Homophobia amongst North Norfolk’s Tories?

It looks as if during the selection of the Conservative candidate for North Norfolk, one of their members got up and asked this question:

“Could we be assured that neither of the candidates is a homosexual?”

I have no idea which of the candidates this question was aimed at or whether it is true (and couldn’t care less – whether a candidate has matching socks probably tells you more about their suitability to be an MP that whether or not they are gay). 

If it’s true (and the source for this is a series of comments on Iain Dale’s blog) it’s a disgraceful display of bigotry.

It will be interesting to see how seriously this gets taken by the Conservative Party officially. I’m sure there are many individual members horrified by the question, but will there be any investigation or action? (And yes, my views would be the same if it was someone in my own party that had said this).

UPDATE: As someone pointed out in the comments on this posting, one of the posters on Iain Dale’s blog has claimed that the person wasn’t a Tory member. Presumably though their electricity failed at that point and so they weren’t able to read further down in the comments where it was confirmed that this person WAS a Tory member (and Liberal Democrat Voice’s other sources confirm this).

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  • Duncan Borrowman 3rd Dec '06 - 2:52pm

    I suspect this may be triggered by Tory homophobic bigots identifying the cause of their previous loss as being Iain Dale’s sexuality – it gives them a convenient thing to finger rather than identifying the real problems.

    I agree CCHQ needs to investigate

  • Antony Hook Antony Hook 3rd Dec '06 - 3:13pm

    Same old Tories- homophobic losers.

  • A little sick of double standards 3rd Dec '06 - 3:33pm

    Also from the comments section in Iain’s blog:

    ” North Norfolk Tory said…

    Annony – the gentleman in question wasn’t a member of the party, he was a member of the public who was entitled to attend under the Open Primary rules. He isn’t representative of the party at all.”

    Antony Hook – Do you usually apply such sweeping generalisations to groups of people? If all Tories were “homophobic losers” would Iain Dale and Alan Duncan be members? Another group of people who tend to be more homophobic than your average person are black people. I doubt you’d write “Same old blacks – homophobic losers.” though, would you?

  • Martin Hoscik 3rd Dec '06 - 3:39pm

    Even if the person was a Tory Member (which they weren’t) why would an investigation be worthy of any parties time and money?

  • Martin – you’re mistaken to say the person isn’t a Conserviatve Party member.

  • It says further down on Iain’s blog that he was a member.

  • Angus J Huck 3rd Dec '06 - 7:11pm

    The Tories have double standards on gay issues, and always have done. It is overt homosexuality they object to, not homosexuality per se (apart from the religious loonies who seem to be ever more vociferous among the cons these days). A sordid, unequal fling between a rich, public school educated oik and a penniless street urchin is regarded as a symbol of upper class moral and genetic superiority. But a gay relationship which is equivalent to a normal heterosexual relationship is anathema, because it is seen as letting the lower orders into the secret life of their betters. This is why Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe gave serious consideration to the prosecution of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears (the punishment of class treason rather than disgust at their lifestyle). Come on, let’s admit it. The Tory Party is odious, always has been, and always will be. The Carlton Club or the Peniel Pentecostal Church? I say a plague on both of them.

  • A little sick of double standards 3rd Dec '06 - 7:55pm

    If the gentleman in question really is a Conservative party member then name him.

  • Martin Hoscik 3rd Dec '06 - 8:23pm

    Well If I’m mistaken, I’m mistaken. I still think the article is making mountains out something rather smaller than a mole hill.

  • Mark Pack Doesn't Always Win Elections 4th Dec '06 - 8:54am

    Regardless of whether the person was a member of not, the Chairman of the meeting should have ruled the question out. That’s the advice we have from CCHQ and it is normally adhered to. Talking of double standards, my understanding as to why Iain Dale lost by such a large margin in NN was due to homophobia by the *Lib Dems*. I gather some Lib Dems activists were knocking on doors and saying, “We’re looking forward to this election – to be fair, the Tory candidate is an improvement on their last candidate (Prior). He’s a young gay chap you know…”

    And you think all these Muslims you have attracted over the Iraq war are particulary gay friendly?

  • “my understanding as to why Iain Dale lost by such a large margin in NN was due to homophobia by the *Lib Dems*.”

    This is an outright lie that needs to be nailed. In fact, Iain Dale has himself commented on his website that he appreciated that Norman Lamb’s team deliberately toned down the “family man” aspects of their campaign to avoid any such suggestion. He has also rightly said that he felt that there was no element of homophobia in the campaign or the result. The result in 2009 will, I think, confirm that Dale was a stronger and better liked candidate than the 2005 result suggested – I fully expect a 15,000 majority (depending on how the parties do nationally – certainly, I expect the swing to be substantially better for the Lib Dems than the national average).

    “And you think all these Muslims you have attracted over the Iraq war are particulary gay friendly?”

    Some are and some aren’t. The essence of liberalism is that you allow things even if you have moral objections, and that is actually a very common position amongst muslims and other religious people. The Lib Dems loudly advocated gay marriage when the Tories were still voting against equalising the age of consent and defending section 28, so you can hardly argue that the party has been inconsistent or secretive about its position on gay rights.

  • hywelmorgan 7th Dec '06 - 8:49pm

    If you have the slightest shred of evidence then I’d be happy to send it in with a complaint about the person/activity concerned. In the absence of anything along those lines and in view of Iain’s reported comments above I think you have a pretty thin case.

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