With the arrogance and deception that serves only to show the worst side of politics, traditional ‘partners in crime’ the Conservatives and The Sun newspaper have attacked the Liberal Democrats with allegations of homophobia.
Given their recent loss – by just 23 votes – in the Grove Ward, Kingston by-election the Conservatives have lashed out at the winning Liberal Democrat campaign, picking up on a piece of literature claiming “It’s always a straight fight here in Grove ward.”
With a Labour vote lagging behind at just 21% compared with 33% to the Tories, and 34% to the Lib Dems, it is not hard to see why it was described as a straight choice – as we’ve said so many times before “Labour can’t win here”
But for the Conservative party to attack Liberals for being homophobic goes beyond satire: the debate on equal marriage is on the cards because in 2010 we voted for it to become official Liberal Democrat party policy (I was there and spoke in the debate!). It is being implemented because we have a Liberal Democrat equalities minister in the brilliant Lynne Featherstone driving it through. It seems excessive to point out that so many of our activists in London and across the country are from LGBT backgrounds, especially given that as Liberals one of our core beliefs is the fundamental equal moral worth of every individual.
So Conservative Future have a choice (and to a lesser extent The Sun): make a positive, constructive contribution to the political debate – challenge the prejudice of the Church of England who claimed it was “one of the worst threats in 500 years”. Challenge the prejudice of homophobic elements of the Conservative Party, but don’t stoop so low as to spin a story out of nothing and attack the party of equal rights.