One of our most entertaining columnists, called Matthew Parris, recently revealed that he will soon be seventy years old. It is his view that this relative antiquity now hands him on a plate the freedom no longer to be afraid to say what he really thinks. "There will be no more job interviews now, no more exams to sit, no more voters to please [he was once an MP], no more objects of desire to impress, no wagging tongues to fear ... This is freedom!"
Perhaps I should have added that Parris is an active homosexual who has long been out of the closet.
Among the freedoms he went on to mention, this rather struck me:
"The corollary ... of my view that many are on a sliding scale between gay and straight is that many can choose. I know they do. The corollary of that is that cognitive behavioural therapy may work in some cases. The corollary of that is that those silly Christians who say you can be 'cured' of being gay do have half an argument. I've certainly done my best in my time to cure a few men of being straight. But the right-on in the gay 'community' are horrified at any suggestion that sexuality can ever be a choice. I know it can, for some. I wouldn't have dared write this when young. Now? I don't give a damn."
If you just chop out a couple words which are inserted as a conventional act of deference to long-standing prejudices ("silly"; "half"), you do have, I think, a quite interesting admission.