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John Major: Gay marriage has proved ‘toxic’ for the Tories because some like ‘to change slowly’

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  1. “The 70-year-old said: “Social mores have moved on from the way in which we were brought up, with the values that we had.”

    Said the man who had it away with Edwina Curry over his office desk at Number 10 when he was our prime minister.

    1. barriejohn 11 Nov 2013, 7:24pm

      Exactly. As long as they supported “traditional moral values” in public they could do what they wanted behind closed doors.Total hypocrisy.

    2. Christopher Hobe Morrison 12 Nov 2013, 6:24am

      I wouldn’t blame him for having a little Curry in his office.

    3. de Villiers 12 Nov 2013, 7:38am

      You say that as if having an affair is something new.

      1. I’m all for married John Major having a bit of Edwina Curry on the side, I’m sure she spiced up his life when he was in his pomp as acting prime minister but I would like to refer you back to barriejohn’s comment above.

        Extramarital affairs do not comprise of what can usually be considered “traditional moral values” in UK, perhaps people are less hypocritical about such affairs in France?

        Though Major’s full comment overall is probably a positive one and fairly near the mark, it’s risible that he should be the one making it.

    4. Feeling a little nauseous now……….heterosexuals are weird….

  2. John Major is actually being quite supportive, helping old-fossil Tories to feel a little pride in themselves.

    However, when he says that Conservatives have an instinct “to change slowly” he’s being wildly generous!

    Tories don’t want to change at all. Conservatives want the world to stay exactly as it is, particularly in terms of morality and religion. If they wish any movement it’s backward movement!

    Nevertheless, Major’s prattle may repair Tories’ damaged self-pride, and enable them to “forgive” Cameron and to vote for the Conservatives at the next election. That’s all Major is thinking about. He’s just intent upon preparing the Tory electorate for the next election.

    1. Gary Powell 11 Nov 2013, 7:36pm

      That’s quite a generalisation, Eddy. LGBT people have been challenging the straitjacket of false and malicious stereotypes for years. Let’s not impose them on others. There are plenty of Conservatives who are very progressive about LGBT rights; and plenty of Labour voters who are not.

      1. I take it, Gary, that you are a Tory-supporter, if not a Tory.

    2. True Conservatives would realize that support for gay rights has steadily grown over the decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Gay marriage is inevitable and they might as well be pragmatic about it. What is the point of trying to maintain the status quo if all it will do is harm them politically?
      ‘Change in order to conserve’

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Nov 2013, 7:42pm

    Says the ineffectual, insignificant PM in British political history. Bloody hypocrite. The toxicity resides in the Thatcherite religious bigoted nutters on the back benches who don’t like change of any kind and they think that’s a recipe to attract younger voters? I think not.

    1. Dis even a tiny amount of research and you’ll realise he was far from insignificant or ineffective as PM. Also read the article in full he has said nothing bad.

      1. “He has said nothing bad”, you say, gazwkd. Well, I think you will agree he has spoken in a very subtle manner. And then if you consider WHY he’s being so subtle, and WHAT he is seeking to achieve, THEN you may agree that Major is not just prattling to pass the time of day. The man’s on a determined mission. He’s kicked off his slippers, put on his suit, and got out there, to start rallying things for a Tory victory at the next election.

        Despite Same Sex Marriage having been passed during this coalition of Tories and LibDems, can the LGBTI community in Britain really embrace a Tory government following the next election? As Robert says above, call to mind those toxic rows of braying bigots in the Tory back benches whom we had to endure during the SSM debate! Do we really prefer to have THEM in charge of our welfare? Answer: NEVER.

    2. He negotiated the British opt-out from the Euro, and his government started the Northern Ireland Peace Process. I wouldn’t call those insignificant or ineffectual.

      He also privatized British Rail in one of the most ham-fisted ways possible: not good, but certainly significant.

  4. Nothing like introducing the young to the old and stale.

    1. de Villiers 12 Nov 2013, 7:40am

      This is a comment of age discrimination. Remove the world “old and stale” and replace with “black” or “gay”.

      1. I agree with de V – ageism is an form of discrimination just as ugly as anti gay or anti black rhetoric and it is sadly very prevalent amongst pink news commentators who really should know better, given the snide comments we’ve been subject to over the years.

        1. Oh, for goodness’ sake, Thomas. Come, come! If I put in front of you a large steak and kidney pie which is stale and very very old, I am quite sure you will turn your nose up at it, and seek out a one freshly-cooked and new! “Old and stale” cannot be automatically determined as indicating ageism.

  5. While what he says is correct, and his interpretation of modernization is absolutely right (I wish the Churches would understand that they are becoming completely irrelevant to modern society – or perhaps I don’t lol) he is in absolutely no place to talk about morality, or conservative “values”, when he cheated on his wife with Edwina Currie!

    Isn’t it remarkable that even after being found out conservatives still think they can preach from a soapbox about social morality and their imagined “values”! It’s utter hypocrisy.

    I find it very amusing that so many of these conservatives talk big about the “sanctity” of marriage and how “precious” it is in their arguments against same-sex marriage, when they say absolutely nothing about their own peers banging each other behind the backs of their spouses, divorcing whenever they get bored, or ignoring the divorce rates in heterosexual society and the degradation of their holy matrimony with quicky weddings in Vegas…

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Nov 2013, 9:41pm

      Quite, and there’s a broad dash of bigotry on top of the hypocrisy among the majority of Tories currently in Parliament. Major is yet another example of it. People of his ilk should keep their gobs shut blabbing on about morality and values especially after the Curry debacle.

    2. de Villiers 12 Nov 2013, 7:42am

      Don’t be so English and hypocritical. You can all be so moralistic when it suits you.

      The fact that someone has an affair does not mean that they can no longer have political opinions or express them. Everyone does things that are wrong. Everyone. Because we are not robots.

      If no-one could express political views because they did things that others and their prudish morality consider are morally wrong, no-one would be able to discuss anything at all.

      1. We are discussing the UK’s Tory party and British traditional values and morals after all de Villiers… so it’s a bit stupid to tell people not to be so English when doing so, in fact it’s equally as offensive as telling people they shouldn’t be old or gay or French.

        1. de Villiers 12 Nov 2013, 7:07pm

          Yes Pavlos.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Nov 2013, 12:44pm

        And you sir appear to be an apologist for Major’s hypocrisy. Nobody is denying his right to have his views but to trot out the toxicity of same-sex marriage in this context because it offended the sensibilities of die-hard Tories doesn’t cut it and is reprehensible. As an adulterer, he should know better and if that’s not hypocritical, I don’t know what is. He could have chosen his words a lot better.I will not apologise for being too English just as you wouldn’t for being too French whatever that means as if being hypocritical and moralistic evade the French entirely.

  6. GulliverUK 11 Nov 2013, 9:13pm

    It would probably be best if anti-gay Tories never spoke of this matter ever again. During the last two years when it’s been debated in public and in Parliament we’ve witnessed that half the Tory party is still homophobic, they are still ‘toxic’ … to themselves… and every time they remind us of their disgusting views they do themselves further damage. I agree with few Tory policies, but even if I believe in 99% of them, I would never vote Tory based on their vile views towards people like me. And even if 99% of those opposed changed their views – like an elephant, I’m afraid I won’t ever forget. Tories don’t seem to care much about anyone who isn’t just like them.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Nov 2013, 9:52pm

      I agree and I don’t see why he has to bring it up. The Marriage Bill is the law of the land and if those too slow to evolve can’t handle it, too bad. I haven’t forgotten the legacy of Section 28 and the immense harm it caused to many in our community across the country. They’d bring it back if the back bencher bigots had it in their power. A man who had an extra-marital affair for four years is in no position to defend the morality and values of his party and call equal marriage toxic. Incredibly hypocritical.

      1. Hold your horses Robert of South Ken – John Major gave his full backing to gay marriage and is one of our political friends not a foe – he’s not saying that He finds the idea of gay marriage toxic, he’s saying some members of his party do or did, but is encouraging them to move on and accept social changes. We can all poke fun at his liaison with Edwina Currie but we shouldn’t forget it was this duo that lowered the age of gay consent from 21 to 18 nearly 20 years ago (and indeed pushed for 16 though this didn’t find favour at the time with the majority of MPs including a great many Labour MPs).

    2. Gary Powell 12 Nov 2013, 6:33am

      It’s really important for LGBT people not to get automatically hooked into this “all Tories are evil” mantra. Things have changed dramatically in the Conservative Party, especially in the area of LGBT equality, since the miserable days of Margaret Thatcher. There are still some very unenlightened people in the Party, but there are also many progressives in the Party who have contributed to an attitudinal change, and are continuing to do so. Please don’t tar us all with the same brush, because it undermines the efforts of the many of us who support and campaign for progressive change. It’s important to remember that there was a time (in my lifetime) when many Labour MPs opposed LGBT equality. Institutions can change: but it’s harder to do so when they are defined into an evil ossification and the efforts and good will of progressives in that institution are discounted.

      1. Some Tories have changed, yes, and that’s very welcome, but half are still in the very homophobic to still too homophobic camp – we saw that in the vote. Detoxification hasn’t worked. The vote highlighted just how homophobic they still are as a party – including the nasty vile Tory associations. Mother nature will take care of that to some extent, but they will not be able to attract younger voters who have supportive inclusive ideas, so, will the party become, just another UKIP ? And having two right-wing parties (Tories aren’t center anything, and not center right) split the vote so they will never get back in power? Major and many others, including many I didn’t think would, get it, but that just seems to make the very homophobic act even more homophobic as compensation. As Robert says, it’s the law of the land — even though nobody can get married yet — and all I suggest is that they have the discussion about their split over this issue internally and not in public.

        1. Gary Powell 12 Nov 2013, 5:23pm

          You refer to “the nasty vile Tory associations,” but I joined my local Conservative Association in the leafy shires over a year ago, and I have not met a single person I would describe as “nasty” or “vile”. I am “out”, including in the Association, and the people I have got to know seem to be very much opposed to homophobia. I have met a number of delightful people, in fact, in my local Conservative Association. I think that most of the homophobes who were formerly members of the Conservative Party have shifted over to UKIP. And even in UKIP, there are supporters and members who fully support LGBT equality, including SSM. One of the problems in imposing an unfair definition on an identifiable group of people is that it can encourage people in that group to adopt the definition given to them by others. By the way, not even Stonewall supported SSM until recently. As a barometer of homophobia, it is not, by itself, very indicative.

      2. Colin (New Zealand) 12 Nov 2013, 7:47pm

        Gary I agree with your view. Just as we are saying the old Tories are living in the past there were many Tories who supported us. Also there are many labour voters who do not agree with Gay Marriage. Look north if you dont agree.
        I think its about looking forward. We have still in a way hurting from our treatment in the past. Now is the time to be positive and progressive. We won the argument. It was a Tory Bill that did it for us. Oh Mr Cameron could have taken the easy route and do nothing. Focus on the new breed of Tory who delivered for a minority group. I’m a convert I must say. I come from a rough council estate in Scotland a Labour heartland.
        I don’t agree with all Tory policies but cannot support Labour at the moment. I would ask us not to class every person in the Conservative or Labour parties one way or another. My experience is that my neighbours, family and my last job no-one cared about my sexuality and thats the way I’d want it. This is now today, not yesterday and for

        1. Colin (Queenstown) 13 Nov 2013, 4:43am

          me I’m about OUR future and what political parties have to offer us going forward. I cannot change yesterday. I can do little today but hell I can change the future. We proved it with Marriage.

          Gay education in ALL schools is next.

  7. The Tories have proved toxic to the gays. They always were.

  8. Ku Klux Klan “members were right to feel “unsettled” by “bewildering” changes such as” racial integration.
    Silly old fart.

    1. de Villiers 12 Nov 2013, 7:45am

      The KKK tortured and murdered black people. There is no comparison between the KKK and a democratically elected party which has just passed gay marriage in the UK.

      Remove the word “old” from your “silly old fart” sentence and replace it with “gay” or “black” and you will see your bigoted attitudes to age.

      1. (sigh) Some people on these threads will defend Tories, whatever they say. John Major’s Tory party (under Thatcher) brought in Section 28. He did nothing to repeal it when elected Prime Minister. This legislation was akin to what is now happening in Russia. I am delighted that some modernising Tories have brought in equality, admittedly, with Major’s support. However, he does not have a clean track record on GLBT issues, voting against equalising the age of consent in 1994. I find his latest statement objectionable, telling bigots they were RIGHT to feel unsettled. Not sure what he is hoping to achieve by this. Zero tolerance of bigotry, please.
        Not all old people are farts. Some are. How do you know I am not old? You might be teaching your grandmother how to suck eggs, as they say.

        1. de Villiers 12 Nov 2013, 7:08pm

          (sigh) some people cannot live in the present rather than the past.

        2. I’m sorry, cal, s28 was NOTHING like what is happening in Russia. show me the beatings that are state sponsored in the near past of Britain.

          I’ll agree s28 was wrong, and certainly halped put me back a decade in sorting myself out but hyperbole doesn’t help, we end up being called the boy who cried wolf.

          1. Section 28 prevented teachers and others from discussing GLBT issues in a positive way. I think we all agree that bullying is a serious issue for Gay people at the most vulnerable time of there lives. Even now when things are better for us in many communities, there are regular suicides. Section 28 was an evil piece of legislation that set out to undermine and diminish GLBT people. Many Gay bashings were carried out during this period when we were demonised by our own government. The police largely ignored complaints from those of us who were brave enough to come forward. Russia’s law is similar. It does not ban homosexuality but bans positive discussion, promotion etc in front of minors.
            Sir, I am astonished by your short memory and your naiveté.

  9. He’s looking at this the wrong way. It’s not gay marriage that was toxic to the Tories, it’s was the way that half of the party chose to approach gay marriage. And the fact that Dave Cameron couldn’t control half of his own party.
    Regardless of what they say, marriage equality was in the party manifesto so each member of the House of Commons was elected on that platform, the fact that they then started bitching about it is what disgusted me. Especially the members of the Cabinet who have an obligation to support legislation put forward even if they’re not personally in favour of it.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Nov 2013, 12:25pm

      Actually, it wasn’t in the party manifesto per se but appeared alongside it in the Equalities Contract which was announced just before the election, so the opposition’s protestations were bogus in my view. It wasn’t as if it came out of nowhere. All of the nonsense about not having a green paper etc…was even more disingenuous and none of them complained about that when the NHS reforms were up for debate, not even in the manifesto either.

  10. The Conservative need to realise that we no longer live in the ‘slow’ world. In the 21st century, everything moves much faster and they need to be able to keep up to speed.

  11. I would have thought the breathtaking hypocrisy of his desire to ‘return to family values’ while secretly sha**ing someone other than his wife was fairly toxic to a political party too. But it appears that’s OK because gay people are not involved.

  12. ‘Some like to change slowly’.

    Translation: Some remain bigots until they die.

  13. anyone remember ‘Back to Basics’ and the ‘Cones Hotline’, not to mention ‘Black Wednesday’? (in grainy clips of the dead-beat bog-eyed Norman Lamont emerging from the Treasury to announce the arrival of economic armageddon, is seen his youthfully baby-pink-faced bag carrier, David Cameron).

    By such will the man of the grey underpants be spared being completely forgotten.

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