What is Peter Tatchell's Agenda Really?

The purported human rights hero Peter Tatchell was in The Guardian yesterday arguing about the age of consent. Errr, why? Why does Peter Tatchell want more sex education, for younger children, and a lower age of consent?

The Guardian, a newspaper which has long been sympathetic to his position, provides a platform for him to make a rather nonsensical argument which really makes me feel uncomfortable. It seems to be about affirming & decriminalising our mistakes and errors. If something is wrong, you simply change the law to make it right. It's nothing about addressing the underlying issues which cause the problem. Baffling. Unless you look back a few years an check Peter Tatchell's long history on this issue.

Having posted the Guardian link on my Facebook page, my friend the journalist Ruari McCallion, who has a considerable advantage on me both in terms of age and wisdom, supplied me with some interesting history which exposes Peter Tatchell's claim to be a 'human rights campaigner' for the tissue of mendacity it is. He is a campaigner for unregulated sex with children - the only restriction would be civil lawsuit, which only the wealthy would be able to afford.

As an 18-year-old Australian immigrant, Peter Tatchell came to the UK in 1971 seeking to avoid the Vietnam draft. He first lived with a 16-year-old boy in London. The homosexual age of consent in England at the time was 21 (the lowering of the homosexual age of consent was forced through Parliament using special government powers in 2000). Later he campaigned for lowering it to 16, and now he wants it lowered again to 14. What will he want after that?

When the age of consent for homosexuals was lowered to 16, an Outrage banner (that's Tatchell's homosexual pressure group) said “16 is just a start”. Hmmmm I wonder what the anticipated goal would be?

The fact is, there can be no discussion, no debate, no compromise, this is Tachell pursuing a paedophile agenda. He has been semi-'out' since he contributed a chapter to Betrayal of Youth, over 30 years ago (for crossword aficionados, the initial letter acrostic forms the word 'boy') which was entitled "Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent". In it he argued that the age of majority (sexual consent) is ‘Re-inforcing a set of increasingly quaint, minority moral values left over from the Victorian era.’ 

The idea that the age of consent might just protect children from predatory men, men like his co-contributors to that book, is not one that has found any sympathy with Peter Tatchell. In fact, he denies it. Which is akin to denying the existence of a nose on one's face.

In short, in 30-odd years he has not changed his tune although he varies the volume from time to time.
it is important that Tatchell's agenda is kept in the public eye. Someone who should be reminded of it on a regular basis is Cristina Odone, who seems to have fallen under his glamour.

Anyway, here is a letter from Tatchell, which was published in The Guardian in 1997. In the interests of fairness, his justification of the letter follows:

"...it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted abusive and harmful.” ~Peter Tatchell
Here's a transcript you might find easier to read, with my emphasis on the unbelievable bits:

BYLINE: Peter Tatchell.
LENGTH: 480 words
ROS Coward (Why Dares to Speak says nothing useful, June 23) thinks it is “shocking” that Gay Men’s Press has published a book, Dares To Speak, which challenges the assumption that all sex involving children and adults is abusive. I think it is courageous.
The distinguished psychologists and anthropologists cited in this book deserve to be heard. Offering a rational, informed perspective on sexual relations between younger and older people, they document examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal, beneficial and enjoyable by old and young alike.
Prof Gilbert Herdt points to the Sambia tribe of Papua New Guinea, where all young boys have sex with older warriors as part of their initiation into manhood. Far from being harmed, Prof Herdt says the boys grow up to be happy, well-adjusted husbands and fathers.
The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.
While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.
Peter Tatchell.
Rockingham Street,
London SE1.
LOAD-DATE: June 26, 1997

A "clarification', published 2010:
"The Guardian letter cited above may give the wrong impression. After all, it was edited by the newspaper without my knowledge or consent, excluding some key qualifications and explanations – which I set out below.
The idea that I advocate paedophilia is laughable, sick, untrue and defamatory. I do not and never have.
Dares to Speak was an academic book published in 1997, authored by professors, anthropologists, psychologists, a Dutch senator and a former editor of a Catholic newspaper. It questioned ages of consent and whether all sex between children and adults is necessarily
harmful. It discussed the balance between giving young people sexual rights and protecting them against abuse. This is an entirely legitimate issue to discuss.
I do not condone adults having sex with children. My Guardian letter about this book was in defence of free speech and open debate about the issue, in opposition to those who said that the book and the debate it generated should not happen and should be closed down. I was against calls for censorship. Even if Dares to Speak is entirely wrong, in a free society its authors have a right to be published and heard.
My Guardian letter cited examples of Papuan tribes and some of my friends who had sex with adults while they were still children, but who do not feel they were harmed. I was not endorsing their viewpoint but merely stating that they had a different perspective from the mainstream one about inter-generational sex. They have every right for their perspective to be heard. If they say they were not harmed, we should respect that (while also recognising that many people are
harmed by early sexual experiences).
My Guardian letter did say very clearly that paedophilia is “impossible” to condone – meaning that I don’t condone it. Here’s an example of what I wrote in the Irish Independent two years ago:
Irish Independent – 10 March 2008
“The time has come for a calm, rational debate about the age of consent. It should be premised on four aims. First, protecting young people against sex abuse. Second, empowering them to make wise, responsible sexual choices. Third, removing the legal obstacles to earlier, more effective sex education. Fourth, ensuring better contraception and condom provision to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions and to cut the spread of sexual infections like HIV.”
You can see that I made protecting young people against sex abuse my
first priority.
I have said similar things in many other articles and interviews. See this Guardian article, published in September last year: http://www.petertatchell.net/.../dontcriminaliseyoungsex...
It is true that I support reducing the legal consent age to 14. But I support 14 in order to end the criminalisation of the many young people who have sexual contact with each other from this age onwards. 
More than half of all British teenagers have their first sexual experience (not necessarily full intercourse) at around the age of 14. I do not advocate them having sex at this early age. It is best if they wait. But I don’t think that consenting 14 years olds should be dragged to court and threatened with prison. I certainly do not endorse adults having sex with young people aged 14.
My critics may disagree with me on the age of consent, but I have advocated a clear ethical stance and moral framework, which stresses sex with mutual consent, respect and fulfilment. My arguments and articles are not about abusing young people but protecting them.
That’s my motive. 
I hope this clarifies and reassures you.
Best wishes, Peter Tatchell"
If anyone is still in any doubt that his above mitigation seems clearly to be nothing more than an attempt at obfuscation, I refer them back to "Betrayal of Youth". And, indeed, the letter published in The Guardian. You will note that he has not reproduced the original letter, which he claims was 'edited'. As The Guardian has been sympathetic to Tatchell for decades, one must wonder what was in the original?

It is very difficult to see how one can read Tatchell's comments as anything other than advocacy for child-adult sex. Obviously he knows just how risky this is, perhaps the one great taboo left in our society? Yet he sails as close to the wind as he dares, cloaking his position in a cloud of academic speculation and "human rights hero" reputation. Despite this, it seems clear that his agenda is extremely worrying and follows the teleology one might expect, given his position on so many issues. Like Peter’s claim that schoolchildren should be taught fellatio and cunnilingus, as a ‘safe’ option. And his absurd claim that the new ‘morality’ means that all sexualities are equally valid. This is nothing short a rejection of morality altogether, it is a stance that claims that as long there is mutual consent, then anything goes and his philosophy is comfortable including children.

Even in The Guardian piece that I link to at the start of this blog, Tatchell is claiming that consent is king. The answer to problem pregnancies, teenage relationship violence, underage sex, an increase in STD's and abortion, is to legitimise them, then they'll be OK. Let's face it, we have already been conditioned to sexual congress between adolescents is to be expected and to be fair to Tatchell, this approach has worked well for the homosexual lobby, there's no reason it can't continue to work as he campaigns to normalise sex with children.

I don't want to do a huge theological number on you to show you how Tatchell's position is morally and ethically wrong. I don't need to I don't think. It is blatently obvious from his own comments that there are serious questions to be asked about what exactly it is that Tatchell advocates. If someone so prominent and so lauded can be so wrong about such an important issue, isn't it about time we questioned his whole agenda?

He responds that he has always opposed adults having sex with kids:

But as I have shown here, he is on record as saying something else - and it is worth emphasising that he has never formally retracted or apologised for his contribution to Betrayal of Youth. He consistently speaks in favour of reducing the age of consent; I would be inclined to understand anyone who suggested that such behaviour could be regarded as deliberate dishonesty, intended to conceal the real agenda. The established reality is that paedophiles tell lies in order to get their way. Cloaking such lies with a veneer of academic philosophising does not alter their nature; untruths remain untrue. Lies remain lies.

While he claims that he is not arguing for adults to have sex with children, his published words say otherwise. As shown above, he is on record as supporting adult/child sexual relations.
Let me remind you of his own words:
‘The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.
‘While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.’
As part of the above Twitter exchange, Tatchell told me that the BNP started these rumours:

Indeed, the BNP did post an article in February this year, picking up on this. But Peter Hitchens is also onto Tatchell, see here his article which is four years older than the BNP one. Another attempt by Tatchell to discredit his critics?

The terrifying reality is that paedophiles - people that Tatchell has willingly associated with - want to abuse your children. You and I both know that they tell lies in order to achieve this goal.

People have the right to protect their children and that right overrides any other claimed 'right' to pleasure that Tatchell may claim or argue for, in his explanatory essay here. Society has not just a right but the responsibility to protect children from sexual predators. If sexual expression were a human right as he argues, the state would surely be obligated to provide sexual expression -- at least in some way -- to people with unorthodox/perverse/abnormal sexual desires. If someone exclusively desired sex with dead bodies, the state would have to accommodate that desire. There's no consent issue after all. This whole train of thought is utterly bizarre and repulsive.

Children do not have the experience to make informed decisions. We don't send them out to cross the road on their own until they have been taught how to do it and then repeatedly drilled and practised till they get it right. Traffic has no subtle, seductive arguments, unlike people.

Children tend to be trusting. They rely on adults for food and shelter. That trust is abused so routinely that we go out of our way to protect children from those who would abuse them.

The age of consent is not about stopping children from leading fulfilling lives - quite the opposite. It is about protecting children from the lies and manipulation of people who would destroy their lives, for their own ends.

People pushing this agenda want to abuse your children.

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