Stonewall – an ongoing betrayal

February 3, 2011

Theresa May – Murdering Queers!

Fury as deportations department get top award.
Stonewall equality conference faces LGBT protest.

 

 

Gay Mafia Watch has been documenting this ongoing betrayal of the LGBT community for several years now. It looks as if “Stonewall’s Adversity Champions” are causing another storm…

Just when we thought they’d learned their lesson, our favourite pseudo-equality charity has gone and done it again. What is wrong with Stonewall?

London-based immigration rights group “No Borders” claim equality charity is “celebrating the managers of detention and deportation” after the Home Office was given the top spot in Stonewall’s annual index of “top 100 employers” in Britain.

Once a respected civil rights campaigning group, Stonewall has been consumed and transformed beyond recognition, motivated by power and greed.


Recipients of yet another meaningless Stonewall accolade this year, the Home Office is the lead government department with a number of subsidiaries including the UK Borders Agency which is directly responsible for forcibly removing failed asylum seekers (including LGBT people) fleeing persecution, rape, torture, and death such as Asylum Seeker from Uganda, Brenda Namigadde – who was at the high court fighting her deportation only last week.

Not only has this award been given to one of the most despicable elements of the government, Stonewall’s made a special effort to endorse Conservative MP Theresa May as some sort of hero behind this achievement. Neither have anything to be proud about.

The current Home Secretary who also has the controversial title “Equality Minister” recently faced a short-lived campaign calling for her dismissal on the grounds of her utterly despicable parliamentary record on LGBT equality which includes voting:

    - Against abolishing Section 28.
    - Against an equal Age of Consent.
    - Against Gay Adoption Rights.
    - Against Lesbian Fertility Rights.
    - Abstained on Gender Recognition.

Even worse – she’s being touted as the Keynote Speaker for Stonewall’s forthcoming 2011 Workplace Conference, sponsored by Barclays Bank. The event generates a great deal of revenue for Stonewall, charging up to £450 a ticket.

As this news spreads across social networks, we can report the LGBT Community is NOT happy. Stonewall better brace itself for yet ANOTHER revolt from the very people they claim to represent.

PROTEST!…

Activist groups are planning a protest at Stonewall’s 2011 Workplace Conference on Friday 18th March outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.

Not only will Theresa May be attending, but she’ll be joined by an array of other nasties! – none of them deserving of any type of award relating to equality or human rights.

For more info on the protest email: stonewallprotest@yahoo.com

-we’ll update this page when we have any more details.

 

 

 


It’s time to….
Sack Theresa May!
Sack Ben Summerskill!

After her appointment in May 2010 as “Equalities Minister” the Prime Minister faced a barrage of calls for her to be sacked. One group of LGBT activists even set up a website www.sacktheresamay.co.uk arguing that her political history makes her unsuitable to hold the position as Equalities Minister, boasting a facebook group with over 75,000 members.

 

“We do not think she is at all qualified to be Minister for Equality, we do not consider her to be committed to the cause of equality and for this reason would question her ability to be effective in this position. Furthermore, her appointment is symbolically counter-productive as it suggests there is not a better person for the job who can be a real role model for the campaign for equal rights.” - (Campaign to Sack Theresa May Spokesperson)

 

Stonewall’s Chief Executive, Ben Summerskill doesn’t acknowledge any this, firmly believing the Tories now “need to be forgiven” believing the lie their ideology has changed, continuing it’s agenda of pimping out the gay community to big business through it’s rigged awards schemes. In reality Conservative values have merely evolved in order to appear more socially acceptable.

 

Giving a platform to the disgraceful human being that is Theresa May at such a high-profile conference, and dishing out awards to the Home Office reaffirms this reality.

Theresa May is Murdering Queers!

 

Stonewall should be on the side of the real grass roots campaigners, for whom gay rights is a matter of life or death, instead it prefers to share crates of champagne with police commissioners, the directors of Barclays Bank and Goldman Sachs, whilst offering scumbag politicians a standing ovation.

 

Nine months after the initial campaign for her to resign as Equalities Minister, Theresa May is STILL under pressure from others not to deport LGBT asylum seekers, such as Brenda Namigadde – who had to take her battle to the High Court only last week to obtain a temporary injunction against Stonewall’s “number one employer” – the Home Office.

 

Brenda is a Lesbian from Uganda, a country which regularly tortures, rapes and kills LGBT people. Government ministers must take responsibility or prepare to be held to account, charged with the same guilt as their international collegues.

 

On the exact same say Brenda was in court, news broke of the brutal murder of prominent Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato. As the Home Office maintains it’s silence, and refuses amnesty to Brenda and countless others in a similar position action must now be taken.

 

Considering her failure to save Brenda and others, Theresa May’s pale apologies for her past voting record in response to the short-lived “Sack Theresa May” furore must now be dismissed, along with her – and all who sail with her.

Stonewall’s praising of the government at this time is unacceptable, once again colluding with the very people who want to harm the LGBT people. It’s also time for Ben Summerskill to go too.

Now you’ve read it, please SHARE this page.


 

 

 


The Old Boys Network

January 10, 2011

Thanks to an anonymous tipster in-the-know who we’ll call ‘Jake’,  GayMafiaWatch has seen a list of the UK’s richest LGBT charities, the salaries of their directors and the various business interests they are connected to. This list was was left behind in a conference room following from a secret meeting of the directors of Britain’s most influential and well-funded Lesbian and Gay organisations.

 

This closed group meets regularly in London and is known in the sector as the ‘Chief Execs’ network. An invite-only ‘old boys club’ of around 25 mostly middle-class white gay businessmen, a bit like the Freemasons! (we are not saying they are of course) but there’s a whiff.

Subjects up for discussion include how to poach public sector contracts from failing local authorities, sharing information about their competitors with a view to de-stabilise them by infiltrating their boards of trustees and lodging numerous complaints to the charity commission and their funders.

If you’re a smaller LGBT voluntary organisation, struggling to survive in today’s economic hardship and wondering why all your funding, volunteers and ideas are being hovered up and where they are going – here’s a bit of a clue!

So when is a charity, not a charity?

“Any organisation registered as a charity with the Charity Commission that derives more than 10% of its income, or which receives more than £1 million, from the state. ” according to FakeCharities.org which lists several members of the Chief Executives old boys club including Stonewall as “Fake Charities“.

These organisations are particularly well-placed to take opportunistic advantage of the Conservative ideological nightmare that is “The Big Society”. Many of those behind these organisations (not all) happily stand idle whilst front-line services in the public sector are smashed with a political wrecking ball, ready to leech of the ruins to prop up their own privately-managed monopolies.

This is NOT the voluntary sector in action, this is not community empowerment – it is the PRIVATE sector, with all it’s might going in to full swing wearing new clothes. This is unaccountable, profit-driven privatisation of what was once charity.

 


Whatever happened to… Chris Morris?

March 26, 2010

By Trevor Ruth.

Chris Morris’ colourful career as a young writer, broadcaster, internet entrepreneur, political consultant, gay activist, and hypnotherapist spans over a decade. Not to be confused with the Channel Four broadcaster of the same name, Chris is better known for his criticism of the Gay Mafia old-boys club and more recently as a high-profile practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming.

First recruited into the establishment by former Chief Executive of Stonewall when he was just sixteen years old, Chris was asked to front the gay and lesbian lobby group’s attempt to take the British government to the European Court of Human Rights over the unequal age of consent for gay men. Like the majority of those who’ve sought refugee from the glare of the public eye, Chris appears to now live a private but comfortable existence.

It didn’t take young Mr Morris long to figure out who the genuine people were.

The Rise and Fall of YouthSpeak

Those close to him at the time felt Chris was beginning to be exploited by the alpha-gay charities such as Stonewall and their political allies. Chris was uncomfortable being a voiceless show-piece, carted around from function to function. He claimed that his involvement with Stonewall had “really messed with his head” and had become nothing but “Angela Mason’s Poster-Boy”. As he began distancing himself from Stonewall, in 1998 Chris Morris and other younger activists set-up a new (yet short-lived) gay rights group named “YouthSpeak”.

The group was accused of being “a front” for Stonewall to lobby behind to dismiss assumptions from homophobic opponents (notably Baroness Janet Young). The main accusation was that older gay lobbyists were wishing to change the age of consent laws purely so they could legally engage in sexual intercourse with younger-men.

More radical activists accused YouthSpeak was grooming talented alpha-gay types, many of it’s former members certainly went on to great things. Chris was the face of YouthSpeak but he wasn’t the only person who began their adventures with them.

Colm Howard-Lloyd is now an associate director of Pride London, Marketing Director of the European Pride Organizers Association and Manager of Research and Consultations at the Greater London Development Agency.

The group’s original aim focussed on that one goal of equalising the age of consent for gay men. Sir Ian Mckellen’s (Gay Mafia head-boy) financial support came with strings attached, meaning those who wished to expand YouthSpeak’s objectives were blocked by influential figures. Others felt the group had achieved it’s main objective and were in favour of disbanding. It wasn’t long before internal disputes and money-problems contributed to the the group’s demise.

Stonewall’s main focus at the time was the campaign to repeal Section 28. They appealed to YouthSpeak to consider abandoning it’s independence and rejoining with their increasingly powerful mother-ship. But as it’s Chair and leading light Chris Morris was still feeling bruised from his experiences with them. Most of it’s members still advocating the continuation of YouthSpeak and proceeded to leave and explore alternatives as it became clear there was no future in it for them.

With nobody left to carry the torch or to continue the fight against Section 28 in schools, the final blow came as McKellen pulled the plug on the group’s funding. No-doubt a result of Chris Morris so publicly falling out of favour with McKellen’s beloved Stonewall Lobby Group.

Half-way through YouthSpeak’s short existence in 1999 Chris was invited to contribute to the New Statesman. Morris chose to use the opportunity to exposing “The Real Gay Mafia” that had treated him so badly. He wasn’t the first person to do this, but the specific details he published in the national magazine of just how, and precisely who was responsible for the corruption and hypocrisy within the country’s Gay Mafia elite rattled a great many cages.

Coincidently it was one of the last radical queer articles ever published by Chris Morris in the mainstream, leading him to set up his own radical, and undoubtedly controversial queer magazine “OutCast”.

The Rise and Fall of OutCast Magazine

The Gay Mafia never forgave Chris for demonising their precious Pink Pound empires. The launch of OutCast worried the publishers of existing rival gay magazines. Although OutCast was significantly different and posed no real commercial threat to the profit margins of Gay Times, The Pink Paper, Boyz, Attitude etc. After speaking out against their owners exploitative tactics and then switching allegiance from the liberalism of Angela Mason’s Stonewall (which continues to rely on financially backing from Gay Mafia types) to the edgy radicalism of Peter Tatchell’s OutRage! turned Morris into public enemy number one.

Like most young men of his age Chris had other priorities in his life which full-time gay activism caused him to neglect. Having moved from rural Norfolk to Central London he had bills to pay. Selflessly campaigning for civil rights doesn’t pay – a penny. Fellow activists accused Chris of abandoning critical campaigns at a critical time to focus on his own “Empire Building” by capitalising on his high-profile to fuel his own private business affairs. In reality all he really can be accused of is moving on and turning his back on the often divided world of grass-roots gay activism.

It was the Gay Mafia who eventually brought OutCast down, and subsequently his online venture 4D Media which hosted the magazine’s website.

The Rise and Fall of 4D Media

Alongside OutCast (which was a non-profit project which lost far more money than it ever made) was another entrepreneurial set-up , 4D Media which described itself as a “web development company”. 4D presented a lucrative business model at a time when it wasn’t easy for anyone to just set up a website. When you’re an individual with a phonebook packed with rich and powerful contacts all wanting a slice of the internet gold-rush then success was a certainty.

At it’s prime 4D had over 300 commercial clients consisting of a number of multinational corporations such as Virgin, BT, Honda and Umbro to name but a few, as well as a number of senior public figures including Peter Mandleson (another Gay Mafia head-boy). The company also ran a small number of adult porn sites which Chris never denied being connected to nor expressed the need to feel ashamed of what he called having a few fingers in “naughty pies”. But the company also provided free websites to a whole range of non-profit groups such as the Equality Alliance, and for a short time became a major player in offering web hosting services to the full diversity of the gay community.

You’d have thought 4D Media was a Gay Mafia-type empire in itself, boasting a plush Mayfair address on New Bond Street. In reality was a virtual office and a relatively small, but successful operation. One day for now apparent reason it simply disappeared. Clients tried to contact the company via phone and email but heard nothing.

From Activism to Hypnotism

Successful long-term activism requires a talent for entrepreneurship, something Chris Morris has in abundance. But to be successful in business many activists have to make a choice between their ethical ideals and the very capitalist methodology they often oppose.

Those who have succeeded in bringing about significant social-change often go on to channelling their knowledge, passion and initiative into projects that put bread on their tables. If your passion stems from the desire to improve the lives of others – and you do something about it, no matter what it takes – you are activist.

You can of course make a career out of activism, but it is hard to make the leap. De-radicalising is often crucial to engaging with the establishment. Liberalism is tolerated but radicalism is viewed as destructive and eccentric. There are exceptions, but in general most former activists choose to “tone it down” as much as they can.

There is some merit to the saying “if you’re always shouting eventually people will stop listening”. Morris never stopped speaking out, he simply reinvented his way of getting his message across, and he’s achieved that by putting the days of being used as a human billboard for the gay rights movement far behind him.

Shortly after announcing his activist retirement, Chris’ personal homepage displayed the message ”Chris Morris is no longer involved in gay activism”, a statement that carried no further explanation. The message stayed up for a number of years, until he eventually re-launched a new blog at the same domain in June 2009.

Who brainwashed Chris Morris?

There is a peculiar belief out there that Chris’ sudden departure from anything politically gay could have been the result of a well-planned and successful attempt to silence him or buy him off.

Is it merely a coincidence one of Britain’s most high-profile queer campaigners suddenly vanished from the gay rights scene just as he was beginning to uncover it’s dirty secrets? His disappearance occurred at a time when it was clear he certainly knew far too much, and wasn’t afraid to say so.

His later involvement with a controversial form of hypnotherapy (N.L.P) popular with senior politicians (many of whom Chris had initially met through his campaigns) raised yet more eyebrows. Some friends even claimed Chris had somehow been “re-programmed” by powerful members of the New Labour establishment.

Although it is far more likely he simply gave up campaigning – from the heart. He was after all dragged into gay rights by Angela Mason because he’d put his name down on Stonewall mailing list. It was she who had approached him. In retrospect today Chris will tell you he was “never really ready for it” and even expresses a degree of regret and bitter resentment for naively taking up the offers of free trips to London in exchange for the charm of his youth.

What Chris Morris did next…

Questions have been raised as to why Chris no longer discusses the LGBT issues or the status of Gay Mafia in public. Although a lot of what he’s said on the subject in the past remains true today. Behind closed doors he’s spent the last decade either distancing himself or in a few cases befriending many of his former adversaries.

During the days when Chris was shadowing government ministers and celebrities at champagne receptions Chris was befriended by television hypnotist Paul McKenna who introduced him to the mysterious world of Neuro Linguistic Programming (N.L.P), a controversial form of psychotherapy.

Chris Morris had obvserved N.L.P techniques being deployed by politicians and other high profile activists, it instantly stirred his curiousity and openined up a whole world of new opportunities to further his independent entrepreneurship. Since then he’s become a respected player within the UK’s N.L.P community.

Today Chris Morris is the CEO of a company named NLP Connections.

There is signficant controversy surrounding the practice of N.L.P as a form of therapy, but there’s no evidence that N.L.P Connections run by Chris Morris is deserving of the critism levelled at other N.L.P related enterprises that have tainted N.L.P’s overall reputation within the scientific community. The very nature of N.L.P itself, being relativley new, predmoninatly unregulated and ideologicaly fragmented does leave it somewhat open to abuse from unscrupilous and greedy individuals. In relation to Chris Morris – his track record doesn’t indicate he’s one of those people.

His talent for spotting the fakers and exploiters never left him. Since joining the N.L.P movement Chris has encountered some very creepy people indeed, .It isn’t like him to keep this kind of information underwraps, and now nearly a decade after his departure from gay rights, he’s speaking out again.

Doing so has recently caused problems for Chris personally. He and his family have been targetted by some very disturbed sections of the N.L.P community including a few worrying influencial as well as wreckless figures.

Chris’ achievements have made him the target for bitter rivals in the past. Some have become so obsessed with destroying his efforts over the past few years that a smear campaign appears to be running against him.

Smear Campaign

Gay Mafia Watch has been investigating an internet-based smear campaign against Chris Morris. He claims the leading individual responsible is a former N.L.P colleague named Nick Kemp. Chris has written about the saga in his blog:

http://www.chrismorris.com/blog/2009/08/nick-kemp/

Defamatory comments smearing Chris Morris also appeared on Gay Mafia Watch last month when we announced we’d be writing about N.L.P. Clearly someone out there is Googling the web for any mention of Chris Morris looking for an opportunity to blacken his name. The majority of these comments (which are present all over the internet) appear to be to be malicious posts under different names but with identical I.P addresses, mostly posting defamatory and unsubstantiated statements about Mr Morris.

Whether you choose to believe the various conspiracies theories he had unknowingly been brainwashed into his silence, or you favour the possibility he came to the decision entirely by himself, there’s no denying the LGBT community has a great deal to be thankful for Chris Morris’ remarkable achievements, wherever he may be now.

  • Gay Mafia Watch will be going into more detail about how Social Control, Crowd Conditioning and Neuro-Linguistic-Programming is used on a regular basis to control our community in forthcoming articles.

Whilst we’re in hiding…

November 6, 2009

Gay Mafia Watch is BACK!

gay mafia watch returns

Throughout 2010 we’ll be bringing you more scandals, truth seeking exposes, under-cover investigations and our regular brand of close-to-the-bone cheeky opinions plus secret filming and a few other new surprises.

You’ll either be begging for more or begging for us to stop!

Don’t listen to the rumours of our demise, they are lies! These fabricated stories are nothing but wishful thinking from those who we’ve been a right-royal pain in the behind to for over three years now.

Here’s a little taster of some our upcoming articles we’re working on over the next few months:

Gay Rumour Mill
When your main objective is to seek the truth, it’s a good idea to find out what the lies are too. Of course no good investigation can ignore the rumours that often give a story that little bit of edge, here on Gay Mafia Watch we only report about 10% of what we actually know. It takes a while for us to confirm the facts, and sometimes those facts are hard to prove – when we’re sure enough we’ll report what we’ve heard anyway but that’s why we’re starting a dedicated rumour mill section so we can seperate the facts from the fiction and we intend to have a  bit of light hearted, speculative fun in the process without upsetting too many people.

When the CEO went on a Hypnosis Course…
Why are the heads of Britain’s biggest, most influencial corporate gay charities and companies so eager to learn powers of subliminal persuasion? We investigate the unethical practice of using some very real, and potentially powerful “mind control” powers on the public which is becoming a bit of a trend. We will reveal the truth behind the cleverly designed Positive and Negative campaign which certain corrupt AIDS charities have taken inspiration from to deploy a rather clever magic trick in order to coherse the public into a heightened emotional state using flash-bulbs, pyrotechnics and mass-chanting and in turn more willing to hand over the cash to these barrons.

Those Gays after tomorrow…
Sooner or later (probably sooner) those head henchmen of Britain’s pink elite will start thinking about loading the yacht full of bolly and retiring to a quiet part of rural Ireland or for the more exciting sort who still want to let their hair down (since they still have some) somewhere in Marbella where the party people still get good pills. But who fills their boots? Here at Gay Mafia Watch we don’t just have a fondness for the deviations of certain white gay men in their 40s, we’ll be doing some  profiling of the younger members of our community already well on their way to becoming gay mafia barons (with a bond theme of course).

Whatever happened to…. Chris Morris
Some of our previous contributors are no longer with us, we reckon they’ve been paid off, bumped off or drugged and in most cases subjected to a technique called NLP - we’ll be exploring how this “Neuro Linguistic Programming” is currently being used by marketing companies to manipulate populations and we’ll be going into some detail about how the Gay Mafia are deploying it right under your noses for their own devious ends, or simply to shut you up when you ask too many questions without you even realising it.

Russia’s Gay Mafia Underworld
We’ve been soviet-side to meet some of the world’s most dangerous business people just in case you were under the illusion we’d already told you about them. Including tales from a new generation of monolithic Casinos employing pre-teen gay sex-slaves on the edge of the arctic circle, a counterfeit condom factory spinning out poor quality jonnies destined for the UK’s gay scene and the ex-pats on the run from British intellegence swigging whole tanker loads of vodka somewhere beneath the streets of St Petersbough.

If you’d like to contribute drop us a line gaymafiawatch@gmail.com


Pink Paper goes BUST!.. again

June 20, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Flagship Gay Mafia Gutter Rag Sinks

GayMafiaWatch can exclusively reveal, after a troubled 20 year history the UK’s only national “gay newspaper” (The Pink Paper) has gone bust.

The last ever issue will be out in time for London Pride.

This is not the first time the publication has folded. It has struggled to stay afloat over the past ten years having eventually reverted to a fortnightly tabloid broadsheet. Despite claims by the paper’s owners Millivres Prowler Group that the company is suffering from a loss in advertising revenues like much of the media sector, GayMafiaWatch believes that is only part of the story. Last year the company dropped top shelf-gay mens mag AXM explaining it would continue to be available online. Only a few months later the company (which also owns Prowler storesused the Pink Paper to attack rival sex-shop firm Clone Zone (which owed them £100′s thousands in unpaid bills).

Last Thursday (18th June 2009) we called the Advertising desk at the Pink Paper to find out the next copy deadline – to which we were told would be 4th July. The following day a source at the distribution company that delivers the publication all over the country told us they had not received any orders to distribute the title outside of London for the next issue – confirming the news.

Farewell Pink Paper. You have served us well over the years, even if in the end you will be remembered as just another slain soldier in the ongoing pink pound war.


Sex Wars: Attack of the Clone Zone

April 21, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the bunker we find ourselves on the bring of yet another Pink Pound war.

Following on from our recent article “Gay Dating Wars” we have stumbled upon an emerging row between two of the UK’s largest gay retailers.

The use of the word “Exclusive!” in the title of the story the Pink Paper (owned by the dark lord Prowler group) suggests they are relying on sources that may stem from gossip, rumour and pure speculation. The emphasis on this particular story is interesting as there is a clear motive behind it’s publication, and Clone Zone have quite fairly bashed back.

Decent Journalists and those who know some of the basics of media headline creation will see red when they read phrase “an anonymous member of the public” – tried and tested classic way of deceiving people into thinking the facts have been investigated and the anonymity is because what they are saying is true but want to protect their identity. Even so, it’s also a media excuse for making things up.

As it happens, the Pink Paper’s publishers Millivres Prowler Group are among the list of those owed significant amount of money which the Pink Paper estimate totals at least of £500,000 (according to an unnamed “insider”). Although most people in the same position as Millivres Prowler Group are right to be annoyed at not being paid but don’t be fooled into thinking this is news. The Pink Paper’s report on Clone Zone is nothing but a cleverly constructed case of commercial smear.

On the recently revamped Pink Paper website they recently introduced a commenting feature. Since it was launched it is rarely used, either few people are commenting on their articles or they are choosing to exercise some level of editorial control over public feedback so it is again surprising to see a flood of vicious comments making a range of plain nasty statements about the individuals involved.

The most obvious example of “self-trolling” in order to support the article is this one:

“use your pink pound elsewhere now – shop at prowler and any other decent trading company”

The weekly readers poll in the same issue, also run via the Pink Paper’s website apparently posted by “anonymous”  the day before the paper’s regular weekly publication date asks:

“Should directors whose firms go bust be allowed to run a business again?” - “If your bosses made your company go bust and made you redundant in the process, should they be allowed to side-step into another directorial role?”

You’d expect a “registered newspaper” to have more than 16 people voting in a poll nearly a week after it was created. This could be due to the fact that the relatively poor volume of traffic the site receives compared to it’s biggest rivals which are relatively small operations, many of them non-profit or social-enterprises run by one or two people from home.


In an unepected twist, those who have a clear interest in this particular fight have stepped into the ring and stood up for Clone Zone and have pledged to publish an official statement from the former directors. Manchester based charity the Lesbian and Gay Foundation who also publish a monthly regional gay health and lifestyle magazine “OutNorthWest” have today placed an article on their website under the headline “Clone Zone Bosses Upset at Pink Paper Headline“.

It should be noted that the LGF provide content to the Pink Paper but also rely on significant advertising revenue from Clone Zone. The LGF seem to be attempting to juggle a conflict of neutrality and may be attempting to balance the fuss or perhaps they are making a moral objection to Millivres Prowler’s bully-boy reporting around the situation of a business that has it’s roots in the same community they do.

Previous issues of OutNorthWest have seen several advert placements plugging the adult retailer over the years, the magazine’s editor claims they rely entirely on advertising revenue in order to produce the publication which has a readership of over 60,000. This month (February 2009) contains no advertising for Clone Zone. Although one advert for their more profitable arm “H20 Sauna” remains.

Gossip is an essential part of any community, it allows us to communicate and allows us to inquire about the status of our peers with our peers. The LGF may be quite right in giving so much space on it’s website to a story which airs the dirty laundry of two major players in the country’s gay business community despite this having implications on their own future.

Perhaps the LGF may now consider extending that same opportunity to the wider community, instead of giving so much airspace to rich sponsors even if they vanish tomorrow.

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
- Mohandas Gandhi

GayMafiaWatch asks…

To the Editor of the Pink Paper:
Are you so naive to think the public won’t see right through this story you’ve obviously generated to serve the direct financial interests of your parent company? What do you say to Clone Zone’s response that your article about that is unfair and upsetting?

To the Directors of Clone Zone:
What do you think about your alleged creditors using one of their national gay publications as a way of attacking you? and will you continue to stock the (free) weekly Pink Paper as a result? do you feel the change in the formulation of poppers and their resulting unpopularity due to new legislation have contributed to Clone Zone’s problems?

To the Lesbian and Gay Foundation:
Will the new owners of Clone Zone honor existing advertising deals made with yourselves? they appear to have removed all their adverts in your latest issue of OutNorthWest so what impact will this have on the magazine’s future? oh and one last question, who’s your daddy?

You! – tell us what you think, post your comments below:


Ticket to pRide: another wristband rip-off!

April 12, 2009

Last year GayMafiaWatch published an article about Manchester Pride 2007 exposing “The truth about where your wristband money really went” – and how less than 1% of the charity’s income went to LGBT community groups.

Shocked at what we had uncovered, a number of people printed the article off and began handing it out outside the ticket offices to the dismay of festival organisers. Less than a week later, Chair of the Village Business Association Phil Burke resigned from the Board of Manchester Pride claiming the event was “run by dictators” and is “just about making money”.

Phil Burke’s resignation made the front page of the Manchester Evening News and sent shockwaves throughout the gay community causing many others to speak out, although he wasn’t the first despite being the most notable.

Fully aware of the articles published right here on GayMafiaWatch and over on a number of other websites over six months later neither Manchester Pride or its partners (all of whom keep scamming the public) have made no attempt to dispute or explain their deplorable actions. In fact they’ve continued to break their own rules and have once again distributed funding to a number of false community projects and dodgy enterprises in 2008.

Favoritism, cronyism, nepotism, downright self-serving greed is alive and kicking amongst the more influential members of Manchester gay community at the expense of everyone else they claim to serve.

Once again Manchester City Council’s flagship “Lesbian and Gay” charity – the Lesbian and Gay Foundation have been at the centre of the storm. In terms of the number of staff it employs the LGF is the BIGGEST gay charity in the UK.

In the terms and conditions on the application forms for Pride funding it clearly states:

“Multiple applications from the same organisation will not be accepted due to the large number of applications we receive”

Obviously the Lesbian and Gay Foundation feel they are EXEMPT this rule and have again submitted numerous application for their “core services” disguised as independent groups (which clearly they are not).

Here’s a break-down of their scam:

Icebreakers – Ongoing core costs to run the group over the next year

Carousel Group – Ongoing core costs to run the group over the year

Gay Married Men’s Group – Further development of the website – plus contribution towards venue hire and resources

Black North West – Costs towards developing a BME photo library plus venue hire & resource costs.

40+ Gay & Bisexual Men’s Group – Ongoing core costs to run the group over the year & costs towards workshops

Stepping Stones -  Ongoing core costs & money to buy a laptop for the group

Art Class – The Manchester Pride website simply calls this group “Art Class” – but the LGF’s own website lists at as “the LGF Art Class” and the logo has their logo imposed on top of it – as do all of the other groups listed above.

These groups are ALL facilitated by staff and volunteers of the Lesbian & Gay Foundation and meets at their offices.

They also enjoy large amounts of free publicity in LGF publications and access to resources such a free internet, phones and stationary (which other groups are denied). Even more sneakily they are using their funding to pay for room hire in their OWN building – already funded by Manchester City Council and other local authorities.

Maximum grants are around £1,000 (we hear they’ve all applied for the maximum) meaning that approximately £7,000 of extra funding has been skimmed off the Pride Community fund by the LGF in the guide of non-related groups – this is in addition to at least £25,000 they already get from Manchester Pride and the undisclosed sum they also get in return for managing the distribution of funds to other groups.

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation’s own board members also sit on the grants panel that decides who and who doesn’t get the funding – this is a breach of good practice and something the charity commission have vowed to investigate since we brought it to their attention last week following complaints from other groups.

So where is all this money going?

Other than the Lesbian and Gay Foundation…and a small selection of others? Manchester Pride’s Community Fund is meant to be for all “LGBT Community groups” – but the majority of those go to either groups that provide services exclusively to gay men or lesbians. Only two groups serving the transgender community received funding this year. The only dedicated bisexual group to receive funds from Manchester Pride (BiPhoria) have asked for costs pay for room hire costs, and also money towards their Pride stall (this used to be free).

So let’s get this straight – groups like BiPhoria apply to Pride only to hand to back to Pride for the privilege of having a (previously free) stall at the so called “Community Expo”?

  • Less than £3,000 went to Bisexual and Transgender groups.
  • The Lesbian and Gay Foundation claimed at least £7,000 more than it was allowed.
  • Less than £2,000 went to young people’s services.
  • An undisclosed sum was paid to the Lesbian and Gay Foundation for distributing the grants.
  • Only preselected HIV/AIDS organisations received funding from the HIV Fund – sums not published.

What about other groups they’ve funded? With only a very vague description for a group no-one seems to have heard of a group called “Gay in the UK” have been given funding to cover the cost of “practitioners and tutors”.

Considering they are intending to use their grant to pay for professionals (instead of bringing in volunteers with the same skills) for their project (whatever it is!) is it going to be value for money? or is this yet another bogus project set up to line the pockets of someone close to those dishing out the pennies?

Beyond the LGF’s clever little scheme of hoarding even more funding is what Manchester Pride’s website vaguely describes as funding to “set up a new voluntary LGBT photographic group”. Run by a group of professional village photographers known as “Exposure” who have asked or “initial set up costs of new voluntary LGBT photographic group” run by Paul Jones – one of Manchester Pride’s official photographers.

Exposure’s “Profile Page” on Flickr

Jones has also been paid by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation to take photos for their publications in the past. The majority of the photos posted by the group online appear to be professional, promotional photos for Manchester Pride as well as the Pride Games (well their black-tie dinner anyway!). Many of the photos taken by the group appear in various publications including the Manchester Pride website as well as corporate materials used by Pride’s three biggest beneficiaries – Body Positive, the George House Trust and the Lesbian and Gay Foundation in numerous publications and regularly in OutNorthWest. The majority of photos are also taken at commercial events at a number of bars and clubs in the gay village including Vanilla, Cruz 101, Queer, Essential and Federation.

At the time of going to press GayMafiaWatch tried to find out more about “Exposure” and how ordinary members of the public could get involved but we got no reply. Even Manchester Pride themselves couldn’t give us an answer.

We original posed the question… is Exposure a dodgy operation or is it a genuine “community photography project”? Thanks to the vague and slightly misleading way Manchester Pride’s website has presented who and what gets funded when this article was first written we couldn’t be sure what it was until we began asking, got no response and then did our own bit of digging… so now we’ve got to the bottom of it it would be great to hear the same from others who wish to put their side of the story across… although silence is often the best indicator of guilt.

Update 22/04/09 –

Further Details regarding “Exposure”
Since this article was originally published we would like to thank Paul Jones for contacting us directly who to clarify for himself what Manchester Pride could not. You can read his response to our questions in the comments section at the bottom article. We have had to omit some personal details from his response along with an accusation claiming everything on GayMafiaWatch should be regarded as fiction – clearly this is not true! As if it were we’d be forever updating all our contributions and so far this is the most we’ve ever been asked to amend.

Out of respect to Exposure and Paul Jones and in the interest of maintaining the overall integrity of what is otherwise quite a detailed article that has provoked a mostly positive response we have retracted our statement that Exposure appears to be a “shady operation”. From what we know, Manchester’s gay community is rather close-knit and unlike London it does not have an infinite supply of community champions such as Paul Jones. That leads us to conclude that it is conceivable Exposure’s main activities which amongst other things include providing a free professional service run not for profit to commercial companies run for personal gain such as the bars and clubs on Canal Street is merely down to the cosy nature of the scene in Manchester or an admirable kindness of heart. Perhaps a bit of both? You answered our questions, we corrected our assumptions and you have requested an apology and here you have it. We apologise for any distress caused personally to those invovled.

There are times when public figures feel they are so far beyond the realms of accountability that there can be room for satire, and on occasion even humorous ridicule. Although the original article was very careful not make any direct personal attack on the character on Paul Jones as an individual as he has made clear he and Exposure are clearly one and the same, we do in fact owe Paul Jones a public apology for suggesting Exposure appears to be a fake project.  How valuable it’s services are to the community at large and who looses out if you are of the opinion that Exposure’s work is not worthy remains to be seen. People will at least be able to come to their own conclusions next time they see one of their pictures in another glossy brochure somewhere out on Canal Street knowing that’s where some of their wristband money went.

We would like to wish Exposure and Paul Jones the best of luck with their work and look forward to seeing them making a positive and continued contribution to their communities.

For details on how we conduct our investigations fairly visit our Feedback page.

What’s changed since last year?

Groups not giving funding directly back to pride or which are not run by members of Pride’s board and partner agencies is in the minority – although due to the addition of a few extra groups it is slightly more than last year.

In response to criticism and in a a U-turn to previous ways of doing things, Manchester Pride decided to open a surprise round of funding called the “Events Fund” but again their intentions are questionable. Events “must take place during the 10-day pride festival” and funding is limited to £500 per group. Details of successful applicants will be announced sometime in April – no doubt we’ll also see a number of dodgy projects that are run by people linked to Pride showing more evidence of nepotism and conflicts of professional interest.

The “events fund” only came about because they couldn’t get rid of all the funding in the first round and only totals £7,000 altogether out of the total Pride income over nearly £1 Million. Many groups have decided to boycott the grants scheme in protests at events in 2008 and the way money has been collected and distributed). If you are aware of the diverse number of LGBT community groups in Greater Manchester you will no doubt notice a number of names missing from the list of who they funded out of 2008′s funding.

This full list can be found here. Perseverly lots of the smaller community projects which remain (for now!) independent of Manchester Pride and it’s partners end up giving their grants BACK to Manchester Pride. They have to use their funding to pay for the privilege of a stall at the “Lifestyle Expo”, for the cost of an entry and licenses into the Pride Parade and also to hire meeting space at the offices of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation. Ludicrous when you consider Pride would be NOTHING without the contributions to pride from these groups over the years.

Smaller community groups and charities were noticeably missing from last year’s “Lifestyle Expo” stall area and many chose to boycott the space in protest at the recently introduced stall charges. It’s ludicrous to think they are so unwilling to back down considering all the extravagances Manchester Pride splashes out on in terms of promotions – giving large sums of money to marketing companies such as Oz Promotions and free advertising for media giants (such the Gaydar and the Pink Paper) and public sector sponsors seems to be top priority. Showcasing the grassroots LGBT community and giving them a genuine platform is not a priority.

The illusion of the event being about making money for charity has been well and truly shattered once again.

What is Manchester Pride really about?


We’re not disputing that there are many hard-working, selfless people who work and volunteer for Manchester Pride. However there are other, more ruthless people who wish to capitalise on the festival.

In 2007 the Charity Commission launched an investigation into Manchester Pride and concluded that what happens during the August Bank Holiday weekend in Manchester’s fenced off gay village are “not charitable fund-raising events – they are events organised by Marketing Manchester”.

welcome to vulgariaMarketing what?! Marketing Manchester – paid for by tax-payers in Greater Manchester, Marketing Manchester as been described by many as being “a well-oiled PR machine” that has a number of objectives, the first being to make money for a small but powerful elite of business people by increasing tourism and investment.

Led by Andrew Stokes (aka “Drew”) who also happens to be the Chairman of Manchester Pride, this “arms length” management company resides in a swish converted warehouse in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

They even have a Yacht harbored in the luxury French resort of Cannes where Mr Stokes entertains rich Saudi businessmen. We hear Mr Stokes is currently in Dubai at a property fair “selling Manchester” just as he’s committed to “selling pride”. Bon Voyage!…

Further reading on this subject:

Reclaiming Pride in Manchester
Tips on how you can do your part in reclaiming Manchester’s Pride festival by supporting alternative events and links to different bodies that provide funding and support to community groups.

Where your wristband money really went in 2007
Our article dissecting how the money raised for charity was really spent from money raised by sales of wristbands for Manchester Pride in 2007 and distributed to projects in 2008.

External Links: (not by GayMafiaWatch just in case you were wondering)

Manchester Pride Investigation
Gary Seven has been researching the web of spin, PR and false information that surrounds Manchester Pride which the organisers seems to think the public has no right to know. He puts the facts to the speculation surrounding how raising money for charity has become a secondary consideration and little more than a convenient fig-leaf to cover huge profit-making by businesses.

Manchester Evening News: Pride festival ‘just about money’
Festival accused of betraying its gay and lesbian roots by a leading Gay Village businessman. Phil Burke, chairman of the Village Business Association, says the annual event is no longer a celebration of lesbian and gay life, but a cynical money-making operation.


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