physical involvement. The film score would be some of the gloomier bits of Elgar, in place of Mahler.

Following the death of the main character, we could have Margaret Thatcher arriving at his funeral to the strains of "Praise to the Holiest in the Highest", from "The Dream of Gerontius".

At the scene where the boy is practising on the piano, it should still be Beethoven, but not Fur Elise - either the "Rule Britannia" or "God Save the Queen" variations...

Sean

Whilst I appreciate your wit, I think your suggestion is totally unfair on Elgar; the more so given the BofE choses the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth to remove him from the twenty pound note; but perhaps that should not surprise us given their apparent inability to control real inflation either.

I find it very strange that Conservatives almost worship the Leaders of their party until they are deposed. The former Leaders almost invariably become the objects of vicious personal attacks.

The present Leader of course is both worshipped and attacked. What will be said about him when he goes?

Heath was a kind and witty man and one of his remembered witticisms was when he allegedly remarked, after hearing of "that woman's" resignation: "Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Yes sir! He was a real wit.

Regardless of his sexual tastes (music turned him on) he will always be remembered down at the Bromley OAP club (so I am reliably informed) of his rendition of Jerry Lee Lewis's, "Great Balls of Fire" (played on the pianoforte in C flat - Heath called it his "Joanna") during which most members of the audience had an orgasm, but not Heath, he just smiled like the enigmatic Mona Lisa and left them wondering, once again, as to his sexuality.
It was Heath's legacy to the nation - was he or was n't he? Unfortunately, that was all Heath left to the nation.

I'm most certainly of the opinion that flirting with Diane Abbott on national TV is a considerably greater cause for concern than vague and unsubstantiated allegations of cottaging. At the very least an eye test is urgently called for.

You'll be relieved to hear that I'm not blogging these days, Mark Fulford. Iain Dale kindly listed me last year in his guide to UK Political Blogging.

Londoner you're right about the various terms of marriage, but Portillo was to my mind undoubtedly a europhile (pretending to be otherwise). He was to the fore in undermining IDS. He is similar to William Hague in that he talks a eurosceptic talk but acts for the other side.

The allegation that Heath was a deviant rings all too true. He also turned his back on many other conservative principles. He was a poor politician and a worse P.M.
Clearly it is folly to let such people into public life, and the sooner deviancy is recriminalised the better. It is a repulsive practice instinctively abhorred by normal people. Let them stick to their closets.

Glad Tapestry sobered up enough to recall marital details, although posting at 4.32am suggests he may still be in another timezone (or perhaps planet). I don't agree with him about Portillo. By the fall of IDS, Europe wasn't the issue.

Appropriate perhaps that "Ross McKay" is the last post on here. Reductio ad bloody absurdum. You couldn't make such people up - oh, except probably Ross just did.

I agree with Ross: Working towards a "United States of Europe", as Heath did, is "a repulsive practice instinctively abhorred by normal people"

Re 14:55 - LOL

What is illogical or unreasonable about my previous post? Most civilised countries within living memory banned unnatural vice. It has been proven that it is an unhealthy and indeed dangerous condition. Allowing deviants to work in schools etc. is dangerous to children, given their greater propensity to prey on the young. No good reason has ever been proposed for legalising it, except that the legalisers were themselves in many cases practitioners, or their friends were. How many MPs who voted for the shoal of pro-perv legislation since the 1960s ever declared an interest?

Re Portaloo/IDS, London. IDS was attacked resmorselessly by Portillo in 2003 until his own constituents in K & C told him he was likely to be deselected if he continued.

After that Blunt, Maude and Maples were to the fore in arranging IDS' media assassination, known I believe as the Portilistas.

The issue of Europe was and remains the one that ensures that eurosceptic leaders like IDS and Thatcher are first assassinated, and then have their reputations demolished and buried. Liam Fox is coming close to being seen as a potential eurosceptic leader and is already enjoying some damage to reputation in the media as a result, with stories manufactured if necessary. (Fox gay, IDS an embezzler, Thatcher allegedly a woman)

The Urofans like Heath, Major, Hague and the nearly leader Portillo all live on a demi-gods in the media long after they've taken the lead in the Party. Their faults and human failings are handled with discretion.

The Party Board system introduced by William Hague and media control ensures that Conservative Party members who are eurosceptic are progressively disenfranchised, and eurosceptic leaders are sidelined. Portillo has played a big part in the process.

I'll second the comment above from Londoner that this thread has been remarkably civilized.

Cllr Bennett, it's not always possible to form an opinion as to whether one is a homosexual you know. There's no dress code!

I'm not sure how true the comment above(I forget who from)about Heath having no hopes for the future is since the text can't convey the tone of it. It could just as easily be interpreted as him saying that it wasn't his place to make all decisions for people of the future which is quite unobjectionable, even laudable.

The poster also said:

"I don't believe any retired statesman with grandchildren would ever have made that remark."

I find that a bit naive and rather resent the suggestion that childless individuals are less likely to care about future generations. I think you're wrong about that and I have no doubt there are bitter and selfish people who do have children and grandchildren (not implying Heath was selfish or bitter btw)

Whoever made this comment: (sorry I keep forgetting who's posted what)

"It is strange that after any Statesman dies, people come out of the woodwork and say "they were homosexual" without any proof whatsoever. It happens nearly every time.It is as though homosexuals want to claim support from someone who could add a seal of approval to their activities, and cannot refute their claim." "

Oh come on. It does not happen nearly every time. That's pushing it! It's a tad patronizing, as Mr Archer alluded to above, to say that homosexuals are so desperate for validation they'd pursue such a ridiculous strategy. Homosexuals don't all gather together behind a big bush every other tuesday, to decide what line to take, they have minds of their own. That theory holds about as much water as an alcoholic's whiskey. There are plenty of homosexuals to laud from History. No need for anyone to go casting around in odd places for them.

Ross's comments did make me chortle, even if I do find them exasperating, though I'm happy to see they have fallen on deaf ears for their patent fallaciousness.

I direct my comments only to Ross here, since I'm sure they're adundantly obvious to most others. Homosexuality is not an unhealthy vice. If you think that, I pray for a government that will offer you a better education. Better still why wait, find out the facts for yourself.

Homosexuality is not in and of itself unhealthy or dangerous. Psychiatrists, scientists ( most of whom were probably not themselves homosexuals or even, as you suggest, friends of homosexuals- if you study the history of homosexual law reform you'll see this) and common sense have deemed it not to be directly linked with any form of mental or physical ill health save for the fact some homosexuals are more likely to kill themselves because of the isolation they face. The fact that you call homosexuals deviants says a lot about you and reveals nothing about the substance of your arguments because there isn't any, to be blunt.

It is offensive and wrong to say that homosexuals are inherently predatory or inclined to form relations with children. Show me the data that says this! There is none. Most sexual offenders are heterosexual men though I doubt I'll be hearing you call for them to barred from schools. I'm aware of no proportionate difference between the rates of offending for heterosexual and homosexual men. If you'd like to show me evidence to the contrary, be my guest. I don't think that you can. Your use of the term "pro-perv legislation" renders your credibility null and void. You are a bigot, in this instance at least, sir, pure and simple.

I commend the Editors of this site for encouraging a reasonable discourse on homosexuality. You have dispelled some of my preconceptions from earlier days.

If we have been propagandised into believing that there is no normality left in the world, then it is fair to say I'm wrong to describe deviants as deviants. But I still think that guys should fancy girls, and that such is normality. If it weren't, we'd have died out in prehistory.
As for preying on kiddies, deviants do indeed commit disproportionately more such vile crimes than normals. See World Net Daily 29/4/02 which is replete with information and statistical evidence, much of it from Dr. Judith Reisman, and from Steve Baldwin. You can also look into the case in Canada, of Chris Kmepling, a professional schoolteacher and counsellor fired for warning parents and children about the hazards of homosexuality.
Of course a ban on teaching work or other youth-related activity is appropriate for deviants.
As for psychology, for what that exotic profession is worth, it is surely well-known at least among conservatives that, in the USA, the APA was intimidated into changing its verdict on perversion. One day it was a disorder, the next, after demos, hooliganism etc. had preceded the discussion, it wasn't!
Impugning my education and spitting out epithets like 'bigot' hardly raises the pro-perv standard high in the argument.

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