Isn’t this just appalling? The manner in which we treated Michael Howard. No, not that one, this one:
Howard started the department of war studies at King’s College London and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He advised Denis Healey when he was defence secretary and Margaret Thatcher when she was prime minister. Travelling, lecturing and writing prodigiously, he published more than 20 books and won the respect of politicians, generals and intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic and in the former Soviet Union. He became, in short, Britain’s pre-eminent military historian, and was showered with honours including a knighthood, the Regius chair of modern history at Oxford and an equally prestigious post at Yale.
Short but upright and authoritative in bearing, he loved music, playing the piano and stimulating company. He was liberal-minded conversationist with a nice line in self-deprecation and little time for the rigid ideologies of left-wing pacifists or neo-conservative nationalists. He was also homosexual, and lived with the same partner for more than half a century.
And to think just how appalling society’s treatment was those decades back:
By that stage he realised he was “not the marrying kind”. When he confided in his vicar he was again sent to a Harley Street consultant, who brusquely told him that “there are a lot of people around like you, more than you probably realise, some of them very distinguished. They seem to manage their lives quite successfully . . . I don’t see why you shouldn’t.”
Just so terribly homophobic as a society:
Professor Sir Michael Howard OM, CH, MC, FBA
It’s that hatred of the gays which explains why it was only a K presumably, not a GCMG or a KG.
Just a little note for those not entirely au fait with British orders of chivalry and gongs. CH is very grand indeed and OM is the grandest of all. Such homophobes we Brits.