Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 14/11/2000

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Tuesday November 14, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down!]

Today I'd like to elaborate on the off-the-cuff comments I made yesterday about the so-called morals campaigner, Patricia Bartlett, who died last week. As I said yesterday, my memories of her as a person are very pleasant. Perhaps I was missing something, but she didn't project the unhappy repression I would have expected in someone with her views. I must have interviewed her, probably more than once, during my television career, but I have no recollection of doing so. I DO remember the first time we met - it was at Wellington airport, & we were both flying to Taupo on one of those cigar-planes. I was on a tv assignment; she, I imagine, was meeting the Taupo branch of her Society for the Promotion of Community standards. Prior to boarding, she came up to me, tugged at my arm, introduced herself - not that I didn't know who she was - & chatted away cheerily about a mutual acquaintance. If she viewed me as a co-conspirator in the moral downfall of the nation, she certainly didn't say so. The flight itself was a nightmare - possibly the most windblown I've ever been on. As we were being tossed around in the turbulence, fearing for our very lives, I said to her: "Don't worry my dear, they wouldn't DARE crash with you & me on board." Even amidst the mayhem, she thought that was hilarious.

But I have to say, her views were no joke. It's one thing to disapprove of pornography - it's quite another to seek to have it banned. When it came to sex, even harmless - in fact, positively beneficial - solitary indulgence didn't escape her wrath: masturbation, she said, "like all infantile sexual activity, can quite easily become a permanent, self-enforcing practice. Such a neurosis on a mass-scale is a threat to civilisation & humanity - nothing less." Heck!!

Homosexuals, of course, were sick. "There should be special clinics for them. After all, we have clinics for alcoholics & venereal disease. Most homosexuals I have met are desperately unhappy people: they bite their nails & chain-smoke." Personally, I gave up nail-biting ages ago.

Miss Bartlett's attitudes may strike us as humorous now, but they certainly had their dark side. A senior executive at Radio New Zealand once told me from personal experience that in her teaching days, Miss Bartlett's zeal for corporal punishment as a means of instilling moral rectitude often resulted in bloodied backsides.

Patricia Bartlett was not a "live & let live" type of person - "I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it" was not part of her lexicon. Her crusade for censorship was not one I could admire. At the same time, as a crusader myself, I feel a grudging respect for her willingness to swim against the tide, undaunted by unpopularity & ridicule. However misguided she may have been - downright dangerous, even - of her courage there could never be any doubt. Would that THAT quality were more abundant in our public figures!

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