Taking Pride

by Theodore Dalrymple

They (whoever “they” are) will not leave us alone. They will badger us on the seas and oceans, they will badger us on the beaches, they will badger us on the landing grounds. They will never give up, until we surrender.

I took an Avanti train recently painted in all the colours of the rainbow and others beside. On the side of the train, more than once, in huge capital letters was painted the word “Pride”. Apparently, the train company had run a train with a staff exclusively of LGBTQ+ personnel.

Pride in what, exactly? If sexual orientation is not a choice and therefore nothing to be ashamed of, then it can be nothing to be proud of either. Taking pride in what is not an achievement is stupid, self-congratulatory and arrogant. It is an invitation to poor behaviour, insofar as it exculpates in advance in the name of being proud ex officio.

On the train, the reservation system did not work, and the shop on board could not take credit cards because of “technical problems”. At one station there was an announcement that the rest of the train’s journey had been cancelled, though it had not been, leading to the impression that we, the passengers, were not in fully competent hands.

Personally, I want trains to run on time, to coin a phrase. I want them to be clean and not overcrowded. I do not want to have to stand in the corridor squeezed like a sardine in a tin. I do not much care what the sexual orientation and spare time activities of the staff are, so long as they are competent and polite.

I do not want to be subjected to the moral hectoring of managers who cannot keep lavatories clean or to be indoctrinated with Avanti-thought. I do not want propaganda trains à la Soviet Union.

First published in The Critic.


4 Responses

  1. I don’t normally take this side, and actually largely agree with the doctor’s take, but I am also largely persuaded that there is indeed neither choice, nor pride nor shame, in one’s sexual orientation.

    That DOES lead me to the same conclusion as the doctor. If there is no choice, then there is neither pride nor shame nor scope for either.

    But I also am aware that the LGBTQ+ types are juxtaposing pride today against the shame that society did, aggressively, once make them feel every day, and not infrequently endorsed violence against them. It was not all that long ago.

    In my native city, police raids on bathhouses were last known to be conducted just around 40 years ago. A disgusting practice, sure, what went on in these places, but still private business on private property. Indeed, because the process of liberalization was well under way and gay sex not at all illegal anymore, such raids were justified by nothing at all. Nothing like a legitimate police matter. In my current city, in that same era, and likely other cities, gangs of young men still practiced ‘gay-bashing’. In one incident, they surrounded a killed a young man leaving his work late at night, who was not even gay, though they assumed he was.

    In a just society, the young vermin involved in that last would all have been hanged. I admit I have no use at all for gangs of hypermacho, violent, criminal young working class boys. Never did.

  2. ‘Pride’ goeth before a fall
    This was taught to one and all.
    Self-respect keeps all standing tall.
    Noah’s rainbow is for all us folks
    Our garish genetalia the Good Lord’s jokes.

  3. Masochists love outer-direction from odiophile ogressives. Inner-direction painful infection is preferred by A2Z personalities.

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