Bill's Archived Comments

for the week beginning: Monday, 10th March 2003

Contents of this page (scroll down the page to see the full text of the article which interests you)

- Conservative 'compromise' amendment on Section 28 fails also (11 Mar 2003)

- Conservative blocking amendment against repeal of Section 28 fails (10 Mar 2003)

- Clare Short threatens to resign over Blair's Iraq policy (10 Mar 2003)

(If you wish to see other articles, please click on the 'Archives' link above to go there now)

Conservative 'compromise' amendment on Section 28 fails also (11 Mar 2003)

More good news, even though offset by the reality of continuing Conservative bigotry. The 'compromise' amendment supported by David Davis, which would have given a 'small but significant' minority of parents the right to demand a ballot on the materials used in their children's sex education, was handsomely defeated by 356 votes to 127.

Shamefully, amongst the 127 were 13 members of the Shadow Cabinet.

Even more shamefully and shockingly, the Chairman of 'Torch' (James Davenport) endorses this bigotry. Of course, the 'e' for equality has been dropped from the former 'Torche', which now styles itself as 'Gay Conservatives'. Sad, deluded and pathetic!

From earlier information, I understand that the small but significant minority referred to was 5%. As the Liberal Democrat local government spokesman Edward Davey is quoted as saying, the amendment had it succeeded would have been a "recipe for homophobic behaviour on a grand scale". Quite.

You can read a full report in the Independent. Naturally, there is no mention of it in The Daily Telegraph.

Conservative blocking amendment against repeal of Section 28 fails (10 Mar 2003)

An amendment designed to thwart the repeal of Section 28, proposed by Conservative MPs Ann Widdicombe and Edward Leigh, was this evening heavily defeated in the House of Commons. Hurray!

The amendment was defeated 368 to 77, a majority of 291. It is thought that 74 Conservative MPs voted for the amendment, including the Leader Iain Duncan Smith, aka 'the quiet man', also the person who says he is not a homophobe.

John Bercow, the Conservative MP who resigned from the Shadow Cabinet a few months ago over his disagreement with Conservative Party policy relating to homosexuals, described the amendment as 'obnoxious', a view I share.

Edward Leigh, in proposing the amendment, included the following remarks: : "Section 28 is a statement that there is no moral equivalence between homosexuality and heterosexuality. I make that moral statement in the knowledge that many other people in this country believe it to be true." What this shows with glittering clarity is that the bigoted majority of the Conservative Party still have a very long way to go before they even begin to understand how out of touch their Party is with modern British society.

Clare Short threatens to resign over Blair's Iraq policy (10 Mar 2003)

Clare Short, International Development Secretary and a member of the Cabinet, yesterday evening threatened to resign from the government if Tony Blair sanctions UK military action against Iraq in the absence of a second UN resolution. She stated she would not "uphold a breach of international law" and described Mr Blair's policies as "extraordinarily reckless".

Under normal circumstances my reaction would be 'so what?' and 'Good riddance!'. However it appears that, at least for the moment, Tony Blair has chosen not to sack Ms Short - there are differing views at present as to whether this represents a sign of strength or weakness on the part of the Prime Minister, or whether he is simply too pre-occupied by events to devote time to this matter. In any event it is highly unusual, probably unprecedented, for a member of the Cabinet to voice such criticism of government policy in public. On balance, it probably represents a recognition by Mr Blair that to 'martyr' Clare Short now by sacking her would prove counter-productive.

It appears that the positions of President Chirac of France and the Russian authorities have hardened in that they have both indicated they will veto any resolution authorising military action against Iraq. I hope that President Bush and Tony Blair will not be deterred from taking the necessary action against the regime of Saddam Hussein, and the sooner the better. If casualties of such resolute action include the credibility of the United Nations, the political career of Clare Short and indeed that of Tony Blair himself, then this is a price that will have to be paid. These are probably the very least of the seismic shifts in world politics that will flow from current events. The next few weeks are not going to be pretty for any of us, I suspect.

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Copyright © 2003 William Cameron