Queers – ‘I’ve Done What I’ve Wanted With Them’

Brutalising, Punching, Kicking and Stabbing

An ex-queer basher, Paul, talks to Angus Suttie, David Seligman, Jeffrey Weeks and Micky Burbage.

Paul is in his late teens and has lately come to live in North London because there is no work in the large Scottish town where he comes from.

DAVID. At some time in your life, Paul, you were what is known as a queer basher. What did you used to do?

PAUL. I think in Scotland as compared to London there is a great difference in gay people, because in England they can bring themselves out a bit, more than they can in Scotland where they hide and are afraid to use any ways in life. Whereas a girl and a guy can kiss in the street, a homosexual can’t even make love in back yards or … If a cop caught you he’d love it, do you automatically or beat you up. When I was about fifteen I was what you call a queer basher. This is all made up of a bad person really, so what we used to do was use every form of violence, and the reason I’m telling you this is because now I’m living in London I believe that you have the right, as lesbians have, and because I want to help Gay News. The way I’m telling this may shock, but I think it’s my right, my prerogative to use this and let them know how I felt, how I hated them. There are a lot of different gay people in Scotland, and the reason Scotland is so bad for queer bashing is that they have no idea who’s gay (ie homosexual as opposed to pederast – ed.) so they have to confront somebody.

DAVID. Why do they feel they have to confront gay people rather than other groups of people?

PAUL. I chose queer bashing because a lot of them used young people, even kids, and this certain time I was talking to this homosexual person and he followed me, teased me. He tried, you could use the word rape. Well, I had a knife and he had a belt, so I used the knife and he used the belt. This was a violent gay person though, and what I’m trying to say is that there’s different people. There’s either gentle people, as the gay people I’m sitting here talking to at the moment, or there’s perverted homosexuals as well. I don’t know what the word is. They chase after, I don’t know if you could use the word homosexual, they chase after little children.

DAVID. They’re pederasts.

PAUL. It’s complicated you know. People think they are queer. That’s the word they use in Scotland. It’s a horrible word, but that’s the word they use, so I think that there’s different people. Maybe they know that there is a homosexual that is gentle, but they don’t seem to know that there‘s another homosexual, he’s got to hunt for them as a lover. And that’s why there’s queer bashing in Scotland. I’ve had plenty of opportunities with them, brutalising, punching or kicking or stabbing, or doing what I wanted with them.

DAVID. When you were queer bashing, what did you feel?

PAUL. That’s a thing I’m trying to get to know myself. I think it was like a trend, you know.

DAVID. You felt you had to do it because your mates did it?

PAUL. More so that I’d been pissed about by a lot of them. So I sort of hunted them. When I passed by them, they knew I’d beat them up in the streets. They can’t go to the cops. Well, they could, but they’d only charge them with something else.

DAVID. What do you think about the police attitude to gay people?

PAUL. The police are horrible people in Scotland as far as I’m concerned. I mean this is only my view. Some Scotsmen say they’re the salt of the earth or something like that; but they seem to think because they’ve got a uniform on they can knock the fuck out of you at any time.

DAVID. Have you ever been beaten up by police?

PAUL. Hundreds of times. I’ve got scars to prove it.

DAVID. When was it, after they arrested you?

PAUL. I’ll tell you. When I was in Scotland I was drunk and my brother was fighting, gang fighting. I ran to get hold of him to bring him home. Cops came and my brother swam the canal, and I couldn’t swim so I had to face them. Well, I put my hands out, so as to say, ‘Okay, I’m caught’, you know. They got their batons and they went for me. Well I lifted a stick. I thought fair enough, but my sister came running down the hill shouting ‘Leave him alone, leave him alone, leave him alone’, and this cop turned round and said, ‘Do you want it and all, you wee cow’. Well that just set me off and I hit him with the stick over the head and I got 60 days for it – imprisonment in the Young Offenders Street Institution.

DAVID. People in London don’t realise that there’s a completely different set of laws in Scotland. You can go to prison there for quite minor offences can’t you?

PAUL. Oh fuck! Different, they’re a lot

Continued on page 8

Men Only Marriage

HOUSTON, TEXAS: America’s first fully-legal gay marriage was performed by a minister of Troy Perry’s Metropolitan Community Church (see GN8) and it was something of an occasion because even London’s Evening Standard noticed it had happened and published a picture.

The Rev Richard Vincent, pastor of the MCC church in Dallas performed the ceremony for ex-high-school-football star Antonio Molina and William Ert, at the Harmony Chapel in Houston.

Antonio comes from Brownsville, Texas and William is a female impersonator who’s working Houston currently.

The two exchanged marriage vows and told the press that theirs was the first legal gay marriage in the USA.

After they’d exchanged rings and said: “with this ring I thee wed”, William lifted his white wedding veil above his face and they kissed.

Neither plans to have a sex change operation they told pressmen.

William, who wore white and a blonde wig for the wedding, said: “Why should I have anything removed or added when he’s marrying me for what I’ve got.

“I’m just like I was when my mother brought me into this world, and I don’t intend to change.”

Imprint

GAY NEWS

Joint Editors and Members of the Editorial Collective
Richard Adams (Design), Martin Corbett, Ian Dunn (Scotland), Charlotte Corday, Bob Fletcher, Julian D. Grinspoon, Peter Holmes, David Hart, Denis Lemon, Alastair MacDougall, Glenys Parry (Manchester), Suki J. Pitcher, Doug Pollard, David Seligman, Peter Waldschmidt and Graham Chapman, David Sherlock.

GAY NEWS SPECIAL FRIENDS

Roger Baker, Denis Cohn, Barry Conley, Lawrence Collinson, Brian Dax, Martin Grant, Antony Grey, Peter MacMillan, Manus Sasonkin. Martin Slavin, Christopher Ambury

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Richard & Norman, Ken & Allan, Angus, John, Stanley, Peter, Anthony, David, Ken, Wolf and all the other Friends & Loved Ones.

CONTENTS

Contents Page 2 Feedback Page 10
News Page 35 Stage Page 11
Gayness Page 6 Films Page 12
Gay Movies Page 7 Books Page 13
Ex-Queer Basher Talks (Cont) Page 8 Records Page 14
Robin Maugham Page 9 Personal Ads Page 15

Gay News is published fortnightly by Gay News Ltd., 19 London Street, London W2 1HL. Tel 01-402 7805.

Distribution: Us, You and a prayer book. Typesetting by Sandi Rutenberg
Printed by F.I.Litho Limited, 182 Pentonville Road, London N1.
Gay News is the registered Trade Mark of Gay News Ltd.

Editorial

Hi, here we are again with Issue No. 9. This time slightly more on time than No. 8 which was held up for reasons beyond our control. Even beyond the printer’s control, or so he tells us. We apologise to any people who received their copies of the last edition a few days late. Our printer has been duly told off but we suppose even he cannot control exploding machinery and snapping wires. Seriously though, it was just one of those things. At least we haven’t had a strike yet!

No doubt some of you will think we are blowing our own trumpets, but we were rather pleased with GN8. The worth of the content was up to you to judge and pass comment on, but as far as design and presentation went, all credit to our designer and his assistants. And we hope to improve even more, for as we see things, no one can ever stop improving and trying just that little bit harder.

GN8 was ‘16 sexy pages’ and this issue is the same size. We hope to continually produce this number of pages, for we find that we can cover that much more, whether it be articles, news, reviews and the other gayness-essities. But please don’t feel too angry with us if we occasionally drop back to 12 pages. As you might have guessed, now comes the plug for asking for more contributions and suggestions from you. We have enough ideas at present for main features, but news and featurette material is incredibly valuable to us. So keep on sending your ideas and articles in, and not forgetting your letters which are so important to us and interesting to all our readers.

Gay Ads

We are pleased to see that many of you find our personal ad section useful. That’s what it’s supposed to be, as much as anything else. Incidentally, it has come to our notice that Time Out had to reject an ad on the advice of their solicitor and the ‘forceful’ suggestion of W.H. Smiths. The ad offered a flat for ‘two gay mates’. Very obscene and corrupting, don’t you think? We sympathise with Time Out for being so vulnerable to the ‘moral’ whims and bellyaches of a major distributor and wholesaler. At least that publication (even though more expensive than us) has tried to make its ad section available to all, no matter what their sexual preferences. Gay News will of course always accept such ads, no matter what judges, Lords and moral bigots may decide, and that goes too for any possible future distributors.

In the near future we hope to run a feature on exactly what you think about gay ads, contact or otherwise, which we publish despite the ‘illegality’ of our actions. You don’t have to be a radical or a militant to end hypocrisy and sexual discrimination.

Women

The amount of content relating to women readers in Gay News is still pitifully small. If anything, we consider this to be still one of the major faults of the paper. It would be chauvinistic of us to just put into the paper what we men thought should go in for women, and a ‘women’s page’ is most certainly not the solution. So please, sisters, let us have your articles and points of view, and help us to make this paper truly for both sexes. If you are distrustful of our motivations, come and talk to us first or give us a ring.

Transport

Having to distribute Gay News ourselves is at times quite a task and a worry, and there may be one or two of you who could help us out. We desperately need some transport (car, van lorry) once every two weeks. So maybe you have a vehicle you could lend to us. Either you could drive it yourself or lend it to us for a day. We in turn will take the utmost care of your car etc, and will pay for petrol and/or expenses incurred. Alternatively, if any friendly millionaire or equivalent, in a moment of madness, wants to donate a vehicle to Gay News, we certainly won’t say no.

Subscriptions

We sincerely hope you all still find the paper interesting, informative, and dare we hope, amusing and entertaining. To those of you who originally took out a 10 issue subscription, could we remind you that it is almost time to renew your faith in us. Please don’t leave it to the last moment, for it helps keep the paper work down, and, need we say it, we need your continued support and money.

Provincial News

To return to the subject of you supplying us with news and information; you may find that we are somewhat lacking in news content in this issue. More so than some previous editions. A certain amount of news stories, usually the more obvious ones, are gathered by us. But we really need you to send us in anything you hear about, especially from those of you living out of London. At least send us any stories relating to gayness appearing in your local and provincial newspapers.

Please enjoy and be critical of this, our ninth edition. And remember, Gay News is as good as you help make it.

Many thanks to the customer of the Coleherne who gave us a donation on Saturday 7th October. Such acts mean a lot to us.

Mae ‘GAY NEWS’ yn croesawu tanwsgrifwyr cymreig ac y mae ar werth yng nghwmry.
By courtesy of the Welsh Office.

Your Letters

Please note that any letters received by us at Gay News are liable to be published unless you state otherwise.

Quiet and Concealed

Natal, South Africa,

Dear Gay News,

Congratulations on launching your paper. It’s pretty good too!!

It’s great to be in touch with what is happening in the UK. Here in 19th-century South Africa one can feel terribly isolated from all the activity that one feels sure is going on elsewhere: a copy of Gay News seems to bridge the gap somewhat.

Some brief notes on South Africa: we have a largish gay community (among the Whites) organised in each of Durban, Cape Town and especially Johannesburg. In each of these cities there is an exclusively gay night-club and sometimes a bar (non-exclusive). Johannesburg has about three clubs and at least an equal number of bars.

Gay attitudes being essentially S. African attitudes, there is very little racial mixing, any contact is frowned upon. I do not know anything about gay communities (if these exist as such) among any of the black population groups. I have heard that the Indians have a gay club in Natal, but apart from this one could easily believe there to be no black homosexuals in S. Africa!

Gay Liberation — none so far as I know, except for a small group in Durban started recently by a couple of friends and me. So far we’ve had little success. There is too much apathy and fear of coming out, even on the campus.

Police action – although homosexual acts are illegal, the police turn a blind eye on the clubs, at the moment. They don’t like Gay Lib though!

Generally speaking, the South African scene is quiet and concealed. Everyone minds their own business and lives in their own closets. As long as you conform more or less, you’re OK.

Richard Wallace-Tarry

Appalling Bad Taste

London SE15.

Dear Sirs,

I must say I find your picture of Lord Longford and Cliff Richard in the current issue of Gay News in appalling bad taste. Lord Longford is one of the few really good men in public life today, spending much of his time helping drop-outs in all walks of life. Because you disapprove of his investigation into pornography, it is no excuse for slandering him in this way.

The thing that worries me about pornography is the effect on youth. I am not a father but I don’t wish my young nephews to see lurid paperbacks when purchasing their sweets and comics. Nor when answering an ad in your magazine, do I wish to be invited to ‘cum in my pants’ while watching young boys having sex on film. Don’t you think it is wicked that children should be exploited in this way? What sort of lives are they going to lead? Anything that Lord Longford can do to clean up pornography as it affects children is long overdue.

There are many good things in your magazine and also some offensive. With so many representations of the male organ in the current issue I should think even more retailers will refuse to handle it, and I don’t blame them.

H.R.A.

Thanks to Gay News…?

York.

Dear Gay News,

Thank you for your paper — it’s saved me from going completely insane. My boyfriend and I have lived together for three years, during which time I found out he was gay.

Together we dragged ourselves off to various doctors and psychiatrists, after which time we were both taking anti-depressants for some time. Phil began to think he was a raving pervert, and I believed it was gay people who were perverting him.

Then Gay News emerged into our lives, and slowly the gap between us narrowed and we began to live again. Only through understanding and respect of each other as people have we managed to denounce the roles that society has given us.

At last Phil can be as gay as he likes, and I’m proud of him for it. After reading some of your articles in GN I’ve cried with guilt to think that a year ago I might have thought like those cops.

With the help of GN and a change of attitudes we now have an extremely happy relationship, sexually and otherwise.

Maybe your paper ought to do an article on bisexuality. One doctor we went to see told us there was no such thing! During one visit, when Phil wasn’t there, he told me that I should find myself a nice straight guy so that I could have children, as that what my aim in life should be, and what was a nice girl like me getting mixed up with a ‘queer’ for.

Well, it’s shit to the lot of them because we’ve proved them wrong, we’re happy. I’d much rather stay with Phil as he’s a beautiful person, than go forth and multiply with any Tom, Dick or Harry for the sake of keeping up with the attitudes of society, ie that gays and straights are two different kinds of species.

Lots of love from a converted straight,

Joan

Safety in the Suburbs

Dearest Pooftahs,

What with all the carry-on, hasslings, arrests, righteous indignation and wrongful suspicions of stolen cameras that has been happening around and about the dear old Coleherne lately, isn’t it about time that someone (could it be me?) tried to bring some little perspective into the matter.

So all right, the pigs persecute us gays on every possible occasion, and most of us have known about it for quite a time. But aren’t we playing rather too obviously into their hands in this particular case.

How many times have you visited the Coleherne at closing time, not merely as a witness to the bullying pig tactics which quite obviously go on, but as an observer of how one particular part of a minority group (ie the gays who use the Coleherne) behave late at night in a high-density living area. OK, I know 11pm isn’t late for some, but some of us are early risers by economic necessity, and the cruising and camping, bitchy fights and lingering farewells often do carry on until much later.

Perhaps if a few of our people were less shrill in their manner and more abstemious with their gin and tonics, the pigs wouldn’t even have an excuse.

Anyway, right on. Gay News, you’re just beginning to let it all hang out!

Love.

J. Porter.

ED. Bring up any little thing you like J.P. and play into anyone’s hand you can get into, but some of us have been frequenting the Coleherne regularly for up to ten years, as customers, and we know the scene. Earls Court is generally a noisy late-living area, especially the Old Brompton Road itself, it’s the police who push people into the back streets, and who are we, or you, to dictate drinking habits to anyone.

Any Offers

Cheshire,

Dear Sir,

I am writing to see if you may be able to help me with my problem.

Since 1940 I have been a confirmed S/M, and my first wife was also, and therefore I had no occasion to look elsewhere to have my bottom smacked or caned or whipped to give me complete sexual satisfaction. But in 1960 I lost my first wife with cancer. In the 18 months which followed I met three men, one a homosexual, in Manchester and he got pleasure out of smacking my bottom for an hour at a time until it was bleeding, and this relationship lasted for three weeks then he disappeared. I found two more but they were only one night stands. Then I remarried and tried to introduce this way to my second wife and found she wouldn’t and couldn’t respond to it, and I have tried to find someone, unknown to my wife, of course, who would smack my bottom but I’ve had no success and I’m very frustrated now. I don’t mind which sex, colour, or nationality as long as I can meet someone, or as many people as possible because I like plenty of it.

So if you could help me at all I would be very grateful. Or course this is all unknown to my wife and there would be hell to pay if she found out, but if I make contact with someone first, arrangements could be made later.

R.B.

ED. If anyone wishes to write to our friend we will pass all letters on to him. Stamped envelope please.

Kiddettes

London WC1

Dear Gay News,

Even if Councillor Kidd appears to be developing an obsession with homosexuals there is no reason why we in turn (as seems to be the case) should develop an obsession with him. There are few people in Scotland who would treat his views with the seriousness of Gay News 7, and still fewer who would go to the trouble of seeking them out — with the possible exception of BBC Scotland looking for a lighter item for its News. Councillor Kidd has been a laughing-stock throughout at least the Lowlands for years; the very mention of his name provokes derision. Homosexuality is only the latest in a very long list of subjects on which he has pronounced with unfailing unintelligence. He is an isolated eccentric even in true-blue Edinburgh: have you thought about how much practical effect his exhortations to the police have had?

You would do better to think more about the support for us that does exist outside the gay community (and finds regular practical expression — witness the Iona Community’s help to SMG) than to build up bogeymen for us to shudder over in private. Do for goodness’ sake cheer up: much of your last issue reads as if it were produced in an office full of inconsolable depressives.

Good wishes anyway.

Graeme Woolaston.

Sickening Treatment

London NW3

Dear Sir,

I was interested to read your Stop Press item on the trouble it the ‘Champion’ on 16th September. As an onlooker that evening, I was sickened by the way the Landlord and police treated the GLF boys who were not in my opinion in ‘drag’. I feel that this word must be defined more precisely before the law is allowed to come down upon it.

I was also shocked by the lack of support from other gays in the bar and I left shortly after the events, determined not to support that pub again. Until the Landlord drew attention to himself and the police arrived I was not even aware of our persecuted comrades.

I am not accustomed to wearing drag but I did not find the clothing in the least offensive and they behaved admirably in the circumstances.

If gay people allow this sort of discrimination without protest, where will it end?

A Teacher

No Chips Please

Birmingham

Dear Gay News,

Firstly, thanks for a newspaper that looks towards the future and not the usual propoganda we read and hear so much about, as though we have a chip on our shoulders about being gay.

We are all human beings with the same feelings towards life as everyone, homosexual or heterosexual and not at all odd, so there is no need for anyone to feel guilty about being gay.

I would like this paper, given time, to be read by heterosexual as well as homosexual. We will eventually get accepted by the general public if we don’t segregate ourselves as though we are different and as if we are all the time hitting out upon the public as though they are always against us. It works both ways, and the sooner we realise this the better our chances for an equal acceptance!

Every Success for your good work,

P. Arthur Miles
Gwen Browne

Charity Evicts GLF Squatters

LONDON: Notting Hill’s gay commune has been split up by workmen acting for the Notting Hill Housing Trust, a charity.

The Trust owned the house in Colville Terrace and agreed to let the gays move in and squat while it didn’t need the house. The Trust had other homes to upgrade before getting round to Colville Terrace.

The Trust gave the 12 gays four months to live in the house. Now it is to be modernised.

The Housing Trust’s deadline ran out at 11 am one day, and workmen immediately started to force their way into the house, whose doors and windows had been barricaded by bedding and planks. Signs outside the commune’s house said: ‘We are 12 men. We are gay. We are a family.’

One of the commune’s members was Tim, who said: “We want the housing trust to give us a home because we think we are representative of a section of the community in this area. The house was unoccupied for six months before we moved in.”

A spokesman for the housing trust said: “It’s against the feeling of all the members of the trust to put people out in the street, homeless, but when there’s so much at risk, you have to act. The house will make five units of accommodation for families we are geared up to re-house.

“It’s another case of the desparate housing need in this area. Squatting is endemic in an area like this where there are no available homes and it is particularly sad in this case because they are a minority group who are being discriminated against because of who they are.”

While members of the commune were talking to the spokesman and her fellow members of the Trust, the Trust’s workmen forced their way into the house to start work on converting it.

While they were trying to take over there were scuffles between gay communards and workmen. Two people were slightly injured.

Two Injured.

GLF communards are still living in the house at 42 Colville Terrace, and they have not fitted a siren to give themselves warning of any further attacks on the house.

GLF supporters told Gay News: “At 10am two members of the housing trust accompanied by two if its employees tried to break into the collective in Colville Terrace.

“They tried to do this by saying that they had a court order to enter and take possession of the house. After being asked by the occupants to see this notice, they withdrew.

“They said they would be back at 11am and all possessions had to be out by then. When they returned we insisted that we be allowed to the Housing Trust office.

“Three of us went and were assured that no attempt would be made to evict today. But when we returned to Colville Terrace we found that they had broken in (this going against what was said at the Housing Trust office).

“They forced their way up the stairs of the outside of the house, viciously pushing aside the many supporters who had arrived in the meantime.

“One of our members was injured slightly by one of the workmen. On reaching the door they attacked the window of the door, smashing it into the hallway. Some of the occupants were injured by flying glass, one with a piece of glass in the eye.”

Police arrived and stood around as the workmen tried to break into the house via the basement. But they were frustrated by the nine-inch concrete floor. So they just burst the water main.

It was at this stage that one of the spectators who had been injured complained to the police who told the workmen that they could be prosecuted for common assault. This has now been done.

At noon, the police. Housing Trust officials and their workmen withdrew.

Before any of the action happened the Colville Terrace Commune sent the following letter to the Notting Hill Housing Trust:

“We, the present tenants of 42 Colville Terrace, hereby make a formal application to be rehoused by you, our landlords. We are one unmarried couple and a family of 12 gay men, members of two minority groups who remain as yet unrecognised by you. We strongly suggest that you call an emergency meeting to discuss our plight. We are, by your definition, squatters; in that we moved into the house without consulting its owner. We moved in because we had nowhere to live. We had been continually harassed by private landlords.

“Tired of being forced to live in separation, miserable, exorbitantly expensive, squalid bedsits, obtained by pretending to conform to society’s heterosexual ‘norm’ we decided to live together in a rented house in Brixton. There we were harassed by gangs of local school queer bashers to the degree of getting hit over the head, or front door bashed down, and having bricks thrown through all our windows. We were refused protection by the police who even threatened to arrest us for soliciting, breach of the peace, etc. Within 24 hours we were given notice to quit, which we were in no position to fight.

“We came to Notting Hill for a number of reasons: principally because most of us had been forced out of rooms in that district.

We are challenging your refusal to rehouse us, not from the point of view of being squatters, but of being a family. We are as close as any nuclear family.

“We as gay men are as persecuted as any minority group (if not more so); the difference between us and other minority groups is that we receive no help from any liberal institution or charity. We never qualify: where must we go? Back into our lonely bedsits through the country?

“We demand a meeting with all the members of your trust. We want a firm policy statement on gay people and unmarried couples. We are a family, we hear so much about the plight of broken families, but we are surrounded on all sides by attempts to break our family.

“We will not move unless we are guaranteed a house.”

ED: For reasons of space we have been able to print only extracts from the commune’s letter.

Secret Dossier On Gay Teachers

The police have openly admitted keeping secret dossiers on schoolteachers whose private lives they think to be ‘corrupt’. And they are angry that they cannot act against these teachers.

In a recent issue of The Police Review, the semi-official organ of Britain’s policemen, the magazine complained that police involved in this private-lives work did not have enough legal protection.

The magazine said: “It may be that the information – in police possession – would not support a prosecution; it may not even relate to a chargeable offence, or it may be a matter of strong suspicion without proof.

“In one force, a schoolteacher was seen frequently loitering near public toilets and another was known to have a private library of obscene books.”

What the big-brother cops do usually is to report on this sort of nasty habit to the education authority that employs the teacher only if he (the teacher) commits a criminal offence.

What they don’t like is the fact that if the reports were made without a prosecution the teachers could sue the public eyes for libel.

The magazine adds on the cottaging teacher and the one who had a library of wank-material: “As there was no prosecution in either case, one presumes that the (education) authority remains unaware and the teachers continue to be in charge of young people.”

The Police Review stretches its moral tests to take in foster parents, adoptive parents and medical staff.

But in a rare flash of fairness The Police Review says it isn’t fair to wreck someone’s career by whispering in his employers’ ear. That, the magazine says, would be “contrary to natural justice.”

Instead what the police would like to do, it says, is to take the ‘deviant’ public employee aside and make him an offer he can’t refuse, so he either changes his behaviour or resigns.

Somehow the magazine has forgotten entirely the old forgotten rule of British justice that you’re not guilty until proved so.

Don’t Jail Lord Porn Pleads Brigid

LONDON: Author Brigid Brophy believes that Lord Longford and his team who produced the recent ‘investigation’ into pornography should be allowed to roam freely, she told a meeting of the National Secular Society on October 3.

The meeting in the Conway Hall was called The Longford Threat to Freedom.

Miss Brophy said that the secular society and the Longford porn-busters differed in their attitudes to offensive literature.

She said: “I do not believe that the mere fact that a book offends me is sufficient reason to punish its authors, to suppress the book and to deprive my fellow citizens, all 55m of them, of the right to choose for themselves whether to read a book or avoid it.

“Although it admits that, on the evidence, pornography causes no social harm, The Longford Report feels entitled to over-ride the evidence. One of its pretexts for doing so is its assertion that pornography is addictive. My own guess (which is just as much a guess as the Longford Committee’s, the difference being that mine is a guess, not a special revalation) is that for every person who becomes addicted, there are two who, having satisfied their curiosity and found that pornography does them no large harm and no large good either, move on to types of books and films that are less repetitive and predictable.

“Most people in this country know from their own observation that there is great danger of addiction, especially in the case of young people, to whom we have a special responsibility, if a person starts collecting stamps. Chess is even more notoriously addictive.

“Either the Longford Committee doesn’t in fact believe its own argument or it is grossly irresponsible in not specifically proposing to ban either chess or stamp-collecting.”

She said that the book that, to her, did most to “outrage contemporary standards of humanity accepted by the public at large” was the Origin of the Species, Darwin’s theory of the evolution of humans from monkeys.

Miss Brophy said: “The Longford legislation would have forbidden Darwin to plead that his work was for the public good and would have suppressed the book. Moreover, the book would still not be published now, because not having been available in the meantime, it wouldn’t have been able to persuade the public to adjust their standards of outrage in the light of reason.

“Most original thought and much original art proceeds by outraging previously accepted standards. The Longford legislation would wipe out our cultural future – and much of the past, whose works are often outrageous by present-day standards.

“The Longford legislation is a prescription for replacing the permissive society by a stagnant society. A society that is not free to be outraged is not free to change.”

Mr Gerald Sanctuary, the sex-educationalist, told the meeting: “I hold no brief for pornography. It is a symptom of society’s sexual sickness. This sickness will not be cured by telling people not to be sick; prevention – through education – is the only answer. We need a shield, not a sword.

“It is time we made a serious national attempt in this country to bring about an era of sexual sanity. Let us do so by applying such knowledge and skills as we possess to the problem of sex education. The obvious authority to do this is the Health Education Council, a body ideally suited for the purpose and already deeply concerned with the subject.

“To rely on voluntary advisory councils or viewer’s or listeners’ associations to provide guidelines will be to put prejudice and ignorance where knowledge and science should be.

“Has it occurred to no-one that, by educating the children of today we are educating the parents of tomorrow? How else can we break the vicious circle under which sexuality is viewed by successive generations as something indecent?

“Why do you think there is such an enormous market for pornography in Great Britain, Germany and the United States? Because it is we Angles and Saxons who have most tended to equate sexuality with sinful ness and dirt.”

Gay News Goes Under The Counter

LONDON: Kensington police sent out an inspector early the other day to make sure the newsagents on their patch weren’t selling anything naughty, so Gay News went under the counter at several newsagents, even though the paper is on no-one’s list of proscribed publications.

The National Newsagents’ Association has told its members to be cautious about displaying Oz Comix, Curious Male, In Depth and several other publications, but not IT, which currently has a phallic front cover, or GN.

All the same, after the visit from the Kensington police heavy whose job seems to go through newsagents’ magazine racks, some of the newspapers that are as yet unaffected by any back lash action have disappeared from police sight to be sold on request only.