Thursday, January 26, 2006

Simon Hughes on sex scandals

And in other news, Simon Hughes gladdens my heart by doing what I was recommending to the next MP faced with a sex scandal (or potential sex scandal):

“I am perfectly willing to say that I have had both homosexual and heterosexual relationships in the past... I hope that does not disqualify me from doing a good job in public life and I propose to carry on doing that with the usual enthusiasm and determination... I am very happy to make a clear statement about the issue... I have always taken the view that somebody’s sexuality should not be of great significance in the public domain... It is a private matter... It should not be significant in terms of people standing for public office..."

And on the BBC website :

"I believe that people have a right to a private life, providing that their private life does not impinge upon their public responsibilities... I have always maintained that someone's sexual orientation should not be a barrier to public life in modern Britain... I strongly believe that people should have a right to personal privacy... I do not believe that anything that I have done has impinged upon my capacity to serve my constituents or fulfil any of the roles that I have sought, undertaken or am seeking for the future."

If just he'd done it the first time around and before circumstances forced him too...


  • At 8:38 am , Blogger Peter Black said...

    So why deny it twice in the last week? I despair!

  • At 9:51 am , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...


    I think it's very disappointing that an MP of a party that prides itself on its inclusivity and tolerance feels the need to lie and sculk about their sexuality.

    Somewhat belated and forced by circumstances, admittedly, but the mature way in which he raised the issue was just the line I was pressing for.

  • At 12:58 pm , Blogger Wallyxab said...

    Why announce it in The Sun, of all places? I can't think of a journal more likely to use such 'news' for cheap laughs and snide comments.

    Vote Ming!

  • At 1:11 pm , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    The Sun alleges they had proof that he had rung a gay chat line so he decided to talk about his sexuality.

    Driven by circumstances... I thought he'd owned up because they were digging but evidently they'd unearthed.

  • At 3:51 pm , Blogger Tristan said...

    If you're being pedantic he said he isn't gay. That is true as he's bisexual.

    Although he really should have come out and said that...

  • At 5:09 pm , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    To the average man in the street who is not a lawyer, he lied because the impression he gave was that by not being gay he was heterosexual.

    It would have been better he either admitted it (the best option for a principled liberal politician) or just told them it was none of their business what he got up to in his spare time.

    I agree with LibertyCat and Tristan that strictly speaking he didn't lie and it's certainly not a resignation issue. I'm also gladdened by the way he dealt with it when it *did* come out. But ideally he should have either told them to push off... or come out with it.

  • At 8:55 pm , Blogger Angus J Huck said...

    The stench of hypocrisy is suffocating.

    Question: How often did the media ask Tom Driberg about his sexuality?

    Answer: Not once.

    Now why is this?

    After all, Driberg's proclivities were very well-known to Westminster and Fleet Street insiders.

    So why are they picking on Simon Hughes?

    Well, I will tell you why. Driberg was a consummate toady who bought drinks for every reporter in sight. Simon isn't.

    It was only after Driberg's death that his extremely rampant (and utterly sordid) homosexuality was mentioned in a public forum. And the tone was one of gentle sympathy, not moral disapprobation. (Except for Manny Shinwelll and Jim Callaghan, who couldn't stand the sight of Driberg.)


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