Tory high-flier’s gay purge mayhem

Come election time maniacs and con artists all over the UK begin to mistake the voices in their head for the Voice of the People. No screening process or selection boards will filter them out completely. As the campaign has progressed there’s been the usual round of sackings, apologies and cover-ups as inexperienced party candidates go disastrously off-message. The digital age means that aspiring politicians are under increasing scrutiny and have more opportunities to fuck up. 

Rage against politics makes things worse. It’s difficult enough finding anyone who wants to be a local councillor, never mind a person who actually has some self-awareness and something to offer. Manchester politics is becoming like Miami with councillors being convicted of everything from benefit fraud to racial abuse. I know a ward where there’s only one candidate who isn’t either a) a convicted criminal or b) subject to criminal proceedings. The bar is set low: it will get lower.

And then there is Conservative candidate and pro-faith policy wonk Phillippa Stroud. Like many evangelicals, she was drawn towards life’s casualties and began her career ministering to the sick and desperate of Hong Kong’s night shelters. She came back convinced she had a cure for gays. Stroud set up churches and hostels aimed at purging the demons from alcoholics, drug addicts and the sexually confused. A former administrator at Stroud’s Bedford Church said that: ‘With hindsight, the thing that freaks me out was everybody praying that a demon would be cast out of me because I was gay. Anything – drugs, alcohol or homosexuality, they thought you had a demon in you.’

Abi, a teenage girl with transsexual issues, was sent to the church by her parents, who were evangelical Christians. ‘Convinced I was demonically possessed, my parents made the decision to move to Bedford, because of this woman [Stroud] who had come back from Hong Kong and had the power to set me free,’ Abi told the Observer.

‘She wanted me to know all my thinking was wrong, I was wrong and the so-called demons inside me were wrong. The session ended with her and others praying over me, calling out the demons. She really believed things like homosexuality, transsexualism and addiction could be fixed just by prayer, all in the name of Jesus.’

The Observer excerpts a couple of passages from Stroud’s book, God’s Heart for the Poor:

In the book she discusses the daily struggle of running the hostel. ‘One girl lived in the hostel for some time, became a Christian, then choked to death on her own vomit after a drinking bout. Her life had changed to some extent, but we wondered whether God knew that she hadn’t the will to stick with it and was calling her home.’

One resident featured in the book, Mary, was in an abusive relationship. ‘We discovered further layers of the tangle when she admitted to previous lesbian relationships and to being on the receiving end of abuse from her family,’ Stroud writes, adding: ‘No wonder she was in such a mess!’

The thing is, Phillippa Stroud is not a council candidate in an unwinnable mining ward.

She leads the IDS Tory thinktank Centre for Social Justice. The CSJ claims to have formulated seventy Tory policies.

She is expected to become the MP for Sutton and Cheam on Thursday.

These are the kind of people David Cameron welcomes and promotes. These are the kind of people who may be running your public services in the very near future.

(Thanks: Annie Clarkson. Image: www.mydavidcameron.com)

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2 Responses to “Tory high-flier’s gay purge mayhem”

  1. Coalition of the Damned « Shiraz Socialist Says:

    […] week I wrote about Philippa ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Stroud, rightly rejected by the voters of Sutton and Cheam. The blogs and social networking sites […]

  2. The Most Ideological PM. « ModernityBlog Says:

    […] protested, he was expelled. Cameron’s A-list candidate for Sutton and Cheam, Philippa ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Stroud, is a Christian fundamentalist who once owned a chain of hostels dedicated to […]

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