I rarely write to newspapers, but I was so incensed to see a front page headline (December 13) devoted to a crass remark made by a 75-year-old Tory councillor, Peter Willows.

I am not a Tory nor am I gay, but I agree with all and sundry that the remarks were indeed offensive and homophobic in the same way any comment in a derogatory manner towards a particular section of society would rightly be condemned if based on race, creed, religion or sexual orientation.

What, however, beggars belief is not only political correctness gone absolutely barmy but also the fact that police and court time, not to mention the cost at taxpayers' expense, is wasted on the ignorant comments of this councillor.

Does this mean we are to assign a section of the police force as TAFSS (The anti-free speech stormtroopers)?

Peter Willows was no doubt wrong but to vilify and castigate him over these comments is also entirely wrong. What next?

Quislings employed the length and breadth of the country listening for comments that can be reported to the TAFFS, so the wrongdoer can be hauled before the courts to be punished for his/her comments at a party, barbeque, Henley Regatta or football match?

Jay Nemes and Johnny Core, two gay men, who have every right to be offended, speak for I am sure the overwhelming majority of all sections of society when they say "freedom of speech in England ended on December 12, 2006".

Although some of my comments may sound over the top, we should look around at many other countries today and cast our minds back only a relatively few years and take stock.

If we go down the road that this court case could lead us, what next?

Book burning?

We have seen political correctness gone haywire over recent years, affecting everything from nursery rhymes, children's toys, poetry, job descriptions and food on our supermarket shelves.

Don't think this is a one-off; everything is cyclical as history has proven, from the debauchery in ancient Rome and again during the Renaissance, to the Puritanical regime under Cromwell, through to the Brownshirts of Oswald Mosley.

It may be a long fuse but once the blue touch paper of State interference is ignited, usually the result is catastrophic.

  • Tony Bingham, South Coast Road Peacehaven