Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sayeeda Warsi: "We Do Do God"

Be afraid - be very afraid.
Baroness Warsi, the dreadful and divisive Chairman (sic) of the Conservative Party, gave a big speech in Oxford on Wednesday to the bishops of the Church of England.
This was reported in the press along the lines of; 'The Coalition "does God", says Baroness Warsi.' [The Guardian].
As ever, the devil may have been in the detail.
Sayeeda Warsi said; "it seems clear that the previous government did get things profoundly wrong. It got things wrong because it sent the wrong signals about the right relationship between state, faith and society..."
"They were also too suspicious of faith’s potential for contributing to society – behind every faith-based charity, they sensed the whiff of conversion and exclusivity."
Despite having been the shadow "Minister for Communities Cohesion", Warsi has used homophobia as a political weapon in the past.
Fagburn wonders if these rather innocent-sounding words are the start of an attack on Labour's gay equality laws?
Interviewed on Newsnight on Wednesday 16th about her speech, Warsi twice refused to answer a question on whether religious charities would be allowed to override gay equalities legislation.
Emily Maitlis: "I'm just looking for concrete examples to help people understand what your government would do if you like to prioritise faith groups, if faith groups ran homeless charities or drugs charities would they have the power - or the choice - not to employ gay people, for example?"
Warsi: "...I'm not prepared to discuss it in those terms..."

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