Thanks is due to Christian Concern. Largely owing to their email campaign Barclays and Coutts have informed Stonewall that unless the Bigot of the Year award is dropped the banks will withdraw funding support for the awards event.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, the chief executive of Christian Concern, applauded the stance taken by Barclays and Coutts. “In seeking to humiliate and intimidate those who hold mainstream views on marriage rather than engaging with their arguments, Stonewall is stifling robust public discussion of an issue of great importance to the future of our society,” she said.
As the annual award has been given since the inception of the awards dinner in 2006 the reaction of the banks is akin to that of Captain Renault in Casablanca upon being told that gambling is going on in Rick’s Cafe, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.” Immediately Emil the waiter approaches, and gives Renault his winnings.
Coutts and Barclays may be shocked to find that what was initially a Bully of the Year award and is now the Bigot of the Year award has been presented by Stonewall for the past six years. Better late than never.
Thanks are due to all those who emailed the backers of this hateful ‘award.’ We have an example of how major institutions can be influenced. Within a few hours two of the nation’s major financial players were encouraged to rethink their public stance. The small players who normally think “What can I do about …” shook two businesses awake.
Trying to get major media behemoths like the BBC to rethink their institutional slant can feel like battering your head against a brick wall. Businesses which operate in the market place, such as financial institutions, are much more responsive to the views of their customers. That is one of the values of capitalism, we who pay the piper can have a say in the tune.
This blog also thanks Colin Strong who alerted us to the campaign by Christian Concern. If any readers have items they think will be of interest to the 500 or so daily visitors to this blog, or who have suggestions for future posts, please contact the blog through the ‘Leave A Reply’ box at the bottom of every post.
As expected Stonewall insist that they will continue with their nasty, intolerant award.
The struggle continues. This is only one victory, and a small one, but an encouraging victory nonetheless.