Sexual politics, Northern Ireland style

INTERESTING post by Iain Dale concerning some homophobic remarks made by Iris Robinson, the DUP MP for Strangford. Some leaving comments in response have remarked on the perception that when it comes to sexual politics, Northern Ireland is a few decades behind the rest of the UK.

Not sure about that, but I do know that when Lady Sylvia Hermon (left) was nominated by the UUP to fight the North Down seat in the run-up to the 2001 general election, a local newspaper carried a picture not of her, but of her husband, Jack Hermon, former chief constable of the RUC, with the caption: “Jack Hermon’s wife, Sylvia, is the candidate in North Down”.

True story.

Incidentally, newer readers of this blog might have missed a posting I did on necrophilia a couple of months ago. What I didn’t mention at the time is that six MPs actually voted against that particular measure – all of them DUP members. Apparently their opposition had nothing to do with believing the government had gone too far with the nanny state, but more to do with their unhapiness about the law on homosexuality in Northern Ireland being brought into line with the rest of the country.

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13 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Parliament, Politics, Society

13 responses to “Sexual politics, Northern Ireland style

  1. Er Tom Lady Slyvia was nominated as MP for North Down not South. I should know she represents most of my immediate family..

  2. Er… you’re right, and I’ve changed it. Thanks, Stephen

  3. I left a full and frank comment on Iain’s site for which I expect much flack in return.

    I just wanted to repeat this one sentence:

    Don’t be shocked by someone expressing her feelings; be shocked at the fear the majority has of not.

  4. Stu

    Ahhh necrophilia. Breathing life into an otherwise perishing relationship.

    I was really shocked by Iain Dale’s post. To the point of disbelief that an MP would have uttered such words in our times. If she can get away with it, it proves indeed that NI politics is some years behind the mainland yet.

    Incidentally, while I know you are a religious man, as a secularist it was no surprise to me when I read that Mrs Robinson has “strong views on homosexual activity based on the Scriptures”. It isn’t that religion always leads to bigotry, it’s that religion provides a useful (and sometimes incontestable) excuse for bigotry to exist.

  5. You were probably hoping that most of the psots wouldn’t reflect necrophilia … but I went to the Edinburgh Festival in 2006 and the funniest thing I saw was the Leeds Uni Comedy troupe performing a song set to the tune of the Teddy Bears Picnic about necrophilia. (If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a *big* surprise …)

    The best bit was the Sing-a-long graphics with the Mickey Mouse head bouncing along the top.

    But back to the main point – there are lots of scriptural points that jar with a modern day society – even if we are suggesting that every word of the bible should be taken literally, are we really so arrogant to suggest that that we are intelligent enough to interpret the word of God?

  6. Anyone who feels strongly enough about freedom of speech should allow the remarks made about homosexuality by Iris Robinson MP to remain unpunished.

    If you agree, please vote here:
    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Iris-is-right/

    Hopefully it will encourage other MPs not to be afraid to share their views in future.

  7. What an absurd and dishonest petition. Iris is in no danger of being “punished” by anyone. And the title of this link – “Iris is right” suggests a sentiment not contained in the petition wording itself, presumably because you’re hoping to induce those in favour of freedom of speech to sign it, and subsequently to claim X number of supporters of Iris’s orginal, hideous comments.

  8. It’s not my petition, Tom, but if it is misleading then sorry, but it was the only petition that was supportive of Mrs Robinson.

    I put up the link as a reaction to someone on LabourHome plugging “Sign the petition against Iris Robinson’s comments.”

    It looks like she is being punished already en masse by bloggers especially.

    The Belfast Telegraph reports on the poll I mentioned, “11,000 demand PM reprimands Iris for her outburst about gays.”

    Have you read “The Overhauling of Straight America?” It is a blueprint for conditioning the general population to believe that homosexuality is acceptable.

    It was written twenty years ago and clearly being carried out.

    I picked out some passages from it, with a link to the complete document.

    I reckon everyone who is enraged by Mrs Robinson should read it:

    http://www.labourhome.org/story/2008/7/23/75328/9213/#11

    People have been trained like Pavlovian dogs to respond to any criticism of homosexuals with savage, hateful retorts.

  9. “It is a blueprint for conditioning the general population to believe that homosexuality is acceptable.”

    Er, how do I put this…? Homosexuality IS acceptable. It’s not compulsory, but it is acceptable. It may not be acceptable to you, just as belief in six-day creation isn’t acceptable to most people.

  10. Well, if you want to be pedantic at this time of the evening!

    It is a blueprint to CONDITION the public through proven PSYCHOLOGICAL methods to change their mindset.

    Am I crazy for thinking this is more than a little sinister?

    Homosexual behaviour isn’t acceptable to me just like billions of other people. (Not sure what six day creation has to do with it – like that blueprint says: ‘muddy the waters!’)

    You say “Homosexuality IS acceptable”.

    By what yardstick? Because the Government says so? Because it is 2008!?

  11. Where did that smiley come from in my last comment? It’s not a laughing matter.

  12. cosmodaddy

    Homosexual behaviour isn’t acceptable to me just like billions of other people.

    That’s one of the most arrogant things I’ve ever seen online – you speak for a whole swathe of the human race itself? I don’t think so sunshine. You haven’t even said what you mean by ‘acceptable to me’, or are you implying that some of us are actually accountable to you for our sexual behaviour?

    Homosexuality is acceptable by any reasonable yardstick. It’s neither a disorder, nor does it lead to negative outcomes for relationships, organisations or society. It’s natural, has always been natural and always has been natural, and persists throughout the animal kingdom. That you find the idea distasteful only proves you’re heterosexual and should leave the pair bonding some of us are naturally drawn to, to us.

    Iris deserves quite rightly to be slammed, but not necessarily because she may be breaking hate speech laws. As you and others point out, there are many people like her who are in denial about that hate and need to have that quality pointed out first. She deserves to be slammed because she uses her religion to justify her bigotry. That’s not what religion is about, nor what it is for (even though the latter historically has often been), and particularly not by a political representative. We are governed by the rule of law, not superstition and scripture, and that’s what’s moved us forward more than almost anything else, in the last three hundred years. And a good thing too, because behind our differences we’re just the same.

  13. Cosmodaddy replied to my comment that homosexual behaviour isn’t acceptable to billions of people with “That’s one of the most arrogant things I’ve ever seen online.”

    No, it’s the truth! All normal Christians, Jews, Muslims and everyone else on the planet believe so – and that is the majority: billions.

    Anyway, Cosmo, you shouldn’t call people ‘sunshine’ because I believe it is a derogatory term for black people. If I were black I might be offended. Maybe I am anyway because I have been conditioned to be.

    Thanks to politicians we have to watch every word we say. Well, I don’t, because I just get on with telling the truth and ignore the potential consequences.

    See how society is being manipulated to be splintered; balkanised?

    Divide and rule is what all the mainstream parties offer because that’s what the real bosses – with global corporate and banking interests – demand.

    You played that old ‘animals do it’ nonsense.

    A) No animal I know of is wholly homosexual; in fact what is considered ‘homosexual’ behaviour is usually anything but, like when my bitch mounts my male dog – to show who’s boss – that’s all.

    B) It is disturbing that you have to look to the animal kingdom to justify your behaviour.

    Do you eat your young? Defecate on the pavement? Run after sticks when someone throws them? Walk around with no clothes on?

    I am not in denial about hate as I don’t hate. My religion forbids hating people. “Love thine enemy” and you’re not even my enemy.

    This is another serious misconception due to the public’s grooming that if you disagree you hate.

    From childhood I have loathed butter. I detest it. To me it is loathsome, vile and disgusting.

    I don’t hate people who eat it!

    “We are governed by the rule of law.”

    Laws were once based on our Judeo-Christian heritage and now, more increasingly, on manmade judgments, based on whims and fads and on who shouts loudest for their ‘rights’.

    This is no way to construct a fair legal system.

    “That’s what’s moved us forward more than almost anything else, in the last three hundred years.”

    You’re kidding? You talk like a politician. “We will learn lessons and move forward!”

    No, we’re moving backwards into uncharted waters. A dark, deep, tempestuous sea of sin and depravity.

    Many children growing up today don’t know right from wrong, whether on sexual ethics, violence, swearing or realising there is a work ethic and that you reap what you sow.

    In the rush to swap natural law for manmade law, society was guaranteed to decline. It was guaranteed.

    “Behind our differences we’re just the same.”

    Well, we’re all sinners, but why are some animals more equal than others?

    Because divide and rule is what all the mainstream parties offer as this is what the real bosses – with global corporate and banking interests – demand.

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