Monday, 2 April 2012

Gay Marriage: Bothered?

'Downing Street accepted that last week’s events had disappointed some MPs, but insisted there would be “no big change” in the way Mr Cameron does business. “We’ve got the right policies and we’re going to get on with delivering them,” said a source.
'However, Mr Cameron was directly confronted at a “robust” private meeting with members of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers, who told him he must make changes if the party is to have any hope of winning a full majority at the next election.
'Several members of 1922’s executive – elected by their fellow MPs - told Mr Cameron he must overhaul his Downing Street operation. Others told him to think again on controversial policies like gay marriage.
'Robert Halfon MP, a member of the 1922 executive, said he was concerned that the Government is struggling for support among the low-income workers whose votes decide the result in many marginal seats...'

The Daily Telegraph.
This is clearly a view the serial gay marriage-bashing Telegraph shares. 
Over the last few days it's been a recurring riff for both them and The Daily Mail.
Once one might have expected the rest of the right-wing press to bleat along in agreement.
But The Times has published as many as pro-gay marriage articles recently, as the Telegraph has anti.
When the Financial Times joined the debate it was to mock the specious arguments of the anti-gay lobby.
And The Economist's lead columnist Bagehot blogged this afternoon on "why the Tory right is wrong about gay marriage";

'I struggle to see the link between gay weddings and the government's recent, genuine offences against competence: a poorly-presented budget, and advice on preparing for a petrol strike that failed to take into account the detail that British motorists, when panicked, have the rational capacity of hens.
'But there you go. For a certain sort of MP, Mr Cameron's enthusiastic support for gay marriage clearly remains a talismanic blunder, that exposes his failings as an out-of-touch elitist surrounded by amoral metropolitans...'

Bagehot wonders who's really out of touch with the modern world, illustrating his argument with the following anecdote;

'Jane Ellison, the impressive, Bradford born and raised MP for the south London seat of Battersea, tells a story about the moments just after Mr Cameron's 2011 conference speech [when he said he supported gay marriage], as delegates and members of the audience streamed for the exits. Ms Ellison was just behind a smartly-dressed older couple of party members, when they were accosted by a campaigner proffering fire-and-brimstone leaflets against gay marriage. "Thank you," said one of them, as she declined the pamphlet: "But we're just not very bothered."'

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