Cross posted from Wardman Wire
Both Ben Bradshaw and Chris Bryant have claimed ‘homophobia’ as a defence for their MP’s expenses claims.
Bryant says he had to ‘flip’ homes due to nasty smears (presumably emanating from the ‘underpants episode) being daubed on his Rhondda constituency home.
Bradshaw thinks the Telegraph is homophobic because it called his partner his “boyfriend”.
Neither of these claims are being accepted by readers of pinknews.co.uk, the LGBT news site where they appear.
Nor should they. The comment which most sums up my feelings being ‘What a pair of fantastic role models for young gay people to look up to - not’.
Bradshaw in particular seems to be resorting to a diversionary tactic which reminds me of ‘is it because I is black?’ Plus he tries to make out that gay MPs in general are being singled out saying “It is very interesting that gay Tory MPs have also been smeared” - because the Telegraph once referred to Nick Herbert’s “boyfriend” rather than using “partner”.
Bradshaw ignores the fact that since his government cow-towed to religious interests and refused to introduce gay marriage (something he has never, to my knowledge, done anything but defend), instead resorting to the sexual apartheid of civil partnerships - literally ‘different but equal’, they also refused to introduce a similar ‘non-religious’ status for heterosexuals - what the hell is his partner’s ‘official’ title? If anything it’s ‘civil partner’!
‘Boyfriend’ is only homophobic if you read it as such. I understand fully that some use it with that intent but you have to see it in context and the rest of the Telegraph piece on Bradshaw isn’t that.
Bryant, defending his ‘double flipping’ and claiming a total of £92,415 in second home expenses since 2004 plus a £77,000 profit made when he moved again, puts it all down to having to ‘escape homophobic thugs who daubed lewd messages’ on his main constituency property.
As pinknews.co.uk readers point out, if he were an actual role model he would have pursued them and made sure the South Wales police did their job - he wouldn’t have been driven out or taken the police’s advice to move.
Can you imagine the reaction to him from the black community if he was black and they were racist messages and he ran away from defending himself?
Plus there’s the small matter - as another commentator points out - that if one of his constituents were subject to homophobic attacks (and they weren’t living in social housing) they’d have to re-house themselves at their own cost.
Now that we have a great number and fair spread of out public figures in the UK - though not enough, think footballers - I think these comments display a bit of maturity in the gay community, like I think has happened in the black community. It’s no longer ‘my gay role model, right or wrong’.