Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mail on Sunday Column on David Laws

Click HERE to read my column in today's Mail on Sunday about the David Laws affair.

I know I will now get slagged off for banging on about homosexuality. But isn't it strange that the very same people who criticise me for talking about it, are the very same ones who think David Laws should have been open about it. It's a bit like pro abortion people being against the death penalty or pro death penalty people being pro life.

Oh God, what have I just started...


Anonymous said...

Everyone is different and everyone handles things in different ways. Walk a mile in my shoes... bring back David Laws. He is a great politician.

Lady Mudflaps said...

"Oh God, what have I just started..."

Snoozefest? Calm down,'s only a bent politician.

Jimmy said...

It may not be my place as a breeder to comment, but if I played for your team I suspect I'd be ticked off at

a) the notion that being closetted was an excuse for expense fiddling; and

b) the argument that your five year committed relationship falls short of a partnership because you each have a y chromosome

But as I say, maybe it's not my place to comment.

JuliaM said...

"It's a bit like pro abortion people being against the death penalty or pro death penalty people being pro life."

Actually, no, it isn't like any of those things.

Boo said...

Seems that politicians arn't allowed to be people.

No wonder we end up with androids and subterfuge

Nigel said...

An excellent column, Iain.

I'm always amused by your (clearly avid) readers, who keep complaining about what you write about.
Just ignore the bile, and keep banging on.

no longer anonymous said...

"or pro death penalty people being pro life."

Nothing illogical about this - unborn children are innocent.

Greg said...

Iain, where were you looking to rent in Kennington if you couldn't a room for less than £1200 per month?!

I live a bit further down the Northern Line (still Zone 2, and quite arguably a more pleasant area than Kennington on the whole), and pay £650 per month for a room in a nice house.

Laws' rent of £950 per month wasn't exorbitant but I really don't buy this idea that it represents amazing value for taxpayer's money.

Robert said...

I am not interested in David Laws's 'sexuality' or yours. He broke the rules and was found out.

He has had the grace to resign quickly. End of story.

Bloomingpouf said...

Iain - Some will slag from their heightened & lofty media eyries & others from good old fashioned ignorance & prejudice - but until they have had to deal being a 40 something Pouf, with highly religious parents/family, prejudice, often hate & even just a simple wish to not hurt those loved, the reality will be lost!

Mum! Dad! I've Got something to tell you! I'm Hetro ... well it's never been a right of passage for so many! It has been fascinating to see so many Pundits & Media Whores being stymied by their prejudices. They assume that everyone knew of Laws sexuality & private life - & that party leaders/colleagues knew. When they are corrected the legs of so many arguments vanish - confusion follows & back tracking that looks like a military rout!

Lets look at the stereotypes of yester year - the Mr Humphries (John Inman)"I'm Free" - The Everard loving Larry Grayson -& The You Are Awful, but I like you - Dick Emery! Where were the Rugger Types, Captains of Industry, professional sports men & Hollywood Actor types?

How about the military where it was seen as normal & encouraged to find The "Mos" & beat the lights out of them at the back of The Cook House? Media shock & horror & banner head lines if there was even a sniff of pink - closet cases abounded!

I remember the 80's - the dawn of HIV (1981) - the media hatred "Gay Plague" screamed the red tops. The name AIDS didn't arrive until 1982&then got changed to "Arse Injected Death Syndrome". Such a clever play on words - NOT!

Families telling children that if they were to be GAY they would not only be disowned, but left to die a supposedly inevitable death. The fear, loathing & segregation. You are a teen just realising that you are a Pouf - & whilst previously it's all been jokes about GAY liberals & Norman Scott biting the pillow, suddenly it's life & death... your life & your death - you have at that point not even tasted the supposedly forbidden fruit!

How about being the person who caries the coffin cos other's won't? The one to push it into the cremator? Not many outside of the GAY community had to do that one! How about being the one to Lay Out the corpse of your friends, because others would not touch them? How about seeing other GAY folks being denied jobs & promotion? How about being denied a mortgage - life insurance -& the ability/opportunity to be the person you can be outside of the bed room?

You have a double first & great potential, yet the expertise you have places you in one of the most Homophobic environments there is. Do you come out or put your head down?

How about The Hate Crime that was seen as Justified, & that loony James Anderton having GAY clubs raided & standing at a mic & reading from Leviticus 18:22! How about Clause 28-29-28&the Politics of Thatcher?

What? So many of the media types not been there?

Being Gay has never been about Shopping - Clubbing - Gyms & fag hags. It has always been about being human & dealing with other humans.

Some of the media Forget That -& have been shocked to find that their own prejudices & lack of insight has shown them up as far less Honourable than their latest Target!

It's worth some remembering/considering just how much prejudice, abuse, hatred & plain old fashioned ignorance there is out there - & how some were Born Criminals & have dealt with that Prejudice & Related issues ever since.

I'm very happy that so many kids today at 16 are able to be open about being GAY, & even able to have a bit of Bedroom time! But that has only been since 29 November, 2000! 26 Year old men have had legal equality - but anyone born before 1984 never knew that!

So many will sit back & scream they are not prejudices & Mr Laws had nothing to fear! That just misses the point. He's Mr Laws with all his own Flaws!

charlie duncan said...

...and not only are unborn children innocent, they also do not have hopes for life, fears about death, aspirations or any understanding of relationships, whereas the way a person wrongly convicted of murder does. So it's not like it at all.

But even though I disagree with you on a great many things, this Mail column is very good, Iain - thank you for writing it.

charlie duncan said...

...and not only are unborn children innocent, they also do not have hopes for life, fears about death, aspirations or any understanding of relationships, whereas the way a person wrongly convicted of murder does. So it's not like it at all.

But even though I disagree with you on a great many things, this Mail column is very good, Iain - thank you for writing it.

Houdini said...

You're not getting slagged off for banging on about homosexuality, but for defending Laws virtual theft on the grounds he wanted to hide his homosexuality. It is no mitigation and in reality has no relevance.

Would you be defending him in column after column if he had been a heterosexual in a relationship and paying his mistress near a grand of public money a month because he said he didn't want people to know? Bloody right you wouldn't.

This isn't someone on the breadline living with a person equally poverty stricken who feel the need to claim that money.

It is shameless and shameful of him, and you for defending him.

Ted said...


Don't think you're right on this one. You can look for nuances, but to the wider public renting a room from your boyfriend on the quiet looks on a par with Jacqui Smith renting from her sister. This is at the bad end of the expenses scandals, and looks all the worst for Clegg's sanctimonious stance in the TV debates. From the moment this story broke, Laws - for all his manifest qualities - lost the moral authority to carry out his job.

Your political CV and mine started out the same Iain - both conservative association chairmen at the same time at similar universities (I was at Reading). But early on I made the choice that being gay was not compatable with a political career (at that time). I valued my privacy, though I'm now more open about such things. That's the big mistake Laws made: he could have privacy or a political career. But he couldn't have both. The irony is that in the Liberal Party - where being gay is virtually compulsory for heaven's sake - nobody would have given a damn if he had been open about it.

dud dudley said...

Oh Iain, do get over it. I couldn,t care less about his sexuality and I suspect very few do. The fact is he claimed when any reasonable interpretation of the rules suggests that he should not have done.
In that respect he was either a Fool or a Knave, either of which disqualifies him from the position he held

Unknown said...

I quite agree with you.

But in fact, the Christians I know are both anti-abortion and anti-death penalty.

Again - it's the old adage - never do anything that you would be embarrassed to see splashed on the front page of the Daily Mail.

steveal said...


Thanks for putting the common sense view!

happiness said...

Why do we have to have this conversation? Hurry up the day when gays no longer feel the need to talk about their gayness constantly because they feel as fully accepted in society as heterosexuals. So Laws is homosexual? So what? The point is he broke the rules about renting from a partner/family member. He made a mistake and has been found out. Laws seems to be a very intelligent man who had a lot to offer in government. Perhaps he will be able to rejoin the cabinet after a certain amount of time a la Mandelson.

Dave Gould said...

The only real question here is whether Mr Laws & partner attempted to defraud us taxpayers by Mr Laws paying and reclaiming on rent he otherwise wouldn't have paid.

Of course, if you're looking to punish Mr Laws for some other reason, neither the rule nor legal definition of non-marital spouses will help you much.

biginabox said...

Since when was this about you?
This is about how the tories are going to find another Patsy to hide their cuts behind, and evade the spectre of the Nasty Party; and how spudface Cameron is going to keep his assorted euro-loonies and Angry Brigade veterans on a leash.
The nice libdem millionaire Laws made life a lot easier for the minority ConDem party. But 3 weeks in and the public is again reminded that you don't get rich by not picking up £40,000 lying in the street.
The fact that Laws hid his sexuality when all about him were revealing theirs just shows how far the Tory/Liberal world has to go to catch up with the C20th.

dud dudley said...

What a sour person this amjamjazz !
Obviously the Loony left where every situation good, bad, or indiffernt is seen as some demonstration of Tory sin.
Tiresome these Lefties aren't they? Must be their diet of undiluted bitterness.

biginabox said...

Sorry to burst your smug Condem bubble, but this is politics, not emotion.
And the political questions still have to be answered, no matter how much you try to avoid them.

happiness said...

It wouldn't be so bad if amjamzzzzzzzzzzzz weren't so boring, but the loony left has never been known for light repartee.

dud dudley said...

Oooerrrear. Dear me amjamjazz. You do seem a touch emotional. Not a good idea for reeeeeally serious Politico,s

biginabox said...

You don't know what an emotion is. And as such, have nothing to say about politics.
But carry on bleating in unison. That's your job. To follow in the rank droppings of the likes of Dale and Gaunt and Ferrari.

dud dudley said...

Very good amajamjazz. Most impressive.
Keep taking the tablets

biginabox said...

Keep ignoring reality.
40,000 facts are clearly too many for any self-made millionaire to resist.

dud dudley said...

Amjamjazz. If you you had actually looked at the earlier postings you would have seen that I was entirely out of sympathy with Laws. As indeed I am with Porky Balls and his shrew like wife who manage to double up their claims. Or Two Jags who would never betray the proletariat by accepting a peerage. Or Mandellson, disgraced thrice. Or Tony Billionaire and his Missus famed for freebies.
So,Amjam ( I think we are getting to know each other so I hope you dont mind if I call you Amjam ) I think you should get out a little more and give a few of the protest marches a miss.
Have you thought about an anger management course ?

biginabox said...

I'll just deal with each of your delusions one at a time, thanks.

dud dudley said...

Amjam, whats with the polite response ? Leaves me nothing to feed on.
Anyway, Matron says I must return to my room now.