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.