The Bristol Labour Party has now waded into the Cancer’s row over Bunter Eddy and the Big Lottery grant to Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (Each).
Their Deputy Leader, Mark Bradshaw, published an open letter on the matter on Friday night. The full text is here.
Very interesting it is too, raising some interesting questions about what the modern Labour Party and their anti-homophobia fellow-travelers think terms like “progressive” and “equalities” actually mean.
Bradshaw writes towards the end of his letter:
I really hope [Bunter] isn’t suggesting that bullying should be tolerated in a progressive city like Bristol or anywhere else.
Then again, this is the man who year after year wants to cut funding for all equalities work in our city, further marginalising the disadvantaged, the disabled, and those who do not fit his 19th century vision for Bristol.
What an odd statement.
Now I appreciate that Bradshaw has never given much of an impression of being a deep thinker, let alone a serious student of the British Labour Movement – he altogether seems happier privatising sections of the public highway with public money for the exclusive use of private bus companies under the guise of ‘Showcase Routes’ than grappling with deeper political questions like “why the hell am I doing this”?
But surely he must know that Labour Party values derive directly from the 19th Century? A lot of us might even call it a “19th Century vision”.
The universal values of equality, suffrage and human rights that are supposed to underpin the Labour Movement were originally developed in late 18th Century. Then popularised – among other places – through the trade union movement as it developed throughout the 19th century, culminating in the birth of the Labour Party’s forerunner ,the Labour Representation Committee in 1900.
So if Bradshaw and friends reject a perfectly serviceable “19th Century vision for Bristol” what are they all about then?
A clue lies in the Cancer’s car crash thread about Bunter and Each.
One of the saner and more rational comments from the antis came from a chap called James who said:
What a lot of money….. Makes me angry to think we can give away that amount when we have our forces boys going without….. Maybe lottery should look at giving to that cause instead…..maybe to look at the more important factors where it is life or death instead of making someone feel better about their sexuality ??
The response to James was of course utterly patronising: “James – I read your post and was bit stumped at where to start,” huffed some sanctimonious little tosser from Horfield called David.
Well he might not know where to start but I do. How about this report from Tim Reid in Kandahar, Afghanistan from The Times in 2002?
Men accused of sodomy faced the punishment of having a wall toppled on to them, usually resulting in death. In February 1998 three men sentenced to death for sodomy in Kandahar were taken to the base of a huge mud and brick wall, which was pushed over by tank. Two of them died, but one managed to survive.
Not much sign of universal progressive values from the Taliban then. So no doubt our self-styled anti-homophobia progressives will have something to say about this? Indeed they do. David says:
I think a diminished military role in this world and avoiding entanglement in conflicts we just can’t win would do them more good, but that’s another story.
So these “progressives” believe that their rights, freedoms and special treatments should only be extended to an exclusive wealthy elite in the West and anyone else in the world can literally go hang because fighting for these values is too much like hard work?
Of course it’s true that the awarding of privileges and rights to elites on the basis of their proximity to power and money is not a “19th Century vision”. It was the reality of the 18th Century …
Says a lot when yer average squaddie and their supporters are more progressive than our highly educated liberal elite doesn’t it?