Tory 'Pride & Prejudice'

Publish Date: 04/10/2011

By now you will probably have seen, read or heard about the main points to Chancellor George Osborne’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester...

The time you have to work somewhere before you can go to an employment tribunal is being doubled. There will be a fee for taking cases to an employment tribunal, which will be refunded if you win.

Council tax will be frozen next year. The euro-zone crisis is the most serious risk to the UK economy at the moment. The government will not be slowing down the austerity programme because it believes our low interest rates must be preserved.

You can read more on that elsewhere, but what about other important issues?
 
There has been much discussion on health at fringe events: topics up for debate include the upcoming health and social care bill and improving the quality of NHS services  - what do patients class as quality services and are they the same thing as what health professionals do?

The importance of clarity on health messages so that people can understand, with a focus on prevention and personal responsibility was also discussed.

Lack of HIV visibility?

Talking of which, like last week’s Labour Conference, there seems to be a lack of visibility around HIV and sexual health issues at conference, but it was good to see Terrence Higgins Trust in the exhibitors space.
 
Among the many things that THT were highlighting was the fact that every HIV infection prevented, saves the state £280,000, but that local spending on HIV prevention such as education campaigns and condom schemes has fallen sharply over the last decade, even though there are more people with HIV today than ever before; infact HIV remains the UK’s fastest growing serious health condition.
 
THT were showcasing a special search function that lets you type in your postcode and it tells you the latest HIV and sexual health statistics for that area:
 
In Manchester alone there were 1,339 sexually transmitted infections diagnosed per 100,000 people in 2010 (compared to a national average of 779).

1,705 people are receiving treatment for HIV costing the local PCT an estimated £27,280,000 per year, with 49% of people with HIV being diagnosed late.
 
THT have set out 12 goals for change in legislation or guidance that they believe would make a great impact on the lives of people with HIV, or those in at-risk groups called HIV & Sexual Health 12 things the government can do. To find out more visit:
http://www.tht.org.uk/informationresources/policy/

 
But hey what about the gay stuff?
 
Well a new book has just been published which talks about the Conservative Party's attitude towards homosexual law reform and gay rights, from the 1950s to the present day called Tory Pride & Prejudice.

It charts the party's progress from an unwillingness to decriminalise homosexuality, via Section 28 in the 1980s, to the current Liberal-Conservative government. The author Michael McManus was signing copies at the conference, read more about the book here:

Check www.lgf.org.uk tomorrow, for an update on today's Stonewall and LGBTory joint fringe event on LGBT participation in public life.