The Nasty Party exposed….

David Cameron made a gargantuan pre-election effort to ‘re-brand’ the Conservative Party as a nice, cuddly and socially inclusive Party. They even got themselves a green squiggly tree to replace the abrasive flaming torch. The flaming torch, however, remains lurking in the background, waiting to burn down Mr Cameron’s Crayola-created tree. Certain issues really do expose that they are still, under the thin layer of gloss, the same old bigoted and bug-eyed socially reactionary Conservative Party. Same sex marriage is one of those issues. If you want proof then look no further than the comments of David Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate. Unbelievably, he uses a column in the Daily Telegraph to say that gay marriage is a threat to ‘freedom of speech’.

Quite where Mr Burrowes gets this impression is a bit beyond me frankly. His arguments are so threadbare its untrue; for example, he fails totally to explain why marriage is ‘not the right vehicle’ for same-sex couples to express their love and fidelity; values Mr Burrowes claims to laud and celebrate. He goes onto say legalising marriage for these couples will ‘place the Church in a difficult position’. Note the use of the singular because it’s important.

One of the great myths of this debate is that it’s all about ‘religion v secular’ values. Not true. Some religious denominations, like the Quakers, accept and celebrate gay marriage. This debate is therefore about the primacy of the two main denominations, the Church of England and the Catholic Church, it is certainly not about religious freedom for the likes of the Quakers. What is more, it is about the hegemony of both these Church’s backward and bigoted views on these issues. Quite why anybody should accept any lectures from especially the Catholic Church on personal morality given the frequent scandals it finds itself embroiled in is a mystery. Neither have any democratic right whatsoever to impose their views on secular society nor smaller or more socially marginal religious denominations. The Church of England is making a brilliant case for its own disestablishment and removal from the legislative process in this country.

If the Conservative Party hierarchy is so in favour of these proposals then I find it puzzling that it is obviously intending to allow its rebel MP’s a free hand by not applying a whip to the vote. Actions speak louder than words, Mr Cameron and if you favour these proposals then take a clear stand against the likes of Mr Burrowes and apply the whip to the vote. Otherwise, I think people will rightly conclude that you are not serious about them and that your changes to the Conservative Party are what they appear to be, totally cosmetic and barely skin-deep.

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About darrellgoodliffe

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