Monday, 25 October 2010

Richard Ingrams: "There Is No Such Thing As Community"

"Purists are fighting a losing battle to preserve proper punctuation, their special concern being the apostrophe and correct use thereof. I would like to make a plea for more rigorous use of inverted commas, so important when words are being so regularly commandeered by propagandists.
"Take, for example, the Church of Scientology, recently attacked yet again by the fearless BBC investigator John Sweeney. The word church when used by Scientologists ought always to be put in inverted commas because it is certainly doesn't belong to one of the world's great religions...
"Also deserving inverted commas is the word marriage, as in the expression gay marriage. Marriage, by its definition, involves a man and a woman. You cannot logically have a marriage between two men or two women. The same applies to the expression gay community, as there is no such community in any meaningful sense of that word."

Richard Ingrams, seasoned Oldie homophobe, writing in The Independent.

Logically!?? It's hardly Bertrand Russell, is it?


  1. Sorry. The above column appeared on Saturday, but your correspondent only noticed the daft rant it turned into today, after the following letter appeared in The Independent...

    Building a real gay community

    I was disappointed to read in The Independent (23 October) Richard Ingrams's statement that "there is no such [gay] community in any meaningful sense of the word".

    Accepting the Oxford dictionary definition of community as "the condition of having certain attitudes and interests in common" he may have a point. There is a very wide range of lifestyles and opinions across the population of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. But what he fails to recognise is the great uniting factor of being in a historically oppressed minority – something felt at some level by all aware gay people.

    Increasingly this is being expressed in the kind of mutual support and self-empowerment that defines true community. While Ingrams may be ignorant of such organisations as the Edward Carpenter Community (named after the influential 19th-century visionary and socialist reformer) which has been bringing gay men together for 25 years, he cannot be unaware of gay people's increasing confidence and visibility as a community, reflected in the popularity and growth of Pride events throughout the country.

    His comment, which carries a rather unappealing flavour of bigotry, also does a great disservice to the numerous community groups and charities dedicated to the welfare and wellbeing of LGBT people in this country.

    Jon Stein,

    Chair of the QT's (social group for Gay Men in Totnes),

    Totnes, Devon

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. There's a documentary about Private Eye from the early-'90s where Ingrams says he's against gay rights or that it's ludicrous, in his opinion, to equate it with the civil rights movement or something along those lines.
    Stupid Dick.

  4. He's dreadful - he's the main reason Private Eye had such a reputation for overgrown public schoolboy-sniggering homophobia...