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Comment: There is a real climate of hysteria

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  1. Completely. Spot. On. Bravo.

    1. Really, when statements like Dave are said/issued, you hope that educated , rational people, see them for what they are. But it is those that will take this as true that will cause the damage that will be inflicted on some guy for no other reason that some thug read this in The Sun and decided to act upon it!

  2. Great comment piece. Still, Cameron has had enough media training to know that when he uses a word like “witch hunt” it will be picked up by the media. This is headline material and he knows it. I don’t accept for a moment he was equating the two, and indeed he was making a fair point about internet speculation, but don’t be too naïve, we are now discussing this and not a cover-up in the Tory party. You can achieve two goals with one statement!

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Nov 2012, 2:33pm

      Can you maybe relate anything that Richard wrote to your own comments here maybe?

  3. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Nov 2012, 2:31pm

    Nicely written and gives a decent perspective on the situation.

    No doubt you’ll soon be hounded for taking a reasonable view unfortunately

  4. I do have to agree that there does appear to be a rising number of people appear to be jumping to shout homophobia at the most trivial things like David Cameron’s comment or the homophobia/arachnophobia comparison made by an NFL player recently.
    It’s a shame that in reality, the most insulting views aren’t actually from these “homophobic” people, but rather it’s the people that respond. I see people having a go at Cameron for being anti-gay over this comment despite the fact that he is pushing for equal marriage and for all intensive purposes appears to value gay people as people. Similarly, with the NFL player you had people insulting him for being a stupid jock etc.
    It’s actually abhorrent and shameful and I hope we can return to a state where we can tolerate the little things, cos if we can’t then why the hell is anyone going to want to accept us?

    1. Another Hannah, BA, RMN. 9 Nov 2012, 5:08pm

      Scofield did not mention Gays or anything about it. Cameron put Gay and Paedo in the same sentence. The consequences could be predicted by anybody.

      1. Virgin Mary (Dr.) BSc PhD FTCL 9 Nov 2012, 7:49pm

        Absolutely! You’re spot-on, Hannah. I agree with YOU!

    2. Harlequin 9 Nov 2012, 6:37pm

      Indeed. Aside from the party politics, many people seem to throwing the ‘homophobe’ label around so much that the word is starting to lose any meaning.

  5. Cameron is a master media manipulator. He has media handlers; advisers; vast experience in dealing with the media and he used to work in PR.

    He CHOSE to bring gay men into the discussion.

    Schiofield made no reference to gay men.

    Cameron brought us into the conversatuion.


    Cameron owes us at the very least an explanation for his dangerous stupidity and negligence.

    The fact that nothing is happening on marriage equality shiould send loud alarm bells ringing about Cameron’s attitude to our community.

    Is David Cameron the same homophobic scumbag his voting record on LGBT issues suggests?

    1. I assumed the names on the list were all gay tories, and he was reacting to that. But I don’t believe for a second you could find all these names in a few minutes, I feel that it was a nasty little fishing exercise.

      1. Why do you assume that?

        Cameron did not even look at the list. He just opened his stupid mouth.

    2. Well done dAVID. I get the impression everyone on here has been taken in completely. The question remains; why the hell mention the word ‘gay’ at all in any kind of response to the Schofield stunt? This article refuses to address that point – too gagging to defend Cameron for effect – and most, not all, of the commentators on here can’t see it. Here’s a clue folks. ‘Taken out of context’ is a stable-mate of ‘ Some of my best friends are…’

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Nov 2012, 4:32pm

        It doesn’t refuse to address it at all:

        “It’s safe to assume that the Tories named/libelled on the Schofield list were mostly, if not all, gay men.”

        Did you read the article before posting a comment??

        1. Hello Sister Mary Clarence. Yes, I did read the article, but I don’t agree with the idea that it was safe to assume that the list contained mostly gay men. I think that’s to assume way too much. Had that not been an assumption, and the names, which Cameron didn’t actually look at, to his credit, I have to confess, really been mostly gay men, I’d agree with the article. As it is, I don’t. Cheers, Rufus

          1. Do all you have have marked my comments as bad questions also automatically link paedophilia with being gay then? I see no other reason to mention ‘gay’ in the context at all. Just shows how many of you self-loathers have swallowed and internalized that old prejudice.

  6. IAWTC, as we superannuated forum bores like to say,

  7. I completely agree.
    And as far as what David Cameron said, to me, at least, I took it that he was standing up for gay men, particularly older gay men who remember only too well, that not so long ago, a seven year prison sentence for just being alive, never mind in love, meant a seven year prison sentence. Good on David Cameron I say. It’s that berk Tom Watson who should be taken to task for doing anything to undermine the government. If he knows of criminal activity, why didn’t he take it to the police in the first place?

    1. No Mike. Once again; WHY MENTION THE ADJECTIVE ‘GAY’ AT ALL?

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Nov 2012, 4:33pm

        I think the article addresses that – as previously mentioned I suspect you haven’t read it though

    2. Another Hannah, BA, RMN. 9 Nov 2012, 5:17pm

      Schofield was interviewing the Prime Minister. It is an interviewers job to ask difficult questions that are concerns at the time. He revealed no names. Cameron put Paedo and Gay in the same sentence deliberately. He could just have warned against witch-hunts. he chose not to.

  8. Suddenly Last Bummer 9 Nov 2012, 3:06pm

    Agree 100%. Now can we see a photo of Richard with his shirt off.

    1. Mmmmm, perfectly postulated, Suddenly!

  9. Cameron can very easily put to rest, concerns about his behaviour here.

    A draft marriage equality bill before parliament, next week, will do it.

    There’s zero reason why he can’t do this.

    If he doesn’t then it simply adds fuel to the rumour that he is the same bigot his voting record suggest.

    1. Suddenly Last Bummer 9 Nov 2012, 3:41pm

      dAVID for fricks sake, take it to the polling booth in 2015, until then we have a coalition though the guys I’m assuming you voted for (Lib Dems) have proven themselves worse than useless.

      1. That There Other David 9 Nov 2012, 4:08pm

        Completely off topic, but I disagree that the Lib Dems have been useless. Their being in the Cabinet prevents the Tory Party from doing all of the things traditionalist Tories like Edward Leigh and Nadine Dorries want the government to do. Even if the Lib Dems do nothing else for the entire five years that contribution is invaluable.

      2. Why should I wait until 2015.

        Cameron says we will have equality by then.

        Yet in the almost 3 years he’s been in power nothing has happened.

        People need to start demanding action on this.

        Or are you one of those Uncle Toms in LGBTory who thinks we should wait until Cameron decides to live up to his promises?


        1. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Nov 2012, 4:42pm

          David, don’t you see the irony in on the one hand banging on about not getting marriage equality when you wants it, and then using racial slurs to dig at anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

          Would be nice if you could make your point without using racism to do so.

          1. For accuracy, it’s a literary comment, not a racial one. And yes, I’ve read the novel too.

  10. Jock S. Trap 9 Nov 2012, 3:24pm

    Well Said Richard!!

  11. Richard, the “real climate of hysteria” has been going on for a long long long time, since before you or I was born. There are only two possible explanations for what we are dealing with here: 1) CaMoron has had an “unfortunate” Freudian slip, in which case now we know what he really thinks about gay people. 2) CaMoron deflected the attention from himself to “teh gays” on purpose, in which case now we know what he really thinks about gay people.

    1. There is another angle, which is that the institutional climate of abuse in this country, in which children, females, and gay men have been victimised, then denied justice largely by those responsible treating us as below their consideration, or not worth their trouble, includes demonising gay men as likely pedophiles, and Cameron might have picked up on that as something that is part of what needs to change.

      Although ITV produced the Savile expose, ITV is not exempt from institutional abuse, and this episode is an example.

  12. 1st, I’m with you on the Cameron hating, but I still think what he said was worrying.
    I don’t think many people are claiming that he intended to make a link between gay people and paedophiles, that would be both shocking and fairly preposterous, but the fact that he was apparently the first person to mention homosexuality, without any explanation why (the links homophobes make between the two, as most gay people already know) shows that in his mind, and maybe in wider society, the two subjects are related on some level.
    If I may use an analogy to make the point clearer:  If there was a string of random killings and the prime minister was the first to say ‘let’s not turn this into a Muslim witch hunt’ it would be good, if fairly random, advice, but I think Muslims would be right to question why his mind went straight there in the first place.  I think many would find it offensive…

    1. It seems strange to me that you’d spend so much of your article criticising Schofield’s stunt, which seems to be unrelated to the issue at hand (it’s perfectly possible to be critical of both the stunt AND the response), and questioning Tom Watson’s reliability (also unrelated to what actually happened) rather than making an actual argument.
      Personally I think the link Cameron leapt to was lazy, based in part on a knowledge of the fact gay people sometimes get slandered as paedophiles but also based on him coming from a starting point where ‘non-straight’/’non-normal’ is a category that includes both gay people and paedophiles.
      I don’t think he was implying a moral equivalence, but I do think he betrayed a strong social/cultural mental link between the two, and it was dangerous to do so without further explanation.

      1. While it may have something to do with the equivalence you are referring to, how can noone see that Cameron was obviously referring to Gay Witch Hunts because that is probably what is being spoken about at Tory Headquarters. In any Office, the sole gossip is often what the problems are in that Office and not outside. Now Cameron would have heard and spoken with all his advisors a lot over the last week about the accusations flying around about closeted gay Tories. During such discussions, the discussions would have been about how it is turning for the Tory Party at least, into a form of gay witch hunt. It may have been rather myopic of Cameron to only be referring to the issues that are foremostly concerning his own party, but the prism which all of us look at things are those that concern us more directly. As such, that is why this link in his mind would have been present, and spoken in front of Schofield it might seem unprompted, but is related to conversations had with other Tories.

        1. Wait a moment! The “gay witch-hunt” has being going on for eons. Eeeeeeeoooons. It’s so institutionally and culturally entrenched that we just learned to live with it. It hasn’t started yesterday or two weeks ago. Besides, CaMoron has always denied it is still happening inside his own headquarters, and insists the Tories are now a changed and gay-friendly party. Let’s not be that naive shall we? Let’s not forget this man has just returned from a business trip to a country where he has decided to ignore the many human rights abuses hapening there, just to be able to showcase and sell armaments to his favorite despots. The gay narrative of the Tories doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. It stinks from thousands of miles away.

          1. de Villiers 9 Nov 2012, 5:47pm

            Unlike Labour who welcomed Colonel Gaddafi?

  13. 100 % correct comment. But I’am afraid the enquiry will spill over in “pedophaelia is gay business” anyway. There are too much tabloids and imbeciles in Britain. Be warned.

    1. too many tabloids not too much tabloids. come on, don’t be an imbecile.

  14. I totally agree with this comment piece.

  15. Agreed. Whatever you think about David Cameron, he made the comments he did because he understood the fact that homophobic people often perpetuate the myth/stereotype that gay men are all kiddy-fiddling perverts. Not because he actually believes that myth himself! I can’t believe some people have completely misread his words… I understood what he was trying to say straightaway.

    1. I don’t think they misread his words at all, they just want an excuse to criticise him.

  16. Another Hannah, BA, RMN. 9 Nov 2012, 4:38pm

    I don’t see a climate of hiseria, I see a reasoned calm DEMAND that abuse allegations that have not been investigated in 20 years should be checked, that the whole thing should be dealt with properly and without name calling anybody who oposses your beleif as childish or anything. Else. Schofield incidentally did not mention Gay men, so I don’t see what he has to do with this. Cameron uttered Gay and Peadophile in the same sentence so any fault is purely with him!

  17. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Nov 2012, 5:27pm

    I agree with Richard Smith even though I think Cameron could have ommitted any gay reference. He should have realised it would open up a can of worms. This to me is nothing more than a poor judgement call but not malicious or intentional I don’t think. Of course, the gay-baiters on the religious right will make hay out of it.

    1. Yes, quite my point. I agree, Robert. Why mention the word ‘gay’ at all? Sorry to bang on, but no-one’s really explained that.

      1. I explained it – look at my other post. Cameron mentioned the word ‘gay’ because he assumed the list Schofield gave him was the same homophobic list doing the rounds online a few days’ back, that listed gay people as likely child abusers simply because they happened to have kept their sexuality secret in the past, and therefore might have ‘other secrets’ too. Look at the interview, Schofield asks him if he’s seen the list before and he nods. I have seen the list before and if it is the same one I’ve seen, it was deeply homophobic. Cameron was not the first to bring being gay into the conversation – the ‘This Morning’ team did by presenting him with a list that had been composed by a bunch of online homophobes. I never thought I’d end up defending Cameron like this (never voted Tory, never will), but this is really getting frustrating now.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Nov 2012, 8:00pm

        Absolutely, Rufusred. During the molestation scandal among catholic clergy in America, the president of the Catholic League, William Donohue (twice married), holding a Ph.D in Sociology as if that makes him an expert, said that gay = paedophile. It’s now become synonymous with our orientation among right wing religious nutters. The problem is that many in the medical and scientific word rarely ever set the record straight by taking the hatemongers to task and debunking the myths about paedophilia.

        I’ve noticed that in the case of a gay paedophile, his or her orientation is almost always stigmatised and targeted, yet in the case of the hetero perpetrator, the orientation is rarely treated in the same manner even though the crime is condemned. It’s the same in cases of hetero rape, the sexual orientation of the male is never called into question or demonised and the sensationalism and hysteria associated with it is on a far lower scale, in fact virtually non-existent.

  18. Stephen Glenn 9 Nov 2012, 5:46pm

    While David Cameron’s comments in themselves were not homophobic as Richard says in the past day I have heard a lot of such comments which can only be said to have stemmed from the association of the two words on This Morning.

  19. I think detracting from the actual issue by mentioning gays then destroys what little headway has been made in distancing paedophilia and homosexuality. This Tory knew exactly what he was saying, and if he didn’t then I believe this displays his private thoughts about us and gives great cause for concern that his first response was to relate the two.

  20. To all the people who are still saying they don’t understand why he mentioned gay people: When Schofield handed him the list, he asked Cameron, ‘Do you know the names on that piece of paper?’ Cameron nodded and said yes (watch the video) – therefore, he didn’t look at the paper because he knew, or believed he knew, what list he was giving him, ie. one that has been on the internet in the past few days specifically listing a series of gay men and conflating their sexuality with them being child abusers. Cameron then immediately says: ‘I think the very real danger is that THIS (ie., this list) is in danger of turning into a witch-hunt particularly against people who are gay.’ I saw a deeply homophobic list on the Huff Post News comments page a while ago, and myself complained to my parents about people scapegoating gay people. Cameron responded to a witchunt against gay people by saying there shouldn’t be one, just like I did. Hardly homophobic.

  21. I loathe people who write articles assuming that readers are so dumb, stupid, and thick that they cannot absorb more than one sentence per minute, and who therefore not only present each sentence as a separate paragraph but who separate each such paragraph-sentence from the next by an empty line.

    It’s hardly the way of cogent argument.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Nov 2012, 10:25am

      I think it’s more likely you just loathe people who have a different opinion to you but hey thats what the brain is for and not everyone will follow the sheep like you do or expect from others.

    2. I don’t know if you’re being ironic, but you have just “presented” a paragraph-sentence followed by an empty line.

      1. Heh – well spotted.

    3. PantoHorse 10 Nov 2012, 5:30pm

      It’s a standard way of writing for the Internet. The BBC do it, the Guardian too, look around – mostly one sentence paragraphs, two or, very occasionally, three max. It’s nothing to do with assumptions about readership.

    4. Spanner1960 10 Nov 2012, 7:46pm

      Why? The responses coming back from the majority of posts admirably demonstrate the majority of readers on here are ” so dumb, stupid, and thick that they cannot absorb more than one sentence per minute.”

  22. GingerlyColors 9 Nov 2012, 7:05pm

    When allegations were first made against Jimmy Savile I did warn against finding people guilty without a fair trial and put the initial accusations down to sour grapes. It is all to easy to accuse people of being child abusers. The word ‘witch hunt’ is spot on. Nowadays we substitute the word ‘witch’ with ‘paedophile’. Now that we have enough evidence to hang Jimmy Savile (if he was still alive), the whole thing is beginning to snowball and innocent people are going to get caught up in it. Remember what happened when the now defunct News Of The World tried to name and shame paedophiles in the wake of the Sarah Payne murder? Look at all the trouble that they had in Portsmouth and other towns when mobs gathered against suspected paedophiles. This hysteria must stop NOW and we must allow the police, courts and justice to do their job and not let judges and juries be swayed by all this sensationalism.

    1. Not to mention when The Sun provided the name and address of a paediatrician and his house got mobbed…

      1. The doctor was a she, and there was damage to property.

    2. You have entirely missed the point, which is the institutional climate of abuse that allows this all to flourish and continue. Little or none of that is a matter for the courts. To end that we need to use this unique opportunity to sweep the institutions towards reform. Your words are counter to the real needs, although they may apply to those whose pain from long-ignored abuse is being triggered, but triggered anger is not amenable to such words.

  23. theotherone 9 Nov 2012, 9:12pm

    i am your humble fan richard

  24. Fully agree with RS.

    However, the link between gays and pedophilia has been banded around the internet for years and not just recently. I’m sure I’ve read articles and reports on anglican mainstream, narth, christian concern etc which are constantly referring to gays being the highest offenders of child sex abuse. When is someone like Cameron going to challenge these organisations.

  25. Before equalisation of the age of consent, anyone who did it with someone under 21 was committing a criminal offence. I’m not clear whether such historical acts couldn’t still be prosecuted.

    Very easy for the people “on the internet” to lump this in with having had sex with a minor and not point out the difference.

    I had the strong impression that Cameron is aware that the present hysteria is being used by some as cover for a witchhunt agaist gays. He seemed genuinely upset about it, which impressed me.

  26. Well put, very well said. At last someone speaking sense

    1. I love your new intro! I tried making one mlseyf in iMovie this week but I think I’m gonna need a bit more practice lol.And yay! You got the same things I did from Penguin! I wish I had gotten Nightshade as well, but I’m happy with what they sent me Happy reading!

  27. Lord McAlpine is heterosexual, and has been married three times. His name was almost certainly amongst those on Phillip Schofield’s list. So the question is: why did David Cameron talk about a witchhunt against gay people?

    1. Another Hannah 9 Nov 2012, 11:47pm

      It is the question isn’t it. Also when are they going to go through the other names in the list, who also have evidence against them. Next I think the genuineness and reasonableness of the victims is proved, so why did it take this long to get to this stage, and so much trouble? We should have been in this position all those years ago. McAlpine is one case, so what abou the other 2-3 cases? There still seems an insitence on trying no to deal with this properly, and a snobbery and spite towards the victims that is quite vile. If they aren’t going to deal with this properly and do a proper investigate all inquiry I guess some of us are going to have to keep pushing these cases for years.

    2. Jock S. Trap 10 Nov 2012, 10:28am

      Either way we now have an innocent man named and tarnished .. and for what?

      Regardless of this, this is why David Cameron’s comments were correct in spelling out the dangers and here we have the proof.

    3. Do you want a list of gay men wo’ve married? Starting with Oscar Wilde…

  28. “It’s safe to assume that the Tories named/libelled on the Schofield list were mostly, if not all, gay men”

    Four names of alleged tory paedeophiles can be found repeatedly on the internet. NONE of those commonly named are openly gay men, and assuming they are the same four names Schofield had they are all married to women.

    So Cameron was being homophobic. He is equating being an adult male paedophile who abuses boys with being gay. I can’t even think of four openly gay tories, so it’s pretty unlikely that they were the four names Schofield had.

    1. Pay attention Kath, Cameron didn’t even look at Schofield’s list of names so had to idea what it contained.

      He introduced gays into the equation off his own back, and the main point which most people appear to be overlooking is WHY he would do such a thing when the word gay has not been mentioned in association with paedophilia in eons?

      What is Cameron’s agenda in doing so when it is he and he alone who has put gay people in the spot, and that is something Mr. Smith’s article completely overlooks.

      1. Spanner1960 10 Nov 2012, 7:47pm

        That’s because he already knew what was on it.

  29. Richard Smith is being far too lenient towards David Cameron.

    Cameron and his like will be well versed in the application of NLP techniques to subvert debate and plant seeds of doubt in the subconscious mind, and I daresay he will have been well groomed to prepare for an ambush such as Schofield’s.

    Cameron’s reference to gay men appeared presumptious at best as he didn’t even look at Schofiled’s list, so what prompted him to throw in the reference from left-field?

    It was supplanted, I believe, to subvert and deflect a reasonable response to Philip Schofield’s direct question into something else entirely by introducing gays into the equation, when Cameron knows only too well that many people irrationally and inexplicably associate homosexuality with paedophilia.

    In my opinion it was a masterclass in smoke and mirrors and, more than anything, suggests Mr Cameron knows a damn sight more than he is letting on.

    1. Indeed! If Cameron is so spot on, what changes have been made for our benefit? Name 5 since May 2010? Anyone? Anyone at all? No? No? Hmm. Some of us will remember him floundering in the interview on equal marriage/ free vote (allowing homophobes in his party to continue to vote against equality.

  30. Robert B.C. 10 Nov 2012, 5:53pm

    Yes a great comment piece and yet another spin on the whirl. I think that your later statement “…we risk losing sight of the actual victims.

    There is a very real problem of victims of child abuse not being believed, and this is hindered not helped if people blindly subscribe to internet gossip that is beyond belief.” … would have served the vicims more to be at the front of the article before people stop reading.

  31. Im confused This is about pedophiles why did he bring gay people into it .”gay witch hunt” should have said “witch hunt” why the emphasis on gay people in a conversation about pedophiles?

    1. Really can’t understand why your comment, or my earlier one on 9th November have been marked down.

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