Monday 19 April 2021

Stonewall Cymru LGBT Hustings: What I Wish We Could Have Said

The Stonewall Cymru hustings was unfortunately a missed opportunity for LGBT+ people to really hold candidates to account. It was very stage managed with no questions taken and all chat functions on Zoom disabled. Stonewall Cymru also refused the appeal by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Wales to include a candidate in the panel, despite TUSC standing in every region in Wales and supporting the demands of the Stonewall Cymru LGBT manifesto.

Stonewall Cymru’s manifesto contained good and important demands that TUSC Wales would fight for. We would have liked the opportunity to explain how we would achieve it and to put to the other candidates, how do they propose to get the funding to meet Stonewall Cymru’s demands and improve society for LGBT+ people? Will they lead a fight in the Welsh Parliament to demand extra funding from Westminster, like TUSC Wales are calling for? Or would they pay for LGBT+ services by making budget cuts elsewhere -  in which case aren’t they just “robbing Peter to pay RuPaul”?

The Tory candidate in his opening remarks claimed that trans rights competed and conflicted with other people’s rights. Unfortunately this was not challenged by the other candidates. TUSC regrets that we were not given the opportunity, which we would have confidently taken, to explain that trans rights do not fundamentally conflict with anyone else’s, that any conflict can be democratically resolved and overcome with a united fight for services. The capitalist class would like nothing less than for us to be divided and argue there is a limited pool of rights or services for us to ration out. TUSC stands for a united working class struggle against all forms of oppression, for LGBT+ liberation, and a socialist world.

The question about what candidates were doing to address discrimination in their own parties had the potential to be interesting. But without accountability from the floor, it was an exercise in self-congratulation removed from the reality of LGBT+ people leaving these parties in protest at the mishandling and tolerance of homophobia and transphobia from senior figures.

Promoted by Dave Warren, TUSC Wales secretary, on behalf of TUSC Wales, 29 Tir Y Farchnad, Gowerton SA4 3GS

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