Do we give a (Silver) fox?

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I see Philip Schofield has come out of the broom closet (early 80s reference – ask a grown up).

Why is there such a preoccupation with people’s sexuality?

This may seem at odds with being a journalist, but surely, unless you’re texting a 16 year old lad of course, someone’s sexual preference is of no interest to anyone but the person concerned and certainly no one else’s business. I would even argue that in this day and age it’s hardly news.

In fact, with men, women and children being blown to bits in Syria and rough sleepers dying on the streets here, the voyeuristic fascination of the tabloid press over a television personality’s bedroom habits is obscene.

In Schofield’s case, once he had told his wife of 27 years and their grown up daughters, was it really necessary to announce it to the world in the sort of confessional style usually reserved for his cringe-inducing American counterparts?

Even if, as I suspect, a Sunday tabloid was about to expose him and so he opted to do it himself on Instagram and on his own TV show first, I still wonder what the point of it all is.

I couldn’t care less about Philip Schofield’s sexual preferences, but while the orchestrated-for-camera hugathon was going on with Eamon Holmes and Ruth Langsford my thoughts were with his missus, who must be devastated.

The word ‘brave’ gets bandied about a lot when a public figure decides to announce his homosexuality to the world, but I don’t see what is brave about it.

Sixty years ago it would have been brave – today we’ve thankfully moved on.

I wish Phil all the best, I really do, but the way this has been done strikes me as the conceit of celebrity rather than bravery.

The movement you need is on your shoulder..

Full marks to Labour MP Tracy Brabin for her reaction to comments on her social media accounts about her attire in the Commons last week.

The member for Batley and Spen caused uproar when she appeared on TV screens from the House last Tuesday in a black number which slipped off one shoulder as she leaned on the dispatch box. (I thought she looked amazing, by the way – and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about a politician before).

It even made Thursday’s Question Time and a debate was launched about appropriate clothing for work.

Well let’s look at the reality of the situation; Tracy Brabin did not expect to be speaking in Parliament on that day and was due to go out with her husband that evening straight after the business of the day.

The reason she was leaning on the dispatch box was for support as she has a broken ankle and had hobbled into the Commons on crutches to fulfil her responsibilities that day.

And what does she get for it? She gets called a slut by people with nothing better to do than insult a public servant from the faceless safety of Twitter.

If I had a hero of the week section in this column, Tracy Brabin would be this week’s recipient, firstly for her dedication to her duty, but even more so for her brilliant response to the critics:

“Hello. Sorry I don’t have time to reply to all of you commenting on this but I can confirm I’m not….

  • A slag
  • Hungover
  • A tart
  • About to breastfeed
  • A slapper
  • Drunk
  • Just been banged over a wheelie bin. “

She also put the offending dress on ebay to raise money for charity and at time of writing the bidding stood at £14,200 so good on yer Tracy!

I wrote this wearing a pair of Levi 501s, Converse sneakers and a black denim shirt.

I hope that offends someone.

Mick Ferris

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