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Behold the great Unionist ‘liberal’… June 14, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Northern Ireland.

Some may recall when Ken Maginnis was feted in Dublin by various groups (including my old political home, though I doubt they’d be as accommodating now as then)… as a ‘liberal’ Unionist.

Well, yes. But apparently no.


1. sonofstan - June 14, 2012

Asked was he equating gay sex with bestiality, Lord Maginnis replied: “I am saying it is a rung on the ladder.” He added that he had a right to define homosexuality “as I see it” and he did not think “we should be doing anything to encourage this deviant practice”.

Is this ladder like the property ladder we used to hear so much about? Should we all be rushing to get on it? What happens if the bottom (ooh,er, missus….) falls out of the deviancy market? Will we be stuck on the first rung, destined to be trapped in boring gay sex while those who got moving earlier are entertaining entire menageries?

So many questions, Ken.


2. Dr. X - June 14, 2012

Save sodomy from Ulster.


3. EamonnCork - June 14, 2012

Asked if I equate old style Ulster Unionism with the Apartheid system I reply, “I am saying it is a rung on the ladder.” I have a right to define Unionism ‘as I see it’ but I do not think ‘we should be doing anything to encourage this deviant practice.’
Remember when we were told, rather foolishly, that the best reason to bring in socially progressive legislation in the Republic was that it would apparently send positive signals to the great beacons of tolerance across the border.
I always thought Ken was portrayed as a ‘liberal unionist’ because unlike somebody in the Martin Smyth mould he looked like he might be fond of the beer.


4. Ramzi Nohra - June 14, 2012

Nice one Eamonn.
Why was he viewed as a liberal Unionist?
As an ex B special he didn’t sound too promising a candidate.


Starkadder - June 14, 2012

IIRC it was the Sindo that promoted him and
John Taylor* as the “liberal” Ulster Unionists.

* That’s John “Partition Scotland” Taylor.


5. JP - June 14, 2012

He’s not well


6. Tomboktu - June 14, 2012

His remarks served their purpose. The primary focus has been on his comments rather than on the research that was published yesterday, which scraped in at the end of the Irish Times’s story:

Meanwhile, a new report from the North’s Equality Commission has noted a hardening in attitudes towards people from minority or vulnerable backgrounds.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of 1,101 people surveyed said they would mind a gay, lesbian or bisexual person living next door to them, compared with 14 per cent in 2005; and 42 per cent were unhappy about them becoming an in-law, a rise of 13 percentage points over the last six years.

The Irish Times could have reported

  • Around a third of people would mind a transgendered person as a work colleague
  • Half of respondents would mind having a Traveller as an in-law and negative attitudes towards people with disabilities,
  • most notably mental ill-health, are also up.
  • The survey found that one in three people in Northern Ireland feels unfairly treated or harassed.
  • What the Chief Commissioner said about the survey.
  • What changes the survey reveals.
  • When it was conducted, and what the sample size was.
  • But that would have shown there is a serious probem, whereas focusing on a former politician whom makes bozzare connections provides a form of enterntainment for the comfortable liberal masses to tut tut.


    EamonnCork - June 14, 2012

    They’re shocking statistics. But I think the McGuinness comments are worth tut tutting about because public statements like that do help the bigots feel like they’re not alone and perhaps embolden them in their bigtory. I do take your point though, it’s easy for people to use an outlandish example like this to comfort themselves with a complacent ‘well, I’m nothing like that,’ while ignoring the extent to which their own views or the views of the society around them may be prejudiced.
    It’s sad to see that attitudes have got worse in this respect. I wonder if it’s anything to do with this whole nonsensical attitude about some illusory PC orthodoxy which lurks out there. In the past someone who came out with this kind of guff would have been dismissed as a bigot but now they can get away with being described as being ‘not very PC.’ Thus bullies peddling tired old prejudices get recast by their defenders as brave rebels.
    See for example the comments on Slugger O’Toole on McGuinness which are full of guff along the lines of, ‘he has the right to say this.’ Nobody is denying him the right to say this but equally everyone has the right to point out that he’s a silly old fool.
    For some reason it does seem to have become more acceptable to voice prejudice against gay people, Travellers, people with mental illness etc and I suppose the survey reflects that. You’re right, it is a very interesting story which deserves more coverage. I wonder what the percentages would be on this side of the border. For all his tactical mistakes, the media attitude towards David Norris in the presidential election often seemed to display a crude latent homophobia.


    WorldbyStorm - June 15, 2012

    All excellent points Tomboktu and worthy of a post in themselves, but I think the reason I was pointing to this was precisely because when I was in the WP in the 1980s early 1990s he was regarded as a ‘liberal’ (albeit that was a bit nebulous and had more to do with a willingness to go to the South etc rather than on social issues). So I think there’s a political point here as well as the points you make.


    ejh - June 15, 2012

    You do mean Maginnis there, don’t you?


    EamonnCork - June 15, 2012

    No, I’m blaming Martin McGuinness. Your attempts to get Sinn Fein off the hook on this one merely reveal you as a Provo fellow traveller.


    ivorthorne - June 15, 2012

    Where was the homophobia in the presidential campaign?


    7. GearóidGaillimh - December 4, 2020
    WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2020

    Urggghhhh… he’s learned nothing and cares nothing about how his words hurt other people.


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