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« Caption competition (7) | Main | Editorial: Behaving like one party »

Comments

Henry Cook

No - Cameron voted in favour of civil partnerships on 12th October 2004 and 9th November 2004. Fox was absent both times. Funny coincidence he was never around at the time of any of these votes. Also Cameron scores better on Stonewall (not that I place much stock by these things!) Interestingly, Ken Clarke gets the best score - 71%, compared to 50% for DC, 36% for Foxy and 29% for Davis.

Anthony

"As far as I am aware Ken Clarke attended Nottingham High School, a fee paying, independent school and always has been"

At the time Clarke went there Nottingham High School was a "Direct Grant" school (i.e. it was an 'independent' school, but rather than charging fees it was funded by a direct grant from the government).

The 1974-79 government abolished direct grant schools and most of them became fully independent schools. The Assisted Places scheme introduced when the Conservatives returned to Government was a (presumably cheaper!) alternative to re-introducing direct grant schools.

James Hellyer

No - Cameron voted in favour of civil partnerships on 12th October 2004 and 9th November 2004.

Try again, Henry. Cameron missed the Civil Registration Bill - which I referred to. By your standards that's apparently evidence of his homophobia.

Funny coincidence he was never around at the time of any of these votes.

If that's really the best that you can do, then you have no case at all.

Furthermore it in no way illustrates preaching about how someone can live their lives, as even without the civil partnerships bill there was no barrier to gay people living together is they so desired (a deed of covenant would even have provided the same rights as marriage).

All in all, a poor effort on your part.

Henry Cook

No James.

You may indeed have referred to registration, but I was referring to civil partnerships, as my first post, the one which initiated this dialogue, demonstrates.

I refer you to http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/david_cameron/witney
and
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/liam_fox/woodspring

Then click on the voting records concerning gay issues of both candidates. DC voted in favour of civil partnerships on 12th October 2004 and 9th November 2004, as I said before. Fox was absent. I raised the issue of Civil Partnerships, so this is the voting record I am examining. Its the overall picture that counts - you want to place all your eggs in one basket, registration.

Summary of DC - "moderately for equal gay rights"
Summary of Fox - "moderately against equal gay rights"

Thank you for patronising me ("a poor effort on your part") but I won't accept it. I don't patronise you, please do me the same courtesy.

Sean Fear

If that's not preaching about how to live lives, then I don't know what is.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs, Dr. Fox's reservations hardly amount to "preaching".

Michael Smith

Sorry if this is a silly question, Henry and James (and everyone else!), but weren't there other reasons to oppose the Civil Partnerships bill other than homophobia?

James Hellyer

You may indeed have referred to registration, but I was referring to civil partnerships

Which I rebutted by pointing out that Cameron's abstention on the Civil Registration bill could be used to make the same claim. You cannot claim that one man's abstentions speaks volumes about him, while casually ignoring the other man's abstentions.

Your insistence on focussing on one bill does not change that.

Summary of DC - "moderately for equal gay rights"
Summary of Fox - "moderately against equal gay rights"

Which given that their voting records are almost identical only indicates they weight that site gives the bill Dr Fox missed.

As I said, abstention does not prove anything.That line suggests that the 100 to 150 Conservative MPs that all missed both readings of the bill are all homophobes.

If that really is the evidence on offer, then you have no case at all.

Henry Cook

I've never said Fox is homophobic, that would be an outrageous claim to make. I have said though that his stance on gay issues seems to preach about how people should lead their lives - this is something I object to, but it is nothing like the despicable nature of homophobia.

Henry Cook

No James.

My evidence is that DC has twice voted to extend gay rights, LF has never voted to extend gay rights. There is in fact a case there, whether you agree with it or not.

And once again, I am not accusing anyone of being a homophobe, please do not slur me in this way.

Mark Fulford

Fox: http://www.christian.org.uk/mpvotes.php?selection=633

Cameron: http://www.christian.org.uk/mpvotes.php?selection=627

Michael Smith

Henry, I certainly didn't mean to accuse you of claiming at Fox was homophobic, and I am sorry if I created that impression.

All I meant to say was this - wouldn't it have been possible to oppose the Bill as, for instance, an extremely badly-drafted piece of legislation, rather than simply out of some desire to tell other people how to live their lives?

And although I didn't follow this issue very closely, I don't quite see how failing to provide a new legislative framework for same-sex relationships counts as 'telling people how to live their lives', anyway - surely it's just letting them get on with their lives, within the legal framework that presently exists?

Or to put it even more simply, I don't think Fox has ever really said 'Don't have gay relationships - that isn't how you should live your lives, people.' But perhaps I am over-simplifying.

Henry Cook

I suppose the argument would be that prior to the passing of the Civil Partnership bill, the whole framework was in a sense geared to preaching to people about how they should lead their lives - the way in lifelong partners could not go down officially as next-of-kin etc. It was about inherent bias in the system which made it very difficult to pursue a gay relationship on equal terms with a straight relationship.

I don't wish to attack Fox unfairly - I just wanted to point out that he has never voted in favour of extending gay rights, and DC has twice. In my opinion, the latter's position has helped right the balance.

We have seen what 'homophobia' is on Clapham Common in the past couple of days - Liam Fox and all the rest could not be further from such disgusting acts.

Henry Cook

Mark, thank you for that very interesting insight. I did not know he had voted against reducing the age of consent for homosexual couples. That justifies my argument against LF no end.

Bruce

Hasn't every piece of legislation since the dawn of time been prompted by a "desire to tell other people how to live their lives"? Tax laws, pub closing laws, driving laws, all laws have this element. That being the case, it seems a pretty feeble argument to single out "civil partnership" laws and say that here, in this one case, laws are forbidden to tell people what to do or not do. Unless, of course, one is prepared to make the logically consistent, libertarian, argument against all these other laws.

henrycurteis

We all remember the 14 day period when the media assassinated IDS....using any material to hand whether true or not. Now the media confident after the IDS regicide, aspires to be the Conservative king-maker....any allegation will do against Liam Fox it appears from above (Disraeli) - or as is apparent completely ignoring him as the primary tactic of the media while they promote and promote Cameron to a completely ludicrous extent.

Conservative MP's caved in over IDS. Are they really going to allow Rupert Murdoch to ram in Cameron as well? It will kill off any confidence in the Parliamentary Party from outside of itself - if every time Murdoch says 'jump' MP's say 'how high?' This time Conservatives must look beyond the media and show some strength....or the fat lady really will start to sing.

"Hayek did, after all, espouse "movement for movement's sake" and, as you correctly suggest, write an essay entitled 'Why I Am Not A Conservative. This does not sit easily with Dr Fox's views on other areas of policy."

The essay criticised reactionary and High Tory conservatism. Hayek considered himself to be an Old Whig. It has been the subject of much debate in free market circles. Some commentators believe that Hayek, according to current definitions, was a conservative. Hayek was considered too conservative by his critics, particularly Ayn Rand who hated his Kantian approach to philosophy.

"Furthermore it in no way illustrates preaching about how someone can live their lives, as even without the civil partnerships bill there was no barrier to gay people living together is they so desired (a deed of covenant would even have provided the same rights as marriage)."

Not true I'm afraid. A deed of covenant doesn't give one the legal right to be recognised as next-of-kin, for all the myriad reasons in life when such recognition is necessary. The failure of Dr Fox actively to support this measure sits very uncomfortably with his much vaunted conversion to 'human rights'. It seems that some are more equal than others in Fox-land.

Daniel Vince-Archer

You'll have to correct me if I'm wrong Henry and Mark (and if I am wrong, I'll hold my hands up and apologise) but didn't Iain Duncan Smith impose a three-line whip to vote against the 'age of consent'? In which case, Liam Fox, a frontbencher at the time, could be said to have been toeing {sic?} the party line and avoiding embarrassment to the leader surely? I seem to recall John Bercow and Michael Portillo making a bit of a fuss about the three-line whip and doing much to underscore the party's reputation for infighting - was that for the 'age of consent' vote?

Rick

"At the time Clarke went there Nottingham High School was a "Direct Grant" school (i.e. it was an 'independent' school, but rather than charging fees it was funded by a direct grant from the government)."


Not True.

A Direct Grant School was fee-paying but in return for State Scholarships it received a direct-grant from the DES to pay towards running costs not to abolish fees.

The LEA appointed one Governor to represent its interest. It was a great system and allowed me to have a Scholarship to a school I could not afford. Obviously it had to be abolished by the Social Elitist Party since they hate Academic Elitism and prefer to buy their way in.

Has anyone seen just how public school the London Oratory Faith School looks in its tidy little uniforms ? Good job Tony, Harriet and Ruth are able to persuade their children to eat fish on Fridays or they might get stuck in a Madrassah in Central London.

Henry Cook

No Daniel, I think that the three-line whip was over the adoption bill - something which should be kept well apart from the 'gay rights' issues as it is not about 'gay rights', but the rights of a child. I'm fairly sure the reduction of the age of consent was done in Blair's first parliament, as was the removal of the ban stopping homosexuals joining the armed forces (which Fox also opposed, it seems). William Hague voted for the reduction of the age of consent - so there was no whip to justify Fox's vote.

wasp

Bercow actually resigned over IDS using a 3 line whip on gay adoption. This was highly inappropriate behaviour by IDS because whilst I think gay adoption is not right, it should be a free vote.

Fox's problem is not inconsistency its that his politics is borrowed from the US Republicans and that style of faith, flag and family politics would stand a snowball in hell's chance of gaining any support with the British electorate.

Daniel Vince-Archer

*holds hand up*

Ok, I'm wrong, I apologise!

Ouch, that was painful!

Although if the vote was before 2001, we've no way of knowing how Cameron would have voted so it's probably not fair to use that to support your argument about his and Fox's respective positions vis-a-vis the gay rights agenda. (Not that I'm suggesting you have used it - I'm merely saying it would be unfair to.)

Henry Cook

Don't worry Daniel, we all get it wrong sometimes - 'we all err and stray' ;-)

The point is that DC has twice voted to extend gay rights, and Fox has never done this - in fact (as I have only today discovered) he has voted many times to restrict gay rights.

Mark Fulford

His voting record on divorce is at odds with my instincts too. It feels like unnecessary thou-shalt interference in our lives.

Sean Fear


IMO, the marriage contract is the one contract you can break and actually be rewarded for breaking , ever since the notion of fault was removed from claims for maintenance and ancillary relief.

To my mind it is entirely reasonable to have legislation requiring people to live up to the commitments they have made to each other, and so I would certainly welcome moves to make divorce harder.

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