Posted March 24, 2010 by in RIGHT ON

David Cameron’s cough: um so is equality sacred or not?

by Petit Fours

You’ve probably seen it online. In a video interview with the Gay Times, David Cameron – the smooth-talking Conversative leader – stumbles halfway through a bland spiel about gay rights and suddenly loses what he’s saying, coughs and backtracks.

At 1:57, the interviewer points up a flaw in his argument and suddenly Cameron realises that his talk of Conservatives munificently letting gays get to do things other British people can do isn’t actually a sign of how nice and cuddly the Conservatives are, but a sign that he thinks gay rights are optional.

Rather like giving money to community projects, Cameron reveals that he sees gay rights as a nice liberal thing to have but something you can take or leave. The sort of thing that can fluctuate according to the public mood and what the media’s saying   -  not a enshrined part of British society. Is giving black people the vote optional? no, I don’t think it is. Is giving gay people the right to get jobs and marry optional? I would like to think it’s not.

And does Cameron know anything about those far-right European groups his MEPs are in a coalition with? No he doesn’t seem particularly curious about what these guys get up to at home. He just wants freedom, and those hard right Lithuanian groups want  freedom too. Not the personal freedom of gay people in Lithuania say, but rather the freedom of rich old men in all countries to pay less tax to Brussells. Heart-warming.


What this slip shows is the one thing that makes the Tories scary.  Dave doesn’t seem that scary. His smooth-talking, that babyish face, bicycles, webcameras and interviews with Gay Times – he seems okay. Sure he’ll slash public service budgets but he’s nice right? he wants to help people, doesn’t he?

What we’re all a bit afraid of is that this is just a mask he’s using to get elected. We’re worried that as soon as he and the old guard Eton lot are in power, that’s going to slip at some points and reveal some hardcore old Thatcherite ideas that do not favour minorities. Particularly one of Britain’s most vulnerable minorities – gay people – the only ones whose claim to equality in law is commonly disputed. See story about gay people getting turned away from hotel here.

Can we trust him?

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