Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The regulations - a political view

A few more things -

Here is a link to the breakdown of the voting in the House of Lords as well as a link to the Hansard report of speakers.

Of particular note are speeches by Lord Smith, Lord Alli and Lord Lester.

Interesting that the majority of the votes against are from Conservative peers and that a large majority of Conservative voting Lords were against. Clear and uncontrovertible evidence, if any were needed, of the probability of any Tory Government (even with Cameron at the helm) enacting any socially progressive legislation at all.

All of the Labour and Lib Dem peers who voted were in favour.

After watching the debate on the Parliament channel I was struck by several facts:

- the motion to annul was moved by someone who sounded like Ian Paisley
- Lord Tebbit started by being nice to Chris Smith to show he really was a nice person, then procedded to talk about 'sodomy', rather spoiling the effect
- there was genuine warmth in the Chamber for Lords Smith and Alli, with lots of 'hear, hear's' and silence greating those speaking in support of annullment
- a really warm reaction of the Chamber to the announcement of the result.

Overall a very positive experience (if you could manage to sit through the Tory and DUP speeches).

There has been some really interesting articles which are well worth a read on the Guardian comment is free site:

Peter Tatchell (Take a bow your Lorships), AC Grayling (Halting Progress), Inayat Bunglawala and Abdurahman Jafar (None are more equal than others) and Dave Hill (Hate the sin, not the sinner). All good articles and well worth a read.

To summarise in sketch form, Peter Tatchell argues the vote in the House of Lords is a body blow to US style religious right being introduced into the UK; Bungwala and Jafar make a cogent argument for Muslims to support the regulations, A C Grayling makes a powerful argument against religious forces foisting discrimination upon society; meanwhile Dave Hill's piece makes a subtle and interesting argument that we apply the phrase 'Hate the sin, not the sinner' to religious communities, also emphasising, rightly, that many of the religious (including myself) were campaigning in support of the regulations.


  1. Hi Craig I appreciated your summary today of the Lords vote, after trawling myself through lots of cyberspace. I did miss Dave Hill's comments, though, so thanks for pointing that interesting one out. Even Joel Edwards this morning on Today talked about "christians" as if we should be classed as a single entity, all thinking in a conformist way.

  2. I think the approach taken by the Evangelical Alliance.

    At times they are very conciliatory - they surely see that the kind of Christianity of the religious right has no future. However at other times they seem nervous as if they need to shore up their 'base' and are at risk of being seen to be too week - especially as organisations such as the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship (often referred to as "some Christian Lawyers" - although headed up by a former Lord Chancelllor and a High Cour tJudge they are the key engine behind the religious right at its most vicious and implacably homophobic) an the implausibly named "Anglican Mainstream" - which of course is nothing but and is at the heart of any anti-gay campaign in the UK.

    But of course many Christian people believe (whether they approve of homosexuality or not) that LGB people should be treated equally under the law.