Politics UK: Culloden
Fournier-Macleod Speech: Future - Printable Version

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Fournier-Macleod Speech: Future - Ege - 09-14-2020

Good morning everyone, 


 A couple of days ago, I was outed by the Sun and I thought my political career was over because being out and being a Conservative MP is just not possible, you can see it from comments of supposed wets like Dylan Macmillan to party grandees like Teddy Taylor. When my party failed to stand up to me and made it clear that I have no future, I thought this was it and I’d fight for my values, for free markets, for internationalism as outside of the parliament because I was a Conservative and that was it for me. My grandfather was a cabinet minister in Balfour ministry, my father was the Conservative MP for Chelsea and is still serving under the Tory whip in the Lords, my whole life I was raised under the Tory mantra, one that I am proud of but I will not lie these past couple of years I have had some doubts which was obvious with my rebellions against Thatcher government and that reflected on my hesitation to join Drummond-Macbeath cabinet, I have only joined it after assurances and after rejecting it the first time. I am proud of my work as Education Secretary and First Secretary of State, I am proud of my signature work, Family Hubs and I believed in Aubyn Myerscough, I still believe Aubyn is a decent man with good values but when I was outed and abandoned my own party for who I am and extremely intimate details of my marriage, I was utterly disappointed. I do not need approval of anyone about what happens in my marriage nor I demand acceptance for what happens within my marriage, I am entitled to pursue my marriage as I am pleased to and people have a right to not like it but my party chose to apply a double standard over what happened inside my marriage and what happened in other cases, just as Labour decided to place more pressure on me because I was bisexual, I have not cheated on my husband and I have not betrayed our vows to be together, yet I have been viciously attacked by prominent Labour members with way more viciousness than any other non-Labour politician who has had their private lives invaded by tabloids.


 The more I think about it the angrier I get and frankly I was planning to use that anger to fight for change in our country outside of the parliament because there was no other choice for me and I would have been a distraction if I chose to fight within the Conservative Party for a parliamentary seat, a distraction against internationalism, free markets and Labour’s reckless economic vandalism so I chose retirement, not because I wanted to but because I was forced to and as I said the other day no individual is more important that future of this country and I would have been fine with that, a bit bitter but for the good of my country I would have done that. When I was having the press conference, Andrew Neil asked me about that and I said I did not believe this was the moment for being gay, lesbian or bisexual and be a member of parliament with liberal conservative values, because I knew Tories would never have me and I thought that was it, this was what I was going to do until Liberal Democrats chose to extend me an invitation, they made it clear that their party is fully accepting of who I am and my right to pursue my marriage as I please with my husband and not with the rest of the country. Alex is a lifelong Methodist, he told me his values of compassion, kindness and his belief in the principle of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. As a committed Christian, a lifelong liberal and a happily married man Alex made it very clear that under his leadership his party is a party of compassion, kindness and acceptance. That his party is about making people’s lives better and not cast judgment on them and that Liberal Democrats in their core believe in “let him who is without sin cast the first stone” and assured me that I will be getting a fair treatment and a fighting chance to defend my principles and fight for my core beliefs. 


These core beliefs I am talking about are simple, I am a liberal small-c conservative, I believe in free markets, I believe in internationalism and cooperation, I believe in freedom, I was a Conservative and now I will be a Liberal Democrat. Emphasis on my values and beliefs were on the second part of my liberal conservatism and now it will be on the first part. 


Now I do believe many have a question in their mind, one that I also had in my mind and one that I thought carefully about. Liberal Democrats opposed many of the decisions I have supported. Can I be in this party without being a hypocrite, can I actually be myself or just hide another part of me. Well I have talked with Alex about it and I have thought about it. I supported some of these decisions because I genuinely believed it would do good for the country and I still believe they are good, and others I supported because being in a party, in a government is about compromise and that sometimes meaning to agree to stuff that I do not particularly like. In my new party I do not believe this balance will not change, I still will support decisions we will take, many of them because I believe that they will be good for the country and others to compromise and to ensure that we have sensible and long lasting policy. In fact Alex pointed it out and made it very clear over and over again that what I have done in my party regarding decision making is similar to values he is trying to espouse; moderation, pragmatism, compromise. Now in my new party I will support the decision we will be taking together, our guiding light will be our values and our desire to enact long lasting policies enacted with moderation and pragmatism in mind and I will be happy to provide extra experience be it in governing experience or policy making. 


Thank you.

I forgot to add but Charles Kennedy and David Steel are in attendance