Peter Reynolds and the MPs who Weren’t

January 20, 2012

in Opinion

Peter Reynolds campaigning in the Corby by-electionThe response to my earlier blogposts on Peter Reynolds has been spectacular, really. Over 400 unique people have read the homophobia article. The response has been mainly positive, but there has been a persistent, and frankly, deluded trail of commenters who keep telling me and others that pointing out that Peter Reynolds is homophobic is a “distraction”, and “isn’t relevant”, that we need to “stay focussed” on the campaign and that Peter is “a damn good campaigner”.

peter reynolds and his non apology

I am and remain baffled that people who know Peter Reynolds have said, “Well, I’ve met him and he’s definitely not homophobic or racist”, as if you have to actively be battering LGBT people with 2x4s before you get your anti-gay card. We have Peter Reynolds’ writings, and they are awful. We have his confirmation on the 2nd January that he stood by his previous comments 100%. We have his total lack of an apology on the Clear website, in which he said,

“I am extremely sorry if any of the articles on my personal website or any comments I have made at any time have offended anyone. The articles in question were written at least two years ago and were intended to be provocative and controversial. Had I known that one day I would be elected a leader of a political party I would have chosen my words much more carefully.”

Not, “I made a mistake publishing words that are discriminatory towards minorities, and I’m sorry”, not “I thought those things a long time ago but I’m over that now, yay gays”, but

“Well, I knew that everything I wrote was homophobic and racist, but I published them anyway because I thought it would be “controversial”, and had no idea that one day I would become the political leader of a party and I would feel the need to reaffirm to the world on the 2nd January, 2 years after the original post and while leader, that homosexuality is a perversion, and I’m not racist, despite my racist writings, because I have a black friend. Who’s really, really black. Jet black, actually. Sorry if you just didn’t get that.”

Nice apology.

I can’t convince anyone who doesn’t believe that saying that gay people are infecting the fashion industry is a problem, but I can demonstrate the political sandstorm that awaits people who express such sentiments. Yesterday I received some very interesting news and screenshots to back them up – someone went through Peter Reynolds’ friends’ list on Facebook this week and contacted every single MP on his list, pointing out the comments on his blog. The result?

12 13 14 15 17 Members of Parliament have deleted Peter Reynolds from Facebook. These are:

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton and Hove

Caroline Lucas MP removes Peter Reynolds as Facebook friend
Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West

Paul Flynn MP removes Peter Reynolds as Facebook friend
Peter Lilley, Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden

Peter Lilley MP removes Peter Reynolds as Facebook friend
Incidentally, Peter Reynolds posted this a couple of days ago in reference to prohibition:

“There are beacons of light amongst the darkness: Paul Flynn, Molly Meacher, Peter Lilley, Tom Brake. These are people of integrity and principle. We need many more.”

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North

Chloe Smith MP removes Peter Reynolds as Facebook friend
John Baron, Conservative MP for Basildon and Billericay
Tristram Hunt, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Central
Andrew Selous, Conservative MP for Southwest Bedfordshire
David Mundell, Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
David Burrowes, Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate
Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley
Stephen Mosley, Conservative MP for Chester
Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle -Upon-Tyne

Other MPs with Peter Reynolds as Facebook friend
The image above shows Nigel Evans and Catherine McKinnell as Facebook friends – an update I got a few hours later showed them gone:

Peter Reynolds with no more MPs on his Facebook Friends List
The only MP contacted who hasn’t responded is Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington – and he tried to ban cannabis seeds in 2008.

Now, I can almost hear the complaint already that someone made trouble for Peter Reynolds by contacting all the politicians on his list , all the while missing the point – MPs are grown-ups, and actual politicians, and when they are made aware of people stating homophobic and racist reviews, they distance themselves as far and as fast as possible (except Tom Brake, apparently).

Saying that Peter Reynolds isn’t a homophobe because you have personally never seen him tell a gay person to their face that they are perverts, and claiming that no-one cares about what people post on their personal blog, is to have an exceptionally low opinion of the standing of the cannabis campaign and a belief that no-one is listening. But they are, and what they are hearing is that large number of cannabis campaigners are willing to set aside the basic human rights of a greater percentage of the population than themselves in the belief that Peter Reynolds can deliver them a bit of political influence. And I think you should question what impression YOU are giving of cannabis law reform, as well as Peter Reynolds.

Maybe Peter Reynolds is influencing politics, but certainly not in the way we’d all like.

UPDATE: Michael Meacher, Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton has also deleted Peter Reynolds.

UPDATE: Tom Harris, Labour MP for Glasgow South, has also deleted Peter Reynolds.

Tom Harris MP removes Peter Reynolds as a Facebook friend.
UPDATE: Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East, has also deleted Peter Reynolds.

Tom Watson MP removes Peter Reynolds as a Facebook friend.
FEBRUARY UPDATE: Tom Watson, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, has now also deleted Peter Reynolds.

Tom Brake removes Peter Reynolds from his Facebook friends
As has Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South.

Bridget Phillipson removes Peter Reynolds from her Facebook friends
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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

DerekTouchedMyBottom January 20, 2012 at 11:39 am

Very good article Sarah,

The truth will always out………………


Comment warrior puppy January 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

Nice one Sarah :)


W-A January 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

“The only MP still on Peter Reynolds’ friends’ list is Tom Brake”
Tom Harris
Tom Watson
Bridget Phillipson
Tony McNulty

All MPs on Mr Reynolds friends list.
If one part of your blog is incorrect then I dread to think what the rest of it is like..


sarah January 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Well, I did say that it was stuff that was sent to me. I have updated the article to remove the error.

Also, just to note, Tony McNulty isn’t an MP anymore.



W-A January 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Thank you Sarah. Its makes your blog more powerful if everything you publish is verified as true.



RogerWhite January 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I think that was called deflection Peter: Focussing on the tiny handful of MP’s who remain on your friend’s list while ignoring the 12 who have de-friended you.


RogerWhite January 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

But thank you for giving us the names of more people to contact ;) x


DerekTouchedMyBottomAgain January 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Cheers, W-A

Tom Harris MP
Tom Watson MP
Bridget Phillipson MP

Have all been contacted to see if they endorse Peter’s views, if you spot any more MP’s then please let me know W-A, cheers for your support


sarah January 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

Hi W-A,

Tom Harris and Tom Watson have both deleted Peter Reynolds and the article has been updated with their screenshots.



Mel Thomas January 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Great writing Sarah, really good article!


TokerTiz January 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

THis is nothing but HATEFULL PROPAGANDER! Nobody givs a rats arse about Petres personal views cos he wants to legalise the weed! Those MPs are nothing but TROLLS AND TRUBBLEMAKERS! PEtre is too good for them anyways.

Petre can say racist stuff cos he has a black friend which proves hes not racist.


mal January 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

nice article sarah.I just wanna have access to CLEAR again and not be banned.I think PR is clinging on with every part of him…and causing damage as he goes! Hopefully he just sees sense and steps down! LOL


Mel Thomas January 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I really don’t like to get involved in politics, however,
Peter Reynolds deleted my contribution to the debate about his competence to run CLEAR and banned me from posting any more comments. I’m sorry he felt that way and my feelings are terribly hurt, anyway here’s what I posted:

“Who on earth would post an article online calling gay fashion designers perverted fools?

I tried to plough through the rest of the articles and quite frankly thought they were the rantings of a right wing extremist. Whatever, this is damaging to all of the good work that has already been acheived, and anyway I quite like gay fashion designers, don’t feel the need to look at beautiful women in beautiful clothes, have a great deal of respect for our muslim brothers and I even like black people”

I have no idea why Sarah is being attacked for simply pointing out what the guy openly admits to writing. This is not a one off remark, but a series of damaging articles that will alienate minority groups from becoming involved in what is a righteous cause.


DerekTouchedMyBottomAgain January 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm

thanks W-A

that Tom Harris MP has now dumped Peter Reynolds as well, I can’t wait for Sunday now


tim morton January 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

If you are not just jerking off, report him to the police. You are no Judge, jury or executioner.


wasted talent January 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Eh???? What have the police got to do with it? Your friend is causing damage to the legalise campaign and we am allowed to say that, just as your are allowed to talk shiite about calling the old bill


tim morton January 21, 2012 at 5:20 am

This was written a week ago.
How happy am I that my efforts in this regard, have been autonomous since eventually giving up i.v. heroin use in 1984? Appearing on Kilroy, BBC News, Sky News, BBC Wales, and a letter published in the Independent. Often on Radio5 Live. Seeing the frantic outrage, and feeling it, caused by recent events leaves me thinking:”Who would want to lead these people, and why?” We are all entitled to our opinions, as much as we are responsible for the consequences of expressing them. If only a fraction of the efforts undertaken to usurp Peter were directed positively. we would not now have tumble weeds drifting through our field of view. Those who would be judge, jury and executioner scare me, and not just for the future of the plant we allegedly all love.
There appears to be more effort going in to organizing the hanging, than finding a resolution. I sense a return to autonomy, I would not relish either side covering my back.


wasted talent January 21, 2012 at 7:56 am

Good point, but Peter is causing all this, he should have done the right thing, stood by his writings and fell on his sword for the benefit of the political battle ahead. Comme on mate, how can he argue for us, they will tear him up, you cant express those kinda views and expect to get mainstream support.

Glad your free of the opium addiction


fbfriend January 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

very unpleasant stuff – CLEAR’s reputation is rapidly falling into the same category as that of UKIP, BNP and the EDL – offensive, ignorant and irrelevant.


Mike January 22, 2012 at 10:19 am
Peter Reynolds January 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I fully intend to take you to the cleaners over your lies and malicious falsehood.

You and your idiotic cronies personify the reasons why the cause of drug law reform has advanced so slowly.

You should apply to work for the Daily Mail. You’d fit in well there.


Mike January 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Four and a half months in prison for ‘dishonesty’?

Let’s face it, you’ve obviously got a track record on lies and falsehood yourself.


John January 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm

“Well, I’ve met him and he’s definitely not homophobic or racist” seems a fair enough comment to make. Some people don’t get offended easily. Some people get offended very easily. Surely this stuff is relative?

Peter not only said he was sorry if he offended anyone, he said he was “extremely sorry”

If you’re still upset maybe you’re a bit sensitive?

As I said earlier some people are more easily offended than others. If for instance Derek says to Jayell “Watching you guys is like watching a pack of dogs all barking and snarling together.” Some people might decide that Derek was talking about them specifically and calling them a dog.

They could draw all sorts of offensive inferrences from the comment from that point on if they wanted to…
Derek is calling me a dog – He is saying I am ugly
Derek is calling me a dog – He is saying my breath stinks
Derek is calling me a dog – He is saying I have fleas
and on and on.

Of course Derek was actually talking about bullying, which ironic given that people’s reactionary responses to harmless comments is quite often a result of bullying. He was making an analogy about a pack of dogs being similar to a pack of bullies.

Peter’s blog comments however were intended to be controversial and offensive. How then might such intentionally offensive comments affect a person who is perhaps a little sensitive and reactionary? It would probably cause them to get very heated and morally outraged and start doing everything in their power to show people what an offensive monster the man was.

Well, as I said before how offensive something is is relative. Everybody is different. Their are plenty of campaigns to end racism and homophobia and lots of people quick to get outraged on behalf of gays and lesbians or muslims and blacks but rather less support for people with big noses who get called “Bignose” or ginger people who get discriminated against or people who don’t have a learning problem like dyslexia or autism but who are nevertheless a bit dense and get teased for it.


sarah January 23, 2012 at 1:19 am
John January 23, 2012 at 2:34 am

Ah! I see I’m priviliged and you’re marginalised. I’m derailing because I’m secretly biggoted! It’s all so clear at last!

It’s easy to make a big list of every possible argument someone could make against somebody who’s having a big whiny tantrum and say it’s all derailing tactics. The fact is that some people ARE oversensitive or perhaps you don’t believe there even is such a thing? Where do you draw the line? If it’s alright to completely set out to defame and besmirch somebody’s character if you’re offended by them and do your level best to ruin their career why not go the whole hog and shoot them? After all he offended you and nobody could claim you were being hostile or overemotional or oversensitive because if they did they would just be derailing and anyway they’re probably priviliged.
How many of the worlds dictators and tyrants are I wonder just bitter little people who were somewhat reactionary and a bit oversensitive and felt that because they’d been marginalised they would take whatever petty revenge on the world that they could?

It’s even easier to just post a link up to that list.


Mike January 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Peter said he was ‘extremely sorry’ and then continued to behave in exactly the same way. How ‘sorry’ do you think he really is?

I met him briefly some months ago. He’s obviously an extremely intelligent and articulate man. There are several clips on YouTube and no evidence of anything else. On the evidence available, he would appear to be a first class (self) publicist and copy writer.

However, even Hitler was nice to his dog. He’s a politician and proven liar with a conviction for dishonesty. He also spent three months on remand for beating up his girlfriend before the charges were apparently dropped. Given the homophobic and sexist nature of his rant about Sarah, I think it’s reasonable for him to say more about that.


Shonagh January 23, 2012 at 10:52 pm

If Peter Reynolds were claiming he wanted to advance into politics to make the world a more balanced place for everyone then his statements would most definitely be relevant.

As it stands, they aren’t. He isn’t claiming he wants to do anything other than legalise cannabis. As someone that suffers from fybromyalgia this is a pretty important topic to me.

I’m not saying it’s acceptable to call any group names or attack their life choices, I’m saying that’s not part of his campaign.

I support Peter Reynolds for what he’s trying to do politically, not what he’s saying that may be construed as racist, homophobic or having any other bigoted opinion.


Hypnoswan January 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm

people from all walks of life want Cannabis legalised, but it’s pretty hard to imagine them wanting this sort of person representing them


Hypnoswan January 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

EDIT: should have read “most of them”


Florencia Cassata February 15, 2012 at 4:54 am

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