Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Tories: ‘Lesbians Are Fine As Long As They’re In a Relationship With A Man’

Paul Walter brings today’s stunning Tory story: stunning both because they have an actual policy – yes, a policy, that’s two and counting – and because it’s to (nice Tories, inclusive Tories, pant, nice Tories, inclusive Tories, strain, nice Tories, inclusive Tories, grrr, no, can’t keep it up, knee-jerk bigotry nastiness EXPLODE! Ahhhhh… That’s better) it’s to use the law to discriminate against lesbians. So, the nice, modern, inclusive Tories’ only two confirmed policies: tax cuts for millionaires; bash lesbians! Why is anyone surprised? Without greed and bigotry, what’s the point of the Tories? And there are two more questions.

Have the Tories reached for their core vote’s g-spot because they’re way ahead in the opinion polls and think they can get away with it, or because they’re afraid the lead is surprisingly soft and think their base needs hardening?

Is this policy to deny lesbians IVF treatment unless one of them’s a man (I paraphrase, but not by much) just inspired by old-fashioned Tory bigotry? The sort that spouts homophobia like ‘of course you have equal rights – you can get married to the opposite sex, just like everyone else, and we normal people can’t get married to someone of the same sex either, uurrgghh, how horrid’ now just spouting ‘of course you have equal rights – you can get IVF treatment if you’re in a relationship with a man, and us normal couples have to have a mother and a father involved too’? Or is it inspired by new, modern Tories who aren’t motivated by hate-filled revulsion towards lesbians but by thinking, ‘Ooh, gosh, lesbians, mmmm, with a man, are there pictures, rubs sweaty hands’?

That second one’s a trick question, of course. Obviously, it’s both.

Those Labour Principles In Full

In the interests of political balance, I should point out that the Labour Party is also happy to stir up bigotry, and that one of their key campaigns is ‘Oooh, foreigners, terrorists, scary, foreigners, terrorists, scary, all foreigners might be terrorists, be scared enough that you’ll say yes to the police picking you up for not carrying your ID card at all times and then let the police lock you up for a month and a half without telling you why’. Some of us find the Labour Government’s obsessive desire to have complete control over all our lives much scarier than their rhetoric, but apparently a lot of people have been successfully scared by Labour’s anti-foreigner poison. On an edition of PM last week (I forget which day, but I jotted down the quote) a Labour Minister – confronted with many reasons why detention without charge for 42 days was useless, dangerous and evil – came back, smugly, with what he thought was the one unanswerable reason of principle for doing anything: the opinion polls were in favour, so no sane person could oppose them.

Eddie Mair shot back:
“Are we now getting government by opinion poll? So will Gordon Brown be resigning tonight?”
The Labour Minister’s principles, astoundingly, didn’t equip him with an answer to that one.

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From our dealings in the past, I know how much of a stickler you are for detail so I thought I'd better let you know that it wasn't Paul who broke this story, it was my goodself. If you look you will see Paul posted after reading my original post. Does it really pain you that much to hat tip the right person if that person is me? It seems from this it does.
Bob: Neither you or Paul "broke" the story - your post admits as much in its first sentence when it links to the Graun's story. Hat-tips are, in my experience, given to the person whose post *you* have read, not necessarily the first person to have posted on a story. Which is very sensible, seeing as most of the time we're all reacting to something the MSM have published/broadcast anyway. So wind your neck in! For someone who likes to think of themselves as quite so able to conduct a robust debate without taking it personally, you do seem to carry grudges quite readily.
Oh, get a life. Do you really have nothing better to do than attack other Lib Dems all the time? You pompously refer to “our dealings…” I’ve never met you, but I have on occasion responded to you mindlessly slagging me off (without linking to me), and – after that – praised you for standing up to prejudice. So we’ve hardly had a contractual relationship, but as far as I can see, ‘you slag me off; I reply; I praise you later anyway; you have great big chip on your shoulder’ doesn’t make me the guy unable to give credit where it’s due, does it? Not that anyone can see “our dealings,” of course, because I see you’ve deleted them all so no-one can check your words. Brave of you.

For your information, it was the Guardian which broke the story. I had an e-mail from them with their daily digest at 8.53 this morning, from which I clicked on a link that led me to the story. The story that the Guardian wrote and that you borrowed from – not the other way round. I had no reason to link to any other blogger, then, but I also read Paul’s piece and thought it was good. From his, I read yours – not the other way round.

So, reasons to link to Paul: I thought it was a good piece and deserved reading; his piece is better than yours, in my opinion (and that’s all a blog is, at the end); and if people want to read both, his has a link to yours but yours doesn’t have a link to his (hardly unusual). Not rocket science, is it?

Yes, on this issue I agree with you, and well done. But you’re not the only person who’s rigth in the world, and it’d take a very long time if I referred to each of them personally. As you’ll know I’ve previously both linked to you and made a supportive comment on your blog when I’ve thought you were right. I really don’t understand your knee-jerk ‘All other Lib Dems are evil, wrong and must be out to get me!’ mentality. Now get that bag of Maris Pipers off your shoulder and make a mid-year’s resolution to say something nice about another Lib Dem at least a quarter of the time that you slag all the rest of us off, and make the world a nicer place, OK?
And thanks, Andy, for putting my point much more succinctly while I was composing a reply and then counting to ten before posting ;-)
Look, Bob Shaw's constant wailing against nothing pisses me off as much as the next man but in this case he is right. Without him, neither you nor Paul would have been aware of this so it is only courtesy to give him a HT. Plus your opening "Paul Walter brings today's stunning Tory story" does read like Paul found the story in The Guardian. A simple (HT: Bob Shaw's latest incarnation via Liberal Burblings) gets around all these complications.
As a simple reader with absolutely no interest in who broke what story via whom, I just wanted to say thanks for making me spit coffee over my keyboard at the Brown/opinion poll story - it's been a long and unrewarding day and that's the first laugh I've had for hours :)
My, my you are a drama queen aren't you.
I know I go on too long in my replies, so you probably skipped where it's simply not true to say that I got the story from Bob, but the fact remains that it's still not true (outside of Bob's head, in which only he can read the Guardian and all must bow down to his wisdom).

As I made clear: "it was the Guardian which broke the story. I had an e-mail from them with their daily digest at 8.53 this morning, from which I clicked on a link that led me to the story" - all some time before Bob wrote his. I have now, of course, read Bob's piece. As it was the third I'd read on this subject, it didn't occur to me that it deserved a special honour.

The irony, of course, is that though I don't think I've ever become aware of some hot news from Bob, whenever I've commented on a story directly from Bob's site - including when he's attacked me on it without bothering to link to me - I've linked to him, and certainly would if I was criticising him (for example, though he's since deleted what he wrote). But Bob is forever having a go at other Lib Dems without linking to them, either because he doesn't think his rules about linking apply to him or because he's afraid that people seeing the evidence of what he's complaining about and making up their own minds might mean they disagree with him. See, for example, his whinge about me on poor Paul's blog (link above), where he complains I've not linked to him without, as ever linking to me. I think there's a certain lack of self-awareness there ;-)

Speaking of which, hello again Bob! Special prize for self-awareness, there, for the man who uses what some might suggest is a homophobic term because I don't agree he has the world monopoly on lesbians - and who's such a self-dramatist himself that he posts on two other people's blogs to say 'IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME! ME! LOOK AT ME! HOW DARE YOU NOT TALK ABOUT MEEEEE!'

You honour, the defence rests :D
And thanks, Stuart: I only wish I'd remembered to post that when I heard it, so readers would have been able to enjoy it for themselves on 'Listen Again'! One of Eddie Mair's very best, I thought...
Alex, it's okay get it all off your chest. I have 2 children of my own. I understand at times, especially like now, when it's hot, children sometimes get all hot and bothered and throw little temper tantrums. You carry on.
Oh, the hilarity.

Put-downs are rarely big and clever; but I notice mine against you are entirely evidence-based, with you unable (as ever) to answer a single point - while you put me down for, er, being gay and being younger than you. Funnily enough, I'm quite happy with both :-D

Just answer me something, as a favour: why do you attack other Lib Dems so many more times than ever agreeing with them, or even giving them the benefit of the doubt (let alone the hypocrisy of then forever complaining on everyone else's blogs that you aren't constantly praised), and why when you do so do you never check any of your facts (as with your vicious and baseless attack on Brian Paddick yesterday, though I feel soiled for directing people to such nasty rubbish)?

Unless you really are still a Tory, I really can't get my head round what your motivation is.
You are completely and utterly right, it does say that and I unreservedly apologise.
Thanks Andrew - no need, though nice of you! It should serve as a warning to me to be shorter in my replies (though not in my main posts, obviously. I couldn't manage that) ;-)

Incidentally, excellent post on Chris Huhne. I'd heard his first line, but not the one about Nanny Boris!
Of course I will do you a favour Alex. Now let me see. 1) Why do I attack other Lib Dems so many more times than ever agreeing with them. Thats easy. Other Lib Dems seem to say things I disagree with more than they say things I agree with. 2) I have already admitted that at times I am a hyocrite. 3) Why do I never check my facts - thats not technically true Alex - may I suggest you alter that to why do you sometimes never check your facts. In answer to that question I would have to say sometimes I am lazy. As for my motivation that easy to answer. I post what I post because sometimes I feel like it. You see I get the distinct impression that some Lib Dem bloggers and party officials believe, wrongly in my opinion, thay they are somehow immune from any critism simply because they are who they are. Hope that answers your questions?
Thank you, Bob.

I admit I’m still mystified.

I’ll criticise other Lib Dems where I disagree with them, too; but I give praise where it’s due, too; you demand one, but never offer it. I don’t demand praise, but hope it’ll occasionally come on my merits. And it seems to me to be polite, sensible and – well – not being a git just to check my facts before I slag off someone in the same party as me (I even usually do it before I slag off someone in another party!). That’s not because anyone’s immune from criticism; I’ll disagree with anyone from Leader to blogger, and have done. But what’s the point of just making nasty stuff up? Doesn’t that mean people are less likely to listen to what you have to say should you ever make a valid criticism?

I do, however, apologise. It’s quite true that you sometimes check your facts, so I was wrong to say “never”. But though I don’t read your blog that often – usually when something particularly inflammatory pops up on Lib Dem Blogs – it does seem from the sample I’ve read that you’re more likely to check your facts for, and give the benefit of the doubt to, anyone who isn’t a Lib Dem. And that seems bizarre, counterproductive and just plain nasty to me.

Now I must leave the computer, as I have (imagine!) better things to do…
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