A rather disconcerting byproduct of the Paris Massacre atrocity is the gleam in French Prime Minister Françoise Hollande’s eyes. He has gone from hero to zero almost overnight. I know this sounds horribly cynical but there’s a degree of posturing for political gain: a game our own dear Prime Minister has elevated to an Olympic sport. Why does every British Prime Minister in recent history long for the opportunity to take us to war?
However, I see a fundamental difference between Margaret Thatcher’s Falklands campaign and Mr Cameron’s decision to bomb Syria as well as Iraq in the wake of Paris. Mrs Thatcher had to send troop ships on the ground to the Falkland Islands. Mr Cameron seems to be playing Risk or Battleships and clearly enjoys having the opportunity to be quasi-Churchillian in the House of Commons.
Pleased to read that Prince William has decided to attend the England versus France friendly at Wembley tonight but cast a very beady eye at the television news when Cameron announced his ‘me too’ appearance. I am terribly ambivalent about the French crowd, let alone the British fans, being asked to sing The Marseilleuse at the beginning of the match: a rabid call to terror and bloodshed written to accompany the perfidious Revolution. Singing that pernicious, bloody song after God Save The Queen is quite frankly a bad decision by the brass when the game is played on British soil.
Thank you to George Osborne for reminding us that ISL are actively developing drone attacks on the United Kingdom with that sinister half-smile on his face. I can’t help but thinking the scientists, techies and politicians knew full well that making drones available to all was asking for abuse of this very nature. It is wickedness to sell a potentially lethal weapon in Robert Dyas!
Interesting to see Charlie Sheen confirming on US TV that he was diagnosed with HIV four years ago. Though the story is not clear, it appears he has been paying millions to a blackmailer to keep the news out of the National Enquirer but ultimately the story was about to break.
A little background on Charlie. He is the Hollywood wild child son of actor Martin Sheen. He was the rage in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. His career was marked by multiple marriages, affairs and hook-ups with hookers and porn stars, drug abuse, breakdowns and – here’s the clincher – a successful, consistent career until recent years.
Calls to mind the Lily Savage line on being told with outrage that East End gangster Ronnie Kray was a schizophrenic homosexual psychopath. ‘My kind of man’, says Lil. Of course Twitter is awash with fundamentalist Christians judge, judge, judging as if they are the Lord on High themselves. Jokes have been told at Charlie’s expense. I wonder if the jesters have any dillies about child leukaemia or adult dementia while they are about it. How we laughed: not!
I’ve written extensively about the hysteria surrounding HIV and AIDS when I was at coming-out age in the 1980s. You’d just come to terms with it and started learning to like oneself and hoping to date when there’s John Hurt on a government-funded TV scare campaign telling you ‘Gays! Have sex and you will die!’
It took years of velvet rage and therapy for my generation of gays to accept that sex did not equal death. So you can understand we are a little beady-eyed about the young making wedding vows in their teens and being by and large accepted, nay cherished as national treasures, in British society today.
I never cared for being accepted, never mind tolerated. But even a decade ago people who ‘accepted’ homosexuality had more than a little whiff of sulphurous political correctness and sanctimoniousness about them. But back to Charlie Sheen. The most distasteful Tweet I read was from a born again Christine who said she hoped any sympathy for Charlie’s HIV status would be off-set by condemnation of his lifestyle.
Excuse me? The hookers and porn stars clearly colluded with him for whatever reason. The pernicious drug dealers kept him hooked and took his money. Nobody but an A-list actor born and bred in Hollywood knows the devils there to fool you let alone the pressures of being a second-generation star to succeed.
I did fear that Charlie Sheen going public with his HIV status was going to unleash a whole lot of stupid from a whole lot of ugly and I have been proved correct in under an hour. But let me tell you, the reaction is nothing compared to the hysteria surrounding the late matinee idol Rock Hudson’s death from AIDS. The worst of it was when his character in Dynasty kissed co-star Lynda Evans who played Krystal Carrington. They accused Rock of killing their heroine.
That kiss meant as much in calming-down the hysteria surrounding AIDS as the late Diana, Princess of Wales’s hugging AIDS patients in London. The work of the remarkable Dame Elizabeth Taylor and her amFAR HIV/AIDS Foundation was equally strong. I recall the Wembley celebration for the life of Freddie Mercury – who also died of AIDS – when Elizabeth Taylor was asked to address the crowd.
The concert was essentially sung so when Elizabeth stepped-up to the microphone, some clown in the crowd shouted ‘Get off!’ The diminutive Dame pulled herself up to full height and in Maggie the Cat’s dulcet tones drawled, ‘I’ll get off in a minute. I’ve got something to say’ and she said it loud and clear.