Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 25 June 2006

Ashley Cole awarded damages for 'gay slur'

England footballer Ashley Cole and a radio DJ have received an apology from that 'journal of record', the News of the World, for wrongly linking them to a "gay sex romp".

What interests me, though, is the very concept that it is somehow a 'slur', or an 'insult', to be or to be thought of as gay. Mnay of us, including me, have in one way or another been brought up (or 'raised' as our American cousins might put it - Ed) to go along with this mode of thinking. I am glad to say I got rid of that particular kind of dead-end thinking many years ago. In my humble opinion one's sexuality, one's gender, one's race or one's ethnicity are neither good nor bad - they just are.

However, what I think the Ashley Cole case, or even more so the bizarre Liberace libel case many years ago or the sad self-delusion played out by Kenneth Williams throughout his life, display are that society has not moved on vary far - just scratch a little below the surface and the same old irrationalities come seeping out, spreading their puss and malignity.

In conclusion I am glad for you, Ashley Cole, that you have got the apology which, presumably, has been so important to you - I am just sorry that you and many others (particularly in the notoriously homophobic world of football) consider this a matter of any importance at all.

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