The story of the Telegraph, Philip Davies MP and a European LGBT conference

The recent ILGA-Europe conference was bound to stir up a certain type of Tory, given the intersection of possible anti-EU and anti-LGBT rants. True to form, The Telegraph ran an article, accusing delegates of “continuing to party” and claiming (Without stating sources, of course) that £124,000 of EU money was spent hosting it. Well, I don’t trust anything they print on this topic, given their wonderful definition of Transsexual in the glossary:

Transsexual: When an individual identifies with a gender that is different from their biological sex. Many transsexuals believe that to be a true transsexual one needs to have a desire for gender change surgery.

There’s just so much wrong with that, I don’t even know where to begin. Oh, and if you were not already rolling your eyes, they put “intersex” in quotes. Seriously. Which makes me suspicious about the £124,000 figure they mention, so I had a quick look at the ILGA Europe accounts. Apparently, they spent €174,000 on Annual conference, which equates to around £151,000 at the moment. Only 47% of the IGLA-Europe budget is paid for by EU funding, so we get £71,000, almost half what the Telegraph claim.

They go on:

Delegates at the event in the Netherlands enjoyed lavish food and hospitality as David Cameron moved to guarantee that the EU budget would not increase by more than 2.9 per cent and insisted that its largesse on dubious projects around the world must end. But on the opening night of the gay and lesbian conference, delegates from 37 countries were treated to a welcoming dinner in The Hague’s medieval Hall of Knights, one of the city’s main tourist attractions.

There’s an invite on the ILGA-Europe website to attendees from the Dutch Government which actually seems to own the Hall, so it’s likely that the EU budget did not actually pay for the “lavish food and hospitality”.

Of course, no proper article like this is complete without appropriate quotes from outraged groups. Having stated that the spending was “condemned as ‘politically correct drivel’ by MPs”, they go on to quote just one MP, Philip Davies. Looks like the Telegraph is having trouble with the difference between plural and singular. So, is Philip Davies, MP for Shipley in Yorkshire, likely to be representative of MPs or even Conservative MPs? Well, he’s the kind of person to make quotes that get him “rebuked” by Harriet Harman, told Muslims to F**k off following an incident that wasn’t even caused by Muslims, (The Sun apologised, Philip Davies never has) and has been referred to as a “troglodyte” even by members of his own party.

Who better to go to if you want a quick anti-EU, anti-equalities comment to put in your paper? It’s not like he’s going to lose his seat over it: Shipley has only returned a Labour MP twice since the end of World War II, both times following the Labour landslides in 1997 and 2001. Even then, the Labour majority was less than 3,000 both times, versus the 10,000 Davies currently enjoys.

The Yes to Fairer votes campaign is over here, if you want…

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