Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Anti-gay discrimination laws

The Spectator is a real hit-and-miss publication. Made much less relevant by the termination of Mark Steyn's contract, the only remaining reason to read this weekly is the ex-Radio 4 Today program editor and quintessential grumpy old man, Rod Liddle.

Writing in this week's edition, he reminds us why he would not make a great B&B (guest house) manager.

"I dislike so many different communities of people...that my market would be infinitessimally small. No toffs, no chavs, no people working for local govt, no NGOs or quangos, no Muslims, no young people, no fox-hunters, no salespeople, no poets, no Belgians, no old people and no mentals."

Commenting on the recent anti-gay discrimination laws, he throws up a nice quandry. The govt has recently passed laws making it a crime to deride Islam. But a week later, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, boss of the Muslim Council of Britain told the BBC that homosexuality was a 'sin'.

"And so we now have a case where you can be charged, under the law, for expressing a central tenet of a religion and also be banged up for challenging the validity of that religion."

This, as he rightly points out, is absurd.

The govt has no right telling us which particular groups of people we must be nice to. Leave that to society and watch the bigots wither away.