Liz Kendall’s comments that Labour have been the best institution for equality in this country have pissed me off. I know I’ve spent some time negatively campaigning against Labour recently and it’s not endearing and I will cut back, but these lies that Kendall purports and many other Labour supporters too seem to work and as a result, it prevents genuine pro-equality parties from making a change.
So here’s a list of all the times Labour has been quite blatantly anti-equality;
- Anti-electoral reform: Labour want to keep the first past the post system where votes for themselves and the Tories count for more than votes for other parties
- Same-sex marriage: Labour failed to introduce same-sex marriage in 13 years of majority government yet still boastfully claim to be the only party that can deliver equality. It didn’t even appear in their 2010 manifesto. The Lib Dems delivered the policy in five years of coalition government.
- Iraq war: Labour falsely entered the country in to a war, or in retrospect a massacre, against Iraq on a false pretence.
- Gender recognition act: Labour were sued in to passing this legislation, allowing people to change their legal gender.
- Gays in the military: see above.
- Equal age of consent: Labour’s shadow health secretary David Blunkett led the campaign against equalising the age of consent for homosexuals and heterosexuals in 1994.
- Civil partnerships: Passed the unequal civil partnership bill due to requirement of the EHRC – were not solely responsible for even drafting the bill.
- EHRC: Forced Labour in to introducing the equality policy they did between 1997-2010, almost none was off their own back.
- Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson: Labour government refused to recognise Celia and Sue’s marriage in Canada in the UK despite lengthy campaigning.
- Trans people in marriage: Labour voted against trans people being allowed to change their gender if it meant their marriage would in turn become a same-sex marriage.
- The welfare state: Labour can take a big chunk of credit for enacting the welfare bill but the ‘imagination’ Liz Kendall claims Labour has, certainly wasn’t used here. It was pretty much entirely the work of William Beveridge, a Liberal.
- Disability equality: Legislation was first introduced by the Tories in 1995
- Flapper election: Again, enfranchising all women to the vote was introduced by the Tories and campaign in the 20th century led by the Liberals.
- Gay marriage support: Only 64% of Labour members polled in 2010 supported same-sex marriage, less than the Lib Dems and only slightly more than the Tories.
- Labstention: Labour MPs decided to abstain leaving Lib Dems, Caroline Lucas of the Greens and the SNP to oppose the Tory’s welfare slashing bill in vain.
- Immigration mugs: Decided to make mugs stating they would be tougher on immigrants.
- Harriet Harman’s Pink Bus: Patronisingly used a gimmick riddled pink bus to attract female voters to Labour
- Separate manifestos: Still use separate manifestos for LGBT+ people and women as if their needs are completely removed from all others.
Labour, to their credit have been involved and have led charges for some equality legislation in the past and it would be duplicitous for me to claim otherwise, but pretending to be the ‘leading party’ in equality is counter productive and evil. So please, Labour, step up to the plate or shut up.