Privacy Matters …

PrivacyLast week, I was in Manchester. Whilst out with my dear old friend Keith, we got talking to some guys. One of them asked me “were you on BBC Breakfast recently”. Oh the shame, I thought.

He was right, but just the wrong channel. He meant ITV Daybreak, which I was on, a couple of months ago.

The next day, I was talking to another guy and he asked me if I was a Police Officer – because, he had recognised me. It transpired, he had read about my disputes with the Metropolitan Police.

At the beginning of this week, the Olympic Diver Tom Daley came out – as in, in a relationship with a man.

I wrote ‘briefly’ about this in a post about ‘celebritism’, as it didn’t matter to me.

How rude, some gay guys pointed out to me. No, it wasn’t.

I don’t need to know who Tom is in a relationship with, as long as he is happy and still enjoys diving etc etc.

It was these things which got me thinking about one’s privacy, which has been at the heart of my very public dispute with the London Police Commissioner.

Like all, regardless of who or what I am, I had a right to a private life. I say ‘had’, as part of my challenges against Scotland Yard were for invading this in an attempt to discredit my claims of racism and homophobia within the Force.

Fortunately, I am much older, fatter and uglier than Tom and was pretty realistic in how powerful organisations work.

But, he is only 19 and we all should remember this – gay, straight and bi people. I was once nineteen.

A role model he may be, but he is still a teenager and has a right to a private life.

He has told the public he is in a relationship with a man, so leave him be now to get on with his life and prepare for the challenges ahead – which, probably don’t include whom he chooses to sleep with or not.

I made a choice once the Met had leaked about me to The Sun newspaper to be open about my sexuality, along with everything else. This wasn’t because I ‘got off’ on it, but so that no one would ever again think of trying to blackmail me for something I am not and have never been ashamed of – my sexuality, not forgetting I was suffering with a mental illness at the time and was working in a sensitive counter terrorism intelligence role which put me in danger.

Tom, hasn’t waived that right, from what I know.

All of us, and that includes politicians and celebrities have a right to a private life as well as a public one.

Imagine, if the shoe was on the other foot, and all your personal and most intimate details were splashed across newspapers or leaked about you on websites and so forth. It’s not a great feeling, believe me.

Unlike Tom I guess, with his sponsors, fan base and the likes, I’m answerable to no man and can challenge different causes openly without fear or favour so that the right to privacy is not something that those who breach it, think they can get away with.

Had My Mum been alive, I doubt I would be so open, but she’s not and I am.

I guess no parent wants to read unpleasant and intimate stuff about their children, and this includes Tom’s mother.

There’s enough happening in the world that people really should be reading about, which is not being reported at all.

Whatever happened to Good Will to all men this season?

Take care, Max – minus, Z List no one 😮