Chris Langham is a very good actor. I’d love to write an article just about that, as anyone yet to see him in The Thick Of It is genuinely several years behind greatness. I’d love to write that article, but that’d be like writing an article on David Irving based entirely on his taste in shoes. Though I might suggest that to Fashion: ‘The jackboot look is IN! Look how they match the armbands!’
The Union’s cancelled Langham’s invitation to speak, on the back of comments from Kidscape that they worry about ‘the message being sent to the victims.’ Suddenly the Union cares about things being criminal, in much the same way as they didn’t when inviting, Gerry Adams, Richard Nixon (treason), OJ Simpson (‘domestic violence’) and Michael Jackson (‘The Earth Song’). Is treason a victimless crime? Maybe this is where Langham went wrong. If he’d simply spent less time on indecent images and more time on, say, stealing the Presidency of the United States, he’d be in that chamber like a shot.
Add to this the more recent, obvious examples: last term, one Union officer bent backwards over broken glass for five hours, in case Nick Griffin needed an interesting hat-stand. The response, presumably, is that politics simply matters more. So here’s my idea. Tomorrow we form a party, and campaign to legalise all child porn. Two, four, six, eight, let’s watch children masturbate! They’ll have to let us in, because then it’s political. It’s free speech! If that fails, we’ll chant ‘TURF OUT THE DARKIES’, until we’re just political enough to be above contempt.
Ironically enough, the Union said Langham was originally scheduled to speak about his ‘vilification in the media.’ Then they cancelled the event after he was, er, vilified in the media. Surely that just gave him more to say? There’s also the further irony of axing a debate society speech over ‘controversy’: isn’t that what a debating society’s for? Get a thesaurus, look up ‘debate’ – you get ‘controversy’. You can’t have too much. You might as well cancel surfing due to a waterlogged sea.
In fact, if we were to ban every person from the Union who was a sex offender or otherwise criminal, their total membership would fall to precisely the number of members who would sue me for saying this. As Union speakers’ crimes go, Langham’s is relatively tiny. He looked at child porn once or twice. Take Ardal O’Hanlon (5th Week): he made My Hero. Not just once, but for five series. What kind of message does this send to the victims, all seven million of them?