Not So Very New Labour activists like to make big noises and pretend that lesbian, gay and bisexual voters should only vote Labour for one reason or another. When inconsistencies on this score are exposed they tend to go silent. We've already seen the furore over Ruth Kelly's voting record but there's an even more senior Labour figure whose record is hard to explain. This week it was revealed that Old Man Brown has never voted on any gay rights issue since Labour came to power despite no less the fourteen separate opportunities to do so.
Apologists for Brown are trying to claim that Brown has a busy workload. But even Tony Blair has been in the lobbies more times than Brown - and whereas Blair is going around all over the place pretending he can save the universe, Brown's department is within walking distance of Parliament! Nor does the claim that ministers have heavy workloads bear much fruit - on "flagship" votes Ministers will rearrange schedules to make a point of being in the lobbies. Brown's absence is nothing but deliberate.