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General Election: Representing LGBT Community

From Jan Bridget

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

We all know that there is a large lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Upper Valley. I want to know how the prospective candidates feel able to represent our views in parliament, especially since the current MP, Craig Whittaker, has consistently voted against legislation supporting LGBT people.

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

I'm curious to know what special representation LGBT voters think they deserve. I'm sure that those who belong to the elderly, disabled, disadvantaged, unemployed, low-paid, remote rural, youth, small business, single parent, homeless, hospital waiting list etc communities would appreciate a PPC prepared to root vigorously for them too.

From Tim B

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Graham I'm sure you are right that all thoses groups will want to know what the candidates can do for them, but that's not what Jan was asking.

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The point I was trying to make is that candidates should be judged by how well they - and we - think they can represent the constituency as a whole. If voters each go down the 'what's in it for me?' route, we'll end up with candidates desperately trying to please everybody, and we know how that tends to work out.

From Jan Bridget

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The constituency as a whole is made up of LGBT people, the elderly, disabled, disadvantaged, unemployed, low-paid, remote rural, youth, small business, single parent, homeless, hospital waiting list, and dare I mention there are even a few BME people (black and minority ethnic) living in the Upper Valley. If you added up the total percentage of these groups you will probably find they are in the majority.

So I would expect an MP to understand the needs of all of these groups, especially the more vulnerable, and be able to represent them, as well as those who do not belong to any of these groups, who are likely to be less vulnerable and less dependent on services.

It is not a question of 'what's in it for me?' It is a question of understanding the needs of constituents and trying as best you can to help meet those needs, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

From Duncan Watson

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

One might think that part of the way in which one can judge how well a candidate can represent a community as a whole is by how they can represent the views of parts of that community.

Were it the case that a candidate had a stated policy that people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds ought to not be allowed to marry then one could legitimately ask how the candidate might represent the views of that community and expect the answer to such a question to be of interest to all in the wider community (and not important to solely those directly prohibited from marrying by such a policy). E.g. one might think living in a community which prohibited people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds from marrying or in other ways treated them on unequal terms with respect to the rest of the community would be distinctly less pleasant than living in a community which did not have such practices.

That seems clear and fairly uncontroversial and the point applies mutatis mutandis to the question about how the LGBT community might be represented in the original post.

From Jan Bridget

Friday, 6 March 2015

In response to Graham Barker's comments I adapted a presentation I have given many times. It is called 'Politics of Privilege.'

It looks at privilege, oppression, unearned privilege, homophobia, heterosexism, and the internal and external effects of privilege and oppression.

It asks you to think about which oppressed groups and which privileged groups you belong to and how this might have affected you. It challenges you to understand the two sides of oppression and privilege.

I ask you to consider all this when you are voting.

Putting this together made me realise just how many gains made over the years, in particular with regard to people from poor, lower class, backgrounds, have been lost.

It shows how divide and rule works to keep powerful people in power.

Here is the link

From Jan Bridget

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Independent told us on Sunday that members of the National Union of Teachers at their conference in Harrogate say that homophobic bullying is still rife in schools and want positive portrayal of same-sex relations to counteract that. They also call for training to deal with homophobic biphobic and transphobic bullying.

Despite the current government promising to tackle homophobic bullying five years ago there has been little progress. Is it surprising that our own MP, Craig Whittaker, sits on the government's Education Committee?