Saturday, 11 April 2009

247: Edward Heath, What’s the Deal?

“Ink” 24 July 1971

What an unexpected statement! Of COURSE the then Prime Minister (1970 to 1974) wasn’t a member of the Gay Liberation Front! No one ever said he WAS. What possible intent or necessity could there be in this public denial of any association between the unmarried Conservative Prime Minister and the GLF? Surely such a connection between the two had never to occurred to anyone. Surely, even by making such a sensible denial, there’s a significant danger of “Ink” cementing that association in their readers’ minds, so granting some sort of legitimacy to such an outrageous claim – which they were denying in the first place. Tchh! Foolishness.

Only a couple of weeks earlier a diary column in “Ink”, prompted by the publication of former MP Ian Harvey’s memoir “To Fall Like Lucifer”, had pointed out that at the start of their political careers the bachelor Heath had once been a flatmate of Harvey’s. Ian Harvey had resigned in scandal after being arrested for a sexual encounter in a public lavatory with a Guardsman during Christmas 1958. What did the journos of “Ink” think they were playing at?

And then there was this:
OZ #23, August – September 1969

Merely a list of names appearing on the editorial page of the “Homosexual” issue of OZ magazine. No headline or accompanying commentary. Just a list of names. Of which about 65-80% are now known to have partaken of some homosexual activity. At the time maybe not even a quarter were publically known to be gay. The rest were just the currency of rumour and gossip. And Ted Heath is second on the list.

What does it all mean? What is everyone trying to tell me?

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