Straight eye for the queer guy

SURFING the Internet for the words of Gee, Officer Krupke! from West Side Story in connection with David Cameron's “hug a hoodie” exhortation, the first web site to which I was directed by Google was the tad politically incorrect “The Great Queers of History.

SURFING the Internet for the words of Gee, Officer Krupke! from West Side Story in connection with David Cameron's “hug a hoodie” exhortation, the first web site to which I was directed by Google was the tad politically incorrect “The Great Queers of History.”

I suppose it was no surprise, given that composer Leonard Bernstein and the show's choreographer Jerome Robbins, were both gay. But in this long list of notable homosexuals - from King David of Israel to Pope Julius II and Cardinal Newman; Socrates and Plato, and Alexander the Great to King James I; Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to Tchaikovsky and Benjamin Britten; Lord (General) Kitchener and Cecil Rhodes to Cole Porter, Ivor Novello, Noel Coward, Wilfred Owen, and Marlene Dietrich - there is not one politician.

While in today's society, a person's sexuality is - or shouldn't be - of any concern, politicians are just as notable as assorted monarchs, clerics, warriors, philosophers, playwrights, and show business personalities and it seems a strange that none are included in a retrospective listing.

While the romps and adventures of many British MPs, peers and councillors have regularly made the pages of the red tops, it appears none have the celebrity status to warrant inclusion. However, it's long been suggested that Liberal prime minister the Earl of Roseberry had frequent dalliances with the street urchins of Naples while Tory swashbuckling boulevardier Bob Boothby and Maldon's notorious Labour former MP Tom Driberg would feature high in any British political index of gay politicians.


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Anyway, back to hoodies - and although David Cameron never said we should hug them, he's likely to be saddled with this corrupted epithet for ever and a day.

What he was trying to say was that society should discover what leads yobs to act anti-socially and then remedy the causes - social background, broken homes, the concrete jungle, and poor educational attainment.

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So with apologies to Bernstein and co:

“Dear Kindly Mr Cameron.

You gotta understand,

It's just our bringing up,

That gets us out of hand.

Our mothers all are junkies.

Our fathers all are drunks,

Golly Moses, naturally we're punks!

“Gee Mr Cameron, we're very upset;

We never had the love that every child ought to get

We ain't no delinquents

We're misunderstood us,

Deep down inside there is good!

There is good, there is good,

There is untapped good,

Like inside, the worst of us is good!”

IN his submission to the parliamentary standards commissioner, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott says that he spent time at would-be Millenium Dome casino operator Philip Anschutz's large Colorado cattle ranch “discussing with ranch staff the issues and problems of running a large-scale farming enterprise”.

By contrast, Mr Prescott has never shown the slightest interest in British agriculture and especially the plight of our farmers forced out of business by foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever.

Double standards or what?

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