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Wednesday 7 October 2009

LGBTory event in the gay village is met with protests (video)

The Conservative party conference is taking place in Manchester at the moment and last night Spirit Bar on Canal Street was the venue for their LGBTory event. The first-ever official conference Pride event.

There are two versions of this video. The first includes Steph Pike’s poem about David Cameron (thanks to Steph for giving permission). Watch the second version if you would like to hear more of the live sound including the discussion.

Around thirty protesters gathered outside. This excellent article has a full account of the protest.

In the video you can see Theresa May, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Minister for Women, who was one of the special guests at ‘Conference Pride’. Eric Pickles the Chairman of the Conservative Party was also there. A group of Christians stood at the end of Canal Street waving banners

Around the corner, the Poptastic club held its own special night called Tory Shame, with a drag queen dressed up as Margaret Thatcher.

Earlier in the evening Channel 4 News reported that equality campaign group Stonewall had pulled out of ‘Conference Pride’ in protest at the party’s right-wing allies in the European Parliament.

And Jon Snow talked to actor Stephen Fry and Conservative MEP Dr Charles Tannock.

Stonewall itself has come under fire from Peter Tatchell recently. The new government equality bill excludes LGBT people from anti-harassment clauses and Tatchell thinks that Stonewall has failed to challenge this adequately.

Some people are coming to the conclusion that certain gay organisations such as Stonewall are much too chummy with New Labour.

Protester at the LGBTory event in Manchester's gay village during the 2009 Conservative Party Conference.

Protest at the LGBTory event in Manchester's gay village during the 2009 Conservative Party Conference.

Protest at the LGBTory event in Manchester's gay village during the 2009 Conservative Party Conference.

PERSONAL VIEW

I went along to the protest mainly to shoot video and photographs. I’m not a Tory hater. I don’t support the Conservatives or Labour but, if anything, at the moment I hear more things that I like the sound of coming from the Tories. Particularly on civil liberties, which is one of the main concerns for me. Though I have serious reservations about other areas, such as private companies being involved in the NHS and other public services. Not to mention the right-wing European links.

But I don’t think Britain can take another five years of New Labour.

I quite like Theresa May, so didn’t support her being booed! At one point I was asked to look after a Pride Is A Protest banner and was then collared by a Conservative MP who asked me what the protests were all about. To their credit, a number of people who were attending were willing to engage in long discussions with the protesters. I would have liked to have recorded some interviews but I’d been up since 5am and was feeling rather sleepy!

Some couldn’t understand why anyone who was lesbian, gay, bi or transgender would be anti. But to some of the protestors it was just yet another high-cost elitist club event in the gay village: an area which, despite the relentless media hype, excludes more LGBT people than it includes.

As he left, Andrew Stokes of Manchester Pride told us that LGBTory will donate a small amount from every ticket sold to Manchester Pride. Channel 4’s Gary Gibbon reports that the Tories have made nearly £1.5m profit from their conference.

The only other LGBT event at the Conservative conference is ‘Why Gay People Should Vote Conservative’ but, bizarrely, this is only accessible to those who have a conference pass. Talk about preaching to the converted!

During Pride we had the LGBT Labour discussion which was free and open to all. I hope the other parties will follow suit and arrange public meetings where issues can be discussed in the run up to the general election.

OTHER COVERAGE

* ‘Tories ignore protesters to take Pride in first gay club night’ (The Times)

* Why should gay people vote conservative?: the LGF has a comprehensive write up about this Tory Party fringe discussion and has extensive daily coverage of the Conference.

* Gay Tories hold first pride night a BBC article which gives the impression that all the protesters outside were from Outrage. When in fact there was a mix of different groups and individuals.

* First official gay Tory party hailed a success despite Stonewall boycott (Pink News)

* Conservative political blogger Iain Dale has an interview with Michal Kaminski of the European Reform Group in the European Parliament.

* On a lighter note, some wag has made this satirical video about Theresa May’s choice of outfit today:


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 4:29 pm

5 Comments »

  1. Hi

    I have in the tabs above entered a website address asking you if this website address could be added to the blog roll.

    This agency was originally set up by a small group of gay men some 18/19 or even 20 years ago. Admittedly HIV organisations were always open to all living with and or affected by HIV including the people most affected in the early to mid eighties.

    Now even though it has (in accordance to in Memorandum and Articles of Association) has a number of people living with HIV themselves. However, they still do not actually support the gay community as they should – considering that gay men/men who have sex with other men are still predominately the highest group living with and affected by HIV in Manchester (Greater Manchester) and even funding that becomes available is always signposted to other groups.

    I would like you to form your own opinion before you decide to add the above site to your roll (blogroll).

    Yours

    Michael Snaith
    Long-term survivor and frustrated individual

    Comment by Michael Snaith
    Wednesday 7 October 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  2.  
  3. Well done on a cracking article and opinion piece. I’ve plugged it on the LGF site if that is okay. It’s on the Tory Party conference rolling news article (I’m not allowed to call it a blog!) and the article about the Why should gays vote conservative event – which IMO should have been free to attend too.

    Thanks again.

    Comment by Marc
    Thursday 8 October 2009 @ 1:30 pm

  4.  
  5. Brilliant article, loved the video clips. It was a fantastic evening and I think it really needed to happen now more than ever – especially after Cameron’s refusal to accept the Tory’s European allies are not homophobic!

    Comment by David Henry
    Thursday 8 October 2009 @ 2:36 pm

  6.  
  7. I didn’t think either of the ch4 articles gave proper background to the allegations of homophobia, so I looked it up myself:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_and_Justice#Gay_rights

    Does indeed seem pretty heinous!

    Comment by Kim
    Saturday 10 October 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  8.  
  9. Let’s be pedantic and examine this new buzzword, LGBTory…

    It either infers that they are Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Tories (but not Trans), or that perhaps transpeople are Tories?

    I’m joking of course, but it’s yet another of the blatantly ill-thought-out, downright morally bankrupt efforts the Tories are making to win those vital floating votes to win power.

    If they do, expect a nice, slow, determined rollback to the intolerant times when the Tories devised, executed and supported Clause 28.

    Comment by Annie
    Sunday 6 December 2009 @ 5:39 am

  10.  

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