In this week's broadcast I mull on the comments about homosexuals that got Cold War hero Lech Walesa in so much trouble. Walesa said that "A minority should not impose itself on the majority," a notion that I once used as the basis for a column.
I then sink into reminiscence:
I was recently browsing some biographies of the older generation of British comedians. Many of them were homosexuals.
Nigel Hawthorne, for example, who played the head bureaucrat in that fine British TV comedy Yes, Minister, lived happily for decades with his male partner. Far from wanting to advertise his homosexuality, he was outraged when someone outed him in the 1990s. Hugh Paddick, who was Kenneth Williams' foil in the great radio comedy series Round the Horne, was likewise shacked up happily most of his life with another man, and nobody bothered them about it. Why should they have? It was nobody's business but their own.
A homosexual who made a nuisance of himself in public facilities, or proselytized his lifestyle to the impressionable young, would come to the attention of the police, and quite right too. Otherwise nobody minded them. In my college days in the mid-1960s I lived in rented rooms all over north London. One house I rented a room in was the home of two homosexual men. They were very nice. I didn't mind them, and they didn't bother me. One of them used to do the housework, I remember, and the other did the shopping.
That was the old, civilized attitude. We called it "tolerance."
Well, there's no more of that in the brave new world of liberalism.