Miner's helmets

DIRELAND: "FREE THE BUGGERS" - Britain & the Wolfenden Report

A great piece by Doug Ireland. Some choice excerpts:
As the Great Purge continued, the Conservative government appointed a Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution. Named to head it was Sir John Wolfenden, a private school headmaster and veteran of government committees on education and youth... The government did not know, at the time of Wolfenden's appointment, that his own son, Jeremy - later a journalist and British intelligence officer in Moscow - was gay. After being named to head the committee, Wolfenden wrote to his flamboyant son insisting "1) that we stay out of each other's way for the time being; 2) that you wear rather less make-up."

When I asked ex-pat British journalist Christopher Hitchens, who was writing about politics for the left-wing weekly New Statesman at that time, about the 1967 decriminalization vote, he told me that "the man who doesn't get as much credit as he deserves for it was Wilson's Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, a very right-wing social democrat. Jenkins, who was heterosexual, didn't care about nationalization or economic matters, but he was deeply committed to three things - end the death penalty, free the buggers, and liberalize the laws on divorce and abortion."

Hitchens added, "There was tremendous opposition from the Labour members of Parliament representing the miners. In fact, Matthew Coady, the New Statesman's parliamentary correspondent, wrote a famous article for the weekly in which he denounced the miners' MPs and detailed the widespread homosexual conduct in the coal mines. And, in fact, any miners' MP who claimed he didn't know that many of the lads down in the pits were having it off with each other was telling the most gigantic fib."