Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

While Mrs E might have been a stalwart of the Beautiful Harringay Society in 1908, by 1968 she would no doubt have been interested in this...

A Tory landslide in the local elections saw Haringey council completely controlled by the Conservative Party 53 seats to 7.

In an strange echo of today's Big Society intiative, the Conservatives proposed a self help scheme for residents in Hornsey, Wood Green and Tottenham. In a 'blunter' style than perhaps would be used today: "suspicious and withdrawn hard core of ratepayers"; "a planning panel who can give answers, man to man, to residents", The Times Local Government correspondent outlines how Haringey council proposes that residents join the campaign to clean up their environment! Plus ca change, eh?

Of course, by 2008, she was joining the Community Volunteers

Tags for Forum Posts: 1908, 1968, 2008, local politics

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" . . . and making Haringey gay . . ." say the Tories and Times in 1968.
That'd be 20 years before they developed Section 28 in 1988, yes?
Indeed...and, as you probably know, that particular ideological war was played out in Haringey.,
I never understood the fuss about Section 28, which made it illegal for a Council to promote homosexuality or to publish material designed to promote homosexuality.

At the time, I felt that it was no business of a Council to promote any particular sexual lifestyle or orientation.
This article might provide some insight into how needless the Act was. It also gives a few clues to the very damaging effects it had on gay people. Cameron's recent apology suggests that he gets the powerful symbolism that still resonates around this nasty little piece of legislation.
You'll have to try harder Hugh. Not a very coherent article.

" Indeed, in the case of male homosexual promiscuity, which entails the risk of Aids, a few statistics about the disease will serve as a pretty powerful deterrent for any impressionable school child who is uncertain about his sexuality."
Heterosexual promiscuity doesn't carry a risk of Aids ?

And Section 28 specifically said

" 2) Nothing in subsection (1) above shall be taken to prohibit the doing of anything for the purpose of treating or preventing the spread of disease.
We expect better of you, Miss Odone :-)
Luckily I don't have to try harder, John. Will leave you with your POV.
Which is, as stated, that the Local Authority should not be involved in promoting any kind of sexuality. Informing - certainly, supporting - of course.

Incidentally, you might be interested in the lesser-known Section 27, which appears to have implications for the publication of " Haringey People " :-)
The problem was John, that no local authority was involved in 'promoting' anything. The Labour council in Haringey in 1986 included in its manifesto a committment to 'positive images' which was more about showing solidarity with gay rights than an actual intention to create policy.

Local Conservative activists went beserk and put out a number of deeply offensive and untruthful leaflets (two of which I have copies of) claiming that Haringey children were getting lessons about gay sex. What should have stayed local went national and Tory Grandees weighed in and used Haringey council's manifesto as the prime piece of evidence to justify section 28.

So basically, a local dispute over a manifesto pledge turned into a damaging and unnecessary piece of legislation that attacked people's sexual identity (before only the acts were illegal). Haringey's pledge against homophobia was seen as an attack on the family, on 'normality', indeed to discriminate against hetrosexuals.

Bernie Grant in 1987 made what would be considered a very bland statement today that gay people can competently parent children. This was seen as another attack on family values and yet again Haringey was portrayed as trying to undermine the nuclear family. In the meantime, all sorts of damaging and homophobic assertions were being presented as facts and people were being fed terrible lies about what was being said and done by the gay community.

So a piece of legislation, based on nothing but hot air from a 'lefty council' became part of a culture of hysteria and misinformation that damaged gay rights in this country (and one could even argue damaged the Tory Party itself) and created myths about school libraries and lessons on gay sex that Daily Mail hacks continue to peddle to this day.
I totally agree, Liz. As far as I know, nobody was ever prosecuted under Section 28 and, as far as I know, no Local Authority has " promoted " homosexuality since the repeal of Section 28.

I'm with Pierre Trudeau - " The State has no business in the bedrooms of the Nation "
Obviously I agree but 'the fuss' is wholly justified because of the debate around the legislation. As a school teacher teaching while section 28 was in force, I was told at teacher training college (not advised) that I may not so much as inform a student who may approach me to talk about their sexuality where they could go to get support.

Levels of homophobic bullying in schools are shockingly high and teachers simply do not know who to deal with it - this is a product of the hysteria generated around section 28 which persists to this day. No one has yet reversed that damage, although Stonewall are now campaigning on it.

Sadly, yet another piece of poor legislation whose consequences were never considered, although Cameron has now rightly apologised for them.
Plus ca change....
Local Conservative activists went beserk and put out a number of deeply offensive and untruthful leaflets
Believe me, what we see today is nothing prepared to the ones used then.

Luckily the internet means that anything odious or stupid that political activists send out to the neighbours in an election now gets flashed around the world and reported on the BBC ...and that nothing ever disappears completely :)

What amazes me is how these folk got the ear and support of so many powerful Tories (who had it in for local government it must be said) and how one fairly loose manifesto pledge which sounds like nothing today became the catalyst for so much.



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