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TV preview: Scott Mills explores homophobia in Uganda

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  1. I’m glad this programme is being made.

  2. Me too. Perhaps the hyseterical bunch on here who constantly exaggerate any homophobia and inequality in the UK will get some kind of reality check. It’ll certainly put the UK into perspective.

  3. Mark my words, David Bahati is another Idi Amin “the butcher of Uganda” in the making. All the signs are there. He was educated in the UK, formed political alliances with the Christian Republican Fundamentalists to further his political ambitions in Uganda so that he can begin his real climb to power. Gays are just the first on his list to be eliminated. Bahati is a certainty to be standing in the Hague accused of crimes against humanity it’s just a matter of time.

  4. Will definitely be watching. Good on you Scott for making the programme

  5. Very brave of Scott Mills.

  6. have you ever been the victim of homophobia? Reality check – do you have any idea how ill hate crime makes a person feel and the affect it has on a person. Sure there are more vile people in other countries attacking gay people but Im concerned about what going on here in the UK.

    far too many men have died in the UK from homophobia

  7. gav , here here. Reaity check seems to me to be saying that homophobia here is less important then in uganda. That we are making a fuss over nothing. Well I know two gay men that have been murderer here, one a very dear friend. When I am next at their graves, I will remind them how lucky they were not to have been born in Uganda, and how lucky they were to be born here, oh and remind them both to stop making such a fuss, over nothing!

  8. Christian evangelical mania and “Covenanting Uganda to God” has created holocaust conditions there for Gay men and lesbian women.

  9. So, what’s Mr. Mills discovers?

    Gay-cowards?

    Sure – and nothing more.

  10. Kurt: I think if I were in that situation, I would rather be a live coward than a dead hero.

    If you think it’s so easy living there, why don’t you pop over with all your gay rights mates and stage a gay kiss-in to demonstrate you’re not frightened of them?

  11. Scott mills is a jackass he should start in London and it’s not just murders how about suicides and mental illness and homelessness.

  12. Dan Filson 11 Feb 2011, 8:08am

    Do those who say start at home not realise that a killing of one gay man anywhere in the world is an offence against each and every one of us?

    In this ever smaller world we cannot allow an entire continent – certain honourable nations excepted – to be riddled with institutional homophobia and legitimised state murder. How selfish can you get. For once I find myself saying, on reading Spanner, yeah right. It is worth pointing out that David Kato did speak out, with such bravery as he had no urgency to return to Uganda from the U.K.

  13. Gav/Jim

    I resent anyone who attempts to equate the homophobia in the UK with that in Uganda. It is so low here in comparison. That’s not saying it doesn’t exist, it’s saying that the UK is a far safer and fairer place to live. That is what you should be showing – the truth. It’s like impying that crime in Cambridge is the same as in Durban. It distorts the truth for the sake of causing a bit of hysteria and spreading fear.

    Do you think it’s helpful to make out the situation here is far worse than it actually is? Can someone please tell me why they would think it is a good idea to do that?

    We used to get these crackpots from the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard who would come round our SU Council meetings and LGBT meetings that we were constantly under attack and we should be on our guard at all times because there was danger on every street corner. They’d tell us not to talk to our GPs about our sexuality, not to get a Hep B jab at our local surgery, only have an HIV test in an anonymous mobile unit etc and then patronisingly fling endless condoms and lube at us as if we were incapable of buying our own. And this was only 5 years ago.

    Scaremongering of the grossest kind. I’ve ignored all of their advice and haven’t had a problem. And I don’t know anyone who has. But that’s because I don’t want to live in some paranoid homo-ghetto like some on here. Some of you are quick to talk about your murdered friends etc, but you are very clearly the exception, not the rule. A huge exception. The overwhelming majority gay people – or even straight people – do not know a gay man who has been murdered. Or even anyone who has been murdered. Murder is not common – and when it does occur it is most often by someone known to the victim.

    Remember a lot of young, impressionable people read this site – before coming out too. It is highly irresponsible of people to paint a picture of British society that is not real, just as a means to play the victim. Advise them to be a little wary, by all means, but don’t imply that they should never leave their homes or frequent non-gay establishments because their lives are at risk.

    If you can find me a UK daily that outs people Rolling Stone-style, I’d love to hear from you. Won’t hold my breath.

  14. Yes, homophobia is worse in Uganda than it is in the UK, that much is obvious.
    But the implied “if you live in the UK you’ve got nothing to complain about” message being put forward here doesn’t help anyone.
    For sure we should put pressure on Uganda, but that doesn’t mean to say we have to button it when there are less obvious infringements on LGBT equality here.
    Why does it have to be either/ or? In an ideal world it should be both (though it has to be said Uganda is the tougher nut to crack due to the type of dictator it regularly churns out, plus the fact they resent western political interference unless it’s rightwing evangelical fundies).

  15. mmmmmmmmmm, well I have to speak as I find. After eight years of abuse I HAD to move, because of many many homophobic neighbours. On buying a new house I had to settle for one I didnt like because the area was gay safe, I did my home work. Was talking a while back to two gay people that were having to watch their dog day and night as some one who had threaten them had tried to poison it. What I am saying is all homphobia where ever it is is WRONG. You cannot say oh the USA, or the UK has a smaller amount of deaths by homophobia, so it doesnt count and its some what natural wastage! It is insulting to those who have died. And remember mmmmmm all those in this counrty over the years that were inprision, killed, hit and abused in this counrty so you can sit and pass an opinion safely on your PC about gay issues without fear of some come back. Or perhaps because all those people , lived in the UK in the past, they dont count in your eyes.

  16. Flap

    “But the implied “if you live in the UK you’ve got nothing to complain about” message being put forward here doesn’t help anyone.”

    Nobody has said that. But I’ve said you have LESS to complain about ans that should be taken into account, rather than the usual nutters on here who complain about ‘rife’ or ‘endemic’ homophobia in the UK. It is neither and I will challenge anyone who implies that – it is always dangerous to distort the truth.

    “For sure we should put pressure on Uganda, but that doesn’t mean to say we have to button it when there are less obvious infringements on LGBT equality here”

    Nobody said that either. Some of you seem to think that by being realistic about the UK situation isnstead of being scaremongering somehow means we have to be silent. Not at all. But we have to be REALISTIC in our claims regarding levels of homophobia and legal protection.

    Trying to compare us to Uganda, implying that we are no different, is like sreeching ‘yeah, well we get get cases of rickets too here ya know, hissssssss’. People will just accuse us of playing the violin and wallowing in our own self-pity.

    It is also worth noting that, like all other crime, we will never stamp out homophobic crime competely. ike murder, theft, rape or any other crime, there will always be a few butters loose in society that no amount of education or legal protection can stop. As far as I am concerned, we are getting very close to that ‘inevitable’ level of crime.

    Which Uganda is clearly not. So let’s not exaggerate.

  17. Jim

    “mmmmmmmmmm, well I have to speak as I find. After eight years of abuse I HAD to move, because of many many homophobic neighbours. On buying a new house I had to settle for one I didnt like because the area was gay safe, I did my home work. Was talking a while back to two gay people that were having to watch their dog day and night as some one who had threaten them had tried to poison it.”

    Whilst it is not good that these things have happened, I am not for a second going to assume that this is the ‘rule’ based on just ONE testimony. They are millions of other gay people out in our society who have never had such problems. It is like claiming that the murder of Joanna Yeates is somehow the norm for Bristol.

    “What I am saying is all homphobia where ever it is is WRONG.”

    Yes and so do I. But this isn’t about whether it is right or wrong, it’s about the number of homophobia-related crimes, the quality of life and freedom of homosexuals. On that basis, we are streets ahead of Uganda and trying to claim that we are not does no-one any favours.

    “You cannot say oh the USA, or the UK has a smaller amount of deaths by homophobia, so it doesnt count and its some what natural wastage!”

    Nobody has said that either. Why are you lot insisting on making things up!

    “It is insulting to those who have died. And remember mmmmmm all those in this counrty over the years that were inprision, killed, hit and abused in this counrty so you can sit and pass an opinion safely on your PC about gay issues without fear of some come back.”

    What is the point of lamenting on those who WERE in prison pre-decriminalisation? We are talking about the situation of TODAY, which is a different world altogether. You’re trying to pass off the suffering of others and past injustices as your own, which is twisted. I am fully aware how simple things are now and how I can sit on my PC and type away about the issues as much as I want. Which is precisely what I am trying to get you to realise – life for us in the UK is far better than it used to be and NOWHERE near as bad as Uganda. So let’s not claim it is, right?

    “Or perhaps because all those people , lived in the UK in the past, they dont count in your eyes.”

    They count, yes, but only as aspects of history like any other. What about all those that were not allowed to divorce or have abortions when it was illegal? Do we start dragging every injustice of the past up, when it has no relevance today, just to lament on misery and score petty victim points? It was a different world, not comparable to the UK today. That should be celebrated – much more than going on about those poor peope who were imprisoned or killed. The community needs to move on and embrace the freer world of today instead of hankering after an unjust past where they could have played the victim role more intensely. It’s just sick.

  18. Mmmmmmm – Fair enough, there is always the danger of lapsing into hyperbole and scaremongering for it’s own sake, but at some stage you should nail your colours to the mast.
    I take it from what you said that there are at least some LGBT issues in the UK you would deem worthy of our attention.
    What kind of issues would you class as reasonable to address?

  19. mmmmmmmmmm

    have your ever considered that you not having had any trouble that you might be the exception to the rule. I am sorry but you come across very naive. Go to any gay bar and ask around , have you or do you know any one that has been bullied threaten , had trouble at work, or know some one who has been assulted or murdered. The list goes on , and most will say yes. And as for our gay crime coming to a level, do you not realise the hard work of people sitting in dirty roads and carrying banners in the pissing rain that got us to this level. And do you not realise how fragile that level is, and that any new govenment could come in and take it all away? Only yesterday weither you agree with it or not , the present govenment have over ruled the human rights act. An act which has help the gay cause no end. As for excepting that their will always be people that will break the law and harm gay people, do we mmmmmm then put this down to natural wastage. THe fight for gay rights in on going and always will be. we have many generations to get through before being gay is acceptable and safe as for being straight , IN any counrty.

  20. What is the point of lamenting on those who WERE in prison pre-decriminalisation

    Because they suffered for you, so you dont have to go through what they did. Up until 2003 meeting in public for gay people was still illigal on the statue books. Or is that still too far back for it to be a concern for you? I am ashamed for you and your F*** you jack I am alright attitude.

  21. Flapjack

    “What kind of issues would you class as reasonable to address?”

    – Full marriage (at least civil, it’s up to religious institutions what they do) with full legal equality before the law. No different to anyone else.

    – Once achieved, full recognition of said marriage by all EU Member States.

    – No opt outs for religious groups on matters relating to sexual orientation. Or vice versa – we’re all going to have to tolerate each other.

    – Combatting homophobic/trans bullying in schools – LGBT history month would be good in all schools (though not enforceable as things stand in independent schools).

    – Any remaining minor legal changes that need equating to ensure we are treated fairly. But I don’t want any exceptions or blind eyes being turned to our community in the the name of political correctness. The sooner the state stops treating us as immature, weak and incapable of dealing with our own lives, the better.

    – The blood ban – I’m still in two minds about this. This is nothing to do with equality, this is to do with sheer numbers. The Terence Higgins Trust puts forward a good case for retaining the ban, despite the fact it conflicts with my principles of equality.

    Can’t think of any more off the top of my head. But as you can see, these inequalities are nothing in comparison to Uganda, which is on the verge of recriminalising just about everything. If you can think of any more I’ve missed that you think are particularly important, jot them down.

  22. Jim

    “have your ever considered that you not having had any trouble that you might be the exception to the rule.”

    No. Why? I read the general news, gay-related news, keep up to date with what’s going on in my community. I have gay friends, we share stories. Etc etc etc. On the basis of your theory, if I were to have a brain tumour I should assume it is the norm for Uk citizens, despite all evidence indicating otherwise. Sorry Jim, that was a pretty daft statement to make.

    “I am sorry but you come across very naive.”

    No, you are just a scaremogerer and I am more rational, basing my views on evidence. And I resent anyone calling me naive. It is patronising and petty.

    “Go to any gay bar and ask around , have you or do you know any one that has been bullied threaten , had trouble at work, or know some one who has been assulted or murdered.”

    If I went to a gay bar, I would surely find people who had been through such things. Why? Because amongst a high concentration of (gay) people, you will inevtably find people who have faced such things. However, gay bars do not represent all gay people, just a percentage. To then base any ‘evidence’ on that alone is, in fact, very naive and unrealistic.

    “The list goes on , and most will say yes.”

    It also depends on what you define as homophobia. Some people thought Jeff Brazier’s comment to Jason Gardiner was homophobia. Some thought that disabled chap being banned from sex was homophobia. Gay bars will, through sheer probability alone, be frequented by such people and they also give the chance to lament on such experiences, exaggerate them and foster a mentality that assumes homophobia in everything. If everyone else is agreeing with you, why woud you think t was wrong? Step outside and chat to some non-scene gays – and a few straight people – and you’ll get a very different view.

    “And as for our gay crime coming to a level, do you not realise the hard work of people sitting in dirty roads and carrying banners in the pissing rain that got us to this level.”

    Of course I do. But why is it relevant now? It isn’t something that takes place much anymore, simply because it’s not needed. It’s like bleating on about Emeine Pankhurst every time I got to the ballot box and making me feel guilty for having the right of universal suffrage. The past is the past, it should be remembered, but not assumed to be the same as the present. That mentality is just weird.

    “And do you not realise how fragile that level is, and that any new govenment could come in and take it all away?”

    Yes, but until that threat starts to become real, I have no intention of going on about it and crying injustice in advance. It will ony turn people against us.

    “Only yesterday weither you agree with it or not , the present govenment have over ruled the human rights act. An act which has help the gay cause no end.”

    Once the implications of that are known, i.e. what it will be replaced with, then we can decide on what action to take. Speculating won’t help anyone. If it’s bad news for us, then we mobilise. But we don’t need to mobilise until then.

    “As for excepting that their will always be people that will break the law and harm gay people, do we mmmmmm then put this down to natural wastage.”

    There will always be nutters and gays are no less-exempt from ‘natural wastage’ as anyone else. Girls/men will always be raped and people will always be murdered. That cannot be avoided – unless you put everyone under house arrest (even then those ‘arresting could perpertrate such acts). Not all gay people killed are killed because of homophobia either. When a car jacker, armed robber or terrorist kills gay people, it’s not intentional. It’s just bad luck it was a gay person, as much as it would be for them killing a woman, man, trans or heterosexual. But some will try and construe it as being homophobic, because gay people can be nutters too!

    “THe fight for gay rights in on going and always will be.”

    Is that true? You can’t make such a prediction. It could go either way and you are not in a position to imply which it will be. If history was that predictable, we’d have solved all the world’s problems. At the moment, it is ongoing, but it may not always be.

    “we have many generations to get through before being gay is acceptable and safe as for being straight , IN any counrty.”

    But less generations for the UK than for Uganda probaby. Wherein lies the probably of equating Uganda and the UK. Simples.

  23. Flapjack:
    I think you have the current gay rights agenda in a nutshell, and let’s face it, its pretty feeble. This is just a mopping-up exercise compared to what people were asking for even twenty years ago.

    Africa has got the homophobia bug badly, and it is being financially supported by the American Evangelicals. They can’t win in their own country, so they spread their poison elsewhere.

    I do think to a certain degree, that fact that when blatant homophobia shows up, it may actually be a good thing. It shows that social attitudes are changing and modernising. Before, gay people just hid away, and the subject was taboo, but now they are becoming braver, some people learn to tolerate it, others fight it, but either way, it does denote a change, which has to be a step forward.

    Many countries, for example Poland, are slowly opening up, and discovering if they want to be part of a modern world, they have to take on many things they have traditionally disapproved of. You can’t cherry pick; if you want to deal with other countries, you have to abide by commonly accepted human rights laws as well. These countries are in transition, and it will take time, all we can do is put pressure on them to understand the direction they must take if they want to be accepted by everyone else.

  24. Jim

    “What is the point of lamenting on those who WERE in prison pre-decriminalisation

    Because they suffered for you, so you dont have to go through what they did.”

    And I am very grateful for that. But their present is nothing like our present and I chastise you for implying that this is the case.

    “Up until 2003 meeting in public for gay people was still illigal on the statue books. Or is that still too far back for it to be a concern for you?”

    It isn’t the rule anymore. As soon as that law is passed, you have to move on and embrace that new level of equality. The difficult part, for you it seems, is that it’s one less thing you can complain about use as a means to play the victim. I’m gad of that law, it’s one less thing for me to worry about.

    “I am ashamed for you and your F*** you jack I am alright attitude.”

    That’s a really dense comment to make, as you are implying that some gay people have more equality than others. Nonsense. It seems you’ll say anything, regardless of how stupid it is, just to make sure you look worse off than anyone else.

    It’s either ‘we’re ALL alright Jack’ or ‘none of us are alrgith Jack’. So which do you reckon it is?

  25. mmmmmmmmm
    do you know any one that has been murdered?

    and if you did would you say this to them

    There will always be nutters and gays are no less-exempt from ‘natural wastage’ as anyone else. Girls/men will always be raped and people will always be murdered

    My good friend who was murdered, had a brother, who was also murdered, so his mother had to deal with it twice. I will pass on this comforting statement to her from you. I am sure she will look at it and just tkae the death of her two children on the chin. Oh forgive the scaremongering.

    I think we have to agree to disagree.

    And to all those older gay people out there that read these comments, I would like to thank you for all you have done for me in your past. You dont me and I dont know you. But you stuck your necks out at a time in this counrty, when it was still a very brave thing to do. You have sat in prision cells and lived with fear, constantly. But you marched , you wrote, you stood your ground and you said NO. SO I can can have a civil partnership and have laws that protect me. We still have a long way to go even here in then UK. And I for one never assume that because it hasnt happened to me, it will never happen to some one else.

  26. And I am very grateful for that. But their present is nothing like our present and I chastise you for implying that this is the case.

    how do you know

  27. do you know what we can go on this for ages and we both have to agree to disagree.

    I once listern to a radio prog about a man complaining about an airport being built next to his house, he moaned about the noise that might happen, the traffic, the polution, everything, and how he did not want it built next to his house.Then the interviewer at the end of the piece said to the man , do you fly, and he said oh yes every year.

    His outlook was selective and that how I find yours. I have seen many people in my life say that others have over reacted, scaremongered, oh god it nothing. For gods sake get it in to perpective. Until of course it happens to them.

  28. Okay so fair enough, everyone here has a good point in that yes, there is homophobia in this country, and it’s terrible, it’s horrific sometimes, and we do need to fight it. This is why I disagreed with that Stonewall ‘it gets better’ video project because it told people everything was fine over here when, especially for some young people in schools, everything blatantly isn’t fine.

    But, having said that, compared to, say, Uganda, we are lucky over here. We don’t have institutionalised homophobia. If an MP over here was heard saying anything even half as bad as David Bahati he’d be sacked on the spot. Churches who preach hate like their churches are fringe groups over here. We’re not accosted by armed police or avoided like the plague or approached with herbal “cures”. We don’t have to hide every day, afraid to return to our houses because someone’s published our addresses, afraid to go out on the street because our faces have been printed beneath the headline “HANG THEM”, afraid to be seen anywhere for fear of the mob screaming for our blood.

    I’m not saying we don’t have it bad here. I remember seeing a bruised and crying young man up on the stage at pride just last summer who’d been bashed the night before. I don’t want to diminish his experience, but at least he can go to the police and report it, rather than fearing that they’ll just have another go at him.

  29. But their present is nothing like our present and I chastise you for implying that this is the case

    Last commnet I promise, but I had to reply to this again.Because a friend sitting next time me wanted to put this point over.

    SO if you sat down the Uganda mother of a murderer gay son , and my good friends mother, would you say that the uganda mother present is nothing like that of my friends mother. Yet when we look at it , they seem very much the same.

  30. Jim

    “His outlook was selective and that how I find yours.”

    Says the man basing his whole unerstanding of homophobic crime on the basis of SOLEY is own experience. I don’t need to know a murder victim or to be personally attacked to understand the reality of homophobia in the UK.

    “I have seen many people in my life say that others have over reacted, scaremongered, oh god it nothing. For gods sake get it in to perpective. Until of course it happens to them.”

    This is another stupid statement. If I were attacked tomorrow, I wouldn’t suddenly change my mind and join your way of thinking – that the whole world is out to get me. I’d consider myself unfortunate and as likely to be attacked as anyone else. That’s because I’d be looking at the evidence of homophobia, not blindly making my judgement of it based purely on what had happened to me. Which is what you are, very disturbingly, doing.

    “do you know any one that has been murdered?

    and if you did would you say this to them

    There will always be nutters and gays are no less-exempt from ‘natural wastage’ as anyone else. Girls/men will always be raped and people will always be murdered”

    Erm, I’m not sure how I am supposed to say something to someone who is actually dead….but I’ll assume you mean their families.

    I do know someone who was murdered, but I would still say the same thing to their families – we cannot protect everybody all of the time. We’d have to take away the freedom of everyone to guarantee that. What exactly I would say would depend on the nature of the murder (homophobic, sexual, jealousy, paedophilic), the level of danger that the victim had willingly put themselves in (e.g. gang-related, random unprovoked attack etc) of course, but I wouldn’t just invent a pretend situation to make them feel better. I would be realistic. We will always have extremes in society, that is human nature. Murder will always be a product of that extremism. And there is little that can be done to avoid that base level of crime. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. The only conceivable way I can see for homophobic crime to be eliminated is for the entire world to be a liberal democracy, with one single ideology. And that isn’t going to happen. As for crime in general, that will always happen.

    “My good friend who was murdered, had a brother, who was also murdered, so his mother had to deal with it twice. I will pass on this comforting statement to her from you. I am sure she will look at it and just tkae the death of her two children on the chin. Oh forgive the scaremongering.”

    Now that is a victim card if ever I saw one. Unfortunate and unjust, but not the norm. It is obvious that your emotional involvement in such matters has skewed your view, but please stop implying gay men being murdered is some kind of common occurrence that affects every family and every individual. It doesn’t. This is an exceptional case. It’s not right, but it’s exceptional and should be treated as such, NOT as the norm. Or equivalent to homophobic murder rates in other societies. Because that is just pure scaremongering. You are rather sickly exploiting this woman’s personal grief to support your own argument and I find it very distasteful. Do you use cancer deaths among your family and friends for the same purpose? It’s just twisted!

    “And I am very grateful for that. But their present is nothing like our present and I chastise you for implying that this is the case.

    how do you know”

    Now I know you’re thick. Aside from being well-informed about LGBT history, just from the legal changes alone, it is very different. But the increasing (and now overwhelming) support from successive governments, that our friends and families accept us and champion our cause. Support from comments in the blogosphere, public opinion polls….do I really need to go on? David Cameron’s pledge (see article on PN) to quash all convictions for homosexuality prior to 1967 is surely a good indicator of the general state of mind within our society.

    Compare that to
    decriminalisation….so, do you REALLY think their present was the same as ours today?

    Either you’re on another planet or you live in Uganda.

    Now, stop the hysteria, stop lamenting on the past and focus on the inequalities that we DO have. You are diluting the effect we can have on changing that by needlessly focusing on past injustices. They are over, done, now move on and fight what’s left.

  31. Jim

    “Last commnet I promise, but I had to reply to this again.Because a friend sitting next time me wanted to put this point over.”

    I’m all ears.

    “SO if you sat down the Uganda mother of a murderer gay son , and my good friends mother, would you say that the uganda mother present is nothing like that of my friends mother. Yet when we look at it , they seem very much the same.”

    You are confusing two things –

    A) the personal grief of a mother whose son has been murdered (which is the same for both mothers)

    B) the realities of the societies in which those mothers live (very different).

    As regards A, yes, the present is the same for the two mothers. They have lost a son through the same circumstances.

    But B, no, the worlds those mothers live in are completely different. The risk of homophobic attack is higher in Uganda stemming from legal inequality and prevailing attitudes that discriminate. Family and friends will be much more likely to offer support and empathy in the UK as homosexuality is viewed much more positively. The Ugandan mother will most likely have none of this – community leaders, friends, family, teachers, the police….just about everyone is against homosexuality. Moreover, the Ugandan mother will unlikely be able to get justice for the murder of her son as homosexuality is viewed so negatively. The UK police would launch a full investigation into the murder and pursue justice.

    These two things aren’t comparable as you are associating two different things – the universal principle of personal grief and the subjective laws and attitudes of society.

  32. Oscar

    Excellent point, well-balanced and reflective of the different realities in these two countries. People would do well to listen to you and reflect on what you say.

  33. Says the man basing his whole unerstanding of homophobic crime on the basis of SOLEY is own experience

    how do you know this

    you dont know how many people I know that have gone through homophobia, just cause I quote one as an example. I havent mention the guy I know being beaten up by three skinheads, or myself being punched in the throat as I walk along a seafront, on a sunday at three oclock in the afternoon. Or lying in the road beaten up semi unconsoius and the traffic driving around me and not bothering to call the services, it was only my parents who happen to be coming to see me that stopped. Yes my experiences, but why should mine not count because I live in this country, or that of my firends who have gone through the same and worse. And the mentioned guy in another posting, at pride being beaten up , what do we say to him , dont worry it could have been worse you might be living in Uganda? Do you know what, I dont have to worry about people like you. Im 50 and seen guys like you over and over again that think nothing will happen to them as they sail through life. Well one day it might , and do you what if I was there and you needed my help I would still offer it. Because I think homophobia where ever and whoever it is happening to is wrong. I dont think there is an acceptable level of it any where, what do you think, that we should go around with a check list and when three boxes are ticked thats when we call the police. I try to offer respect even to you, perhaps not all the time on here, but then perhaps you dont diserve it. Im guessing your young, please correct me if I am wrong. But you soon will be the subject of discrimination. Because you will get old. You will see people , yes even gay people, take the piss out of you. Ignore you ,treat you like an idiot and dismiss you. They will judge your appearance and they avoid you.You might get mugged because your are an easy target and you might be so poor that you cant heat your home. But then of course going by your statments you wont worry about that. Youll just say well its worse some where else, yeah right. I have learnt so much about understanding. I thought I would never be homeless, and I was. I thought I was tottaly independent , then an injury forced me to ask for help as I couldnt wipe my own back side. It was then that I realised that everybodies worries, fear, experience was real to them and who the hell was I to down grade to a level that was exceptable to me. You see I used to look at homeless people and think god get a job, I used to find people on crutches an inconvience as I made my way around Sainsburys. But boy oh boy did fate have a hand in teaching me a lesson, and I thank whoever for that lesson. Lets just hope you dont have to go through what I had to before I realise that other people and their crisis and experiences count, no matter how small. I dont need to answer you any more. I will just back off and let time take care of you and your outlook , because I know it will change as you get older. Because things that you thought would never happen to you, no matter how small ,unfortunatly, will

  34. What a joke 11 Feb 2011, 12:56pm

    @ mmmmmmmmmmmmm’s off again with one of his trolling dissertations. Go and do a degree or something. Get a job being a journalist. Just stop leaving page long rants you stupid moron.

  35. screen dumps and skid marks thats all we get

  36. @ jim: I really don’t think anyone’s saying everything’s perfect for all gay people in the UK today. But you have to admit, it can’t be comparable to being in a country like Uganda where the Ugandan Rolling Stone headlines named gay people and advocated their death, can it?

    I don’t think anyone’s belittling the experiences that gay people had to endure even here in the past, but in so many respects it’s a different world now from that of as little as 25 years ago – maybe not for people in school, but certainly for most adults.

  37. What a joke

    “@ mmmmmmmmmmmmm’s off again with one of his trolling dissertations.”

    Trolling would imply I was off topic, but as I’m not then your definition is unjust. In fact, you insulting me is very much off topic and I denounce you for trolling. You never have anything to contribute, you just insult people, but that’s symptomatic of your general hatred of the world.

    “Go and do a degree or something.”

    Actually, I am Dr Mmmmmmmmm, if you must know.

    “Get a job being a journalist. Just stop leaving page long rants you stupid moron.”

    You don’t have to read anything and you don’t have to comment. It’s called democracy. I have many valid points to propose and it’s my right to do so. I disagree with many on here, but I don’t tell them to get lost like you do. Debate and disagreement is more important than silence.

    But your points must contribute something. As yours don’t, you are the one who should perhaps get lost.

  38. Staircase2 11 Feb 2011, 4:23pm

    @ mmmmm: “Perhaps the hyseterical bunch on here who constantly exaggerate any homophobia and inequality in the UK will get some kind of reality check. It’ll certainly put the UK into perspective”

    er – why is it that you think that one mad, insanely unequal post colonial country ‘s ill behaviour is justification for not standing up to injustice elsewhere?

    You post a lot on here but I’ve yet to see anything which makes coherent healthy sense.

  39. Jim

    Thanks for the patronising, self-indulgent ‘Springer’s Final Thought’, it’s indicative of your ‘grandad knows best’ attitude. Age doesn’t guarantee you with a better understanding, some of us can actually figure out while we’re still quite young. You weren’t able to do that, but I am not going to apologise because I can. I mean do you ask people with more intelligence, better exam results or bigger penises than you to apologise for it? I’ve always been very aware of the world, it’s in my nature and I grew up in a very open household where nothing was too taboo to discuss. I’m well-travelled, I’ve moved around a bit and I’ve been through higher education. There is not much I haven’t really seen or been able to get a good understanding of. I am not apologetic about being younger than you and well-informed. It’s actually a testament to how much things have changed, education about gay issues was next to nothing 30 years ago. I am a product of those positive changes. And long may it reign.

    Personally, your Jim-centric, pity-fest sob stories are not the SOLE basis on which I intend to judge levels of homophobia in this country as much as you’d like them to be. It’s rather egocentric of you, don’t you think? Attempts at emotional manipulation will fail spectacularly, I am interested in only a wide-ranging combination of indicators – reported crimes, testimonies, legal provisions, legal rulings, reliable value and attitude surveys and so on. NOT just your own skewed perspective. Your testimonies do count for something, but they are NOT to be considered as representative of reality in the UK. For you to imply they should raises questions as to your agenda on all of this.

    By the way, I never said I believed it couldn’t happen to me, I am well aware it could. And always have been. But I am not going to swallow your bull that my chances of being beaten up here are the same as in Uganda, when they are clearly not. I don’t scare easily, but young, impressionable people do, which is why you are so irresponsible in painting an unrealistically homophobic society. I mean, are you trying to persuade people to stay in the closet or what?

    Given that so many things seem to have happened to you, it is questionable as to whether these are all down to random attacks or whether you were perhaps partly to blame. Just because someone beat you up or ran you down doesn’t mean it was homophobic. Or can you prove it was? I’d be interested to know. How do I know that you weren’t smashed round the head because you were drunk and started on someone who then called you a ‘queer’ because he was annoyed and then smacked you? I can’t take your testimony as being reliable over an internet forum and it is ludicrous to think that I would.

    And if you could insert a paragraph break every now and then, that’d be nice.

  40. Staircase2

    “er – why is it that you think that one mad, insanely unequal post colonial country ‘s ill behaviour is justification for not standing up to injustice elsewhere?”

    I never said that, this is just your poor interpretation. It should be stood up to everywhere – crime is crime, injustice is injustice. It should be tackled everywhere. But trying to pretend the UK and Uganda are somehow identical in terms of their homophobia is total bull. And I will challenge anyone who suggests otherwise. That’s what I take umbrage with, not tackling homophobia. Now do you understand?

    “You post a lot on here but I’ve yet to see anything which makes coherent healthy sense.”

    Then you need to go back to school and learn to read and analyse texts. Everyone else seems to manage. Sorry, if you can’t keep up, stay out.

  41. Mmmmmmm is a sociopath Jim-right wing-he can’t feel empathy unless it intrinsically affects him.

  42. Christopher 11 Feb 2011, 8:13pm

    Are gay right activists in the UK partly to blame for the back lash against gay people in Uganda? I ask this, because one of the most contentious issues today is Gay marriage and specifically forcing the Christian Church to accept such unions in their churches. No I am an atheist and cannot understand why any gay person would want to be part of a religion that has intolerance against same sex relationships as the Abrahamic faiths do. But I do understand that by forcing religion to concede on the point of what they believe is ‘gods law’ encourages the expected irrational violent backlash. Currently our rights are protected in the UK, but for it is not the case for many others especially in Uganda. As the West increasingly appears unchristian, atheist and by their standards corrupt it is no suprise that they seek to attack gay people who are regarded as corrupted by western culture. All I am saying is that perhaps it is time to seek a compromise with the religious people to lessen the harm being inflicted on the innocents in other countries.

  43. “perhaps it is time to seek a compromise with the religious people to lessen the harm being inflicted on the innocents in other countries”

    An interesting point Christopher and I speak as one of those “religious people”. What we are seeing in Uganda is extreme and unacceptable and whether or not a “compromise” is reached here in the UK, I will continue to oppose the excesses that have been reported.

    But regarding compromise, while equal rights are needed, it mustn’t be gay rights trumping those of christians or, as has happened in the past, the other way round. It would be good to have both living in harmony and likely that will mean compromise from all sides.

  44. @ mmm et al: Thought I’d add my tuppenceworth; apologies if it’s a bit long and off-topic but this is an interesting thread, even if it’s gone slightly off course.

    I’m not sure whether I should be heartened or dismayed by mmm’s youthful naïvety and lack of regard for history. Yes, things have changed significantly in the UK in recent years: no-one will ever be persecuted like Alan Turing was (within living memory), and it’s true that we’ve achieved almost all of our objectives, at least in the official / legal sphere. There’s also every chance that the remaining loose ends will be tidied up before long: incidentally, mmm’s action list was unexpectedly encouraging and I revised his troll rating downwards several notches. But there are still powerful homophobic undercurrents in society which need to be challenged, and without a knowledge and respect for all that went before there’s a risk of dangerous complacency. Berlin might have been a fun place in the early part of the twentieth century, but WWII shows how things can change and why eternal vigilance is required.

    Agreed, Uganda is infinitely worse and all credit to Scott Mills for risking life and limb to report on it. Anyone who criticises him should be sent off on the next flight there and told to make a better job of it !

    In one sense mmm’s brash ‘I’m Alright Jack, Devil Take The Hindmost’ attitude can be constructive. There’s a lot to be said for striding out with a ‘look on the bright side, the glass is half full’ outlook rather than hiding away with ‘misery loves company’. Denis Thatcher had the right idea there, deliberately going to Harrods the day after the bomb attack ! A positive outlook can be a virtuous circle: the more that people refuse to be intimidated, the greater the general confidence it inspires in others. However, excessive naïvety and over-confidence can be dangerous; anyone can walk unscathed through a minefield – for a while.

    So, without being too intrusive, I’d like to ask mmm a few questions because there are a few things that I don’t quite understand. Like most of us here, you hide behind a non de plume. You’re clearly intelligent, well educated, articulate and no shrinking violet so, if everything is so great, why do you feel the need to do this? Similarly, if you work in an office etc, are you ‘out’ to everyone and do photos of your partner have pride of place on your desk? If you go out with a partner, would you really be confident holding hands or embracing in the rougher part of town late at night?

    I’m asking only because I’m wondering whether you really believe we’re nearly in gay nirvana? Or perhaps you do recognise deep down that, although things have greatly improved, there’s still a fair bit to strive for?

    I suspect that, although you’ll keep your ideals, over the years the intensity and stridency of some of your youthful views will mellow a bit. In my past I wasn’t unsympathetic of others but I used to think of unemployment and debt rather like famine and drought, all very sad but comfortably far away on TV, something that would never trouble me directly; if you didn’t like your job after a year or two, you just found a better one. However, I saw things from a very different perspective when a perfect storm came along in the early 90s. I had a mega mortgage, jumped to a better job with a company car etc. Didn’t worry too much about the recession, it just meant that customer service would get better because it would be easier to recruit good staff… Then my employer ‘merged’ with a bigger competitor. It was a takeover; they wanted the clients but not the staff.

    Suddenly, things weren’t nearly so rosy: the humiliation of signing on every two weeks, finding that interviews were like gold dust, and weren’t much fun when you’re wondering what happens if the building society forecloses and sells your house for half what you paid for it, giving you a fiver as the proceeds. Fortunately I did find a job after nearly a hundred applications, and all was well. But it could have been very different, as I always remember when I see someone selling the Big Issue or sleeping rough. It could so easily have been me.

    So mmm, please accept that you have been and are fortunate, but that this doesn’t necessarily always apply to everyone else, and that it’s not necessarily always their own fault.

    [/rant]

  45. Are gay right activists in the UK partly to blame for the back lash against gay people in Uganda?

    Frankly, Christopher, I doubt whether developments in the UK are of the slightest importance to the barbarians in Uganda, they seem to be far too caught up in their US-influenced evangelical hysteria to be concerned with what’s happening here.

  46. @Christopher
    @John

    Can you enlighten us as to who is “specifically forcing the Christian Church to accept such unions in their churches”?

    As far as I am aware, all that is sought is for same sex marriage (rather than just civil partnership) to be available at Register Offices and from any religious organisations that voluntarily wish to participate, such as the Quakers.

  47. Okay, seriously – mmmmmmmmmm never said that there isn’t homophobia over here. It happens. We’re still far from being at the top of the food chain. All he meant was that compared to what you see in Uganda where MPs send out armed police after a man just because he happens to be gay – ie where if attacked you can’t even turn to the authorities because they’d only be condoning the attacks if not participating in them – compared to that, Britain is not the massively homophobic, intrinsically horrifically anti-gay society that it sometimes seems to be painted as.

    And I mean, sure, sometimes he words things a little harshly, but still makes some good points – so think about what he’s saying before you attack him for how he’s said it.

    (Although to be fair I kind of doubt that many young impressionable people read PN – I’m willing to bet I’m pretty much the youngest commenter here…)

  48. Gerry

    “I’m not sure whether I should be heartened or dismayed by mmm’s youthful naïvety and lack of regard for history.”

    It’s always a boost to ones moral highrgound when a poster begins by attempting to patronise me in such a condescending and, let’s face it, offensive manner. You are assuming that I am ‘young’ (however YOU want to define that) and that being ‘young’ means one is automatically ignorant of history or reality. However, regardless of how young I am, it is not really your place to speculate my knowledge of anything on age lines alone. I think many would say you are the more naive one if you think that being older somehow guarantees a greater understanding of world affairs, history and society.

    However, in the name of debate, I am happy to answer your questions.

    “So, without being too intrusive, I’d like to ask mmm a few questions because there are a few things that I don’t quite understand. Like most of us here, you hide behind a non de plume.”

    Yep, there are nutters on the internet, especially this site, I’d rather not invite them into my real world. I’m not ‘naive’ about what information can get chucked around the internet and how it can be used against you or in illegal activities. I’d advise anyone else to do the same. This isn’t because I am gay and I am fearful of people finding out, I just don’t want ANY random strangers finding our who I am, where I live and what I do for a living. It’s tantamount to sending your bank account statements to Broadmoor!

    “You’re clearly intelligent, well educated, articulate and no shrinking violet so, if everything is so great, why do you feel the need to do this?”

    Feel the need to do what? Make comments on social progress? It’s called being a contributor to society and open democratic debate. I don’t have the time to be directly involved in LGBT rallies and activism like I did as a student and this is one way of keeping in touch and debating all things LGBT related. I haven’t said everything is great, perfect, ideal or a paragon of how life should be for LGBT people – if you can find me the succinct line that demonstrates that, I’d be interested. A comparison was raised with Uganda. I said the UK wasn’t as homophobic as Uganda. That’s it. People turned that into ‘I think the UK is perfect, what are you lot all moaning about’. I’m interested in REALITY, not the paranoia in people’s mind. I’d also defy anyone who actually said there was NO homophobia in the country, that is just as much of a lie. You have ASSUMED I must be ignoring social problems or that I believe the fight is over. That’s your fault. I don’t. But the fight for equality in Uganda is way beyond anything we need to fight for here. Can you at least unerstand that?

    “Similarly, if you work in an office etc, are you ‘out’ to everyone and do photos of your partner have pride of place on your desk?”

    Out at work, never been an issue. No photos, but then I don’t have photos of anyone on my desk as it’s just clutter and a bit naff – people adorning their computers with pictures of their wedding days and babies is a bit tacky and attention-seeking. They all know my partner and we socialise regularly, like everyone else at my place of work. If anyone from outside the office came into the workplace and had a problem with me being gay, they’d be out on their ear. And no, they’re not all ‘young’, some are just about to retire.

    “If you go out with a partner, would you really be confident holding hands or embracing in the rougher part of town late at night?”

    Like with all places, some areas are more dangerous than others, similar to whether you’d walk home alone as a woman or a child. I’d definitely walk through those areas with a boyfriend, whether we would hold hands or not would depend on who is around. But that point is also very subjective as your safety there is not just about whether you’re gay or not. It’s also about how physically bg you are – I’m tall, not stocky, but sizeable and few recognise that I’m gay immediately. If a short, very camp man or a man in drag walked down that street, they would most likley be a bigger target. But then so would someone who looked wealthy or vulnerable in some other way. If it was a predominantly African or Asian area, then I would be careful on many grounds. To hell with political correctness, any sane gay man knows where the greaest dangers lie.

    “I’m asking only because I’m wondering whether you really believe we’re nearly in gay nirvana?”

    Legally, yes, we are very close. Changes in attitude an full acceptance by society beyond legal provisions, e.g. the religious fully embracing us, no, obviously not quite there. But it’s getting better every year and that should be applauded and given attention, instead of just lamenting on all the negatives. Despite the remaining inequalities, we are still not like Uganda where people can’t even tell their families or confide in teachers because they face the threat of violence. It serves no purpose to pretend otherwise.

    “Or perhaps you do recognise deep down that, although things have greatly improved, there’s still a fair bit to strive for?”

    I’ve just said there are still some things to achieve. But the main part, i.e. the legal protection and the support we receive from the police and other authorities, is the most important part. And that is very nearly done. I’m not going to pretend it’s worse than it is to score victim points.

    “I suspect that, although you’ll keep your ideals, over the years the intensity and stridency of some of your youthful views will mellow a bit.”

    Patronising, yet again. You assume I am too ‘young’ to understand that people, of all walks of life, can become more conservative, more fearful of societal changes and their opinions morph accordingly. Values and interests all evolve over time and new priorities emerge. I am fully expecting this could happen to me. Who knows, we may end up with a BNP government one day and we’ll have to start the fight over again. But I’m not losing any sleep until it happens, I’d rather enjoy my freedom while it’s enshrined on the staute books. As should all LGBT people.

    “In my past I wasn’t unsympathetic of others but I used to think of unemployment and debt rather like famine and drought, all very sad but comfortably far away on TV, something that would never trouble me directly; if you didn’t like your job after a year or two, you just found a better one.”

    Well that’s where you and I differ as I have never had that sense of total invincibility or ‘it’ll never happen to me’ attitude. It indicates that you were much more naive, immature and inward looking in your youth than I was/am. And you have the gall to patronise ME!

    “However, I saw things from a very different perspective when a perfect storm came along in the early 90s. I had a mega mortgage, jumped to a better job with a company car etc. Didn’t worry too much about the recession, it just meant that customer service would get better because it would be easier to recruit good staff… Then my employer ‘merged’ with a bigger competitor. It was a takeover; they wanted the clients but not the staff.”

    Excrement occurs, it’s not specific to you. It was naive to assume it couldn’t happen to you. But you learn from your mistakes.

    “Suddenly, things weren’t nearly so rosy: the humiliation of signing on every two weeks, finding that interviews were like gold dust, and weren’t much fun when you’re wondering what happens if the building society forecloses and sells your house for half what you paid for it, giving you a fiver as the proceeds. Fortunately I did find a job after nearly a hundred applications, and all was well. But it could have been very different, as I always remember when I see someone selling the Big Issue or sleeping rough. It could so easily have been me.”

    If it took you losing your job and almost your house to understand what real poverty is and how precarious our lives really are, then that is an indication of your immaturity at that time. Don’t confuse me with you, I am very different in my outloook. I always have been. I don’t take anything for granted, but while the going is good I allow myself to let my hair down and make the most of what I have. Being careful and carefree aren’t mutually exclusive, you know.

    “So mmm, please accept that you have been and are fortunate, but that this doesn’t necessarily always apply to everyone else, and that it’s not necessarily always their own fault.”

    Again, desist in patronising me. You are making many gross inferences and speculations as to what I feel or think. I consider myself fortunate, but what I don’t feel is guilty about having been born into a society that is infinitely safer for gay people than Uganda. That is a pure accident of birth for which I cannot be held to account. Even in the UK in the 1970s it was safer than in Uganda today. What is the point in feeling guilty about being able to live a life that is getting better every year? I am living a life that is very close to the ideal that campaigners were fighting to achieve, wasn’t that the point?

    I think many people on here have missed that point.

  49. I think there is more than one Jim on here.

    I am the Jim who posted first in the thread and I just said I’m glad the programme is being made.

    Anyone else on here called Jim is not me.

  50. Deja vu reading this thread! I responded to mmm in much the same way here.

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/02/08/transgender-woman-told-dress-as-a-man-to-find-work/

    It follows a very similar pattern. It seems that he is hijacking every thread to be about the same debate. It’s unfortunate because sometimes people may want to analyse whether or not a news item concerns genuine discrimination, but it is getting difficult to discuss this rationally.

    As an aside, just a suggestion – could someone at Pink News consider developing these comment pages, making them like other discussion sites? The threads here are interesting & involve discussions rather than a series of stand-alone comments, so there is a case for a bit of formalisation with perhaps logins for regulars & a code of conduct etc. Doing this might help limit or prevent trolls.

  51. Yeah I’d prefer a registration system on Pink News. Hopefully they’ll put one in.

  52. Seahorse1

    “It follows a very similar pattern. It seems that he is hijacking every thread to be about the same debate.”

    Firstly, I don’t comment on any thread, only those that centre of an obviously contentious point. There is no point commenting on the case of someone who has been awarded a medal for their contribution to a gay rights cause – all you can say is ‘well done. What’s the point?

    If, by ‘hijacking’, you mean my democratic right to express my opinion along with everyone else, then yes, I am. Or perhaps it’s because gay-related issues tend to focus on a very narrow area of points – largely discrimination, equality, prejudice, freedom, education and religion. I mean, did you think this was a ‘gay culture’ page where people come to talk about t-dances and what H&M is stocking this winter? It’s a political site, thus the same arguments get dished out again and again, like in every other political situation. Do you understand that?

    I suspect it is more down to the fact that your points of view are largely ignored or shunned and you don’t like being ignored. Not to mention ill-informed. Sour grapes? Tough, that’s life.

    “It’s unfortunate because sometimes people may want to analyse whether or not a news item concerns genuine discrimination, but it is getting difficult to discuss this rationally.”

    Erm, that’s what we do on here. We discuss discrimination and analyse it as a means to find solutions. Some choose not to be rational and use it as a sounding board to scaremonger and exaggerate as a means to get attention for themselves and keep the victim bandwagon going, but by and large most people on here put together good points. Sadly, you don’t seem to be one of them, so, again, if you’ve got sour grapes that you aren’t being listened to, then you need to change the way you argue.

    Hard cheese hippocampe.

  53. Why don’t they focus on the positive. How about a show focusing on the best places to be gay. Something like this will only make people stay in the closet.

  54. Ignore the troll its his only communication .

  55. stanley mzyece 17 Feb 2011, 10:08am

    look im an african.i think intolerance is the root of all evil.i think the approach uganda is taking isnt the right one.hanging and jailing gay people wont chase the problem away.i think open councelling and less provacative means can help.but to say that all africans are bigots is just plain stupid.yes,i myself im not comfortable with gay folks especially men,but that doesnt mean i want them in jail or dead.like it or not,we will never have the same exact values as you

  56. @ mmmmmm

    Many thanks for your time in replying, very interesting.

    I didn’t intend to be patronising offensive etc, just to suggest that strong views can mellow a bit over time as I freely admitted mine had done. I don’t suggest that being older conveys greater knowledge or superiority, just that (IMHO) it’s easier to understand and appreciate the some of difficulties of an earlier era if one was actually there. Statistically I’m likely to be older than you and ISTR (perhaps incorrectly) that somewhere you mentioned being at Uni about five years ago so that’s where I was coming from.

    For example, although I can visualise the horrors of doodlebugs, losing loved ones, sheltering in tube stations and enduring the hardships of rationing, I’ll never have quite the same understanding of what my parents went through because they saw it first hand but thankfully I didn’t.

    And yes, the situation in Uganda is far, far worse than the UK, I think we all accept that, but there are still things to improve over here.

    No one’s expecting you to feel guilty, certainly not me. It’s good that you are having a great time and your optimism helps to show just how far we’ve come since say, the 60s and 70s. I don’t think we’re really all that far apart, the glass can be half empty and half full at the same time.

    I suppose what I’m really trying to say is that (OK, assuming there’s a generation gap in our ages) an older person may have memories and fears of harder times and perhaps harbour a few concerns that aspects may still persist or the pendulum may even swing back, whereas a younger person may be more positive.

    Not intended to be patronising, etc, just trying to explore a possibility that age diversity (or whatever you want to call it) can offer more than one viewpoint and that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    BTW, my query about the nom de plume and why the need to do ‘this’ was not about your right to make comments on social progress, I just wondered why if everything was pretty good you still needed to seek anonymity. But you’ve explained that on security grounds so I quite understand.

    Cheers,

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