political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Oh dear. Bradshaw should be ashamed.Lynne Featherstone's comments about your own piece in the MoS are probably much closer to the mark.
Totally agree Iain. After my own personal 10 year battle with 'my own' religious background before being confortable with myself. Having to then tell my own family, which was surprising easier than I expected, but knowing that other former partners have not found it easy, especially those from Northern Ireland or religious areas in Scotland there is a lot of personal anguish for a lot of people out there, which Bradshaw fails to acknowledge.Maybe he should spend some time working for a counselling line to find out just how difficult 'some' not others find it to be.
Bradsahw is no doubt one of those crusading homosexuals who thinks it is right to force others to 'come out' whether they like it or not.I have always thought he was a repulsive specimen.
spin it as "homophobia" if you like - claiming rent paid to my partner would result in my being charged with fraud.The Rule of Law means it's applied to everyone - even closeted ministers.
AND, he can't spell!!
If Ben Bradshaw defines himself solely by which direction his cock points, then he is a very sad person indeed.Might make a great Labour leader though.Alan Douglas
How safe does Bradshaw think he is?
He certainly is something beginning with C !
This might come as a suprise iain but other people do have opinions. Your not the gay in the village !I find this case sad in that it could have been avoided but that was his choice.Many gays will share the same view as Ben. Some would even go further is that right or wrong who knows.
Bradshaw is certainly a mean-spirited, nasty piece of work. And unfit to lick Laws' boots.
Ben Bradshaw should be ashamed of who he is, not because he's gay but because he is an oily little c**t.
Well said. For a (former) Labour Culture minister--a Labour culture minister!--to say something like that makes me feel like we have that much further to go before politics catches up with the modern era. Laws did something wrong, for reasons at least some of which were right. Bradshaw has no such defence.
It is so pathetic that these Labour MPs are so tribal. Bradshaw and Pound, particularly the latter was talking like an imbecile painting Laws as greedy in % live yesterday. If any one is greedy it is his ex-leader Blair, the man who ensured his millions through lecture circuit in USA by supporting the neocons in USA in the case of war with Iraq, and his thuggisg assistant Campbell who wants to earn the dosh by whatever means.It is not easy for a gay person to "come out", particularly if the family is religious and if the parents are ederly. If I was gay, which I am not, it would have been extremly difficult for me to tell my parents as they were old and religious Hindus. I would have faced" the Laws situation". The best thing we all can do is to give this man some privacy. I have no doubt, he will be back in the govt soon. It is not 1940s and 50s when Alan Turing was hounded. It s 2010. Grow up Britain
Ben Bradshaw is an odious lightweight - one of the best reasons for Labour staying out of power for ten years or more.
Bradshaw really is an obnoxious little shit isn't he? I look forward to toasting his demise at the next election, however far away that is.
David Laws stole money. If he had to stand up in a court of law, the defence of closeted homo wouldn't wash. He is guilty and deserves to lose his job. There are no excuses.
Was Bradshaw trying to say "ashamed"?With that command of English idiom he was a fine choice for the Department of Culture ....
Is there any reason to doubt David Laws' own account of this? His Times interview made very clear that not being 'out' was not for him rooted in a simple liberal preference for maintaining a private sphere from his public life but a deeply painful difficulty. It seems clear that there is a significant element of euphemism in the description of this as being the choice of a private person. “When I grew up, being gay was not accepted by most people, including many of my friends. I have kept this secret from everyone I know for every day of my life. That has not been easy, and in some ways it is a relief not to have to go on misleading those close to me about who I am ... I hope that others will now learn that it is time for people to be honest about their sexuality. Keeping secrets is much tougher than telling other people who you really are”.Though I do agree that the tone of Bradshaw's tweet unfortunately lacks sympathy at a time when Laws' political opponents as well as his friends should surely extend to him. It is also important that Stephen Twigg and Ben Bradshaw (in Bradshaw's case against a hateful homophobic campaign) were the first gay men elected to Parliament when already out, as late as 1997. That was another important to other Labour, Tory and LibDem MPs and candidates realising they could be out and pursue a political career, with several more coming out during the 1997-2001 Parliament. That no LibDem MP was yet out until 2005, with Laws elected in 2001, may have been one factor as to why he did not wish to have a pioneering role thrust upon him for being openly who he was.
@ Stephen GlennSo Very True - and unless folks have been there, done it and picked up the Pieces left behind by so much prejudice ( in all forms ) they just don't get it!Ben may be Lucky and Safe, and I see nothing about Laws being ashamed about who he is! It's such a shame that Benny Bradshaw and so many other's are Jumping on band wagons and throwing about so many Sour Grapes!
Bloody good question actually -- but a little rich coming from someone who is quite happy to keep polishing the doors of dozens of glass closets in his own caucus and party organisation.
Can't all you political types (nside and outside of the House of Conmen) separate sexual preference from financial misconduct?It doesnt matter which way you swing, or if you want the rest of us to know, or if you dont, or if you want to write about it, or if you dont...most of us dont give a flying f*** about what you do anyway.But we do care about MP's stealing our money!!
I think that Kris is correct - if anyone of us had done this, we would rightly be facing a prosecution for fraud.It really is a simple as that.His sexuality has nothing to do with it.This was a misuse of public money - It was wrong, he has now paid the price and I have to say, has resigned quickly and with dignity.How many Labour troughers are still with us . . . Hazel Blears, Malik, Lord Vaz of Slime, Balls, Straw etc, etc.
"Euphamism", "shameful". Hah!Bradshaw is an illiterate git. How many spelling and grammatical errors can you pack into 140 characters? Is he trying to beat a record?Was he some sort of Minister of State at one stage? If so, why?
http://twitter.com/BenPBradshawWhat a twatty little prick.
Unfortunately, Iain, some in the Labour ranks think that they eradicated homophobia in their 13 years in office.
http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/come-back-asap-mr-laws/David Laws is brilliant, we need him, and I hope he comes back as soon as possible.
I agree with Liam, it's sickening that Labour think they eradicated homophobia.I came out to my parents 11 years into the Labour government and they, both Labour supporters, reacted very badly. It was the toughest time of my life and I've never had the same relationship with them since. I would link to my coming out journal I did at the time to release my frustration but my blog is down at the moment. I hope Laws' personal life isn't too tough at the moment.
I said this in the wake of the Laws scandal on Twitter and was reprimanded by a Liberal Democrat activist but:Do we really want a person who doesn't have the courage to admit to people he's gay representing us? Doesn't it show a lack of backbone?As a disclaimer on this, I was supporting Laws and was upset when he resigned.
All this po-faced “nobody is interested in the private life of polticians” guff that everyone is spouting.Bollocks. Of course we’re interested.
Over promoted and lightweight Bradshaw is not fit to be mentioned in the same breath as David Laws.
To the aptly named 'blind pugh' -- can you explain just how Laws 'stole money'?He was entitled to expenses for accommodation in London. His arrangement actually saved the taxpayer money. The money went to a landlord he knew. Dubious ? Well you will have to judge, but not theft.Others continually say money was paid for moats ans duck houses. But is was not. The MPs in question asked if expenses were allowable, but were told 'no'. No expenses were paid but the Telegraph and others wallowed in it.Personally I now see someone who could have done a good job has been lost and its likely that the nation may suffer. All because of hysteria and, if you look at comments from the increasingly excrebable Guido's website, homophobia.
I believe that Trevorsden is spot on.Who the heck cares about a person's sexuality?As for bradshaw, he is from the bbc. Enough said.Just when my wife and I thought it may not be too late the country to recover, we lose a good man.Come back Mr Laws, we need you!!!
What do you expect from Ben (BBC) Bradshaw.OK Ben, how about "outting" your fellow ex-Cabinet Ministers and Ministers. You know Ben, the ones that married their PR Advisers; the ones that left the Tories in protest over "Section 28" and the others that you (Ben) know about.
@Sunder KatwalaWrong, Martin Stevens ( openly gay) conservative won Hammersmith and Fulham in 1979. As one of his constituency workers the amount of homophobic hatred directed at him and by association us by the Labour party and its supporters in the borough was frightening, literaly.
Bradshaw is a Labour pillock of the highest degree, and a stain on the West Country. Looks like he can't spell, either - "euphamism". Education, education, education, as some war criminal once said
Can anyone tell me why the word "homophobia? Phobia, is of course, "fear. Now - whilst it may be odd to be frightened by homosexuality (replace by whateverelse-phobia), surely it is not a crime - whereas open hatred of homosexuals is - what should the word be? The prefix "mis" should, one imagines, be used, as in misogyny, misanthropy? Anyone?Take the word "Islamophobia". Frankly, we have good reason to be fearful abot Islam - its intent towards the West being not entirely amicable, shall we say (and why the fuck are we STILL admitting very nasty islamists into the country? "Misislamistism"? maybe? Hmmm.Not "phobia" though. That's an abuse of language (a Labour speciality, of course).
There is a lot of crap about "theft" being talked here. I know about these things, being a Detective. Breaching expenses claims rules does not necessarily make you guilty of theft. If you stay in a hotel and your firm says you have to submit a form X53733 but instead you put it on your company credit card as a "general expense", in contradiction of the company policy, that is an internal company matter not a crime. The rules on MPs expenses were designed to prevent "gouging" (ie maximising your profit by arranging your financial affairs to profit unfairly). Laws did not do that by any stretch of the imagination. He could have gained more financially by arranging things differently but only the cost of either ending his relationship or publicly acknowledging it.
Bradshaw is shameless - no surprise there.In contrast, David Laws might resign as MP, so ashamed is he. That kind of honour hasn't been seen in politics for decades.Iain, you're a reasonable person, who can be trusted to be sympathetic; perhaps, when the time is right, you can persuade him not to make any rash moves.Those who know me will be astounded that I support David Laws, given his expenses 'fiddle', but I believe that Laws is genuine and his going would be a terrible loss to politics. We all make errors of judgements - even large ones - which are out of character, for which we are eternally ashamed. Surely a sense of shame is a measure of character.
Bradshaw is a lighweight political toad. He got parachuted into Exeter when New Labour took fright and dumped their long term candidate John Lloyd as he had ANC terrorist connections (a bit like Hain but worse) just before the 97 election. Bradshaw was selected but only 'came out' just before the confirmation hearing when it was too late to do anything but go ahead or enter the election without a candidate. It was a classic bit of New Labour slippery work; then it just smelt unpleasant. The full joy of Campbells kingdom of spin and smart arse presentation was yet to be revealed. Bradshaw only kept the seat this time due to favourable boundary changes.
trevorsden said: "He was entitled to expenses for accommodation in London. His arrangement actually saved the taxpayer money."Whether he could have claimed more or less is wholly beside the point. The rules from 2006 onwards prohibit an MP from claiming rent costs from themselves, their partner or their family. Those are the rules and Laws broke them. He is not entitled to money if it was not being claimed within the rules.
Sadly Bradshaw seems to want to kick someone when they are down and make a cheap point into the bargain. Bradshaw seems to be the rent-a-quote spokesman when it comes to all Gay matters for Labour. I find him loathsome. As for homomphobic campaigns I am sure Tory Ashley Crossley would have a view on that after 2005.
I seem to remember the dark lord himself Peter Mandelson went to such extreme lengths and instructed his mate John Birt former DG at the BBC to blanket ban any mention of his homosexuality. Was Mandy also feeling shameful? Maybe he still does.
Oh I think you've got this wrong.Ben Bradshaw, whatever we think of him personally, is entitled to say what he wants.Moreover, bearing in mind the embarrassing & shameful homophobic campaign run against him by Adrian Rogers and the Conservative party in 1997 in Exeter, surely he, of all people, is entitled to look at MPs not as brave him in this way.Nobody should be forced to come out obviously but if you want to be one of the 650 leaders of our country don't you owe it to the public to at least be straight about who you are?I find all these closeted Lib Dems very odd indeed. "it's ok for you to be gay, but it's not ok for us."It's the oppposite of the old Tory position in a way.I'm afraid the Labour Party in England, though noticeably not Scotland, does seem to do better on the integrity front in this area.
I know we're not meant to swear on here, but is it in order to say that Ben Bradshaw is clearly not ashamed on being a dickhead?
Ben Brad = confused and an idiotIain Dale = openly gayDavid Laws = a thiefIain while I support Laws's right to choose his sexuality, the bottom line (no pun intended) is that he committed fraud. Rather than being allowed to pay it back, he should be facing fraud charges. Get off your self righteous horse.Have a good bank holidayCD
Libertarian,I was not aware of Martin Stevens being openly gay in 1979 as MP for Fulham, though he was a supporter of gay rights (the Campaign for Homosexual Equality at the time). Almost all accounts have referred to Chris Smith coming out in 1984 as the first openly gay MP. Would be interested in any reference on that. Of course, I don't think any party had a perfect history on issues of homophobia, racism, etc at a local level.I don't think anybody has claimed that homophobia has been eradicated, but most people do agree that important steps like civil partnerships did change the social climate a great deal, and for the better in my opinion.
Firstly Ben Bradshaw is a total cock - regardless of what he says about Laws. He is a nasty, mean spirited and partisan moron who I regret re-took Exeter against Hannah Foster. I'd like to spit in his drink every time I see him on the terrace at the House!But I have no sympathy for Laws either - not because of the issue of who he sleeps with (irrelevant and none of my damn business) but because of the money.If Laws wished to protect his privacy - which is his right to do (no-one should be forced to be 'out' if they wish to keep their sexuality secret, although obviously openess and honesty is best and preferable), then he should not have expected tax payers to subsidise that wish.The line that he and his boyfriend were 'not partners' because they didn't have a joint bank account is crap. I was married but had seperate bank accounts from my wife (wisely, as it turned out)! The point is that the person who Laws slept with, lived with, socialised with and was 'known' to be in a gay relationship with by many inside the Westminster village, benefited financially from having his mortgage payments subsidised by Laws tax payer funded 'rent'. Without this 'rent' would the boyfriend have been able to afford his big new house - on which he will have benefitted from the rise in value of?Sorry - that's just wrong. If he wishes to have his housing costs subsidised by the tax payer, then he shouldn't be sleeping with his landlord, or he should make sure his financial affairs are open and transparent by being open about he he is in bed with. But he cannot have it both ways!The rules are the rules, and shouldn't be ignored just because you dont want your mum to know you're gay!When will MPs realise that it isn't their money - it's ours!Finally, I am sure David Laws is a bright bunny (although not that bright, he joined the Lib DEms afterall), but there are plenty of Tories who would have made better CStT!
@ Stephen"Ben Bradshaw, whatever we think of him personally, is entitled to say what he wants."Of course he is. However we don't have to agree with what he says. Perhaps you think that those who disagree with Bradshaw are denying his right to hold and voice an opinion. Well, that's certainly what the Lefties try to do.
Come on Ben publish all your personal phone calls and emails. If you have nothing to fear then you have nthing to hide.
This Ben Bradshaw really annoys me. As a gay man, his snotty response about David Laws just shows what a bubble Bradshaw lives in. Oblivious to anything but his own perception of what a gay man or woman should be - one that always votes labour as a start I presume. Just another form of fascism. Grrr .. while I am on the subject of David Laws - maybe it's me, but what I see is that he was for all intents and purposes - sleeping with his landlord. I was not aware that was against parliamentary rules.
@All those who made the point that:"If anyone of us had done this, we would rightly be facing a prosecution for fraud."I sincerely doubt it. The prosecution would have to define the term partner, as opposed to good friend, companion etc, which in the absence of wedding or civil partnership certificate, joint bank accounts, sprogs etc would be very hard to prove.
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