Gay people have a “duty” to vote Tory!?!

// 1 October 2008

Prospective Tory parliamentary candidate Margot James yesterday urged all gay people to vote Tory, arguing that:

“Gay people are net contributors to public services through their taxes, because very few of them have children.

I think gay people have got more angst on this issue than anybody else because gay people are paying in, through their taxes and actually using far less of the NHS because they tend not to have families, less of the education system for the same reason and all the more reason to be angry with this government for the waste of their taxes.”

James, herself a lesbian, is apparently oblivious to the fact that Tory MPs are generally opposed to enabling gay people to have children in the first place: as part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill back in May, 144 of them voted for the legal requirement to consider a child’s supposed need for a “mother and a father” when providing IVF treatment, with only 13 voting against and in favour of replacing this stipulation with consideration of “supportive parenting”. The latter, which will make it easier for lesbians to have children through IVF, was only voted through thanks to Lib Dem and Labour.

Similarly, only 14 Tory MPs voted against the proposal that providers of fertility treatment take into account the need for a “father or male role model” in the child’s life, with 143 supporting the motion. Again, this anti-lesbian motion was only rejected thanks to Labour and the Lib Dems.

So I guess it’s back to the drawing board on that one, Margot.

Comments From You

Kate // Posted 1 October 2008 at 2:14 pm

So us queers with children are off the hook, and have no duty to vote Tory. I mean, along with those who don’t have children who think free decent education is a right for all children. And who remember Section 28.

Ellie // Posted 1 October 2008 at 3:02 pm

God forbid I should be happy paying my taxes for the greater benefit to society rather than the benefit of me and my own.

Aren’t the Tories meant to be going on about how society has gone to shit? How about encouraging a little ‘from each according to their means, to each according to their need’.

Cara // Posted 1 October 2008 at 3:40 pm

What?! Ha, that provided a laugh for the day.

But seriously…what?! Taking up on the point about Tories actually being opposed to medical advances enabling gay people to have kids…does she imagine gay people don’t want to have children, or just accept that they can’t have them “naturally” (whatever that is)? Perhaps she has chosen not to have kids, her choice, but nothing to do with being gay.

Plenty of straight people don’t have kids and never want them. Like me. Should we vote Tory too? Hmmm no, because guess what, not everyone is selfish and concerned only with taking home a few quid extra each month by paying less tax.

OK no-one likes tax, but it has a point – to build a fair and equal society which provides the services people need. The Tory policy of sink or swim doesn’t work, because you’d have to imagine some people with huge weights around their ankles and some with floats (I mean underpriveleged and priveleged people, respectively).

And should healthy people who rarely even go to their GP vote Tory, because they’re paying people who have the temerity to be sick or disabled? Should smokers and the obese pay more tax?

No, of course not, because the point of taxation isn’t to get out what you put in, it’s about *society* you know, the thing that doesn’t exist in Tory world?

And that is because anyone could need public services tomorrow. Perfectly healthy people could be hit by a bus and need a hospital, or educated people can be made redundant and need benefits. Anyone’s partner, elderly parents, etc. could become sick and need them to become their carer, meaning they have to give up work and again need benefits. Shit happens.

Tories just don’t want to think it could be them.

chem_fem // Posted 1 October 2008 at 3:45 pm

As someone who has never planned to have children it annoys me that some non-parents think they shouldn’t have to pay for children.

I benefited from state benefits, health and education when I was a child therefore I owe it to all children to do my bit to pay for them. That they are not my offspring means nothing. Their tax money will pay for my old age (even though I’ve had a pension since I was 18 and may not need much support).

It’s just a selfish attitude.

Laura // Posted 1 October 2008 at 4:24 pm

Couldn’t agree more, Cara.

Shev // Posted 1 October 2008 at 4:54 pm

We have a duty to make sure that we, and only we, make as much money as possible? Is this some new definition of duty that I’m not aware of?

I would say that we have a duty to vote anyone but Tory, as they seem to have a real issue with the fact that we are people, many of whom want children, families and ‘normal’ lives (I’m not one of these, but I reckon I’m in the minority), and would rather pay a couple of quid out of our wages each months, rather than being whacked with honking great bills for healthcare and education? And hey, we’d like to be afforded rights that straight people take for granted, without fighting every step of the way for them. kthxbai.

Steph Jones // Posted 1 October 2008 at 5:24 pm

Very simply, I will never ever trust the Tories when it comes to women, lesbian, gay, bi or trans issues.

And what happened to the much touted ‘LGBTory’ group – not heard much from them either?

No thanks, Conservative Party!

Marlow // Posted 1 October 2008 at 10:58 pm

I think James seems to believe that we’re all driven by money and greed in this matter. I mean, what does it matter if the Tories are generally opposed to the rights of gay people when they can cut our taxes!

Bee // Posted 2 October 2008 at 9:24 am

So, gay people (en masse, because they’re all the same, of course) consider spending on the NHS and education to be “a waste of their taxes”.


What a foolish woman.

Even if you accept her premise that people only want to pay taxes for things that benefit them personally, does it not occur to her that gay people also use the NHS, and even those who don’t have children may have family members of friends whose education they are concerned about.

I’m thrilled to hear that the Tories think spending on health and education is a waste of people’s taxes. That really inspires me to vote for them. Not.

Sarah // Posted 2 October 2008 at 9:50 am

I can sort of see the logic of it, but only, as people have said, if you assume that everyone is motivated solely by making as much money as they possibly can, and has no concerns about anything else. Which is just not how most people are. I don’t have any children myself, but I can think of worse things for my taxes to be spent on than education and health care for ‘other people’s’ children. Because they don’t belong to ‘other people’, they are individual human beings in their own right, and I’d like to think we live in a society where we try to ensure children are well cared for and given educational opportunities, regardless of whether they’re ‘mine’ or not.

Shea // Posted 2 October 2008 at 2:29 pm

So there is a $700 billion dollar vailout being proposed in the US and billions here, forced re-nationalisation of banks due to deregulation of the financial industry during the last conservative government (and Reagan in the US). And which would still happen under the free market loving rhetoric of the Cameron premiership.

But spending money on health and education is a waste? Presumably gay people want well educated doctors, lawyers and accountants available rather than the complete muppets who run the conservative party? There is also an explicit assumption that gay people won’t/don’t have children (or elderly relatives presumably) which is patently false.

This is so funny, really their descent into comedy should heartily welcolmed.

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