Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Things I have learned from the debate on marriage equality

1. Much of the Tory party is not so much conservative as deeply reactionary. In other news: bears, woods, excrement.

2. Norman Tebbit is quite genuinely barmy,  but because he's a right-wing 'elder statesman' touched with the mystic raiment of St Margaret none of the mainstream hacks will simply call him a swivloon.

3. Many rightists consider the two purposes of marriage to be a. regular supplies of hot sex action, and b. tax breaks. Love means nothing to these people, which is ironic given that so many of them are Christians and must have come across the word at some point.

4. Those who think that marriage is for 'natural procreation' would probably not be delighted if the state took this seriously, tested everyone in childhood, and banned millions of young people who are unable to naturally procreate from ever getting hitched.

5. Those who think homosexuals can't make good parents ignore the fact that many supposedly straight men - including Tory backbenchers and Anglican clergyman - are now, and have in the past been, exemplary gay dads.

6. The extreme right-wing Tories are out of step with most ordinary people, but don't realise this because they are in the habit of only listening to people who share their prejudices. We're back to the woods and those bears.

7. I sympathise with  the openly gay Tory MPs who supported equal rights, of course. But I remain baffled as to why anyone who has been a victim of bigotry would join a party that has, at its ideological heart, the lowest instincts of the Victorian public school bully.

8. Anyone who thinks same sex marriage a problematic thing to explain to their children (i.e. 'two grown-ups who love each other very much decide to live together, and when they decide this they have a party for all their friends') should find a less demanding job than politics. Such as delivering papers in a very small village.

And finally - I predict that at least one Tory MP who voted against marriage equality will be outed as gay/bisexual within 6 months. He will be a churchgoing Christian and will have all sorts of fine things to say about suffering (his own), the nastiness of the press (which he has always been happy to spread vicious rumours to in the past), and the harm the row is doing to his long-suffering wife and innocent children (as a direct consequence of his hypocrisy). There may well be a by-election.

This revelation will be leaked to the press as part of some boringly complex (i.e. typical) spat between cabinet factions. Or Boris will blab it out on the telly when asked about a third runway at Heathrow, possibly inventing some new and exciting definition of Wiff-Waff in the process.

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