Politics and Legal Reform
Apologies for more politics on the blog but there is just so much going on at the mo. Obviously over in the States we have Clinton determined to derail the Democrats hopes of winning (and with it any hope for a more progressive policy and law agenda) as she drifts into megalomania. Over here we have the new London mayor who can be described as many things, though not I think a megalomaniac (feel free to comment below if you disagree!). He has now announced (or rather a rep has) that he will indeed be attending London pride this year and of greater importance for me, continues to make use of high profile out gay men. Pink News, reporting on this provide a link to the brilliant blog of Ian Dale (in my view a name everyone will be familiar with in the future as I’m sure he will eventually be a Cabinet Minister in a Tory government) who provided pics of Tory candidate for Brighton Dr David Bull (also bit of a media celeb) and his float at Brighton Pride last August along with some topless male dancers. Yes sexy gay men can now be Tories. Pink News speculates that the Tories might have a float at London Pride. I hope they will, but I hope even more they will adopt a genuinely progressive freedom based agenda.
Clearly, the Conservative party has changed, and is changing but the real test will be whether there is a shift in attitudes to an emerging rights agenda on transgender and other marginalised communities. For example, the Gender Recognition Act continues to rely on a binary interpretation of gender – you are male and become female or female and become male. Yet biology and psychology refuses to conform to this binary divide so why does the law (supposedly now reformed) insist on this. I’ve had a brilliant undergraduate dissertation student this year who has been exploring this very issue but there needs to be more debate at a national and international academic level.
Similarly, the Brown case remains in-force with regard to S&M behaviour, limiting consensual practices and the Tory party has given no clear sign that it would seek to repeal, if elected, the proposed new legislation on violent pornography. Both constitute an attack on a silent section of society, often unable to form large high profile political bodies for fear of encountering the prejudices of society. The work of groups like Outsiders, Backlash and the Sexual Freedom Coalition deserve credit for the campaigning they do.
Speaking of which the campaign group Backlash
and their supporters planned to gather last night in Parliament Square with some planning to chain themselves to a headboard, to symbolise the state’s unwarranted intrusion into people’s private consensual activities. I’ve not seen any updates on the web about how the event went but I did flick through the news channels at 5pm (when it was scheduled) to see if anything was reported. Shock horror, not a sausage. I’ve also done a search through Lexis for all UK newspapers and media outlets and again nothing. It’s a real shame that such an important community can not be heard when the miss-judged violent-pornography legislation will affect them the most. Madness.