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Keith Vaz MP, The Bishop of Grantham and a couple of Polish Rentboys

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 4 September 2016

I used to have a girlfriend from India who arrived in this country convinced that the entire British establishment and anyone who went to a public school (with the exception of myself, naturally) were closet homoseexuals. If she is reading the tabloid press today she will no doubt be concluding that she was right all along.

First there is the Bishop of Grantham, the small Lincolnshire town which was the birthplace of our greatest ever Prime Minister, the blessed Lady Thatcher. Nicholas Chamberlain was about to be "outed" by a Sunday tabloid so instead went and spilled the beans to sympathetic hacks at the Guardian. Supporters say that he is "brave" to come out, I wonder had he done so without being pushed if that might have been a bit more brave. According to Justin Welby, the hopeless Archbishop of Canterbury who has known about this for ages, Bishop Nicholas is in a "long-term and committed relationship." The Bishop himself says that he obeys Church guidelines which is to say that he is "celibate".

Okay so he is in a long term relationship with someone and completely abstains from all sexual relations. Really? All? Does snogging count? It is sexual after all. This all sounds terribly frustrating for both parties.Is everyone being completely honest about what is going on here? Frankly I don't really care, I just assume that a large number of vicars and Bishops in the pathetic and increasingly irrelevant omnishambles that is the CofE are gay.

I see that gay blogger Paul Scott lashed out at the conservative forces within the Church who have a problem with bishop Chamblerlain. Scott asks if it is any wonder that young people are not interested in the Church given such bigotry. Paul is wrong. I suspect that religious studies are not high on his agenda. The parts of the CofE that are growing and growing fast, attracting both young and old, are the conservative evangelical churches that do disapprove of Bishop Nicholas strongly. Paul, head along to Holy Trinity Brompton or one of its many Alpha Course offshoots and check out the stacks of young folk there. Actually don't, there is a danger they might convert you into a celibate moralist and all round bore and and I prefer you just as you are.

The rest of the C of E is indeed failing to attract the young and is shrinking as its elderly congregation heads to a better place. But the rest of the CofE is muddled. So it thinks that Bishop Nicholas is brave in that he outs himself only when threatened with outing. And it thinks he is in a long term relationship. And it thinks he is totally celibate too. It welcomes gay people into its flock. Frankly it welcomes anyone it can get to join its thinning ranks. That part of the Church is muddled at all levels.

The big problem faced by the part of the CofE that Paul Scott admires, is that since it stands for nothing at all no-one of any age can see a real point in joining a flock of believers who cant decide what they believe in. The evangelicals may hold values which both Paul Scott and I would condemn but they do believe in their values passionately and that will always attract some folks to the flag.

Meanwhile senior Labour MP Keith Vaz had had to stand down as chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee because he was having affairs at the home he normally shares with his Mrs. It seems Vaz paid two Polish rent boys for sex, begged for "popper" drugs, tried to get an all male foursome arranged and boasted about having unprotected sex. Mr Vaz was recorded and appears to offer to pay for the coke the hookers were using. Vaz claims that this is all a sting.

Yeah whatever. Vaz has so much form when it comes to being less than economical with the truth over a number of matters that I would not believe him if he told me that 2+2 =4. Or perhaps that would be 3 rentboys + 1 MP = 4 men sharing bodily fluids.

I see that at one point in this encounter Vaz is on tape asking if a third rent boy who is on the way speaks English. Bloody hell if Vaz had discovered any other employer asking that sort of question of a potential hire at any point in the past thirty years he would have been in front of a camera within minutes to scream "racist!"

That after years of scandal, this low life is still viewed as one of our most respected Parliamentarians shows what a cesspit Westminster is and how right we, the plebs, are to view all who work there with contempt. I do not view Vaz with contempt because he might bat for both sides but for more or less everything else he has achieved in the house of sleaze.

If Vaz is looking for a defence I note that his Committee is currently producing a report on prostitution. Surely we should commend Vaz for taking his work home with him and for being prepared to put in late night shifts getting to grip with the subject matter with first hand research? Well done Keith, I applaud your dedication to the job.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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