Members of the Weston Conservative Association had a great weekend celebrating with local people and visitors at Weston-super-Mare’s Pride Festival.
Pride is an event that looks to oppose homophobia, transphobia and hate with a celebration of love, equality, acceptance, and togetherness.
Events kicked off with a huge Parade through Weston – people carried flags and wore rainbow coloured outfits to show their support for the issues the day highlights. After a loop of Weston, the Parade made its way to Grove Park where the crowd were entertained by comedians, musicians and dance acts. The crowds were huge, thousands of people sat around Grove Park’s bandstand singing, dancing, talking and having fun together – the event is truly wonderful for Weston. There was plenty of food and drink available throughout the day too, in addition to some really fun trinkets to commemorate the event at various stalls dotted around the park.
Weston Conservatives decided this year not to have a stall, as the feedback from people who stopped by and spoke to us at last year’s event was that rather than handing out leaflets and standing at a marquee, we should get involved and have fun; Celebrating, dancing, singing, taking and drinking with the community rather than pushing political views at them.
We completely agreed: it certainly sounded a lot more fun! However… The Weston Labour Party decided that this was an ideal opportunity to post on social media that Conservatives weren’t in attendance:
As you can see below, our team were able to show them otherwise 🙂
And also make a more serious point….
The public agreed and put pressure on Labour to stop their childish tactics….
Ashamed, we presume, Weston Labour eventually deleted their Tweet…
Worth noting that they had to delete a rather nasty Tweet aimed at local Conservatives last year as well.
In the pub, after the event we couldn’t help put talk about those nasty, divisive ‘Never Kissed A Tory’ badges Labour activists David and Karen Townsend were struggling to hand out. We discussed the fact we often visit homes in Weston where a husband is a die-hard Labour voter and his wife is a strong Conservative (or vice versa). We considered that none of us had ever ‘dumped’ a girlfriend or boyfriend for supporting another political party. Indeed, we found it very hard to even guess the political persuasion of people we’d kissed (probably because we didn’t care – that much!).
The reason all this came up though was because we’d heard of more than one person from the LGBT community who said they wouldn’t come to the next Pride event due solely to these badges (not all of them Conservative either). This is an event for groups people who have over the years been made to feel unwelcome and even hated. Pride is about removing barriers and hate and saying to everyone, “Celebrate who you are and we will too.” Labour – nor anyone else – has the right to hijack the event and take that freedom away.
Thank you to Weston Pride’s team for such an incredible event. That makes 5 years now and they’ve just got bigger and better. We hope to see you back for a 6th, 7th, 8th and… heck – 20th! Keep ’em coming!