A hideous little witch hunt and a personal catastrophe: Defend Gareth Mead

This post was written by Reuben Bard-Rosenberg on March 15, 2010
Posted Under: Employment,Puritanism

Tonight a man’s life and livelihood hangs in the balance. He has been savagely denigrated in the national press, and the most personal details of his life laid bare. And tonight he is suspended by his employer and looks set to be sacked. His crime? To engage in the wrong kind of sexual role play with consenting adults.

Yesterday the Mirror made a splash. It revealed that Gareth Mead – head of social housing and homelessness at Fulham and Hammersmith council –  had a kink for Nazism . And what’s more he engaged with other men who shared his fetish. Somehow the Mirror managed to get hold of some of the more intimate text messages that he sent, and have thus given us a window into the kind of roleplay in which he engaged.

Except they haven’t quite reported it like that. In yesterday’s big splash Mead was presented not as a nazi fetishist but, in their words, as a “secret nazi”. Though the roleplay context is blindingly obvious – he met the men through a fetish site, not stormfront – the Mirror insisted on taking his Nazi-related intimate pronouncements at face value.

They quote an unnamed moron anonymous source as telling them:

“What he was texting was really too much.
“I could not believe that he had such extreme views while he is earning a lot of council taxpayers’ money paying lip service to multi-cultural political correctness.
“The pictures showed just how far he had gone with the whole thing. He had all the bits to go with the uniform. He even had a gun in one picture laid out on a Nazi flag.”

Seriously, what an idiot. How stupid must you to imagine that what a man does for sexual thrills offers a serious indication of his political opinions. Are we to believe that anybody who chains up their boyfriend or girlfriend without first acting out a court scene believes in imprisonment without due process?. Most ridiculously the Mirror go on to say “in recent years the housing policy has been likened to “ethnic cleansing” for discriminating against poor and ethnic minority tenants”. Obviously its because the man in charge dresses like a Nazi.

Now if Hammersmith and Fulham council were decent employers with a bit of spine they would:

a)  Treat this gossip abut a man’s sexual proclivities with the contempt it deserves.

b) Offer some support to an employee who is probably traumatised by having his most private feelings cruelly paraded in the national press.

But instead they have suspended him pending a disciplinary, and apparently intend to sack him. An anonymous council source told the standard “Once we saw the pictures there was really not much else to say – he was not going to stay in his job much longer after that”. That a council figure should communicate such a foregone conclusion to the press prior to any disciplinary hearing represents, in itself, a disgusting contempt for this mans rights.

So, readers and fellow bloggers, will you join me in a campaign to defend this man?

We could write to the council, make a noise, and much else. As of now I am going start tagging #DefendGarethMead on twitter and ask you to aswell.

Because this does matter. This is about the rights of workers to have a private life, and about the rights of individuals to do what they want with consenting adults – even if it makes a few narrowminded peasants feel uncomfortable.

The irony of this situation is 50 years ago Mead might have been hounded out for being gay. While great progress has been made in this regard, the current government really has really tightened the screws on more marginal sexual minorities. Today a man or woman potentially be imprisoned for possessing adult BDSM sexual imagery.

So I submit to you that this is a battle worth fighting.

Defend Gareth Mead #DefendGarethMead

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Reader Comments

I agree with you. This won’t be a popular cause to champion, as most people will be instinctively repelled by the stuff he’s said and done, but we should stick up for the right to private life and to do things people may find repellent (so long as no one is harmed).

Like you, I find the deliberate attempt by the Mirror to confuse his sexual predilections (which aren’t relevant) with his political views (which are) dishonest and dishonorable, especially the reference to the description of an (admittedly disgraceful) housing policy as “ethnic cleansing”. I fear, however, that most liberals on twitter and the blogs won’t go near this as they won’t want to be associated with a story to do with BDSM and mock-Nazism. It was noticeable, for example, how little mainstream support there was for the campaign by Backlash and other against the criminalisation of the possession of “extreme images” in the Criminal Justice Act(which includes consensual BDSM images, as you say).

Anyway, I hope I’m wrong. Perhaps you could make this take off.

#1 
Written By Guy Aitchison on March 15th, 2010 @ 11:51 pm
Pete Westerleigh

Gareth Mead prior to this revelation had been conducting a witch hunt of his own within the council in which a lot of good people were dismissed all of which bar one woman were black the only people he showed any compassion to were gay white men.allowing them to keep their positions even though all were up on the same charge .he has already been involved in an industrial case for racism which he lost.I HOPE HE LOSES HIS JOB so he can feel the misery and despair he has caused so many people.Yesterdays revelations made so many people happy ,the man who dissmissed without mercy is now facing dismissal himself how ironic.As for your campaign If you truly new the pain and suffering this man has caused to others you would find something better to do with your time in many ways he is lucky he only has himself to think of unlike the many ex employees he dissmissed who had families to consider.you say the nazi fetish is only harmless role play maybe so.but he more than anyone knows that what
any one inividual may think of as a harmless bit of fun can be considered by someone else who probably isn’t even fit to make judgement on others as gross misconduct.personally i think he made an error of judgement with the rascist texting considering his position A.D.
but the good thing is it has confirmed what so many suspected all along in regards to his treatment of non white employees! Gareth Mead has to go through this it is gods will .The fact that you cannot see the connection between his nazi fetish and the vile and clearly racist comments which he went on to make is sad.A person who is not a racist would never use terms such as Wogs or make comments about gassing jewish people.
no gay person should should align themselves with nazism, Nazis hate gay people as much as they hate jews .

#2 
Written By Pete Westerleigh on March 16th, 2010 @ 7:10 am
Trevor

Such is the political correctness of our times – it’s OK to ruin someone’s life because you don’t agree with what they happen to like in private. Pete Westerleigh clearly doesn’t get it either. If Gareth has done as he alleges then that might be a ground for disciplinary action. It has NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER with what he does in his spare time.

1984 is clearly here. Why are people who fight against say, the BNP expressing themselves, and insist that only they themselves can be right, called liberal, while those who express themselves freely are called fascist? This is Newspeak doublethink at its finest. Truly Big Brother is with us.

I assume of course that all other Hammersmith & Fulham Council officials and all Mirror staff are squeaky clean, married with 2.4 children and have no sexual kinks of any kind whatsoever. No doubt, in the words of Ian Hislop, if that is true then I’m a banana.

#3 
Written By Trevor on March 16th, 2010 @ 11:28 am
jon

Fully behind this campaign. You should put up the numbers and addresses with which to contact the council on the site.

@PETE WESTERLEIGH oh, and I lost many a precious brain cell trying to read your comment. Well done.

#4 
Written By jon on March 16th, 2010 @ 2:58 pm
Jokerry

There are many great causes and this is not one of them .
I understand this was his own time and fantasy however if you put it in the public domain of the internet your views will be viewed by others, who may not share your thoughts or opinions.This man works for the residents of Hammersmith and fulham a public servant and he should realise that anything he does outside will be looked at.
As a resident of Hammersmith and Fulham my hard earned money is paying his wages I do not want someone with these allegations representing me.He did not in his qoutes say white gay men should be gassed which he represents but allegedly jews and wogs this is not fantasy this is racist ideology, he cannot represent a diverse community.
He was qouted as saying my white and black colleague the fact that B comes before W indicates he cannot correctly identify a standard saying.Regardless if he was going for Politics for the BNP he cannot expect to continue to serve the community of Ham and Fulham
Your comment
b) Offer some support to an employee who is probably traumatised by having his most private feelings cruelly paraded in the national press.
Is complete nonsense is this the same support he showed when he sacked members of staff for gross misconduct in this year of recession they got no such luxury not even counselling was offered.
He was able to dish it out so he should be able to take it.GOD works in mysterious ways
The rights of workers to have a private life, and the rights of individuals to do what they want with consenting adults is fine as long as you are running your own private company and do not work in a public capacity.
This man has been working for H and F for a good many years so I do not waste any sympathy GOOD RIDDANCE.
No I am not a Liberal

#5 
Written By Jokerry on March 16th, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

What is it with commenters who hate this guy? They make long comments, buy they also seem barely literate. It’s a bad combination.

“I understand this was his own time and fantasy however if you put it in the public domain of the internet your views will be viewed by others, who may not share your thoughts or opinions.This man works for the residents of Hammersmith and fulham a public servant and he should realise that anything he does outside will be looked at.”

The texts at least were sent privately. It was the mirror that, through great intrusion, placed them in the public domain. It is not clear where the pics came from but the Mirror phrased it in such a way as to suggest that viewing them took some investigation.

“As a resident of Hammersmith and Fulham my hard earned money is paying his wages I do not want someone with these allegations representing me.”

Look he is not a political representative, he is an employee of the council, a bureaucrat if you will. Do you demand a veto on the private lives and opinions of every public sector worker?

“He was qouted as saying my white and black colleague the fact that B comes before W indicates he cannot correctly identify a standard saying.”

ummmm… come again? Perhaps get a responsible adult to rephrase your thoughts so they can be understood.

“Regardless if he was going for Politics for the BNP he cannot expect to continue to serve the community of Ham and Fulham”

Can you offer me anything to link this man to the BNP? As I said, real Nazis meet on stormfront, not fetish sites.

“The rights of workers to have a private life, and the rights of individuals to do what they want with consenting adults is fine as long as you are running your own private company and do not work in a public capacity.”

So you reckon the 8 million or so public sector workers – train drivers, dustman, whoever – do not have the right to a private life?

“He was able to dish it out so he should be able to take it.GOD works in mysterious ways”

This would have made you sound like a loon even without the block capitalisation of GOD.

Thanks for your comments.

#6 
Written By Reuben on March 16th, 2010 @ 9:20 pm
Neal

No, just hang on a minute. What he does in private is his own business? OK, so let’s substitute “14 year old schoolboy” for “wog” or “jew”. Is this still acceptable fantasy? Not to me. I’m gay. I think what you do in private is largely up to you, but there are limits and there is common decency.

#7 
Written By Neal on March 17th, 2010 @ 12:29 am
richard B

The privacy debate relies on a bourgeois rhetoric of liberty which has nothing to do with true freedom. Privacy is not the same as enlightenment.

Nazi fetishism is indeed different from Nazism. But the majority of political discourse in our society is sexual fantasy; from fascists to tories to climate activists, the projection of a fantastic (and perverted) Utopia has become paramount.

We shouldn’t defend Mead’s privacy, and we certainly shouldn’t attack him for being a Nazi. We should attack him for separating his private and public life to the point that his conscious political discourse occurs only at night, while being a council bureaucrat during the day.

But then, we could attack most people on that ground, so it would be a pointless campaign.

#8 
Written By richard B on March 17th, 2010 @ 9:38 am
matt

Leave the man alone, fetishes are fetishes. Is there an erection coming up? Sorry an election. Is there any proof that this man has not been fair to all his fellow staff irrespective of race and gender and to the Council that he works for and it’s residents? We all have certain pecadillos,least of all the great and good. Does that mean that gives us the right to throw the first stone?

#9 
Written By matt on March 17th, 2010 @ 8:51 pm
matt

Hammersmith & Fulham council have embarked on cost cutting measures ever since the tories have taken over the council. All departments have/are enduring this,whether you agree or not. Trying to lay the blame of this policy on a single individual,no matter what his positin within the council is nonsense. This comes from the councillors own policies,principles and ideas. Looking to be an ambulance chaser because you have lost your job is so obvious. Ludicrous. Playing this card with the outside chance of getting a few bob is extremely disengenuos

#10 
Written By matt on March 17th, 2010 @ 9:18 pm
Stephen D

Jokerry wrote: “This man works for the residents of Hammersmith and fulham a public servant and he should realise that anything he does outside will be looked at.”

Are you seriously telling me that any person who works as a public servant should sacrifice any hope of a private life in order to please the people they work for? GET A LIFE! A man’s private life is his own and provided he breaks no laws in doing so,that’s how it should remain.

Jokerry wrote “He was qouted as saying my white and black colleague the fact that B comes before W indicates he cannot correctly identify a standard saying”

From a political perspective, “black” and “White” tend to be reversed in the quote so as not to make the point too cliche. If you wish to present yourself as a SPAG Troll (For the layman, that’s Spelling, Punctuation And Grammar Troll), then kindly check your own posts before criticising others’ quotes.

Jokerry wrote “is this the same support he showed when he sacked members of staff for gross misconduct in this year of recession they got no such luxury not even counselling was offered.”

You may find that although he MAY have had a hand in the reports for what his own employers required of the restructuring of the council and his department in particular, he will not have had a hand in the sackings himself – that would have been a decision made by the Human Resources department. Trust me, I worked for a County Council. I know how these things work.

Jokerry wrote “The rights of workers to have a private life, and the rights of individuals to do what they want with consenting adults is fine as long as you are running your own private company and do not work in a public capacity.”

That’s just wrong on so many levels I can’t even begin!

Neal wrote: “No, just hang on a minute. What he does in private is his own business? OK, so let’s substitute “14 year old schoolboy” for “wog” or “jew”. . .”

Oh I like this one . . . taking the quote out of context. As a gay man you should realise that for some people, role-play is an intrinsic part of sex play. But I feel that even Gareth himself would be appalled at your suggestion. Dressing as a Nazi is considered extreme bad taste. Acting like one even more so. But none of this was done publicly, and there is no law in place to condemn him for what he has done. Paedophilia IS against the law. There’s a big difference. Do you work for The Mirror by any chance?

Richard B wrote “We should attack him for separating his private and public life to the point that his conscious political discourse occurs only at night, while being a council bureaucrat during the day.”

*sigh* At no point is there any proof that what he does in his private life reflects his real views. Role-play is acting. Google it if you are unclear on the definition. You obviously have access to the internet!

#11 
Written By Stephen D on March 18th, 2010 @ 4:01 pm
Reuben

Stephen D = win

#12 
Written By Reuben on March 18th, 2010 @ 6:19 pm
bluebird

I work at H&F and know Gareth personally. I can confirm that in his professional life, there has never been a shred of racism. He has always made it clear that his personal life is colourful, but without offering details and without involving any colleagues. He is tremendously hardworking, and creative, with the drive and determination to rise to a senior post in a relatively short time and to serve with distinction. If H&F do sack him, he will be a great loss to the Council and the community it serves. My sympathy to you Gareth. I suspect that I am not the only one.

#13 
Written By bluebird on March 19th, 2010 @ 7:25 am
P Portland

Thos of you who are defending Gareth Mead are misguided. Of course he should be dismissed for gross misconduct. It is not his sexual deviations he has been ‘hounded’ for, but his vile and disgusting racist texts: ‘Gas the Jews and Wogs’ for example. Do you really think this is acceptable? It is not a witch hunt – somebody who is being paid from the public purse, and who is expected to carry out the inclusive agenda (this includes gays) should not be so stupid as to send such texts. What he does in the privacy of his own home and what sexual kicks he gets is is own affair. The texts are the issue here.
Peter Portland.

#15 
Written By P Portland on March 20th, 2010 @ 12:48 pm
Stephen D

To P Portland – You obviously misread what I posted (or didn’t read it at all). Allow me to recap . . .

A sexual fetish is really no different from an actor playing a role. Many actors in the past, including such actors as Marlon Brando (The Young Lions), Michael Cain (The Eagle Has Landed) and Roger Moore (Escape to Athena), have played the role of a Nazi in the movies.

In order to portray such a role in a convincing manner, there has to be an element of authenticity to the acting. It is ludicrous to suggest that, during or after any kind of role portrayal, a person cites a disclaimer stating that whatever is expressed is not their true opinion, but only an extension of the role they are taking. Such a disclaimer during a movie or stage show would completely destroy the mood of the entertainment for the audience. This is no different in a sexual fantasy role.

Whilst I am perfectly willing and able to accept that many people find the extreme views of Nazism to be abhorrent, I am also willing and able to accept that some people find it a sexual turn on, and whilst they would feel that the reality of such extreme views would be horrific, the FANTASY is a different story. It’s really no different from other sexual fantasies that many would consider to be extreme, such as bondage or master/slave scenes involving punishment. Whilst one person would be repelled at the thought of being caned or paddled during sex, others would jump at the chance.

And I say again, it is my belief that Gareth was simply portraying a role in order to not only receive sexual gratification for himself, but also to give the same gratification to others that share the same fantasy. And I believe that Gareth knows the difference between fantasy and reality and, in no way shape or form, does he believe in what he is expressing via either text message or private conversation, other than the fact that the role play turns him on, and turns on the person he is with. Anyone involved in such a scene would be there of their own free will, and consenting to the role-play. So personally I see nothing wrong. The text messages are simply an extension of the role play, allowing him to reach people who share the same fetish and fantasies over a longer distance, just like the Internet is capable of bridging vast distances.

And before anyone asks, no, I do not share the same fantasy or fetish. I myself engage in live action (non-sexual) role-play involving wearing armour, carrying swords, and engaging in battles in open fields, and the role I play involves the brutal killing (sometimes even butchering) of enemies in battle. This does not mean that I would engage in this kind of behaviour in my day-to-day life.

In summary, Gareth PLAYS THE ROLE of a Nazi. He is only acting. He is NOT a nazi, and nor does he subscribe to their beliefs or morals.

#16 
Written By Stephen D on March 20th, 2010 @ 1:19 pm
Richard

I don’t like actors.

#17 
Written By Richard on March 21st, 2010 @ 5:35 pm
P Portand

Oh dear! Stephen you really are confused. I did read what you said and I ploughed my way through what you then said again in more detail which revealed yourself more than I guess I needed to see. I think if you were black or Jewish and was managed by Gareth in his very well paid job, you might think differently. I’ll recap: I don’t give a fish’s tit what he does in his or anyone else’s bedroom or fetish gaff. I do care though that he expounds in texts outside of these venues, his racist underbelly. I am neither Jewish nor black but am a thinking and reasonable person. He went beyond a sexual fetish into the public arena and into realms of unacceptability. It was impossible for him to maintain a high position in a flagship borough. So like it or not, that’s what most fair minded people think. He must be very miserable and I feel for him, but he could not remain. A tragedy. P

#18 
Written By P Portand on March 27th, 2010 @ 6:25 pm
Stephen D

P Portland said “I did read what you said and I ploughed my way through what you then said again in more detail which revealed yourself more than I guess I needed to see.”

Don’t try to judge me. You don’t know me. You have no idea what is in my mind or in my heart. You have no idea what my beliefs are. Whatever you THINK you saw in your so-called “revelation” is, in my opinion, most definitely wrong. Draw your conclusions elsewhere.

“I don’t give a fish’s tit what he does in his or anyone else’s bedroom or fetish gaff. I do care though that he expounds in texts outside of these venues, his racist underbelly.”

You are aware, aren’t you, that in this day and age of technology, that what you so eloquently term as “Fetish Gaffs” extends across social networks both on the internet and through other means of technology? Besides, any messages sent either via a personal message system over a website, or via SMS message over a telephone network, are private between the individual who sends the message, and the one who receives it.

“He went beyond a sexual fetish into the public arena and into realms of unacceptability.”

No he didn’t. As I just said, text messages and personal messages sent over a social networking site, be it a fetish site or Facebook, are private between the sender and receiver. The only way that this could have come into the “public arena” is if either the sender or receiver publicises those messages. And I seriously doubt that Gareth would have shown such messages to anyone outside of the “fetish”. That’s why my theory is that the receiver of the messages, for one reason or another, decided to get himself some sad level of satisfaction by publicising them. Possibly out of spite because he wanted some sexual fantasy with Gareth that Gareth was unwilling to fulfil.

The only exception to the rule of messages between individuals not being private is if those messages contain material which is illegal. And since there is no actual police involvement in this matter, despite its publicity, I would hazard a guess that nothing he said in his messages was actually illegal.

Out of clarification, I don’t share the fetish myself. But I’m open minded enough to know that there are lots of people out there that are turned on by many things.

So I repeat – don’t try to judge me before you know me. Just because I’m open minded enough to see his side of the story doesn’t mean that I share in what he gets up to. I’m just able to see things from someone else’s point of view.

#19 
Written By Stephen D on March 27th, 2010 @ 7:10 pm
Colin

What a person does behind closed doors and in their own home is their buisness

#20 
Written By Colin on April 9th, 2010 @ 4:45 pm
MARNIE

COLIN – the point is what happened wasn’t “behind closed doors and in his own home” – it was on the internet!!!

I have worked in the private sector before joining the public sector. In both sectors my private life includes activities/pastimes that harm absolutely no one but me (well risk harm to me), are considered illegal. I don’t believe they impact on my ability to do my job at all and actually potentially enhance it as they give me a break/provide an escape from the pressure of the work.

I have managed this situation for years – I am judged on who I am and what I achieve at work. The big difference between me and Gareth is that I keep the compartments completely separate and behind closed doors.

My situation is easier to manage as it is not a fetish and therefore driven by other factors apart from hedonism. My risk taking (which is high) is different Gareth’s (but equally high).

Fundamentally, I don’t put stuff on the interweb (public or subscribed) that is traceable to me (at least as easily as Gareth – I’m sure IP tracking might be possible – even though I’m using 3g to connect to this). But my main poiint is, if you put stuff on the interweb is public (despite a site being members only etc).

H&F had no option, the text msgs did for Gareth.

The bottom line is, if you want/need to compartmentalise your public and private lives (irrespective of where you work) – don’t put your private stuff onto the interweb (even where p/word protected) where it is traceable back to you. BGOO!!

MARNIE

#21 
Written By MARNIE on April 16th, 2010 @ 8:58 pm
Donna

Do I sense a personal vendetta rather than a rational debate?
The guy was not the prime minister, he was a senior manager who happened to work for the council.
The texts were sent well before he was working in a such high profile position. Text messages were private between two people, one of whom kept them for 8 years, and decided to make them public, probably got paid for that.
I don’t know Gareth but I find it disgraceful that he has been sacked for something private that happened several years ago!

#22 
Written By Donna on April 17th, 2010 @ 6:30 pm
Molly

It is clear to me that the text messages sent were in the context of sexual roleplay. Therefore it would seem reasonable logic to assert that Gareth Mead found sexual gratification or stimulation (and may still do) in the ideas of the holocaust and in particular those murdered in the horrific confines of the gas chambers of Nazi death camps such as Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka.

Whether he could have survived any sex scandal with a high profile job within a politicised environment is highly debatable and i would suggest goes with the territory. However I cant see many employers taking a different approach. And I think this is because his private sexual gratification was gained from perhaps the most horrific act perpetrated in the 20th Century – the mass murder of Jewish men, women and children. If we justify this a merely a “kink” then would it be ok to role play Hindley and Brady, Peter Sutcliff, Fred West etc etc.
One final question – was he paid for his Inside Housing interview?

#23 
Written By Molly on April 17th, 2010 @ 11:21 pm
brendan

Even as a as a Jew I support him, he has the right do this in private aside from his job, we all make mistakes. If this were however to intrude into his professional life it would be different. He should at worst be pitied, not derided. The supreme irony of this is that the NAZI’s weren’t exactly big fans of the gay community…..

No law’s look to have been broken if he hasn’t been on some “moral” high horse he should be able to stay in post.

He should only be sacked for incompetence or breaking the law

can’t he move on……

#24 
Written By brendan on April 18th, 2010 @ 12:26 pm
Molly

If this battle is worth fighting then maybe we should, while we’re at it, write to ITV to reinstate Big Ron Atkinson. After all his was only a slip of the tongue meant for private consumption when he called a footballer a “lazy n****r”. Coincidently when he was sacked he claimed he wasnt a racist either.

#25 
Written By Molly on April 18th, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

Molly, to respond to you’re earlier post I really don’t see that it matters if he “derived sexual stimulation and gratification fr the ideas of the holocaust”. And yes if it makes people happy then by all means it is “ok” for them to role play hindley etc. The essential test for finding something morally objectionable is whether it affects others. And somebody having sexual feelings that might make you uncomfortable is hardly legitimate reason for their life to be ruined.

#26 
Written By Reuben on April 19th, 2010 @ 7:49 am

Meanwhile, as I said in my previous post, deriving sexyalnpleasure from something offers no indication of support for or agreement with it.

#27 
Written By Reuben on April 19th, 2010 @ 7:54 am
Ian Townson

I think Gary Anderson, the journalist at the Sunday Mirror who ‘exposed’ Gareth Mead’s sexual preferences, must have a short memory. Max Moseley was, quite rightly, acquitted for his Nazi sexual games because the judge decided that his private life was no-one else’s concern but his own and those consenting adults that participated with him. GM’s email texts and pictures were on a gay fetish website and were intended for like-minded people. The only reason the wider public know about this and his employer at Hammersmith & Fulham Council is because Anderson snitched on him through a Sunday Mirror article. No doubt through a misgudied sense of what is in the public interest he decided that GM’s life should be ruined.

What we are looking at is a Sado-Masochistic sexual practice that is shared with others who want this kind of relationship. Whatever language was used, however unpalatable it sounds, was used in the context of a SM set up and in no way indicates the political views or practice of GM. He clearly disavows racism and in no way would condone the burning or gassing of Jews in reality.

Many people indulge in SM sex play as Master and Slave among other role playing. This does not for one moment indicate their political desire to see a return to an economic system based on the subjugation of one race by another. On the contrary. I have lost count of the number of anti-fascist/racist demonstrations I have been on over the years and am sorry to say that slavery still exists today in different parts of the globe. The fact that I indulge in Master/Slave, Top/bottom, role playing does not alter my views on the need for emancipation from slavery – wage slavery or otherwise.

I have no way of judging what GM’s empoyment practices are like. Given the pressure from the government to shed jobs in the public sector because of the recession caused by those in the Finance sector and clearly established equal rights protocols within local councils it would be difficult to advance racist empoyment practices. What? No-one noticed?

I suggest that there is more than just a hint of spite, bigotry and narrow-mindedness in those who decided to pillory GM. It isn’t helped by a government that has introduced repressive legislation against ‘violent’ images. As we know the term ‘violent’, like the anti-terrorist laws, can have a very wide, catch-all application and can be used against anyone with slightly unorthodox inclinations towards S&M or non-conformist political views. I don’t want the government to ram dull confomism down the throats of unwilling victims.

Let reason prevail rather than unthinking emotions at Hammersmith & Fulham Council. Do not sack Gareth Mead or you will have surrendered to moral and political blackmail. Remember the ‘Spanner’ case some years ago when several men were sent to prison, some for up to 5 years, for having SM sex in private? They had all met several times together but a sneaky, so-called journalist and a reactionary judge would have none of it. The judge would not even allow the defence of ‘consenting adults’. The case ruined the health of some of the defendants and probably sent one of them to an early grave. Let’s not have any more of that.

Ian Townson

#28 
Written By Ian Townson on April 19th, 2010 @ 7:58 pm
Molly

Reuben – re your initial post “So, readers and fellow bloggers, will you join me in a campaign to defend this man? We could write to the council”.

Have you written to the council yet? If so what did they say?

#29 
Written By Molly on April 19th, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

Basically I didn’t get the response from fellow bloggers I was hoping for to mount a proper campaign though some expressed private agreement and gareth was sacked far faster than I had anticipated

#30 
Written By Reuben on April 19th, 2010 @ 10:23 pm
Rob

So if he’d have been, say, a teacher, who’d been exposed as having a fetish for, say, violent underage rape role-playing, would your response have been the same?

I’m considered open-minded and would usually argue the case for privacy, and certainly the actions of the Mirror are questionable. But what course of action would you have expected the council to take?

To my mind, there is a degree of difference between finding the imagery of Nazism and the sense of brutal authoritarianism a turn-on, and talking about wogs and gassing jews. For example, if my partner and I were role-playing, as we occasionally do, then I may use language that I categorically would not use outside of role-playing. I would not, however, send her texts that involved racial or sexual epitaphs or violent – much less genocidal – imagery. Perhaps I’m not enough of a cunt, who knows. Perhaps I’m vanilla, but whilst I accept sexual fantasies are a caricature of reality, an over-exaggeration of you like, and that their allure lies in the unacceptability of the role-play, I don’t buy the idea that such fantasies are completely independent of the individual’s persona. If my partner began fantasising over rape or extreme violence or racism, then I would be extremely concerned.

The whole debate about the legitimacy of the Mirror’s expose is redundant with regard to the employer’s decision. It wasn’t Fulham & Hammersmith Council that invaded Mead’s privacy. However, once this information was public, I really fail to see how they could have acted in any other way other than to dismiss him. Particularly given the questionable record of Fulham & Hammersmith with regard to housing, and allegations of institutional racism.

Perhaps I’m a prude, but if anybody I knew talked of wogs and the holocaust in a text message, even if this was explicitly part of a sexual role-play, then I would delete the message and delete their number. I simply don’t buy the idea that a person’s sexuality and their personality are wholly independent and disconnected from one another. In Mosley’s case, and without descending into pop-psychology, I should imagine his upbringing and ancestry was relevant to his peccadillo.

The question of whether the press, in the Mead or the Mosley case, acted responsibly is valid, and I would agree that they didn’t act responsibly – but that is not relevant to whether F&HS should have sacked him. If the Mirror had invaded somebody’s privacy and subsequently exposed them as, let’s pick a crime, a bank-robber, it doesn’t make the Mirror right to invade the individual’s privacy. It also doesn’t mean the individual should be granted immunity and support. Now, if it had been the employer or the state playing the role of the Mirror, you might have a point.

#31 
Written By Rob on April 21st, 2010 @ 6:10 pm
Ian Townson

There is no difference to my mind in sending emails or even making phone calls as part of role playing. Verbal abuse has long been a staple of SM relationships and the content of that abuse should remain uncensored simply because it is private and not intended for public consumption. The journalist at the Sunday Times was responsible for making Gareth Mead’s fetishes public hence he and his editor are to to blame for all the controversy that followed. Hammersmith & Fulham Council could have defended GM but they didn’t. They sacked him instead. I consider this to be a cowardly act because they have now endorsed the right of the media to police private life and act like thought police. It isn’t the job of H&F council to act like right-wing moral crusaders to enforce conformity to ‘one size fits all’ sexual preferences.

Let’s be clear about what hasn’t happened. No jews have been gassed and no individuals have been subjected to racist violence by GM or as a consequence of his actions or words. In other words no crimes have been committed. With the example given by Rob of the teacher who has a violent, underage rape role-playing fetish I would advance the same argument. No-one underage is acutally subjected to rape or violence. You cannot have a crime when there are no victims. That’s what I find so tragic and infuriating about this whole episode. GM has been castigated and lost his job – not for what he did do but for what he didn’t do.

Ian Townson

#32 
Written By Ian Townson on April 21st, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

I could not agree more with Ian Townson. As regards the hypothetical teacher described by rob, people should be prosecuted when they break the law, not when we they behave in a way that leads us to speculate that they might. This is one of the basics of loving in a free society. We don’t do “pre-crime”.

#33 
Written By Reuben on April 21st, 2010 @ 11:31 pm
Ian townson

Is anyone in touch with Gareth Mead? If so can he be persuaded to take his case up with ‘Liberty’ or the Spanner Trust, syympathetic MPs or even the Press Complains Commission. For his own sake and to prevent future witch hunts.

#34 
Written By Ian townson on April 25th, 2010 @ 6:10 pm
Mike

Firstly I feel terribly sorry for Gareth. In fact I feel terribly sorry for anyone dismissed from their employment through dubious means. There are a number of things though that I don’t understand.
While it is our own personal business what happens in our private life, when we are in certain positions of responsibility we ARE accountable for our actions. That is a fact of life. Gareth obviously let his guard down and with the passage of time took less and less precaution with his communications and trust. It is easy to do, the longer we go undetected the more familiar we become and the end result is we become careless. That can cost us dearly. Gareth I am sure, is the first to admit that the Council had no other option considering the position he held and the terrible publicity it generated coupled with his own carelessness that got him into this awful predicament.

There is one other point though. Who would be vengeful enough to do such a thing after 8 years? And why? What was the motive about going to the press? The reason of the tazpayers money is absolute rubbish. There is and was a far deeper motive behind this, whether it is vengeance or politics or hatred of Gareth, something just doesn’t add up. I have had a few mobile phones in the last 8 years. I have not known one to last that long. 8 years is a long time to keep a text message(s). Even if the person printed them out,why? What was the purpose of keeping them for so long? This I find is the problem for me. Is there a Political reason for this and Gareth is just a pawn? Is someone else behind all of this? My heart goes out to Gareth. I can only imagine his feeling the morning he saw the “rag” the Daily Mirror and it’s sleaze. I would have died. The british gutter press thrive on it and people buy them for that reason.

I feel he is a scapegoat for some reason. He was careless and trusted the wrong people. He paid the price for being careless. We may be living in the 21st century but it is a warning to us all to be careful.

#35 
Written By Mike on April 27th, 2010 @ 2:49 am
Bluebird

Yes, completely agree with the last comment. I have great faith that Gareth will recover from this and reappear stronger than before. Good luck to you Gareth! The most interesting thing is the person who kept the texts for eight years and their reasons for selling them now. Could be market potential just before an election, but if he was that sort of person, it is odd he didn’t try a bit of blackmail in the years in between. Gareth says he didn’t know anyone had kept the texts. Anyone know anyone at the Mirror who might spill? Their confidentiality rules are a bit lax sometimes.

#36 
Written By Bluebird on April 27th, 2010 @ 5:59 am
Ian Townson

I think Mike and Bluebird are right to highlight the forthcoming elections in this sad and sorry episode. The journalist at the Mirror may well have wanted to discredit Hammersmith & Fulham Council for political reasons. Likewise the council, for their own political reasons, may not have wanted to defend Gareth Mead’s controversial lifestyle. They would run the risk of losing votes. Typically this is what happens at election times when there is a race to the gutter as far as principles and decent values are concerned. Opportunism abounds. Witness Gordon Brown,s grovelling apology for calling a woman’s views on immigration ‘bigoted’. He clearly held that opinion but realised it might lose votes for New Labour. I am sure there are other examples of this kind.

I agree with Mike about people in public office being accountable for their actions. But not in their private life. What is important here Is how well or otherwise Gareth served members of the public in the office that he holds. His private life does not impinge on this.

Ian Townson

#37 
Written By Ian Townson on April 29th, 2010 @ 1:02 pm
Brigitte

I have tried to get in touch with Gareth. We used to meet at meetings. I have never sent a letter about someone without prior agreement from whoever was concerned. However, in this case I did write two letters of complaints about his dismissal, one to G. Alltimes and one to the Leader of the Council. I haven’t been able to give him a copy of these letters. I would be most grateful if he could ring me so that I could hand them on to him. Please note that I have very limited access to a PC and it is better to contact me on 0770 953 9776. Many thanks.
I missed his friendly face at the last meeting and so did others.

#38 
Written By Brigitte on May 2nd, 2010 @ 4:21 pm
Brigitte

Dear Gareth,
Please let me know if you want to join us for a day trip to Brighton organised by Pauline. You will be my guest but free to do whatever you want once in Brighton. The trip is on Friday 14th May, departure in front of the Apollo in Hammersmith at 9.00 a.m. I had a stroke in late January this year and I am struggling, recovering too slowly. Pauline would be very pleased to see you. You can ring me or text me but I cannot text you back. I tried your phone number but I could not get through.
Kind regards.

#39 
Written By Brigitte on May 9th, 2010 @ 5:41 pm
Brigitte

Dear Gareth,
I had today an opportunity to have a look at some pictures of you and some national and local newspapers articles as the owner of this PC is away for a few days. I am only a shared user and my mail can be read. It was a very sad reading but that makes my letters dated 27th March 2010 to Mr. All times and to Stephen Greenhalgh dated 8th April 2010 more interesting: I got it spot on on certain issues. I hope I will have a chance to hand them over to you with their replies. I was for a long time enjoying a student life. I am still a student (ECDL level 3). I was a student at Holborn College from 1965 to 1975. I just loved my College and went on so many courses. In order to pay for my room etc. I was, through our Welfare Officer, an au pair (1967 was the year of the au pair) and later on a very well paid telex operator working unsocial hours (6.00 pm to 9.00 pm) unless I went to the Marquee Club. I had to settle down eventually and worked as a very senior secretary from 1970 to 1993. We went through massive waves of redundancies in 1974-1975, in 1980 and 1993 (massive compulsory “voluntary redundancies” and relocations. During these periods even strict teetotallers were dismissed for being drunk and disorderly. I started to fight in employment tribunals in 1980 where, invariably, I failed at the mudslinging, “rent a mob” stage, getting it right at the EAT where my skeleton arguments and points of law were always winners. It is now obvious that there is a new massive wave of redundancies. Instead of being open, acting responsibly and making sure employees receive their entitlements like Westminster Council, certain employers are playing dirty tricks to by-pass everything, even their duty to notify their redundancy numbers to the Secretary of State concerned. However, during my 21 years of activity in employment tribunals, I have never seen a case as destructive as yours, when the gutter press is used to such an extent. An employment tribunal rule is that an employer should not use a sledge hammer to crack a nut. That rule has been broken. That is also whey, at a particular meeting, I said it should be whoever did that to you who should be dismissed, not you. They even did it “coup double” with the Ombudsman case that should have been appealed against. It went in all the newspapers, except the FT. As a French national, I cannot understand why, with such poor resources and a trainee social worker available, she did not go for help tothe French Consulate, claiming la protection consulaire. I raised this issue with whoever was “the contact” at the Council. She replied she would have been repatriated. This is nonsense and I know better how the French react in crises, having myself a crisis room. I hope your “co-operation” is paying off.
From January 1994 to March 1996 I was in a redeployment centre with 352 senior gas engineers and one senior manager. A 12-week stay was the norm but I managed to beat the system and told my colleagues how to do it. British Gas plc had to sell the building to get rid of us. That is another story.
It is a pity you did not come with us in Brighton. Their Regeneration is nearly over, with gleaming white houses etc. but extremely puzzling. All the houses are empty, on sale at increadibly high London prices (£350,000 for a studio of 25 sq.m.). It was very sunny, very warm all day. We came back with a suntan, feeling wonderful. Pauline is priceless. Our next trips are Garstons Far (13th June) and Southsea (18th July). I know she would be so pleased if you join us. Let me know.
My e-mail address is blardier@talktalk.net but for you only. I am the generation of the Singing London, not tweeters.
We hope you are well. Kind Regards.

#40 
Written By Brigitte on May 16th, 2010 @ 4:06 pm
Mo

Oh dear o dear Ruben,

Please go waste your time defending someone who deserve to be defended or at least you knew the person personally. He was my boss, yet a few years prior to that he was a simple adaptation officer working way below my level. Suddenly he had a job as the head of social housing??? without an interview???? then he risen again and again without any job interviews to the assistant director and then acting director??? How are these possible?? Well rumours within had it that he was shagging some advisers to a high positioned minister (very high position man I am not about to repeat as the rumours had it). In my over 22 years of being public servant in Hammersmith and Fulham Council I have seen injustice in employment etc. but nothing like this. He was recommended by the adviser of a top dog politician. All this unjust no interview promotions happened soon as Conservatives won the previous local elections.
Now Gareth Mead didnt like foreigners and he done his outmost to get rid of them. He has hired many external consultants who cost the tax payers huge amount of money to do his dirty work for him as Gareth himself has had no intelligence nor the qualification neither the know how to avoid being called a blatant racists. So these celever consultants who were good in icing the cake in a devious way. they were able in making a swerage look like a rat palace. So re-organisation after re-organisation was implemented by this lowly man Gareth mead. This man if you saw him or spoke to him face to face you wont believe he is the acting director of a massive social housing dept. He has no confidence, low self esteem and bitchy, who doesnt look you in the eye. But he is very very devious in a very very unprofessional way. He stab people from behind if he could but he used public money in order for consultants who were good with words to do his dirty jobs like a puppet. One of these consultants who still is getting paid for by tax payers and this over 3 years or so was assigned to do Gareth’s dirty work in my department. The only aim: get rid of me because I am not a white person and that I had some run ins with this worm in the past. He has utilised tax payers money (I am talking about huge amount), in order to achieve that. He replaced me (22 years of experience) with someone who has been recruited recently as an admin officer doing odd jobs, but this guy was a white male. I have received a huge amount of money for redundancy and at the age of only 50 will be receiving my enhanced pension whilst I could serve my customers for another 15 years at least and pay huge amount of tax contributions as well but no gareth wanted no foreigner manager. I also took tribunal action against this worm details of which I cannot discuss. All and all this is the kind of service he was delivering staff, customers and public in general.
This man has made so many families miserable and jobless. This man has caused tremendous amount of pain and suffering and depression and other health related issues. This man has caused so many family to disintegrate and divorce because of the financial difficulties this rat has caused. He is only tasting a slight little taste of his own medicine which I believe 1000% he desreve. He did not deserve to be in that post to begin with as I explained. He shagged his way up to the top without deserving it or having had an interview for all the acting posts he was handed out.
This man has not yet even started to pay for his wrong doings. I strongly believe in payback time being here and now so hell and paradise are something he has to wait for but right now he is paying back for what he did to many many innocent people. If being a foreigner is a crime then I plead guilty, but thankfully its not, but being a nazi and a coward who waste public money for his own personal sick satisfactions is an offence. This is called gross misconduct. I am honestly the happiest man to have seen this happened so rightfully. God you are up there I believe in you and thank you again you have listened to me in those long sleepless nights full of anxiety and depression I have suffered at the hand of this lowly disgusting ugly inhuman thing.
Ruben go waste your breath for someone more deserving. trust me you would have felt the same way if you could only listen to many many stories like this from so many many other people he has unnecessarily put through hell. Hell is here for Gareth and I am enjoying in a very sick way I never knew I am capable of.

#41 
Written By Mo on November 1st, 2010 @ 2:45 pm
Ian Townson

Dear Mo,

I am sorry it has taken so long to reply and I don’t know if this thread is still open. If all that you say is true about Gareth then those corrupt practices and obnoxious ways of behaving and acting that he indulged in should have been dealt with by senior managers or the Director or better still your trade union. He should have been challenged at the time and brought to book over his unacceptable practices at work. However, my point still stands. He wasn’t sacked for any of the things you mentioned. He was sacked for actions taken in private between consenting adults that harmed no-one. We only knew about this because a misguided newspaper reporter chose to ‘expose’ it. I defy anyone to find a victim in all of this. That’s why I stick to my original position. It was absoulutely wrong to sack him because of his private life and, if he can’t be reinistated, than at least an apology shouldbe forthcoming.

Ian T

#42 
Written By Ian Townson on January 9th, 2011 @ 2:59 pm
John Spencer

I have just read Mo’s comments, a colleague alerted me to them. I knew Gareth he was my manager some years back and I also know and the person calling himself Mo on here, he too was once my manager. I know who I much preferred, without a shadow of a doubt- Gareth. Genuine, open and honest and interested in his staff. Mo was the very opposite, he often sought to blame those around him for his own incompetency and would often make wild accusations. He wasn’t particularly liked and reading his harsh comments here is very typical of his approach. I feel sorry for him.

#43 
Written By John Spencer on January 19th, 2011 @ 9:47 pm
eugene o'connell

The vitriolic content leaves me reluctant to say more.

#44 
Written By eugene o'connell on January 20th, 2011 @ 7:48 pm
John Spencer

Have just read Mo’s comments again, Gareth should seriously consider taking libel action.

“Hell is here for Gareth and I am enjoying in a very sick way I never knew I am capable of”. No surprise there, we all knew you were capable of it.

#45 
Written By John Spencer on January 20th, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

A really interesting read, how did the newspapers actually get hold of the information and whose right is it to sack the guy for his private live. I’ve read the comparisons and it’s almost like been branded a terrorist for enjoying a quick game of Call of Duty on an evening. It’s interesting what the world is actually coming to in the name of political correctness.

#46 
Written By Gary Thomason on February 22nd, 2011 @ 12:21 pm
donny

less upset at his sad kinks. more upset by the way he’s allegedly treated other workers, which is something that should be investigated.

Mainly upset at the pricks who decided anyone working for the council should get paid £90k per year?!?!??! WTF. is that really necessary? They should be sacked also. actually maybe they should be gassed.

#47 
Written By donny on March 23rd, 2011 @ 2:58 pm
david

Sometimes a sex fetish is just a sex fetish. I think the morally offended public needs to get laid. When my sweet girlfriend wants to tie me up and treat me like crap, I don’t think that she’s a stark raving man-hater. What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. It comes down to sexual illiteracy and our puritanical past.

#48 
Written By david on November 24th, 2011 @ 9:58 am

Only just found this today, Sun 22 April 2012, bit late I daresay, but if anyone knows of Gareths where abouts, or how he is?, which is more to the point, feel free to let me know at 636363@btconnect.com, thankyou.
The last time I spoke to Gareth was by phone back in late 2000 whilst I lived in Margate/Broadstairs, I rented a flat from Gareth between 1998 to late 2000.

I have now lived at Crystal Palace since December 2002 to present, anyway, I thankyou in adavance for any information regarding Gary/Gareth Mead, Regards, Tom.

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