The twittersphere (ok, just my timeline) is all agog with anger and righteous ire* about the lefty Labourite LGBTs who are turning out for the PM’s Annual Pride Reception tomorrow. I’m one of those turning up. And just to be very clear, here’s why I’m going :
– I quite want to see inside No 10, and I was never invited under Labour (I know! shocking ommission!) so now’s the time to have a look.
– I’ve been practicing my Buddhist practice for 25 years. We believe in dialogue. It is one of the main tenets of our practice. Dialogue with people we dislike, dialogue with people we disagree with, dialogue with people we vehemently oppose, dialogue at all times, dialogue as a way forward, dialogue as a way to change.
– I know some Tories. I disagree with everything they politically believe in, as they do me, and that doesn’t make them evil. I may think their policies are totally misguided and wrong (I do), it still doesn’t make them evil. NO ONE IS EVIL. Saying people are evil is a cheap and easy way to disregard the necessity of ALL of us taking action, of ALL of us stepping up, of all of us being engaged.
– even Tories can be LGBT. We can all be all sorts of things and the way to maintain the positive momentum we currently have with LGBT matters is to keep on, not to split and separate and divide between ourselves. I don’t care if the person tackling homophobia in schools is Labour or Tory. I care that they’re tackling homophobia in schools.
– this particular event is to acknowledge the work of those tackling homophobia in sport. This really matters. I want to support that.
– there will be Gay Games winners. I want to support them.
– and, as the Mrs just said, if we want Hamas and Israel to talk to each other (and I really do), then we don’t get to say we’ll talk to these ones but not those ones. We don’t get to ask the likes of Hamas to be big and broad in their thinking and their hopes and say we won’t.
I’ve thought about it a huge amount, far more than it deserves I’m sure, and I come down on the side of dialogue.
And yes, I do hope my Dad would understand. I think he would.
* I rather wish some of those so upset about it had turned up to the Lambeth Labour LGBT event I hosted for Tessa Jowell before the last election. We could really have done with their energy then.
Totally agree with what you say about dialogue. There’s a great TED talk on ‘taking the other to lunch’ which is rather like tea with the enemy – same principle. It’s neat idea that stops just falling back on demonising stereotypes. Hope you all have a good day – well deserved and a positive thing I think.
Ps would totally go for a come-dine-with-me-style snoop!
And you can’t take part in the conversation/dialogue if you are not there.
It seems No.10 may have been a bit discerning (or selective) in their choice of gay games medal winners as this medal winner was not invited!
Speak loudly for all of us!
oh that’s such a shame! have no idea which medal winners they invited, will find out when they get there, but am sorry it wasn’t you Katie. what’s your medal for?
Good on you for going Stella.
I think Bob Geldof made his point well, when he was criticized for becoming an advisor on global poverty to Cameron in 2005.
“I don’t care who I have to go to to try to make this agenda work.”
“I’ve done this for 20 years. I have an expertise. If I can be of benefit to help shape another party’s policy towards this agenda, then I will do it.”
I’m really proud of what we did today. Great meetings, between people who needed to meet, and real pleasure in welcoming straight people as part of the totally engaged anti-homophobia in sport work. Shelley is wearing a Huddersfield rugby shirt now to prove that. Proud to be part of supporting that.
‘Jaw-Jaw is better than War-War’ – a Winston Churchill quote, I believe.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people not interested in listening and being ‘reasonable’ or ‘helpful’ to some one else.