Was he not aware of their links to the Polish bigots?
I mean every reader of this website and his dog knew of it.
I don’t trust Summerskill and I reckon he’s doing this for PR purposes.
After Stonewall made themselves so ridiculous and irrelevant yesterday with their pathetic attempts to ban number plates I reckon they didn’t want 2 days of consecutive PR disasters.
That’s what you get by being out of touch with the population on whose behalf you are supposed to speak I suppose.
On this issue, I’m happy to agree with Simon Murphy. Another silly stunt by a prominent left-winger.
A very stupid and short-sighted act to just pull out. Summerskill should have stayed in his corner and fought from his corner. Now, he has commited a self-defeating faux pas. The opportunity to put any LGBT points of view stupidly abandoned!
Seems like he was damned if he pulled out, and damned if he didn’t. Plenty of people lining up to criticise him either way.
No4: George: “Seems like he was damned if he pulled out, and damned if he didn’t. Plenty of people lining up to criticise him either way.”
What he SHOULD have done was issued a press release BEFORE the conference stating that the Tory alliance with extreme right Polish homophobes meant that he couldn’t attend the conference as it raised far too serious doubts over the stated Tory commitment to equality.
That would have been fine. Instead he went along to suck up to his possible future employers but realised that his own self-interest would have been exposed by doing so.
I agree . . . you are all right in my view, partly because I feel they were placed in a no win (double bind) situation.
Ben Summerskill is adicted to his own PR. He probably couldn’t stand the fact that someone might get a bit more publicity than him.
NuTories same old fascist ideals of: rob the cash from the poorest of our citizens and rob equality and justice most marginalised groups in our society and give it all to the rich.
The only thing new about the NuTories is the logo.
I am inclined to agree; Ben knew about this fneo nazi link before the conference so I am suprised he accepted the invite in the first place, but Yes, maybe as he was there he should have castigated them for it and urged LGBT people to beware of Tories Bearing gifts!!
On the other hands, people, his pulling out has embarrassed the Tories and brought their alliance with the East European homophobes into greater focus.
I can’t say I’m a fan of Stonewall but would you listen to yourselves. He should have done it my way or this way, i’m right he’s wrong. The man can’t win.
In my opinion I think he did the right thing, however thats only an opinion.
HES DONE THE RIGHT THING GUYS – ITS A TARGETED THING TO DRAW MAXMUM PUBLICITY TO SHOW THE TORIES IT IS A PROBLEM> GOOD FOR BEN!!
Ben is a self-publicist. He was very happy to share the stage with David Cameron at the Conservative London Pride event, even to donate to a raffle supporting the Conservatives, but the slightest hint the NuLabour luvvies didn’t approve and he makes a noise. The man is in danger of allowing his own self-importance to overshadow the important work Stonewall does to raise awareness of the need for true equality.
Nobody can possibly make any positive points by remaining silent or by “not being there”. Silence may be taken to mean anything a body has a mind to put to it; you can’t defend yourslf or make any point by remaining silent.
Sorry, Ben; a misguided action and a missed opportunity.
His office say this story isn’t true; but it’s fairly obvious it is.
There is something not quite right here. I fear Mr Summerskill is trying, as ever, to be all things to all men.
Stonewall should be trying to make allies at a time when the party in power may change. It has always believed in making change from within – and this would of been a good opportunity.
Perhaps he shied away from the event after a dressing-down from Stonewall Trustee/Founder and Labour supporter Ian McKellen?
How funny to see all the anti-Tory stuff on here … again! Would that any of it was true!
I spoke with Ben Summerskill after the Stonewall fringe meeting on Wednesday – the day after the Conference Pride event (which incidentally was heaving until 4am).
Ben explained that Stonewall had taken the decision a few weeks before not to attend the event. This was due to discussion with the charity commission as this was a fundraising event whereas Stonewall is a charity. There had also been issues with the Party surrounding who would be attending and guaranteeing the impartiality of Stonewall as an apolitical organisation. For those reasons, Ben and Stonewall didn’t attend the event.
If anyone watches the video, Ben says absolutely nothing as to why he wasn’t attending other than “you’ll have to draw your own conclusions”. It seems many people have put 2 and 2 together and got ever answer other than 4.
The media reported that Stonewall had boycotted the event at the 11th hour which simply isn’t true. Stone wall had made this decision weeks before the event and before conference. However, the media turned it into something it wasn’t as a ‘boycott’ sounds much better than simply not attending.
Deputy Chairman, LGBTory