Thursday, 27 October 2011

Peter Tatchell: A National Treasure?

"It's a rare day indeed when we find ourselves in agreement with the Daily Mail, but we did so in the case of Peter Tatchell. Last year, having spent years vilifying the human rights activist and all his works, the paper conceded that he was more good than bad and labelled him, for sheer staying power if nothing else, a national treasure. We agree. Most agree. And thus there was widespread surprise to see that there was no mention at all of Tatchell on the Independent on Sunday's Pink List 2011. It is, after all, a list of the "101 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain today". A strange omission. True, there was no place for Brian Paddick, or the author Sarah Waters, but with Tatchell having claimed seventh place last year, his absence took some explaining. And so we asked around, not least because he was none the wiser, and we discovered that a deliberate decision was taken by the judges to leave him off the list. Instead he was to be given the accolade – along with Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig – of "national treasure". But then something went wrong, something distinctly low-tech; the Post-it note with his name was shuffled into an incorrect pile and nobody noticed until it was too late. Oh well. "I am not much fussed," Tatchell says, when we explain. "These lists are fairly arbitrary, and I am glad for those unsung gay people who have been recognised." And, unlike them, he has that glowing accolade from the Mail."

Hugh Muir's Diary, The Guardian.

The Daily Mail calling Peter Tatchell a "national treasure" - imagine that!
You may have to.
Here's a piece by Hugh Muir in The Guardian last year Peter Tatchell: the reluctant national treasure.
But there Muir appears to be "consulting" a piece from The Guardian five years ago, which asked titularly (and rhetorically); Is Peter Tatchell a national treasure?
Reading that you realise the words "national treasure" are The Guardian's, not the Mail's.
Here's The Daily Mail piece that Hugh Muir refers to in today's Diary; He's been beaten by Mugabe's thugs and Russian Nazis: Is Peter Tatchell the bravest man in Britain?
Ironically it's one of the few recent profiles of Peter Tatchell that doesn't call him a "national treasure".
To my knowledge the Mail never has.
But let me know if you find one.

• Peter Tatchell has written an obituary of Rose Robertson - founder of the lesbian and gay counselling service Parents Enquiry - in today's Guardian.

• Donate to the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Fund.

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