Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Art of Arguing

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
 - Thatcher

Anybody who knows me at all will know that I love a good argument. Arguing is what I do best, quite frankly I can make an argument out of anything. I have very 'different' opinions than everyone else and not a lot of people agree with me. THIS is what I love about Twitter, is that I can interact with lots of different people who don't agree with me. It gets my juices flowing, gets me going for a good argument.

I think an 'argument' is the wrong word here, a 'healthy debate' is what I am really looking for. I love sitting down and just bashing out a debate with someone then at the end of it agreeing to disagree and move on, end of. What really bugs me though is when people just take it too far and start to make it all personal. That I suppose is where it becomes an argument. That for me is when I lose respect in people.

My understanding in the situation is that you will never find anyone who will agree with you 100% and when you do ,you should try and not let them get into your life. I have been friends with people and any time we ever discussed politics and either of us made a point the other would reply with 'oh yes I totally agree'. To me that is a crap conversation, I got easily bored of this person and we are no longer friends, not because we don't like each other, simply because we had far too much in common and it got boring.

It is true what they say 'differences attract'. My twitter following is an example of that, my timeline is filled with Labour supporters and sure most of their tweets make me scream at how wrong I think they are, but that is the fun of it. In my mind if you are going to have the strongest possible argument you need to know what the oppositions argument is so you know how to counter it. For this simple reason I read The Guardian and The Independent. I am Right Wing and find if I sit and read the Telegraph I just sit there reading it going ''you don't say'' and it bores me. I like to read something that challenges my opinion, makes me think differently to what I believe and by the end of the day strengthen my own views.

Anyone who has ever argued me will try and deny this, but I love losing a debate. When I lose a debate, I can see that my argument isn't strong enough. It is usually unlikely that my view has completely changed, so what I do is look at the arguments that trumped me and see if I can break them down and find a counter-argument to them. If I believe in something I want to try and convince others so I obviously like to have a strong argument.

Some of my 'rules' I like to follow when having a debate with someone:

  • This is not a personal debate, so do not make it into one.
  • Just because this persons disagrees with me does NOT mean that I will dislike them personally.
  • Don't force an opinion change, simply put forward another point of view.
  • NEVER tell them they are wrong.
  • When you have been defeated, admit defeat. 
  • Do not make fun of or slate someone's opinion, they have that opinion for a reason.
  • Do not make your arguments into personal attacks.
  • If they make their arguments into personal attacks, end the debate otherwise it will get heated and turn into a bloodbath. (Even if it means they think they have won, let them)
Politics, and life in general is all about opinion. Nobody is right or wrong. We all just have different opinions. I am a firm believer in that there should be periods of short 5 year governments to keep the country in a stable position.I may be a right wing Tory but I know that sometimes Labour policies are what is needed to get something done. For example I do not agree pensioners having free bus / rail travel, however I understand that it is a very positive policy.

Just because you don't agree with an opinion, it does not mean you should not respect it and the person who holds it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't discuss other alternative opinions, it just means you shouldn't force your opinion on them or tell them they are wrong. It is pretty simple really!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Margaret Thatcher: The Gay Icon

Whoever would have thought that such a right wing conservative Prime Minister could become one of the biggest 'Gay Icons' in my life? Well she has. Sure Thatchers government was known for putting one the worst anti-homosexual bills through parliament in 1988, Section 28 (which nobody was ever actually prosecuted under might I add), but she has become one of the biggest political role models in my life and quite simply I adore her. To fuel fire towards my love for Thatcher the one and only Meryl Streep has portrayed her in The Iron Lady which I believe will only make Thatcher even more of a Gay Icon.

It may seem to some people that a gay loving Thatcher is like a turkey loving Christmas. However in my mind other gay icons, such as Adele, Lady Gaga and Beyonce all have one thing in common, which is a 'stick it to the man, I am a strong women who won't let no man walk over me' type of attitude which attracts them to becoming these gay icons. Thatcher is the epitome of this on the political stage, I am sorry but 'The lady is not for turning' could not be any more evident of this. Thatcher just explodes with the sense that she is there, she is going to do what she wants to do and she will not let any other man in the House of Commons tell her otherwise. This for me is the sole reason why she is, and forever should be, a gay icon.

To be any form of icon you need to be able to create yourself out of yourself put on your best smile no matter the occasion and let nobody put you in the corner and this is one thing Thatcher knew how to do. Like other gay icons she does nothing but emasculate the men around her making them whimper and fear in her presence. Thatchers power comes from her sense of dominance, not only within her own cabinet but the whole of the political spectrum. In comparison to John Major (her successor) she stands bright and strong above him, giving this sense of her towering above the rest looking down on them in this glow of excellence. This control and power over men most likely is that which attracts Lady Thatcher into becoming the icon she is.

In contrast to the many dull, old and boring male MPs (and that of the female MPs who looked like the dressed in the dark), Thatcher towered over them with, her eloquence, her femininity, the fact that she set out to achieve what she desired with nothing but raw determination and not to mention her fashion all set her up to be this powerful icon. Her fashion sense was and still is pure camp; with her wardrobe filled with colour, pearls, brooches and hats, any fashion conscience person could see what attracts the gays to her. With her it seems every day is a wedding, that she knows the magic of hairspray and has a wardrobe to rival the Queen herself. With lines like 'the pearls are absolutely non-negotiable' coming from The Iron Lady how can it be said that Thatcher herself is not being portrayed as 'camp' herself.

Sure enough I love Thatcher not only because of this but because of her style of leadership, her complete and utter confidence in herself, her never surrendering approach and also and quite importantly her polices as well. Thatcher may be one of the most hated politicians around, but she is arguably one of the most loved as well. Thatcher is quite like Marmite you either love her or hate, this usually stemming from the fact that she either f**ked over your family or made your life better. Either way I adore her and sure her policies may have been classed as harsh but I stand firmly in my belief that we look at Thatcher too much in hindsight and that she was what was needed at the time.

"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing."

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


I have been incredibly lucky in that in my life since coming out; I have never experienced any form of personal homophobic abuse. Sure I have had snide comments made, but they have never been direct and they have never been anything too serious other than the traditional 'religious' side of it. That was until today, and what surprised me most was that it came from someone who I thought was a very good friend of mine.

I went out with my sister and our mutual friend, who for the purpose of this blog shall be called Sarah. Now Sarah and I  have been good friends for many years, I know and get on with her mother very well, in fact I used to spend time sitting in with her mum when Sarah wasn't there and I know her family well. We went out and had a very enjoyable day. The day was turning out to be a very enjoyable day especially seeing as I was not looking forward to it in the first place, for financial reasons. So before we went to the cinema that night we stopped in McDonalds where the laughs and jokes continued.

My sister has been in a relationship with a guy for a while now and I constantly joke about her getting married and having children and basically planning out her whole life for her. I told her she isn't allowed to have a child until she is married and that I would want our children to be about the same age so they can be good friends as cousins. This is what the conversation went like after:

Sarah: 'You want what?'
Me: 'Our children to be the same age so they can grow up together'
Sarah: 'What do you mean?'
Me: 'Well I want to adopt so Kylie's (my sister) child has to be born after she is married so it gives me enough time to find someone to adopt with.
Sarah: 'Well honestly I would rather have Kylie have a child before marriage than have someone like you adopt'
Me: '..... sorry what?'
Sarah: 'Well I just don't think people like you should be allowed to adopt'

Well I wanted to scream, cry and slap her all at the same time! I just couldn't believe what I had just heard and even though I love to cause a scene I just was not in the mood so I just sat there in silence. I constantly got snide comments from my sister and her about how I was in a 'huff' etc. I still just sat there and shrugged. We where supposed to go to the cinema, but the film was sold out so I just said I wanted to go home. They brought me home and drove away. I didn't want to get my parents involved so I never said anything and just let it all slide. When I went up to my room it took every ounce of strength not to cry.

About 20 minutes later I got a BBM saying 'Why you always go on wee huffs when I'm with yous! You just ruined a good wee day'. Again it took everything I had not to bitch back at her but it wasn't worth it so I just dropped it. Until my sister came home. She stormed into my room claiming I ruined the whole day and I didn't have to go into a mood about everything. That was the final straw. I stood up and started screaming at her telling her how dare she side with her and that I was her own brother. She tried to fight her corner but I just slamed my door and started to cry.

My mother and father came upstairs at this point. Well my parents never really had a good relationship with me since I came out and I didn't know what was to happen next. But my mother sat with me and let me cry. Then she went to my sister and started fighting my corner which made me cry even more, this time with happiness. She said Sarah's name wasn't to be spoken in this house again, my sister was free to be friends with her or whatever but she was no longer welcome in this house and will have nothing more to do with her.

I was so proud of my mother. All I could muster to her was a mouthed 'Thank You' after it all.

The thing was if it had have been anyone else I wouldn't have cared. I also don't care if any of my friends have the same opinions but they have no need to voice them and neither did she. I don't agree with some of my friends life choices but I stick by them and support them because that is what friends do. To me it is simple, if the choice that friend makes does not effect your friendship in anyway then there is no need to voice negative opinion. Sarah could have spent the rest of her life disagreeing with my choice of adoption but as long as she supported me when I needed it I honestly would not have cared.

To me homophobia is not the problem. The problem is when a friend decides that you have become a different person because of your sexuality. It is when they decide in their heads that  your personality has changed or your humour or your friendship. That is the problem. I have number of friends who I know are uncomfortable and in some cases have a problem with my sexuality, but they don't voice it to me and tell me I should change or that they disapprove of me and in fact some of them are very close friends to me. Sexuality should not effect friendship, just like the colour of your skin, the colour of your hair, your weight, your looks, your shoe size or even if your disabled. It is the person inside that defines friendship. When it comes to me homophobia only becomes a problem when other people make it into a problem.

Whether you are gay, straight, black, white, disabled, ginger or anything that makes you 'different' I will not judge our friendship on that, I will judge it on who you are inside. Is that not the way it is supposed to be?