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Comment: London Mayor accused over WorldPride fiasco

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  1. Anyone who voted for Boris, enjoy your shame.

    1. de Villiers 6 Jul 2012, 1:37pm

      This was a poorly executed programme by the Pride Committee – resulting in the pitiful spectacle of gay people crying to (straight) politicians that they should have rescued a gay parade. Weak.

      1. However, the poorly executed programme and weak leadership of the Pride organisation was dealt a more difficult task by Boris and his teams obstructions and difficulties they caused Pride.

        Its a clear demonstration that Boris’ claim to support LGBT people is pure electioneering and when it comes to real demonstration of practical and symbolic support he does n’t just fail to deliver – he acts as an obstruction.

        1. Sister Mary clarence 6 Jul 2012, 9:11pm

          All depends on who you believe. I read the assurances in pinknews that there were no funding problems only the day before the announcement that everything was being scaled back.

          Pride has an appalling record over decades on bankruptcy and failure to pay. I wouldn’t do anything for them without payment up front and I suspect all those who have had their fingers burn (which is every local authority who has ever hosted the event as far as I’m aware) would feel the same.

          The real winners every year at Pride at the bar and nightclub owners, not to mention the drug dealers, who fleece us blind, and make a killing out of us, and yet it is the small businesses and local authorities who seem to foot the bill.

          I think Pride is a good thing. I think it represents a rarely seen sense of community in London, but unfortunately it also seems to represent abject financial irresponsibility, and its about time we put a stop to that.

          1. ^^Good post^^

        2. You seem to accepting there was a poorly executed programme and weak leadership, so on that basis how could Boris and the GLA in all good conscience plow more council tax payers money into Pride?

          Under those circumstances you would normally only do so if a new management team took over and really a week before the event they were onto a hiding to nothing.

          Which ever way you look at it it all comes back to the fundamental failure of the Pride Committee.

    2. Staircase2 6 Jul 2012, 4:20pm

      @Tara
      WELL SAID!!
      And all those who used these boards to smear Ken Livingston for political gain and turn the LGBT vote against him

      …bloody outrageous

      1. Jock S. Trap 8 Jul 2012, 11:51am

        You say Smear – Others Say Truth….. Truth hurts!

        1. Unfair, Jock

          Your comments about Livingstone could be called smears – you might call them truth …

          Others comments about Boris, you might call smears – they might call them truth …

          The facts about Pride are that the committee failed – but Boris appears not to have played along they way he suggested he had and has never intended to attend – according to BBC reports.

          1. Jock S. Trap 8 Jul 2012, 2:14pm

            Vince, Elaine, Steve…. whoever you are today!

            So Boris didn’t go So what.. that is his choice and one that isn’t important to me. The event on the other hand is!

          2. A choice he promised the gay electorate he was not going to make.

            He broke his promises.

            He let LGBT London down.

            Oh, and I am just me – however you may seek to maliciously malign me – don’t know how many fingerpuppets you have.

          3. Jock S. Trap 8 Jul 2012, 6:18pm

            I only go by the one name Vince, Elaine, Steve. That’s all I need. It means people know who they are debating with.

            As for Boris…. Boris being at Pride or not just isn’t that important. The event however is! Politicians comes and go but Pride is forever!

          4. I also go by one name.

            I am not Elaine or Steve.

  2. Thank you Peter. Someone has finally taken a proper look at what ACTUALLY happened. While organisers are not blameless the way City Hall has acted is utterly wretched. As someone volunteering with Pride tomorrow I know there are thousands of people giving their free time to put on the parade and the events in Trafalgar Square, many of whom have been working for months on World Pride. We are gutted about what has happened (we had no part in the changes) but will work hard to make sure tomorrow is as good as it can be. I implore people to support those working and try and show a united front. Next year we start together as a community,from the ground up and produce an event we can all be proud of.

  3. Terry Stewart 6 Jul 2012, 1:07pm

    Boris is part of a political party that believes in the notion of the rights of the individual and along with the notion of a free and open society, market forces and all. It does not surprise me that he has set out to wreck Pride.

    I must say the Pride Group going along with a gagging order effectively stopped them from talking to the very community they purport to represent, is unforgiveable. So for me it is clear that neither Boris nor the Pride Group were interested in dialogue with our community.

    I don’t really care who organises Pride parades, so long as they can do it effectively and it does not become another money spinner. Pride should not be an event where we are expected to pay, which the current group have brought into being.

    I think there is a need to celebrate our gains as a community and Pride parades go a long way to doing that. For many young people it remains an important event, allowing them an experience of a positive and memorable day at being Out.

    1. i completely agree with you here, it should be a free event, but it is very sad when the bucket donations at pride 2011 in Trafalgar square where 20,000 people attended the FREE events made a measly £500. If each person had donates a pound each it would have made pride Londons committee’s job a lot easier,,,,,, so come on people help support pride and make it the event it should be and donate a couple of pound on the day or on the website!!

    2. It seems to me a group of negligent, derelict, and incompetent gay people ruined it

  4. Terry Stewart 6 Jul 2012, 1:08pm

    With regards to the rest of the World and LGBT rights, such an event does not impact on most of our brothers and sisters across the Globe. There needs to be a massive shift in most countries, towards a more open political, economic and social system, in order to begin change that will have a positive effect on the lives of all their people and not just the specific needs of LGBT community.

    There is a whole struggle for change right across the globe and within that struggle we must raise the matter of LGBT people, along with the call for change in a much broader sense. It can no longer be the central focus of our fight. It has to be one part of it.

    1. I do understand your point but i would say more it does impact far and wide and provide hope, hope for all those people where being gay is not accepted

  5. If all these allegations are correct, the conduct of the Mayor and of the GLA is SHAMEFUL !

    Funders were ready to cover the cost but were turned down

    Starting time change for security reasons – what do people suddenly go berserk after 1pm

    so many things make me angry in this article!

    1. that is tatchell for you…

    2. Sister Mary clarence 6 Jul 2012, 9:15pm

      I very much suspect they’re not.

      Its just a further example of those who are responsible shifting the blame onto others.

      If they didn’t have the money, or there were cash flow problems why did we only find out so late, and to say that three days before the event we could revert back to plan A is nonsense

      If Gaydar and Smirnoff were prepared to bail Pride out, why didn’t the Pride commitee garner their support before it came to this?

  6. I said earlier on another thread that I didn’t blame government for the failure of Pride because the cause of the failure appeared to be poor organisation and not cashflow, with the problems coming to light only at the last minute.

    If what Peter says is true, then I was completely taken in by City Hall’s spinning of this fiasco.

    If he is right, then City Hall was aware of the problems in good time and appears to have withheld funding and imposed additional charges for reasons that are unclear.

    There seems to be a case to answer here and I hope (though not very optimistically) that we will get to the bottom of this asap.

    1. If the claims are correct atalanta, then the financial situation was worsened by the decisions of Boris and his minions. That is shameful.

  7. I’m sorry I just don’t buy this, Boris is a clown everyone knows that but even he is not stupid enough to antagonise the entire gay community. If this is true why haven’t the whole board of pride London resigned and cancelled the event entirely? This would have sent a clear message to the mayor and his team!

  8. Whilst I don’t think public funding should be used to organise Pride, the fact that corporate funding was found and this was dismissed shows an incompetence on the part of the GLA.

    I hope it’s incompetence, better than prejudice. However, it is one or the other and Boris needs to explain which (ideally with evidence).

    1. if we follow your way Gary public funding should not be used to organise notting hill carnival as well

    2. Sister Mary clarence 6 Jul 2012, 9:19pm

      Gary, if that funding was forthcoming in the closing days before the event, why didn’t the Pride Committee seek it out a little earlier?

      Pride is (or was) a major event the logistics of organising policing and security isn’t something that can chop and change on a daily basis. That is sheer irresponsibility.

      Both Gaydar and Smirnoff have a long standing relationship with Pride – the committee needs to explain why they couldn’t source their help earlier in the day I think

      1. Thats another question, Sister Mary (and valid)

        However, what is very concerning is that there was an opportunity to save Pride and Boris rejected it.

        1. Sister Mary clarence 8 Jul 2012, 12:52am

          There wasn’t an opportunity so late in the day. Had the offer come earlier then yes, possibly if everyone was satisfied that given the extra cash the Pride committee would be capable of using it correctly, then the event could have been saved.

          However having cancelled everything it really would not have been feasible to say three days before the event that all the things cancelled were back on again and all of the staff, police and stewards told to stand down, would be instructed not to after all.

          It doesn’t work like that, really it doesn’t

          1. Strangely the GLA have been able to rescue events at shorter notice in the past. They weren’t LGBT ones of course.

  9. Would Johnson not have offered help immediately if the Jubilee celebrations had been financially mismanaged? Or the Notting Hill Carnival? Or the Olympics? Even the most cynical of us can see that the furore presents Johnson with the perfect political opportunity to up the Tories’ liberal cuddle-credentials. If Boris had chosen to step in – he would have been seen by some as a gay-hero. So what point has the Mayor made by so far failing to step in and save the day? That you can put a price on protecting and promoting human rights, and it stands at roughly £66K? Perhaps, he wants to be painted as someone who thinks gay people do not matter?

  10. Aryu Gaetu 6 Jul 2012, 3:20pm

    Knowing this lame political attempt at stifling Gay Pride, the best solution is for today’s Gays to find the balls we had in the ’70s, and have OUR march at 1pm regardless, ending at city hall.
    When did we ever let politics tell us when and where we should exist?
    TIME TO MARCH AGAIN!

  11. Did anyone actually believe Boris? Even so given the choice he was the lesser of two evils. Ken was promising to make London “A beacon of Islam”.

  12. I hope that in the weeks to come the full truth around this conspiracy to create failure by the GLA become public.
    Those responsible for the organisation of World Pride have there faults but we must also acknowledge that their work was voluntary and perhaps some aspects were beyond their competence.
    But the people at city hall are paid for delivering on the needs of our Capitol.
    Clearly the willingness of the GLA to make this work was not there. Without their support it would never have worked and despite the global spotlight being on London Boris has allowed and encouraged this embarrassment to occur.

  13. Staircase2 6 Jul 2012, 4:17pm

    Well said, Peter!

    Its a bloody shambles and puts both Pride and London in a very poor light indeed.

    I had assumed that you would then be banned from talking at the Rally – and now it looks like you will be…

    …bloody outrageous…

  14. Lachlan S. 6 Jul 2012, 4:30pm

    It’s rediculous how they say the Mayor cannot attend every event every year. Sydney mayor Clover Moore manages to attend numerous pride events, including the march, every year during Mardis Gras. And London is hosting THE international pride event… Kinda seems like something the mayor should attend

  15. Jock S. Trap 6 Jul 2012, 4:59pm

    Sorry but we can play the blame game and blame everyone but truth is the only people that failed was Pride London.

    If they felt they were being mistreated and in anyway unfairly why didn’t they speak out so we could all hear about it instead of leaving this to a shameful disaster it is now. Seems we can accuse all of whatever but it’s not that is it.

    It was down to the disastrous dealing of Pride and I fully expect them All to quit to allow someone who not only can do the job but can do it in the full interests of London and the LGBT community.

    We can try and take away the full extent of the real blame of Pride London but it doesn’t stop or take away the real shame that is Pride London.

    1. I think its salcious politicking to blame it entirely on the Pride Management. They failed, big time and deserve to go.

      However, Boris put unnecessary barriers in their way, failed to engage in offers that could have rescued the event and must take his part of the responsibility for failures and letting down LGBT London in a visible and symbolic event.

      1. Sister Mary clarence 6 Jul 2012, 9:28pm

        Stu, we don’t know he put any barriers in place.

        In relation specifying contractors that may have actually been appropriate. Most authorities have requirements for minimum standards or safety qualification for stages at public events. Similarly there are requirements for security staff. If the Pride committee where trying to use contractors that didn’t meet these standards I’m sure they would have been advised on others.

        It was very good of Gaydar and Smirnoff to step up and offer to assist with the finances but the Met, nor any other police force, is going to be willing or able to adjust staffing and road closure times at the drop of a hat, having probably just had to alter them when everything changed only days before.

        There are two sides to every story, and everything says the Pride Committee must have been in difficulty for some time, but attempted to keep a lid on it and blag their way out.

      2. Jock S. Trap 8 Jul 2012, 11:56am

        Stu…

        Are you seriously telling me that Pride London Couldn’t have done anything before a week of Pride to tell people what was happening?

        This was incompetence plain and simple from Pride London and ALL should resign. They had plenty of opportunity to speak out and failed because their own pride got in the way.

        Fact – If it was everyone else’s fault, then why wait a week before, to announce problems. Surely if it was everyone else’s fault it would have been in the press highlighting who and what was responsible. Someone would have leaked it and spoken out.

        Fact – They didn’t.

        Fact – Pride London were solely responsible and are not fit for purpose.

        1. Fact – Two major funders wanted to give the money to resolve the funding difficulties when THEY became aware of it – Boris and City Hall refused.

          Fact – the blame is BOTH the committee for the intiial management failures (some claim compounded by unreasonableness from City Hall – and that needs investigating to determine the facts) and Boris and City Hall for refusing the rescue package.

          1. Jock S. Trap 8 Jul 2012, 2:24pm

            Fact – Boris and City Hall were not the reason, nor responsible for Pride London financial shortfall. Why did London Pride leave it So late before discloser and After denying they had problems when they were highlighted by the Evening Standard a few days before they had to accept they were wrong.

            http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/06/27/pride-london-responds-to-cancellation-rumours/

            Fact – Pride London lied to save their own personal Pride and skin.

            If it was anyone elses fault Why didn’t Pride London highlight the problem well before and not a week before the event? Boris had already put in £100,000. That is not a Mayor who doesn’t do anything. Taxpayers money cannot be used for incompetent bailouts of Pride London. Pride London committee need to go and make way for people who can do the job, for London, for the LGBT community and for the Event!

          2. Jock S. Trap 8 Jul 2012, 2:29pm

            Anyone who knows about fundraising knows that deadlines have to be met. On an event of this size having a ‘rescue package’ taxpayers or private, so close to the event when London Pride had already failed, isn’t as simple as piecing it together in a botched job over a couple of days.

            London Pride failed on all counts, no-one else is to blame. This could have been resolved months ago but London Pride Chose a week before the event to disclose. Not good enough.

  16. Paul.Essex/London 6 Jul 2012, 6:29pm

    Just seen the video of Mayor’s Question Time where he repeatedly refers to the fact that Peter Tatchell was banned under the blanket ban of all politicians. Boris being shown for the idiot that he is – a man in politics who doesn’t know what a politician actually is!

  17. Theres a lot of hearsay and ‘alledgedly’ being used in this article. The committee was incompetent end of story – theres no point trying to blame everyone else for it.

    1. I notice Boris and his spokespeople have not denied the accusations or supplied any evidence to contradict them

      The committee failed massively but Boris failed to help – ccreating barriers and failed to engage or support a rescue effort (or so it would seem – and Boris is not providing any contradictory evidence).

    2. Sister Mary clarence 6 Jul 2012, 9:30pm

      I utterly agree.

      I’m not buying the big bad straight people being mean to us excuse.

      This was gay people letting down other gay people.

  18. Pavlos Prince of Greece 6 Jul 2012, 8:48pm

    I know Boris personally, and can confirm – he change his minds about LGBT a hundred times at day. Well, maybe at this point to…

  19. Cardinal Capone 7 Jul 2012, 12:29am

    Is there any sort of procedure to impeach the mayor? I voted for him, tentatively, but if these allegations are true, he should be fired immediately. One of the most outrageous allegations is that the cost of Trafalgar Square has doubled to £100,000. But the Mayor now says he has waived the GLA fee. If they did double the cost, that’s almost as bad as the Russians banning it altogether. Also, if it’s a world event, of course the Mayor should attend. It’s shabby behaviour not to.

    1. I think impeachment was not a power given to the MLA

  20. I this a sign of what Boris will do for the Olympics?

    1. Cardinal Capone 7 Jul 2012, 8:57am

      I fear the opening ceremony may just be him and a karaoke machine.

  21. According to BBC radio Boris decided not to attend due to other commitments that he has had for several months – so it appears he had no intention of keeping his promise made during his election campaign to attend Pride. The appalling management situation is merely a convenient smokescreen to hide his broken promise and lack of support for a LGBT symbolic London event.

  22. Pavlos Prince of Greece 7 Jul 2012, 7:01pm

    I knew Mr. Johnson in person, and can say – he change his opinion about LGBT people a hundred times in the day. Maybe next time…

  23. Callum Strode 9 Jul 2012, 5:10am

    “The Mayor’s team has, in effect, gagged the Pride organisers by requiring them to submit all news releases to City Hall for approval.”

    This is a disgrace.

  24. Andrew Boff 9 Jul 2012, 12:02pm

    £100,000, the gifting of Trafalgar Square and the biggest march ever is a funny way of saying you’re anti-gay. Boris rescued Pride.

  25. There can be no doubt Boris Johnson will be secretly rubbing his hands together in glee over the Pride shambles. ka-os.blogspot.com

  26. Alex MacDonald 11 Jul 2012, 5:04pm

    Hmm…and Ken Livingstone has been attending gay rights marches since 1970′s. But he said ‘riddled’ *GASP* and so this actual genuine homophobe from an actual genuinely homophobic party is the mayor instead! Well done, London! Seriously, if I meet an LGBT who voted for Boris Johnson, I will simply slap them in the face…

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