Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Willie Horton, or will he not get elected?" Smears, lies and the No Pope protest

Remember this?

Hate campaigns never go out of fashion.

Yesterday around 30 people parked themselves outside Westminster Cathedral to protest against the Pope and Roman Catholicism. They brandished placards depicting a priest putting his hands on a child's shoulders in a paternal gesture with the slogan, "Be very afraid" underneath. Peter Tatchell was one of those who carried a placard reading, "Pope's 2001 order to bishops: cover up child abuse".

There's no other way of putting this but that slogan was an outright lie. A publically-expressed, hatred-formenting lie.

It's a deeply sad thing to see, not the brazen lie about the Pope and a document easily found in English translation on the internet but the sight of a man wrecking his own hard-won reputation for the sake of, what, precisely? Nothing of such importance that it justifies the falsehood on the placard.


Blogger Dominic Mary said...

Let us bear in mind that such deliberately false comments amount to 'Incitement to Religious Hatred' . . . which is now a crime.

3/29/2010 1:30 AM  
Blogger Red Maria said...


I think the protesters gathered outside Westminster Cathedral opposed the Race and Religious Hatred Act 2006, supposedly on free-speech grounds.

They did not oppose the Coroners and Justice Bill however, which in its original form presented an equally serious threat to free speech. I don't recall their vigorous campaigns in defence of the Waddington Amendment's free speech protection, or the popping of champagne corks and jubilation when the Lords refused to repeal the amendment. So much for their belief in free speech, eh.

3/29/2010 2:00 AM  
Blogger Crux Fidelis said...

Peter Tatchell hasn't always been such a valiant seeker of the truth. I seem to remember that when he was the Labour candidate for Bermondsey at a by-election c.1982 he denied that he was gay after 'revelations' by the 'Sun' to that effect. This is the same man who now wants to 'out' anyone in public life he suspects of being homosexual.

3/29/2010 2:16 AM  
Blogger Red Maria said...

I think we can allow him that, Crux Fidelis. He was younger and had just experienced the ugliest and most bigoted by-election campaign in living memory, the press was vastly more homophobic then than it is now (see Matthew Parris's book, Chance Witness for examples of just how nasty it could be) and there were very few openly gay people in public life at the time. In fact I can think of only one who was: John Gielgud.

3/29/2010 2:43 AM  
Blogger Sirian said...

Why should we allow him that?! Tatchell is a hypocrite in every last bone in his body.

3/29/2010 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Fair Player said...

So why didn't someone do what Tatchell would have done if the boot was on the other foot, and ask a passing policeman to arrest him for 'hate crimes'.

3/29/2010 3:25 PM  
Blogger Crux Fidelis said...

"I think we can allow him that"

Why should we, Maria? After his Bermondsey experiences one would expect him to be more sympathetic to those who wish to keep their sexuality private.

3/29/2010 11:38 PM  

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