thecredo

Grayling under fire, still

In Chris Grayling, David Cameron, editorial, the conservatives on April 5, 2010 at 21:58

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, continues to come under fire in the media over comments he made to an undercover reporter.

The Telegraph is reporting that Conservative support in the gay community has tanked, after Mr. Grayling told an undercover reporter his personal views on the rights of Bed and Breakfast owners.

Chris Grayling, the shadow Home secretary, was under fire at the weekend after it emerged that he had said bed and breakfasts run by Christians should be allowed to turn away gay couples because of their sexuality.

Let’s just step back here for a minute, shall we?

First, we’ve heard the conversation.  Mr. Grayling was quite clear that what he was expressing were his personal opinions on what B&B owners should and should not be allowed to do in the course of carrying out business.  He was clearly not speaking on behalf of the government.  Grayling voted in favour of the legislation that would legally require B&B owners to accept gay people at their door, and has supported gay rights, publicly.

He was speaking as an individual, not as a government official.

Second, the poll in question was put to readers of Pink.co.uk, a website geared toward gay and lesbian people.  Asking the question the website did is no more meaningful than posting a poll on the Labour website asking if readers supported David Cameron, and then declaring a Labour surge based on the results.  This is why we have independent pollsters.

It is not objective, and does not reflect a reasonable sample of subjects.  It is, therefore, meaningless to ominously trot it out in the hope of causing dissent within the Conservative Party and their supporters.

Third, we are talking about a person’s private home.  In the context of the debate, Grayling was not responding to a question about hotels, Pubs, motorway services, or any other public area.

It amounts to cheap shots, from a cheap reporter.  Leave the jabs and gaffes to the people who do it best, and are expected to; bloggers and politicians.

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  1. Well said.

    I fully support gay rights, but I’ll also defend the rights of people who disagree with homosexuality.

    What we need is some reasonable debate, rather than polarization.

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