I NEVER knew poison could be so amusing until I read about Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine's acidic assault on all those gays taking over our green, soggy land in a co-ordinated effort not seen since the last sale at H&M.
A word to the Bishop. You don't regain the moral high ground by constructing your own wee tower of intolerance from which to pour boiling bile on others. The moral high ground is attained by publicly achieving moral things that most people think matter. Oh, and your own house better be in pretty good order too.
I note this because in terms of his concern for the young of this country and the threat of homosexual derailment, it wasn't clear what Devine thought about men who wish to feel up little boys and worse. You see, there is a huge difference between homosexuality and paedophilia. Devine should understand the difference between homosexuality and paedophilia; after all his church was a safe haven for paedophiles for quite a long time.
The last time I checked, homosexuals weren't the ones having to apologise to their own congregations for covering up actual crimes. And yes, some of us do have memories longer than a goldfish, Bishop. What a pity for you. I would have thought that when it came to appointing Bishops and the like the Catholic Church would consider such things as how wise the candidates are; how likely the appointee is to help the Church regain some of its rapidly crumbling moral stature.
So let's leave out for a moment – and controversially, I understand – the issue of whether or not homosexuality is right or wrong, something you're born with or something you take up like cross-country skiing. Let us even allow that the Bishop has a point and that somewhere there is an NHS chart showing the viral spread of homosexuality, perhaps through the sharing of bus seats.
Even allowing for all that – is this really the time for the Catholic Church to come out swinging the big bat on a crusade involving sexual sin? He ought to have the wisdom to understand that regardless of what he believes, there is a time to keep your holy trap firmly shut on certain areas. What's amusing about Devine's stance is how someone could get to such a senior position while being so – what's the opposite of "not thick"? He claims that homosexuals have aligned themselves with Holocaust survivors in order to present "an image of a group of people under persecution". It's a matter of historical record that the Nazis did indeed persecute gays and did indeed ship thousands of them to concentration camps – and it wasn't to do the interior decorating.
But the pure folly of Devine's foam-mouthed snarling can be seen in another of the figures he chooses to attack, with all the co-ordination of a bulldog playing swingball. Devine thinks that having a bite at Sir Ian McKellen in his venomous speech will in some way help the cause. This shows how out of touch Devine truly is. Sir Ian McKellen is Gandalf. The desperate fact is that for better or for worse in the society we now live the Lord of the Rings and its figures have more power than many of the traditional authority sources.
Millions of children know and respect the moral leadership they have seen from McKellen as Gandalf in the fight between good and evil. Attacking the nice man Steve three doors down for his "lifestyle choice" isn't quite in the same ballpark.
No surprises in store
CAN nothing save us from the seemingly daily onslaught of so-called exciting plans for cafs, shops and a hotel in every old building in the city? For the record there is nothing "exciting" about cafs or shops or even hotels – otherwise no-one would ever want to leave Heathrow Airport.
Are cafs, shops and a hotel the best that the brains of this city can come up with for the magnificent Royal High building? Is there a stamp in the City Chambers planning department marked "cafs, shops and a hotel"? If so, can someone please hide it for a month or so.
THE shocking thing about banning all parking on The Mound is that some of us didn't realise you could still park there anyway. It is ridiculous that parking is permitted on any of the major bus thoroughfares and especially during the rush hour.
That said, I'm annoyed by Councillor Steve Burgess' suggestion that by banning all parking and not mixing single and double yellow lines, this step will avoid a "traffic hokey-cokey"; that is something many people and their children would enjoy seeing. Or even a conga.