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General Election 2010

Comment: David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s shotgun civil partnership is best option for the gay community

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  1. I agree – once it became crystal clear Labour wouldn’t win or equal the Tories, the best outcome to hope for was a ConLib coalition over a plain Tory majority. There really weren’t any alternative scenarios within the realm of possibility.

  2. dave wainwright 13 May 2010, 12:34am

    Con Dem, Lib Con, Con lib? I prefer Con Dems

  3. Homophobic is NOT a little strong. They are bigots. For goodness sake Pink News – how much more of an apologist for homophobia can you be? Just because it comes from the Tories doesn’t mean it isn’t bigotry

    These cabinet positions – especially the Equality minister – shows that when considering a coalition the LAST thing the vaunted Lib Dems considered was our rights. It shows, in the great game of give and take – the Lib Dems were happy to give up on gays

    And our agenda moved further down the priority list? Are you delusional? Do you actually think our agenda is going to be given ANY priority by this government? Do you think we’ll gain ANYTHING under the Tory Lib/Dem alliance that we would have had under a Tory minority government?

  4. silly billy 13 May 2010, 12:46am

    Who writes these articles?

  5. I was wondering the same thing, silly billy.

    The loss of gay cabinet ministers is no small thing. I think Pink News will soon realize this.

  6. I agree with PinkNews, it is the best thing for us now. Still would have prefered Labour but Tories with the Lib Dems is better than Cameron alone.

  7. John Kirkman 13 May 2010, 1:06am

    This article both underestimates the inherent homophobia of the Tories, especially in figures such as Theresa May and Baroness Wasi, but also generally across all the cabinet members, who, despite ‘European Rulings’ voted against important ‘hearts and minds’ legislation such as section 28 – even David Cameron himself.

    The writer also underestimates the amazing things Labour did for the gay community – these weren’t just ‘good’ things, they were amazing and they have meant that not only are gay people legally more equal but most importantly gay people are now on the road to be more accepted socially.

    That the Tories attempted to vote down this legislation and that at least 4 members of the Conservative party in this election have made what some might consider ‘homosceptic’, others down right bigoted and archaic, views about gay people being unnatural at the most offensive, is disgusting and I shall not rest until the Tories are out on their ear.

    NO, the gay community should NOT be happy that the Lib Dems, who you claim most voted for, have gotten into bed with the Tories. They should be deeply troubled, offended and angry that the party they voted for who portrayed themselves as a centre left part in favour, heavily, of gay rights, should form a coallition with a man and party whose track record on gay right is appalling.

  8. John Kirkman- the article says the new government should not allow mps to vote against gay rights measures. Did you read that bit?

  9. paul canning 13 May 2010, 1:58am

    It’s pretty brave and (?) unprecedented and grown up for pinknews to, effectively, publish an editorial. Good on ya.

    Some Labour supporters are apoplectic about the coalition but it simply has to be given a chance. The signed agreement promises to reverse what they have refused to acknowledge – or, as important, do anything about – as the worst aspects of Labour rules.

    A very good example would be the locking up of asylum seeking children but there are plenty more. Labour has shown again and again that it would ‘throw under the bus’ countless people in a belief that its ‘base’ would approve.

    Fact is they came late to LGBT equality. Three years in simply nothing had happened and it’s good (though rare) to see the acknowledgment here of them being forced by European Court rulings.

    The Tory equalities manifesto though is testament to the cultural transformation helped by Labour. Obviously I agree Tory homophobes but as gay Tories like Iain Dale and many others have been saying, we have been part of transforming this party.

    I fail to see how a Tory transformation isn’t ‘good for the gays’ and it’s just partisanship and decisively NOT ‘good for the gays’ to not acknowledge that.

  10. Patrick James 13 May 2010, 2:49am

    paul canning writes:

    I fail to see how a Tory transformation isn’t ‘good for the gays’

    There hasn’t been any “Tory tranformation” nor will there be.

    The key roles that matter to LGBT equality in the cabinet are taken by people with a right wing social outlook.

    The fantasy of this “transformation” was on very thin ground while the Conservatives were in opposition, now that the cabinet has been selected the post election statement is utterly clear.

    The powerful people in the Conservative party are the right wing. That’s why they have all the top jobs.

  11. Patrick James 13 May 2010, 3:00am

    Sparky writes:

    Do you think we’ll gain ANYTHING under the Tory Lib/Dem alliance that we would have had under a Tory minority government?

    Well, of course not.

    I suspect that Cameron is breathtakingly dishonest and simply cons people around him.

    Nick Herbert prostituted his soul to maintain the pretence that the Conservatives had undergone some “transformation” and now look where he is.

    I would feel sorry for Nick Herbert but his white-washing of the Conservative party’s alliance and advancement of the Polish Law and Justice party in the European Parliament was the most disgusting activity of any LGBT spokesperson I have ever seen.

  12. Patrick James 13 May 2010, 3:08am

    I saw this rather illuminating breakdown of the cabinet:

    Millionaires : 23

    White : 29

    Black : 0

    Asian :1

    Men: 26

    Women: 4

    I guess we could add LGBT: 0 ?

  13. Patrick James 13 May 2010, 3:30am

    paul canning writes:

    it’s good (though rare) to see the acknowledgment here of them [Labour] being forced by European Court rulings.

    If you had experience of living in a country where the state really was being forced by European Court of Human Rights rulings to bring about LGBT reform you would see that it was a very different story from that in the UK where we have seen a Labour government introduce legislation either in advance of ECHR or without opposition to ECHR, in effect in total agreement with ECHR.

    paul canning writes:

    Labour has shown again and again that it would ‘throw under the bus’ countless people in a belief that its ‘base’ would approve.

    I think you need to be a bit more specific before you start writing statements like that.

    paul canning writes:

    gay Tories like Iain Dale and many others have been saying, we have been part of transforming this party.

    LGBT Conservatives like Iain Dale and a few others claim they have been transforming the Conservative party but in fact all they have been doing is covering up the appalling homophobia within the Conservatives, white-washing the Conservative parties associations with the far right in the European Parliament, covering up that the Conservative party itself behaves like a far right party in the European Parliament, re-writing history – suggesting that the Labour party only processed legislation as it was “forced to” by the European Parliament for example.

    That the Conservative party has undergone some form of transformation on LGBT issues is a complete myth.

  14. Pumpkin Pie 13 May 2010, 4:19am

    I liked the article. I may not agree with everything (who ever does?), but I thought it was balanced and made an interesting read. I agree that the current situation is the best we could have hoped for, even if it’s far from ideal. Better a compromised Tory government than if they called a snap election and got a clean majority. Sometimes, the best you can realistically hope for is the lesser of two evils.

    That is, supposing the Lib Dems actually manage to be a successful moderating influence. If they become Tory stooges, then that’s the last time I ever vote for them.

  15. BrazilBoysBlog 13 May 2010, 4:38am

    @13 “That the Conservative party has undergone some form of transformation on LGBT issues is a complete myth.”

    I totally agree… However, The whole PinkNews Comment is also correct..

    Given the fact that Labour was going to lose power, then the Tories forming a government with the support (and watchful eye) of the Lib Dems is the best outcome. The alternative could have been an outright Tory majority and that would have been a disaster for gay equality and, I believe, the whole of the country.

    I think the most important thing now is for the Lib Dems to be strong and no push-over for the Conservatives. I agree with the PN comment that it is not enough for Cameron to be held hostage by the right wing of his party now.. They can (and will) only rule with the support of the Lib Dems. Nick Clegg must never let Cameron (or the Tory cabinet bigots, homophobes and homo-sceptics) forget this!

  16. it’s at most a courageous, potentially contradictory and strange mix. the trial has begun. let’s see what happens

  17. Nick Herbert decides whats best for him, but we must not allow ourselves to be treated as sacrificial lambs or tokens in politics. equality is equality

  18. @Patrick James – presumably you would rather unsuitable people are parachuted into cabinet roles just so long as they are gay, women, black, asian?

    For example Ben Bradshaw in the last government. Minister for ‘culture’. He didn’t know who Roman Polanski was when the subject came up on Question Time – only one of the most famous film-makers in the world, not to mention prominent in the news that week due to his arrest in Switzerland.

    But at least Bradshaw was gay eh?

  19. “I think that we [Republicans] can do more to reach out to certain groups such as Hispanics, whose values on things like the family are in line with Republican values, and the party is already striving to do so,” says Stacy Hilliard, a Texan adviser to Philip Davies, a Conservative MP. “It’s very similar in relation to the Conservative Party reaching out to the Asian community here. Traditional Muslim values are very in line with conservative values, for example.”

    The article above has 2 pages

  20. Never Kissed a Tory 13 May 2010, 7:04am

    How daft is Pink News? All through the election you promoted the Tories, yet their support collapsed when LGBT people looked at them properly. Now this daft article. Where is the LibDems supposed commitment to equality with that cabinet, that agreement and their support for that party? Join LGBT Labour and let’s start fighting again for our equality – we will need to.

  21. John Kirkman 13 May 2010, 8:05am


    My comment didn’t really refer to the Tory’s future legislation but both its past record and also comments made by for of its PPCs during the election. I accept that the Conservatives have attemtped to make changes and the policy you mention is a step forward, but the quite obviously Conservative writer of this comment article ignores the amazing things Lavoir did for the gay community and the track record they have on gay rights – starting with Ken Linvingstone in the 80s my comment was also about the fact that many gay lib Dem voters who didn’t vote for the Tories because of their previous track record and comments from people like Chris Grayling et al should be mightly pissed off that there vote has created a Tory government. Every lib dem voter, gay or straight, that I’ve spoken is annoyed about the coalition, and rightly so.

  22. ‘Some might be upset that we have gone from three openly gay cabinet ministers to none.’ time will tell what happens to the LGBT Community. The Tory history of homophobia and betrayal plus the gathering of their homophobic friends into the government does not in my opinion bode well for the future. I think that the LibDems are not strong enough to continue any sustained fight for gay rights. I do not trust te Tories at all. In the meantime watch your back and be safe – Self defence courses maybe a good idea for every gay, we have to protect ourselves because I don’t see it coming from anywhere else. The fight for LGBT rights must go on unabated.

  23. I have read some seriously incoherent Pink News opinion pieces in my time; but this one really takes the biscuit as a truly shameful capitulation of everything we have won over the last decade .. especially so now that we know about Theresa May’s appointment as the minister responsible for ‘equality’ (which is near enough comparable to Nick Griffin being given responsibility for racial equality).

    I don’t believe in single-issue politics; but if Theresa May’s appointment is typical of the sorts of compromises being made (and looking at which Liberal Democrat holy cows have already been sacrificed at the high altar of ‘strong government’, I have no reason to believe that it isn’t) then this government has already declared war on our community and should be resisted every step of the way.

    I have never had a particularly high opinion of the journalistic standards (or, more correctly, the total lack of them) here at Pink News; but this opinion piece, which is unsigned and therefore HAS to be taken to be the opinion of Pink News itself, really does reduce it to the sub-tabloid level of an uninformed blogger with an undeclared nefarious motive. Shame on you.

  24. I don’t see how the tories can be trusted when there’s another bigot in charge of equality, Ruth Kelly when she was in charge of equality pandered to the bigots and she was opus dei! The tories should be forced into equality as LBGT people are also citizens of the UK and the Pink Paper does seem very overly supportive of the tories unfortunately, labour done some good but they didn’t go far enough and they pandered to homophobes including religious ones, their record on civil rights is not very impressive! plus how Labour sent LBGT people back to countries that would murder them

  25. One of the first things Cameron wanted to do was remove the human rights act. What next, the minimum wage?
    Most of the gay people that voted Libdem done it to keep the Conservatives out. Even Cameron said, ” Vote Libdem get Brown” Clegg is a traitor and has sold his party down the river. Jobs for the boys and bugger the people.
    They all make me want to vomit.

  26. Well it hasn’t taken PN long to come up with a rationalisation for its blatantly pro-Tory bias during the election. The shame of the matter is that with so many Tories elected with tiny majorities, an endorsement of Labour might have made a difference. Bit late now to face up to the fact that the Tories have this deeply ingrained strain of homophobia and to hope the LibDems’ sell-out doesn’t extend to letting them triumph.

    Thanks very much PN for now admitting that the Tories have given major roles to people with a homophobic track record, for realising that the Tory “free vote” on “issues of conscience” is a front for their bigotry, and for admitting that left to their own devices, they’d be even more homophobic. Shame you couldn’t have said all that during the campaign, and maybe helped Labour to be the biggest party, in coalition with the LibDems.

    Oh and GS, to answer a point you made: it’s not about wanting “unsuitable” people in government because they “happen” to be black, gay or women; it’s about understanding that the nation is made up of more than Old Etonian white males in hand-made suits aged 45+, and finding it rather odd that in 2010, the government coalition doesn;t have a broader range of people to draw upon – because there are blacks, gays and women if enormous talent and ability, and it;s odd to see a government which excludes them.

  27. Peter & Michael 13 May 2010, 8:24am

    This coalition can be bold and legislate for Same Sex Marriage Equality as is in other countries.

  28. Obviously ‘never kissed a tory’ think’s his arrogant little organization can get its press releases published unquestioningly, verbatim. Will LGBT Lbour stop lying about decriminalization of gays in the armed forces? The government fought TOOTH AND NAIL to prevent repeal. Go ask craig jones mbe or duncan lustig-prean who had the wherewithal to take the government all the way.

    I could name lots of labour politicians who are, under the surface, as bad as baroness warsi. david blunkett, the utterly hopeless jack straw…

    Peter Tatchell on the Labour party, back in 1998:

    “…These hopes were soon dashed. Within days of Blair sweeping into Downing Street, a Labour spokesman warned that the new administration had no plans to equalise the age of consent; it was only committed to a free vote and, no, it could not say when this might happen. A week later, government officials announced they would seek to uphold the exclusion of homosexuals from the armed forces when the ban is challenged in the European courts. As for Section 28, its repeal has disappeared off the political agenda. We are now told it will be scrapped “sometime in the next five years”. Labour is unwilling to give a precise timetable for this or any other reform.”

  29. @Never Kissed a Tory – don’t make the mistake of confusing a poll of a few thousand people who read Pink News (a small very specific demographic) with the millions in Britain who are LGBT.

  30. Lesley Hedges 13 May 2010, 9:01am

    No the ConDem coalition is not a good move. The Tories have NOT changed or Theresa May would not be Home Secretary. She has consistently voted against LG rights and been absent for important T votes. I can’t believe PN is supporting this disastrous move. Cameron is unapologetic about his links to the homophobic Polish Law and Justice Party and a Tory MEP was expelled from the Conservative Party when he attempted to make a stand against them. our rights will not be upheld

  31. GS is spot on. All my gay friends voted Conservative and are very happy with the Very Civil Partnership between Cameron and Clegg. The bile expressed by some commentators on this site against the new Tory-Liberal government is hysterical and irrational. The gay “issue” is just not an issue any longer with most people and that includes most conservatives who have gay friends, gay family members and gay colleagues. Blair’s government did us proud on the equalities front and in doing so has fundamentally shifted public opinion in this country. The frenzied Tory phobia just isn’t rational anymore and it is time those stuck in a 1980s political mould moved on too as they just sound old-fashioned and irrelevant.

  32. Thomas

    If the Tories are so changed, why then do their actions of the very recent naughties – aligning themselves with nutters, anti-Semites, climate change denialists and homophobes – only serve to reinforce 1980s political mould?

    The only thing hysterical and irrational here is your blinkered defence of the totally indefensible.

  33. Thomas, how is is “stuck in a 1980s political mould” to point out that as recently as 2003, William Hague forced Tory MPs to vote for retaining Section 28, and he’s in the new government. That in 2005, Baroness Warsi put out election leaflets saying the equal age of consent was so dirty old gay men could proposition kids for sex, and now she’s in the government ? That Iain Duncan Smith continues to believe that hetero relationships are superior morally to gay ones, and he’s in the government ? Etc Etc Etc – not just the odd Tory nutjob here and there, but a clear, strong, current strand of bigotry towards LGBT people.

    You’re right in saying that for most people in society, having gay family members, friends and colleagues isn’t really an issue any more. How much stranger then, that for so many Tories, we continues to be a focus for their ill-will, and that their antipathy and bigotry has expressed itself in consistently opposing measures which gave LGBT people rights. And now they have their hands on the levers of power, thanks to the ConDem sell out. That’s not “frenzies phobia” on the part of their critics, it’s a reasoned response to (for example) the exclusion of gays from the Cabinet now the election’s out of the way, and the promotion of so many people with a record of opposing our rights.

    A bit like the last Euro elections, where Cameron waited until after the vote to walk out of the mainstream and ally his party with a lot of freaks and bigots. The man has “form”.

  34. Excellent article, pretty well balanced for pinknews I thought – the majority of the gay community (according to pinknews polls) did vote for lib dems and we have them, we did WIN!. The outcome surely can’t be a surprise and after the resulting low figures of the labour party there was no option for lib dems. Lab have done us well but I hope that they have looked at how the polls went in the gay community and as far as I can remember the swing never went towards them, even when it was obvious that the tories were still unpopular in the gay community and that a lib dem vote would be a vote for tory. WHY? What reasons do labour and it gay supporters have for this? Why could’t you poll beter in the gay community after such an apparently good record on LGBT rights? NO-ONE has been able to answer this, please don’t put your heads in the sand, please learn and try to figure out what went wrong. I suggest you look at Brown replies to his questions in Pinknews, in particular to his response to gay marriag…… Even the probable lie “consider” gay marriage by Cameron sounded better than Brown’s answer…

  35. @18:

    I would go so far as to presume that from Patrick James’ comment, really.

    What Patrick James did say was quite clear and succinct:

    “That the Conservative party has undergone some form of transformation on LGBT issues is a complete myth.”

    The gestation period of this Con-Dem creature is anyone’s guess at the moment.

  36. …er…I would NOT go so far as to presume that from Patrick James’ comment…sorry.

  37. I hope they don’t do away with the human rights laws

  38. Jock S. Trap 13 May 2010, 9:44am

    Three things….

    1. Despite what people say here, the fact that some people voted Tory or Lib Dem means that those genuine voters who voted to seek their party in government kinda got what they wanted, just in a different set up. In Lib Dem’s case better than expected. If some voted ‘tactically’ after being told to do so, then surely proof that you should vote on your own merits. You can’t blame anybody else but yourselves.

    2. I really hope now the LibCon’s are in power we can start to get rid of this negative, be nasty to all attitude that Labour wields. As someone who loves to give back to society I welcome the idea of Big Society. It’s time people stopped looking at themselves as the only important thing on the planet. I love the idea of being in a pleasant, respectful society, respective of gender, sex, race etc.

    3. It seems all to easy to slate the LibCon government before it’s even got off the ground but remember the party will follow the path David Cameron lays out, Not there own personal opinions. Those in power are hardly going to go against that because of the standing their roles play. Sure, it’s all about self importance but with politicans, how One looks out-weighs Ones personal conscience if it means being Somewhere in the History books. It’s kinda shallow I know but nevertheless true. I think the fact the Lib Dems are there too gives us a safety button. I fully agree with all those who say lets see what happens, give them the chance to proof themselves and if they go down the Wrong path, then kick up a stink!

  39. Who cares how long the coaltion lasts, would labour do any better amongst the community anyway if we had another election tomorrow , next year or in 5 yrs time? I suggest it wouldn’t!. Whatever comments or negative news is posted against the Tories DOES NOT cause a swing to LABOUR…. try anther way of getting votes next time, this method DOES NOT work… If we still have CPs when the next election comes around and you’ve been proven wrong about the tory/lib dem coalition, then WHAT have labour got to offer us that will attract us to them…. You’re not winning on the economy and you’re not winning on the gay vote

  40. I think, at best, we’ll be ignored, if we allow it. First test is whether May is serious about tackling homophobic bullying. If the Tories revert to form then Clegg and the Liberals are one pressure point: those guys won’t want to lose our gay votes.

  41. Jock, it’s kinda odd for you to paint Labour as the “be nasty to all” party and to imply that the ConDems will usher in “a pleasant, respectful society, (ir)respective of gender, sex, race etc”.

    It was the continuing Tory icon Mrs Thatcher who steered us towards a more selfish way of life with her insistence that “there’s no such thing as society, just the individual” – a philospohy Cameron won’t denounce. His ‘Big Society’ con job is just about steering money and power from distribution by government (which can be questioned) into the hands of groups who don’t have to account to the electorate for their actions – which will often mean religious groups and nice white middle class Tories, not the rest of society, then dressing up this massive redistribution as something ‘charitable’ and ‘noble’ when it’s totally about self-interest.

    It might be worth remembering that a culture of defending minorities from abuse, acting against hate crimes, and repudiating things like homophobia and offensive, demeaning and disrespectful language were products of the Labour government, not the Tories, while the Tories and their allies were most often to be found denouncing these changes as “political correctness gone mad” – which really just meant they’d had their god-given right to abuse us taken away and had to treat us with a bit more human decency. Describing Labour as “nasty to all” is an amazing re-write of history.

  42. Patrick James wrote

    I saw this rather illuminating breakdown of the cabinet:

    Millionaires : 23

    White : 29

    Black : 0

    Asian :1

    Men: 26

    Women: 4

    I guess we could add LGBT: 0 ?

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    In summary – White upper middle class male millionaires, making gains politically for other White upper middle class male millionaires. . .

    What is revolutionary or Liberal about that ?

  43. “David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s shotgun civil partnership is best option for the gay community”

    . . . . . . . . . . .

    Are the media titters not verging on the homophobic, if not immature . . . Yes men do form loving sexual relationships together santioned by the state . . .

    Alas . . . Dave and Nicks “Speed dating” will probably result in. . . well who knows.

  44. big society was a meaningless concept

  45. “There must be an end to the absurdity of being able to vote on conscience.”

    Hmmm, well at least to the absurdity of saying your conscience says another human being is inferior because of their gender/age/disability/race/sexuality. That’s not a matter of conscience, in my opinion, it’s simple prejudice. No-one should be allowed to deprive anyone of their rights for one of those reasons.

    I hope Nick Clegg uses his influence to advance gay rights – not because that’s the most important thing in the country, but because the Tories seem so anti or disinterested in us. The Lib Dems should take this opportunity to make the UK a fairer place, and to stop the special opt-outs given to religions too, because they impact on equality.

  46. Nick = Atheist

    Dave = Devout Christian

    Who will lose thier faith first . . . ???

  47. Clegg has a history of joining the Conservative party!

    From Wiki:

    While at university, Clegg had joined the Cambridge University Conservative Association between 1986 and 1987, with contemporary membership records citing an “N. Clegg” of Robinson College. (At the time, Clegg was the only person of that name at Robinson.) However, Clegg himself later maintained he had “no recollection of that whatsoever.

    Maybe he will remember it this time LOL

  48. Clegg’s paternal grandmother, Kira von Engelhardt, was a Russian Baroness whose German-Russian aristocratic family fled the Bolsheviks after the 1917 Russian Revolution. Clegg’s paternal grandfather, Hugh Anthony Clegg, was the editor of the British Medical Journal for 35 years. Clegg’s great-great-grandfather, the Russian nobleman Ignaty Zakrevsky, was attorney general of the imperial Russian senate. His great-great aunt was the writer, Baroness Moura Budberg.

    He has more in common with Cameron and Osbourne than we think!

  49. davevauxhall 13 May 2010, 12:16pm

    I also think it’s great to see some editorial comment from Pink News.

  50. atheism isn’t a faith, religion etc

  51. The Lib Dems have, unfortunately, supported certain unjustified exemptions from the new equality legislation. For example, if the government implements an exemption to Section 29 of the Equality Act (under paragraph 31 of Schedule 3), it could then, in the hands of the BBC, become in effect another Section 28. This is because BBC kids’ services these days have become effectively an LGBT-free zone. So, the exemption, when implemented, would help entrench the status quo. Ironically the BBC was more inclusive in the 1990’s when Section 28 was in force.

  52. @Chester

    atheism isn’t a faith, religion etc

    Atheism is a faith. It is the the complete trust, or confidence, in the non-existence of God. If it wasn’t a faith, it would simply be agnosticism.

    Atheism is not a religion; but religion doesn’t have ownership of faith.

  53. paul canning 13 May 2010, 1:39pm

    @Patrick James

    This is the nihilist gay position and – in the end – the ‘bad for the gays’ position. We need change everywhere, including in the Conservative Party.

    To fail to recognise what has self-evidential happened – look at their equalities manifesto, and I point out again their commitment on gay asylum where Labour did not – is nothing but partisan. That is, operating for the interests of the Labour Party. Which is not the same as operating for the interests of gay people.

  54. paul canning 13 May 2010, 1:51pm

    paul canning writes:

    Labour has shown again and again that it would ‘throw under the bus’ countless people in a belief that its ‘base’ would approve.

    I think you need to be a bit more specific before you start writing statements like that.

    How about children of asylum seekers? The coalition agreement includes the pledge to end detention of children which amounts to child abuse >

    Labour has lost lots of support because of what I said: being prepared to throw people ‘under the bus’. it’s called triangulation. Bill Clinton was the master of it.

  55. paul canning 13 May 2010, 1:53pm

    Previous comment in response to @Patrick James, html didn’t translate.

  56. Mihangel apYrs 13 May 2010, 2:00pm

    atheism isn’t a faith in the same way that baldness isn’t a hair colour.

    It is lack of belief in the existance of any god, rather than a lack of belief in Brahma, a lack of belief in Allah, etc.

    It is an absence, in the same way that a volume of deep space cannot be said to be an atmosphere.

    All but the most militant atheists would say: “give me proof and I’ll believe”

  57. “In many ways, you should be ecstatic,”……

    ha ha ha. Funny, that is a joke, isn’t it? ecstatic with the cam and cegg show? this comic con/dem coalition circus will soon turn into a tragedy.

    So we should be ecstatic that we no longer have any gay MP’S in the cabinet. That the allies and advisors to the leader of the elected party have changed from people like peter mandelson to philipa stroud. That the most prominent gay memebr of the elected party is a lesbian who doesn’t like to be seen as a lesbian. That the equalities minister voted to keep clause 28 amongst other things. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. and the list goes on.

    Reading the pro condem coalition comments is like reading what a mentally challenged naive baby might think about the situation. Or someone who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome.

    I look forward to seeing all the deluded condem voters squirm when the new condem government show their true colours over the next five years. You think it was bad that Blair went to war with Iraq – wait till you see what Cam and Cegg have in store for you.

    And for all those people who think the lib dems won – they came third, they will have no power in this government. Their places in the cabinet are about as important as the cleaners of no. 10. At least Cegg got what he wanted, something he’d never have been able to do in his life without a hung parliament and a deal with a ‘desperate for power’ Cam, a place in downing street.

    And before the few gay Condem fools accuse me of being a ‘looney leftie’ – the old term that the ‘nazi righties’ have already started to reuse. I don’t vote labour, but at least the last labour party did positive things for the equality of gay men. More than any other government in the history of this country. Unless that is, someone could point out a government that did more to contribute to the equality of gay men?

  58. How did this end up as a discussion of the meaning of atheism? For what it’s worth, I think you’d find a range of opinion on the matter even among atheists. For my own part, I don’t think a life without god or religion is a life without faith. There are all sorts of things I believe in without having the means, the time or the need to prove them, and to that extent I have faith. It seems to me to be elemental to ethics and morality.

    Mihangel – if we had ‘proof’ we wouldn’t need to ‘believe’. And I certainly don’t consider myself to be existentially bald!

    Very balsnced and sensible piece by PN on the lib-con coalition. Let’s watch them and see.

  59. @44:

    “Speed dating”!

    Good one.

  60. Mihangel apYrs 13 May 2010, 5:50pm

    it was an aside, Chameleon.

    I think few people thought the LibDems would bed down with the Tories. I at least hoped that people would turn from Labour to the LDs (or others), not to the Tories, and that a coalition of left wing parties could form.

    What has happened is that Labour voters turned to the Tories, and Cleggie has chummed up with Cameron.

    Clegg may have killed the LDs for decades if it goes wrong

  61. I couldn’t support labour in spite of all the achievements because of the issues of the War, the lies, the erosion of our civil liberties by control freakery, (identity cards, internet controls, etc, etc) Jack Straw, Ruth Kelly, Jacqui Smith, Harriet Harman, et all. Were they really on our side? We might as well have had Ian Duncan Smith !

    But also it was about non delivery. What was stopping them giving full and equal rights to LGBT people as soon as they got into office, yet they seemed to have lead boots on LGBT issues and, when they finally got round to it, at the end of two terms, making concessions to every religious group around, when they should not and need not have done.

    Now Clegg has taken Cameron’s shilling to get electoral reform but Cameron must have been crossing his fingers behind his back when he agreed. If Clegg doesn’t get his electoral reform as the first thing out because Cameron prevaricates, he runs the risk of the coalition failing before the reform is enacted. Would it be a great surprise if after a year or so of machinating over exactly which proportional representation system to go for, Cameron, then finding his position stronger, might decide to go for a General Election, claiming it’s not working out. Where will Clegg be then ?

    An unequal society is at the very foundation of tory belief, so I don’t think this coalition will do anything to eliminate inequality. Cameron has been putting all the emphasis on ‘Family’. I think they mean to make life generally worse for any section of society that doesn’t come under their definition of family. Who could that be ? As for the new Home Secretary Theresa May, I recall hearing her ranting and raving on ‘Any Questions’ some years ago. God spare us. Leopards don’t change their spots so look out !

  62. Bill Perdue 13 May 2010, 8:20pm

    The idea that Tories, or Lib Dems for that matter, are going to advance the cause of GLBT equality, to say nothing of liberation, betrays a naiveté that’s dangerous in the extreme.

    The entire history of the Tories up to and including their recent votes against Labour’s pro-LGBT legislation and their alliances with Polish and Czech ultra rightists bills is more than ample proof that the Tories are infested with and dominated by bigots.

    The fact that the Lib Dems would get in bed with them demonstrates abject political opportunism and the abandonment of GLBT folks.

    It’s ok to give new puppies and kittens a wait and see time but vipers are another matter entirely. We already know what they’ll do.

  63. Was this article a spoof or something? A couple of reasons for LGBT people NOT to be cheerful about CamClegg: 1) We have an Equalities Minister who opposed gay adoption and was against repealing section 28 which calls homosexuality “a pretended family relationship”…. i.e. that ludicrous statement is in line with what Theresa May actually thinks about gay people. Can we trust her on ANY level to defend and promote LGBT rights? Don’t think so. 2) Despite Clegg’s warm words about gay marriage, there is no way the mainstream Tory party is going to even consider legalising same-sex marriage – certainly not in this Parliament where anything likely to split the coalition will be kicked firmly into the long grass. 3) The evangelical Christian Right is building its influence within the Tory Party- as reflected by the Phillipa Stroud affair- so expect to hear voices with in the Tory party becoming increasingly assertive against LGBT rights- and if you want to know how that turns out, have a look at California where the Christian Right managed to engineer a referendum that repealed gay marriage rights.

    And in case anyone’s forgotten, there was absolutely no real progress on LGBT rights during the Tory years… in fact things got worse for LGBT people, so whatever you might think about Labour we should give them full credit for what they did on LGBT rights- they didn’t go far enough but they made more progress than CamClegg are ever going to achieve.

  64. Some of you have tunnel vision and are unable to see the wider picture.

    ID cards are to be scrapped, the new gov will “roll back powers it says were taken by the state under Labour and has pledged to defend trial by jury, restore rights to non-violent protest, end the storage of internet and email records without good reason, introduce safeguards against the “misuse” of anti-terrorism legislation. The new government also wants extra safeguards over the retention of people’s DNA by the police.”

    Great news for ALL people who believe in freedom and civil liberties.

  65. OH BRILLIANT, NO ID CARDS. HA HA. WHAT A JOKE. Just a load of homophobic cabinet ministers who will attempt to take away my freedom and civil liberties, like they did last time they were in power.
    But that must be me being selfish and narrow minded, eh GS? Oh how I wish I was a selfless, wonderful, compassionate, deluded, naive ConDem like you.
    What, you think this tory government will do more for civil liberties than labour did? You seriously need a reality check. You have tunnel vision and are unable to see the wider picture of a tory leadership.

  66. @65 GS.
    The BBC report quotes Theresa May “On the DNA database, she said: “We are absolutely clear we need to make some changes in relation to the DNA database. For example one of the first things we will do is to ensure that all the people who have actually been convicted of a crime and are not present on it are actually on the DNA database.”
    That seems to say that if you were ever convicted of anything before DNA collection started, no matter how many years ago, then you can expect the police to be calling round to collect your DNA ! Spent or historic convictions included ?

  67. @Jay 6pac – supposedly you’re in favour of equality and freedom but you defend ID cards? You need a reality check. Do you have amnesia? If you voted Labour in the last three elections you have been partly responsible for the most oppressive and authoritarian government we have had in modern times. If you voted Labour after the illegal invasion of Iraq you have blood on your hands from the hundreds of thousands who have died. You must be proud?

  68. It is not tunnel vision to state the fact that Labour have done much more for LGBT rights than the Tories, who have attempted to block or water down progress at every stage. Labour was far from perfect, but if you think Cameron wouldn’t take us into another war on the side of the US with Catflap Clegg following in his wake like a nodding dog, then you probably just don’t get ‘the new politics’.

  69. Jay 6pac makes excellent points though
    what about LBGT equal rights or that the tories wants more faith schools where there’ll be homophobic education instead of teachings that oppose homophobia? what about the fact that many tories are homophobic?

  70. Mihangel apYrs 14 May 2010, 7:06am

    GS all those things are proposed right up to the point where the police, military, or security services say “NO”, then the tories will give way to the boys in uniform

  71. @Roger141 – on the subject of the DNA database today the Telegraph mentions it in relation to ‘prisoners’:

    “plans to take samples of the DNA of every prisoner in an attempt to make it easier to catch reoffenders.”

  72. The statement, they must think carefully about ending the practice of giving a free vote on LGBT equality issues, is totally wrong in a free society. All MP’s MUST have the right to a free vote, as all of us have that right to vote freely and not be bullied into doing or saying anything which is against what we feel to be right

  73. @Mihangel apYrs – The Times reports that Cameron has scaled back the personal security which Brown had (such as motorcycle outriders) so it looks as if he’s perfectly capable of standing up to the police and security services.

  74. BrazilBoysBlog 15 May 2010, 1:54pm

    @73 What are you talking about? Are you not aware of the (already existing) practice of the ´three-line-whip´?

    As well as being elected to represent individual constituencies, MP´s are also representative of their political parties. We DO elect political parties as well as individuals… That is why they clearly state their political affiliations.

    For a lot of votes, the parties invoke the ´whip´ wherebye they tell their MP´s how to vote.. (along with their party policies and manifesto) That is how a party is able to govern! You cannot have MP´s just doing whatever they like on important matters and defying their own leadership, and there are punishments available for those that do.. (including having the ´whip withdrawn´ …being expelled from the party).

    Currently, on most important issues, MP´s have to vote along with their parties policy on those matters.

    The issue here is that the parties currently allow MP´s a ´free vote´ on matters relating to equality and LGBT rights.. This is not right. This means that despite a parties PROMISES… ´Elect US and we will do such and such…´, the matter comes before parliament and they allow a free vote…The homophobes come out of the woodwork and vote against it… (against their own parties stated objectives)

    The practice of allowing a free vote on matter of importance like equality legislation must end.. A party must make it clear where they stand on an issue, then if elected, must get it passed into law. That is not done by just passing it off to a ´free vote´.

    Governments can get things passed.. They must do that instead of just passing the buck by allowing a ´free vote´… then saying ´well, we tried´… No they didn´t!

  75. Look, we’re still in a major economic crisis whose consequences could impact on all of our lives, if it hasn’t already, and for which the country will be paying for years to come. The uncertainty over who actually governed Britain was creating a run on an already weak pound. Clegg had to join the Tories, it was the only stable solution on offer (and even it is very shaky).

    Doesn’t mean we have to like it, of course. It absolutely stinks and it is very unlikely to be successful. But I’m sorry, if people really cared about gay rights, and a more equitable society in general, they should have voted for Labour. Brown was a good man, for all his flaws, and in time we in Britain will acknowledge what the rest of the world already knows — last year he saved us from absolute disaster. In the worst economic crisis for over 80 years, there were less repossessions than in 1992 — because Labour didn’t abandon the poorest in their hour of need. Now we will see VAT rise, interest rates rise, and unemployment probably double within the year — guess what, people, you voted for it.

  76. Brown and nu-labour let the religious loonies dictate to them on LBGT stuff, Brown even admitted he doesn’t see what difference it is about marriage

  77. David Myers 18 May 2010, 9:24am

    On Gay/Lesbian rights, this coalition could be susceptable to further gay/lesbian rights legislation pressure co-sponsored by Labour and the Liberal Democrates – daring the Conservatives to get on board. This would help to acknowledge Labour’s historical actions in favour of gay/lesbian rights and challenge the Conservatives to further enlighten and reform their own party positions. Such legislation might not even need any votes from the Conservatives if enough smaller parties supported it and it might be easy to put the Conservative on the spot and on the defense – to put up or shut up. Could all be very very interesting. Gay/lesbian activists should be approaching both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party to continue to get things done and put the Conservatives in the spotlight on these issues.

  78. It amuses me on reading these comments on just how focused some people get on a single issues. Every single person who whines about how Labour were some sort of civil rights paragon, has obviously had their head stuck in the sand for the past few years. Take a look at their track record. Never before has there been so much erosion of civil liberties. I personally welcome the ConLib coalition. I think Cameron has his priorities straight. No matter how much people care about their own personal issues, let’s face it gay rights at this moment in time are comparatively minor compared to sorting out the deficit, initiating budget cuts, reforming the school system and dealing with the NHS. But you probably don’t see it that way. You’re fine for everyone else to get screwed over, as long as one issue is sorted

  79. But, GS, Ben Bradshaw may well have Known that Polanski is one of the most notorious paedophiles in the world – little girls’ bum holes wasn’t it!

  80. Paul,I am surprised that you think that it would be all right in a ‘free society’ to allow a free vote on the reintroduction of slavery, apartheid, the outlawing of inter-racial marriage and the prevention of black people sitting next to white people on buses.

  81. One would seek to parner with me

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