Friday, 27 December 2013

Does Jeremy Duns Hate Gays?

In my views the campaigning journalist Glen Greenwald is one of the most important figures of our times. You can agree or disagree with his views, of course. And you can certainly argue that he is not right about everything, and has made some mistakes in his reporting, whilst supporting his overall purpose of limiting the ability of the state to spy on the individual.

But he is someone who is standing up for our freedom - and I find it hard to see how you can think that is a bad thing.

And yet the right-wing, public-school pundit Jerermy Duns clearly does.

He had devoted a huge amount of his time over the past few months, both on his own blog and on Twitter to attacking Greenwald. There is one example here...http://storify.com/pindarninja/an-epic-twitter-rant-against-glenn-greenwald. There are many other examples on Duns's blog, and on his Twitter feed.

For a while I was puzzled by why Duns was so aggressive towards Greenwald, and was so determined to discredit him.

And then I started to work it out. It is because he is gay?

Now, Duns will I believe now threaten legal action against me, as he frequently does. So I want to make it quite clear that this is only a theory - I have no definitive evidence that Duns hates gays. And like anyone Duns is innocent until proven otherwise. But there several facts that point clearly in this direction, and it is important that these are made public.

First, Greenwald is not the only example of Duns attacking a prominent gay journalist. A few years back, Duns devoted a huge amount of energy to attacking the gay, left-wing journalist Johan Hari. You can read examples of his attacks here and here. And Hari is openly gay. There are very few senior gay journalists working in the British media (the only other one I can think of is Matthew Parris - but Duns probably likes him because he is a Tory). So he is not just attacking one but a series of gay journalists.

Second, Duns was educated at one of the major British public schools - Winchester (see this link). It is well documented that public schools are rabidly anti-gay, perhaps because the risk of homosexual relationships is so high in a mostly male environment. So Duns may well have picked up these attitudes at schol.

Thirdly, Duns is the main supporter of the literary merit of the work of Ian Fleming. Fleming was not just a sexist writer - he was anti-gay as well. Take this except from Goldfinger -

Bond said firmly, ‘Lock that door, Pussy, take off that sweater and come into bed. You’ll catch cold.’
She did as she was told, like an obedient child. She lay in the crook of Bond’s arm and looked up at him. She said, not in a gangster’s voice, or a Lesbian’s, but in a girl’s voice, ‘Will you write to me in Sing Sing?’
Bond looked down into the deep blue-violet eyes that were no longer hard, imperious. He bent and kissed them lightly. He said, ‘They told me you only liked women.’
She said, ‘I never met a man before.’
That is only one example. There are many, many instances of Fleming's homophobia. He was a writer who hated gays - and yet Duns insists on promoting him as one of the greatest writers of the last fifty years.

So that makes three pieces of evidence. Duns frequently attacks prominent gays, he came from a traditionally gay-hating background, and his main professional occupation is praising the work of an openly homophobic writer. On my analysis, that makes Duns anti-gay.

It may be hard for men like Duns to accept, but being gay is not a deviation - it is an allowable choice. Gays are victimised, and subject to assaults just like women. And this is because men like Duns promote an agenda in which it is considered acceptable to attack gays.

Public school bullies like Duns represent everything that is wrong with our society. He has to be stopped - and can be if we all work together we can unite around an agenda that denies any space to men of his sort.

14 comments:

  1. Oh, I see now - this whole website is just an enormous wind-up. Silly me for taking it seriously. It won't happen again.

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  2. Typical of Duns to sneer. He cannot answer the facts...because he has no answer. More and more people are joining the fightback against public school bullies every day.

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  3. "Duns is the main supporter of the literary merit of the work of Ian Fleming." Really? "Main" compared to whom?

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  4. Indeed, could you explain your obsession with Jeremy Duns' analysis of Fleming? I recently wrote a highly enthusiastic analysis of the work of H. P. Lovecraft, who was somewhat homophobic and certainly racist. Does that make me either of those? I really think not.

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  5. Maria, I have to say first that I don’t believe that you are correct to describe Jeremy Duns as right-wing. The impression I have gleaned is that he is in fact a left-wing moral fascist, the type who seem to dominate the Social Media networks these days.

    I am currently working on a PhD dissertation on the growth of internet bullying, specifically on Twitter. The name of Jeremy Duns kept cropping up during my research, and that is what led me to your blog.

    I am fascinated by what motivates people to bully on the internet. It is a relatively new phenomena and one which I think needs to be explored so that we can first understand it and then put in place safeguards to minimise it.

    In the Spectator magazine British journalist Toby Young wrote an excellent article on the left-wing Twitterati as he describes it - http://www.spectator.co.uk/life/status-anxiety/8780801/the-tyranny-of-the-twitterati/ There is no doubt in my mind that Jeremy Duns is a member of this group.

    It was only when Jeremy Duns revealed here that he had in fact been adopted by his step-father and changed his name that I realised what has made him the man he is. Jeremy Duns was adopted by a rich, successful man who was able to buy him the best possible education. He went to Winchester which is one of the top private schools in England and then to Oxford, one of the country’s best universities. He benefited from a truly privileged education out of the reach of most people. (Incidentally there is some confusion about private and public schools. Jeremy Duns went to Winchester which in England is described as a public school. However it is a very expensive private school and only the wealthiest of students can attend. In the United States, a public school is a Government school open to anyone. That can cause confusion!)

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  6. (continued)

    As an aside, it is interesting how many of his Social Media friends went the same route. I have looked at many of the people that he corresponds with on Twitter and it is noticeable that many are from the north of England who went to top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge but then went on to have less than successful careers. Like Jeremy Duns they seem to take pleasure in attacking others from what they see as the moral high ground, the trademark of the left-wing moral fascist. The Twitterati as Toby Young calls them.

    Great things were expected of Jeremy Duns when he was young, but recently he celebrated his fortieth birthday and it is clear that he has been far from successful. Despite applying for jobs on most major newspapers the only post he could get was on a small magazine in Belgium, where he failed to shine. He wrote a handful of mediocre spy novels that failed to sell. Despite the most privileged of educations, he is now basically a house-husband living with a more successful Swedish lady.

    It is interesting that much of his writing is set around the time of the Cambridge Five, the notorious double agents who were recruited at university. I would be very surprised if Jeremy Duns had not applied to work for MI5 and MI6 (the English equivalent of the CIA) , and his wish to write spy books reflects the fact that he was rejected by them. In fact Jeremy Duns has been plagued by rejection his whole life – by his biological father, by newspapers, by the intelligence agencies, and by the book-buying public.

    My feeling is that it is this rejection manifested itself in a jealousy that now motivates him and in fact it is what motivates most of the bullies who operate on Twitter. It is noticeable that Jeremy Duns tends to attack successful writers and journalists, those who have the careers that he wanted and was denied. A simple Google search will show up a long list of people that he has attacked on Twitter and on his blog, often based on the most spurious of information.

    Is he anti-gay? I think probably not. His left-wing political stance wouldn’t allow him to express anti-gay or racist views even if he had them. But my belief is that he is motivated by jealousy. In years gone by, bitter men like Jeremy Duns would sit alone muttering about how life had treated them unfairly or writing angry letters to local newspapers and politicians which would almost always be ignored. No one would care about their views and least of all take them seriously. The internet has given them a voice, and they are keen to take advantage of it to heckle, bully and taunt. Jeremy Duns is just one of many, unfortunately. The question of course is what can be done about them.

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    1. Wow. So you're doing a thesis on cyber-bullying - and you've come to a website that’s been smearing me for over a year to make a sustained ad hominem attack against me. Irony overload.

      There are several basic factual inaccuracies and mistaken assumptions in your attack, Nancy. Here are a few:

      1. My stepfather was successful, but so was my father. You didn't think of that possibility, did you? I had a very privileged education, true – and I'm very grateful for it.

      2. I interact with *lots* of people on social media, from all over the world. Your cherrypicking and jumping to unpleasant assumptions from a few globs of information online doesn't bode well for your thesis. I'm British and interested in journalism, so often interact with British journalists. It's true several went to Oxbridge, but it's no secret the UK media is dominated by Oxbridge graduates, from Laurie Penny to Toby Young. I think it would be nearly impossible to interact with journalists at British nationals without interacting with Oxbridge graduates. Following someone on Twitter doesn’t make people friends, let alone co-conspirators.

      3. 'Many of them are from the north of England'. But I'm not. Yes, I was *born* in Manchester, but I've never visited the city since and have barely visited northern England. I was brought up overseas, while attending boarding school in southern England from 8 to 18, then university, then left the country. Constructing an Oxbridge northern cabal based on the place of my birth and a few of my Twitter followers' Wikipedia entries isn’t exactly academic rigour.

      4. I'm sorry you didn't like my novels - I presume you've read them to judge they're mediocre. Plenty of people do like them, though. There are some reviews on my website, from well-respected publications on both sides of the Atlantic: http://jeremyduns.net/reviews/ I'm not a bestseller yet, true, but very few writers are. I've also written more than spy novels - my last book was non-fiction. That was also well-received.

      5. Many people are more successful than me, of course, but I don't dwell on other people's success, and feel far from a failure. I've wanted to write books since a young age. I did recently turn 40 - well Googled! - and pinched myself. I'm doing my dream job. I've had four books published and have made my living from writing full-time since 2008. It's what I've always wanted to do. So perhaps in your world I'm a total failure, but it's really not how I see it.

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    2. 6. I’ve never applied to work as a journalist on staff at a British newspaper, so your assumptions there are wrong, too. I shone *fairly* well at that magazine: I was its deputy editor. I've done other journalistic jobs, too, and have also written freelance for most British national newspapers, but I’ve no wish to work on staff at a national newspaper in the UK, and never have. When I criticise journalists' work it isn't because I want their jobs or envy their success. And I don't think I bully or attack people personally in the way you've just done.

      7. 'House-husband'. I'm a full-time writer, as above. There's nothing wrong with being a house-husband, though. And my wife is Finnish, in fact.

      8. I'm glad your 'feeling' is I'm not homophobic. What a relief! But I note your phrase 'a simple Google search'. You seem to have done a lot of that. Sometimes, things are more complicated than a simple Google search. For instance, presuming someone’s a northerner simply because they were born in Manchester. It's really not the case.

      You're calling me a 'left-wing moral fascist' in public based on Googling me a lot and coming to many provably false assumptions about me and my life. Perhaps take a moment to review the errors I've just listed, and consider the tone of your comments again. Consider particularly your use of the phrase 'fascist'. And please consider the idea that this whole website is a clear example of online bullying, as whoever’s behind it has been smearing me and several others for over a year - and that you have just contributed to it by calling me a fascist for no reason whatsoever.

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    3. If I could summarise your remarks, Nancy, they seem to be: 'Stop bullying people online, you over-privileged psychologically maladjusted mediocre bitter failure of a left-wing moral fascist!'

      Amazing, really.

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    4. Oh, I missed a whole lof more inaccuracies!

      'It is interesting that much of his writing is set around the time of the Cambridge Five, the notorious double agents who were recruited at university. I would be very surprised if Jeremy Duns had not applied to work for MI5 and MI6 (the English equivalent of the CIA) , and his wish to write spy books reflects the fact that he was rejected by them. In fact Jeremy Duns has been plagued by rejection his whole life – by his biological father, by newspapers, by the intelligence agencies, and by the book-buying public.'

      Yes, very 'interesting'. Is this how you usually conduct research? I write about spies so you'd be 'very surpised' if I hadn't tried to become one and my motivation for writing about them is I was rejected for a job at MI5 or MI6? And from that sheer conjecture you lead to 'in fact' in the very next sentence. This is very bad form in general - you're making personal attacks and atributing bad motives to me with no evidence at all - but it's also extremely bad academic form.

      And prepare to be be surprised! You're wrong. I've never applied to work for any intelligence agency, and have never had any wish to.

      Next inaccuracy: my biological father didn't reject me. Really. That isn't what happened. You have no idea about my family apart from a couple of comments I've made here, which you've wilfully misinterpreted.

      Next inaccuracy. As explained above, I haven't been rejected for any jobs at any newspapers because I've never applied for any. You've just invented this.

      Incidentally, if you agree that I'm not homphobic, how would you characterise someone who sets up a website named after me and then accuses me of being that with no evidence for the claim? Could it not be... hmmm... let me search for a term... cyber-bullying?

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  7. Thank you for a fascinating analysis Nancy...

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    1. ... despite it being riddled with basic factual inaccuracies and false allegations backed by no evidence. Fascinating indeed.

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  8. I certainly agree that the key question is what can be done about them. There has to be a way to silence them.....

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    1. 'Silence them'. And I'm the moral fascist? I see.

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