Quaking In Our Platform Boots

J. Martin Stafford B.A. — the Enoch Powell of CHE — has struck again, though whether his efforts will produce a resounding silence or a mighty reverberation remains to be seen. For J. Martin Stafford B.A., a member of the present Executive Committee of CHE has, we understand, sent a personal letter to Lord Longford and the Director of Public Prosecutions suggesting they initiate action against Gay News.

This information was received in the Gay News office with wonder and amazement. For a start everyone immediately put their clothes on again. The lusty Julian decided to cut the Biograph for the afternoon and to take his knitting into St James Park instead. Our David Bowie LPs were flown at half mast and we ensured that all Warhol movies being shown that evening were halted for two minutes of silence. “With friends like that who needs enemies?” simmered Timeless Maureen the resident rad fem and “Who is J. Martin Stafford B.A. anyway?” cried Denis, rapidly covering his tattoos with Max Factor foundation (peach).

J. Martin Stafford B.A., who has been 23, is one of the best-known leaders of the homophile community. He lives in a modest bachelor flat on Manchester’s less than smart periphery and his low standard of living is fully compensated for by his High Moral Tone. Mr Stafford’s greatest friend is the Scottish historian and philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) who has had a seminal effect on Mr Stafford, notably in his lavish use of commas, colons and semi-colons. Hume has also trained Mr Stafford to perfect a prose style of some grandeur and resonance and this 18th century pastiche quite often obscures the extreme poverty of thought and stunted imagination in the words themselves. Mr Hume was unavailable for comment when we rang him at his remote Scottish manse, but the housekeeper confirmed that Mr Stafford’s favourite meal consists of undercooked tea and overcooked omelettes.

It is J. Martin Stafford’s personal mission to impose his own moral views on every homosexual in the entire world. “I entertain a very marked preference for personal relationships of a relatively stable nature, in which the parties are activated by more than a desire to satisfy their sexual appetites”, he pontificates. “Some would have us believe that all moral values have been imposed on us by the artifice of unscrupulous priests and ruthless politicians”, adds the 2’6″ guru.

J. Martin Stafford has had an interesting career in CHE. He joined the organisation five years ago after being counselled by the Albany Trust, and overnight became Hon. Treasurer of the Committee. At first he was a ruthless opponent of any sort or democratisation of the organisation. People would travel miles to witness the little fellow stamping his feet and spitting at Committee meetings when the concept of a constitution came up. However, he changed his mind when he discovered that the growing organisation was not attracting the radical, political element he so fears.

He discovered that his reactionary views and High Moral Tone were finding favour with many members and he was promptly and properly elected onto the re-formed Executive Committee by a substantial majority.

“Philosophical training has rendered my position more reflective”, is the way in which he expresses his opportunism.

Nevertheless, mough now democratically elected to the EC, J. Martin Stafford B.A. made it his business to oppose every decision and, when out-voted, to try devious methods of bringing his colleagues into disrepute. On one celebrated occasion, furious that the EC had unanimously (apart from him) agreed to ask Kenneth Tynan to be a vice-president of CHE, J. Martin Stafford B.A. called a meeting of the existing vice-president himself in an attempt to persuade them to override this decision. He declined an invitation from the rest of the EC for his resignation, but ceased to be treasurer.

“My own experience,” he says, “leads me to conclude that most people are quite happy to accept homosexuals who subscribe to the same basic standards of public decency and personal responsibility as everyone else at least professes.”

One of his hobbies is writing letters to people in which he slanders his colleagues.

“Homosexuals whose public behaviour is offensive or whose private behaviour is irresponsible will always be regarded with aversion and disgust,” he writes. And the man who is trying to get Gay News prosecuted says: “It is not their homosexuality which renders them objectionable, but the grossness of their conduct and the inhumanity of their disposition.”

Bona News Service

NOTE: all the quotes in this article are taken from a paper called ‘Can CHE be morally neutral?’ by J. Martin Stafford B.A., with additional material by David Hume.

Teacher Sacked For Coming Out

Teachers and social workers are especially vulnerable to harassment by society. On the pretext that “we don’t want that type near our kids”, gays get sacked from working with children. If they don’t get sacked, they have to resign under pressure.

John is a teacher. He worked until a few weeks ago at a public school in Somerset. Then he appeared on a television programme on being gay. Within days he “was resigned”.

He told Gay News: ‘The situation was this, I was resigning at Christmas anyway, so all they did was to suspend me for the rest of term because I appeared on television and said I was gay. Everyone at the school was terribly decent about it.

“I was asked to go on this programme and I felt that the principles were important enough for me to take the risks involved.

“So I appeared on this programme called Now It’s Your Say on Harlech Television and I was recognised by people from the school and I knew that I was going to be recognised. I couldn’t have come out more openly.

“I had never made any pretence and all the staff at the school knew I was gay. Most of the boys there knew too. I didn’t exactly tell them it’s just that they must have realised.

“The television programme caused a great deal of embarrassment at the school, as most of the staff at the school had seen me on the programme. But the headmaster did not know about it, so I went to tell him.

“In that sense you could say I’d brought it on myself. He asked me to resign and I refused because in my mind I had done nothing wrong and I couldn’t see why I should be asked to resign.

“So now he has given me leave of absence until the end of term, so he hasn’t sacked me. My resignation has been brought forward a month or so, that’s all.

“In their view thev are being very generous and kind, but it is the principle of the thing that gets me. The very fact that if you speak the truth it is enough to get you the sack from a job.

“On the programme, which went out on October 20, there were about 25 of us gays including people from London, Bath, Reading and other places.

“It was really a question of my being associated with anything gay that would affect the parents or the old boys which frightened the headmaster into making me take leave ot absence.

“I got on well with the people at the school where I worked for four years, but standing up for a principle just seemed more important than anything else. The only way is to come out.”

John had belonged to his local gay alliance group before appearing on the HTV programme. He used to teach English and music at the school, which he asks Gay News not to name because he feels that although his being forced to resign earlier than planned was stupid and bad, it was bred out of ignorance rather than malice.

Che Shows The Way

LONDON: Any vicar’s wife who wandered into London’s Conway Hall the other Saturday wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at what she saw as hundreds of homosexuals did their thing — and in public. It was CHE’s autumn fair, and to all intents and purposes it looked like a village fete that had been rained off the cricket square and into the WI Hall.

CHE held the fair to raise money for its London social club — just as any village has a fete to pay for the work on the dry rot in the choirstalls. This autumn fair was a community event, like a village fete. Except for the fact that this was specifically for London’s gay community.

It would have warmed any vicar’s wife to see preserves and cakes on sale, lucky dips, seemly games of chance, though the rummage stall labelled “Drag” might have raised an eyebrow or both.

There may have been a vicar’s wife there, but mainly the people were those one usually gets to see in the gay ghetto. But for the fair they’d all come out, and as a social event it had that to commend it.

But all that, and speculation about vicar’s wives is irrelevant to the fact that CHE’s Autumn Fair raised £1,000 towards the Campaign’s projected gay social centre.

It’s also important to mention that the campaign, often regarded as the most staid and least go-ahead of the gay groups, actually put on the event, raised the money and gave a lot of people a good time, which didn’t just end with the fair but went on into the evening with such treats as No-No-Nanette in one act, conceived by Roger Baker and performed by Roger and the CHE Players, an amorphous bunch, who gave a lot of people an evening of entertainment, which this reporter had to miss so he could retire home with his cold. Pity.