Admit it – you missed me? No, well let me hang on to the illusion that you did so I can justify my return to this blog for the election period. Yes, my publisher will probably be chopping my balls off and wearing them for earrings as a result of this latest work displacement but so be it. It’s a general election and I’m a political junkie. I’m aiming to consider the general election over the coming weeks with a particular focus on law and sexuality. I’ve even tweaked my blog banner in tribute – oh yes, no expense spared.
When I started thinking of doing this I was slightly worried that there might not be enough stories but then I forgot that the Tories had Chris Grayling as Shadow Home Secretary. Commentators repeatedly say he won’t get the job post election and that’s probably a bit of naughty briefing. In truth, we don’t know until after May 6th – assuming Cameron wins – a result far from certain.
He managed to drop his leader in it when he let it be known that whilst he accepted the law on the equal provision of goods and services (nice to know), he did think that it shouldn’t really apply to those who run a bed and breakfast as this was their home and they shouldn’t have to have nasty homos shagging themselves with majestic zeal on their God fearing mattresses (I may be re-phrasing slightly). It looks like the comments have already cost the Tories support among those who identify as gay. Frankly, I’d be dismayed if it didn’t but there we go. Grayling’s remarks revealed a man who considers gay men and women as a lower class of some sort. If he had said the same of someone black, he would (as Peter Tatchell has said) have been sacked.
Cameron (for it is he) had the opportunity to put Grayling in his place – turn the situation to his advantage and highlight how the Tories have changed. He flunked. He flunked and then some. He refused to condemn the remarks and other Tory spokesmen/members of the Shadow Cabinet have followed suit. It must be a terrible sight for progressive Tories. Today, at Cameron’s launch he managed to further bugger matters up. He’d already leaked the speech he would make as Gordon Brown travelled back from seeing her Maj at the Palace. He spoke without notes so it’s possible that he genuinely forgot one phrase from his speech but given the rest seemed spot on, such a view would be at best ‘kind’. Cameron was supposed to say:
“We’re fighting this election for the great ignored. Young, old, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight. They start businesses, operate factories, teach our children, clean the streets, grow our food and keep us healthy – keep us safe.”
He missed off “gay, straight”. Unfortunate. You can watch the full thing below:
I was then driving home this evening and listening to the PM Programme on Radio 4. William Hague was on and got some good questioning on the Grayling story so it’s still running for the Tories. This is good to see – it should be an issue for them, and they need to resolve this. The left leaning group Compass has a petition which I’ve signed and I hope you will too, regardless of the party you are thinking of supporting. It’s available here.
William Hague also used an interesting line talking about the Tories as the most ‘family friendly’. I suspect this is a phrase and an agenda that I’ll be discussing a little more in the days and weeks ahead.
It’s going to be an interesting campaign and a fascinating election. I hope you’ll comment on my posts and continue your interactions on Twitter, Facebook and all the rest of it. You can see Nick Clegg launching the Lib Dem campaign below but I can’t find an unedited video of Brown (if you find a link please post it in comments) and I’ll add it here.