Two Peters.

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hitchens.jpgI read Peter Hitchens' blog fairly regularly, because however wrong I believe him generally to be, I think he's sincere, and also a good writer. Every once in a while (and I racked my brains to think of the last time) I find myself agreeing with chunks of his stuff.

This case is pretty easy, given the unlikely line he's taken - praising Peter Tatchell. OK, it goes off at the end into rabid Euroscepticism and an implicit line against tolerance, but you can feel the unexpected warmth and respect he feels for 'tother Peter. 

We'd be much the poorer without them both (please don't fill the comments with objectionable Hitchenisms - I do know how far we diverge, thanks).


Looks like your exhortation not to overwhelm your comments section did the trick.

Well seen as no one else will do it, I'm happy to step up. Peter Hitchens is one of the most despicable human beings on the face of the planet and I truly believe that the world would be a better place if he didn't exist. He spews out hatred, bile and intolerance often targeted at the most vulnerable in our society.

Why is he a fan of Tatchell? No idea. I particularly have no idea after a piece he wrote on HIV/AIDs a few years ago. This was published in the Daily Mail after they trumpeted "even his publishers would allow this in his book". The general thesis was that gay men deserved to get AIDs because gay sex was a lifestyle choice like smoking (the corollary being that smokers deserved to get lung cancer, oh how very Christian Peter).

So I am indeed surprised that he supports Tatchell against a homophobic campaign against him given that Hitchens is a particularly nasty, vicious homophobe. But I presume its because he has met the man and liked him, putting him firmly in the great tradition of "I'm not racist, some of my best friends are black..". A very human failing, but not one I respect or condone.

At least I told you his line was unlikely.

What can I say? I know how hateful his views are on so many issues, but I think it's worth sometimes reading what the other side think. And when I do, I prefer reading him because I think he's a clear rightwing polemicist, with a readable style, not a partisan Tory hack (that he certainly isn't).

The alternative is living in the Comment is Free echo chamber.

As you can see from my post, I did read him in the Daily Mail. I do try to keep up with this particularly bile soaked rag, mostly to see what deviancy Patrick has been up to ;)

You really don't have to go far to find right-wing polemicists, the country is ram-packed with them. And if you want to know what the other side think just take a look around, they present themselves regularly especially to those experiencing racism, sexism, homophobia etc.

And I get really bored with the whole 'you just live in a liberal bubble' line of argument. Yes, I'd love to, but my bubble is constantly burst by people like Hitchens, Melanie Phillips, Richard Littlejohn, Simon Heffer, Julie Burchill, et despicably al.

The eloquence of these people makes me hate them more because it gives an air of respectability to the ignorant, offensive and self-serving. So I don't feel the need to institute affirmative action in my reading matter when I already get their views shoved down my throat (innuendo intended).

I suspect that Hitchens' support for Tatchell is based on two things. Tatch is quick to criticise traditional 'left' causes like support for the Palestinians, and this is of course attractive to someone on the right. Never mind the fact that the criticism is on the basis that the Palestinian National Authority has an attitude to LGBT rights that Hitch might well endorse - anyone who sparks controversy with their own constituency in this way is probably fun to watch if you're coming from an ultra-Daily Mail perspective.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Hitchens is in fact praising an aspiring politician for bravely staying in the closet, which is of course where all gay men really belong. When he described Tatchell as "quite reasonably [dodging] questions on the subject which people asked him when they had no business to do so" he really means that all this sort of unpleasantness was best confined to a hidden, blackmailable twilight world where people could live in misery instead of flagrantly undermining the moral fabric of society. Which is of course our real agenda. If you read the Mail, that is.

On behalf of the irresponsible, left-led, anti-Christian, anti-family, gay whales against the Bomb coalition,


OK, I'm wrong, I shouldn't read him, and I certainly shouldn't have blogged about him.

No, seriously, at least it's led to a discussion about how wrong he is. Next time I'll do a bit more thinking about the closet issue, though. *hangs head*

Can we move on and say how much we love George Monbiot now?

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