BE careful as you read these words.
I am, it would seem, a recruiting sergeant for the homosexual cause.
By the time you’ve made your way to the bottom, oops there I go again, of the page you might not be the man or woman you thought you were.
All of a sudden a passion for Judy Garland, questionable moustaches and a penchant for comfortable footwear might seize you.
It’s a heavy responsibility I bear.
I’ve been taken to task by Amanda Woodruff, who has set herself up as guardian of public morality and who was not too taken with what I had to offer last week on the utter hypocrisy that lay behind Victorian values that so many people espouse.
Amanda is a worthy successor to my previous correspondent on these matters, the doughty Frances Summerbee, who memorably referred to me as the ‘Daily Post’s pro-homo spokesman.’
It’s not long before Amanda’s thoughts take her to the bedroom, or rather what other people, perverts the lot of them, do in the bedroom, and elsewhere for that matter.
“David, you're an immature little boy, who loves courting attention. Am I right or am I right? Your latest piece de nonsense concerns Victorian values? Well, at least they had values. True, they could not live up to many of them, alas. But this present generation has no values at all. No benchmark, no yardstick, and precious few morals and inhibitions. Let me give you just two examples.
There was recently a procession of around 20,000 homosexuals and lesbians through Cardiff. They were parading their depravity before all and sundry. That is the crucial difference between now and then. And they did so with a £5,000 cheque from the Welsh Assembly Government and considerably more from Cardiff Council. And where were the Police? Actively taking part! And what would your advice be to these sad cases? Go and seek some help? No way - you would give them every encouragement to continue in their sordid lifestyle. Or you would not be a Daily Post columnist for long.
Take the government's attitude towards alcoholics and druggies. These freeloaders sign on for what is philanthropically known as 'Incapacity Benefit', which grants its claimants a minimum of £75 a week, which is much higher than JSA, plus rent and council tax paid for by the state. They are not required to even look for work. All they do almost every day is drop into the local off-licence and pub, take a few bottles of cider home, and cause a good deal of hassle to their long-suffering neighbours. And all at the taxpayers’ expense. They are even given an allowance by the welfare state to buy their booze. What a farce.
There was much hypocrisy a hundred years ago. But, hey, look all around you today - the country has gone to the dogs. You mention a 'veneer' of respectability. That veneer separates us from savagery. As the saying goes - 'hypocrisy is the due paid by vice to virtue.' Now even that veneer has been stripped away, thanks in no small part to the efforts of misguided social engineers like yourself. You and your left-wing ilk have much to answer for.”
I have to say that in six years writing this column I have yet to feel the dread hand of the editor on my shoulder and a kindly word suggesting what I should or should not write. Nevertheless, I wonder should I adopt “Homosexuals – encourage them in their sordid lifestyle’ as a mission statement.
Anyway, Amanda gave me pause for thought. Had I spent the past six years campaigning on behalf of the gay community? Had a generation of young Welsh men and women come bursting forth from the closet, empowered by my weekly blather?
Do readers find themselves unaccountably humming ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ every Tuesday morning? Do men, having read my words, not only find they have something sensible to say to their wives about shoes, but realise that it’s not entirely unreasonable to own more than a dozen pairs?
I wondered myself and so set about searching the archives to see, however subliminally, I had been promoting the love that dare not speak its name.
The truth was shocking.
I have written in excess of 300 columns since 1999 and in that time I have tackled gay issues no fewer than five times – six counting today. It’s a wonder they don’t give me my own float at Manchester’s Mardi Gras. Me, in a sequinned dress and a dodgy wig, surrounded by oiled-up hunks, belting out ‘I Am What I Am’ – that would draw a crowd.
Inevitably Amanda, like Frances before her, and a bravely anonymous contributor who decided I was a ‘campaigning homosexual’, suggests that I may be gay myself because of my ‘outpourings over the years’ (five columns, it’s hardly a Dickensian output, but then one is probably one too many for Amanda).
This will come as news to Mrs Banks, who has been trying and failing to get me interested in curtain fabric for months – now I’ll have no excuse.
AFTER Amanda’s acerbic remarks it was time for a more pleasant diversion.
Up pops another regular correspondent, but this time on a far more pleasant subjects.
Welcome back Alison Jones with another example of ‘The Size Of Wales’ – the ongoing campaign to have Wales recognised as the standard unit of measurement for something that’s ooh, quite big.
“Things have been a bit quiet on this front recently but 'Coast', BBC2 did come up with the fact that the Fens are 1/5th the size of Wales.
I don't know whether to be pleased that Wales was chosen to be fractionalised rather than them searching for somewhere which was just right, or not.
Visualising something the size of Wales is quite hard anyway. I can readily visualise something the size of, say, a white delivery van of 'whitevan man' fame, or even an elephant if told whether it is Indian, Africa, baby or full grown.
These are things within my comprehension, but I am starting to have problems with the enormity of life today.
But hard as it is for me to embrace the full meaning of something the size of Wales, to then ask me to cut this up into 5 pieces and see just one of these pieces floating in front of my eyes..... well, all meaning seems to be lost.”
Indeed, Alison, but it’s yet another mention for Wales in connection with a subject it has nothing to do with whatsoever. That’s the sort of advertising even the Wales Tourist Board can’t buy.