by Mr Wainscotting
This is a little overdue, but here it is anyway.
Until very recently, I was a Labour Party member. But, finally, after a long series of screwups, gaffes and idiotic statements, I withdrew my membership. Not formally, I’ll be quick to add. I tore up my membership card, and posted the picture online. I had more fun this way.
So, what set me off? Well, there were a lot of things that did. There was the fact that instead of responding to John Key calling Liz Hurley hot with contempt and derision, Goff said that she wasn’t in his top five fantasy shags (she is close, though, so that’s something). Then there’s the lack of leadership, ability, aplomb and certainty that Goff and his party have displayed over the last few months and the general appearance of not actually trying to campaign to win the election. All these things slowly cobbled together to make me increasingly disillusioned in the party. But the final straw was Goff’s response to Damien O’Connor throwing his toys because the party list is dominated by “a gaggle of gays.”
Instead of denouncing O’Connor’s homophobia and issuing him with a swift boot up the backside, Goff waxed languid about how his comments would probably get him elected. That afternoon, O’Connor apologised – for saying it out loud.
So I tore up my membership card. Now this isn’t just a pissy, self-interested activist from the gaggle of minorities throwing his own toys over a seemingly minor event. Because, not only was O’Connor wrong on his statistics, I can no longer pretend to support a party that tries to claim it’s been the best for queer rights, yet is unable to take a genuine stand against homophobia.
Homophobia and queerphobia continue to plague our nation and the government has a real capacity to rectify the situation. But when one of the major parties (and the one that most loudly claims to be family) shows that they’re willing to let one of their MPs be openly bigoted because it will get him more votes from rednecks, then how can we really trust them with our rights?
The current Labour Party isn’t at all interested in our rights, they’re not interested in actually benefitting their constituents; they’ve become a bunch of weak apologists, desperate to be elected and afraid to turn down votes, even if they come from arseholes.
It’s this ridiculous accomodationism in politics and the media that allows homophobia to flourish – the people who are supposed to be leading us and delivering our news and entertainment are afraid to censure bigotry in case the bigots will refuse to vote for them, or watch their shows. We need politicians and media outlets to actually take a zero-tolerance stance on bigotry. Not to infringe on people’s freedom of speech, but to condemn bigotry effectively and consistently.
Just because you need to be elected, doesn’t mean you should be chasing the votes of bigots. If anything, you should be turning them down. You should be sitting on Firstline declaring that society has no room for homophobia anymore, and neither does Labour; not dodging the questions with the political catchall answer “the matter now is behind us.”