Monday, 6 September 2010

Who knew? Concern over LGBT asylum is "fashionable" says David Miliband

By Paul Canning

From's interview with likely future Labour Party leader David Miliband - on a Labour leadership campaign visit to a gay bar:
Asked if there were things he would do differently or areas where they got it wrong, like on LGBT asylum seekers.

But Miliband said: “It’s fashionable to trash the Labour record but this is one area where, why should we? We actually did massively more than we ever conceived that we would. I’m open minded about whether we could do more but let’s celebrate what we did do.”
"We actually did massively more"? He's channeling Phil Woolas - former Immigration Minister and noted race baiter.

So no apology from David for the treatment by his government of LGBT fleeing persecution. This hasn't stopped four lesbian and gay Labour MPs endorsing him, though both LGBT Labour members as well as voters apparently feel differently. They prefer leadership opponent and brother Ed.

I wouldn't expect any less from those four MPs, Chris Bryant, Angela Eagle, Ben Bradshaw and Stephen Twigg, given their total lack of concern for LGBT people fleeing persecution before (solitary exception: Stephen Twigg did sign the Mehdi Kazemi driven petition to Gordon Brown calling for reform but - disclosure - I do know him and I did ask). But I suppose they have potential future shadow ministry positions to protect ... and apologising for the treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, for anything the past government did infact, just isn't done.

By contrast brother Ed says:
We needed to show greater leadership on the question of those seeking asylum because they face persecution in their home country because of their sexuality. The fact that many forced to return to their home country were advised to be "discreet" is tantamount to an admission that the system recognised the dangers of their forced return but did too little about them.
It's a start, Though why does Ed in the election manifesto he authored have immigration directly linked with crime? I don't believe he's been asked - but then this is the first time in Labour's leadership campaign Miliband, D has been asked about LGBT asylum and that reflects a general lack of discussion on Labour's treatment of migrants during the campaign, so that's hardly surprising.

Both Milband's are the children of asylum seekers. One wonders what their parents would think of concern over the status of their historic descendants being described as "fashionable".


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