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Friday, 23 March 2012

"Kaleidoscope" reference a plug for gay rights campaigning group


John Bercow is the Honorary President of the Kaleidoscope Trust “Working globally to promote a sentiment for diversity equal rights for all.” He launched the Trust on 13 September last year at a Reception at the House of Commons. Kaleidoscope has been selected as the Official Charity Partner of World Pride 2012. In his endorsement of the Trust, David Cameron referred to its principal focus:
Our country has made real progress on LGBT equality and, without forgetting how far we've still got to go domestically, it is right that we should now increasingly turn our attention towards bringing about change abroad.
In addition to the endorsement from the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party, the Trust has also published endorsements from Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat party leader; Ed Milliband, Labour leader; Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland; Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales; Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party; and Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security.

The Kaleidoscope Trust has made no secret of the plug given to it by the Speaker on the occasion of the Queen’s Address to Parliament on Tuesday.

So the Kaleidescope reference which David Cameron joshingly took up at PMQs the other day, as though it were merely a rhetorical gaffe, would have been known by all of the political leaders as a reference to the organisation that they have endorsed. Leaving aside any evaluation of the philosophy of the Kaleidoscope Trust, it does seem audacious to plug one particular organisation in an address to the Queen on a historic visit to Parliament on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of her accession. A correspondent has suggested to me  that the French have a good expression for an in-joke (which Her Majesty probably didn't understand) made in a formal address to the Sovereign: lèse-majesté.

Just on what is possibly an entirely unrelated matter: while googling around, I found an interesting post on Guido Fawkes about members room bookings. (Guido's interest is in the corruption invoved. He says "Some MPs have been trousering thousands from lobbyists and commercial interests to act as a room booking service.") My eye was caught by this entry:
Bercow hosts Masonic reception for 145. Gray’s Inn Lodge Ladies Night (Jun ’06)
I'm just saying...
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