There have been in the last couple of weeks accusations ,centred around Angela Eagle in her Wallasey Constituency of homophobic abuse against the openly ‘out’ MP. There have also been allegations in some quarters that this has been orchestrated by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. We have no way of knowing whether Angela was subjected to such abuse nor whom the culprit[s] might be as the Wallasey CLP has been suspended. Our view—-as outlined below—-is that there is no place in our party for homophobic abuse —but neither is there the remotest justification for slurring all supporters of Jeremy Corbyn of using homophobic abuse in the leadership campaign . As explained below this is not only noxious but bizzarre given that Corbyn, Smith and Eagle have been staunch advocates of LGBT rights
Here are the views of two activists of Hull and East Riding LGBT+ Network since its inception in 2012
1, “”I support the record of Angela Eagle and Owen Smith on LGBT rights. They are excellent. However, I personally will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn because I agree with his economic policies.He has also an excellent record on LGBT rights. Judging by the large crowds last weekend in Hull and Liverpool so do many others. If Angela Eagle has received homophobic abuse from a Corbyn supporter it is utterly wrong. But it also utterly wrong to tar all Corbyn supporters as prejudiced buffoons is pathetic. Jeremy Corbyn is white—-does that make me a racist if I support him?
Guilt by association is a poor argument,and to use it against people who support a candidate with an excellent LGBT record smacks of desperation—-as was demonstrated by the presence of rainbow flags at last saturdays Corbyn Rally in Hull. Are they claiming that the LGBt Officer for Hull North [me!] is homophobic? I support Corbyn. I acknowledge the LGBT record of Smith and Eagle. Where is the problem with that?
” Maria Eagle,Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith all have excellent records on supporting LGBT rights. The supporters of either Corbyn or Smith simply do not understand their candidates if they indulge in homophobic abuse. Equally it is despicable to try to slur ALL the supporters of one candidate if this does happen.
Like Danny I am supporting the re-election of Jeremy because I regard him as the best Socialist. His record on supporting LGBT Rights since he irst entered parliament has been exemplary. Some LGBT supporters of Jeremy brought their rainbow flags to Corbyns Rally in Hullon 30th July.I do not even know who they were but I was delighted to see them there.
Angela Eagle has shown great courage in being an ‘out; Lesbian MP. She sent our network a very warm message of support when our network was launched back in 2012.She was born in the East Riding of Yotrkshire—-not exactly a citadel of metropolitan liberalism.She chaired the committee that drew up Labours LGBT Manifesto for the 2015—-the most radical ever put before the British electorate. I am polls apart from her on many other policies but united on LGBT rights. Similarly I do not support Owen Smith in his leadership campaign but have no problem with praising his record on LGBT rights. I hope the rainbow flag appears at his rallies too—–although of course I would like to see more at Jeremy’s
So please no abuse of the candidates and their teams. And no slurs by implication against whole groups. That is NOT the Socialist way.It is dispiriting and morally banrupt politics. In this respect at least we should rejoice that we have a leadership united in their support for LGBT rights. Let us forgo the abuse and slurs and have a grown up debate about the merits of the candidates and future of our party.
The tragedy is that party democracy has been put on hold. In the first instance the local CLP should investigate these sort of allegations. Danny makes a brilliant point about not being racist just because he is going to vote for a white candidate. He could have added sexist of course.How in 2016 do the Party rules still allw for an all male leadership? But that -perhaps is an argument for another day!