»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Saturday, June 6th, 2015

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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro.    And Radio Derb is on the air! This is your hospitably genial host John Derbyshire with, as we promised last week, a Radio Derb special.

Yes, our esteemed proprietor and Dear Leader Taki Theodoracopulos took a break from cruising here in the Aegean, and came ashore to visit us. We treated him to an excellent lunch of grilled octopus, goatburgers, and galaktoboureko, all washed down with some of the excellent local ouzo.

Then, at my request, Taki graciously agreed that we could leave the mike open as we chatted here in the studio. This week's podcast is some edited highlights from our conversation. What I mostly edited out was myself; you hear quite enough of my voice in a regular week's Radio Derb. This week I wanted you to hear what Taki had to say.

Just one note about the timing here. In last week's podcast I anticipated that Taki would be dropping by this week. In fact he came ashore last Friday, May 29th, just a few hours too late to speak to us in last week's show. We took the opportunity to record him anyway; but bear in mind that the recording is from May 29th, so there is some slight loss in topicality.

One more apologetic note: there is some faint extraneous noise in the background. The studio air conditioning was misbehaving, and all the technicians had gone home. Sorry about that.

OK, over to the man himself.

02 — Nothing to Declare.    

Derb:  Taki, you're the author of a rather good book — my wife liked it very much — called Nothing to Declare. Many of our listeners are perhaps not aware of that. Could you tell us something about that book? How did it come about? What does it mean, "Nothing to Declare"?

Taki:  The book was published in 1990 … -91, both in America, Atlantic Grove in America and Simon & Schuster in England. It got the best reviews — I never had a bad review. It was my diary of having done three, four months in prison for carrying two grams of cocaine through Heathrow. It got terrific reviews, even the Guardian gave it a good review. It didn't sell at all, I don't know why.

The title was suggested to me by a friend because I hadn't declared the two grams of coke, and the reason I diddn't declare them was, that it was illegal to carry two grams of coke … Although in parts of Europe, if you get caught with two grams, it's all right, because it means that it's for personal use.

Never the less, it was good for me. I spent four months in Pentonville. I didn't have a drink for four months. I trained every day, and I wrote a good book which had wonderful reviews, and, as I said, it didn't sell at all.

Now Harvey Weinstein, my NBF — that means New Best Friend — took me to lunch a couple of weeks ago with Michael Mailer, who is a producer, a very good, close friend of mine, and asked to read the book; and he wanted to maybe do a picture of it.

I said Mickey Rooney's dead, he can't play young Taki; and Bela Lugosi's also dead, he can't play old Taki. He was laughing. Most of your listeners won't know who Bela Lugosi or Mickey Rooney are, except for a certain age …

Anyway, we don't know what's going to happen. Maybe he'll do something about it, maybe he won't. I really don't care because my family's appalled that they would make a film about the …

This happened thirty-five years ago, by the way … Thirty-two years ago, sorry.

Derb:  Do you have any advice for the younger generation, in the event they should find themselves in a jail?

Taki:  Well, jails are much … When I went to Pentonville it was a Victorian jail. You had to "slop out." Slopping out means there are no loos, there's no toilet, there's no washbasin or anything like that in your cell. You use a potty in the morning while other people are brushing their teeth, you empty it and wash it.

When I was in jail I read Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice and it amused me that he used to take a shower before breakfast every morning in a California jail. Well, I was in a Victorian jail. We took a shower once a week; although I took one every day because I got the best job — in the gym — in the whole "nick," as they call it: I was the gym orderly and there you … I trained all day. I got it through other means. If I have the time, can I tell you how I got it?

Derb:  Yes, by all means.

Taki:  I was going very slowly, sewing buttons the first day, for the Army; and one of the "screws," as they call it, said: "You're slacking, you want to be sent to the punishment block?"

And I said: "Look, I'm terribly sorry, er, Sir, but I dress at Anderson and Sheppard, I really don't know how to sew buttons." So he said to me: "Did you rob Anderson and Sheppard [which is the Number One tailor in England]?" I said: "I didn't rob Anderson and Sheppard. I dress there."

He said: "Well, I happen to work part-time there and I'll check it." I said: "Well, ask Mr Halsey about it, ask Halsey about it." So, anyway, he goes to Halsey; and Halsey, who's my fitter, and who I'd given a very nice ride in my boat at Mykonos — he was a very gay man — said: "Mr Taki's not only one of our best clients, he's definitely our nicest client, do anything you can for him, otherwise there'll be no place for you at Anderson and Sheppard."

So this screw came back — his name was Robinson — he said: "What job do you want?" I said: "I want the gym." He said: "Well, you're lucky because there's an opening." So I got the gym.

So in other words, if you treat your tailor right, the next time you're in jail, you might get the best job.

Today, my advice to anybody going to jail today is just: Don't go, because it's not so uncomfortable and so horrible as it used to be, and people are not afraid of jail any more — especially in Europe. In Sweden it's like a country club. In England, well, less so.

Derb:  Isn't it the case in England and France that they're full of Muslims now?

Taki:  Now it's full of Muslims and you will have trouble there, although they'll try to separate you …

03 — The third Muslim assault on Europe.    

Taki:  Speaking of Muslims: We stopped them twice — in Tours in 780 or 730 …

Derb:  Charles Martel.

Taki:  Charles Martel. Then we stopped 'em in 1683 — Jan Sobieski, the Poles came down, saved Vienna. This, the third time, they've won, because they've done it, they did it surreptitiously through "asylum seekers." Instead of attacking us with cavalry, they've attacked us through millions of people.

There's a million Libyans waiting, as we speak, to come to Europe — to come to Greece or Italy or France, and to be absorbed by a continent that's already extremely crowded, it's tiny compared to America. And we have 220,000 "asylum seekers" alone last year, not a single one has been sent back, because the laws of the EU — which is the greatest kleptocracy and undemocratic body that's ever existed — the EU says every single "asylum seeker" will be given the chance to prove his case.

Of course not a single one has ever been sent back. Everybody's an "asylum seeker" and everybody who comes over says, "I would be killed if I go back." Well, in Africa people are killed every day, in the Middle East people are killed every day.

And only two days ago one of those Vice Presidents for life — Timmermans is his name, I suspect he's a German — said …

Derb:  In the EU, you mean?

Taki:  In the EU … said there's not a single African who shouldn't be given the chance to come to Europe as long as he's an "asylum seeker." What does that mean?

Then they're trying to get the navies of various countries to stop the smugglers who bring those unfortunate souls over, to stop them at the beginning. Well, this won't happen, because they cannot go near to Libya, because the Libyans will fire on them.

The EU is so … how can I say it? … so completely … their hands are tied through regulations that they have imposed themselves. They cannot do anything unless you have 28 countries approving of it. They have no arms, they have no navy. Expecting the Italian navy or the Greek navy to intercept those unfortunate souls who of course pay everything they have in the world to the smuggler to put them on board and bring them over … It's just a joke.

And people continue … In Sweden it's more than ten percent Muslim. Norway's the only country that's kept them out. My country is over ten percent Muslim. And now [this year] 32,000 snuck in because the police haven't been paid. The border guards haven't been paid, so they went home. So they came pouring in.

Italy's the worst case, of course, because they all come to Lampedusa, and from there they go up. If you go to Milao train station, or the Venetian train station, or Rome train station — three beautiful edifices byt themselves, and train stations do not make for beautiful buildings, all you see is people sleeping — Africans — and they're all of course "asylum seekers" because Eritrea, which is a very repressive regime, Mali, um, … Mali, all those countries next to …

Derb:  Niger.

Taki:  Niger, Nigeria …

Derb:  Yeah.

Taki:  I mean, here's Nigeria, the wealthiest, the richest country in the world as far as minerals are concerned, and they import oil, which they export, because thwy have no refineries …

Derb:  Yeah.

Taki:  They have refineries, but they don't work because all the parts have been stolen.

So if Africa, which is the most … the biggest hell-hole in the world, and the cruellest continent ever — we are importing those people, and of course most of them are Muslims. Most of them will, once they come over, will insist on no-go areas.

There are no-go areas in London where homosexuals are not allowed to walk through, or drink. Now I find that amazing. I'm not a big pro-gay man, and I'm certainly against gay marriage of two men; and yet I think every gay man has a right to walk through, if he's an Englishman, through parts of London. Well, he won't be allowed, because they're Muslim areas and they don't allow it.

They don't allow drinking. I love booze, but I don't like all those English people you see passed out, vomiting on the sidewalk. Never the less, it's their right to do it.

But I don't see any of the feminists in America complaining about the Islamists doing that in European cities …

04 — Tribal wars in the Middle East.    

Derb:  As sorry as we may feel for the Syrians …

Taki:  Of course.

Derb:  … who … now Obama wants to bring 2,000 over before the end of this fiscal year, here … As sorry as we may feel for them, the great majority are Muslims, and there are forty-nine — count 'em, forty-nine — majority-Muslim nations in the world, some of them very wealthy. Why is it up to us to take them?

Taki:  They will not take them in because people still do not realize, as our great intrepid leader George W. Bush didn't know at the start of that disastrous attack on Iraq thirteen years ago, didn't know that this is a war of tribes, and a war between Sunnis and Shias, and "Iraq" and "Syria" mean nothing.

The whole thing started in Syria because the Saudis wanted Assad down because he's an Alawite, and offshoot of the Shia, who kept the peace, protected the Christians, protected the Druze, and they decided, after Gaddafy fell, that Assad was the next person.

This is all the work of our friends, our brothers in Washington, D.C. — the neocons, who think of only one thing: Israel. And as you can see, Israel is far better off today than it was three years ago because the whole place is in chaos. The whole Middle East is a raging chaos, which makes Israel's safety more valid.

Derb:  I was quietly wondering if the Israelis were helping to supply ISIS. It seemed to me that would be in their interest to do so, because …

Taki:  Absolutely.

Derb:  … because they regard Shia Iran as the big enemy …

Taki:  Exactly; and I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Saudi money and Israeli know-how is in there …

Derb:  Well …

Taki:  … because ISIS is fighting very well, and they weren't fighting well. I think something … We will eventually find out who's behind ISIS, because …

Derb:  But I did ask Norm Friedman, who's a very good, a very high-level military analyst, about my little suspicion there — I had dinner with him a few days ago — and he said to the best of his knowledge, no, they weren't doing that. So …

Taki:  Maybe Mr Friedman is wrong. My suspicion — I have no proof — my suspicion is that Israel is up to its knees involved in there, with know-how, with advice, with weapons — which they get from the Americans.

And I think the Saudis …Just look what the Saudis have done. The Saudis buy all our advanced weaponry, they've attacked Yemen, and they've managed to kill since then 3,000 innocent … They hit refugee camps, where there are absolutely no guns or rebels inside of them … Who's doing all that? How come suddenly ISIS has become so strong? You know, I'm very, very suspicious …

05 — Putin, Russia, and the Russians.    

Derb:  Do you think … We know the Russians are involved, because they have that big naval base in Syria, so they're involved in propping up the Assad regime. How do you feel about Russia's place? How do you feel about Putin? You like Putin?

Taki:  I'm very much an admirer of Putin, however horrible it might sound. In fact I'm waiting to hear from somebody who keeps promising, and we keep sending all sorts of goodies, ah, he keeps promising that I can get on the judo mat with Putin, because he knows I've always …

Look, it's very simple. Russia has always needed either a very strong president, a very strong Tsar, or a very strong dictator. Putin is nothing like the Soviet dictators were. Putin is a strong authoritarian figure in the line of the great Franco or Salazar, I would say.

The most important thing that people don't realize — especially the Americans — is that Russia has no natural borders, no natural barriers, like America has two oceans, one called Atlantic, the other called Pacific …

Derb:  Ah, I remember that!

Taki:  Yes, you remember those two old lakes. And of course they get attacked from the Southern Hemisphere through Mexico. But Russia doesn't have that, so they have always to extend their borders, to keep a … What do you call those lines between two …? So Ukraine for them … Bismarck said, in his time, that Russia without Ukraine is no Russia; so if Bismarck said it, who was thinking of attacking there, that shows how important Ukraine is to Russia.

And when the EU — the most useless institution I know of — started to tell the Ukrainians, a nation that didn't exist before 1919, started to make noises toward them — "Come and join us! We'll do this for you, we'll do that," it showed how stupid the Ukrainian leaders were to believe anything the EU … What can the EU do for Ukraine? Nothing! Just impose austerity, they way they did in Greece?

Putin was right to interfere, and we … as President Nixon had said at the time, and of course the famous diplomat who sent the 5,000-word telegram, the great American …

Derb:  Kennan?

Taki:  George F. Kennan, we have to embrace them, stick out our hand, extend a friendly hand, instead of … They've turned Putin into … On late night television they always talk about Putin as if he were Stalin, as if he were Hitler. Putin is a nationalist who has brought back the Christian religion to Russia, who backs them up, and he's a strong leader, and has 82 percent. Bring me somebody who has 82 percent approval ratings in Europe, or in America.

Derb:  Do you know anything about the demography there? It always used to be said, after the Soviet Union fell, that Russia's demography was cratering, they weren't making any babies. I just … I'm sorry, I didn't think to check on this: I have a dim memory of seeing something a couple of weeks ago that the fertility rate in the Russian Federation is now up.

Taki:  It's going up a little bit. I don't have exact details, but it went bad for a while after perestroika. Too many people were drinking, the Soviet Union broke up and all that, but, you know, the Soviets liked to drink, and people who like to drink like also … women, and I think it's starting to catch up again. Because you know, they were close to 400 million, then they got down to less than 300 …

DerbLess than 200.

Taki:  And so, not in our generation, John, but in the next generation, the Russians will be back.

Derb:  Ah. OK. Good. Well, I hope it's the good Russians, not the bad Russians.

Taki:  The good Russians will prevail. And I love the way they love their religion, and I love the way they love their country.

You know, very few, except for the oligarchs, who are mostly Jewish, and never had a home, they never felt at home in Russia because of their religion, most of the … Russians stay home. And when I see them — because I see them in Europe, the tourists and all that, they speak no known language, they look very Russian, and I wear the cross, and the only thing they look at you is when you have a cross, and they cross themselves the way we Greeks do, from right to left, and I just like them. I like the simple Russians, I like the athletes, and the workers. The oligarchs are obviously, like oligarchs all over the world, horrible … Except for one more thing: they have the worst manners in the world. They make gedge fund managers in America seem like old-fashioned gentlemen.

Derb:  Yes. Who's this oligarch who just bought the, I think it was the highest-priced house 


Derb:  … in England.

Taki:  In North London, Witanhurst. Guriev. He was a small-timer, and he did it with mirrors, as they do. And it's not a hundred percentage sure, he happens to be one of the few Christian oligarchs.

Derb:  Ah.

Taki:  And he did it with, he obviously, he pulled some number with some factories up there. He took over from Khodorkovsky.

Derb:  Aha, yes.

Taki:  That's what he did. He seems to be a very … He dresses badly, he looks like a very nondescript fellow, and, well, it makes for a change, because I'm used to those horrible … I live next to this man, the King of Shit, at, er …

Derb:  I'm sorry? The King of Shit? Is that a place?

Taki:  Of fertilizer.

Derb:  Oh I see.

Taki:  Fertilizer. He owns all the fertilizer in the world, and he's ruined my life in New York because he's building something enormous next to where I live; and he's ruined my life in Gstaad by pledging ninety million Euros — er, Swiss Francs — to build an Arts Center. He speaks no known language, and he bought Skorpios, the old Onassis private island. He looks pretty poorly when you see him, but he doesn't speak any language except Russian.

Derb:  I must say, I've always had a soft spot for the Russians. I did a Russian course at college. The only think I can remember how to say in Russian is Zhizn' prozhit' ne polye pereyti.

Taki:  That has something to do with good health?

Derb:  Er, no. It means: "To go through life is not to walk across a field."

Taki:  [Laughs.]

Derb:  I'm not quite sure what it means. It's one of those cryptic things … It's like Kahlil Gibran, or …

[Both laughing.]

Taki:  Well, I remember when John O'Sullivan took me, just after the Wall came down, the Russians were sort of splitting up. We went to a place in Brooklyn. And I had a stretch limo. We piled in. We went there. They served nine courses. And they were … So I was laughing, I was very drunk, and there was this woman with gold teeth, and she was dancing with a man straight out of … Raskolnikov, all in black, looking very white and very funereal like that — very good-looking like that.

So I cut in on him, started dancing with her, she was smiling and all this, he came back … Anyway, to make a long story short, he'd lost his temper, challenged me to go outside. We walked outside. I was in a good mood. I was drunk. She was an ugly fat woman with gold teeth, I was just doing it to bother him. Then he saw this long stretch limo and he said to me: "You drug dealer?" I said, "No! I'm not a drug dealer!" He said, "You have big car." I said, "I don't want your woman. I'm just joking."  "Oh, he said, you can have my woman …"

I just saw in him how the Russians respect authority. "Oh well …" He was a very good-looking man, obviously a doorman somewhere. But then when I asked the band — the band never stopped — I said to them, "How can you play for three hours straight? What coke are you on?" They said: "Coke? No, we are Russians." In other words: We're here to suffer

Derb:  Yeah.

Taki:  They're like that …

06 — Unfair play.    

Derb:  Putin's latest beef with us is this business of Russia getting the soccer World Cup in … 2018, I think it is?

Taki:  2018.

Derb:  And his getting the World Cup has coincided with this scandal about the FIFA executives.

Taki:  Exactly. Well, this is the biggest scandal ever, but it's not … Russia deserves the World Cup, because Russia has had football — as they call it, "soccer" over here, "football" in Europe — football has always been very big in Russia; and they deserved it, as they got the Olympics in 1980, and we boycotted them, but they had a great Olympics. They had a great Winter Olympics in Sochi. They'll have a great World Cup.

The biggest scandal of all — and we've always known it, my father had a First Division, Premier Division football team in Greece — is that Sepp Blatter and all those crooks, most of them from the Caribbean, most of them black, most of them — all of them — on the take, and they gave it [i.e. the 2022 World Cup] to Qatar.

Now how you can … Already 1,000 Nepalese have died trying to build stadiums in that sandy hell-hole. How you can give the 2022 world football tournament — world championship — to a desert, this is unheard-of.

The money that Qatar paid is obviously in the billions. They paid everybody off; but it's impossible to find it because they're not as stupid as some of them, who took the money and talked. The money was given, obviously, in numbered accounts, in the Cayman Islands or wherever. Nobody said anything, and the Qataris, who have all the money in the world — and financed ISIS to begin with — want the 2022 …

There's only one thing to do. We have to retract that. In other words, FIFA has to be disbanded and FIFA has to have a new … The Jordanian man, who did not win. The vote is today. The Jordainian prince, who is a nephew of … a cousin of the king, should get the presidency.

We have to clean — it's the most corrupt institution except for the EU, I would say. It is hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars because of all the sponsors who paid millions to be represented in football tournaments. And they only run the World Cup every four years, but they have a kitty of maybe a couple of billion.

Derb:  It's an obvious target for corruption. Now why isn't that the case with the International Olympic Committee. Or is it the case?

Taki:  Well, the International Olympic Committee … somehow, for so many years the man they all loved to hate, whom I admired more than anybody, Avery Brundage, kept it clean. And even Samaranch …

I know, and it's a strange thing, but in all the world championships I take part in — judo — I've never won with a blue gi — because they changed it, blue and white, for television, and I've never lost with a white gi. Now why this should happen to me, because they did for television.

The Olympics … Sure there's corruption in the Olympics, but much less, much less. Nothing compared to FIFA. FIFA is the most corrupt. It's fraud upon fraud upon fraud, and they have two billions to play with, and they have a kleptocrat at the head, Sepp Blatter, who refuses to give any accounts to anybody. Because they're self-perpetuating, they vote themselves in — it's fourteen people who decide. And of course, we tried like hell … You can't infiltrate it. There a country should step in, the U.S., as it did, and arrested some of the crooks, in Zürich last week …

07 — Cops and robbers.    

Derb:  What do you make of this news from Baltimore? That the police are sitting in the doughnut shop, apparently …

Taki:  Yes, I was so amazed. The paradox is that the man who has saved more black lives has not been Sharpton, or the Mayor of Baltimore, who's black, or the state prosecutor, who's black … has been their baboulas, their bête noire, Rudy Giuliani.

Rudy Giuliani, a white conservative New York Mayor, by applying the "broken windows theory," has saved more black lives, because you never see, when there's a black who gets murdered — and they get murdered every day — by another black, you never see Sharpton going there to commiserate with the victim's family. You never see the TV cameras, they never come in with CNBC and all those other phony, pretending-to-be-neutral television stations or press or magazines or newspapers.

What you see is … Giuliani, by applying those things … and you have to have stop and search. Look at New York. The moment de Blasio stopped it, the crime rate has risen by 65 percent. Shootings are up, murders are up, and they will continue to go up unless the police disproportionately attack high-crime areas; and that means stopping and searching and sending the police in …

Dont forget: Most of the police in Baltimore is black, so we don't hear it. The way it's presented, you'd think that police brutality comes from white people. Well, it doesn't. It comes from cops who are completely outnumbered by criminals in Baltimore and have their hands tied. It's a joke, and I attribute all this to the media, who refuse to, to … They excuse the looters and they call them "rioters." They're not rioters, they're looters, professional looters, who will go and try to enrich themselves. The moment somebody gets shot by a policeman who is already under attack by another … I mean, it's such a joke when I see that, when you hear that, all those people …

You've had two or three dubious cases; but the thousands of people that police save all over this country, you never hear about. You only hear about when there is an accident, as it was with Freddie Gray, who was a career criminal of course. His name sounds like a nice young college boy. Anyway …

Derb:  I agree with you about Giuliani, but let's give a little credit to Michael Bloomberg, too.

Taki:  That's true …

Derb:  I happen to know the numbers. When Giuliani came in, in New York City there were a bit less than 2,000 homicides a year. When he left at the end of 2001 it was down to six hundred and thirty something. Michael Bloomberg came in and did three terms, as you remember …

Taki:  Yeah.

Derb: … and when he left it was down at three hundred and thirty something.

Taki:  Absolutely.

Derb:  So these two good businesslike, in matters of social order conservative, Mayors, saved an awful lot of lives, you're absolutely right.

Taki:  They did, they did, and Bloomberg of course did. You know, he stuck by his Commissioner, Kelly, who was great; and de Blasio's not sticking by Bratton, who's also very good. But you know, if you don't … When you have people like Sharpton, who owe four million dollars to the IRS and they won't pay, and yet President Obama is seen next to him, embracing him, what do you expect? When you have race hustlers like Sharpton, sort of, forming the agenda …

08 — Homofascism.    

Derb:  … about the referendum in Ireland a couple of weeks ago …

Taki:  Yes.

Derb:  … on homosexual marriage. What do you think of that, Taki?

Taki:  Well, I'll tell you, I was very surprised; although they knew it was coming because everybody — starting with the world's probably most unpleasant man, as far as I'm concerned — his face looks just like a penis. His name is Maher, Bill Maher, he's on HBO …

Derb:  Ah.

Taki:  He was delighted …

Derb:  Oh, I know, yes.

Taki:  Awful, horrible man. Anyway, he was delighted. Now I was surprised because a Catholic nation like Ireland … Nevertheless, it's their country, they can do what they like, and everybody's free to vote. But what is very important to know is, that there are two gays, who are almost professional gays, because they do everything, they give only to professional causes, they're both … They live in New York, they have hotels and they have gay bars, gay hotels, and only give to gay causes. They — because they don't do anything else except read the gay news — they gave a lunch or a party, which they called a fundraiser, which it wasn't … for Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz is against same-sex marriage; and of course they were targeted by the, whatever, the gay liberation, whatever they're called.

Derb:  Activists.

Taki:  Activists. And they have called for a boycott, these people have gone on radio, they had a big article in the New York Times two days ago, begging for forgiveness, saying, "We didn't know, we'll do anything you want." They said, "Too late!"

In other words, when the gay activists target you they can be extremely, extremely effective, and they can ruin your life. I mean, Elton John asked for a boycott of somebody who made a funny remark, who also happens to be gay, he asked for a worldwide boycott of Dolce and Gabbana, and they had to apologize, of course, immediately. But how can people ask for a boycott, celebrities ask for a boycott, and then the gay activists go after you just because you happen to exercise your own free will and stated your free opinion?

Derb:  This is … It's the intolerance that gets to me.

Taki:  The intolerance. Well, the gay lobby's extremely intolerant. You might say it's payback because of all those years they didn't have a say; but that doesn't stop the fact that we're supposed to be living in a free society where everybody's allowed to say anything for …

Derb:  Taki, I can remember some of those years, as I'm sure you can. I remember then in Britain, when homosexuality was still — I'm sorry, not homosexuality: homosexual acts were criminal …

Taki:  Yeah, were criminal …

Derb:  And there was actually a great deal of tolerance. Homosexuals were only prosecuted, by and large, if they made a nuisance of themselves — you know: in public lavatories, things like that. But in my little, rather conservative, country town in England in the 1960s, we knew who homosexuals were. You made jokes behind their backs, but nobody bothered them …

Taki:  Never. I …

Derb:  We were much more tolerant of them than they are now, with cases like Brendan Eich at Mozilla being forced out of his position, and these bakers being forced to shut down their businesses. We never did that to them back in those, scare quote, "intolerant" times.

Taki:  Never. And I remember in boarding school we had a, er, at Salisbury, we had one of the teachers, behind his back we called him Homo Bill Thompson, never said anything to …

When Phil Gephart, another teacher at Blair, used to come in, we'd say, "Here comes Mr Gephart!" and we'd all flee, because we were all naked, taking showers, and we'd … He liked us, we liked him. I remember at my gradation he almost kissed me. He said to me, "Bravo, you've made it!" because it was touch and go, I was always in trouble …

They were very nice people. We were completely tolerant of him, and if we made a joke behind his back — we were kids. But the idea of being targeted now, and losing your job because you said, "I happen to be against same-sex marriage" — this is straight out of Berlin, 1936, or Moscow around the same time. It's terrible, and somebody has to have the courage to stand up to these gay Nazis.

Derb:  And you saw it in the news stories from Ireland after this referendum — the triumphalism, the jeering at the losing side …

Taki:  And it's done by, you know … After all, I remember when they went after Pat Buchanan when he published the fact … Because the gay lobby always said that ten percent of the country, of America, is gay; and when Pat Buchanan came up with irrefutable figures that it was only two percent, you know, you never heard from Pat Buchanan again. Slowly, slowly, forget it …

It's politics. People went after Pat Buchanan purely for pointing out the truth, that two percent of the country might be gay. But they're very powerful and very strong, and in businesses that are covered by the press, like the fashion business and the movie business …

09 — Signoff.    

Derb:  Taki, thank you very much for dropping by …

Taki:  Thank you for having me. It's …

Derb:  … on the island.

Taki:  … it's a rare privilege.

Derb:  Er, the girls would like you to go and join them in a gane of beach volleyball, if you don't mind …

Taki:  Oh no, I'm looking forward to it! Can I take my bathing suit off?

Derb:  You'll have to ask them.

[Both laughing.]

Derb:  Thank you, Taki.

Taki:  Thank you, John.

[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]