The Daily Mail would like its readers to consider homosexuality. In particular, the Ephraim Hardcastle column invites you to reflect on Iain Dale, prospective Tory candidate for Bracknell, in light of his sexuality – “overtly gay”, because in Mail-land the appropriate attitude for gayness is “closeted and depressed”. But there’s more! “Overtly gay” Iain has invited other gays to participate in the political process by giving an interview to PinkNews. “Isn’t it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?” sniffs Hardcastle, because the Mail just knows that these gays keep their politics in their jeans’ back pocket.
I hope Iain and his readers will be successful in registering their polite disgust with the newspaper’s editors. And maybe, having been roused to concern over the malign influence of homophobia in politics, they’ll also question their party’s associations in Europe and the alliances that have been formed with overtly gay-hating political groups – although Iain has seemed pretty sanguine about that so far. Maybe they’ll even decide that ad-hom attacks are off-limits, or that tabloid reporting is broken and unreliable. Maybe. But for now, good luck with those complaints.
Text © Sarah Ditum, 2009