Our own admirable Ian O'Doherty briefly referred to the following story last week: forgive me for revisiting it at somewhat greater length. One night last June, four firemen on their engine were driving through a parkland in Bristol called the Broads, a place where homosexual men gather, though not usually to play chess.
From the engine, the firemen shone their torches into the bushes, and revealed four men having group-sex. The firemen then drove away.
One of the four homosexuals then complained to Bristol fire brigade that he had been the subject of homophobic intrusions by the firemen. Following a three-month investigation, during which the four firemen were suspended, last week two of them were fined £1,000 each, (proceeds, naturally, to a gay charity), one was given a written warning, and one was demoted. All have been transferred to different stations, and all must attend -- ah: no doubt you were wondering when the grisly e-word was going to appear in this wretched affair -- an equality course.
Meanwhile, homosexual men continue to use the Broads for sex-acts, both day and night: which I suppose is equality of a sort -- namely the new ideological "equality", which is not equality at all, but specially-allocated privileges for certain prescribed minorities.
So, this, finally, is the ethos which has been created by both the culture of "gay-rights", and by the broader culture of unprincipled liberalism. A man who was discovered engaging in an illegal act -- and group sex in public is certainly that -- felt so genuinely aggrieved that he complained to his discoverers' employers, who in due course brought near-ruin on the careers of the men who had interrupted this fine lad's merry pleasures.
As interesting as the state-institutional response to this affair has been the reaction to the outcome by other institutions, namely the media: which is to say, none. No outcry, no anger, no cries of disbelief. Effectively, the right of homosexual men to have naked orgies in parkland in the centre of Bristol has been vindicated by a general if silent consensus. Whether that silence is one of approval or of cowardice, I leave to your own judgment. I suspect it is probably both: when a new moral order arises, its enforcement is as much by intimidation as by assent.
And that we are dealing with a new moral order is certain. Let me direct you elsewhere in this shiny bright new regimen, by introducing the homosexual actor and writer Stephen Fry, effectively a secular saint in Britain. Indeed, he enjoys a moral status that is virtually unique, matched only by the queen. The BBC even celebrated his 50th birthday recently by clearing an entire evening's schedules in order to broadcast five hours of programmes, either about or featuring him.
A couple of evenings later -- my, what a constant Fry week it was -- he presented a programme about AIDS amongst homosexuals, in which one man boasted of having had sex with 200 men -- and over what period? In the course of a single weekend. Fry responded with wry surprise: two hundred, eh? Gosh, that seems a lot. How interesting.
It is not interesting. As a responsible homosexual himself, Fry should have condemned it as disgusting, depraved, revolting, demented behaviour: the elevation of a base and disordered sensuality above mankind's physical health and moral well-being. But of course, it is not cool to condemn, to judge, even though a 201-strong male orgy should remind us that without some socialised ethos governing their libidos, men can easily sink into a sexual sewer.
Moreover, such sodomistic self-indulgence is not just a matter of a lifestyle choice; it is actual wickedness, for the human rectum, with its fermenting stew of waste, and its fragile, absorbent walls, has no natural protection against such vile traffic. The mutant consequences, bred and rebred and rebred again in the bacterial cauldrons of serially-active colons, sooner or later must be proportionate to the cause. For long ago did the AIDS pandemic not warn us of this, and the lethal broths that can brew in the lower bowel?
Yet far from this lunatic's claim of a jolly 200-partner weekend causing media indignation, and far from Fry's calm acceptance of his rectal frolics undermining his exalted status in society, there has been total silence.
For this is our brave new world, an ethical Gomorrah in which to have a moral code over sexual conduct is seen as being intolerant, judgmental, and -- worst crime of all! -- homophobic.
Indeed, the Equality Industry, with its priest-like zealots intoning their mumbo-jumbo about minority rights and minority victimhood, is even now probably preparing to condemn, punish and expel those who dissent from this new and abominable consensus.
This is the tale of existence, as old as mankind and men.
We learn old lessons anew, and duly forget them again: that the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, and the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.
So, sooner or later, new flames await our blistered skins, and we cannot know how or when they will again burst into evil life; only that they assuredly will, and as always, burn us to the bone.