Archive for the ‘Tories’ Category

Queers call for Cameron to rethink Housing Benefit Cut

In Cuts, Press Release, Tories on 02/07/2012 at 6:01 pm

The lesbian gay bisexual and transgender campaign group, QueersAgainst the Cuts, has called on David Cameron to rethink his plan to scrapHousing Benefits to under 25 year olds. “This cut would really hurt many young lesbian gay bisexual and transgender people,” Richard Farnos QUAC’s Co-Convenor said “Many havea difficult relationship with their parents quite often leading to them to be thrown out of their home.  Cameron’s plan would mean that they would have to prove that they can’t live with their parents – which is hardly conducive to reconciliation.  The consequence of this will be more exploited and homeless LGBT youth.”

Cameron’s plan, which may become part of the Conservative Party’s next General Election Manifesto, was part of a package of cuts in the benefits system announced on Monday in a speech the Prime Minister gave at Bluewater.  Cameron argued that the point of the cutting Housing Benefit for under 25 was that “the system we inherited encourages them to grab the independence, rather than earn it.”

“Indeed we find the whole package insulting, it is like reading a Daily Mail editorial,” said Richard Farnos, “it perpetuates myths like that single parents automatically get a council house or that people like to live on the dole.  Poverty is not caused by debt, family break-down educational failure or addiction as Cameron claims, rather these are a consequence of poverty. Poverty is caused by his failing economic system that even before the bank crisis led the poor to get poorer and the rich, richer.  As the libertarian socialist G. D. H. Coleonce said ‘we are not slaves because we are poor, we are poor because we are slaves’.”


Yes to sex and relationships education, No to Nadine Dorries’ sexist proposals on abstinence education

In QUAC, Tories, Uncategorized on 24/01/2012 at 11:29 am

Friday January 20 saw a noisy but thoughtful demonstration outside the House of Parliament when the second reading of Nadine Dorries’ Bill, which would have forced schools to offer girls aged between 13-16 extra sex education lessons which would have included advice on “the benefits of abstinence. The loudest cheer went up when the picket was informed that the sexist Bill had been withdrawn.

The protest, called by a number of organisations including Queers Against the Cuts, the British Humanist Association (BHA), Abortion Rights, Liberal Conspiracy, Education for Choice, the National Secular Society, Parents and Carers for Sex and Relationships Education (P4SRE), the Socialist Party, Youth Fight for Jobs, Feminist Fightback,  Slut Means Speak Up, Bristol Feminist Network and Left Front Art heard a series of speakers who argued cogently that everyone is entitled to sex and relationships education and that the teaching of abstinence does not reduce the amount of sex young people have.

Indeed if young women and men don’t have access to proper sex education the number of unwanted teenage pregnancies are likely to increase. Other contributions pointed out that women’s ability to say no to unwanted sexual contact is undermined by the lack of  positive sex education – a point underlined by Education for Choice who had all of us acting out two sketches which they use in schools. Queers against the Cuts had been invited to send a speaker but because I was not sure I was going to be able to be present until the last minute I hadn’t agreed. I was a bit disappointed to see there was not more visible LGBT prescence – we need to step this up for future actions on this question

While it is extremely positive that the Bill has been withdrawn the whole issue of Sex Education is something that we need to keep on a socialist and feminist and queer agenda given the increasing growth of faith schools and academies some of which are funded by deeply reactionary foundations. From this point of view it was disappointing not to see any presence from the NUT or other teaching unions on the protest. While it was great to see so many young women and a number of young men there it essential that the trade union movement as a whole and in particular those in education take up the issue.

This is particularly important because it seems at time of writing that Dorries is now threatening to retable her bill or add it to another one

Terry Conway 24/1/2012

Gay Anti-Cuts Campaigners Slam Cameron’s “Hypocrisy”

In Press Release, Tories on 24/06/2011 at 12:21 pm

London based LGBTQ anti cuts group, Queers Against The Cuts (QUAC) has panned the Prime minister speech given at the Downing Street reception for the LGBT community last Wednesday.

“David Cameron speech was incredibly complacent “said Richard Farnos, Joint Convenor of QUAC “There was no acknowledgement that LGBTQ people are going to be among the hardest hit by this government’s foolish austerity programme.  Cameron seems to think that LGBTQ people live off thin air.”

According to QUAC not only do LGBTQ people work disproportionately in the public and voluntary sectors that are being cut, but as a community LGBTQ people are more dependent on public services:   “Most of us don’t have kids to help out when we are older, and still our youth are more likely to be abandoned by their families.” Richard Farnos explained.

LGBTQ people are also being hit by benefit cuts “many HIV positive gay men are losing out with the introduction of Employment Support Allowance which seems to be unable to cope with fluctuating conditions.”

“To add insult to injury it is pure hypocrisy that Cameron claims to be tackling homophobic bullying in schools.  The Government’s own educational reform plans, particularly the creation of so called “free schools” will allow the re-introduction of section 28 through the backdoor.”

“Free School” will be new schools set up by parents, churches or charities that will receive state funding while not have to follow the national curriculum, and with few restrictions on what the schools can or cannot teach.

Already Toby Young one of the leading advocates of “free schools” has dismissed the whole idea of LGBT History month saying “The very idea that a group of 12-year-old schoolchildren would be dragooned into ‘creating banners and other materials’ to promote LGBT week is preposterous”.

“Finally Cameron claims of ‘moral authority in the world’ is gobsmacking while his new asylum regime regularly detains and deport LGBTQ people seeking asylum who certainly face imprisonment, and often worse when returned to countries they have fled.”

“At QUAC” Richard Farnos concluded “we don’t think that the poorest and most vulnerable people in our communities should pay for the greed inspired errors of bankers.  And as Ireland and Greece show cutting will only make things worse.  If corporations and the super rich were made to pay the tax they legally avoid we could tackle the debt and invest in all our futures.”