- Danny La Rue – What a Drag
- Vassal Inside
- Lonely Homosexuals
- A To Z Of Gay Talk Starts Here
LONDON: Britain’s self-appointed arbiters of morals, the Festival of Light, has won an albeit temporary victory against the fair presentation of gay sex on television when Ross McWhirter, better known for compiling the Guinness Book Of Records and meddling in comprehensive education, managed to con the Court of Appeal into stopping ITV’s planned screening of a documentary by photographer David Bailey on Any Warhol, without bothering to see it.
McWhirter, perhaps in an attempt to win a record for stupidity, could not claim any greater knowledge of the programme’s content. He, too, had not seen the documentary made for the Midlands ITV company, ATV, before spending a day getting the law to rush through its due processes with undue, and almost obscene, haste.
He started with Mr Justice Forbes, sitting in private. Judge Forbes dismissed McWhirter’s objection to the programme. Within hours – not the months any mere mortal would have to wait – McWhirter was in the Court of Appeal conning three judges into passing an opinion on the programme none of them had seen.
Lord Justice Cairns said that he didn’t think the court had any right to stop the screening of the programme. But all the same he didn’t think it was the type of thing people should be allowed to see. The other two judges, Denning and Lawton, thought they could judge the programme and meddle in ITV’s schedules.
The trouble started when Lord Longford, whose self-appointed commission into pornography tried to silence sexual liberty, and other Festival of Light trouble-seekers decided they didn’t like the idea of a programme about the American movie-maker and artist that didn’t put him down.
Longford lashed out with his first broadside safe in the knowledge that he knew enough about porn to be able to criticise Bailey’s work on Warhol without moving his ass and bothering to see the film.
What he didn’t like about the movie he hadn’t seen was that he’d heard that the hadn’t seen was that he’d heard the movie Bailey had made for ATV’s documentary spot on the ITV network contained references to and the sight of “homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites” and such like.
“And on the strength of that it ought not to be shown.”
To make matters worse, David Bailey, who appears seemingly nude in bed with Warhol, who remains fully clothed, included footage from Andy Warhol factory movies. During this characters used the word ‘fuck’ four times, Lord Longford had heard. ‘Fuck’ is a word heard more than four times in the average AA-movie in the commercial cinema.
Just as the Festival of Lighters were sitting down eager to be shocked and disgusted by ATV’s cavorting around the New York movie factory the news came that the judges of the Appeal Court had come to the unprecedented decision of letting the Lighters have their way in getting the Warhol documentary banned.
The Independent Broadcasting Authority, the ITA as was, the authority that has the responsibility of making sure that all ITV output is ‘up to standard’, held out longer against the attacks from the Festival of Light than the BBC has of late in its brushes with the Festival and Mary Whitehouse’s National Viewers’ Association, but in the end it was outmanoeuvred by the self-righteous moral guardians who managed to get the programme banned.
Where Longford and the Festival of Light with their usual under-the-counter tactics – usually so effective on Lord Hill and the BBC – failed, Ross McWhirter succeeded.
McWhirter is new to the business of being a clean-up television campaigner, and could be said to have done much to encourage violence by working for the BBC as a rugby commentator. In the past he has battled to get comprehensive school plans scrapped for Enfield where he lives waiting to be discovered for Parliament.
The position at the time of going to press was that the IBA was appealing against the Appeal Court’s ban. At this hearing the judge may actually see the programme instead of dispensing justice blindfold.
Critics in Fleet Street are unhappy about the ban, which they feel smacks of dictatorial censorship.
They are even unhappier that McWhirter got the injunction stopping the screening of the Warhol movie partly through his claims that television critics who’d seen the movie were shocked by it.
John Howkins of Time Out, Tom Hutchinson of the Evening Standard and Elkan Allan of The Sunday Times issued a statement dissociating themselves from McWhirter’s protest.
Tom Hutchinson wrote, in a remarkable front-page attack on the ban in the Standard: ‘Some of the objected-to words are in fact contained within clips from Warhol’s own films which the cinema-going public has already been granted the privilege of seeing or not.
‘Of course, now my appreciation of the film has accelerated. Bailey’s point has been substantiated beyond my first reaction. For it seems very true now, that as Bailey suggests, Warhol is what you make him and what you think he is – even without seeing him’.
When the programme was cancelled, Thames TV, the London week-day television station, was besieged with telephone calls. All of its 84 ones were blocked for 90 minutes, the IBA reported a bigger-than-ever response to any of the programmes the ITV companies had been allowed to show. All the callers were complaining that the documentary had been shelved. Mr McWhirter may claim to represent the silent majority, but the majority, in this case, were against his under-hand, old-school-tie censorship tactics.
Thames compounded the silliness, which Anglia TV had already added to by individually refusing to show the programme, when London viewers were told that there had been a programme change – just that – with no reference to the court battle that had forced the chanage.
During the safe replacement documentary on a Nottingham craft centre – a programme which had been shown before – the BBC had The Old Gray Whistle Test on BBC2, including David Bowie’s Andy Warhol track, from the Hunky Dory album – played in sympathy?
QUOTES: Andy Warhol (in New York): “How quaint. How old-fashioned. Maybe they should see my movies.”
Jimmy Vaughan, Warhol’s European agent: “This is a terrible blow – it is censorship of the worst kind. Surely people have a right to decide what they watch.”
The National Council for Civil Liberties: “While a minority has a right to persuade, it does not have the right to impose its views with the blunt weapon of censorship. The NCCL urges the IBA to show this film at the earliest opportunity and let the viewing public decide on its merits or deficencies.”
Peter Thompson, secretary of the Festival of Light: “Thank God for men like Mr McWhirter.”
David Bailey: “I am amazed that the judges can make the order stopping the film without having seen it. Hitler used to burn books he hadn’t read.”
LONDON: A 23-year-old welfare worker from Hackney was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey after being tried for having sex with five boys in his care. Justin pleaded guilty to charges of committing eleven sex “offences” against the boys who were aged between 12 and 15 years.
He also pleaded guilty to charges of ‘counselling’, ‘procuring’, ‘aiding’ and ‘abetting’ another man, Sidney, to commit a ‘serious sexual offence’.
Sidney, a hospital porter of Eltham, didn’t appear to stand trial and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Justin, it was said, was employed as a house master at a Twickenham school for difficult boys. He had no training. Later he worked as a senior parent at a special reception centre run by Hackney borough council, then as a deputy warden of a hostel in Hounslow.
When he was arrested last May he was employed by the Inner London County Council as an educational welfare officer, according to the Hackney Gazette’s report of the trial, which failed to mention that there is no such thing as the Inner London County Council.
Mr Stephen Mitchell, prosecuting, claimed that, in 1969, on a caravan holiday in Canvey Island, Justin slipped a boy a tranquiliser in his cup of cocoa and “when he fell asleep sexually assaulted him”.
Then, in 1970, Justin met two brothers aged 13 and 14. He introduced himself to their parents, who “were totally put off their guard because he was working for Hackney borough council. As a result they allowed their sons to meet” Justin.
The prosecution claimed that one of the boys was shown a copy of the ABZ Of Love, into which Justin “had stuck obscene photographs. When the boy complained of a headache” Justine “gave him three sedatives and then, when he became drowsy, indecently assaulted him”.
Justin, it was said, had taken the same boy to see a “friend” – the Hackney Gazette’s quote-marks – in Shepton Malet jail, but the prison authorities refused to allow the boy in. The man they’d gone to see was Sidney, who later jumped bail.
Mr Mitchell said another of Justin’s victims was a young boy who was having difficulties in settling down at school after being indecently assaulted abroad.
When he was arrested on May 25, Justin said: “I do feel terribly ashamed and guilty for all the anxiety I have caused to all those whose trust I have betrayed. I am glad these children have been relieved of the awful burden I have placed upon them.”
Judge Corcoran listened to all this, then he jailed Justin for two years. He said that Justin was someone said to have a bright future in the social service. He went on: “You embarked on these employments with a certain flair which you undoubtedly have for this sort of work. But things went wrong because you had no training in any social studies. There was no period when people could supervise you in training before you actually did the work and when your particular failing may well have been spotted.
“You may have been saved what happened to you and the boys under your care might also have been spared. It is a pity.
“You met five boys in the course of your professional work. There is no doubt that you excited them sexually by showing some of them photographs. Certainly in the case of two of them you gave them tablets which acted as a sedative. You may well have put them in a position of not being able to resist what you intended to do to them.
“The majority of the boys were in your care because they were difficult, maladjusted and disturbed.”
The actual sentence came as something of a surprise after the judge had blamed Justin’s actions on the council for not training him, and his sham at liberal thinking.
LONDON: The Campaign for Homosexual Equality held a promising sounding conference on New Ghettoes for Old, with Lord Arran, Maureen Duffy, Brian McGee and Chad Varah speaking on sexual liberty and the struggle for it.
Lord Arran let on that he was in touch with higher spirits, who, like him, didn’t like the idea of gays kissing in public.
Brian McGee and Maureen Duffy dealt eloquently and informatively on the problems of Gay Liberation for men and women respectively.
Chad Varah said he found it difficult to accept modern ideas of sexual relationships and liberation that belonged, perhaps, he said, to another age.
The possible high-spot was an unplanned speech by a demonstrator in women’s clothes, who used the microphone loudspeaker system in the Conway Hall to tell the audience that sexual liberation could only be achieved after the destruction of capitalist ideals.
For this he got an earful of abuse from Ian Harvey, the meeting’s chairman and enthusiastic applause from the audience. After his speech the radical demonstrator left the stage and kissed a GLF member for four minutes.
- More Personal Ads Than Ever
- Gay Sister Freed
- Of Men And Boys – The Article That Shocked Canada
Please see our Project notes on censorship.
LONDON: Gay sister Angela Weir was freed by an Old Bailey jury last month at the end of the Stoke Newington 8 trial — otherwise known as the Angry Brigade trial — which turned out to be not only the longest case that court has ever known, but also its most under-reported case.
The fact is that only Time Out gave the trial week-by-week coverage. And it’s even more surprising that the mass-circulation papers weren’t interested in the story until four of the eight had been convicted of bombing offences, which the prosecution claimed were the work of the so-called Angry Brigade.
After the best part of a year sitting in the court listening to conflicting prosecution evidence (as on the topic of the explosives used) the 12-man jury retired. But only after Judge James had summed up the trial – to “refresh” the juror’s minds. In this factual account of the evidence the judge deemed it necessary to remark on the fact that Angela’s witnesses were gay. And he didn’t stop there. He went on to say “Don’t hold it against them (the witnesses) that, perhaps in other peoples’ eyes they are not normal members of society, they are normal in their own eyes.”
The state of the law in England then, as now, is that the jury decides matters of fact. The judge is there only to advise them on points of law and to make the legal decision necessary – that is, sentence the accused once the jury has found them guilty. He must not evaluate the various bits of evidence presented; that’s what the jury’s for.
However, after a couple of days recess the jury could only manage to reach a majority decision of 10 to 2 to convict four of the people accused with Angela of conspiring to cause explosions. Conspiracy, according to Judge James, can be a wink or a nod or any other slight sign of agreement.
The four convicted were said to have stored explosives for Angry Brigade bombers in their home in Amhurst Road, Stoke Newington.
Apart from jailing four young people for alleged conspiracy in a number of bombings, the Stoke Newington 8 trial – the first really big show-trial of political dissenters in Britain this century – guaranteed promotion for Commander Bond, the detective who made the arrests, made sure that the two men cleared of conspiracy charges with Angela were kept in prison for 16 months awaiting trial and during the hearing of the case, with no recompense now that they are cleared, and ensured that Angela’s political line changed substantially.
In Time Out’s interview (TO 148) she told the magazine’s news team: “The things I was mainly involved in were Gay Liberation and Women’s Liberation, and I think I was involved in them in a reactive way, you know, saying ‘This is terrible, we must do something about it’ – involved in a moral kind of way. Now I’m more convinced of a proper Marxist understanding of the situation and a strategy which comes from that and the need for proper organisation.”
It took the state a million pounds to make Angela a committed Marxist.
STAFFORD: The Crown Court here jailed three men for taking part in what were described as “bizarre and disgusting performances” in the bedrooms in a house nearby Longton, after a case in which the court heard that the house was visited by a succession of boys, youths and young men.
A fourth man (aged 19) who faced charges of indecency with the others was put on probation for two years.
All four had pleaded guilty to indecency charges but the case concentrated on 40-year-old Derek a driving instructor, who owned the house where all the ‘offences’ were said to have happened.
Even his defence lawyer told the court that Derek was emotionally immature and incapable of forming a sexual relationship with a woman. He added “He has a basic defect of personality.”
Mr John Field-Evans, prosecuting, outlined the facts of the case in more detail than usual, because, he said: “The public ought to be made aware of the facts.”
He told the court that for the last three years, boys aged between 12 and 19 had visited Derek’s house.
Some of the boys were truants, others had left home and at least one was in the care of the local authority.
He said: “One of the most disturbing factors in this case is that a housemaster from a local authority home at Penkhull, a man by the name of Alan Perry, took one of the boys from the home and introduced him” to Derek. Perry does not appear in court and the police are still looking for him.
Derek, who was said to be “a confirmed homosexual”, admitted nine offences of gross indecency. He asked for 28 other “offences” to be taken into consideration.
Judge Brian Bush sentenced him to a total of six years imprisonment and said: “For three years, your home became a refuge for young boys on the run.
The reason you did this was in order to practise your perverse desires on these young boys.
“No-one who has read the papers in this case could be in any doubt that you are an evil man – and it is clear from reports that you did not consider your conduct to be serious, nor do you have any conception of its effect on the parents and families of the boys concerned.”
With Derek in the dock were 25-year-old Derek, of Bury, Lancashire, 33-year-old Graham, of Hanley, and 19-year-old Michael of Meir. Each of them admitted two ‘offences’ of ‘indecency’ and Graham asked for a similar ‘offence’ to be taken into consideration.
The 25-year-old Derek, a former public health inspector for Manchester Corporation, was jailed for two-and-a-half-years. Graham who runs a menswear store in Hanley, was jailed for two years and Michael – who was said to have been the ‘victim’ of a number of the ‘offences’ – was put on probation.
Mr M. Hytner, the counsel for the younger Derek, said he was a homosexual, although his link with the other Derek was ‘tenuous’.
He said: “Even as the law stands now, the life of a homosexual is a lonely one. He met this man Perry and was introduced by him to (the other Derek).”
Mr Brian Gibbons defending Graham, said that he was “only slightly involved in this dreadful state of affairs. One of the 15-year-old boys he assaulted was a willing partner. He had nothing to do with the other bizarre and disgusting performances in the house.”
Mr Gerry Famon, who appeared for Michael said that he had “begun to go down hill after running away from his home and going to lodge with (Derek). He now has a girlfriend and has told her all about these offences – he is now on the right road in life.”
LONDON: After the first two defendants in the Champion “drag-bust” case lost out to the authorities in early November (GN10) in an explosive atmosphere after the magistrate had cleared the public gallery, a new magistrate was fielded to hear the cases against the other three gays arrested at Notting Hill’s Champion pub.
But this new magistrate found all three guilty as charged, despite confused police evidence. As he said in his preamble to announcing that he thought they were all guilty: “The question is whether I can be sure that the police officer was telling the truth, or whether I should belive the defence evidence.”
So, deciding that it was more likely that the policeman had told the truth, he found Douglas McDougal guilty of obstructing the highway outside the Champion late on October 24 (reported in GN7), Richard Chappie and Peter Borne both guilty of obstructing a police officer in the course of his duty.
Certainly the magistrate gave the impression that their guilt was not “beyond all reasonable doubt” – the classic formula for a verdict to be arrived at — as far as he was concerned and it came as something of a shock after his “liberal” overture when he pronounced them all guilty and fined Douglas £5, and Richard and Peter £15 each.
All three conducted their own cases and dressed up for the occasion. The public gallery was filled with up to 20 gays supporting the three in the dock in various stages of “drag” and make-up.
At the beginning of both the morning and afternoon sessions the magistrate warned the gays in the public gallery that if he didn’t like the way they behaved he’d have them all thrown out. A warning he had to repeat halfway through the afternoon session.
Basically the evidence for the prosecution was given by PC Allen, of Notting Hill Police, who said that he’d arrested Douglas for obstructing the 15-feet-wide pavement outside the pub after a group of gays had been ejected from the pub at the landlord’s request. They had sat down as a protest against his refusal to serve men in “drag”.
PC Allen claimed that as he was leading Douglas to the police-van double-parked outside the Champion, Richard Chappie had jumped on his back and Peter Borne had grabbed his arm to stop him.
This was backed up by PC Alan Wiseman of Notting Hill, who said at first that he was sitting in the front of the van when Douglas was put into it, and later said he was standing by the doors, when he was pressed for that answer by the prosecuting solicitor.
Allen also claimed that Douglas had said that he was not going to be arrested by a member of the “working class”. PC Wiseman admitted he’d heard none of this.
What PC Wiseman did admit, however, when questioned by Douglas MacDougal, was that he had started to charge the three, leaving the room for a while to write up his notes and then returning to finish the charge procedure. But when he was questioned by the prosecution PC Wiseman was wise enough to change his story.
This neat sleight of tongue was completely ignored by the magistrate, as was the entire defence case.
Douglas said that he had never stopped walking, therefore he had never caused an obstruction. PC Allen, on the other hand, had called the gays “fucking queers” and had told him (Douglas) to “fuck off’ towards Notting Hill Gate which was not the direction that Douglas wanted to go. So he walked back, without stopping. It was then that PC Allen grabbed him add dragged him by the hair to the police-van.
Both Peter and Richard brought witnesses to say that neither was the type of person to go around hitting 15-stone policemen, who were already ‘over-excited’.
Summing up the case the magistrate said: “One of the things I have to ask myself is whether the comment about the ‘working class’ was made up by PC Allen or whether McDougal said this. I think it is a statement that most people are likely to use. And at the same time, it is unlikely that PC Allen would have made it up.” But even he didn’t sound altogether convinced.
When he announced the sentence the public gallery turned from a gentle smoulde of discontent to open amazement, with shouts such as “Why don’t you hang them while you’re at it?” people lighting up cigarettes and others noisily leaving in disgust.
LIBERATION NOTE: Gay Lib supporters suggested the reporters from Gay News and Lunch didn’t attend the second half of the case if the reporters valued their safety. Despite this intimidation, both Gay News and Lunch returned and reported.
FASHION NOTE: Quote from a Gay Libber to the Gay Newsman at the Champion case. Gay Libber looks down nose and says: “You don’t look very gay. You look like a Young Socialist.” This came from one of the current GLF power clique.
BATH: Bath’s Evening Chronicle has run two articles about the Bath Gay Awareness Group, but it will not carry the group’s paid advertisements inviting lonely gays in the Somerset University city to its meetings.
The Bath and Wilts Evening Chronicle – to give it its full name – will not carry the ads because they do not represent what is “truth and right” in the eyes of the paper’s managing director, Mr Edgely.
Mr Edgely, who is only a minor cog in the bigger wheel that owns the Chronicle, the Westminster Press group — the provincial newspaper group owned by Lord Cowdray, whose dilletante son Michael Pearson has as his hobbies owning the Hedonist, the biggest motor-yacht built since the war (complete with circular bed and bath with gold taps etc) and producing movies (such as Vanishing Point).
Lord Cowdray has as his hobby making money and to further this end controls S. Pearson Publishing, which owns Penguins, Longmans, Ladybird Books, the Financial Times and Westminster Press, a string of highly profitable newspapers with large numbers of advertisements kept apart by editorial matter of a high moral tone (for instance the word “rape” could not be used until 1968.)
It is in this high moral tone and the “family newspaper” aims of the Pearson organisation that motivates the smaller men of the hierarchy such as Mr Edgely, to refuse to allow Bath’s gays to run a simple advertisement in the Bath Chronicle’s personal ad columns.
Bob Illingworth, of BGAG met Mr Edgely to try to talk to him. Bob pointed out that BGAG only wanted to have the ad published to contact the many lonely and isolated gays in the city and help them come to terms with their homosexuality. It was not the group’s intention, he said, to “deprave and corrupt” people into becoming homosexual.
Mr Edgely, who’d refused to talk about his decision to bar the BGAG ad, eventually agreed to pronounce upon the subject of gays and gayness. He said that homosexuality was a gross abnormality and homosexuals were sick people in need of medical attention. To him homosexuality was abhorrent and not suitable to appear in the advertsiement section of his paper.
He told Bob the advertisements in the Chronicle represented the newspaper itself and should therefore represent what is truth and right. He failed to explain how the articles on the BGAG were truth and right if the ad wasn’t.
Maybe he was prepared to allow the editorial department to use the gays as a sort of freak-show to fill in between the display ads. Beyond that his Westminster Press-approved liberalism didn’t stretch.
Noel Chapman, 36, pleaded guilty to four charges of demanding a total of £140 during July and August. Another man appeared with Chapman, but, because he pleaded not guilty, his case was put back for trial.
Judge Nance told Chapman “You repeatedly blackmailed an old man and induced him to part with money by pretending as a police officer that you would report his involvement in homosexual activities, of which there is no evidence whatsoever.
“You further set about staging a charade with another man, to get more money from him.”
Mr Glynmor Jones said Chapman had approached the 73-year-old man as he was leaving a public lavatory at Wallasey, accused him quite wrongly of being there for an ‘immoral’ purpose and threatened, as a police officer, to arrest him.
Chapman emphasised to the old man the publicity his arrest would attract and indicated that he would forget the whole thing for a fiver.
More demands for money were paid until August 24, when the victim found another note demanding money. He went to the police and arranged with them that he would pay over the blackmail cash in marked notes.
The old man handed the money to Chapman behind the library in Earlston Gardens, Wallasey. Police officers then arrested Chapman.