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31 years ago today Terry Higgins died from AIDS

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  1. Rest in peace.

    What a pity the charity founded in his name has proved to be so ineffective in combatting HIV infection rates.

    I guess THT is more interested in keeping its funding and lucrative NHS contracts than in fighting HIV

  2. The same old then Samuel – nothing new to say, not even acknowledge the significance of the death of Terry & everything that has developed as a result of his death.

    Prevention is just one aspect of the work THT do – and that has been the case from day one, initially THT was set up to provide the help & support dying individuals required & to push for research into the then mystery illness.

    Typical of you to continue your disgraceful attack on THT & other HIV organisations. I note you have no real genuine interest in HIV & the health of gay men as you have been absent from recent debates – which has been a blessing as other commentators have been able to enter the debate about the real issues rather than the usual focus on THT.

    No doubt this particular thread will become a focal point for the usual suspects to discredit THT, without thinking about the true significance of the article………….

    1. But surely you accept that the THT is failing miserably in what it claims to do.

      I believe that a new, better organisation is needed.

      THT really has zero credibility.

      How much are their directors paid again?

      How much money does it get in grants and NHS contracts.

      And how successful is it in lowering HIV infection rates?

      1. SteveC – if you believe that a new, better organisation is needed then why not make it happen? Given that Local Authorities are now responsible for the majority of spending on HIV prevention & sexual health, what is to stop you & a group of passionate activists putting together a local HIV prevention plan & pitching it to your local director of public health? At least you can say you had a go & you may be successful if you are prepared to play the political game as well as putting together a well thought out alternative plan that is financially sound.

        I have to say I get frustrated by those who want change to happen but are not prepared to put the work in to make the fine words we see posted here a reality. Local Gov should be listening to the views of the local population – why not have your say & get behind HIV prevention if you feel so very passionate about it? Terry Higgins would be doing just that I believe!

        1. I might do that. Good idea.

          But it’s sort of dodging the point I was making.

          THT is an ineffective, expensive corporation that is failing in its pretend mission.

          Its overpaid directors need to be sacked immediately, They are overpaid and irrelevant.

          It needs to be set specific targets in the reduction of HIV infection rates,

          If it fails then all government funding must be redirected to a more effective charity.

          2 years is sufficient time for THT to do this, or instead be replaced.

          1. It is not me you need to persuade about THT being ineffective, expensive & failing – it is those commissioners who spend public money buying services from THT.

            I think perhaps you need to look further up the food chain if you beleive THT is ineffective – if the commissioners are not closely monitoring each contract that s awarded then they are the ones that also need to be held to account.

            I think it is difficult to define if THT is ineffective in terms of HIV prevention as it is not the only publicly funded organisation, it may be the biggest & high profile but I would estimate THT only control 30% of prevention spending, & approx £1million of their funding last year went to other partner organisations.

            The real debate we should be havng is how we wish HIV prevention services to be commissioned in future. Only 1/3 of THT public funding is targeted at prevention contracts, the rest is clinical services & long term condition management. The devil is in the detail, as always

          2. Samuel B. 6 Jul 2013, 1:01pm

            No, W6:- that is the debate YOU would prefer we were all having so as to deflect the heat away from the bastardisation of Terry Higgins’ name that is the THT as, in true W6 style, you try on your tired old ploy of changing the subject rather than addressing the issue.

            Yawn…

          3. You are not prepared to debate the issues Samuel Bass – all you want to do at every opportunity is discredit THT & post total hogwash when it comes to a balanced view of THT. Let us be clear here you are waging a campaign to discredit THT (& other HIV service providers) & wish to stop individuals like myself putting forward an alternative factual argument, rather than the tired rhetoric we see time & again from you & your handful of supporters.

            This story was not about THT but about Terry Higgins losing his life to HIV, but in typical fashion you & others have chosen to stymie this debate – very distasteful in my view.

            I believe other readers can see what your clear objective here is; lets face it you have not been particularly successful in other recent threads, notching up many double digit negative comment ratings.Face facts your views are not popular here, often because they are posted in an extremely antagonistic way & designed to agitate & bully those who dare question you!

          4. You are never prepared to have a clear debate on the funding of HIV / Sexual Health Services, you are always calling for more cuts to Government Funding both to HIV prevention & treatment – for an individual who says he is passionate about the health of gay men you have a odd way of showing it!

            It seems to me that you are not prepared to engage with any political process when it comes to improving equality for gay men – health equality being the most important in my view. Like me I am sure Terry Higgins would be sick to death of the way you discredit all the advances that have occurred in HIV science since the early days – what is wrong with you?

            If you are not prepared to engage with either the political process or get involved as an ac then you get what you deserve – some of us want to see positive change. I really am very unsure what you want, other than to dictate sexual practices to other gay men who do not subscribe to your very narrow purile point of view

          5. Samuel B. 6 Jul 2013, 5:09pm

            You talk of “tired old rhetoric” but that’s just what THT has been spewing out for 30-plus years as its ancient exec committee refuse to change gear thus ensuring a never-ending stream of user clients for its profitable HIV services.

            And therein lies the rub.

            It’s extremely unfortunate you have this unyielding blind spot when it comes to the HIV sector:- your Twitter feed could be an even greater tool if it embraced the views of the disenchanted and disenfranchised and wasn’t a forum solely for the HIV sector Twitterati to promote the latest wonder drug or plug GMFA’s sports day.

            Dare I say you have a great gift for bloke-down-the-pub-style banter:- some of your observations are brilliantly summarised in less than 140 letters and often with a deft touch of humour (oh, and my Pekingese Mitzy I’m sure has a thing going on for Crumble!).

            BUT while you continue sliming up to those who’ve sold gay men’s health down the river you do your fellow gays as a whole a great disservice.

          6. One could ask why you do pay such interest to my Twitter feed, there are many 1000’s of individuals who engage in social media. I have to ask why are you so scared of being more open & prefer skulking around here, ever guarded about your identity

            My suspicion has always been that you target me because you (still erroneously) believe I am a THT employee & more recently you have discovered my Twitter feed which you believe confirms that you are correct. You are making many incorrect assumptions about me which you post here as fact. As for Tweets have been directed at THT or GMFA employees, (who Tweet in a personal capacity), out of nearly 3500, I would hazard a guess that I have sent around 50 (1.5%) of my totally activity

            Guilty by association in your view, which is rather sad & just confirms to me that you see conspiracy first & fact after the event. I think it is you that has a blind spot – you ignore the science, public health surveillance data & new prevention technologies.

          7. PS Samuel

            Rather than ask me to use MY Twitter feed to “embrace the views of the disenchanted & disenfranchised” why do YOU not take up this challenge? My primary interest lays with people living with HIV, second to that is a genuine interest in prevention – aimed at the whole population not just MSM.

            Be critical of that if you will, but I see no reason why you cannot be more active using Twitter & other social media if you had a genuine interest. The amount of time you spend on PN you could get your views out to the masses, rather than the “small c” conservative readers of PN. As you know, actions speak louder than words in my view – that is the issue I have with you – “all fur coat & nay knickers” to coin a phrase!

          8. W6, while the NSA and GCHQ have “back doors” into our personal lives thanks to the likes of these social networking platforms that are effectively colluding in constructing a global control grid the likes of which would make Orwell blush, I have no intention of airing my personal laundry on a public platform for the spivs to scan and note accordingly.

            You have a very public presence in the Twittersphere and seem content – and somewhat naive – in openly expressing your every thought and utterance.

            I do hope one day your openness and charming ascerbic wit don’t rebound back on you to bite you on the bum.

            And for the final time my moniker is Samuel B. You have no right to address me as Samuel Bass, regardless of whether or not I was on the pink gin at the time I let it slip however long ago.

            We are all entitled to our anonymity and privacy so please respect that.

            Thank you.

          9. You really do make me laugh it has to be said – I am very sure you are not likely to have any interesting secrets that would be remotely interesting to NSA or GCHQ! Like everything in life one has to balance risk with benefit. I get you are completely risk adverse, but to criticise me for having a Twitter account to keep in contact with individuals & organisations just shows your immaturity. You ask everyone else be transparent, to state their vested interests, yet you are not prepared to do the same – totally hypercritical & just shows the double standards you live by.

            You placed your Surname in the public domain, you have shown scant regard for respecting me (& others in the past) I see no reason why I should not use your surname. The very idea that you thought I had acquired it through skulduggery as you accused me of just shows what a ridiculous individual you are!

            Do you believe the mirror in the morning & is that shadow you cast really yours? The curse of conspiracy Samuel Bass

          10. What makes your position even more ridiculous is that you are constantly arguing for freedoms of speech & thought, but only on your terms. In my experience, individuals like yourself are more than happy to spout off & bully people over the internet, but in the “real world” they are more timid than a church mouse – aint that the truth? How many yrs have you been complaining about prevention policy in the UK? You have achieved nothing in that time – ineffectual me thinks!

            I will take no more high handed lectures from you – this is not the Eaton debating society, so quit with your faux snobbery, you come across like an out of touch Tory boy. Just like the incumbent front bench, you are all headline & no substance.

          11. Benjy Bear 8 Jul 2013, 12:08pm

            I hope all the people living with hiv aids abandoned in qdd charity ukcs collapse are.now fully supportedif anyone can be bothered lol

          12. URGENT APPEAL AIDS CRISIS 8 Jul 2013, 12:43pm

            can we have the £150,000 wasted by ukc along with the
            £90,000 wasted in closing down the bsnkrupt charity immediately repaid to people with HIV/Aids in UK to bring
            them out of Poverty n despair

          13. Samuel B. 8 Jul 2013, 2:54pm

            You think my commenting on the incompetencies and willful failures of your beloved HIV sector on these boards makes no impact, Chris Williams?

            How is it, then, that in the 5.5 years I have been posting here, where once I was virtually a lone voice condemning the HIV sectors set-up-to-fail prevention policies, today you are the lone voice defending them?

            No, this most certainly is not the Eaton Lecture Society:- as I mentioned earlier you have a likeable “bloke down the pub” bantering style, but Poet Laureate you are not just in case you are starting to get ideas above your station.

            Look around you, W6, newcomers – hardly “the usual subjects” – are adding their voices to this debate as each new HIV story comes along:- you’re the only one now swimming against the tide.

            And seeing how enthusiastic you were in rallying behind Andy Murray yesterday, I’d very much say that’s game, set and match to me, wouldn’t you?

            And kindly refrain from calling me Samuel Bass, thank you.

          14. From what I see Ms Bass it has taken you 5 years to attract a handful of individuals who happen have been taken in by your legendary rants about THT. I note you are not so quick to join in with the “good news” articles about HIV, but there again a basic understanding of HIV science is hardly your forte is it?

            Whipping up outrage on PN has had no effect on policy, thus you have wasted your time.

            Be thankful I don’t publish your full name on my Twitter feed, together with other little tit bits I know about you (all self publicised).

            It seems I have my very own Twitter stalker in the guise of Ms Samuel Bass, perhaps I need to change my security settings? But what would be the fun in that.

            It is very good of you to keep plugging my Twitter account, more new followers by the day :-)

          15. Forget worrying about NSA or GCHQ there is enough info on this site for anyone with half a brain to track you down if they were so inclined to, & I am very sure an IT geek could soon discover your IP address together with the multiple email accounts you use on this site – risky business this Internet malarkey ain’t it.

            You take care now Samuel Bass there is risk & danger everywhere!

          16. Samuel B. 8 Jul 2013, 4:00pm

            Well you could only know my IP address through skulduggery, and I concede that a momentary lapse of discretion rendered my full identity to you:- but how on earth from that info you can profess to know anything about me apart from vague hints of my job I know not.

            Whereas via your Twitter feed we know about every burp, fart and visit to the men’s room you undertake each and every hour.

            And surely after the NHS database debacle and the controversy surrounding it you would be wary about posting the exact nature of your condition at any one time and the drugs and statins you are ingesting daily?

            I understand these are serving a purpose, but I know not what purpose it serves informing the world to the letter.

            And yes I do now follow your Twitter feed because I happen to like your style and banter, and Mitzy needs her daily fix of Crumble gazing adoringly from my computer screen.

            And one thing I HAVE learned from it is that there are far more things we agree about than not.

          17. You have highlighted 2 important points where I take issue with you on:

            Firstly, I am not inclined to want to get details of your IP address – yet you constantly see me as some kind of threat, which is indicative of your very risk adverse, persecution complex that shines through in your comments here. You see THT as a direct threat to you & anyone who dare present a factual counter argument you go on a personal offensive to ware them down

            Secondly you have a gift for over egging the pudding – you exaggerate everything out of all proportion – anyone reading my Twitter feed will be aware that I do not post my every move or bodily function as you wish to suggest. Again we see these overblown comments made about THT & other HIV centered debate – your statements in no way reflect a reasonable honest view!

            Sharing information has to be a good thing – the more +ve people who are prepared to “come out” the better as this improves understanding & reduces stigma which has to be good.

          18. As for you following my Twitter feed I find it rather odd (if not worrying) that you would be interested in such drivel! You have set yourself up as my “arch enemy” here on PN, & whilst I appreciate you occasionally make an effort to resolve the personal vendetta, sadly I do not forgive very easily, particularly someone who knows very little about me. Some of your historical comments have been totally below the belt – I have stated in the past that I make a very loyal, trusting friend but cross me & I make a very ferocious opponent.

            Which brings me nicely on to my little girl Crumble – she has the same temperament as her Dad, very loyal & soppy but cross her & the Staffie traits come to the fore – I’m not sure Mitsy would appreciate being told off. You know what they say about dogs & their owners!

          19. Samuel B. 8 Jul 2013, 6:15pm

            Oops, Crumble is a GURL?

            I’d better break it to Mitzy gently:- she isn’t into girl-on-girl fun (as far as I know)…

          20. I did wonder……………………………that said Crumble is very dominant over her male doggy friends! She certainly would be taking the active role in any girl on girl action!

          21. Samuel B. 8 Jul 2013, 8:11pm

            That’s just the kind of banter I enjoy reading your Twitter feed for:- shows you to be a likeable, cuddly, caring and sensitive person when not in pit bull attack mode on PN boards and dare I say helps brighten my day after reading my doom-laden Guardian.

            Crumble is one lucky pooch!!

          22. As we all know perceptions can be very deceiving when it comes to us humans & our dogs – the much maligned bull terrier breeds are soppy, loyal & very loving when they are treated well – it is the owners of such breeds that lets them down & perpetuates the myth that they are dangerous dogs. We should try not to make quick judgements about dog breeds or other people.

            Bull terrier breeds are strong willed & determined, they do not shy away from the challenge put before them – the challenge you have put before me here on PN is to change your perception of HIV, how things have improved & how best to reduce infection rates. I am no prevention campaign expert (even though you bill me as an expert) but I do know a thing or 2 about evidence based commissioning & how that plays out in the charity sector. The whole system needs looking at, but we must start with the Politicians who are there to allegedly serve the common man………

            So, yes I am like a pit bull on a mission!

          23. Fair – and very funny – comment! :)

        2. Fine.

          But you accept I hope that in its current form the THT is ineffective, slightly irrelevant, and has massive overheads for its miserable results?

    2. Samuel B. 4 Jul 2013, 5:44pm

      W6, as you say prevention is but one aspect of THT’s work, since the greed of their exec committee has enabled them to grow dominant and bureaucratic over the years, seizing the monopoly on all contracts STI-related often to the detriment of smaller, genuine grassroots charities.

      Of course it could be argued that had THT continued pushing hard at HIV prevention instead of taking their eye off the ball in the mid-1990s with the advent of HAART then there would be no need for THT to exist today.

      A fait accompli, if you will…

      And yes, Mark, THT’s reputation for financial misappropriation and collusion with pharma co precedes it, and all in dear, late Terry Higgins’ name of course.

      Scandalous!!

  3. I’d be dead without the THT. Literally. Seriously. As in starved himself to death because his deluded mind thought that what he was eating was an adequate diet. A friend called them in, and they got me into hospital, where the causes of my delusions and hallucinations were identified and dealt with.

    1. And what about their pathetic incompetence in reducing HIV infection rates?

      The THT has squandered any credibility it once had.

      The directors of THT need to be sacked, and it must be given specific targets on HIV reduction, which if it fails to meet them then all government funding to it must stop.

      That is only reasonable – why throw money at a corporation which is working in its own interest?

    2. Samuel B. 4 Jul 2013, 5:51pm

      Yes, Steve, but how many gay men DID die through ignorance and THT’s wilful failure and refusal to get tough with HIV prevention while it became a multi-million pound fundraising charity on the back of its HIV client user services and all things STI contract chasing, pray tell?

  4. Mystic Pizza and Spots 4 Jul 2013, 5:34pm

    THT is so far removed from the love that started it. It is now a full corporation, not a charity. Run by megalomania and distrust, it carves it’s place in the health provision sphere with sharp knives.
    Competing unfairly using well-heeled funders’ donations, it hides behind shabby celebrity driven marketing to ‘deliver’ what should be a public service.

    THT was set up to empower the disenfranchised and dying. One that would have refused the free publicity of Rupert Murdoch because such is tasteless. One that wouldn’t have sullied itself with the mimicry of new labour back room ‘leftistry’ and skullduggery.

    Its ethos was different when it started, much different than that ‘delivered’ by the current self-serving long haul hag helmers that steer this enterprise now.

    1. Samuel B. 4 Jul 2013, 5:58pm

      Well said, Mystic Pizza.

      One day the story of how a lowly backroom post boy scaled the ranks to become Chief Exec of THT within just 6 years, and with it how he politicised and corrupted the intention of the founder members and accepted backhanders from Glaxo Wellcome to push deadly chemo drugs onto HIV-infected Londoners.

      Sir Nick, pillar of the British establishment but a curse on the gay community for 20-plus years.

      And until his snout is surgically extracated from the THT trough, nothing will ever change.

  5. Mystic Pizza and Spots 4 Jul 2013, 5:54pm

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/12/04/tht-boss-there-is-not-enough-money-for-a-high-profile-hiv-awareness-tv-campaign/

    Sur Nick, even when the money was available, even when the ad industry would have done it pro-bono, you still said “no”. Why is that? Lack of vision? Tactic-think? Inability to provide stewardship and a focus on contracts from an easy crony network, now long gone? I would say…. and then some.

  6. We lost so many activists to AIDS, our fight was hindered greatly.
    RIP, and we owe it to him and to all of our LGBT brothers and sisters who have passed to play safe and get tested, no excuses.

    It makes me sad to think of all the people I’ll never meet or have even heard of because we lost them to HIV :(

  7. As predicted the usual trolls are out in force, now is not the time to debate THT this is about Terry who probably died a painful, frightebjng death, shame on those of you who are using this opportunity to troll THT.

    The worried well are always the first to complain, put yourself in the shoes of a person living with HIV, then you might actually get it!

    1. Let’s be exactly clear what a troll is, W6.

      It is an agenda-individual who visits web sites to subvert and stymie debate on topics in which said individual has a professed self-interest.

      Need I remind everyone that you run your own Twitter feed on which you have set yourself up as an expert on all things HIV drugs related, and on which you shamelessly serenade the likes of THT’s Lisa Power with fripperies and platitudes instead of holding her to task?

      Never thought to ask her what her job at THT is after two-plus decades in the role, for example?

      You only ever come here to troll and shill for your HIV sector buddies, never to debate any of the other multitude of pink-tinted topics:- so we can rest assured you can only be referring to yourself in your opening gambit.

      1. “It is an agenda-individual who visits web sites to subvert and stymie debate on topics in which said individual has a professed self-interest.” you have described yourself perfectly Samuel, well done! As for you making jibes about my Twitter account it is open for all to view – I have a variety of followers (over 340) & follow those who I consider will keep me informed about advances in HIV science & treatment. Mock me all you like – you have no evidence to suggest I have not “held THT to account” at times. Your perception is way off the mark!

        Social media is an important activist tool – but sadly something you will never realise because instead of leading from the front on the issues you appear to be so passionate about you hide here on PN too afraid to put yourself forward & be counted. If Terry Higgins were alive today he would lament the poor level of activism around this important subject, when are you going to actually do something, rather than criticise those of us who do!

    2. Mystic Pizza and Spots 4 Jul 2013, 6:22pm

      @W6_Bloke what’s your angle? To stop discussion on reigniting the initial legacy of Terrence Higgins (and then the Trust)? I think you should communicate with those who actually knew him and then comment. Otherwise, the troll is you.

      1. Not at all, I just think it is in bad taste that on the day that Terry Higgins lost his life to HIV we should be reflecting on the importance of his death, rather than point scoring about THT. In my view now is not the time for such debates!

        No one can really know what Terry would think THT as it stands today, but I do know one thing I am very sure he would be still leading the fight against HIV & to help those living with HIV. Despite the way I am depicted here by the likes of Samuel Bass I am an activist who wants to change perceptions of HIV so that we can once & for all eradicate the virus – tall order, but I do what I can as a treatment activist first & foremost

        Only last week was I using my (much maligned) Twitter account to help put pressure on Gilead to look at undertaking essential trials on a new format of Tenofovir, which as it stands they are not interested in developing as a stand alone drug, which could benefit many individuals as it is less toxic than the current drug.

        1. Mystic Pizza and Spots 4 Jul 2013, 7:10pm

          Dear W6_bloke why do you personally have to undertake such activism when our largest ‘charity’ should be proactively shaping the drug companies’ agendas?

          1. I do not believe it is within the remit of a charity like THT to influence treatment options, as THT is a provider or clinical services they should not be influencing Pharma Co’s. The Treatment Action Group (TAG) in the States & i-Base in the UK are examples of organisations who advocate on behalf of those of us who have to take HIV treatments, I want to be part of that voice & to put pressure on the Pharma Co’s where I believe they are not acting in the best interest of individuals living with HIV.

            Similarly I believe it is important for people living with HIV have a voice in the Commissioning of HIV treatment & care, which currently sits within the remit of the NHS HIV Specialist Commissioning Group. I have an interest in prevention which is now the remit of Local Authorities through their Public Health responsibilities I do not think that any service providers should influence the commissioning process, but commissioners must be engaged with the public & activists to shape policy

          2. Samuel B. 4 Jul 2013, 9:31pm

            “THT is a provider or clinical services they should not be influencing Pharma Co’s…”

            Too true, W6.

            But do you not think that it should work both ways, and had the Pharma co’s not been influencing and co-opting the THT these last couple of decades – nor allowing itself to be seduced by “incentives” to act more in the interests of the pharmas than the interests of gay men – we would not be in the goddamn awful mess we find ourselves in today?

            Do you not find it perverse how THT has subliminally encouraged gay men into unsafe sexual practises via irresponsible, sexualised “safe sex” ads that sought to normalise HIV and BB sex along with provacative web sites such as hardcell.org.uk?

            And don’t even get me started on THT’s incestuous relationship with the hard sex industry, nor its refusal to speak out or even comment on the proliferation of bareback porn.

            As I said earlier, what would Terry say today if he knew how his name had been used abused by corporate self-interests?

          3. As you well know Samuel I am not persuaded by your arguments, so why go over old ground – I simply have not been convinced that THT have colluded with Pharma Co’s in the way you suggest. Perhaps in time I will be proved wrong, who knows?

            Is it in the remit of a charity to sensor the porn that is available? I am not convinced about this. I am not convinced that providing graphic risk reduction information leads to greater risk taking – you call this PC group think, I believe it comes down to personal responsibility.

            If THT were the only prevention service provider then by all means they should be totally held to account, but whilst they are the biggest provider they only control probably 25% maybe 30% of total prevention spending in the UK

            We will never agree, what I object to is the exaggerated way you portray THT, most of the information you present is plainly inaccurate & based on a personal agenda to discredit, which extends to the NHS & those who work in the HIV sector

  8. shame on you THT for not even mentioning the 31 year of Terry’s death on your web site

  9. ACTUPLONDON 4 Jul 2013, 7:11pm

    Weve been asking what happened to the published £75,000 rescue package but so far no one from London Hiv Sector will answer ? We deserve a answer to where the money went. Please no more cover ups

  10. benjy bear 6 Jul 2013, 4:14pm

    I hope the gays fleeing aids chariy sector are fully supported

  11. ACTUPLONDON 7 Jul 2013, 9:16pm

    Surely Congats to Met Police for excercising discretion in not srresting police panel member after peoples dats ended upall over London ? ? ?
    Well done to The Charity Comm and ICO for acting and Met Police not accepting Panel Members offer of resignation :-)

  12. Samuel B. 8 Jul 2013, 2:51pm

    So you think my commenting on the incompetences and willful failures of your beloved HIV sector on these boards makes no impact, Chris Williams?

    How is it, then, that in the 5.5 years I have been posting here, where once I was virtually a lone voice condemning the HIV sectors set-up-to-fail prevention policies, today you are the lone voice defending them?

    No, this most certainly is not the Eaton Lecture Society:- as I mentioned earlier you have a likeable “bloke down the pub” bantering style, but Poet Laureate you are not just in case you are starting to get ideas above your station.

    Look around you, W6, newcomers – hardly “the usual subjects” – are adding their voices to this debate as each new HIV story comes along:- you’re the only one now swimming against the tide.

    And seeing how enthusiastic you were in rallying behind Andy Murray yesterday, I’d very much say that’s game, set and match to me, wouldn’t you?

    And kindly refrain from calling me Samuel Bass, if you don’t mind!

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