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Thursday 26 January 2006 11.57am
Martin Underwood wrote:
Quite a lot of posters are concentrating on whether or not he lied, and whether or not that affects your support for him.
This depresses me somewhat.

But isn't honesty important in an MP?

I agree with what you say about privacy, but that doesn't give him a license to lie. IMHO he'd get a lot more respect if, when asked about his personal life, he politely told the questioner that it was none of his business. That WOULD be a refreshing political alternative.

...if you press it, they will come.
Anonymous User
Thursday 26 January 2006 12.00pm
[quote The Lady Miss Jo Jo][quote Birdie]

Anyway, I'm sure you and I agree on this, Birdie. ; )[/quote]

Absolutely! I do agree.
Thursday 26 January 2006 12.17pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
Martin Underwood wrote:
Quite a lot of posters are concentrating on whether or not he lied, and whether or not that affects your support for him.
This depresses me somewhat.

But isn't honesty important in an MP?

I agree with what you say about privacy, but that doesn't give him a license to lie. IMHO he'd get a lot more respect if, when asked about his personal life, he politely told the questioner that it was none of his business. That WOULD be a refreshing political alternative.

Well yeah, but the flip to all this is: coming out is political death, unless you want to be a marginilised Tatchell drum banger.

Punters want a regular guy/girl. Famlee valuz.
Thursday 26 January 2006 12.28pm
I was interested to see Hughes' thoughts on the 1983 bye-election campaign - from the Daily Mail!
Hughes apologises for anti-gay campaign


IMHO the phrase "straight choice" has no connotations of sexuality when used in election literature that I've seen across the country in the last twenty years. The phrase simply rings the changes from that other cliche "two horse race" when trying to convince the voters to vote tactically and not for the third placed candidate.

And BTW would any working class Bermondseyites would even have recognised the usage "gay" and "straight" back then - surely it was only just leaching into university educated middle-class usage at that date, having previously been confined to the gay community???

Surely Hughes is being OTT when apologising for that?
Thursday 26 January 2006 12.40pm
Respondents to a Daily Mail poll suggest that sexuality alone is a bar to electoral success ......



"Should Simon Hughes' sexuality stop him being LibDem leader?

1 Yes, it doesn't stand him in good light
56%

2 No, his sexuality won't affect his ability to do a good job
44% "



Hmmm..... This sort of response is what encourages gay men and women to lie, or at least be economical with the truth. But it's changing, happily and a differrent subset, say, graduates or SE1'ers would point towards more tolerance.
Thursday 26 January 2006 12.41pm
paulh wrote:
Well yeah, but the flip to all this is: coming out is political death, unless you want to be a marginilised Tatchell drum banger.
Punters want a regular guy/girl. Famlee valuz.

Exactly. And this sorry state of affairs will carry on unless someone challenges it. So why are you praising Simon Hughes for running away from it and lying?

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 26 January 2006 1.11pm
Lang Rabbie wrote:
IMHO the phrase "straight choice" has no connotations of sexuality when used in election literature that I've seen across the country in the last twenty years

Yes but in this case it was being used against an openly (or at least outed) gay candidate. I don't imagine they used the slogan before Peter Tatchell's sexuality was made known. That campaign has always slightly dampened my enthusiasm for Mr Hughes.

However, as someone who has recently returned to Mr Hughes' constituency having spen 3 years from 1999, from what I know he is an excellent constituency MP who genuinely cares about his constituents. I have also long been aware of the rumours concerning Mr Hughes without them affecting my view about his work as an MP.

I don't however think that he has done himself any favours by being "economical with the truth" to coin a phrase. As well as coming across as lying (whether he did or didn't) last week, he may also have offended the gay "community" by seeking to hide his sexuality or coming across as ashamed of it - as a gay man myself I am aware that the potential pink vote is pretty large in SE1...
Thursday 26 January 2006 1.16pm
johnnyboy,

it's not just the gay community who find lying distasteful

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 26 January 2006 1.17pm
The "potential pink vote" may be large in SE1, but unfortunately the very real blue-rinse vote is larger.
Thursday 26 January 2006 1.23pm
Ivanhoe, you seem absolutely wedded to the idea that we should re-consider our views on Simon Hughes based on the fact that he, up till now, has not outed himself.

So, let's see this line of argument through shall we? Had he admitted homosexuality many years ago it is quite likely many voters would have switched to another candidate simply because of the general prejudice against gay people within society. Remember, in the last election his majority was not all that great, so any prejudice-induced swing would most likely have resulted in the loss to our seat of a committed local MP.

In response to the person that suggested the terms "gay" and "straight" were not in general use 20 years ago: I'm afraid that's just not true. I even remember the (hugely popular) Not The Nine O Clock News sketch "Are you a gay Christian", aired in 1979.
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