HIM 67, March 1984

The West German Government has got itself in a right old pickle over the sacking and then reinstatement of General Gunter Kiessling.

The whole “scandal” hinges on the premise that homosexuality is, per se, a security risk.

Military intelligence reported seeing General Kiessling in two Cologne gay bars. That, believe it or not, is the full extent of his supposed “incriminating”activities.

Was it a KGB plot or back-stabbing bya jealous colleague? THE GUARDIAN and THE DAILY TELEGRAPH have been following the affair with interest. But despite the ludicrous plot-twists, some of which would have been rejected by the writers of Dallas as being too far-fetched even for them, General Kiessling got his pension and ‘honour’ restored intact.

I hope all the people involved in this non-scandal get their fingers badly burned. It’s the least they deserve.

For it is we ordinary gays who have to bear the brunt of the unquestioned assumption that homosexuality is, in itself, justification for ruining a career.

A pox on the lot of them.


In between the apologies, retractions and adjudications from the press council, THE SUN managed to fit in a pathetic story about pop singer Michael Jackson denying “heartbreaking rumours about his sexuality”. “I’m not gay,” he bleats.

Thank gawd for that, says I.


According to THE DAILY MAIL, the Women’s Committee on Islington council have recommended to the government that “male homosexuals be allowed to solicit without fear of prosecution, and for the age of consent for male homosexuals to be lowered to 16.”

Of course the recommendations are part of a wider package including allowing prostitutes to advertise and “brothels to be made legal”.

THE MAIL gave three whole paragraphs to the report – and one of those was given over to SDP Councillor Chris Pryce’s comment: “They’re barmy.”

Of course, THE DAILY MAIL sees it as a duty to distort the report and misrepresent what the women really said. In actual fact the recommendations are simply common sense, an attempt to bring our hypocritical and cruel sex laws into some kind of order. When THE MAIL says the women want gay men to be allowed to “solicit”, they really mean we should be allowed to meet each other without fear of being nabbed by over-zealous rozzers.

Lowering the age of consent is not only reasonable but essential if this country is going to continue to present itself as a defender of human rights.

If the women who seek these changes are “barmy”, you can enrol me into the “loony left” from today. The further I can get from the Repulsive Right, the better.


THE SUNDAY PEOPLE seem to think it scandalous that the crew on the superliner QE2 should have a gay bar for their off-duty hours.

But why the raised eyebrows when a large proportion of the crew are gay?

There are lots of jobs in which gay people predominate — the merchant navy is one, together with catering, hospitals and most of the service industries. Heterosexuals with family commitments are reluctant to take on these careers with their long, irregular hours and periods away from home.

If all the gay labour were withdrawn, the hotel trade, health service and so on would simply collapse.

Why on earth there should be objections to the workers enjoying their leisure in a way appropriate to them beats me.

But the, you can’t really expect THE SUNDAY PEOPLE to make sense.


The word “shame” has been bandied about rather freely in the press over the last couple of weeks. Mostly in connection with convictions for cottaging against two prominent public figures. TV personality Leonard Sachs (74) and MP Dr Roger Thomas both fell victim to the self-righteous activities of the police “loo patrol”. The victims’ agony was compounded by the courts and the humiliation completed by the media.

In my mind the “shame” should fall squarely on the shoulders of the police, the courts and the grotesque newspapers who delight in rubbing salt in the wounds.

What good has come from these incidents? Who benefits? Until the law is changed this sort of wicked and unnecessary persecution will continue to bring “shame” on the whole system, but particularly on newspapers that are not obliged to be involved in it.

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