Monday, April 05, 2010

Tories try to limit damage as Grayling says B&Bs should be able to bar gay people.

Oh, so now the Tories are threatening to throw this guy under the bus?

Colleagues of Chris Grayling sought to limit the damage done by his comments, made to a thinktank last week, that he believed individuals running B&Bs from their homes should be allowed to turn homosexual guests away.

Increasing speculation that he would not become the home secretary should the Tories win the election, one shadow minister said today: "There's an attempt [by Labour] to suggest Grayling's comments reveal party-wide homophobia, whereas the real reason this is running is that Chris Grayling is just not up to the job."

So there's the end position. If it comes to it, he's old fashioned, out of touch with Cameron's new happy-clappy party.... but first the lame excuses in an attempt to keep him in the job that he "is just not up to."
Today the Tories fielded a minimal defence of their shadow home secretary, only pointing to Grayling's own statement and highlighting that these comments were not an expression of his current point of view but a recollection of his previous opinion.
Grayling's position, that B&B owners have a right to say who can and who cannot stay in their "homes", is not even backed by right wing bloggers.

But Tory blogger Iain Dale criticised the shadow home secretary for presenting the Labour party with an open goal, and also took issue with Grayling's argument about being sensitive to faith groups.

He said in his blog: "I fundamentally disagree with him on the main issue. This is not about property rights. If you open your house to paying guests, it is no longer just your house.

"Do I believe Chris Grayling is homophobic? No, I do not. Do I believe that his views, as expressed, will be damaging. Yes I do.

"I do not think we must be sensitive to faith groups who promote discrimination and bigotry. We wouldn't be sensitive to groups who provoke racial discrimination, so why should we be sensitive to those who appear to condone sexual discrimination ... He is shadow home secretary and will have to defend himself. Because I am afraid I can't."

I will give credit where it is due. Iain Dale wins the Tories Brownie points by speaking out as clearly as he has done. The change in Tory attitudes on this subject, as expressed by Dale, are possibly not as cosmetic as I previously believed.

Although, I firmly suspect that there is still a majority of the Conservative parliamentary party who are not madly keen on the direction in which Cameron is taking them.

He's going to find governing with this lot behind him much more difficult than he currently imagines.

Click here for full article.

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