Sunday, 2 May 2010

Conservative Views?

The Conservative Parliamentary candidate for the Sutton & Cheam constituency, Philippa Stroud, has been accused by today's Observer newspaper of founding a church that tried to 'cure' homosexuals by 'driving out their demons'.

The newspaper, which yesterday switched its allegiance to the Liberal Democrats, tips Mrs Stroud to win the constituency seat in Thursday's General Election.

It quotes one former member of Mrs Stroud's church as saying:

"She really believed things like homosexuality, transsexualism and addiction could be fixed just by prayer, all in the name of Jesus."

In a statement, Philippa Stroud said:

"I make no apology for being a committed Christian. However it is catagorically untrue that I believe homosexuality to be an illness and I am deeply offended that the Observer has suggested otherwise.

"I have spent more than 20 years working with disturbed people who society have turned their back on and who are often not. The idea that I am prejudiced against gay people is both false and insulting."

The consituency seat of Sutton & Cheam is currently held by Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow who was returned in the 2005 General Election with a reduced majority of just 2,486. 

24 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Nigel Harte said...

Homosexuality is a sin. Good on her.

Anonymous said...

This is worrying, I am a Conserative who would like to believe that they have changed but this story about Mrs Stroud has just lost them my vote.

I wouldn't trust someone who believes that to fairly represent me in public office

KK said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't vote for this woman. This kind of behind-the-times bigoted behaviour has no place in our liberal country. This is not an intolerance of Christianity - many Christians don't believe such nonsense. Her activities are harmful towards homosexual and transsexual people. It is psychologically destructive.

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with her comments.
There is freedom of speech here in the UK and it works both ways.
Maybe this country is far too liberal in its attitudes.

axlrocky said...

mmmmmm paper switches allegience and then attacks a very shaky lib dems seat.

I dont beleive there are any religions which actively "promote" homosexuality or transexuality?. Maybe if the Observer can let us know which religion they suggest is appropriate then we can all follow that one.

We live in a fairly tolerant society and the conservative view on Homosexuality is perfectly reasonable and rational, this is propoganda of the worst kind as usual from a Liberal Marketing machine which thinks it can steamroller its way into the political mainstream by picking up the votes of the weak, easily led, mainstream British public.

Jon said...

These vicious, out-dated and frankly laughable views should really have ruled her out as a candidate for a mainstream party. The fact they didn't, and that apparently this person even has some influence in shaping the Conservatives' 'social' policies, says it all really. I'd already been thoroughly put off by their sea of propaganda leaflets, but I for one will be ashamed for us all in this constituency if we vote this loon in.

Andrew said...

I'm far more concerned about the danger of the Lib Dems getting in again on the back of Nick Clegg's new found fame. Continued inefficiency and record council tax charges.

I'm happy that a vote for Conservative is not an anti-gay vote. It is the only serious chance the country has of real change. This is a story by a paper that openly endorses the Lib Dems, warning Lib Dem voters against complacency.

Matt said...

Ok, first things first: this was the Grauniad digging up sleaze in election week against the opposition to the party they've backed in an unclear seat.

Unfortunately, though, there's no smoke without fire here. Ms. Stroud's own words quoted from her book are enough to show her prejudices. The commentary around it isn't really necessary.

Nigel Harte, Anonymous #2 (who's too cowardly to put a name to those comments) and axlrocky, yes, you have the right to your opinions as does Ms. Stroud. The issue is that our electoral system means Ms.Stroud is supposed to represent the constituents. If the residents of WP and Cheam truly believe on average that homosexuality is an issue of demon infestation, we've got a bigger problem on our hands than this one.

Like it or not, the majority of British people live secular lives, don't go to church and only actually claim religion when asked to choose one for a poll. So, axlroxy, it's not actually necessary for the Guardian to tell you which religion to follow.

As to the suggestion that this country may be "far too liberal in its attitudes", you might want to look up the definition of the word "liberal". You seem to be advocating a narrow minded, restrictive society.

Incidentally, in case I'm accused of being partisan or biased, I don't have allegiance to any of the three parties and actually I'm for a hung parliament. I don't think any of the parties deserve a mandate and the whole system needs radical reform. In the meantime, though, I'm for calling a spade a spade. These kind of views do not belong in positions of high office.

Matt said...

Afterthought: I just noticed that Ms.Stroud has strenuously denied that she "believe[s] homosexuality to be an illness".

Fair enough, eh? Except, unfortunately, she wasn't accused of believing that homosexuality is an illness. She was accused of believing that homosexuality was a symptom of demonic possession, something she has NOT denied...

Adrian Short said...

And here was me thinking that Mrs Stroud didn't have much of a high profile locally. What a difference a day makes.

Matt, I take your point about a secular society. That's why I hope when people go to vote they'll be voting for the parties' policies, not for or against the religious beliefs of the candidates.

Matt said...

Adrian, I wish it was that easy. Unfortunately wherever a deeply religious MP's beliefs come into conflict with representing their constituents, the former will win by default.

In the specific case of Ms.Stroud, it sounds like there would also be additional complications: if this report is true, her religious sect would require her to be subordinate to both her husband and her church leader:

As I say, IF this is true, her candidacy surely becomes untenable. We would effectively be voting in three people into one job - one elected and two unelected!

KT said...

But the problem is she is supposed to be representing the people of our constituency. How can she be a good representative for the many people who are homosexual, transsexual or bisexual if she thinks they are infested with *demons*? If she thinks that an integral part of who they are makes them worse than criminal? How can she meaningfully talk of equality and diversity and all those watchwords that politicians (including Conservatives) love using? What is her position on and what will she do to the shOUT youth group and the LMO organisation to help young LGBT people to become more confident and less frightened about their sexuality?

Downwind of the Cock said...

What is it about the Conservative Party in Sutton and Cheam? If it isn't some clearly deranged woman wibbling on about demons infesting homosexuals it used to be the certifiable Lady Olga Maitland (remember her? Like a pound shop Maggie Thatcher) and her organisation set up to defend us all from those very dangerous coves of the CND. Families For The Bomb she oh so rationally named it....

axlrocky said...

Matt and KK, a little less worry about whether Mrs Stroud beleives in demons infesting people? (are you seriously thinking that she actually subscribes to that beleif?)

You would have to be some sort of moron to believe that, policy and record that is what we should be judging candidates on, all candidates have to take up a fit and proper person test first with their party and as soon as any wrongdoing is found the candidate is immediately removed, as has been the case with 2 labour and 1 conservative candidates this election.

The liberals of course can do no wrong as they are so busy ramming their ego's up Nick Cleggs arsehole that they dont have time for any other pursuits like lying about the closure of Kingston Hospital.

I would like to state my belief that we should worry about curing the idiots who think letting a bunch of rank amateurs get involved in running the country at the most challenging time is a worthwhile pursuit.

Hung parliament = no change, chaos, meddling and scheming in Westminster. A magnification of the problems that people are so upset about at the moment.

Id rather we stuck with Labour than allowed Kingston and Sutton to fall into the hands of an unelectable bunch of do gooders and leaflet distibutors who havent had any real involvemnet in proper politics since the early 1900's!

PS Hear Hear to Downwind & Adrian & Andrew

Anonymous said...

Matt(if thats your real name and not another form of anonimity.)
like most of the contributors to the blog i wish to remain anonymous(#2)Maybe because i dont want a group in pink hooded gowns burning crosses in my neigbourhood.
but the whole point is everyone has an opinion and they all vary.people have the right to their beliefs even if they offend. no group.govt or action group can control or ought to be able to control peoples beliefs.
let the voters decide at the ballot box .
and yes our society has got too liberal in its attitudes .We need an open Government where things are discussed in the open. i am not advocating Ghengis Khan stands for Parliament but we need to tough up a bit. and unpleasant things (to some)should be aired by public debate and not 'hounded out' by pressure groups.
anon #2

Matt (no really, it's Matt) said...

axlrocky: "are you seriously thinking that she actually subscribes to that beleif?"

Yes. If you check what I said, I based my view on what Ms.Stroud herself wrote and said. And it's "belief", by the way.

axlrocky: "ramming their ego's up Nick Cleggs arsehole"

Why, with erudite skills of debate and persuasion like that, it's a genuine shock you're not running for office yourself.

alxrocky: "letting a bunch of rank amateurs get involved in running the country"

That would apply to - let's be honest here - ANY of the three main parties at this stage.

anon #2: Matt is indeed my real name. WPB knows my full name. You don't need to. If you read back what I actually said to you above, I said that you have the right to your opinions. You argue back that I should understand that everone has an opinion and that people have the right to those opinions. What was your point?

One thing we definitely agree on - let the voters decide at the ballot box. Let's just do so with full disclosure, though - without any cover up of prospective candidates' past lives, fundamental guiding beliefs and any conflicts of interest.

Incidentally, just to throw an idea out there, can you imagine the situation if everything that has been said about Ms.Stroud had instead been about fundamentalist Islamic beliefs rather than Christian ones?

Given the recent furore over non-existent plans for a mosque in Green Lane, I think the public might very well want to know this kind of information about a candidates standing for WP at this general election.

Why is one form of guiding religious belief system any less important than another when we're talking about people who will be paid by us to represent us in parliament? Apparently it depends on what our biases are.

Michael said...

What an amazingly entertaining thread of comments... thanks to all for making me laugh.
Oh, for political mud slinging, using the the good old "religious nut" chestnut. I find it so funny to see even in these modern days we are still suckered by all this bandwagon PR machinary.

For me in worcester park I too have been really annoyed by the amount of relentless shiny political paperwork that the conservatives have adorned my letterbox with. This from a party that says thay want to be more green!
That act of wasteful hypocracy alone has swung my vote away from them.

This religious thing makes me laugh though. As far as I am concerned only a non religious candidate would be suitable to represent all the constituancy fairly (and the country for that matter - remember Blair and his god comments after Iraq.

What are the sects of the the other candidates which make them biased? Dish the dirt! I want more laughs.

me? vote? none of the above ...just like most of the rest of the country which is why we seem to heading toward a hung parliment.

KK said...


Er yes I do seriously think that she subscribes to the belief that demons infest homosexual people. This is because she has actually FOUNDED the church that carries out these exorcisms and written a book in which she states these beliefs and gives advice as to how to deal with people showing signs of 'demonic activity'. I tend to think founding an entire church and willingly being put on record espousing said beliefs mean holds those beliefs. Why do you insist she doesn't really hold those beliefs to the extent that you very rudely accuse of being 'morons' for thinking the whole this is not some long-term elaborate lie?

Also just because we live in a country which - thankfully - allows one to hold such views however ridiculous they are, does not mean that we should refrain from voicing our opposition, that we should take it lying down. I'm not advocating the silencing of all people who hold views I disagree with for goodness sake.

I am merely using my right to disagree and to express my disapproval of someone who holds such discriminatory views. I don't believe that a BNP candidate is fit for office because of his/her racist beliefs despite the relative lack of a political record on which to judge. Similarly I believe Philippa Stroud is unfit for office because of her homophobic beliefs.

And- for the record - I disagree with many of the Conservative party policies. Tax breaks for married couples is one example. It's a ridiculous policy - why discriminate against single people? Why should two people earning a £80 000 a year get tax breaks because they got married? People on lower incomes should pay less taxes, higher incomes more - they can afford it.

axlrocky said...

Michael - by "none of the above" I hope your referring to Monty Brewster from Brewsters Millions - great movie ref

axlrocky said...

KK - I emailed Phillipa to ask her to respond to the debate on here herself - we shall wait and see if she chooses to.

Downwind of the Cock said...

"remember Blair and his god comments after Iraq"

I swear he became more religious after Iraq because of guilt, all that blood on his hands. Looks a bit haggard these days as well, can't be getting much sleep.

Michael said...

I just had another laugh plopped through my letterbox, it is a 'contract' from Mr Cameron himself in which he states he will change the economy. Point 3 states they will 'Reduce emmissions and build a greener economy'.
Hmmm.... more junk mail, more hypocracy and a refusal to deal with their candidates that hold biased views toward 10 percent of the population.

I wonder what Cameron has to say about her views that to me, seem to be in direct oppostion of their party views? I expect though, he will probably pretend the issue is not there or claim he was 'not aware' of the issue much for being in control and 'mending our broken society'.

What really had the last laugh though, was the other flyer that came alongside the tory one ... from the Christian Peoples Alliance. Ha ha ha... ..bring on the secularists!

Lisa W said...

I have been reading these comments with interest and find it highly amusing that right beside them sits a google ad stating 'Vote for change - Vote Phillipa Stroud'..............I don't think voting for a woman with these views is the kind of change I am interested in thanks!!!

Matt said...

@Michael: I strongly defend your right to have your opinions and have your say. I strongly defend your right to abstain from voting.

Just don't complain about the economy, taxation, immigration, education, hospitals, the police, crime levels - the list goes on - for the next five years. By not voting you're throwing away a hard won right and your primary expression of democracy.

Yes, the system is broken. No, the system isn't very democratic. But if you believe that, at least vote for a fringe or marginal party to express those beliefs. Otherwise you're just written off as another apathetic voter who couldn't be bothered to go to the polling station.

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