UK Politics

Fox is a hound dog

Liam Fox sure ain’t no friend of mine, but there has been speculation that he’s a friend of Dorothy’s, according to a report in Scotland’s Sunday Herald.

It’s been a persistent rumour of course. Two years ago he married, proving he wasn’t gay. Hey, it worked for Elton… didn’t it?

This titbit aside, the story focuses on the Tory Shadow Defense Secretary’s ultra-homophobic past, a story that hasn’t achieved much coverage anywhere else, as far as I can see.

Apparently when Liam Fox was a student at the University of Glasgow in the 1980s, he quit his position on the student council when they approved the affiliation of a gay student group.

The Fox was worried about his tale. Explaining his decision to quit in protest he said he did “not want the gays flaunting it in front of me, which is what they would do”.


Well, here’s a bit more on the story from The Herald:

His profile rose in 1982 when a row broke out over whether the student gay society should be admitted to the Glasgow University Union (GUU).

The society’s application was turned down in terms that can only be described as homophobic.

The GUU president at the time, Vince Gallagher, said: “We just do not want poofs in our union. I wish they would just bugger off and give us peace.”

The stand-off was reported in national newspapers and led to other universities cutting their ties with the GUU.

The university’s Student Representatives’ Council (SRC), the elected body for undergraduates, passed a motion condemning the GUU’s decision and the “bigoted explanations” given for it.

But the motion led to one SRC member, Liam Fox, resigning in protest.

Now, I wouldn’t rush to condemn a person for views they held a quarter of a century ago. As an undergraduate, I wasn’t exactly gay-affirming either. In the 80s (and I suspect even today) many young gay men were terrified by the emergence of their sexuality and reacted in a way they’re not proud of. I can remember laughing at homophobic jokes my friends told and probably telling a few of my own. And I didn’t like disco/new-wave. “Two poofs a a synthesizer” about summed it up for me. I liked Neil Young and Led Zeppelin. (Though I now have Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat in my CD rack too and think that ‘You Spin Me Right Round…” is quite a good track.

But I digress, again…

Thing is, Liam Fox hasn’t changed. Even in Westminster he’s still on a rerun of his Glasgow SRC mission.

Somehow I doubt that he will be invited to his Shadow Cabinet colleague Alan Duncan’s wedding. Is Fox, I wonder, the pretender to Tebbit’s crown as leader of the Tory Taliban?