Things have reached a pretty pass when calling someone a bigot, even when that person is the exact dictionary definition of a bigot, is worse than actually BEING a bigot. Even a very nasty bigot.
Take last night at the Stonewall Awards – excellent show by the way: the champagne was flowing, we were sitting next to Beverley Knight who Tweeted the whole thing, lesbians were wearing long dresses, we chatted to Brian Paddick who came over for a snog… You know, a nice night.
Anyways, you’ll have heard all about Barclays bank – currently under investigation for something or other – denouncing Stonewall’s traditional Bigot of the Year category announcing that they would withdraw funding from Stonewall, the group that, among other things, tries to help gay kids at school, if the category was not taken out. This after pressure was exerted by Christians, who were very well represented in the category.
Well, when it came to the Politician of the Year award, the really rather repellent Ruth Davidson MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, used her acceptance speech to denounce the Bigot of the Year category. She was roundly booed. But roundly. We even stood to boo.
Then, when he won his Journalist of the Year award, the excellent Owen Jones of The Independent (who wrote the book Chavs) used his acceptance speech to denounce her, to much cheering. We even stood to cheer. He said it was rich for someone whose party came up with Clause 28 to tell gay people that they weren’t entitled to identify their enemies.
When it came to the controversial Bigot of the Year category, Ben Summerskill, chief of Stonewall, gave the most brilliant speech about how Stonewall was prepared to talk to anyone, no matter what their views on gay rights, but when people denounced gays as paedophiles, bestialists and Nazis then Stonewall was well within its rights to denounce those people as bigots. So much cheering, champagne was spilt.
We then proceeded to the lobby of London’s illustrious V&A where the awards took place to congratulate everyone, drink some more of that delicious champagne and get felt up by a man with a beard.
This is a spade. But please do not call it a spade.,