Monday, 3 May 2010

Conservative Manifesto: Think About It

With only three days to go til E Day, the Conservatives have released yet another of these funny faux manifestos; the Contract For Equalities.
There was no official launch or press conference - one might wonder if they even wanted its contents to be reported on by the mainstream media.
On the party website they declare; "We want you to read this contract and - if we win the election - use it to hold us to account. If we don't deliver our side of the bargain, vote us out in five years' time."
The PDF has 29 pages - a massive two pages of which are devoted to "Action on LGBT issues".
In fine we learn that; they have some out MPs, they support civil partnerships, they want to give head teachers "the final say over the exclusion of homophobic bullies", they want to amend the law so convictions for consensual gay sex ("for activities that are now lawful...") can be removed from criminal records, and will "Fight for LGBT rights around the world".
That last bit appears to mean sending Nick Herbert off to attend EuroPride in Warsaw. Well, whoopee-do!
Oh, and there's something vague about putting "pressure on countries where gay people are persecuted, such as Uganda..." and wanting to "change the rules so that gay people fleeing persecution are granted asylum. At the moment gay asylum seekers are often returned to countries with homophobic regimes and told to keep their sexuality secret."
Whilst this is sadly and cruelly true, it is meaningless to talk of changing the rules for LGBT asylum seekers unless you state exactly what you are going to do to stop people who are being persecuted from being deported.
They also claim; "We will also consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage."
So, in a document that's not even the manifesto, the Conservatives say they'll have a think about something.
Hardly an iron-cast pledge, is it?
I'm tempted to say this contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on, but I try to avoid cliche and - moreover - the Tories have only bothered to put this out as a PDF.

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