Views: Liam Fox’s Glasgow past

Published

Henry Bell
Liam Fox, still the UK Defence Secretary as of Wednesday lunchtime.

Liam Fox, still the UK Defence Secretary as of Wednesday lunchtime.

Beloved Glasgow alumnus Dr Liam Fox has launched an inquiry into himself and will present his findings to the PM. It will most probably focus on why his friend and former flatmate came with him to meetings with the Sri Lankan President and Defence Secretary, what he was doing posing as an advisor to Fox, why he attended a “Security” conference in Israel, and how exactly this friend came to be accidentally sat in the same restaurant as Mr Fox in Dubai when sensitive new technologies for the Ministry of Defence (surely Ministry of Arms Trading, Ed.) were discussed.

Hard times for Dr Fox as the countdown begins on the possible end of his career, and so I would like to delve into its archive and bring you a story of the young Liam Fox, before he moved on to bigger and better scandals.

Front page article of the 11th February 1982 Glasgow Guardian, with an accompanying image of then-GUU President Vincent Gallagher. Click image for high resolution.

Front page article of the 11th February 1982 Glasgow Guardian, with an accompanying image of then-GUU President Vincent Gallagher.

Always a leading light in the political scene; Liam Fox was in early 1982 both an Ordinary Council Member in the SRC and a leading member of the Tory Club – all was calm and quiet. However, in spring, division seized the campus. The GUU refused to allow the Gay Society to affiliate with them and Liam Fox prepared to launch into the debate. Before Fox could make his stand, the then President of the GUU, Vince Gallagher, made this statement: “We just do not want poofs in our union; I wish they would just bugger off and give us peace.” Universities up and down the country were shocked and other Unions began a scramble to distance themselves from the infamous Down-The-Hill-Boys-Club. Dr Fox was ready. The SRC passed a motion condemning the GUU’s decision and its ‘bigoted explanation,’ and the right honourable Liam Fox stood up as the motion was overwhelmingly passed and declared that the SRC’s decision was: ‘unacceptable.’ He then resigned from the council.

He later clarified to the Glasgow Guardian of the time that “The SRC is totally unrepresentative and speaks only for minorities. I feel they are becoming a tool for the QM… I am actually quite liberal when it comes to sexual matters. I just don’t want the gays flaunting it in my face, which is what they would do.” The issue was rounded up by Fox’s Ally in the SRC, A. M. Russell who wrote a thought-provoking response piece a few weeks later for the Glasgow Guardian entitled “Homosexuals free to ponce about at QM.” One can only assume that Liam Fox had a radical change of heart before becoming a cabinet minister, and no longer strongly supports apartheid. There are almost certainly other reasons why he was reportedly part of the Gang of Three that turned the party whip and forced Conservatives to vote against gay adoption and why he voted against lowering the homosexual age of consent to 16. One can also assume that he has never publicly apologised or recanted his views because he has been busy with other things.

I hope for Dr Fox that the current scandal engulfing his life and career fades away just as this one did, and that no one has any reason to doubt his integrity or opinions, or in any way consider him a homophobic, mendacious, honourless, master of war.