Wednesday, February 06, 2013

In the Detail

Last night's equal marriage debate may be over at Westminster but not in Thanet and the subject which has so poisoned the atmosphere of our local politics and paralysed the Labour administration, will, without doubt, be given yet another hearing in our Council chamber on Thursday evening.

I spent most of yesterday watching the debate in Parliament and learning from the often passionate arguments of both sides. What I concluded, is that the Equal Marriage Bill is a 'Swiss Cheese' piece of legislation, full or air but ambiguous on important detail. This led many MP's on both sides to insist that it be given further scrutiny as it moves through the different stages to becoming law.

So while the Minister may give assurances that faith groups will be immune to challenge under Article 5.0 of the European Human Rights legislation, that binds our Government, MPs were quick to point out that such assurances are meaningless and it was Thanet North MP, Sir Roger Gale, who with others, pointed-out that a challenge in the European Court was inveitable.

Some other details struck me, as MPs struggled to find consensus on vital details of the Bill. Firstly, that the legislation would now discriminate against heterosexual married couples in the conventional sense, because neither adultery, nor consummation, two important provisions of the Common Law in divorce proceedings, would have any bearing on gay marriage. This opens a legal can of worms because now one group is now 'more equal' than another, having no requirement for fidelity whilst enjoying the protection of both civil partnerships and soon, marriage.

A third point, is that the Bill, as argued by some MPs, now opens the door to polygamy, as seen in other countries with similar legislation and so there is no reason, why a marriage, under the Bill, could not involve, three or more partners, with full protection of their rights.

For many Conservative MPs, who expressed disquiet, it was not so much a matter of equal rights but rather, leaky legislation, introduced in haste and without any manifesto commitment and which delivers, at a stroke, an important goal of socialism, since Karl Marx and Lenin; The dissolution of the family unit as defined by marriage and replaced instead by the instruments of the State. This is what so many, with reference to George Orwell in the debate,  found so worrying, quite outside any discussion of equal marriage.

So back we go to Thursday night's important business at Thanet District Council, which is the 2013 - 2014 budget, where  and on what your Council Tax will be spent and indeed, whether there should be any increases. I for one think that's quite important but now and you guessed it, we have 'equalities and diversity' back on the agenda, as well as a couple of personal vendettas thrown in for good measure.

I spoke with the Council's Chief Executive this week, as have my colleagues and told her, that in my view, there was no good reason or purpose, in allowing the council chamber to descend, once again, into some frivolous and salacious dogfight on personal issues, when Thanet has so many more important challenges.

Labour, which holds the Chair of the Council, could of course reject such posing and posturing motions outright but for reasons best known to Clive Hart and Chair Doug Clark, they have been accepted into the business of the evening, perhaps to distract the public's attention away from any discussion of the budget or the Royal Sands development which share the same agenda.

I was censured and told last week, that by writing this weblog, I'm bringing the Council into disrepute, but it beggars belief that the minority administration continue to allow certain actors to turn the business of local government in Thanet, into a three ring circus as part of some sordid Faustian arrangement to cling on to power.

I think I may be courting trouble again....!


Chris Wells said...

We have here a government with no mandate for change or redefinition of marriage; that has ignored the biggest ever response to a petition on record; all ostensibly in the name of strengthening marriage. Marriage, and its automatic links to family and bringing up children in safety and security, has, at a stroke, been reduced to a utilitarian contract of comfort and mutual support between any two individuals. This has been undertaken in the name of equality, one of the many politically correct myths which surround so much of our public life today, which concentrates more on the grey uniformity of identical outcome rather than the harder and more honest task of recognising and embracing real, natural differences. In political terms, a conservative administration has finally given way to the socialist demand for the destruction of family life and family values which provide the greatest stumbling block to ensuring family and individual come before state. And yet you are surprised it leads to leading figures agonising about the abandonment of the values and principles by which many of their constituents have dedicated their whole lives?

Shame on our government and its willingness to destroy the uniqueness of the arrangements which underpin the most basic building block of our society, the family, and the marriage between a man and a woman which is its basis. There will be many out there this morning who feel far more betrayed by government, than any who cannot look beyond the editing of speeches to create headlines. The reality is that those who have been devastated by this change simply go about their daily lives as best they are able, forming the backbone of our stability and society.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that, with "equality", the basis for boring gay attention seeking behaviour will be gone. A bit like dealing with Oswald Mosley. He was rather fond of strutting about at rallies of men dressed in League of St George style homo erotic Germanic uniforms. The Gay Pride marches of their day. All would have been well except Oswald added politics to the mix. This led to the 1936 Public Order Act. This law says that it is an offence to dress up and parade in uniform for political purposes. Of course there was some thought given at the time to the "Nation of Islam" attendance at Stephen Lawrence roadshow events. Well nourished fellows wearing white shirts and red bow ties. "Bouncers at Mothercare" being typical of the British resilient humour evoked at the time. Having said that I would like to see a Gay Pride march occur at the War and Peace Show to act as a contrast to the usual SS re-enactors. I believe the Israeli Army sometimes has a presence at the show

Anonymous said...

Simon, well done, you are absolutely correct and your Blog on this is issue is excellent. There is no doubt Worrow and his "clan " will play the diversity card, Worrow in the meantime now uses his Twitter page to insult everyone who do not agree with his rhetoric.Roger Gale had the courage to stand up and represent the views of the electorate, Laura Sandys did not,
perhaps she is a TIG symphathiser!!. certainly Worrow will be trying to get her to join him in his crusade it would seem she has already done so.
Oh dear what a mess we are in, our local Council and now the Conservative Party.Time for UKIP

John Kirby said...

I agree with Chris Wells - it is a dog's dinner of a bill rushed through without giving full consideration to the outcome in the long term. To rub salt in the wound - David cameron did not turn up for the vote - I think that this decision will come back to haunt him - John Kirby

Disgusted of Thanet said...

Heard our diversity bod on Radio Kent on Tuesday phone in. He will never be 'equal' until he learns to express himself in clear, cogent language with no 'ems' and 'errs' and sorts out his stupid avoidance of questions.
Oh! He's a TD councillor. Seems they go with the territory whilst this shower of deadbeat turncoats are our legally elected representatives.

Bernie said...

This is a very good post, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Poligamy is alive and kicking already in Thanet. There are numerous Muslims living with up to 4 wives here, and claiming the benefits to support their families. Ironically, it is also the Muslims who defiantly stand against the Bill that would allow people like....oh, Warrow and Driver say, to marry !

Ian Driver said...

Anon for your information I am already happily married with kids and have no intention of marrying John Worrow or Roger Gale. But if Roger Gale or John Worrow want to have a gay marriage I am very pleased that the law will soon allow them to do this