Thursday, May 12, 2011

One Laws for him?

Up until yesterday, His Grace had absolutely no intention of posting on the matter of the David Laws judgement, or the leaks, rumours and speculation that preceded it. The issue is well-documented, and the story is rather sad and tragic: a homosexual politician in a relationship he wanted to keep secret channelled some £40,000 to his lover, James Lundie, with whom he was cohabiting in a domestic partnership but from whom he was also ‘renting’ a room. MPs are prohibited from paying anything to their partners or spouses for accommodation. Today it has been disclosed that Mr Laws breached six parliamentary regulations, and he is consequently suspended from the House of Commons for seven days. It seems safe to assume that he is unlikely to return to front-line politics any time soon.

There will be those who will gloat at the humiliation of a politician; others who will rejoice in the downfall of a LibDem; and still others who will find pleasure in the exposure of a hypocritical homosexual (since he boasted of his ‘whiter-than-white’ expenses record in order to win the seat of Yeovil at the last general election). There is also the further dynamic of his being appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury while his own treasury was not entirely without irregularity: an insupportable hypocrisy akin to being an obese, chain-smoking health minister. There is also the religious factor: David Laws was raised a Roman Catholic, and so desired all the more to keep his homosexuality secret from his Roman Catholic mother in order to protect her from the shame – as he must have seen it – of his moral transgression. The Roman Catholic Church is unequivocal on this matter, and Pope Benedict XVI has reiterated that homosexuality constitutes ‘a tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.’ He concludes: ‘A person engaging in homosexual behaviour therefore acts immorally.’

But His Grace is not concerned today with any of these matters. He is, however, concerned by the emergence of Conservatives (and doubtless LibDems) who feel that David Laws somehow merits special treatment – or is worthy of greater compassion – because his motive (to conceal his sexuality) was somehow honourable. Last night, Graeme Archer of ConservativeHome (and a most worthy Orwell Prize nominee) tweeted the suggestion of starting a #Tories4Laws trend, because ‘The guy has talent & broke the rules *solely* to avoid coming out’. This was then re-tweeted by Tim Montgomerie, and so began to attract official ConHome approbation. His Grace asked them a question, but received no response (not that the medium is conducive to such dialogue): If it is unacceptable to discriminate against people because of their sexuality, how can it be justified to plead homosexuality in order to mitigate an offence?

Should Sir Peter Viggers have been treated more leniently because of his compassionate desire to house his ducks in a pleasant island house? Does his love of animals mitigate his offence? Should Andrew MacKay have been treated more leniently because his wife was also an MP and the emotional strain on their entire family may have caused some sort of mental imbalance precipitating ‘an error of judgement’? Many MPs were treated harshly over their expenses misdemeanours – some very harshly indeed (even abominably and utterly disproportionately). And David Laws’ sin is arguably greater than some of these; indeed, six times greater.

The former Chief Secretary may very well be highly talented: as an ‘Orange-Booker’ he will be far more in-tune fiscally and economically with many in the Conservative Party. One can therefore understand the desire by some for a #Tories4Laws movement and expression of support. But this is to place emotion above reason: the suggestion that David Laws’ desire to conceal his sexuality should somehow moderate the judgement of the Standards and Privileges Committee elevates homosexuality to justification: it wasn’t theft or fraud; it was ill-judged borrowing. In short, the desire to keep his ‘objective disorder’ private lessens his crime and so demands greater leniency.

Of course, the quality of mercy is not strained. But being talented – academically, professionally and politically – does not place one above Parliamentary regulations any more than it puts one above the law of the land. Channelling £40,000 of taxpayers’ money to his lover was not simply an error of judgement; it was fraud, and his religious conscience must have informed him of this fact from the outset. He knew the letter of the law regarding domestic partners: he sought to persuade himself that what he has with James Lundie does not constitute such. Therein lies the deception – of self and the general public – which makes this a question of integrity. A person on state benefit who engaged in such a pursuit with this precise domestic arrangement would doubtless be prosecuted and forced to repay the money.

To what extent should the desire to conceal sexual behaviour exonerate the offender or absolve the sinner? Would it be permissible for a male MP to live with a woman in an adulterous relationship and, in order to conceal the arrangement from his wife (compassionately to protect her), pay his new domestic partner ‘rent’? Certainly, adultery is no longer illegal, any more than is homosexuality, so why would #Tories4Laws judge such a scenario more harshly? Is it because adultery still constitutes a sin, while homosexuality has been decontaminated and rehabilitated? Is it that adultery involves deception and betrayal? Why is the betrayal of a wife worse than the deceiving an entire electorate? Yet perhaps merely by juxtaposing enlightened homosexuality with murky adultery His Grace is in danger of inciting hatred or being ‘homophobic’, so he will pursue another line of enquiry: is it permissible to acquire public money for one’s spouse in order to assuage one’s own guilt and anaesthetise one’s personal sense of morality?

If, as the Commissioner says, David Laws’ motivation was to protect his privacy, not to benefit financially, he could have avoided being ‘outed’ simply by choosing not to pay James Lundie anything at all. As a millionaire, it wasn’t as though he couldn’t afford it. There would then have been no breach of any Parliamentary regulations and he would still be in a high-flying job with considerable career prospects.

By all means, let compassion reign and let mercy flow like a river. But sin, vice and crime are not without their natural consequences. And when those consequences are counteracted or inappropriately mitigated, justice is impeded. There cannot be one law for David Laws ‘in the closet’ and another law for gays who are ‘out and proud’, however much one may empathise with an understandable yearning for a private life in a world of unrelenting media intrusion.

55 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If, as the Commissioner says, David Laws’ motivation was to protect his privacy, not to benefit financially, he could have avoided being ‘outed’ simply by choosing not to pay James Lundie anything at all. As a millionaire, it wasn’t as though he couldn’t afford it."

Exactly so. Are these Tories proposing a modern droit du Seigneur?

alana

12 May 2011 at 11:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

As ever this is a well written and engaging article. There is, however, a fundamental philosophical inconsistency at the heart of so many of your musings that reappears in this blog post. You often claim, when it suits you, to despise the post-modern relativism that blights so many of the debates on religion and equality. I do as well. Yet, like Mr Dale used to, you cannot help deploying the very same relativism to your rhetorical ends when it suits you. It is often the people who want to make a positive case for, say, Christianity, who resort to saying 'what if that sentence had said Jew/Muslim instead of Christian'. This is a strong argument if you think they are all the same, but lacks consistency when elsewhere you, quite rightly, argue that religions have different histories and philosophies. It is not, in fact, impossible or wrong for an individual to say one is 'better' than the other. The same applies here. Homosexuality is different from being kind to animals or being an MP (there is no recent history of repression of people that are kind to animals, for example). By all means argue that Laws should be punished more or less. Just don't use the rhetoric of post-modern relativism to justify your position, when you decry its deployment elsewhere.

12 May 2011 at 12:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am getting sick of composing a comment on here only to lose it when I am asked to log in at blogger. I know I should copy it before posting but all the same its still bloody annoying.

All I was basically saying was there is one Law(pardon) for them and one for the rest of us, esp the poor that might partake in a bit of benefit fraud. I also touched upon that fact that as a privileged talented man he deserves no sympathy for acting like he has.

The political classes can still act fraudulently and downright dishonourable and get away with it.

Maturecheese

12 May 2011 at 12:18  
OpenID scottspeig said...

Not only that, but had he just lived with his partner without claiming, it may have been mentioned that he was homosexual.

It doesn't seem to affect other MPs of that lifestyle, and neither is it continuously portrayed (unless they go out of their way to mention it)

It is fraud.

Ex-MP David Chayter - Fraud amounting to £18,350 = 18 months prison
Ex-MP Jim Devine - Fraud amounting to £8,385 = 16 months prison
David Laws - Fraud amounting to £40,000 = off the hook?!? He should be penalised like the others!

12 May 2011 at 12:29  
Anonymous Gnostic said...

Who cares about the shirt-lifting angle? David Laws has been suspended from the House of Commons for a mere seven days. He committed a fraud for which most other people would have been imprisoned. If this doesn't tell us what a corrupt pile of excrement our Parliament has become then what the hell does?

PS WTF is wrong with Blogger?

12 May 2011 at 12:33  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

'...and so desired all the more to keep his homosexuality secret from his Roman Catholic mother in order to protect her from the shame – as he must have seen it – of his moral transgression'...

How on earth can this be a truthful statement of fact without coroboration from either Laws or his mother? This is more typical of some of the tawdry and inflamatory inventions of the gutter press. In my opinion Cranmer is using all sorts of vaguries to demonise Laws for his sexual orientation while under the smokescreen of exposing an abuse of priviledge or re-hashing old news about 'corruption in Parliament'.

It is no wonder homosexual people try to hide their sexuality in the face of such out right bigotry. If as the Pope says (and thereby deflecting any flack that should be aimed at Cranmer - why drag Ratzo in to this to bolster the argument) it is an immoral act, then it is I suggest up to the Christian god in which Laws believes to condemn him in the after-life. Why should it be up to others to pass judgement and make his life miserable on earth when who knows what goes on in a hetrosexual's sex life. It, by comparison seems to justify the actions of demented Muslims who do Allah's bidding and their executed homosexual victims a favour, in hanging them. Crazy logic and cruel nonsense separated only by a matter of degree.

Certainly there should be no special consideration for the man in the matter of defrauding the tax-payers; but why gleefully raise the issue of his homosexuality? This is reason enough for anyone wanting to keep their private life private.

I sometimes wonder if Cranmer and those who hold similar views were suffering a life threatening situation, would they shun life saving aid from someone they had previously seen fit to condemn, due to implied 'moral' incompatibility or just see another human being acting out of humane compassion? I sincerely hope their earthly saviour would not be as judgemental as they are of him/her.

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's

I'm not at all given to quoting biblical references, but ir seemstotally approtpriate to do so in this case?

12 May 2011 at 13:08  
Anonymous Elliot Kane said...

I find this whole matter to be very sad, and I do have some sympathy for David Laws suddenly finding himself in the horrible position of having to either deceive his employer or step out of the closet - a thing he clearly viewed with horror.

But with that said, Your Grace is correct. There cannot be one law for some and another law for others in any society that truly desires equality.

In most other professions, David Laws would be facing the sack at best and criminal charges at worst, so he has actually escaped lightly.

I feel sorry for him, but he was still utterly in the wrong.

12 May 2011 at 13:14  
Blogger Benjamin of Wight said...

He's a thief, he should be in prison.

12 May 2011 at 13:34  
Blogger Paddy said...

It is no defence, because rules are rules, but in my opinion it is a stupid rule that you cannot pay a lover rent. Surely the only thing that matters is whether the taxpayer is getting value for money.

If an MP is entitled to claim back rent paid to a private landlord or to claim mortgage payments, what is wrong with claiming rent paid to someone he is sleeping with?

Reports suggest that what Laws claimed was a lot less than what he could have claimed within the rules for paying Joe Bloggs, so what is the big deal?

12 May 2011 at 13:41  
Anonymous MrJ said...

What has compassion for the offender got to do with fitness for office? Political sophhistry. If he needs a job to earn a living to support himself and his dependant family, why not leave the legislature and work elsewhere?

"...gloat at the humiliation of a politician; ... find pleasure in the exposure of a hypocritical homosexual (since he boasted of his ‘whiter-than-white’ expenses record in order to win the seat of Yeovil at the last general election)."

No gloating nor pleasure but much regret at another instance of the hypocritcal among the legislators in Parliament, coupled with insufficient knowledge why this man has acquired any more of a reputation for capability and ministerial worthiness than Mr Huhne to name but one (or the most recently departed occupant of first no.11 and then no. 10 Downing Street). Orange-Bookmanism is scarcely a warranty of fitness.

"If it is unacceptable to discriminate against people because of their sexuality, how can it be justified to plead homosexuality in order to mitigate an offence?...etc" Has Anon. 12:08 missed or avoided the point of this question? Ditto Dreadnaught 13:14 ?

[WHY HAS THIS REAPPEARED? "Google Account You will be asked to sign in after submitting your comment."]

12 May 2011 at 13:46  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

'There is also the religious factor: David Laws was raised a Roman Catholic, and so desired all the more to keep his homosexuality secret from his Roman Catholic mother in order to protect her from the shame – as he must have seen it – of his moral transgression.'

He could have elected to be celibate - this ommission is cleraly another factor.

12 May 2011 at 14:24  
Blogger English Viking said...

Yet another cat-lick gayboy. One who apparently thinks that paying 40 Grand to your rent-boy in the form of cash stolen from taxpayers is perfectly acceptable because he's an uphill gardener and, by virtue of this vice, should (indeed has) escape prosecution.

When one thinks of the scandals that have permanently derailed political careers in the past, and then compare them to these kind of things, why are these liars and thieves allowed to continue?

Utterly unfit for public office.

12 May 2011 at 14:37  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

If one knowingly breaks the rules then one must accept the consequences.

However, there's a case for at least understanding why a man in his 40s who is in the closet to family, some friends, and work colleagues might be willing to break the rules to stay there. It's an indictment of our former society that some felt the need to conceal their sexual orientation in their youth.

Thank goodness it's considerably easier now to publicly acknowledge one's sexuality as a young person.

All that said, it sounds like Laws went beyond submitting valid expenses as though his boyfriend was his landlord in order to live with him but conceal his orientation.

12 May 2011 at 14:47  
Blogger D. Singh said...

DanJO said:

‘However, there's a case for at least understanding why a man in his 40s who is in the closet to family, some friends, and work colleagues might be willing to break the rules to stay there.’

What case is that then?

And why reveal yourself to your landlord but not family or at least friends?

Christian B&B owners have had it revealed to them – so what’s the problem here?

12 May 2011 at 14:55  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

If it is unacceptable to discriminate against people because of their sexuality, how can it be justified to plead homosexuality in order to mitigate an offence?

Nail, hit firmly on the head.

It can not, it really is that simple.

Politicians are not entitled to privacy in any matters, very much including their private lives, and even more especially their financial affairs and interests.

In this age of effective one party government, (in that there is absolutely no difference between our 3 main political parties when actually in office,) an MP's personal rectitude is even more important today, then in the past.

We also live in an age when being homo-sexual, especially an unmarried one, is seen as perfectly acceptable, as there are many openly homo-sexual MP's.

Therefore Mr Laws has no excuse whatsoever. He has shown himself to have been dishonest, and criminally so, and should not be given any sympathy whatsoever.

The reason he is receiving some from various MP's is as simple as it is worrying.

They ALL have skeletons in their closets, otherwise they would have been weeded out by the establishment as potential future problems.

Honesty is the last possible thing the establishment wants from its puppets.

The establishments wants from a politician on the make many things.

For example, desperate ambition, profound incompetence, fine acting skills, ravenous duplicity, and above all financial greed, or better still greed for all varieties of sexual activities resulting in plenty of things the establishment can black-mail the MP with, if or when required.

This is one of the main reasons why the establishment much prefers men, home-sexual, bi-sexual or otherwise, in positions of perceived power. Men are as a general rule, far easier to corrupt using good old fashioned SEX, as the primary incentive.

Therefore we all have a serious problem, which does not have an easy answer.

If we allow our politicians to be effectively politically destroyed at the whim of our own establishments media, the establishment will continue to hold our political representatives, by the metaphorical, and often literal balls.

We can not therefore win, whatever we do.

Which is just how the establishment has long since liked it.

12 May 2011 at 14:58  
Blogger Span Ows said...

comment test...

12 May 2011 at 15:03  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"...adultery still constitutes a sin, while homosexuality has been decontaminated and rehabilitated..."
Assuming "homosexuality" to mean the "practising" kind, does anybody believe the whole of that statement?

12 May 2011 at 15:26  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Makes a chap quite nostalgic for the days of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies ...

12 May 2011 at 15:39  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

The answer to this, and many other similar events, is obvious and simple: abolish MPs expenses entirely. Who else gets such things? The rest of us have to pay for everything (our accommodation, transport, bird houses, etc., etc.) out of our salary. Who pays these expenses, in the end? We do. why should we have to pay them - they don't pay us? End it now - or admit (if you're a politician) that you have no belief in justice or fairness, and are unworthy of being anyone's "representative".

12 May 2011 at 15:51  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

James Lundie looks a bit old for a rent boy, how much did he charge the taxpayer?

I like a little foreplay for my money, David Laws can begin by having a stroke.

Then all the rest of the politicians can kiss my arse.

12 May 2011 at 15:55  
Anonymous Gordo said...

What a crook! Luckily for him he's part of a powerful interest group which places him above the law.

12 May 2011 at 16:08  
Anonymous Jon said...

If you'll grant me a historical counterfactual,, imagine for a second that you were Johann Tetzel and you encountered Martin Luther and were persuaded by his arguments. As an employee of Vatican Incorporated, your livelihood, family relationships and your life depended upon renouncing the "heresy" that you had received.

But you couldn't, because you recognised that even though your work as an indulgence salesman was peddling fear and lies to the poor, and you wanted to come out of the closet, into the light of the Reformation and to join the ranks of Protestantism AG, your life as it was was a comfortable compromise.

David Laws' homosexuality is no more a mitigating factor for his crime than English Viking's evident retardation is for his. The Tories who would cite it as such as doing so for political purposes, but to do so allows you another little dig at the gays. I watch your developing obsession with us with amusement. As I've posted before, you CoE types have a real issue which suggests some kind of collective repressed episode or tendency.

I'll see you in Soho later.

12 May 2011 at 16:25  
Blogger English Viking said...

Jon,

Ohhh, you're a Rear Admiral!

That explains everything.

PS Better a retard than sexual deviant, no?

12 May 2011 at 16:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

D. Singh: "And why reveal yourself to your landlord but not family or at least friends? Christian B&B owners have had it revealed to them – so what’s the problem here?"

Huh? The landlord is his partner in the story. In fact, that is the core of the story. You know, the man with whom he presumably has regular sex. Tad hard to conceal when he's sucking on the landlord's bits I expect.

The case for understanding? Haven't I said enough already? As an MP, he's a potential target of tabloid hacks and Westminster gossips. When he stays in London on MP's business he needs accomodation.

If he rents a place himself then he potentially has to explain his male overnight visitor or his overnight visits elsewhere. If he stays with his partner rent free then he potentially has to explain who the man is to his family, friends, and hacks, and why the man does not charge rent or why he does not claim living expenses.

To avoid all of that, he submits expenses for rent etc as though the landlord is independent and gets to live with him without anyone knowing about the relationship. In his mind, he's probably thinking that if he rented elsewhere and just visits then the taxpayer would still pay the expenses.

Why not just come out the closet? Well, he was an investment banker, which is a famously macho work environment. He is also in his 40s so coming out is a huge readjustment to his public identity. In effect, he has withheld a core part of himself from some of his friends and family too. That's hard to accept for some people.

Where Laws really falls down if the latest story is true is in claiming unreceipted expenses larger than absolutely necessary to maintain his cover. Any sympathy one might have with his personal dilemma over his sexuality is undermined by that.

12 May 2011 at 17:25  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Jon 16:25 "...you CoE types ..." This either 1) does not mean what it says or 2) is intended to mean that persons of the Church of England as a class "have a real issue which suggests some kind of collective repressed episode or tendency"

If 1) what does it mean?

If 2) is manifestly false.

As ever, English Viking comments with his own characteristic vehemence, which is not typical here or in the population generally. But there is no reason to doubt that he has a sincere regard for the truth as he sees it.

12 May 2011 at 17:43  
Anonymous tory boys never grow up said...

As I know it is a subject that interests Cranmer and others here you may find the linked article by Garton-Ash in the Guardian of interest.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/12/fight-xenophobic-populists-need-free-speech

If only if it gives the lie to usual misrepresentation of the views of many on the left on the subject.

12 May 2011 at 17:43  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

"It is now also absolutely clear that if David had been open about his circumstances, his expense claims would have been much, much higher."
- Paddy Ashdown in defence of David Laws.
http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/9024137.BREAKING_NEWS__Lord_Ashdown_comes_to_David_Laws__defence/
Funny old world!

12 May 2011 at 17:49  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Not much to add.

Homosexual or heterosexual, Catholic or Protestant, he lied and stole from the public purse. He had no need to and if he wished to keep his private life private, and why not, he could simply not have claimed 'rent'.

If he is a man of honour he should resign his seat forthwith and should be prosecuted.

12 May 2011 at 17:52  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

MrJ said...

"As ever, English Viking comments with his own characteristic vehemence, which is not typical here or in the population generally. But there is no reason to doubt that he has a sincere regard for the truth as he sees it."

Do me a favour!

The same could be said of Hitler, Stalin and Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh.
The guy's posts are a disgraceful parody of all that is wrong with 'militant protestantism'. Hateful, vengeful and biggotted.

12 May 2011 at 17:58  
Anonymous graham said...

John Thomas said...

The answer to this, and many other similar events, is obvious and simple: abolish MPs expenses entirely. Who else gets such things? The rest of us have to pay for everything (our accommodation, transport, bird houses, etc., etc.) out of our salary. Who pays these expenses, in the end? We do. why should we have to pay them - they don't pay us? End it now - or admit (if you're a politician) that you have no belief in justice or fairness, and are unworthy of being anyone's "representative".

Exactly right John Thomas. I suspect like a majority of the population - I would not pay any of them in shirt buttons.

12 May 2011 at 18:05  
Anonymous MrJ said...

tory boys 17:42 re link to guardian article.

It is disappointing (but a sign of the times) to see a reporter of Mr Garton-Ash's calibre write such an article so remote from a proper account of the facts and so muddled in its analysis and, in consequence, deficient in its conclusions.

To mention but one item (and not the worst): "There are important, rational arguments to be made against Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Scientology or any other belief system." Why single those out as "belief systems" and no mention of atheism, behaviourism, materialism, scientism, socialism or "muscular liberalism"?

(Later he mentions muscular liberalism and lists "Muslim, Christian, atheist or Zoroastrian.")

The article has the mark of shallow, tired or lazy journalism. To tell the truth, that is why it seems to a more open minded reader with more extensive sources of information to be bigoted.

12 May 2011 at 18:16  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Equally, there is no reason to doubt that Dodo (17:58) like most others here has a sincere regard for the truth as he sees it, including his remark "a disgraceful parody of all that is wrong with 'militant protestantism' ". But that is not necessarily the whole picture.

12 May 2011 at 18:24  
Anonymous Jon said...

MrJ

I meant that homosexuality is debated ad nauseam in General Synod, there is a perpetual impending schism on the issue. Why does the Church feel the need to expound on something which is so irrelevant to its mission, and ignore the bloody great beam in its own eye. Why not fixate on garments made of different cloths? Or maybe, something more relevant, like helping the poor? Or would that conflict with your Tory souls? Some people are gay, and God made them that way. Get over it, or join a church in Uganda.

Also - sincerity is no excuse for bigotry as The Last Dodo points out. Just like the Pope, one can be sincerely wrong.

I doubt English Viking is a Protestant though Dodo - although I think he probably hears the voice of his "god" amongst the many others in his sad, paranoid head.

12 May 2011 at 18:24  
Anonymous len said...

Unless the law is administered fairly and equally to all, the law itself will be held in contempt.
............
I, as a born again Christian despair at some of the remarks made by professing 'Christians'.
Christians are given the task of reconciling those who are lost to God, this was the mission of Jesus to a lost and dying World.
I would think God would possibly be as appalled by the self - righteousness of professing Christians as much as the behaviour of Homosexuals.
The message of the Gospel,God`s message to Humanity( Through Jesus Christ) is the Love of God for Humanity.
I am not approving or condoning what God classes as sin, but there again neither did Jesus.Jesus did not come to condemn but to save the World.

12 May 2011 at 18:24  
Anonymous len said...

The remark that God made people 'Gay 'is a contradiction.

Why would God make someone a 'sinner'and then condemn him?.

When God created man he proclaimed him "Good".
Is God a hypocrite?.

When sin entered man it changed him and man was no longer 'good'.
That is the whole point of the Gospel, to redeem man, to reverse the fall!.

This is not 'having a go' at Gays. Sin is sin, whatever form it takes!.We are ALL born sinners ,until redeemed, 'born again, our sinful natures changed.

12 May 2011 at 18:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "The remark that God made people 'Gay 'is a contradiction. Why would God make someone a 'sinner'and then condemn him?."

Bingo! There are two obvious answers to that.

12 May 2011 at 19:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "He had no need to and if he wished to keep his private life private, and why not, he could simply not have claimed 'rent'."

No, I very much doubt he could. Or rather, I very much doubt he thought he could. For the reasons I gave earlier.

12 May 2011 at 19:02  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, Just as the other handful of the thieves who were prosecuted, found guilty and jailed, Mr Laws should be subjected to the same process. He's a thief and should be in prison and disbarred from ever holding public office again.

12 May 2011 at 19:21  
Blogger English Viking said...

Len,

I too despair that 'professing' Christians should so tamely roll over (no pun intended) in the face of sexual deviancy.

Make the same apology for the hand-stroking of pædophiles as you do for queers, when sharing the gospel, if you dare.

Then you will see that being mealy-mouthed about sexual perversion will get you nowhere.

Dodo,

You just 'Godwinned' yourself, so if that's all you've got, I'd go home if I were you.

PS I've told you I'm not Protestant, so stop calling me that, you'll give me a bad name.

Mr J,

I commend you (not worth much, I know) for at least demonstrating the ability to think.

12 May 2011 at 19:44  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Jon 18:24. "...your Tory souls..." That seems to me to be more of the same.

Mine was not to make any excuse for EV, Dodo or anyone else. Nor do I presume to defend EV, who is more than willing to speak for himself if he chooses.

Are you aware that the label "Protestant" is ambiguous, equivocal and contentious? As are Catholic and Orthodox, or even Baptist and so on and on.

Is it worthy to use a clinical term like "paranoid" as a means of denigrating an opponent in this forum?

12 May 2011 at 19:46  
Anonymous MrJ said...

John in c. 19:21 "disbarred" typo or....?

12 May 2011 at 19:50  
Blogger DAD said...

YG you write:-

"It seems safe to assume that he is unlikely to return to front-line politics any time soon."

I do not think that it is safe to assume it. He has friends in high places. Time will tell if you or I am right.

12 May 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking said ...

"Dodo,
I've told you I'm not Protestant, so stop calling me that, you'll give me a bad name."

Just for you then - 'potty-stank'

12 May 2011 at 21:13  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Now you see it - Now you don't!

Laws really should resign his seat as a matter of honour. There's also a question of whether he should be prosecuted.

No excuses - he lied. If he wanted to keep his private life quiet he shouldn't have claimed 'rent'. Afterall he's got plenty of money and hardly needed it.

13 May 2011 at 22:55  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I can't see how paying or not paying rent for his accommodation has any connection with his homosexuality (other then now leaving himself open to jokes about rent-boys).
Was he any more likely to be outed if he hadn't paid rent with money stolen from the taxpayers? I can't see why, and if anyone disagrees, perhaps they could explain their logic.

13 May 2011 at 23:40  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"since he boasted of his ‘whiter-than-white’ expenses record in order to win the seat of Yeovil at the last general election)"

Where is the source for your quotation _ I've searched but the only source I can see is a a supposedly second hand quote by his Tory opponent on the local rag's website several months after the election.

You usually have higher standards than this.

13 May 2011 at 23:57  
Anonymous MrJ said...

MrJ said...What has compassion for the offender got to do with fitness for office? Political sophistry. If he needs a job to earn a living to support himself and his dependant family, why not leave the legislature and work elsewhere?

"...gloat at the humiliation of a politician; ... find pleasure in the exposure of a hypocritical homosexual (since he boasted of his ‘whiter-than-white’ expenses record in order to win the seat of Yeovil at the last general election)." No gloating nor pleasure but much regret at another instance of the hypocritcal among the legislators in Parliament, coupled with insufficient knowledge why this man has acquired any more of a reputation for capability and ministerial worthiness than Mr Huhne to name but one (or the most recently departed occupant of first no.11 and then no. 10 Downing Street). Orange-Bookmanism is scarcely a warranty of fitness.

14 May 2011 at 00:20  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The numerous comments included before blog went AWOL included:

__tory boys never grow up (12 May 2011 17:42) said...As I know it is a subject that interests Cranmer and others here you may find the linked article by Garton-Ash in the Guardian of interest.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/12/fight-xenophobic-populists-need-free-speech
If only if it gives the lie to usual misrepresentation of the views of many on the left on the subject.

__MrJ (12 May 2011 18:16) said...tory boys 17:42 re link to guardian article. It is disappointing (but a sign of the times) to see a reporter of Mr Garton-Ash's calibre write such an article so remote from a proper account of the facts and so muddled in its analysis and, in consequence, deficient in its conclusions.

To mention but one item (and not the worst): "There are important, rational arguments to be made against Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Scientology or any other belief system." Why single those out as "belief systems" and no mention of atheism, behaviourism, materialism, scientism, socialism or "muscular liberalism"?

(Later he mentions muscular liberalism and lists "Muslim, Christian, atheist or Zoroastrian.")

The article has the mark of shallow, tired or lazy journalism. To tell the truth, that is why it seems to a more open minded reader with more extensive sources of information to be bigoted. [end of this copy]

14 May 2011 at 08:11  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

It is, indeed, one law for the MP and another for the rest. If you, Your GRace, or I, misappropriated and misdirected even a tenth of this sum, we should be prosecuted and no doubt locked up for an appropriate term at Her Majesty's Pleasure, but not, it seems, if one is a Member of that House of Deceit, known as The Commons.

14 May 2011 at 09:48  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

It is indeed still the case of one law for them and one for the rest of us. No doubt after a short period of purgatory, Mr Laws will be returned to the bossum of power while any benefit cheat that has been caught fiddling taxpayers money will no doubt suffer far more.

Both scenarios are wrong and are symptoms of moral decline, both should be punished, but those of us with the privilege of wealth and an expensive education deserve far harsher punishment than those with very little and next to no hope. Funny though how it is always the other way around.

14 May 2011 at 10:26  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Tory Boys Never Grow Up,

Is this contemporary primary source sufficiently authoritative for you?

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2011/05/kevin-davis-when-will-the-voters-get-to-judge-david-laws.html

14 May 2011 at 12:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget the homosexuality for a second (it's a smokescreen). The report states:

"the actual rent paid exceeded the market rents due under a lodging agreement for a similar property by between £209 and £370 per calendar month"

How exactly does overcharging the taxpayer for rent help to keep his gay relationship with his landlord a secret?

14 May 2011 at 18:04  
Anonymous tory boys never grow up said...

Cranmer

I'm afraid not - the only place I have seen this "whiter than white" quote is out of the mouth of his electoral opponent. I've looked elsewhere e.g. the press and election leaflets on line and nothing I'm afraid. I don't mind being proved wrong as I don't carry a torch for Laws - but if you provide a direct quote from someone it should be just that.

15 May 2011 at 22:25  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Tory Boys Never Grow Up,

And His Grace holds no torch or anything else against Laws. But under the well-established principles of credulity and testimony, there is no objective reason to disbelieve the political opponent if he says such-and-such took place and if Laws has made no denial of the assertion(s).

Your original complaint was that the only source you could find was to corroborate His Grace's quotation was 'a supposedly second hand quote by his Tory opponent on the local rag's website several months after the election'.

So His Grace has provided you with primary testimony, direct from the man who experienced the campaign first-hand. No-one is denying that Laws made his record on expenses an election issue, giving the distinct impression that he was 'whiter than white'. With respect, it is your refusal to accept this testimony which is irrational.

15 May 2011 at 22:44  
Anonymous tory boys never grow up said...

Giving the impression that Laws campaign is whiter than white is one thing - and that may well be seen as fair comment by his opponent. But quoting his campaign as saying such is something different - much as I dislike Law's politics I very much doubt that he was daft enough to use that form of words.

If anyone had said that Mrs Thatcher ran her election campaigns with "supporting the aims of the rich and powerful above all else" as her main objective, you probably would have been among the first to challenge.

16 May 2011 at 10:31  

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