Wednesday 26 October 2016

Equality's a two-way street, not a box of chocolates

Published 09/07/2014 | 02:30

Ernie and Bert
Ernie and Bert
Mean girl: Taylor Swift

They say you get more conservative as you get older. That may or may not be true, but if there's one thing alleged maturity is meant to bring, it's the ability to weigh an argument on its own merits and come to a conclusion without being hampered by emotional baggage. Or, as some would call it, prejudice.

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That's why there are many of us out there who have always looked on the Gah with a suspicion bordering on contempt, yet we now find ourselves in the extremely uncomfortable position of supporting the culchies in the whole Garth Brooks FUBAR.

Yes, it obviously feels wrong on many levels. After all, when a proud Dub finds himself supporting the rights of that organisation to put on a five-day Garth Brooks jamboree (Bogstock, anyone?) over the rights of the denizens of Jones's Road to have a quiet night's sleep, you know you've just gone down a rather unexpected rabbit hole – one that has been closed entirely by the unelected brainaics who control our lives.

Similarly, I never thought I'd side with a Christian bakery in Newtownabbey in Norn Iron in a row they are having with some gay activists. After all, I'm neither Christian nor gay, and the whole thing is happening across the Border. In fact, I don't even like cakes. But the storm of condemnation and hysterical accusations against the Ashers Baking Company is a perfect example of just how intolerant the tolerant left really are.

For those of you who missed it, the bakery was asked to make a cake with Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie featuring the slogan 'support gay marriage'.

And, being Northern Christians who are agin that type of happy-go-lucky sodomy, they politely refused and offered a refund to the customer.

Sadly, although not surprisingly, the customer, Gareth Lee, was actually a 'volunteer LGBT activist' who promptly reported the bakery to the Equality Commission who, in turn, have told the company that by refusing to make the cake they are guilty of 'discrimination'.

In fact, according to the Commission: "We have advised Mr Lee that you have acted unlawfully and contrary to Regulation 5 of the Equality Act" and they told the owners that they would be issuing proceedings within the next week.

My, what a great day for intolerance, bullying and bigotry – with the gay lobby the oppressors in this case.

For the record – and I'm sick of having to say this – I am all for gay marriage, on the grounds that misery shouldn't be exclusive to hetero couples. But a bakery, any bakery, has the right to choose what sort of icing they put on a cake and what wording said icing should take.

If, for example, a bakery refused to make a cake with the slogan 'Gay marriage is against God' on the grounds that the staff were gay and were offended by that message, the very same activists would have been praising the shop for standing by their principles.

But in the warped values of many professional gay rights campaigners, principles are acceptable only when they share the same world view. For a group of people who keep moaning about being oppressed, many LGBT activists seem completely unwilling to accept that some people have a different opinion and the staff at Ashers Baking Company weren't out queer bashing or openly discriminating against gay people. In fact, they have previously refused to write slogans they don't approve of.

It's really very simple.

For instance, there's a lovely Jewish bakery where I live – if I asked them to bake a cake celebrating the second Palestinian intifada they would tell me where to stick my provocative confectionery.

Nobody expects 'volunteer LGBT activists' to support conservative Christian values.

And it's the height of cowardly, obnoxious bullying to go squealing to 'The Man' when the tables are reversed.

Of course, our brave activist could have gone to a different bakery.

But then we would never have known Gareth Lee's name and his heroic crusade against homophobic cakes.


As numerous American states roll out their new, liberalised attitudes towards weed, it seems smoking dope is now a basic human right.

The reliably demented people in Berkeley city council, where the '60s are still going strong, have decided that all pot dispensaries must now give free cannabis to poor people. Of course, now that weed is classed as medicine in many states, denying poor and lower income people free pot is seen as something akin to denying them chemo.

But as keen as they are to give everyone equal access to get baked, they have proved that they aren't just a bunch of ageing hippies, oh no. Because they have also passed an ordnance which prohibits people from using e-cigarettes in public.

So, yes to California Skunk, but no to Vaping.

Fair enough, but what will they do about those people who now use vaporisers to smoke their drug?

That should be an interesting trial – if any of them ever get their s**t together enough to actually take it to court, that is.


She might look like butter wouldn't melt, but Taylor Swift is a true mean girl who obviously hates her fans.

How else can you describe this appalling woman after she made the outrageous claim in the WSJ that: "Music should not be free"?

As if that wasn't disgraceful enough, she then argued that people don't have an automatic right to free downloads or streaming.

How very dare she!

Sure everyone knows that music should be free and musicians who want royalties are worse than Metallica and their battle with Napster.

Musicians expecting to be paid for their work? Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?

But the next time you moan about the lack of new talent, you should go through your Spotify collection and see how many of your favourite bands could have survived if they had been expected to work for free . . .

Ian Doherty

Irish Independent

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