Liberians set buttocks to clenched

Francis Sedgemore, Monday 19 March 2012 at 16:15 UTC

Viewer discretion advised…

Apologies if the title seems inappropriate or in poor taste, but on watching the video it was my own reaction to the discomfort displayed by Tony Blair and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in response to questions concerning Liberia’s proscription of homosexuality.

As prime minister, Blair championed the legal equality of gay people in Britain, and through his plain speaking helped shift conservative public opinion on the matter. Today, as spokesman for the Africa Governance Initiative, the subject is above Blair’s considerable pay grade, and it is hardly surprising that he refused to answer the questions put to him.

As for Johnson Sirleaf, who shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her work on women’s rights, in defending homophobia she has placed political expediency above morality (I’m being charitable), and thereby forfeited the authority to ever again speak on human rights.

Tamasin Ford’s bumbling interview could do enormous political damage. Excellent!