uk dispatch

Can David Cameron Really Convince Britain’s Gays His Party Doesn’t Spit On Them?

Now that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is asking the Queen to dissolve Parliament and hold new elections a month ahead of his term’s expiration, the fight is on to replace him. And there’s nobody leading the effort more strongly than Conservative Party leader David Cameron, who’s got some making up to do with the gays. And he plans to do just that.

Thanks to shadow home secretary Chris Grayling endorsing anti-gay discrimination in business, Cameron’s new priority is soothing relations with LGBT voters (and those who support them). Which means he’s going to get to the homos in his first official campaign speech.

While Mr Brown is with the Queen, David Cameron will begin his campaign with his pregnant wife Samantha, where Mr Cameron will say he wishes to give hope too “decent people”.

“We’re fighting this election for the Great Ignored – young, old, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight,” it is understood he will say. “They start businesses, operate factories, teach our children, clean the streets, grow our food and keep us healthy – keep us safe. They work hard, pay their taxes, obey the law. They’re good, decent people – they’re the people of Britain and they just want a reason to believe that anything is still possible in our country. This election is about giving them that reason, giving them that hope. That’s the Conservatives mission – that’s my mission – for the next 30 days and I can’t wait to get started.”

Tory sources said 15 members of the shadow cabinet would be heading out into the country, with visits lined up for every region, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This is, clearly, an attempt to reshape the public image of the Tories. They don’t hate minorities; they embrace them! But no rational voter will mistake Cameron’s stumping for actual policy shifts. The Conservative Party, like America’s GOP, has deep roots in endorsing and trafficking in discrimination, and it will take much more than applauding the homos for starting businesses and cleaning the streets to sway public opinion.

UPDATE: Turns out Cameron did not mention the gays in his remarks.