Tomorrow, I’m going to an anti-fascist demo. But more of that later.
This morning, in response to the news about David Cameron’s decision to award the BSkyB decision-maker role to Jeremy Hunt (and Hunt then actively misleading Parliament) Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, tweeted:
I’m in agreement with Ben Bradshaw that this is a low point, but the last Minister who repeatedly misled the House of Commons and neither resigned nor was sacked was Tony Blair: he fed the Labour MPs the “dodgy dossier” that somewhat quelled the backbencher rebellion against the Iraq war. As multiple people (myself included) promptly pointed out to him.
Years ago, I was asked to speak to an English group about the Scottish victory in repealing Section 28. The Labour government in the UK Parliament wanted rid of that monument to Tory homophobia, and they’d been frustrated once already by the House of Lords.
I spoke about the campaign funded by Brian Souter, hosted by the Daily Record, and fuelled by Archbishop Thomas Winning: and how it had been defeated by a simple majority of MSPs and a host of people suddenly turned activist by the billboards Souter paid for all over Scotland, to tell our families and neighbours and co-workers what hateful disgusting people we were. Brian Souter spent a million and he lost.
One of the things I remember from that meeting was a voice at the back from this stoutly-leftwing group of trade unionists and activists, saying angrily that Labour are the enemy. This was 2004, and I was not that keen on Labour myself at the time, but with regard to Section 28, that was foolish talk: we wanted Section 28 repealed in England and Wales, so did Labour, let’s take our allies where we can get them. There are some groups so vile they do not deserve to share a platform with civilised people, but none of the Parliamentary parties of the UK deserve to be categorised in that way.
Lifting the ban on marriage for same-sex couples is one of those obvious next steps on the road to equality. Continue reading