Saturday, 17 July 2010

Top And Bottom

Side view of my happy place

Statutory Victim Lord Browne of Madingley claims that "Homophobia is rife in public life and gays are forced to hide their sexuality" in an article in today's Daily Mail.

This is the same Lord Browne who only escaped prosecution for perjury because, to quote wikipedia, "Mr Justice Eady, the presiding judge in the case, said he decided not to refer the matter to the Attorney General with regard to possible perjury charges, as disclosure in the judgement of Lord Browne's behaviour was "probably sufficient punishment"." And with one leap he was free. Richard North of EUReferendum was not amused by the noble lord, twice.

The Daily Telegraph publlished Browne's resignation statement in May 2007 when he said "For the past 41 years of my career at BP I have kept my private life separate from my business life. I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private." And then he published his memoirs in February 2010.

So are we right to assume that Browne has changed his stance on the pros and cons of having an individual's sexuality in the public domain in the meantime because he was appointed to head a government review into university tuition fees by Labour and improve Whitehall governance by The Coalition and is therefore now threatened and discriminated against by "homophobia" instead of preferring, like the vast majority of everyone of every persuasion not to continually bang on in public about their sexual preferences? Wow, He's had much harsher treatment than that dealt out to the perjurers Archer and Aitken who have been obviousy favoured by the establishment because of their overt heterosexuality. Remind me, was it duPont or BP that invented teflon? Whatever, working in oil for 41 years is bound to make someone a slippery customer.

A word in your shell-like, Your Grace. If you really want to experience a hard time at work, why not, as your first job, work for a openly homosexual boss who when asked, after the first week, how one was doing (i wanted to be a Mandarin then), replied without a hint of irony, sarcasm, or any other humour "Well, we've not had to make any adaptatations to the stairs." Nothing about the clear style and dry wit of my minutes or my blossoming administrative skills. There was I, hearing someone utterly smash my preconceptions that, a) gays were above averagely sensitive souls, and b) that possession of a congenital limp wouldn't affect the way I was treated in the Civil Service (that's what they said in the brochures). I realised then that I was wasting my time even trying there because I couldn't hide my limp in the closet. There was no privacy. And so began a downward spiral of low self-esteem, stress, stress-induced epilepsy, depression, low self esteem.

The course of my life has been a phugoid of such downs interspersed with recovering ups when I make very positive, almost aggressively so, fightbacks inspired by the example of my lifetime hero Douglas Bader. Once I have the bit between my teeth I can, I admit, be an arrogant, stubborn sod who wants to catch up with life at full rethrottle. I don't believe the world owes me a living or special treatment, just a clear few hundred yards to take off from where I'm the match of anyone. Give me that opportunity to stretch my wings and I reveal my inner semi-housetrained soft Labrador character (although dogs don't have wings of course so the simile needs a bit more polishing, but you get my drift).

However, many people feel threatened by someone struggling to ignore what they consider a disability and, perversely, blocked my attempts to gain equality on my terms. After a lifetime of rejection and isolation causing much sadness, I now don't mind having a "marmite personality" because the problem is with those people who turn their heads away in the street or assume, because I limp, I am mentally handicapped. How many sportspeople with gold medals and MBEs can regularly do the Times, Telegraph or Guardian crosswords in fifteen minutes? There, that's immediately put many of you off me for boasting I'm able to do something you can't! I "ran" in a House relay on a schools sports day because nobody else could be bothered to make up the team and I've banged my head on every steel pitprop on a trip down a coal mine.

Now, on my own, I'm coming back again (with the advantages of height and sun) for another try on my terms. Thank you, but they're not yours to take or leave.

So, how very dare Baron John Browne moan about the perceived woes of rich bastards like him and David Laws caught out by society? There is a telling phrase in his memoir, Beyond Business "I just could not bring myself to tell the truth."

Self-pitying multi-millionaire chairman. Bless!


Thud said...

Bader is certainly an icon to be admired and I have found him an inspiration myself.I am not sure just how you have come across so many people who because of a physical handicap have caused you so much grief but you seem to have come to terms with the the amount of shits we have to deal with in life...long my you blog.

Gallimaufry said...

Squire Thud,
Many thanks for your kind comments. I am inspired by this poster about stress. So true.
Mind you, I'm also inspired by Colin Hodgkinson, another fighter pilot. It's always fighter pilots...
Best wishes to you and yours in sunny California, hope that you find a goldmine out there digging out foundations.
And as they say in Arnie's backyard "vive de largo su blog".
Ain@t Babelfish great!