Mail and Mullen Part II : Tragedy, Comedy and Farce


Due to my failure to answer two Literature questions in last night's Quiz League battering, I've been sentenced to extra training and so a day off has been idly but wisely spent.

Further news on the strange bedfellows [1], The Mail and the Rev. Peter Mullen. As the Guardian reports, Mullen has used his column (you lot giggling at the back: see me after class) in The Northern Echo to 'apologise' for "making some off-colour jokes about homosexuals on my website.

He continues,
  • However, I do believe The Evening Standard took my words out of context, although that paper did have the good grace to print my explanation of my intentions.
This being the Evening Standard owned by the same group as The Mail of course. So, they seem to have kissed and made up. So all's well that ends well [2]. However, the Rev. seems a bit grudging in his confession.
  • I was not criticising individual homosexuals. I have never criticised them. I number many homosexual men and women among my dearest friends.
(An Interpreter writes, 'Some of my best friends are black, gay, black and gay, young, gifted and black, which means I cannot be prejudiced against 'them'.'

I'm a bit confused at the next bit,
  • I voted for the Homosexual Reform Act of 1967
Does he think there was a referendum on this? Was he an MP or sitting in the Lords Spiritual section? Maybe he just means he supported the change in law. He then gives some of the game away. Whilst he is claims to be tolerant, he has some ground rules.
  • homosexual acts “between consenting adults in private.” “Between” means two. “Adults” meant 21. “Private” means in the bedroom.
He does not make it clear whether he agrees with the lowering of the age to that of heterosexual consent. Nor does he mention the anomaly that existed due to hotel rooms not being classed as 'the bedroom.' He mentions Hamstead Heath and public lavatories which denotes an unhealthy interest in Littlejohn's domain.

So - apology over - he returns once more unto the breeches [3]:
  • And the love that once dare not speak its name [4] now shrieks at us in high camp down every high street.
  • What I do oppose – on the authority of the Christian faith – is the corrupting influence of the promotional parades of homosexuality by such as Gay Pride demonstrations.
Translation: Keep it in your trousers until you're in your own room and don't ram it down our throats by mincing down the road at the Love Parade.
  • I was delighted to be so warmly welcomed at church last Sunday by the many homosexual people in my congregation.
More subtle mentions of the fact that there are gay members of his congregation. Methinks he does protest too much! [5]

He then name-checks Sandy Toksvig on Radio 4 in a bid to show that he can take a joke at his expense.

So, we shall await further words of wisdom from the pulpit in the Mail as the star-crossed love affair continues.[6]

Gobie's Notes
1] Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the
dregs of the storm be past...................The Tempest
2] All's Well That Ends Well........obviously
3] Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...............Henry V
4] I am the Love that dare not speak its name........... Lord Alfred Douglas 'Two Loves'
5] The lady doth protest too much, methinks.............. Hamlet
6] A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life ...............Romeo and Juliet