Sunday, 4 April 2010

Tweet Highlight #SackChrisGrayling defending the Tory party

Last night a story broke where the Observer (story here) secretly taped a conversation with (Chris Grayling Conservative shadow home secretary) suggesting that people who run bed and breakfasts in their homes should "have the right" to turn away homosexual couples.

Firstly this may of been recorded in secret but Chris Grayling was at a public meeting of a leading centre-right think tank.

Secondly just because a senior Tory says something in a misguided belief that he is defending peoples right to invite people to their own home does not mean that the whole Tory party is some how homophobic.

How can a party that backs gay civil partnerships with tax incentives be Homophobic. Last night a number of Left twitters claimed that this was 'the same old Tory party' and that 'they were all Homophobic'. You don't have to be Tory to be homophobic, im afraid there are plenty of people on all sides who still are and will remain so nomatter what legislation a government brings in.

Tories are not rushing to defend Chris Grayling See Iain Dales Blog 'Why I Have to Disagree With Chris Grayling'.

Personally I think this is a simple case. The couple have a moral disagreement with people being gay and they run a B&B from their own home. If your in your own home you can ban or exclude anyone you want. However if you decide to turn your home into a B&B. You are turning your home into a hotel and a business. In which case a business can't simply turn people away because you disagree with their practices on moral grounds. If you can't accept a minority for whatever reason in a business then you can not disciminate that minority. In which case you are in the wrong business or your should not open up your private home as a B&B.

I would also add that Chris Grayling appears to be making a number of errors of judgement and I belief there are people in the conservative party who are more suited to the Home Secretary role. Home Secretary is a very difficult job and Chris will come under much heavier scrutiny in this role. I would not sack him but if the Conservatives win the next election then I would put someone else in that difficult position because I fear Chris will not survive there long.

Todays link is which is 'A voice of reason against illiberal nonsense'


  1. I almost agree with you. However there is adequate reason to believe the Tories remain, at heart, homophobic.

    1) 25% of the current Westminster grouping of Conservative MPs voted for Section 28. Most of the rest never got the chance as they weren't in Parliament at the time. Tory MP voting records on gay rights are by far the worst of the three main parties (see TheyWorkForYou)
    2) "How can a party that backs gay civil partnerships with tax incentives be Homophobic." - Civil partnerships, in themselves, are a form of sexual apartheid and support for them/against them is not indicative of homophobia or lack thereof
    3) David Cameron seems pretty out of touch on progressive rights see this story. And his MEPs didn't condemn Section 28 like laws in Lithuania, and sit with some rather unsavoury types in their EU grouping.

    So whilst I agree that Grayling's comments don't paint a picture of a homophobic Tory party, that does not mean they aren't still homophobic.

  2. I note Iain dales tame criticism. Wonder what he would be saying if it had been a labour or lib dem MP ?

  3. Of course he would. Iain Dale even came up with a reason why Grayling wouldn't need to apologise.

  4. Thank you Darren for taking the sensible route. I agree with many of your points.

    1) Chris is a good man - and as such I belief he had good intentions - but not thinking his words through or their implication makes him a liability in a post such as the home office.

    2) Once someone decides to make a living out of their home - then any parts of that home used for business seize to be private. And, should as such be treated. That means business laws and regulations should apply.

    3) But most of all who in their right mind will talk off the record or freely to any reporter!

    Great post keep it up!

  5. Chris Grayling is the first Recusant from the New Religion. It'll be a long time before we will see if the Cameron Reformation will stick. Maybe a couple of generations before they have to stop making windows into believers' hearts. There will be many cries of burn the witch. Grayling should go pour encourager les autres.

  6. Is it not true that certain B&B and hotels advertise as exclusively gay? why is that allowed? Personally I don't care but do have some sympathy with owners who feel strongly about it.

  7. you are SOOOOO wrong. Graylings comments are totally out of order and the only reaction that Cameron should have is to sack him from the shadow front bench. Irrespective of where, when and to whom he made his comments, any prejudice he has in him own mind must reside only there, in his mind. He is a politician who is supposed to be representing the modern thinking (haha) Tories.

    Grayling = Nil Points
    Bad Press? = Loadsa Points!!

  8. I think Grayling has it about right to be honest.

    This is about rights and whose rights are paramount. The law says the gay couple and I say the home owner.

    I would disagree completely if it was an hotel but it isn't

  9. Kind of depressing to see so many people do the modern day equivalent of saying "I'm no racialist, but what's wrong with a B&B putting out a 'No Blacks' sign?", or treating this as some 'storm in a tea-cup' that only a tiny insignificant minority worry about.

    This wasn't a lone voice from the back benches... It was a high ranking front bencher. Not only a front bencher, but someone who would be charged with Enforcing the anti-discrimination laws from his chair in the Home Office...

    We all know that the only way that the conservatives can shrug this off is if he recants or resigns. Otherwise, his views become defacto Front Bench Policy.

    That's the rule, you can't be on the Front Benches and disagree with your leader. So if he stays without recanting, then that's Cameron approving of him. And we may as well give up on the idea that Cameron isn't beholden to the right wing of the party.

  10. Muslim leaders call for gays to be murdered, not a word from the government and little from the media.

    Christians don't want two gat men to have sex in their home a politician agrees with them and it is a big deal.

  11. I dont think that Grayling is an asset to the party and for that reason I think I should not be high office if the tories win.

    I dont want to see politicians not being able to express opinions.

    However I think Grayling simply does not understand the situation. Because he makes these errors of judgment he should hold this position in government. The Tories cant sack him before a general election just suffle him out if they get in.

    Grayling considered a B&B to be someones home rather than a business. I think this is the mistake he made in this case. He also didnt seem to remember what he voted for and looked into this later when the story came out. Hes simply not a very clever politician or a good one.

  12. Chris Grayling is just not smart enough to be a future Cabinet Minister.

    The rights or wrongs of the argument are not relevant so close to an election and a good politician would not give the Chris Byrants, Ben Bradshaws and Chris Huhnes oxygen for their "protests".

  13. Why all the fuss?

    If a homosexual couple want to run a B&B exclusively for homosexuals why not?

    If a heterosexual couple want to run a B&B for hetrosexuals why not?

  14. The couple weren't turned away in the sense of being thrown out. The landlady had a moral objection to giving two gay men a double room - it's not quite the same thing.

  15. Sungei perhaps 1, your not allowed to discriminate. 2.Its not advertised as such.

    also I believe same rules to apply to Gay only B&B's.