Imprint

GAY NEWS

Joint Editors and Members of the Editorial Collective
Richard Adams (Design), Peter Holmes, Denis Lemon, Peter Mundy, David Seligman
and
Ian Dunn (Scotland), Glenys Parry (Manchester), 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, Bernard Searey, Rebecca John, David Hart, Christopher Ambury and Richard Watkins.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

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

CONTENTS

Back of Cover Page 2 Stage Page 11
News Page 3-6 Books and Fashion Page 12
Fred of the Month Page 6 Films Page 13
Of Men and Boys Page 7 Records Page 14
Looking Ahead Page 8-9 Personal Ads Page 15
Gayness Page 10 Information Page 16

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 Ltd., 182 Pentonville Road, London N1.
Gay News is the registered Trade Mark of Gay News Ltd.

Editorial

There’s an awful lot of fat queens sitting around on their butts spending all their money on themselves, and not on the gay movement – that’s the opinion of one of the top men in Britain’s homophile organisations.

He reckons there’s £7¾ million being earned each year by members of societies that belong to the National Federation of Homophile Organisations.

This estimate and the accusation that rich gays spend their cash on themselves only came at the annual meeting of the NFHO, held last month.

What caused the plain talking, after the first half of idealism, hopes and plans, was the fact that Gay News is — in plain English – broke. Flat broke, or, at least, it was at the time.

Immediate Donation

The NFHO asked Gay News to tell the meeting what it was like running a fortnightly homosexual newspaper. And we told them. After that people’s reservations about talking money crumbled. The NFHO gave Gay News an immediate donation of £50 from its all too small funds.

Antony Grey, the managing trustee of the Albany Trust, said an appeal which, ten years ago, would have raised £3,000 to £4,000, now raised £300 to £400 if they were lucky.

Why is money drying up? Are there less gays? Of course there aren’t.

Poverty Parade

It would seem that ten years ago, before the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, even the rich gays were prepared to write a cheque now and then to keep the few organisations then brave enough to exist to claim our civil rights as gays.

Now they have been given half of what we want — we are half-legal, we half-exist— and it seems they can’t be bothered to keep supporting those who are doing the fighting on their behalf.

It’s not just Gay News that finds money hard to get, the Gay Liberation Front parade its poverty in its regular newsletter. CHE needs money. Friend is young and poor

The Albany Trust is lucky enough to have a charitable trust supporting it just now, the NFHO – which could link up the disparate efforts towards gay liberation, given a chance — is starved of funds.

Selfish Gays

As the senior man from the organisation that belongs to the NFHO said, it’s time these gays stopped being complacent and started doing something to benefit the rest of the gay community — if it exists at all, rather than selfishly spending all those £7¾ million on themselves each year.

The editorial collective decided some time ago that we weren’t going to deal with internal matters in the editorial column (that’s what “Here We Are Again” is for).

But the present money shortage in the laughably constructed “gay world” has hit all gay organisations and publications. Therefore we feel that the matter is more important than being merely a domestic shortage.

Independent and Determined

The fact that this copy of Gay News has been printed is proof of what we intend to do. We’ll keep on keeping on. Keeping on at the authorities who have only given us half a life and keeping on at those selfish gays who can’t be bothered to support their organisations.

The fact that we have received donations and loans from various quarters — more details elsewhere – does not mean that we are going to start toeing anyone else’s line.

From now on Gay News is Gay News. And it’s here to stay.

Shoe-Strings can Strangle

We started without enough money to get past issue three. This is Gay News 14. Through cost-paring and seemingly never-ending days of work, this paper runs on a shoe-string. But a shoe-string isn’t good enough.

How many gays have to get by on £15 a week? Because each member of the collective never receives more than that. Gay News is here now. But it still needs money. £500 immediately. With another £1,500 to follow to guarantee our existence for 1973.

It’s not the only gay organisation to need money. We all do. Just to stay in existence — for some of us.

Big Mouths

People are generous enough with their praise, the sound they ought to produce if they think the gay organisations are doing any good is the sound of pens on cheque books.

Your Letters

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

Why Risk It?

Middlesex

Dear Sir,

I have only seen numbers 9, 11 and 12 of GN.

I advertised in numbers 11 and 12 for someone to share my home and life. There was a bigger response than I expected and I am dealing with this now in what I hope is a civilised way.

Meanwhile, one or two thoughts occur to me. I think the heading of your illegal page is excellent. Some of the ads, however, are a bit doubtful. If you want to remain in circulation, why put it at risk in this way? There is always a temptation, feeling oneself to be in a minority, resentful, a bit aggressive about it, to be daring. Resist it. You do not have the lampooning function of Private Eye, that can tell any client of the blessed Arnold Goodman to get fucked. JS recently found BS by way of your columns (it may have been the other way round!) One of them wanted a big black cock but he could well have found it by other means without exposing you to police prosecution. Stratton-Wells is justified in his complaints. I am half-guilty myself, knowing that particular appeal, though I am not passive. Still, there is a fantasised urge there. I think Antony Storr points out that many active homosexuals want a partner with a big prick, which is, may I say in passing, English vernacular as opposed to the American cock, applicable to both male and female genitalia. The fantasised urges I spoke of can’t be allowed to direct our lives. I hope that JS and BS are happy together.

But I do think that being ‘turned on’ is suspiciously mechanical.

Faults of layout and format are not worth criticising in view of the difficult conditions you have to cope with. I wish you could find a gay millionaire to smooth things out.

Another thing: whatever Messrs JS and BS may say, your business is not to do with cocks and spunk and arseholes. These are very private matters. Gay includes women. Women do not have the apparatus mentioned. Not only do you need to devote more space to women, you also need to promote more effective communication between gay women and men. I am sure you are thinking about this.

Finally, I think you could and should increase the price of GN to at least 40p. You are in a seller’s market, with the unique advantage that you are on the side of the buyer.

Peter Jackson

Second Thoughts

Brighton

Dear Editorial Collective,

At your invitation I feel I must write and ask who is the self-styled Mary Whitehouse, or Little Hitler? Who has barred such innocent words as leather and denim from the personal ads ?

While I must agree some of the ads have been near the knuckle. I’m sure the situation doesn’t justify this discriminatory action.

Why, even in GN 12, Julian got all switched on when “he” visited the Wheatsheaf’s Green Room. I can’t wait to get there.

If you don’t want to continue the personal adverts for fear of prosecution, then come clean and say so, and don’t inflict this dictatorial attitude. After all. I’m sure everyone knows the idea of the ads.

I was hoping to put a personal advert in after Christmas, but for fear of this censorship, I am having second thoughts. So will many others.

Have another think about this matter, and come up with a logical answer.

Roy Bonham

PS. Have subscribed to no 23. Make it!

ED: Sorry we didn’t explain our new policy towards personal ads clearly enough in GN13. We most certainly are not “barring” words such as leather and denim. But for now we must alter or refuse adverts which explicitly refer to sexual acts, preferences or organs, ie whipping, CP, well-endowed, etc.

Love Lives Forever

London, SW8

Dear Gay News,

Your correspondent Doug Pollard approached the problem of ageing (GN 12 page 7) with as much wit as possible. Correct. Better laugh than cry, always. But I must tell you that the lads at the disco don’t tell me (as Doug does) to go and find an armchair at the Athenaem; and talking to my old school chums (all those bloody bishops). On the contrary, the lads at the disco invite me to come again, because I love them and they (bless their hearts) love me.

There’s only one solution to the problem. We must create a special Marxism for grandpas. What about joining the T.G.W.U. (Terpsichorian Grandpas of the World Unite) and then I can buy a ticket to the Yuletide National Lorrydrivers Lottery (You’ve nothing to loose but your life).

To be serious, Doug, I think that your phrase “gone for ever” is a bit defeatist in tone. Of course you are perfectly right in a way. If homosexuality is simply a question of cocks and balls and having it off, then certainly there comes an end to that.

But homosexuality isn’t that. It’s love, and love doesn’t go, it lives forever.

So let me stay on the disco circuit, where I guarantee I’ll find more courage, humility, generosity, gentleness and sheer love per square foot than anywhere else in London, possibly in the world. Oh brave new world that hath such creatures in it. Even Pale Brother Death is halted, and stands amazed.

Dai Grove.

Face It Babes

Dear Collective,

Sorry, but I’d like to inject a sour, critically appraising note into the general chorus of congratulation. Of course it is good that you exist and the paper is mildly entertaining, though not very informative. But how many other gays besides me are increasingly turned off by the prevailing giggly, simpering, juvenile tone representing all that is passé and stupid and discredited in the homosexual image.

Face it, babes, there is something tawdry about Gay News. Just not enough reality and intelligence.

It is mostly badly written, amateurish and uncritical in its comments on almost everything. I am not calling for the over-intellectualised approach, just a more balanced and broad depiction of the real variety and maturity in much of the gay world.

And how confused can your values get? That calendar has a photograph of Mae West who may be the object of a cult but has been known for years to be extremely hostile to gay men. I suppose you’re being good Christian gays (who needs them?) in turning the other — you should pardon the expression— cheek, but first rule of any revolution, no matter how minor, is know thine enemy.

Daniel James

Fem or Butch

Leeds

Dear Gay News,

I’ve just returned from a gay club in London where I was asked if I was ‘fem’ or ‘butch’ — having never considered this, I just said I was a person. However it seemed that people expected to know if I was ‘fem’ or ‘butch’ in order to relate themselves to me; ie was I a good pick up. I find it equally hard to relate to fem and butch images and all their restrictions. Perhaps it’s my restriction but I suggest that these gay women are presenting the stereotypes that one can find in any straight disco/bar. They also prevent other gay women coming out by turning them off the gay scene because these gay women seek individuality rather than conformity. Anyway, I’d like to know what other people think of this.

Incidentally, we’d like more women members of GLF in Leeds, we have fluctuated to two at the moment.

Jane

Much Ado

Bayswater

Dear Gay News,

Whilst, probably correctly, petulantly chanting again and again your dissociation with any organisation, do you dare print this letter and admit in reply to James Knight that Roger Baker, Press Officer for CHE wrote the attack on Martin Stafford for your newspaper?

Love, B S

ED: We dared to print your letter. So what?

Bugging the Bugs

London

Dear Gay News,

Thanks a lot for that really interesting article on crabs in GN8! As you said we can all be a bit simple sometimes and I must qualify for simpleton of the year award. I’ve been scratching my balls for about a week or so, and it was only when re-reading some back numbers of GN that I realised what I had got. I immediately rushed round to the local chemists for the Quellada (and got an icy and disgusted look from the assistant as she gave it to me!) Got a hot (too hot) bath with about half a bottle of Dettol in it and proceeded to cover myself with the recommended lotion. Then I took everything I’d worn, the bedsheets, towels and all to the laundrette and the dry cleaners. All this as you can imagine cost me a fortune, the dry cleaning alone came to £1.50. I’m still racking my brains to think when and where I could have caught the little bastards, as I get a bath very regularly and use plenty of Femfresh – er I mean Old Spice!

What really made me uptight was that the other night I was with a really fabulous boy at a club and had to make excuses when he asked me back to his place, as I still had the Quellada lotion on my body! Thanks to the above mentioned article and its excellent advice I have got rid of the pesky things and can start to live again!

On another track. I’d like to say how fantastic I think Gay News is and give my love to Julian! Keep the gay flag flying!

Rick

Lovely Points

Dear Gay News,

That letter from ‘Queenies Castle’ really slayed us (Gay News issue number 12). “If” Sebastion is “straight”, then “call me Madam”. Perhaps He (or she) had a tiff with the Manager of the “dear old Bio” and plans to get her revenge.

Keep on writing, Julian, we love to read your points of view. We also think “Queenies Castle” should be renamed “HATTERS CASTLE”.

Martha, Michelle and Diana

Never Be Parents

London, W14.

Dear Gay News,

Few people seem to be aware of the unhappiness facing the Lesbian who loves children, but, because she cannot respond to men, despairs of ever having any children of her own.

Many gay men marry women who understand their problems and together they managed to bring up happy children. Gay women, on the other hand, have to find all their emotional satisfaction in their relationships with other women – and as they get older, with increasingly young girls who tend to become daughter substitutes.

Not all gay women may have found this, but it has been my experience. All my men friends are gay; all the straight men I ever knew lost interest not being content with a non-sexual relationship. Good riddance anyway. In retrospect they are all so hung-up on role playing that they couldn’t see the real person in me or themsleves.

Is there anyone who is really into kids and is not hung-up on sex and roles? Creative and understanding? I would like to hear about gay or bi men who also get depressed because they think they will never be parents.

Dierdre.

Angie Freed In Angry Trial

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.

Men Jailed For Bizarre Perfomances

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.”

These Are A Few Of My Favourites Lies

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 Gays Gagged

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.

Boys Burn House To Hide Murder

Three teenagers were sentenced on November 24, 1972, at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey) to terms of detention in connection with the murder of Maxwell Confait, 26, at his home: a bed-sitter in Doggett Road, Catford, SE6.

Mr. Richard du Cann, prosecuting, described the events as a “truly appalling crime.’ Mr Du Cann said that the three youths had broken into the house in the early hours of April 22, 1972, their motive being to rob or steal. Confait had discovered them shortly after they had broken in.

The court heard that 14-year-old schoolboy Ahmet Salih, of Nelgarde Road, Catford SE6 was a witness to the killing, by strangulation, of Confait.

Dead Man Was A Homosexual

Confait was said to be a homosexual who liked to dress in women’s clothing and was well-known in the locality. In the gay circles in which he circulated he was called ‘Michelle’.

After two of them had killed him all three of the youths set fire to the house, the rest of which was occupied by a Mr and Mrs Goode, and their five children. They awoke at 1.15am to discover smoke and flames coming from the basement. The fire was apparently started to “cover their traces”.

Colin George Latimore, 18, unemployed, of Nelgarde Road, Catford, was said to have strangled Confait by twisting some white electric flex around his neck. Lattimore was acquitted of murder, but found guilty of manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility and of arson. Said to have a mental age of 10, he was ordered to be detained under security conditions in a mental hospital without limit of time. In a statement he was alleged to have described the death of Confait as “an accident”.

Ronald William Leighton, 16, unemployed, who lived in the same road as the dead man, was described in reports as being “on the borderline of the subnormal”. Convicted of murder and arson, he was ordered by Mr Justice Chapman to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure (ie without limit of time) in such a place and under such conditions as the Secretary of State may direct.

Ahmet Salih, 14, schoolboy, also of Nelgarde Road, was convicted of setting fire to the house, with intent to endanger life; he was ordered to be detained for not less than four years in a place to be directed by the Home Secretary.

The police did not have to look far from the scene of the crime to find the accused. One of them lived in the same street as ‘Michelle’, the others just one street away.

Poly Prejudices

On the third of November a letter was sent to the director, Hedley of the Trent Polytechnic, from its catering manager concerning homosexual activity in the Poly; the head barman complained of people in drag using the bar facilities.

The director explained to the president of the Student’s Union that he wanted the so-called “homosexual elements” out or he would close the bar.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting, a motion was passed to the effect that the union would not accept any discriminatory practices upon people entitled to enter the bar and who are acting within the law.

Although an important issue, since it entails bigoted discrimination against minority groups, many of the members of the union with whom we spoke see this as part of a much larger scheme directed at curbing student autonomy still further, and it was felt by the Labour Club that recent disciplinary action were all part of this attack.

It is seen that Hedley is using this issue to split the Union, on the theory of divide and rule, and that drag is just an excuse, a tactical move, more political especially as it comes at a time when the Instruments and Articles come under review and the Executive’s time is taken up by the bar situation. At the root of Hedley’s continual threats to close the bar is his resolve that he would much rather not have a bar at all if it meant that the standards that he thought appropriate for an institution of further education were not maintained.

He states that he merely wants to maintain the standards which apply in any public house and that he doesn’t want his £13½m development plan endangered by a lot of queers.

He justifies his prejudices against what he affectionately terms “hard-line homosexuals” by referring to what is generally believed to be a fictitious telephone call from the Assistant Chief Constable who allegedly warned repressed Gruppenfuhrer Hedley that hordes of nasty offensive queers were changing their patronage from Mario’s which was following police advice by discouraging overt homosexuality. There is no reason to believe this is true.

Moreover, Hedley’s definition of drag is at best an unconventional one. It seems important to make this clear, by all accounts there has been, with one exception, no real drag except during Karnival.

By drag, Hedley means the use of makeup, and his hatred of homosexuality further manifested itself in the recent Management Committee meeting where he and Lyon (Deputy Director, Student Affairs) insisted that not only the bar was involved. If a person in drag (sic) was found in lectures or any part of the Poly premises, action would be taken. The president replied that in such a case that person would be defended by the Union.

Love and kisses to Gongster, Nottingham University Student’s Paper.