Coffee House

Gay marriage: no culture wars, please, we’re British

14 December 2012

Ever since the issue of gay marriage returned to British politics, we have seen the debate become crazier and crazier.  When Tony Blair handled this with his Civil Partnerships Act 2004, he did so with care and discretion, mindful of deeply-held opinions on either side of the debate. David Cameron seems to pursue gay marriage as some kind of defining mission statement, and seems to have driven his party quite mad. Nick Clegg released a speech drawing a distinction between the supporters of gay marriage and ‘bigots’. He revoked the b-word, but his tactic was clear. We are witnessing an attempt to bring American-style culture war to a country that has never known it – and is utterly unsuited to it. I look at this in my Telegraph column today.

First, let me get my own position on the record: I agree with Cameron. Religious freedom should be universal, and if some Unitarian churches or liberal strands of Judaism want to marry same-sex couples then the government ought not to ban them. I’m for complete separation of church and state: governments ought not to ban churches from doing anything (or compel them to do anything).

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So a quiet amendment to the Civil Partnerships Act would be in order, correcting a legal anomaly. In Britain, the battle for legal equality was won in 2004 and without any histrionics. The battle in Britain is over a word: marriage.

But this time, it’s anything but quiet. Certain Tories want to proclaim their support for gay marriage from the rooftops, as if this was part of a rebranding exercise. Cameron made a point about having the Tory party applaud him for it, as if it were important not to have any dissenters. It’s a tactic straight from the American culture wars playbook: you draw a dividing line, and try to rally more people to your side by articulating a common moral code. But politics in Britain has tended not to be very moralistic: we don’t have party political fights about abortion, etc. Clegg’s proposal to pass gay marriage and defeat the ‘bigots’ involved replacing one form of intolerance with another. Nothing liberal about it.

And the British are liberal, by instinct. We don’t need government legislation to make this point. We are, through Empire, the original multi-ethnic state. We have just handled a monumental influx of immigration without anything like the political backlash seen on the continent. Social attitudes towards homosexuality have been utterly transformed in a very small period of time, with no leadership required from the government. Gay couples can adopt children in Britain (a bigger deal than marriage) and the main opposition to that was on the (intolerant) decision to close down Catholic adoption agencies who disagreed with the principle. Britain has its problems but overall, it is pretty close to the world capital of live-and-let-live. As Billy Bragg put it, ‘sweet moderation: heart of this nation’.

I don’t think Cameron had thought enough about the poison that culture wars inject into public debate. They have incredible power to turn neighbour against neighbour, and are certainly turning Tory against Tory. In the 1922 Committee meeting, an MP from each side had to say ‘please be reasonable’. Culture wars bring out the worst in people. Even Cameron’s supporters feel he has hugely miscalculated: the public does not see a modern, compassionate party. They turn on the TV and see a bunch of Tories tearing each other apart over gay marriage.  Culture wars depend on national rancour and intolerance. They were never going to work in a country that can claim to be the most tolerant on earth.

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  • Matthew Whitehouse

    The best thing about the Tories tearing themselves apart is the very fact that they are doing the EXACT same as people up and down the Country. Yes, any party wants to project an image of unity BUT where does that get anyone? Neighbours, friends, colleagues all talk about this and invariably dis-agree. So the Tory party is more human, more realistic, and more an image of the country as a whole than any other party. SO,when people see on the TV etc that the Tories are “tearing themselves apart” a lot of people think – “Well atleast they are debating it, and not calling anyone who disagree’s a bigot”!

  • Karl Barrett

    I’m really not getting the gay marriage thing at all. Is Cameron allowing marriage against the churches will?

  • VeroniqueD

    I am coming in late on this but yawn anyway. Who really gives a toss? People get married (under the aegis of the bureaucracy) and divorce (again under the bureaucracy – this time exclusively). Why are so many people getting their knickers in a knot about this?

    Has it got to do with money? Charge for one – registered marriage and then charge for the ceremonial. The church fills its coffers and the bureaucracy keeps its records intact. Sam sex marriages merely legalise what is going on anyway. Who gives a toss? Let the same sexers marry, give them a register oriented ceremony (I had one and with a bloke!) then let them go to a ceremony hosting establishment to wow it up.

    Just because the CofE is historically the religious bunkum that the UK has to follow and the royal family has to play the bunkum for all it’s worth doesn’t mean the rest of us have to cleave to its apron strings.

    So let everyone be – it isn’t a problem. People marry and divorce – the churches should stop being so precious about the way their coffers are filled.

  • Terry

    The issue is not that of marriage. The worng question is being asked in polls. It should be, do you approve of people being forced against their convictions to promote homosexual marriage as equal to ordinary heterosexual marriage? This is certainly what will happen in the public sector.

    • GulliverUK

      If you are working in the public sector, and discriminating against other people, you shouldn’t be there. You should also be ashamed of your behaviour.

  • Daniel Maris

    Fraser’s posts appear to be becoming more pathetic as time goes on. “We have just handled a monumental influx of immigration without anything like the political backlash seen on the continent. ”

    Don’t you just love the implicit assumption that the monumental influx has come to a stop when the reality is that influx is continuing virtually unabated?

    As for the issue of gay marriage, the article is full of so many sleights of hand and honeyed words I don’t know where to start.

    But firstly I must say I have absolutely no respect for anyone who fails to address the arguments head on.

    This is about the legal institution of marriage, the bedrock of our society.

    The only arguments I have heard for gay marriage – advanced here and elsewhere – boil down to “equality” and “personal fulfilment” (except for the base party interest argument of low thinkers like Osborne and Portillo). Until someone can tell me why polygamy is ruled out under the “equality” and “personal fulfilment” tests I oppose changing the legal and historical basis of gay marriage.

    • GulliverUK

      Don’t be a twit. Marriage is good, but it’s not the bedrock of our society, most children are born outside marriage and the number of people cohabiting is now huge. Marriage has plummeted from a high of around 434,000 in 92 to 232,000 in 2011.. Half of those married get divorced, many before their children have left school, and there is no obvious impact to society at all.

      I’m afraid if you have no idea why you got married, or why you would get married, then it’s pointless me telling you that I want the freedom to show my love and commitment (over 20 years worth) in the “traditional” institution, but also universally recognised, institution of marriage. My mother has been married twice, I’d like to at least be able to try it once.

      There is nobody campaigning for polygamy, although there could well be people out there who want it, I’m quite sure there must be, but until they approach the government and ask for it, it won’t be considered. I don’t have a problem with multiple-person marriages, although I don’t understand how it’ll work, in terms of tax and benefits. But as long as it’s not interfering or hurting anyone else I don’t have a problem with it — I try not to poke my nose in to other people’s business.

      You can troll and try to take the discussion down a blind alleyway, or mock and demonise people, denigrate the views of others, but it will just reflect badly on you, as it just has. Freedom and fairness always win over bigotry and selfishness.

      • Rockin Ron

        So, presumably you wouldn’t have a problem with groups campaigning for incest to be made legal or for the age of consent to be lowered?

        The difficulty with your position is that it is essentially ‘head in the sand’, ‘if-it-doesn’t-affect-me-I’m-not-bothered’. However, it will affect us a whole if we dilute marriage, because it is foundational to the well being of any society. End of.

        • GulliverUK

          The difficulty with your position is that by bringing in nonsense questions about my morality, you just look like a bigot and homophobe, deliberately trying to paint me in a negative light. This is how your questioning will be seen.

          Incest is outlawed for scientific reasons, because babies born from such closeness in the genetic pool are far more likely to suffer genetically-based deformities and other issues. This is simple to understand. You have faulty genes, and so do I, and so does everybody, because constant reproduction causes them. My faulty genes are likely to be sequences in the same position as my sisters. If we had a baby, when the genes are spliced together by the reproductive processes, that faulty gene will be switched on – potentially causing problems. When there is a good degree of genetic difference between you and your partner the changes of you both having faulty genes in exactly the same place is small. This was recognised by our ancestors long, long ago, before Christianity was invented. It’s not based on God’s law but on scientific discovery. If a brother and sister didn’t have children, or fostered children, or there was some way to check the DNA, I would not have a problem on scientific grounds. Most brothers and sisters don’t love each other in that way – some can’t stand each other.

          Many medical and professional bodies have called for a lower age of consent, including some religious groups, to protect children from criminalisation if they have sex at, say, 14, which many do, and to ensure they have access to contraceptives and sexual health advice. I support this, with the safeguards they have asked for, that this covers two people of similar age, i.e. 14+16, 13+15, etc. It still wouldn’t let a 21 year old have sex with a 13 year old, not even an 18 year old and 14 year old.

          The first position is that of genetic scientists across the globe, and the second of professional organisations and some religious groups, which I happen to agree with.

    • Rockin Ron

      A wonderful reply to an out of touch article, well done Daniel.

  • Archimedes

    “First, let me get my own position on the record: I agree with Cameron. Religious freedom should be universal”

    Indeed. The point is that if you feel the need to state that, as Cameron did, then you are suggesting that the current state of things is that religious institutions require the state to affirm that they are free – and so, implicitly, they are not free. In other words, when Cameron said that, he managed to encapsulate and confirm everything that religious bodies feared about the introduction of gay marriage, and more than that he started the debate about whether or not they should be forced to do something that goes against their beliefs in the interest of what people seem to be describing as a “right”. Gay lobbies will therefore be encouraged to subject those institutions to their brand of intolerance, because they can now see it within touching distance. All it will take is a prime minister to bend ever so slightly.

    Sir Humphrey would say: “If you’re going to do this damn silly thing, don’t do it in this damn silly way”.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, it does all start with an established state religion, the original sin.

  • andagain

    They turn on the TV and see a bunch of Tories tearing each other apart over gay marriage.

    I notice that most of theTories who oppose it give no particular reason except that they hate it. I think they would do more good (or less damage) if they gave an argument other than hatred.

    • GulliverUK

      Reason for this – lack of credible valid arguments. Impossible to sell to non-believers, and since most believers are in favour of equal rights, quoting Leviticus 18 22 would have sealed their fate. But, we have short memories really, these same suspects, and a few new Nazi-like ones, said the same thing about Civil Partnerships. It’s not that they don’t want gay couples to have the freedoms afforded to anyone else, in marriage, it’s that they don’t want people who are gay to have any freedoms at all. When you look at their voting record they have opposed every single equality measure there has ever been, and they were behind the unspeakably evil Section 28.

      • GulliverUK

        … for what it’s worth, I can live with many Tories now, the ones who support equality and fairness, but that fascist ultra-right-wing BNP-like small percentage put me off the whole party.

        • Coffeehousewall

          You’re a troll. You pretend that as a life long Labour voter you are considering voting Conserative. Troll!!!!

          I don’t know any person, even socialists, who support redefining marriage to allow this perversion of language. None at all. No one wants it. It is entirely part of the Agenda. “Gay couples” cannot have what is impossible for them to experience, and so they wish to destroy it for everyone.

          As for Section 28. Most people would wish that it was brought back. I saw a recent poll that said 59% of people did not believe children should be taught positively that homosexual acts were normal, and only 11% believed they should.

          • GulliverUK

            Actually, no. My ideal democracy would be where there are no parties, but individuals are elected based on a short manifesto of their own beliefs, and whenever they vote they have to provide an explanation of how they will vote, on your behalf, beforehand, with a full explanation. It will be government by consensus.

            LibDem conference supported it unanimously, Labour party members support it, trades unions, lots of news papers, bishops and priests from all over, the majority of the public, all sorts of professional bodies from across the globe, the leaders of all the main parties, and the Greens have always supported it.

            If you get your polling data from Wing Nut Daily (WND) then it is no surprise you’re such a freak :-p


            (almost 7 millions views)

            and the British one;


            Ofcourse we can all experience love, that’s the whole point of why we want to get married, to express our love and commitment to another.

  • TomTom

    “The Italians have no word for
    “leadership”; the Germans have no word for “small talk”; ”.” So Fraser what does “Direzione” mean ? What does “Geschwaetz” mean in German ? As for “Culture Wars” your History degree at Univ Glasgow might have taught you the term “Kulturkampf” was 1871-76 when Bismarck waged State War against the Catholic Church and imprisoned half the bishops in Prussia. It was The State attacking the Church as nowadays. The “Culture Wars” in the US are largely Jewish-run lobby groups attacking the Christian basis of the US……to the point that Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, or JAACD was created to counter them.

    It is Secularist Forces trying to impose the kind of Intolerance that drove the Pilgrim Fathers from their prison cells in Boston, Lincs. to Connecticut and Massachusetts via The Netherlands to find Freedom from Oppression.

    It is Secularist Forces in Britain and Europe that drive Christians to despair and Muslims to ghettoes and violence as they see the concerted assault by The State on their Beliefs and Faith.

    “Culture Wars” only occur when the Secularists feel they have captured the Legal System and the Media so they can impose their agenda which is usually that of faithless Jews pursuing a Socialist Millenialist Agenda and intolerant of any Deviation from their Chosen Path to Perdition.

  • GwynWales

    Cameron supporters have said that he has hugely miscalculated – what’s new?

  • Coffeehousewall

    “Clegg’s proposal to pass gay marriage and defeat the ‘bigots’ involved replacing one form of intolerance with another.”

    This is where we see that Fraser does not represent conservatism at all, and is fully signed up to the Agenda. He states that the opposition to ‘gay marriage’ is intolerance. This isn’t really very different from calling all of those who object to the redefinition of marriage as bigots.

    It is not intolerant to refuse to change something of lasting and universal value for the sake of a loud minority, especially when politicians have already bent over to support them. It is not intolerant to refuse to allow a redefinition of something which makes it contrary to reality. It is not intolerant to resist the subversion of what is left of our British Judeo-Christian heritage for the sake of evil political ends.

    • GulliverUK

      Things are almost always only “of lasting and universal value” when they are applied …. universally, to everybody. Marriage has been changed many times, and is unrecognisable from the Biblical definition. Also, where exactly in the Bible does it state two men or two women can’t get married. In Rome same-sex couples got married until 342AD, until the Christian emperor outlawed it and had all the couples executed.

      Most MPs will disagree with you, they support equality. Most of the public disagrees with you, they support equality. The next generation disagrees very much with you – acceptance of same-sex marriage is growing and the direction of growth is only one way. Why are you trying to tell the majority and the next generation how they should think and feel? What gives you the right to deny people equality and force your opinions on everybody else?

      • Coffeehousewall

        You are not a Christian, therefore I do not believe you are an appropriate person to dilate on the substance of the Christian faith. It is enough to say that no Christian Church has ever married a man and a man and no Christian Church ever will.

        It’s not about equality is it. Let’s not pretend it is. It’s all about destroying marriage and the family. You are very wrong about growing support for so called gay marriage. The fact is that the fastest growing youth population is Muslim, and they do not go big on gay marriage.

        I could care less what MPs think. They do not represent the electorate at all. And the majority of the population do not want to lock up men who practice homosexual acts but they don’t consider them normal either, and do not want marriage to be redefined for political ends that will destroy its meaning.

        You also seem unaware of the meaning of ‘accidental’ and ‘accidents’.

        • GulliverUK

          Wrong, again. Christian churches are marrying same-sex couples in a number of countries, including the United States. In this country the Quakers, Unitarians, Liberal Jews, Reform Jews, Methodists and more churches every day, say they want to have the option to offer same-sex marriages. Even the Church of England said they might want to do so at some time in the future – which is why they don’t want the 4th lock.

          It has everything to do with equality. You’re scaremongering and throwing wild theories about “destroying marriage and the family”, far from it, it’s about recognising our marriages and families. Civil Partnerships are marriage in all but name (that is a quote from the Evangelical Alliance when Civil Partnerships were introduced), and we should be awarded the name which is universally recognised, so that we are recognised as no different from anyone else.

          The majority do not consider being gay unnatural, the majority now recognises that being gay isn’t something chosen, like your religion, or what colour you dye your hair, but innate, biological, no different to skin colour. Polls show consistently that the majority is in favour, and has been in favour for many years, going back to 2006.

          You may not care what MPs think, but they will be voting on this legislation – so that comment is naive at best.

          You’re just an anti-Muslim protester who’s trying to inject that angle in to this, although I’ve no doubt you’re homophobic also. This legislation has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration, Muslims, or some potty idea that the UK will be part of the Califate in the future – yet more scaremongering, and practically incitement to hatred.

          • TomTom

            If you mean ECUSA – it is NOT a Christian Church but a Neo-Pagan Church. Homosexuality is Pagan. Religion is not “chosen”. Islam has NO baptism – a child is born Muslim and cannot renounce under penalty of death. You have no grounding in Soteriology and spout inane rubbish about Religion. It is simply NOT posible for a “Christian” Church to act as you say – it becomes Pagan the moment it ceases to uphold Scripture. Sola Scrptura, Sole Fide, Sola Gratia. It iNOt for Men to decide what God Wills

            • GulliverUK

              Get real. I know several people who were brought up as Muslims who now have no religion. No child is born with any religious ideas in their head — people put them there. Christian churches do marry gay couples already — and it is not your right to tell them how to interpret scripture and practice their religion.

              As someone pointed out this country was pagan for many thousands of years before Christianity. Christianity even stole things off Pagans. The Christmas Yule Log – pagan. The Christmas tree – pagan.

              You don’t get to tell other Christians what they should believe – you clearly haven’t even studied the Bible – you just use it to hide your hate behind. Shame on you.

              • TomTom

                Unlike you GulliverUK I have read the Bible and know its contents – so stop being quite so childish and petulant. You know nothing about Islam – Muslims cannot renounce that is their problem. You really should get better educated in such matters before exposing your blatant disrespect

            • VeroniqueD

              You really haven’t got a clue have you Tom?

      • Daniel Maris

        Polygamy also had legal sanction in the ancient world. So you accept that polygamous marriages should be allowed?

        Some Christian sects e.g. the Mormons have allowed polygamy. Do you think that polygamous church marriages should be permitted?

      • TomTom

        “In Rome same-sex couples got married until 342AD”Balderdash – you are using that dodgy source of fantasy. There was no such thing

        • GulliverUK

          Mad and blind !

          “A same-sex union was known in Ancient Greece and Rome,[2] in some regions of China, such as Fujian province, and at certain times in ancient European history.[3] These same-sex unions continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans, which prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed. [4]”

          You really are setting yourself up to fail TomTom.

          • TomTom

            Rather not IT Boy. You are reciting specious nonsense. Homosexuality has NEVER existed in the history of the world as practised in decadent Western Civilisation…..N E V E R. It is a unique occurrence in history so stop fishing around to find ancient runes to justify it and find a gay lineage of sterile ancestry

            • Ali Buchan

              This is not an argument for or against the proposals, but just for info, in Plato’s Republic, he suggests that young men should have physical relationships with catamites, before they start to procreate. That’s one of the greatest thinkers in history explicitly encouraging homosexuality, not just tolerating it. And by all accounts Socrates was known to lie with Alcibiades. It was much more prevalent, and accepted, then than it is now.

      • TomTom

        where exactly in the Bible does it state two men or two women can’t get
        married.” Gen. 2:18, 21-24………..Eph. 5:23-32………………1 Peter 3:1-5, 7……….1 Corinthians 7:1-2……………………Proverbs 12: 4 …….
        19:4-6……….Mark 10:6-9

        • TomTom

          “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For
          this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his
          wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two,
          but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

          • GulliverUK

            And it says precisely ZERO about marriage. It doesn’t mention marriage. What you are doing is taking what we consider marriage today and assuming they must have meant “marriage”, like ours. That’s unwarranted inference, not supported by doctrine.

            Actually, the Code of Hammurabi, from 1772 BC — long before Judaism even got started (the Hebrew faith), and about 1800 years before Christianity was even invented, had codes for marriage, quite detailed rules, some of which were nicked and put in the Bible, and it was based primarily on property and inheritance, God wasn’t even in the mix — well, ofcourse, there were plenty of Gods, just not that God, he hadn’t been invented by then.

        • GulliverUK

          So, it’s been revealed, your opposition is only for religious reasons.

          I don’t see how any of those passages forbid marriage between people who happen to be gay. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 is talking about sex outside marriage and how people ought to only have sex with each other. In fact, it suggests it is best if men don’t have sex with women !!!

          Since same-sex relationships aren’t mainstream, because the number of people who are gay is a minority, would you really have expected to writers at the time to incorporate them? After all,right-wing Christians have always been trying to wipe us out of television, wipe us out of history. Even the Bible talks about the love between Jonathan and David, and how they were betrothed.

          Proverbs 12: 4 (KJV)
          “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

          What rubbish is this ^ ?

          It’s nothing to with who can get married. I already gave you a chart and the details about what Biblical marriage is. It includes polygamy, incest, rape, etc.

          Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not even written by the disciples, but by unnamed authors. John was an illiterate fisherman – no way he could have even read anything, let alone written it, especially not in Greek. Don’t you know anything about the Bible?

          What you should concentrate on is 1 Corinthians 5:12
          “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?”

          and Mark 12:31

          “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

          • TomTom

            Funny “Love they Neighbour As Thyself” is from LEVITICUS 19:18. You will find The “New” Testament is simply a repetition of Leviticus through the mouth of Jesus Christ – as for “neighbour” you will find it actually referred to fellow Jews not Unbelievers…………………יח לֹא-תִקֹּם וְלֹא-תִטֹּר אֶת-בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ, וְאָהַבְתָּ
            לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ: אֲנִי, יְהוָה.

            • VeroniqueD

              What you are quoting is known by the rest of us as the Golden Rule. Adhered to by all societal species.

              One for all and all for one has its genesis in societies much older than any so called holy book. It is the very basis of society.

              Without that understanding of looking after each other’s back, we and other primates would never have come to this pass.

      • TomTom

        “In 342 (Codex Theodosianus, 9, 7, 3,) the first
        law was enacted in Milan
        regarding passive homosexuals. Harsher penalties were introduced by
        Theodosius I in a law
        addressed to the prefect of Rome in 390, with execution by burning
        for “those given
        to the infamy of condemning the male body, transformed into the
        female, to the toleration
        of practices reserved for the other sex” (Coll. Legum Mos. et
        Rom., 5.3). This
        law was inserted in the Theodosian Code of 438 (9, 7, 6),
        but substantially modified and
        with a wider scope. The new compilation condemned to burning all
        passive homosexuals
        without distinction. With the Emperor Justinian the legislation was
        broadened; every kind
        of homosexuality was repeatedly condemned with the death penalty.
        Theodosius gave as his
        reason the desire to rid Rome, “the mother of all virtues”, from all
        contamination. Justinian also added religious reasons. The
        Theodosian laws, followed by
        those of Justinian in the Corpus Iuris, represent the
        heritage which late Roman law
        was to leave to posterity.” ……………………..CONTRARY to your assertion there was NO acceptance of pederasty or other deviant behaviour in Rome prior to AD 342…it was vehemently discouraged as a decadent Greek vice. It was forbidden for Romans and took place with slave boys…but the penalty after AD 342 was DEATH

        • GulliverUK

          And that’s just what Hitler did 1500 years later. He was a Catholic and said his faith guided his decisions.

          • TomTom

            Actually Germany simply widened Para 175 of the Weimar Constitution……Hitler was brought up Catholic but hardly a practising Catholic having removed the Crucifixes from Bavarian Schools and persecuted the Church….he was very “post Modern” and ahead of his time, so much of his policies are being implemented in The West today and people like you GulliverUK are happily watching it happen

    • Alastair_93

      Opposition to gay marriage *is* intolerance. It’s denying equality for gay people.

      Marriage is not “lasting and universal” by any means. The definitions of marriage and family have vastly transmuted over the centuries. Sometimes polygamy has been the norm; sometimes men have kept male lovers and had wives for procreation; sometimes marriage has been seen as a way of acquiring women as property; and sometimes it’s been a political arrangement.

      Britain has more than a Judeo-Christian heritage. It’s been pagan for longer than it’s been Christian.

      There is nothing wrong with gay marriage. And frankly, if two people on your street having a gay marriage is a threat to your own marriage, then what does that say about the strength of your bond? That your marriage is dependent upon what other people do? How bizarre.

      • Anon

        Totally disagree. I do not support ‘Gay Marriage’ and I am a Homosexual. As I said on another thread Marriage is a sacrament of the Church and was ‘taken over’ by the state in the 19th Century. The marriage of two people of the same sex is contrary to Canon Law. It is not for the State to determine what is Christian doctrine – we have ‘freedom of religion’ in this country. That means the Church must be able to refuse to ‘marry’ same sex couples.

        What the State should have done was hand back Marriage to the Church and deem all ‘civil weddings’ Civil Partnerships.

        • Alastair_93

          Marriage isn’t Christian property. Jews, muslims and atheists also get married in this country. So yes, it is right for the state to intervene. Christianity didn’t invent marriage. It doesn’t own the copyright.

          Marriage is not limited to Christians in this country.

        • VeroniqueD

          No probs. Let the churches refuse to marry individuals – the Catholics won’t marry divorcees. Do they care? Not on your nelly. Marriages are recorded within the bureaucratic infrastructure of government. That is what makes it a legal document. The CofE seems to have garnered the legality for itself but no other church has such privilege.

          Who cares if you are a (Upper case) Homosexual or that I am heterosexual. This issue is about equality for all of us to form committed relationships and register this publicly. That some (an increasing number) don’t last is of no importance. The children produced during the marriage tenure do exist.

          That homosexuals can adopt children is much the same (and I would postulate possibly better and more stable) as heterosexual couples adopting because of infertility.

          I should also say that it is no longer of any consequence that religion hijacked marriage for themselves and made lots of dosh out of it and guaranteed indoctrinating access to the issue of said marriage. Society stats are best kept by the bureaucracy – religion no longer holds that position in the modern 21st century world.

          I am not cynical but I see more clearly than your religiously befuddled mind seems to comprehend.

    • telemachus

      He states that the opposition to ‘gay marriage’ is intolerance. This isn’t really very different from calling all of those who object to the redefinition of marriage as bigots.
      This of couse is the case.
      We see visitors from extreme right wing blogs coming here insulting the editorial staff when spending just 2 minutes scrolling through such sites will leave no-one in doubt as to where bigotry lies

  • GulliverUK

    Are we talking “traditional marriage” here, or “Biblical marriage” ?

    If it’s the latter then “modern” marriage is almost unrecognisable in comparison;

    1. Polygamy.
    Genesis29:17-28; II Samuel 3:2-5

    2. Concubines. II Samuel 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chronicles 11:21

    3. Non-virginal brides executed. Deuteronomy 22:13-21

    4. No mixed-faith marriages. Genesis 24:3; Numbers 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Nehemiah

    5. No divorce. Deuteronomy 22:19; Mark 10:9

    6. A man must marry his dead brother’s widow. Genesis 38:6-10; Deuteronomy

    and a chart for some who prefer that;

    • Coffeehousewall

      Cobblers. We know what marriage is in the Judeo-Christian sense. These are just games that gay extremists like like to play. All of these are accidental aspects of marriage. The substance is always that marriage is between a man and a woman.

      Divorce is always deprecated in any civilised society. Mixed faith marriages are usually problematic. No sex before marriage is a wise rule for those who have Christian faith, and certainly promiscuity serves no-one well. I am not really sure what you think this adds to your argument. The Christian teaching on marriage is a very high ideal, certainly nothing worthy of the slurs you are deceitfully trying to promote.

      Marriage is impossible between a man and a man. It always has been and always will be.

      • GulliverUK

        Oh right, so the Bible is “accidental” and these are just “accidental aspects of marriage.” because of the Bible, and we should just ignore the Bible. I’m in full agreement that we should ignore the Bible on this and instead rely on our own reasoning and history to guide us, with thousands of years of growing up, working out decisions for ourself, based on reasoning, logic and debate.

        We don’t base society and its laws today on Judeo-Christian Biblical scripture. We must have this debate rationally, something you seem incapable of. Marriage is perfectly fine between two men or two women because it’s happened in many other countries, and more countries are realising this archaic prejudice and discrimination isn’t legal, isn’t fair, and will no longer be tolerated.

        • Publius

          …”and will no longer be tolerated.”

          So you will not tolerate what you regard as intolerance. Is that not intolerant of you?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Well yes, but intolerance to intolerance is tolerable, as long as you’re not too intolerant about it and you buy them a drink afterwards.

      • Ali Buchan

        It won’t be impossible in a number of weeks/months.

        I find myself wondering just how much of this you actually believe. I mean, when you write something like ‘gay extremists’ do you do so with a smile on your face?

        As Gulliver points out, if you’re looking for historical consistency in any aspect of Christianity, you’ll be searching for a very long time.

        • Coffeehousewall

          DavidDP, this is all just deceit isn’t it.You are accepting a redefinition as the basis of your position. But if the redefinition is not possible, as it is not in the case of marriage, then your position is just an assertion.

          You don’t believe in ‘gay extremists’? Really? I find that very hard to believe. As Gulliver illustrates (is that another of your accounts) he has a poor grasp of Christian history. From the beginning Christian marriage has represented the union of a man and a woman. Nothing else. To say anything else is to lie. But we are used to gay extremists lying.

          • Ali Buchan

            All we’re talking about is a removal of the state’s barriers to homosexual marriage.

            As Mr Nelson says,”Religious freedom should be universal, and if some Unitarian churches or liberal strands of Judaism want to marry same-sex couples then the government ought not to ban them. I’m for complete separation of church and state: governments ought not to ban churches from doing anything (or compel them to do anything).”

            Can we at least find some common ground on this point?

          • GulliverUK

            Coffeehousewall, my account is my own, you will find my postings in The Guardian, Telegraph, and all over the place. I have an excellent grasp of Christianity — far more than most Christians every will. I’ve studies it extensively over the last 4 years, and I used to consider myself one. I will challenge you to a debate on any aspect of Christian theology. I also know the Bible is full of errors. You can test this yourself. Simply note down all the details of the resurrection and the tomb where Jesus’s body was alleged to have been placed. Cross check the details between Matthew, Mark and Luke — there are gaping inconsistencies in all accounts, to the point where stories contradict each other. And I can point to hundreds of examples like that.

            I dare you to see Bart Erhman on Youtube, a former fundamentalist evangelical, who is one of the foremost biblical textual experts.

            • Andrew Fairhead

              Dear Mr GulliverUK,

              What I think you have an excellent grasp of is anti-Christianity. Had you an excellent grasp of Christianity, you would not espouse such anti Christian rhetoric.

              As to who to believe, it is probably best that God has the last word, as recorded in Acts 17:30-32. We would all do well to reflect on that, and take action as in v30.

        • Colonel Mustard

          “Liberal bigots” (© Peter Hitchens) is a better term than “gay extremists” and encompasses those who are not gay themselves but use the issue as a cudgel with which to beat those who disagree with their views on the basis, purely, of their own prejudices about them (q.v. GulliverUK).

          I am not a political activist. I detest the government, politicians and political parties but not equally. My greatest contempt is for those on the left and especially their activists because of the way they always engage, generally demonstrating the very bigotry they rail against, as well as startling hypocrisy and double standards.

        • GulliverUK

          I’ve been called many things, some aren’t suitable to re-print here 😀

          I’ve been called an activist, when I’m just an ordinary bloke, going about my ordinary life, but I don’t remember ever being called an “extremist” for wanting equality !

    • Hugh

      Gosh, that does seem challenging. If only the church had recognised these difficulties and had a meeting sometime – say, 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem – to decide how to interpret the Old Testament.

  • GulliverUK

    Two further things, most Catholic adoption agencies didn’t close, they simply dropped their link to the Catholic church. They lost a tiny amount of funding from the church, but since 99% of their funding came from the public purse, they just carried on and served everyone. That is a fact – check with the Charities commission.

    This debate has nothing to do with immigration. Young Muslims have quite different views to their parents, just like you have different views to your own parents. I work with a number of Muslims and they are pretty much like everybody else in the office, they talk about football, women, some drink, and they don’t disappear off every day to pray.

    Also, the evidence directly contradicts the assertion that Muslims in the future will be like they were in the past. Look at Egypt, the young started that revolution, and many of them are secular, and the Muslim Brotherhood is in very serious trouble now – their views are out of touch with the majority of Egyptians, and the Brotherhood only won by 52% — which they’ll never get again.

    • Coffeehousewall

      So you work with a few people who are not Muslims, just Pakistanis? You really have no clue about the situation in most places in England where Muslim immigrants are a majority, or about the situation in Egypt. Muslim Brotherhood losing support, pull the other one.

      You are a dangerous fool.

    • TomTom

      So they are NOT Catholic AdoptionAgencies serving Catholic Children any longer and the Roman Catholic Culture of those Children has been denied by The State

      • the viceroy’s gin

        The State destroyed their mission, yes.

        I wonder if the Speccie teenager understands that to be the goal here, or is he just another useful idiot for the cause?

  • Adrian Drummond

    Fraser… simply stating that “Religious freedom should be universal” is just muddying the waters. You seem to suggest that our national tolerance should allow a break from marriage and its historical link to a traditional couple and their ensuing off-spring. If this is what you mean, then please say so more clearly.

    • Coffeehousewall

      Fraser is well aware that this is nothing to do with religion at all, but is the redefinition of marriage for all. Civil Partnerships could have been held in those non-Christian buildings such as Unitarian and Quaker meeting rooms, but it would still not be and can never be marriage.

      Since Fraser knows this we must ask why he is playing along with the game and suggesting that it is just an issue for a few religious groups. It is manifestly not. After this law has been passed, which God forbid, it will be illegal for an atheist teacher to refuse to promote gay marriage just as much as for a catholic teacher to do so. It is not about religion. If I were an atheist I would object just as strongly to the deliberate and totalitarian attempt to redefine basic and universal social structures for marxist ends.

      If religious freedom should be universal then it must be absolutely protected speech for a catholic school to continue to teach that ‘gay marriage’ is a fiction, and for people of all beliefs to refuse to recognise a ‘gay marriage’ as being such. Does Fraser agree with such absolute freedoms? I rather doubt it.

      • GulliverUK

        I’ve got news for you, the ill-informed. The law was changed in December 2011 and Civil Partnerships CAN and ARE being carried out in churches – this, I think, must be news to Fraser also. This is the same OPT-IN system that is being used for the marriage proposals, and the very same OPT-IN mechanism that the CofE lawyers said they were happy with.

        This is, as said, about using the same universally-recognised term that everybody else has the option to use.

        There will be no change to heterosexual marriage at all, it will simply be extended to include everyone, gay and straight. Schools will teach about marriage pretty much as they do today, except everybody will already know that both gay and straight couples can get married. As is a requirement of the Education Act, all things must be presented in a balanced way, but if a Church-run school then wants to say that their religious beliefs believe marriage is between a man and a women, Maria Miller has been clear they will be able to do so. Your rambling set of reasons why this change shouldn’t happen are just lies and misinformation designed to project an entirely false impression of the proposals.

        • GulliverUK

          funny how Coffeehousewall didn’t bother to dispute my facts, or come back and apologise for being wrong. Ho hum.

        • TomTom

          The Divorce Laws need to be changed too as does the whole nature of Support. It is a wide-ranging legislative mess that will go on for years. Merkel in Germany is completely bogged down with this same issue – obviously an EU Commission thing – and refuses to give Married Tax Allowanes to Gay Couples under the proposed legislation which will lead to more court cases

          • GulliverUK

            Very little needs to be changed – that’s the whole point – it’s not being redefined. Also, the full bill for the Scottish proposals is already published — there, not so difficult was it.

            here you go :)

    • TomTom

      I bet you are a hoot at Celtic Rangers games Fraser

  • GulliverUK

    Who’s creating the cultural war? Religious right, bigoted and homophobic groups – nobody else. The polling over the last 5 years shows a very clear majority in favour equal rights — as you rightly point out social liberal values are in our DNA. The vast majority of all MPs, across parties, is in favour, with the usual suspects (those opposed to any equal rights for people who are gay) raising hell, as per usual. It’s not this issue is it, it’s a whole slew of issues they disagree with David Cameron about, and from the get-go. They say this isn’t a priority but do we put equality and fairness to one side just because the economy needs TLC? These are the very people who, immediately upon getting in to government, started campaigning on repealing the fox-hunting laws — some priority that is – the public don’t want that, it’s was selfishness and just for them and their country gents.

    In the last 24 hours the CofE has gone in to overdrive, moaning about the quad-lock, yet they themselves requested this – very tight legislation, as tight as possible, because of THEIR special place in the legal relationship with the state. Now they’ve got it they’re moaning like hell because it might make them look bigoted. If the cap fits, wear it. There are many who welcome equal marriage in the CofE, but Williams clearly has multiple personality disorder – at one time championing it, saying there is no scriptural basis for this discrimination, then turning around a few months ago and saying the state has no right to re-define marriage, then going on to say some Christians were intolerant and bigoted, gay people probably had been harmed by the Church, and then saying he regretted the position on the church in the consultation. Geeeezzz, my head is spinning.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Actually your first sentence demonstrates perfectly the thrust of Fraser’s article. You have stereotyped the opposition as “Religious right, bigoted and homophobic groups” which is pure bigotry itself. There is no respect in your comment for the sincerely held religious views of others and yet you expect respect for those views you agree with.

      You conflate the argument into political terms of the left and the right into right and wrong – which is a conceit often practiced by those of a leftist persuasion. You conflate polling with a referendum. You conflate a majority opinion with being right and a minority opinion being wrong which history demonstrates is nonsense. If that conflation had held then homosexuals might never have been emancipated and we would consider the German resistance to the NSDAP as wrong.

      You conflate “progress” with equality and fairness without stopping to consider that some “progress” in the last three decades has led to greater state tyranny. In fact your comment demonstrates everything that is precisely wrong with the nature of current “debate”.

      • GulliverUK

        Fcuk no, there is no respect for my life, and my feelings, and my deeply-held beliefs, and the vast majority of the public see their opposition as homophobia and bigotry, and also see them as the Religious Right-wing.

        What we do know is that most Anglicans and Catholics, both here and in the US, support equal rights for us, that is a fact, and the Pew research shows that is increasing for almost every religion.

        The Religious Right is heavily invested in right-wing politics – only apologists say otherwise. This world has been getting more liberal by the decade and the only way the political right wing could survive is to offer things the religious right wanted, in return for their votes. This is also a fact, written about in many articles and newspaper articles. Geeeeze, it’s like explaining the theory of gravity in simple terms to a child.

        We don’t have greater state tyranny, we have a democratically elected government, or coalition, which has to tread very carefully, and who are in doubt that the public has the final vote. This is about fairness and equality, and it’s what most people want, because they don’t want to live in a society which mistreats any section. We see the same unhappiness with the welfare debates, and the prospect of reducing benefits for the disabled. We are, by our DNA, good Samaritans.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I am afraid that is complete nonsense. But it is understandable nonsense because you are seeing things from an extremely polarised perspective and in a rather extreme way. I have no idea who or what you mean by the “Religious Right” except as a demonising term to marginalise or devalue opinions that you disagree with. Again you are trying to claim moral right from a professed majority view, which even if the polling is to be believed (and most nowadays is suspect) is inviable.

          You cannot say “most people” want this because the level of debate clearly shows they don’t! And it is fundamental to your left wing beliefs, since you champion minorities, to respect, embrace and celebrate the views of those who choose to disagree. Otherwise your politics is hypocrisy. You cannot stand up for minority views on a selective basis (although in fact the left does this all the time).

  • In2minds

    David Cameron, poor judgement, when was this first spotted?

    • Alastair_93

      David Cameron is doing the right thing. There is no logical argument against gay marriage.

      • Say no to race war in England.

        All places of religious worship will be obliged to conduct same sex marriage. European law will take priority.

        • Alastair_93

          There are laws preventing them from doing that. And I don’t have much sympathy for the church– an old law means I’ve had to chip in to pay tax to a local church for its repair, since my flat is within a certain radius of it. So I have to fix the roof, but I’m not allowed to get married under it? Hardly fair, is it?

          I wouldn’t want to get married in a church, though, and I doubt many other gay people would either. Churches can opt-in if they like.

          • Say no to race war in England

            I think we should cut out this Frazer obsession with Britishness…its a load of codswallop now and most people in Scotland and England would agree.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Be fair.

              Scoundrels do need their last refuge.

          • TomTom

            Sue your Solicitor who is supposed to do Searches

          • Kevin

            You surely are allowed to get married under it, assuming you are of that denomination.

      • TomTom

        In that case there can be no “logical” argument for it.

        • Alastair_93

          Yes there is. Gay people and straight people should be treated equally and fairly.

          • Ali Buchan

            Yep, pretty simple, TomTom.

            Still haven’t seen a logical argument against it. That’s not to say that everything we cherish should be logical and defensible, but any government stance certainly should be.

            As Will Self pointed out last night, it’s interesting to see Christians advocating literal interpretation of scripture, having spend years telling us that the bible was never meant to be interpreted literally.

            • Kevin

              Define “marriage”, then we will discuss the logic.

            • TomTom

              You simply do not understand LOGIC to write such banal rubbish

          • Kevin

            Given that there is no such distinction as “gay people” every adult already has an equal right to civil marriage.

            • TomTom

              No, mentally ill people cannot marry and Objections are sought to the marriage before any ceremony

      • George Igler

        I do love this new logic. In the face of the positive cascade of such powerful logical arguments, simply repeatedly say that no such arguments exist.

        Organise the “largest public consultation” the country has ever seen, and then act as if the 600,000 detailed objections which were made actually never took place.

        It is I suppose completely in keeping with the reality-denial that is the semantic heart of this proposal in the first place.

        • Alastair_93

          Well then let’s hear these ‘powerful logical arguments’.

          What are they? We can discuss this now.

          • MahmudH

            I don’t have an overall opinion one way or another on this issue, but the logical argument against is alluded to in the article – that the government is legislating simply to change the use of the english language.

            Fraser Nelson mentions it as being purely over the word “marriage” – but it is sightly more than that – it is “marriage”, “husband” and “wife”. For historical and cultural reasons, these words have not been considered integral towards same-sex relationships.

            This isn’t comparable to restrictions on marriages involving minority races, social classes, etc, because gender is a functional attribute of the institution of marriage, whereas race and social class are not.

            As such the language of equality is inappropriate when applied to the same-sex marriage debate. I’m undecided on the issue anyway, because to me the logical pro-argument is that if people want to do something, don’t grumble, let them do it. But it is definitely a matter of balance for me.

          • George Igler

            Ah yes, of course we can discuss it now, now that you have what you want, we couldn’t possibly discuss it before of course.

            You must really not have been paying attention if after all this time these arguments are new to you.

            But I can’t express myself as being surprised, you do rather strike me as the kind of chap who would see no “logical argument” for opposing the state’s demands that everyone for example be required by law to call the sky, purple; the rain, dry; the sea, orange; dogs, chairs; and so, unions that aren’t the complementary joinings of a man and a woman, marriage.

            What possible harm could there be in letting government legislate over the basic meaning of language in this way, with no manifesto mandate from anyone? Dangerous precedent, don’t make me laugh.

            Only the small-minded and bigoted could ever think that we already live in a society that sacks or imprisons those who dissent from the new arbitrarily invented state morality. Right?

            Only a racist scaremonger could ever possibly suggest, that making minority activism, anti-discrimination and personal fulfillment the three criteria justifying “re-defining” marriage — against which no possible logical counterargument could ever exist, remember — will lead inevitably to further re-definitions with actual, historical and cultural foundations stretching back millennia; that an ever increasing demographic in this country upon which a good 20 Labour seats and growing depend might be quite interested in formalizing as such arrangements are already tacitly recognized by the benefits system. Gotcha.

            Only a crazed evangelical loony-tune would ever dream of pointing to the succession of legal authorities both here and in Europe, who have said that any supposed protections of religious institutions won’t be worth the paper they are written on when a Supreme Court of all the EU nations, like the ECHR, which enjoys legal primacy over national parliaments overrules them. And if they even suggest mentioning the established examples of such brave and courageous legal activism which always mysteriously seems to target only one faith, and Peter Tatchell’s statement yesterday that he intends to start such cases the moment the new law comes in, send for the men in white coats immediately.

            While only a potty bigot would say that such a status quo would suit our politicians just fine, thank you very much, they can take matters as far as they dare while the final completed steps are carried out by a European body which they can then blame, saying they have no power to do otherwise. Just like with immigration. Pah, what rot!

            Suggest that the heterosexual married family is the building block of stable and prosperous Western societies, because of its unique capacity to socialise and care for children in a way that countless psychological, academic and criminological metrics say is quantitatively infinitely superior for the child? That the documentation produced by the government makes hardly any reference to families, and virtually none to children? That legislation with the inevitable effect that the words husband, wife, father, mother, are to have no more moral worth or differential meaning from “Spouse A” and “Spouse B” delivers a chilling and explosive hammer blow to the central supporting strut of society, which serves the agenda of those who fully want to divorce parents from their moral status as parents, and replace them as just custodians of children truly owned by the state? You, you conspiracy theorizing nutjob, have taken leave of your senses.

            Oh, and conclude that none of this has anything whatsoever to do with fairness and equality, you naive little idiot, and everything to do with the exercising of cynical electoral advantage by those who should be doing what we pay them to and be grappling with the three-fold economic, demographic and energy catastrophe we are hurtling towards instead?….

            As you say, this measure hasn’t got a single worthwhile thing that could be said against it. The BBC told you, and laughs at people of the contrary view just like the Speccie does, so it must be true.

            • MagicAldo


    • Ron Todd

      I spotted it when during the party leader contest he ducked and dived on the drugs question.

  • Vulture

    I’m going to link the issue of (1) Gay marriage to the issue of (2) mass immigration: both loudly supported by Fraser.

    Gay marriage, when it arrives, will be a temporary phenomenon because of (2) as, thanks to the mass immigration initiated by Labour and continued by Cameron this country will by 2061, be majority Muslim, and the Imams will not only ban Gay marriages but outlaw homosexuality itself.

    People tie themselves in knots over the attitude of various Christian and Jewish sects towards (1) but this is a very academic debate since they are a tiny dwindling minority, and no-one mentions the embarrassing elephant in the room which is the attitude of ALL Muslims ( including ‘liberals’ like Lady Warsi) towards it.

    Pink fluffy liberals like Dave are knjowingly presiding over the destruction of a coujhntry, a culture and a society. Tomorrow will not belong to them.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I sincerely doubt that. Simply because I believe that this country will descend into serious sectarian violence and disorder long before 2061, so conventional politics and demographics will not come into full play. I believe we are approaching one of those defining moments in British history – 1066, 1215, 1645, 1688, 1745,1940 – when push will come to shove. The belief that we are a settled society and will muddle along as usual is not actually borne out by our history.

      But one thing is certain. Our modern collection of self-servers posing as politicians are both ignorant of history and its lessons. And their incredible arrogance about what is best for us is more astounding than that of the most haughty mediaeval King. I fear there will be tears before bedtime.

      • TomTom

        1688 is a bad example. If Churchill had not surrendered the Army to William at Torbay they would have had another civil war. the fact they wanted to avoid one is what led to this cobbled-together Constitution that Cameron is tinkering with……undo The Act of Succession and you undo the Act of Union, undo those and you undo 1688 and I doubt the Monarchy will survive even as they try to promote the “New Monarchy” before the Monarch dies – so obvious is the PR frenzy. It seems unlikely there will be a national parliament in Westminster much longer as the bulk of the country simply disengages

        • GulliverUK

          Best they do the right thing tho, the principles, fair thing, isn’t it?
          Or should they just sit on their hands and expunge “unfair”, “injustice”, “inequality” from the dictionary, as if it doesn’t exist.

          What you are suggesting is rubbish. The Church of Wales was disestablished in 1920, and that didn’t cause a problem, and Rowan Williams said he wouldn’t have a problem if the church chose to be disestablished. Only Iran and ourselves have religious ministers in our Parliament.

          • TomTom

            Rowan Williams was not a Member of the Church of England. the Church of Wales is headed then and now by Heterodox Thinkers some might even think Rowan Williams was druidical and as for Morgan who was put there to make way for Jefferey John it is absurd. The Church of Wales was insignificat as Wales is Chapel. Indeed Wales is a pimple on England’s torso so don’t get ridiculous. Denmark has a Minister of Faith in Parliament, so does Turkey, so does Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Indonesia, Syria, Somaliland, Serbia, Lebanon, Greece, You are completely off-base. Why do you consider Rowan Williams important ? No Anglican considers Rowan Williams to be a serious individual, simply one of Blair’s Christian Socialist friends. I can see you confuse Rown Williams with the Christian Faith which suggests you have no idea what you are talking about

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Nicely said.

          The absence of a proper Constitution and Bill of Rights allows such as this Speccie teenager to bluster and rant about “liberal” and “tolerance”, even as the statists he supports trample on both. And soon the trampling statists will decamp for Brussels, to rule by decree from abroad, with the Speccie teenager’s gleeful approval.

          It’s long been known that the Speccie is a leftist publication, but it’s now taking on the air of an authoritarian leftist publication. It knows what’s best for all, and supports any means to get that best.

          I remember Brown caught on video raging about that “bigoted woman”, who dared to disagree with his (and now the Speccie teenager’s) received wisdom.

          The pigs and dogs are starting to look alike now, aren’t they?

    • gladiolys

      I’m sorry if this reply comes over as offensive; it’s not meant to be an attack.

      But from my pink fluffy viewpoint, your argument is cowardly and weak. People immigrate to the UK to improve their lives – economically, socially, emotionally and politically. They come here because we have freedom and are liberal. Younger generations will grow up to see this liberalism all around them and reject the harshness of imposed religious values. They will want to live their lives with the same freedom that other people do.

      And it is up to US, the indigenous population to set the example, to lead, to be free, fair, tolerant and liberal. We should engage with every opportunity to show we do not mistrust incomers, but understand their reasons for being here. We should not be afraid to say: “This is who we are. If you do not like it, tell me why you have come here?” I live in London and I have engaged in these conversations with Africans, Asians, Eastern Europeans and we have had productive conversations – but no arguments. I am open about who I am, what I believe and why. This has always been received with respect and appreciation, which I have reciprocated.

      It seems to me that you think immigrants are superior to us., that “they will win in 50 years time”. They are only different. And they will change if we let them, rather than always defining them as “foreign”, or “muslim”. Loud hardliners do not define a community.

      • Coffeehousewall

        People with views such as these are dangerous fools. Really dangerous.

        • gladiolys

          An assertion, but no argument from you. Oops.

          • Coffeehousewall

            There is no need for an argument, an assertion is more than adequate in your case. People with views like yours are dangerous fools.

            • gladiolys

              OK. What do you propose you should do about such “dangerous fools”?

            • Ali Buchan

              This is the best post I’ve ever seen! It should be a transcript of part of a conversation:

              Speaker 1: “There is no need for an argument, and assertion is more than adequate in your case.”
              Speaker 2: “People with views like yours are dangerous fools.”

        • Ali Buchan

          No. The ONLY danger that can be appropriated to those views is that the tolerance expressed will allow the dangerously intolerant to express their views.

          Becoming intolerant to protect against the intolerant is a truly ridiculous notion.

      • Vulture

        `I don’t feel offended at all, Glad, so long as this remains a relatively free country – no longer as free as it once was, alas – you are of course entitled to your views. But facts are stubborn things.

        Here are some: there are no Muslim countries which share western values of free speech, democracy, liberalsim and gender equality that you hold so dear. This suggests to me that the religion and its culture are repressive, socially illiberal, and – when push comes to shoive – inherently violent.

        Muslim migrants will not, as you appear to believe dissolve into our culture like some happy US-style melting pot. On the contrary, appalled by our decadenhce, second and third generation Muslims ahhere strongly, even fanatically, to their traditional beliefs.

        We, as a society ARE cowardly and weak. The courage and energy that once made us the global superpower has drained away between roughly 1914 and 1945. I don’t believe that Islamic culture is superior to ours, but I do believe it is harder, tougher, meaner and in the Darwinian struggle that is coming, is bound to win.

        • gladiolys

          Thanks Vulture for not taking offence.

          However, I believe you are wrong, because I have worked with Muslim women and have talked openly about their role in their community and how they like it here more than where they originated, I have worked with Asian children who are asking questions about the world around them in a way that they can’t in their homeland and I have seen young Asians in gay pubs and online gay dating sites who are rejecting their religion’s views of them.

          Change maybe slow and it may be challenged by the hotheads who want to preserve their “difference”, but if we don’t all try to make it happen, it won’t ever happen.

          • TomTom

            Who funds you to work with “Muslim women” ? I know activists doing this and they never see the veiled ones, they never see the ones that husbands do NOT want mixing with Western women. The ones who get killed if they cross the line with the hit man returning to Pakistan before PC Plod gets on the case. It is so bizarre that you work with Muslim women who were born abroad yet are fluent in English and know about life here….because in areas of high Muslim population the incomers do NOt speak English, their children do NOT speak English, they are shrouded and rarely allowed out and never alone to speak with White women.

            • gladiolys

              I volunteer with a social enterprise, that works with all sections of the community, including Muslim women who are also volunteers. The muslim women I know are either first generation of many years presence here, so have learned English, or are 2nd generation who grew up with English as first/second language , but have returned to their parents birth country enough times to see the differences.

              You may prefer to believe in cliches and stereotypes. I only comment from my own experience.

              • TomTom

                I prefer to deal with reality and one of the most Muslim areas of the country. Volunteers are already unrepresentative of the Ummah and you have no idea of what is going on. I see you are a fan of sterotypes, but I prefer to deal with what I see daily rather than your “social enterprise” whatever oxymoron that might be

                • gladiolys

                  Point out where I have used a stereotype.
                  That people who are unrepresentative of the “Ummah” exist surely backs up my point?
                  The social enterprise concept is a business that works for the good of the community, with any profits ploughed back into the venture. The one I volunteer for is a credit union. We work with anyone who lives within our London borough.
                  You might want to look up the meaning of a word before using it: oxymoron being a good example.

                • TomTom

                  Do you charge Interest in your Sharia Credit Union ?

                • gladiolys

                  It is not a Sharia credit union. Stop being silly.

                  Interest is charged on loans. This is ploughed back into the business so it can be self-financing. All savers receive a dividend on any profits based on the amount of money they have kept in their accounts over the year. Obviously loans are made out of the savings other members keep in the credit unions. No-one is allowed to go overdrawn, so no interest is earned that way and no charges are made that way.

                  If you are trying to point out that no Muslim would either profit from, or pay, interest, may I point out that not all Muslims are the same, just as not all Christians are the same, and for some, credit unions are a more ethical way of saving in a safe place than other banking systems?

                • Daniel Maris

                  Tom Tom, you are speaking the truth.

                  When the Mullahs come out and clearly condemn female genital mutilation, honour killings, suicide bombings, wife beatings and Jew hatred – to name a few things – we will know that things are changing.

                  Until then…

              • Hexhamgeezer

                ‘ but have returned to their parents birth country enough times to see the differences’

                What nationlity passport do they travel on? I mean travel out, not necessarily return on?

                • gladiolys

                  Do you know, I have never asked that question? Sorry, can’t help you with that.

              • Daniel Maris

                So you confirm what Tom Tom said. You are not meeting those Muslim women who are sequestered at home by their male guardians and who don’t speak English (you do know under Islam a Muslim woman has a male guardian who watches over her every move?).

                You are admitting your experience is incredibly limited.

                I have spoken to plenty of liberated Muslim women in the workplace, but I am not so crass as to think that is any indication of the experience of most Muslim women in the Bangladeshi and Somali communities in the UK for instance.

            • GulliverUK

              I work in an ordinary office, with a good mix of people from all over. It is IT support, not LGBT activism. Get a job and get out in to the real world, then’ll you’ll see that your stereotypes are mostly rubbish. Yes, you’ll always find some people being idiots, from all groups, but I’ve never come across them. There is a problem with domestic violence in all parts of society, and we’ve been well aware of the wife-beatings that straight white English males have been involved in, time and again.

              I will agree that there needs to be a requirement to be able to speak English (as a second language at least), or the requirement to learn it, fairly quickly, and to a reasonable level, once here. Part of the problem is we need to be able to communicate more effectively. That also means not talking to people whose first language isn’t English like they speak to people who are deaf or old, … very slowly and very deliberately, and often in an insulting manner.

      • GulliverUK

        This whole discussion has nothing to do with immigration at all. Coffeehousewall is simply baiting.

      • Colonel Mustard

        I don’t disagree but your argument simply ignores the issue of infrastructure sustainability as well as the scale and speed of immigration under New Labour. If there are no limits to immigration the question of infrastructure sustainability must arise – as it has. Does a cinema offering free tickets allow people to keep entering when all the seats are taken and continue to let them crowd in beyond the point of safety?

        There is an economic issue too in the ability of the tax-paying sector to fund an increasing benefits receiving sector which is exacerbated by economic immigration from poorer countries, especially in Eastern Europe. Whilst it is untrue to brand all immigrants as “benefits tourists” it would be equally wrong to believe they don’t exist. In London the extent of housing corruption around this is out of control and cannot be addressed because of the “racism” implications. The victims are the genuinely poor and deprived.

        As to your “conversations”, a young woman on a bus asked virtually the same questions, only more offensively and loudly, and was arrested for it.

        • gladiolys

          I agree. If we are to continue to allow immigration, our infrastructure with regard to health, education, housing, and most of all, employment opportunities must be improved. I’d suggest that until we have those issues sorted, there should be a moratorium on immigration.

          My arguments were about addressing Vulture’s fears of Islam making existing culture irrelevant.

          As for the young woman on the bus, there is a difference between a polite and respectful conversation and a ranting, drunken, tirade.

          • TomTom

            “our infrastructure with regard to health, education, housing, and most
            of all, employment opportunities must be improved”……………….I suggest having collections in rich countries to raise funds…..because if you think Infrastructure in this country is going to “improve” you are in fior a rude awakening. This is as good as it is going to be – from here on in there is NO MONEY

          • Colonel Mustard

            “As for the young woman on the bus, there is a difference between a polite and respectful conversation and a ranting, drunken, tirade.”

            It’s more complex than that. She was not arrested for drunken and disorderly behaviour but for a racially aggravated public order offence because of what she had said in a public place. It is quite feasible that if one of the people you had the conversation with had felt “insulted”, “offended” or “alarmed” as a result of your questions then you might have been arrested to. Being drunk, or loud, is not a burden to the offence at all. The law in this regard, introduced by New Labour for ideological reasons, is blind to proper mens rea or the guilty intent. It matters not what was intended – or not – but merely how the other person reacts to it. It is subjective law, the worst kind of bad law, where a person can declare he or she is a victim regardless of the absence of proveable harm and therefore de facto is. The general effect of such law is to suppress freedom of speech, because that was what was intended by it. It matters not that people accused might be acquitted because they have already been subjected to the improper force of the state with all that entails.

            • gladiolys

              I would politely suggest that other people have not taken offence when I have had these conversations because I have shown respect and interest and tried to avoid insult.

      • TomTom

        You clearly don’t know why people come here. It is because of MONEY. Nowhere on earth can unskilled persons unversed in English come and gain access to public funding and live so much better than working at home. They can preserve their community as Mirpur has in Bradford with Leeds-Bradford Airport as the suburban bus station flying home to Lahore regularly, or Manchester as an import centre for heroin and Afghan wares. There are debts to be paid so daughters are exported to first cousins in Bradford, Oldham etc and kept illiterate so they can produce Child Benefit Claims ad infinitum. If anyone wants to get on – say from Poland – they learn English and then apply in LOndon to emigrate to Canada, australia, USA. The backlog at the Canadian High Commission in London is due to Pakistanis applying through London to join family in Ontario.
        gladiolys, you have no idea at all what is really going on. You are risible, typical of stupid English people who have no real awareness of what is going on. Pathetic really, but you are a laughing stock

        • gladiolys

          Wow. You”don’t disagree” with me below and now I’m stupid English, risible, pathetic and a laughing stock. Make up your mind, what’s left of it. Oh, and Coffeehousewall calls me a dangerous fool.

          Fraser’s point proved perhaps. You are launching another front in the culture wars.

      • biggestaspidistra

        It’s worth looking at the Dutch experience, the ‘other truly multi-ethnic state’. A liberal advanced society in the 1970s, 40 years ahead of the UK, the Dutch and their cities have been changed by massive islamic immigration to become less liberal, less tolerant, less safe for women and gay people. In 40 years the country has gone from an open to a closed society, from liberal and tolerant to borderline fascist.

      • Daniel Maris

        What do you mean “US”…That shows your confusion. In London that “US” no longer obtains. If you think that de-ussing is going to stop at London, you are sadly mistaken.

        There are good people in every community. But we also know that good relations can very quickly turn sourt under pressure of events.

        You are liking a gambler who keeps saying “I haven’t lost the house yet. I can keep throwing the dice. I’ve had a few lucky wins. Everything is going to turn out all right.”

        The question I would put to you is: if immigration is such a blessing, why don’t we have more of it, why don’t we open the door and let anyone in, no matter what murderous things they would like to do to gays.

        • gladiolys

          See my reply to both Colonel Mustard and Tom Tom.

          Your analogy is flawed. In gambling, you have no control over circumstances. In engaging with other people, you definitely have a chance to influence events.

          • DAniel Maris

            I notice you choose to ignoe the simple question I put to you. If immigration is such a blessing as you claim, why don’t we have a lot more of it?

    • Daniel Maris

      Too right Vulture. The 2061 figure seems about right, since the pro-Sharia community appears to have grown by about two thirds (from 3 to 5%) in ten years. Continued growth would lead to 8.6% 2022, c 15% 2032, c 25% c 2042, c 41% 2052, c 66% 2062. Of course that takes no account of outward migration of people who don’t support Sharia. Once the writing’s on the wall, gays aren’t going to hang around in the UK are they? And it takes no account that eventually this population growth will lead to political influence that will see effective immigration controls removed.

    • ButcombeMan

      Actually Vulture, I have at least twice (maybe more) mentioned the alienation of hard working Muslims from the Tory party over this. I also note that Hooky of this parish, casts the bigot word around like confetti.

      We are witnessing an attempt to close down any other opinion, we are witnessing intolerance of other opinions on a grand scale, we are witnessing leftish McCarthyism on a grand scale. It is nasty, it will get nastier if we as a society go down this route.

      I digress. Otherwise, Fraser has dropped into the memes of the re-defining marriage gang. He should know better.

      He, like Cameron has also made the mistake of thinking that all opposition is based on religion. It is not, it is based on the simple definition of marriage under UK law and the belief that marriage between two people olf the same sex is just not biologically possible.

      Cameron may try his “newspeak”, I for one am just not prepared to accept that this re-definition is within his gift. A Tory party led by him will never be supported again, by swathes of people. He has been careless with the party.

      He has been an absolute fool. He has divided his party and society over an issue of no significance. Civil Partnerships were always mostly welcolmed by the tolerant British. That is where this should have ended.

      Cameron is no Tony Blair.

      He is finished. There is no recovery for him.

    • Alastair_93

      Do you have any evidence that the country will be a muslim majority by 2061? Where did you get that figure from?

    • MahmudH

      Lady Warsi is on record as pro same-sex marriage.

      • Daniel Maris

        Where is your evidence for Lady Warsi being pro same-sex marriage? You need to give a reference.

        When I google this all I get are references like this:

        “Warsi leads fight against gay marriages”

        • MahmudH

          She said so on Question Time. It was the night when they hosted Nick Griffin. Maybe she’s changed her mind since then – or more likely she’s been lobbied by more hardline Tories to oppose the legislation even though she agrees with the substance of it.

          • Daniel Maris

            I think you may be confusing civil partnerships with marriage. Big difference.

  • RKing

    Doesn’t Cameron know that you should always bury the BAD news with GOOD news?
    Not create even more BAD news to bury the Bad news.
    (It reminds me of the Italian Job… “Your’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off”)

    Still the stupid a***e doesn’t have much of a clue on anything else he gives away our billions to dictators to squander and even supports the EU!

    Dooooahhh!! David you dumbo!!

  • Magnolia

    I read your piece on the DT where you linked those against gay marriage to the over sixty age group.
    I am under 60 years of age and still have a teenager in the house and I am against gay marriage because I agree with the Church of England that it would be changing the definition of marriage for all of us.
    I think it’s disingenuous to stereotype me in this way as an old fogey.
    I think many of us also have strong views on abortion but it hasn’t been possible to air them freely under the last Labour government which did so much to demonise those with certain opinions.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Actually it is worse than stereotyping you as an “old fogey” for your view. It is ageism – another form of bigotry. Making the argument that those against gay marriage are over sixty is a “so what?” point. The only point that can be derived from it is an apparent negativity towards older people. This extends to comments I have seen on this site where the innuendo is that because people are old they are somehow not entitled to influence or participate in the debate. Where, anywhere in our constitution or law does it say that the political views of young people are more valid? And yet that is often the inference from public discourse which emphasises “engaging” the young.

      The marginalisation of older people in Britain is probably a far worse problem than homophobia, especially because it is routinely indulged in by people who ought to know better. And worse, it is often demonstrated by those most loudly trumpeting their belief in “diversity”, “equality” and “fairness”.

      • Magnolia

        To be fair to Fraser it was a very good piece of writing and the reference to the over sixties was oblique but I also found the word bigot used over and over again which perhaps was not really necessary.
        These things are subtle and I suspect that Fraser isn’t even aware of all of the influence that his milieu provides on his so called free thoughts.

        I agree absolutely with your comment about the careless acceptability of ageism in our society as a whole despite the paradox that most of us love our older relatives very much.

      • Ali Buchan

        I don’t think it is a ‘so what’ point.

        To a party operating in a democratic society, a view held by those over 60 is less important than the view of someone under 60, merely by virtue of the facts that, with older people, the battle over right and wrong has largely been won or lost, views are often entrenched and so, therefore, are voting habits. It’s not right, but, pragmatically speaking, it’s sensible.

        I think Mr Nelson is right that the better option would be to completely separate Church and state and allow religious organisations to do as they please. However, by making this a key issue, Cameron may gain the vote of people like me, someone who has voted red twice and yellow once in the three elections I’ve been able to vote in. His stance – until Mrs Miller mentioned the ‘quadruple lock’ – was extremely attractive to me and to some of my politically interested friends.

        Perhaps he’s just looking to the future.

        • Colonel Mustard

          It might be sensible from the narrow focus of an electioneering strategy but it is pure hypocrisy when those parties trumpet equality and fairness. Silly old-fashioned me believes that parties are responsible to the whole population of their constituents, not just to those they think they can win votes from or who “represent the future”. This is especially pertinent in the UK which has a real problem with ageism and the attitudes expressed feed a culture that already tends to treat the elderly very badly.

          Life is short and only when you look back on it with one foot in the grave do you appreciate how short-sighted younger people are in viewing some kind of impermeable division between young and old. In terms of progress the best I can pray for is that those denigrating the views of the old don’t have to put up with the same bigotry and marginalisation when they become old themselves.

          • Ali Buchan

            As we said the other day, I’m sure we will. It seems that’s always the way.

            I’m reminded of a Somerset Maugham quote which goes something like; “It wasn’t until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say ‘I don’t know’.”

            I’ll certainly concede to you that we, as the next generation of the politically interested, think we know best, no matter what our views actually are. It’s always worth bearing in mind that, in 30 or 40 years, each of us will look at some of the things we are now most ardent about and regard our opinions as folly.

            But that’s not to say that either view – the present or the future – is necessarily better or worse than the other. Sometimes experience opens one’s mind with wisdom, sometimes it closes it with prejudice.

            The simple fact, I believe, is that we don’t ultimately know what’s right or wrong; but that shouldn’t stop us expressing our beliefs, as we perceive them at this very moment, in a fervent and respectful manner…like you and I are doing right now!

          • GulliverUK

            What is true is that older people are stubborn and bloody-minded, driven by the fear of change, paranoid they won’t fit in. Their homophobia is far greater than other generations, and yet not universal, and their homophobia washes away when they realise they themselves have a gay son or daughter, or they have a grandchild who is gay. Then, as if by magic, it suddenly disappears.

            It shows that older people can change their attitudes, often things aren’t explained to them properly, in detail. Often young gay people might tell their parents but decide to leave granny and grandad in the dark — because they wouldn’t understand, when if fact, that is a mistake.

            We have heaps to learn from older people, some of those in the House of Lords are some of the wisest I’ve ever seen, and some of them are bigoted beyond belief. Older people are sometimes pray to those who would seek to frighten them by telling lies about how churches can and would be forced to go against their beliefs, so they see their religion being attacked, when in fact the bans are watertight and this was just scaremongering.

            I have lots of learn from older people, but the younger generations understanding of sexuality, fairness, equality and their tolerance is something older people can learn about. Different generations have different skills and knowledge to bring to society, older people should not believe they are always right about everyrthing.

            • Colonel Mustard

              I am afraid that is just stereotyping bigotry. I am old and you have no idea what I’m stubborn or bloody-minded about and what I’m not. I have no desire to fit in and suspect that I am probably more rebellious than most young people. People are just people. Some old people I know are obnoxious beyond belief and some young people too.

              What I dislike most is the polarisation of debate about politics into moral “good” and “bad” which is precisely the point Fraser was attempting to make.

        • GulliverUK

          As the Church of England have now, in woolly language, explained on their web site, they can live with the quad-lock, and that it was, in fact, what they had requested, even if having it has singled them out. They said the “OPT-IN” system might not be legally tight-enough to protect them, given their relationship with the state and the fact that some of their laws are also legal laws of the state. They requested extra protections, and they got them – absolutely cast iron. The unfortunately think is that their unique position singled them out as being subject to the 4th lock, something others aren’t subject to.

          For the Church of Wales, in their consultation submission, they said they wanted whatever legal protection the CofE was having, hence why they also got the 4th lock. They request it, they got it.

          It’s either, in legal terms, 4th lock, or disestablishment (which, btw, Rowan Williams had said previously he was ok with).


    • GulliverUK

      Polling data consistently shows young people in favour, strongly, those in the middle in favour, some strongly, some not, and over 65 against it. Even better tho, further polling shows that when the proposals are explained to them in detail, OR if they discover they have a son/daughter or grandchild who is gay, their opposition disappears. See the 2009 Times/Populus Gay Marriage poll and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

    • Boudicca_Icenii

      Same here …. considerably under 60 and two sons still living at home.

  • MirthaTidville

    Nothing to do with tolerance but you have hit the nail on the head Fraser with your comment about this being a rebranding exercise. The Conservative Party is NOT a brand it is, or was, a Political Party with a long and proud heritage.In order to be its leader you need to have values and beliefs and stand up for them like Margaret Thatcher did.All this is lost on Dave who is at heart a PR man who thinks we can change culture by means of an advertising campaign.

    It isnt Gay Marriage that the Tories are tearing themselves apart on its DAVID CAMERON and until they wake up and ditch him they will cast into the wilderness…..sorry to say and I hate to see it happening but………..

    • GulliverUK

      David Cameron is the only leader whose come anywhere close to getting them elected. His brand of Conservative economics and “some” social liberalism, is the winning mix for most modern-day Conservatives. 18 years in the wilderness and you people seem to think your old brand of “nasty party” and intolerance to so many, is still acceptable — it certainly isn’t. I have voted Labour for decades and I will continue to do so, but, if I see sensible moderate Conservatives who aren’t all homophobes, I might, just might, take a look at them. If they go back to being the “nasty party” they won’t even get a look in, not from me, and not from the vast majority in this country. Their homophobia and bigotry from the past is a stain on their party, a stain which Cameron, was, successfully clearly up. Now it’s messy again.

      • Coffeehousewall

        What a load of cobblers. You professional lobbyists and trolls, and that is what you surely are, should try a little less hard.

        You will consider voting Conservative even though you are a life long Labour voter!

        ROFL!!!! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

      • MirthaTidville

        “I have voted Labour for decades“..wonderful says it all..People like you would never vote Tory anyway your just trolling

        • GulliverUK

          I probably never would, that’s right, because having studies Economics in the 6th form I’m a Keynes sort of guy, although like everybody else I’m open to new ideas given the unique nature of how economy has just developed. However, before the last election about 40% of people polled in Pinknews (I think it was their 800-strong panel, which is broadly weighted) said they would consider voting Tory. When the bigotry and homophobia started to fly, when there were gaffes in the statements, when the secret recording of Tory MPs saying they would allow B&Bs to discriminate surfaced, it plummeted to 8%, so you can see that there are plenty of people who are gay and would consider voting Conservative, just not if Tory MPs start being bigoted and homophobic.

          Given the vileness of the rhetoric from Tory MPs the other day – I expect the Tory party to lose the next election quite badly. We make up 6% of the Population (according to government figures, 2009), and we have brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and relatives, who probably won’t vote Tory because the Tory bigotry and homophobia (shown only by a few loud-mouthed morons) will affect their child who is gay, their brother who is gay, their sister who is gay.

          • TomTom

            “because having studies Economics in the 6th form I’m a Keynes sort of
            guy”………You don’t learn Economics with A-Level nowadays. You don’t know Keynes until you have read Treatise on Money…..A-Level Economics is O-Level from 1970s. What a “Keynes sort of guy” is I don’t know, unless you are referring to his homosexuality – as an Economist he was NOT what they teach in schools and probably closer to Friedman that Joan Robinson. Maybe you are a Kaldorian or a Harrodian rather than nything to do with J M Keynes whose main work was as a Mathematician on Probability which is central to his work

      • TomTom

        whose come anywhere………sexually deviant !

    • Ali Buchan

      How else do you propose to change culture? Politics, as opposed to the act of government, is advertising, and it always has been.

      • MirthaTidville

        Er why do we need to change our culture??????????…do tell

        • Ali Buchan

          Apologies, my bad. Having re-read that, it’s an unhelpful question.

          It should, perhaps, have been phrased, ‘How else do you propose that political parties retain relevance to a constantly evolving culture without advertising their understanding of it?’

          • MirthaTidville

            Get your drift Ali…perhaps if Politicos left culture alone and stopped pretending culture and politics are one and the same. They arnt and dont have to be

          • Colonel Mustard

            There is a difference between politicians evolving (developing) in response to cultural change and trying to engineer cultural change, which is what has happened.

            • Ali Buchan

              No. That’s one of the things we disagree on; I feel the proposals are a response to cultural change – rather a late one, actually.

    • Alastair_93

      The Conservative Party has a heritage of homophobia and misogyny.

      • MirthaTidville

        like what exactly???

  • AdemAljo

    Absolutely right.

    The moronic attitude towards trying to clamour for homosexual support is just unfounded. As you said, very few people ACTUALLY, MANIFESTLY have a problem with homosexuality and if a quiet amendment were to have been implemented, it would have passed through easily and that’s that.

    This brouhaha over the exact state of liberality of homosexuality is just ridiculous and it is exactly reminiscent of the kind of utter shite that the Americans love to throw at each other.

    We definitely do not need this and I am appalled it has come to such an unbelievable conclusion. This is Cameron’s fox-hunting bill, only the repercussions for within the party are going to be far, far worse.

    PS. I have a feeling Nick Clegg is not getting quite the blame he should be in this. It seems to me that it is he who has pushed this ridiculous agenda forward more than anyone else. Cameron, as usual, has tried to hijack for his own gain and we all know how much of a fan of divisive politics Nick Clegg is, the perambulating pacifier slinger.

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