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Brown’s office criticises “garbage” gay voting report

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  1. What a partisan article!This website is increasingly becoming more pro Cameron.Gordon Brown has a low divisions attendance record. So he missed many votes, but it doesn’t mean that he’s against them.You could have gone behind in time and checked the vote on the age of consent in the previous parliament to see he supported the equal age of consent in 1994.Before accusing people of being homophobic, it would be better to ask them and not drawing conclusions from some stats that aren’t even definitive in proving the point.

  2. peterrivendell 27 Jul 2006, 11:01am

    If you’re going to be an elected member of parliament and a senior government minister than one should participate in the parliamentary process – like Ruth Kelly, who seems to have disappeared from public life – we need to know whether he is voting against by his absence.Brown is yesterday’s man. I believe that Alan Johnson – who has all the qualities Brown lacks – will be the next Labour leader. After all, it’s not up to Yo Blair.

  3. “If you’re going to be an elected member of parliament and a senior government minister than one should participate in the parliamentary process “All ministers have low attendance records in voting divisions, becayse they’re busy with their ministerial work. it doesn’t mean they don’t support them.PinkNews could have asked him an interview or asked some comments (they seem so happy to have comments from Francis Maude almost everytime) instead of lunching an attack of that sort.

  4. peterrivendell 27 Jul 2006, 11:34am

    Fair enough – although I think that’s a massive and convenient excuse. And yet… The question has been asked, let him answer it.

  5. peterrivendell, I was probably be a bit OTT previously, but being a Brown’s fan, it would be very disappointing for me.Gordon has a number of gay people in his entourage: Nick Brown is a strong ally and Spencer Livermore is his Chief Political and Strategy Adviser.I should tone down the “partisan” accusation too…it was just that Conservatives’ U turn over previous positions seem to be let unchallanged.

  6. What a great article. Andrea says Gordon once supported an equal age of consent. He must be getting more homophobic as he gets older. Well done Pink News. This is a great piece of research and reporting, and if Labour wants to get our support its leaders should prove they deserve that support.Come on Gordon, tell us why you’ve given up supporting us since Labour was elected in 1997.

  7. Phil, being absent doesn’t mean not supporting something.I also find it a bit unfair….it even stated that Cameron has a bette record when infact he voted against some piece of legislations about gay rights.

  8. peterrivendell 27 Jul 2006, 12:22pm

    The simple answer is to direct the question at him. Ruth Kelly became very vague and generic when challenged on her attitudes.

  9. “The simple answer is to direct the question at him. “Natually. But I was expecting a direct question at him in this piece. That’s why I didn’t like it.I would have liked the journalist going directly to him (well, his spokeperson) and ask.I agree about Kelly.

  10. Benjamin Cohen 27 Jul 2006, 1:51pm

    Hi, It’s Benjamin Cohen, consultant Editor of The Pink News.We are in the process of getting a statement from Gordon Brown.The article was published first in our print edition, which goes to press a week in advance. For that reason, we stuck to a research based article rather than seeking reactions.If you notice, unlike most pieces, we do not have the views of any parties or leading gay figures. They will appear in an article to be published later today.Ben

  11. Benjamin Cohen. Thanks for the confirmation that you’ll ask GB a clarification/justification

  12. peterrivendell 28 Jul 2006, 1:51pm

    No reply yet then?

  13. Sounds like he’s rattled from all this blustering by his press secretary

  14. ” fact is that if the Whips believe the legislation was ‘flagship’ this suggests that someone who themselves seeks to become Prime Minister should also attend.”Using this logic, it would mean that Blair wasn’t supporting his “flagship” legislation, because he missed the Civil Partnership and Section 28 votes

  15. peterrivendell 28 Jul 2006, 11:12pm

    Er… what tax changes to benefit gay couples?I hadn`t realised the governement wasn’t a voting democracy either…

  16. peterrivendell 28 Jul 2006, 11:13pm

    And… no denial either.

  17. ” And… no denial either.”oh, please! The denial is implicit in th garbage comment

  18. Why should we want a man who can’t be bothered to stand by his gay and lesbian constituents.Another Prime Ministerial candidate – one who cares about his or her constituents, as well as the rights of people throughout the UK – would be a much better choice.

  19. Isn’t the very fact that there have been so many pro-gay votes a teensy bit of a clue of the difference between the Tories and Labour? Yeh, let’s start knocking the government which brought us equality, repealed section 28, brought in civil partnerships and had the first openly gay cabinet minister. Brown is the second most senior member of the government and for the editor of Pink Paper to say the votes were ‘outside office hours’ only shows his ignorance of the political system. Does he really think Gordon Brown and Tony Blair clock off at 5pm? What a joke.

  20. Everyone knows the Tories can’t be trusted. The article was about Gordon Brown not about party politics.Brown still has a lot of explaining to do. Why did he miss all 14 votes since 1997. Surely it can’t be coincidence and just calling the story “garbage” simply won’t do. What we need is a convincing explanation.

  21. Gordon Brown will have co-written the Labour manifestos which chucked out the Tories’ homophobia and introduced pro-gay legislation; he would have co-written the various Queens Speeches which have introduced them to parliament; he would have participated in the cabinet and cabinet committee meetings which discussed the policies in depth – does none of this count? As one of the most senior ministers, he is not required to vote unless the vote is really tight. What Pink News is saying is that this may make him a homophobe – as if none of the above matters! If he is a homophobe, why has he employed Ann Keen as his parliamentary private secretary for so many years – she flagshipped the equality and anti-section 28 legislation – and why does he employ an openly gay special adviser? Let’s not forget that something very significant happened when Thatcher’s Tories were at their homophobic worst – a young David Cameron signed up and joined them.

  22. peterrivendell 31 Jul 2006, 12:05pm

    “oh, please! The denial is implicit in th garbage comment”- a refusal to answer the question is implicit in the garbage comment.No one is questioning Labour’s policies on gay issues – even their second-class “marriage” legislation – but we now have to question the personal opinions of at least two significant Cabinet ministers.

  23. “a refusal to answer the question is implicit in the garbage comment.”I take it as an answer.Then you can take it whatever you like it.

  24. I have been a member of the Labour Party for 36 years.I have just resigned from the Party. After my retirement I worked as a volunteer in the constituency office of a junior minister.In 2003 just after retirement my partner of 42 years was diagnosed with kidney cancer which became terminal the following year.The two years of fighting this cancer with two 12 hour operations and two stints of 3month hospital stays,paraplegia,chemotherapy and the like were traumatic.Our case was quoted during the debate on the Civil Partnerships Act in November 2004 as typical of the hardship suffered by gay couples in bereavement by Charles Hendry ,Tory MP for Wealden.A desperate fight against cancer with the survivor facing massive financial penalties. My MP wrote twice to his colleague Jacqui Smith,the ministerial sponsor of the Bill, about our predicament which I knew from Stonewall was far from unique,and about the need for speedy implementation of the Bill.I then began to hear from within the Labour Party that the Bill was opposed by the Chancellor and that his last stand against it was to be refusal to give Treasury sanction to the Inheritance Tax Exemption and Pension Rights.In the face of human rights legislation ,Brown eventually had to give in BUT he petulantly delayed the implementation of the Bill by six months.In consequence I spent 6 weeks beginning immediately after the funeral filling out form IHT200 and its 22 supplementaries.The house has been up for sale 9 months and I did not receive a penny of my partner’s pension after his 41 years of teaching and paid almost £100,000 of our joint savings and investments and the value of our joint home in Inheritance Tax.As a local Labour Councillor remarked to me just before my partner died..”I have been married 3 months and I have more rights than you who have been a couple for 42 years.”Brown is an arsehole..the Treasury comments are bullshit and the gay rights legislation has had to come because of the European Community albeit delayed as long as it could be.Don’t accept the spin that is has all been New Labour’s doing…take it from an insider as was..it hasn’t.

  25. First – any UK government would have had to bring into law all this legislation for Gay Rights – it is enshrined within the European Union Treaty.Any failure to do so would have meant the European Court for New Labour AGAIN!Second – anyone who took the trouble to watch the final debate in the House of Commons on the Civil Partnerships Act would not have failed to be impressed by the almost totally disinterested speeches from the Government Front Bench – they seemed to be just going through the motions -“Why have we been saddled with this?” In a briliant contrast the speeches from Charles Hendry and Alan Duncan were just superb with real eloquence and conviction.We have had no endorsement from the last Manchester Labour Conference but we did get it from David Cameron at the Tory Conference.I promise you that progress on Gay Rights will stop when Brown walks into No.10.

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