The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there #3 Mary Kenny on how times and attitudes have changed
In 1978, I was living in Bloomsbury in central London when the PIE held a rally in one of the local meeting halls once so beloved of Bertrand Russell and the Bloomsbury Group. Members of the PIE had affiliated themselves to the National Council for Civil Liberties and some in the NCCL supported their cause. To the surprise of many, however, this particular meeting was strormed by a group of working-class grannies who denounced the idea of paedophile relations as 'wicked' and 'evil'. There was a fierce hullabaloo, and the PIE withdrew.
Liberals were appalled at the fracas, but the battling grannies gradually gained public support. (And later, militant feminists began to support Mrs Whitehouse on both pornography and paedophilia.) Valerie Riches, founder of The Responsible Society, also campaigned against the PIE, and was one of the strongest voices against that particular 'liberation' movement, which was within an ace of being accepted. "
From Mary Kenny's column in the Catholic Herald via David Lindsay.
Mary Kenny is a very fine writer. Her 1997 book, Goodbye to Catholic Ireland was a superb work, gracefully written and crammed with fascinating detail. I have a well-thumbed copy on my bookshelf and thirteen years after its publication it's a book I still regularly consult. Mary - in that wonderful book, she expressed irritation at the habit of referring to women by their surnames, insisting that the name Mary is a very good one, which indeed it is - is, I think, like me, a fan of that high priestess of Gynocracy, the Divine Camille.