The revelation that Simon Hughes is (at the time of writing) “bisexual” prompted bittersweet memories for those on the receiving end of the Liberals’ characteristically dirty campaign against Peter Tatchell all those years ago: the poor old more-or-less out gay and his boyfriend were chased down Bermondsey side-streets by tabloid reporters, while Liberal HQ put out leaflets touting Mr Hughes as “the straight choice”. …
My colleague Tom Utley, who is usually right about these things, thinks it won’t do Mr Hughes any harm. But I wonder. Two weeks ago, you may recall, I predicted that the Tories would win the Canadian election. They did, and since then I’ve been asked if I know precisely why. …
Mr Boisclair was doing coke while serving as a Minister of the Crown in the Quebec government.
As Maclean’s magazine wrote: “Besieged by reporters, he finally conceded he had ‘consumed’ while in cabinet. He insisted quite vehemently that he is clean now, and always had his wits about him while at work.”
Immediately, the press started writing stuff about how the “Generation X” “party boy” represented “the new face of Quebec politics” (Toronto Star) and proved that Quebecers are “ready to embrace an openly gay premier” (Montreal Gazette).
Hmm. A couple of months later and a hitherto all but invisible Quebec “conservative” vote re-emerges after a decades-long hibernation and abandons the separatist cause.
Coincidence? Depends what you’re snorting. But my sense is that, outside the metropolitan fleshpots, most people are more socially conservative than they’re willing to tell pollsters – and that “tolerance” is not the same as “approval” and a popular gay soap character or queenly old rocker is not the same as a gay party leader or transsexual prime minister.
Forty per cent of Lib Dems now say they want Charles Kennedy back in charge. Another week, and the rest will be happy to take Jeremy Thorpe.