Friday, 14 March 2008

IDAHO and Paddick

I attended the launch of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) at the London College of Fashion, Rootstein Hopkins Space last night. A very interesting evening with a couple of very strong testimony from Uganda (by Pastor Kiyimba Brown) and Irak (Ali Hili – Founder and Coordinator of Iraqi LGBT). Speakers also included, amongst others, Linda Bellos OBE, Louis-Georges Tin, founder of IDAHO, Sue Sanders, someone from Unison and from Amnesty.

Seeing a cabinet minister (Barbara Follett, Minister for Equality, who, incidentally, was one of the best speakers of the evening) dancing to a silly song about baking crumble (the lyrics went like this: Everybody’s good at cooking something/and I’m good at cooking crumble/In fact, I’ve got one in the oven/would you like some? YES, PLEASE!) while waving a small glitter ball over her head at the end of a metal coat-hanger was probably also worth the trip in itself!

Four of the mayoral candidates were also present (or their representatives: Paddick and Sian Berry MP, the Green party candidate, were the only ones present. Ken and Boris had sent representatives with speeches) and sadly treated the thing as a hustings which I thought was a bit cheeky of them.

Paddick was rather obnoxious. He behaved as if we owed him allegiance simply because he is gay and that seemed to be enough to make him the right person for the job. He was a rubbish speaker too. His "speech" didn't seem to have much point to it and was badly delivered.

Stonewall are organising a proper gay hustings at the BFI on 19 April (details here) which I shall be attending too. That should be interesting. Let's hope Mr Paddick will have had a healthy portion of humble pie by then.

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