Perhaps they shouldn’t but they’ve every right to

Crispin Blunt, the Conservative MP for Reigate, has been told to reapply for his parliamentary seat amid claims that local Tories want to oust him because he came out as a homosexual after the last election.

It’s not a bigotry I share, the one against Teh Gayers. I wouldn’t vote for or against someone for which flavour of consenting adult they liked to play hide the salami with (nor vote for a Tory, obviously).

However, the people in that constituency have every right to vote for whoever the damn want and for any reason that crosses their synapses, assuming a local Tory party has a cumulatively positive number of those of course. Because this is what democracy means: the peeps get to have their say.

They can vote for or against someone because they are or are not a shirtlifter, black/white, commie, fascist or even, if they’re truly lunatic, One Nation Labour.

Democracy does not get limited to either people one approves of nor to votes being cast only for reasons one approves of. This is rather the point of it actually, to find out what it is that the people, rather than the rulers, do in fact approve of or not. And if it turns out that the voters are indeed bigots then sorry, but you don’t get to go elect another people.

40 comments on “Perhaps they shouldn’t but they’ve every right to

  1. But Tim, this isn’t the people of Reigate, it’s the local Conservative Association. In practice the people of Reigate will return the Conservative candidate whoever it is.

  2. Not to detract from the thrust of your piece but it seems that there is more to this than Blunt’s gayness.

    Guido Fawkes posted this yesterday:

    The situation is being presented by CCHQ, who are in heightened pre-conference damage control mode, as local homophobic bigots are trying to unseat a liberal, gay MP making a difficult personal adjustment. That is not the complete picture. Blunt had a reputation as a particularly high-handed and arrogant MP even when he was in the closet.

  3. What is depressing is that those behind the move somehow think their prejudice, nay bigotry, will go unnoticed.

    That somehow they imagine it will come back into fashion.

  4. PaulB,

    That is one of the problems with the FPTP system, and why you see so many MPs who are relatives and pals of other MPs. You put anyone in Birmingham Erdington for Labour, they’re going to win.

    The interesting thing would be if the following happened: Lab drop out of the race to give the LDs a chance to win the seat, Blunt stands as Independent Conservative and tears off some of the Conservative Party votes.

  5. His reportedly highhanded and arrogant behavior has made him an unpopular MP anyway, and the way he treated his wife when he came out was the straw that broke etc etc.
    He was effectively unseated for being a shit not for being gay.

  6. @Matthew, but if someone is part of a politically-correct minority, then ANY action you take against them is automatically diskriminashun.

  7. A safe seat for Boris, perchance, if Mr Blunt’s application to be reselected fails? I suspect it has nothing to do with his coming out, at least I hope note. More to do, probably, with his high handedness and previous bouts of incompetence.

  8. I think the point about any Tory in Reigate, any donkey with a red rosette in South Wales etc is an important one.
    The REAL election in ultra safe seats could and should then happen in primaries. One wonders what the parties are so frightened of; a bit poofy really.

  9. What is depressing is that those behind the move somehow think their prejudice, nay bigotry, will go unnoticed.

    The problem with this position is that anyone belonging to the putative persecuted minority of your choice is immune from criticism for being incompetent or unpleasant. If critics are of necessity bigots, then criticism is effectively outlawed.

    If Conservative HQ spin this process as driven by bigotry – which seems to be the line The Telegraph is very obligingly taking – they may drive the local association into the waiting arms of UKIP and encourage the electorate to follow suit.

    Foolish.

  10. PaulB-

    Of course, we could solve that by separately electing the executive and thus shifting to a system in which the “representatives” are actually representatives. Or at least, a bit moreso.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to do my delenda est carthago thing by suggesting once more that the second chamber be appointed by sortition.

  11. On a point of accuracy;
    As enlightened, non bigoted, socially liberal people are we not supposed to believe that homosexuals are born not made? (for that can be made can be unmade)
    “the way he treated his wife when he came out”
    So;
    a) Blunt is not in fact homosexual but bisexual. Which is a very different thing altogether. Homosexuality being defined, not by an attraction to men but a lack of attraction to women. (Low card in sexuality victim suit)
    or b) Blunt is homosexual. In which case he’s been deceiving his wife (& everyone else) throughout their marriage. (Feminist victim card-can be played as trump)
    Victim poker’s a fun game.

  12. BIS:

    “Homosexuality being defined, not by an attraction to men but a lack of attraction to women. (Low card in sexuality victim suit)”

    Sorry?

    So now any bloke being crowded by the years, who doesn’t have the drive he formerly had and finds that the tiresome contents of the women often outweigh the attractive packaging is now a homosexual?.

    Homosexuality must, ipso fucking facto, be about attraction to the male. Lack of interest in woman alone is called peace of mind.

  13. GeoffH – “What is depressing is that those behind the move somehow think their prejudice, nay bigotry, will go unnoticed.”

    You assume it is prejudice. You claim it is bigotry. How do you defend either of these claims? He lied to his wife and his Party for years. He betrayed them in the worst way possible. How is it bigotry to be annoyed by that?

    “That somehow they imagine it will come back into fashion.”

    Of course it will come back into fashion. Functioning societies function. Dysfunctional ones do not. More functional societies displace dysfunctional ones, more or less. That fashion may involve common sense, it may involve a resurgence of Christianity, or it is most likely to involve the gradual take over by the South Asian Muslim population of Britain. But it will happen.

  14. Surely it was obvious to everyone all along that he was a closet homosexual? For how could a Tory who was called ‘Crispin Blunt’ not have been a closet homosexual?

  15. Ecks-

    No, you’ve got it wrong and BIS has got it right. The defining characteristic of a homosexual is a lack of attraction to the opposite sex. Lots of woman fuckers have also fucked men, but that didn’t make them gay. In the current terminology, they’re bisexual, not homosexual.

  16. Sorry Ian but I humbly stand corrected by Mr Ecks.
    I should have inserted “sexually active with human beings over the legal age of consent & not suffering from learning difficulties” in there somewhere or risked being trumped out.

    On the other hand. Tory MP? The last part of that option list may be open to discussion. Who’s he brandishing the pork sword with?
    Or the first part. Or is that LibDems? They’re doubtful on the middle one. Labour? Let’s not go there, eh? It’s supposed to be a family safe blog, isn’t it?

  17. I’m quite willing to accept that Blunt has been high-handed and arrogant. But I note that this was not an obstacle to his being the Conservative candidate at the 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2010 elections. I note also that the local Conservative Association did not think it necessary to deselect Blunt’s predecessor, George Gardiner, when he left his wife for another woman.

    Regarding elections, I favour STV in multi-member constituencies (as advocated by the LibDems in their last election manifesto, before they abandoned the idea in favour of what Clegg called “a miserable little compromise”). We would have more than one Conservative standing for the seat, and voters really could express their preference.

  18. Homosexuality must, ipso fucking facto, be about attraction to the male.

    if I can add my tuppence-ha’ppenorth homosexual simply means “attraction to the same” (the ‘homo’ being the greek meaning ‘same’ as in ‘homogenous’ and not the latin denoting ‘man’).

    If you want to upset lots of people you can have fun pointing out that linguistically both ‘homophobia’ and ‘heteronomative’ are a load of farking nonsense. The first would, strictly speaking, be an extreme form of boredom, and the second would be an oxymoron roughly meaning ‘a pattern of things that are different from each other’.

  19. inter alia, this means that the correct pronunciation of ‘homosexual’ is for the first part to be pronounced as in the french ‘homme’ and not as in ‘home’.

    Someone once tried to tell me that that pronunciation was itself ‘homophobic’ (which word, needless to say, they rendered as ‘hoemoephobic’).

  20. I blame Crispin’s parents. If only they had given him a more butch name, like Steve, or Peter, or Reg, he’d be involved in a good old fashioned heterosexual extramarital affair instead. For that reason, I plan on naming my son Fist Bearfighter.

  21. “if I can add my tuppence-ha’ppenorth homosexual simply means “attraction to the same” (the ‘homo’ being the greek meaning ‘same’ as in ‘homogenous’ and not the latin denoting ‘man’).”
    Very true. But women nevertheless insisted on a word of their own rather than sharing one with the men because…because…men always leave the seat up & the towel crooked?
    And a lot of women don’t like Greek, anyway.

  22. “Their success (Crispin & his brother Crispinian) attracted the ire of Rictus Varus, the governor of Belgic Gaul, who had them tortured and thrown into the river with millstones around their necks…. they survived,”
    Jeez! How tough do you want someone to be? And having the battle of Agincourt on your saint’s day as well? Balls like coconuts. Makes John Wayne sound like he should have been christened Marion or something.

  23. PaulB

    I do like first past the post, it provides clear mandates without the compromises of coalition that have crippled the body politic of most of Europe and (with terrible consequences) Israel.

    However, my point really is that I still feel like banging on about primaries. That way people in a safe Tory seat really can get to choose WHICH Tory they want as MP. In Crispin’s case, he could still stick it out (no pun intended; oh who am I kidding), make his case direct to his constituents, recruit local people into his association and face down his local party. That is of course if this is really just about a small group of local bigots!!

  24. @Fe♂
    “In Crispin’s case, he could still stick it out make his case direct to his constituents, recruit local people into his association and face down his local party”
    Er, stable door, horse, bolted?
    Trouble with a lot of these safely seated MP’s is the last thing they want is more members, bigger association, making a case to constituents. What they want is their trusted old pals rubber stamping them again. Which is how they got the gig in the first place. They don’t want more members & having to make their case because that’d invite challengers to be making their case & a genuine contest. A losable one.

  25. PaulB and others:

    It all depends on whether you think that sexual acts are something you do (that is, that in all its varieties it’s the conduct of essentially normal individuals whose tastes may simultaneously encompass a range of preferences), or whether you think they define who you are, by way of innate characteristics.

    It was only when the latter perspective became commonplace with the rise of psychiatry at the end of the 19th century that the term homosexual was invented. Prior to that there were no “homosexuals”, just people who occasionally or frequently or permanently engaged in same sex activity. That’s a perspective that makes sense to me.

  26. >For that reason, I plan on naming my son Fist Bearfighter.

    That’s the most homosexual name I’ve ever heard (was that the real joke?).

  27. The point is that a come-out homosexual will vote for pro-homosexual policy. Why should Conservatives who oppose that want to have such a person as their MP?

  28. BinS

    Well then, if he doesn’t want to stand his ground and bring in constituents to fight a primary, well he shouldn’t be an MP.

  29. @Fe♂
    Something his constituency association would agree with you on.

    And I’m inclined to agree with you there, Ian. Might be a marginal benefit in safe seats. But can you imagine marginals? All the voters not favourable to the party in question piling in to vote for their least electable candidate. And the “eye of the beholder effect”. Limp wristed liberals backing the hangum’n’floggum candidate because they couldn’t dream of him getting votes. Romps home in the parliamentary on the back of the hangum’n’floggum vote.

  30. Hence why STV in multi-member constituencies is a good idea. Each party has more than one candidate, you can vote for the candidate you support transferring to ones you can tolerate, and if you are part of a sizeable minority you will find that one of the elected members actually represents your views. But (with reference to Israel’s problems) it is rightly not strictly proportional.

    ChurmR: no, not me, I’ve not expressed a view on it here.

  31. Trouble with STV is the dishonesty of politicians.
    STV encourages candidates to be as inclusive as possible in their electoral pitch to scrape up as many transferred votes as possible. If they’re all doing it you end up with a choice of candidates with all very much the same pitch. But. as we know, you can tell a politician’s lying because their lips move. So you now don’t actually know what any of the candidates really stand for. You only find out when they’re elected.

  32. This was, in a sense, what LibDem voters got for their money when they elected a successful candidate in the last election. Obviously the party wasn’t going to form the next government but they thought their MP’s vote in the house would be transferable between government & main opposition positions in accordance to the LibDem policies they voted for. What they got was LibDem MP’s voting directly contrary to their promises – ie tuition fees – because they’d cut a deal to get into a coalition. They got lied to.

  33. bis: AV, as voted against in the referendum, encourages dishonesty because the candidates are trying to keep at least 50% of the voters onside. With STV in two-member constituencies you need only 34%. In three-member constituencies only 25%. So the candidates have the opportunity to present a coherent platform which will appeal to that proportion of the electorate. The only drawback is that the constituencies are larger, which is not much of an issue in most of England, but could be a problem for the Celts. Perhaps we should keep single-member where the area of the constituency would otherwise be too great.

    This is one of those things which is obviously a good idea but will never get implemented because no one has enough incentive to push it through. I’d have some respect for Clegg if he’d stuck with his manifesto policy.

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