30 Oct 2007

What did Clumsy Cameron really say?

The BBC reported the headline today 'Lithuanians riled by Cameron quip'. The Tories responded saying that David Cameron meant no offence at an off-the-cuff remark at the Arts Council last week. The Tory leader's apparantly commented that he hoped no grants were given to "one-legged Lithuanian dance troupes". This hit the headlines in the Baltic state and
Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas wrote to Mr Cameron saying it had caused "great concern" in his homeland. The Tories said he had been referring to concerns that grants ended up with unusual causes and meant no offence. The remark was reported in the Mail On Sunday last week sating that Mr Cameron had been overheard referring to "one-legged Lithuanian lesbians". His office later said that was not correct and he had referred to "one-legged Lithuanian dance troupes", to make a serious point about Lottery grants.
The story was picked up by Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas, and prompted a letter from the Lithuania's ambassador, Mr Usackas who wrote "It would be incredibly helpful to understand exactly what you [Cameron] meant when referring to 'Lithuanians' and how this relates, if at all, to the Arts Council. This will enable me to pass your [Cameron's] message to the many Lithuanians living in the UK and also to their homeland, where this report has caused a great deal of concern." A Tory party spokeswoman said that Mr Cameron had plucked the word "Lithuanian" from the air and had not intended to make a comment about the country or its people and that he was making a point about the perception that grants can end up going to unusual causes." She added that; "It's not in any way a slight to Lithuania, with which we have very friendly relations."

So it is fine for Mr Cameron who has disabled children to quip about disabled people. Also it would not surprise me if the Mail on Sunday has quoted him quite correctly and having just returned from a LGBT Conference in Lithuania, such comments would be insensitive and idiotic. The climate in the country against is LGBT people is particularly hostile. And then to even think that it is okay for the leader of a major political party who thinks that he could be Prime Minister to refer to any other country or nation in such a way, it makes you wonder what state our nation is in. As a disabled lgbt person, words fail me. Both the man and his party have no understanding of equality.

Also read article in Pink News for further details and lack of reaction from CEHR!

1 comment:

Phil BC said...

Just goes to show that for all his cuddly Toryism, beneath it all beats the heart of a cold and cynical bigot.