Saturday, 20 November 2010

for shame, UN

which has voted to remove sexual orientation from the categories which deserve protection from extrajudicial execution, thus giving the green light to homophobic regimes to execute gay and lesbian and transgender people for being who they are (remember that Iran forcibly transgenders gay men).  Here is Peter Tatchell on the subject, reproduced on Harry's Place.  Sweden, whose representative spoke against this resolution, failed to vote against it.  South Africa and Cuba voted for it.

Remind me, readers, what was the UN supposed to be for again?


Anonymous said...

I remember the disgraceful campaign the Liberals and Simon Hughes ran against Peter Tatchell in Bermondsey.

Simon Hughes and the Liberals will never live that down and Peter Tatchell has grown in grace and stature ever since.
A shame he wasn't elevated to the House of Lords instead of some of the nominees.

Anonymous said...

That's a soft ball - it's the same as the EU - run for the benefit of the elite who work there.

Can we have a list of these homophobic regimes so I don't accidentally book two weeks in the sun there ?

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, no, no!

Believe me - I was there! It was *not* the Liberals who ran the homophobic anti Tatchell campaign; it was various others, in particular an "Independent" Labour Candidate called John O'Grady (who was supported by the outgoing Labour MP Bob Mellish and quite a few of the local CLP).

This is becoming an urban myth, a popular fiction along the lines of Canute trying to turn back the waves or Nelson putting the telescope to his blind eye - a great story, but there is no truth in it. Hughes may be a total wazzock, and the Liberals/Lib Dems a busted flush of opportunist has-beens, but as far as Bermondsey is concerned thay are comparatively innocent.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 16:23

Revisionism that's a long word isn't it children? What Lib Dem magazine did you read that re-writing of history? So Simon Hughes, now declared as confused about his own sexuality, put out a leaflet decribing himself as "the straight choice." Straight in what sense Mr Lib Dem revisionist? The Bermondsey campaign Hughes won was recognised as a new low in UK politics for the homophobic campaign against Peter Tatchell. It still holds the record.

Anonymous said...

Actually I don't think Hughes is a wuzzock. Having observed many Lib Dems at close quarters in the House, he is probably one of the least wuxxocky.

And of course it is true that there are some unpleasantly homophobic individuals in the Laboru Patry as in all parties and none. I am sure the 'Independent Labour' person the last Anon has mentioned was one such individual.
However, Simon Hughes knows very well that he went along with Liberal election literature that described him as a 'straight' sort of a guy. He kenw the inference there very well and I don't need to spell out why it was devastating then. It was/is doubly devastating because he knew then as he admits now, that he was at least, bisexual. So he acquiesced in hypocrisy for electoral advantage. Sure he wasn't the first and will not be the last. But he did it and he knew and knows it.

Anonymous said...

Nothing was as devastating to Peter Tatchell's candidature and campaign as his being kicked in the nuts by his own Party leader - the sainted Michael Foot.

Anonymous said...

Uncharacteristically, The Flashing Blade seems less than generous. No, I didn’t read it in a revisionist Lib Dem Magazine – I was there! I saw the leaflets, I saw O’Grady riding round on the back of a lorry singing homophobic songs about Tatchell, I saw the graffiti. I remember Bob Mellish resigning to go to work for the Docklands Corporation, and him deliberately bringing down one of the best CLPs in London in the process. Hell, I even read the Daily Mail and Daily Express, which both piled in to Tatchell – I think they both had front page stories about Foot’s disowning of him as well.

1983 was a surprisingly long time ago in cultural terms. I doubt whether most people would have used the word “straight” as an antonym of “bent” – in fact, I am not even sure that the word “Gay” had widespread use, certainly not amongst the white working classes of Jamaica Road, where I was. (Those more knowledgeable might correect me here.) One leaflet proclaiming Hughes as the “Straight Choice” was nothing compared to the avalanche of other literature.

One other point – the right wing press were having hysterics at the time about “Militants.” Everyone on the left with whom they disagreed (i.e. everyone on the left!) was denounced as a “militant”, even though many were opposed to the specific organisation of that name. It’s a bit like the casual misuse use of “Islamist” or “Al Quaeda” today. Tatchell was tarred – heavily – with that Militant brush. Also, the fact that he was Australian, lived on benefits in a council flat and had evaded the draft from the Australian Army. How many Labour candidates in by elections have that sort of name recognition, and still lose?

I would suggest that the best parallel for the Bermondsey campaign is the Greenwich campaign from four years later, where the press went after Deidre Wood in the same way that they went after Tatchell. Fortunately for them, she was a woman, and thus much easier to disparage, undermine and vilify.