How to vote is a riddle I‘ve got to solve before election day. After the publication of all the parties’ manifestos this week, I am no nearer to my eureka moment.
Spoiling my ballot paper may be my only option. I just feel like saying a plague on all your houses.
Particular shame should be heaped on the Conservatives and Lib Dems for their dishonesty in pretending to support marriage while they promote perverse and irrelevant gay agendas in its place. Labour, at least, has the dubious honesty of not even bothering to pay lip-service to marriage.
How the Conservatives can boast that their “marriage achievement” of the “historic introduction of gay marriage” strengthens marriage is more than rich, it is nigh on barmy. It does not strengthen it – neither on theoretical nor practical grounds. Gay marriage diminishes, if not negates, marriage’s real value and meaning.
This is apart from the fact that gay marriage is, and will continue to be, a minority activity – there have been around 1400 gay marriages since the law was changed, compared with 250,000 heterosexual marriages in any one year – and therefore is irrelevant to the vast majority of the population.
If that was not enough the manifesto crows: “But there is still more to do… we will continue to champion equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. We will build on the posthumous pardon of … Alan Turing … with a broader measure to lift the blight of outdated convictions of this nature” (p46).
Will we be pardoning the convicts sent out to Australia next? Why not?
But that I suspect is not the point of the Conservatives’ breast beating. It is about the ‘detoxification process’; about showing themselves not to be judgemental. It is also, I suspect, a general pressure to sanitise and legitimise gay culture, which is troubled by risky behaviours, higher levels of recreational drug use, hepatitis C infection – all problems that gay marriage sadly is unlikely to solve.
The current Conservative Party leadership has quite forgotten what marriage is about and for – an institution for children, not a designer accessory.
The Lib Dems are not content with the new status quo either. They want further marriage liberalisation : “We will … permit humanist weddings and opposite sex civil partnerships, and liberalise the rules about the location, timing and content of wedding ceremonies … promote international recognition of same sex marriages and civil partnerships as part of a comprehensive International LGBT Rights Strategy” (p107).
What is left for their next manifesto – for surely there is always room for further liberalisation – there always is. The mind boggles.
Why not forget about marriage entirely – like Labour, who do not even mention the institution in their manifesto. They just charge straight into the LGBT agenda:
“We will also build on our history of championing LGBT rights, tackling homophobia with tougher laws at home and greater engagement abroad (p67) …Labour will …appoint an International LGBT Rights Envoy and a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom (p81).”
Well that is just great. Where they propose to send their envoy first is anyone’s guess? Islamic State? Outside the PC EU, the UK will become an international laughing stock. No doubt like the chippy Francoise Holland, Mr Miliband will determinedly try to send a gay envoy as his emissary to the Holy See and put two fingers up to Pope Francis.
So what is wrong with Ukip, who are not promising any such treat? True, but the Ukip manifesto is a serious disappointment on marriage and the family.
A token nod in the direction of marriage – a promise to up the derisory transferable tax allowance by a derisory £500 – is all we get. Apparently, Ukip’s high command still has not grasped the cost of family breakdown – why UK workers are not up for UK jobs and why so many people are still benefit dependent or mentally ill.
Worse they have fallen for the LibLabCon childcare agenda hook, line and sinker and joined in with their combined purge of childhood. Shame on them. All I can say to any devoted Ukippers among our readers, please read Laura Perrins’ recent blog here on the subject and please follow through all the links to the relevant research. Then please tell your leaders why they need to plough their own furrow on this, just as they have on Brexit and immigration.
But for the several pages dedicated to this childcare panacea nonsense, Ukip would have definitely won my vote. Now I am not so sure.