Thomas Pascoe: Social conservatism under fire from Left and Right

Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester this month was a landmark moment in British political history. It marked the total rejection of social conservatism by the leadership of the party which once existed as its standard-bearer.
The Prime Minister opened her speech by talking about ‘the British dream’. Leaving aside those components taken wholesale from the 'American dream', the central idea was compassion understood in the modern sense: never saying no.

This limited sense of the word compassion is a modern curse. It teaches that all restrictions on one’s freedom to act in accordance with temporary will are evils. Governments attempt to legislate these evils away and in doing so destroy the inherited foundations of society, all of which are based on legitimate restrictions of action which result in the common good.

Not only has marriage been progressively diluted by the liberalisation of divorce and the admission of same-sex couples, but fundamental pillars of our society such as language are now threatened.

If it is possible to become a man or woman by an act of imagination then the words no longer have any agreed meaning. This is not the same as the organic change which naturally adjusts the meaning of words over time in a living language. Instead I mean that the state redefines words using the coercive force of hate-crime laws so that they have an opposite meaning to the one previously agreed.

This is the problem of government by lawyers. They believe that the impossible can be made possible through the statute book. Previously the phrase ‘two men married to one another’ would have been logically impossible as marriage was the word used to describe the lifelong union of a man and a woman. They think that by appropriating the word, the natural family unit changes too. It doesn’t. What has happened is that the word that described it has been confiscated by the state. This is now happening to women. A woman is born with female reproductive organs that would, under normal circumstances, allow her to give birth. If we say that the word ‘woman’ may now include a person born with a penis, we have not changed any of the facts of life, we have simply confiscated a useful word and made it meaningless by state decree.

Without common language, there can be no inherited knowledge. All of this we appear prepared to jettison because of our deeply unsophisticated concept of compassion.

Mrs May's dream is interesting for what it lacks. Absent are notions of sacrifice, duty and society in the broad and national sense as opposed to the narrow, sectional sense found in the word 'community'.

As the campaign director of the Coalition for Marriage, I found her treatment of marriage deeply troubling.

Same-sex marriage was held up as an exemplar of compassion by the Prime Minister. The implication was that the 669,000 people whose convictions led them to sign the Coalition for Marriage’s petition against same-sex marriage in 2014 are heartless.

This is a calculated insult which is astonishing from the mouth of a Conservative Prime Minister. It is a slur on a wide pool of people, many of whom have devoted their lives to the service of others.



It also thinks of marriage upside-down. Marriage as conceived by Mrs May is something that the individual extracts from society because society feels compassion for him or her. The historic understanding of marriage as a duty, one which confers obligations rather than rights and therefore can necessarily only be discharged by a man and a woman in balance, does not occur to her and appears to be alien to her system of thought.

I attended the conference for one evening to speak at a fringe event in opposition to no-fault divorce.

Two things struck me. The first was the undoubted presence of good, conscientious and morally conservative MPs, activists and supporters. They exist in the party in huge numbers and some are household names.

Our poll of 550 Conservative Party councillors found that nine in ten wanted the party to ditch the politically correct agenda and focus on the basics, while three in four wanted marriage prioritised in schools. Likewise three brave and principled MPs signed the Coalition for Marriage's joint letter to the Daily Telegraph objecting to Justine Greening's proposals to introduce children as young as five to homosexual and transgender relationships at school. On this website David T C Davies MP has acted with great integrity to challenge the latest transgender proposals from his own Government.

The question is whether these morally conservative voices have influence with the party leadership. Peter Hitchens has set out forcefully and convincingly his belief that the party has been organised in such a way that these voices will continue to be marginalised and while it is possible to conceive circumstances where this is not the case, much would need to change.

The second observation concerns what is now the Right wing of the party. Libertarianism is a perfectly credible political position but it is very different from social conservatism.

Listening those speaking at the conference from a libertarian perspective made me realise how close the moral position of the libertarians is to that of the Corbynites.

For both sets of people it is about having. One set has and resents any restriction on actions made open to it by the act of possessing. One set has not and wants to possess another's property in order that it too may have access to unrestricted action. Neither conceives its social role in terms of duty or draws upon a political motive deeper than selfishness.

Despite the unfashionable nature of social conservatism, it still has strong and broad popular support. The Coalition for Marriage, for instance, has more current supporters than either the Conservative Party or the Liberal Democrats. It is my responsibility to ensure that these voices carry.

But it is your responsibility, too. I often end talks by asking people to donate. Not necessarily financially, helpful though that is, but rather to donate their good name. Nothing is more powerful. People enjoy signing online petitions and reading blogs because they are anonymous. However, failing to stand up for these beliefs in person, awkward though it may be, has allowed the permissive echo-chamber to develop to such an extent that a Conservative Prime Minister has jettisoned social conservatism. It is time to argue back.

Thomas Pascoe

  • Bernard from Bucks

    “This is the problem of government by lawyers. They believe that the impossible can be made possible through the statute book.”
    It May have started earlier than you think?
    Like in 1885 when Gilbert wrote the words to the Mikado.

    “Our great Theresa, kind woman,
    When she to rule our land began,
    Resolved to try, a plan whereby
    Young men might best be steadied.
    So she decreed, in words succinct,
    That all who flirted, leered or winked
    (Unless connubially linked),
    Should forthwith be beheaded.
    And I expect you’ll all agree
    That she was right to so decree
    And I am right, and you are right,
    And all is right as right can be.”

    As we no longer have the death penalty, perhaps that could read ‘castrated’?

    The original was sung by Pish-Tush in Act 1 of the Mikado written by W.S.Gilbert in 1885. Apologies to Sir William (Schwenck).

  • Bogbrush

    I have no idea why same sex marriage bothers anyone. Why does it affect you if someone else calls their arrangement marriage and some other people recognise it as such? What skin is it off your nose?

    I keep on saying that if you don’t like what they’ve done to the word marraige, then develop a new one (it might be called “Church Marriage”, or if a Catholic then “Catholic Marriage”) which is distinct from the word marriage and immune from being co-opted. Relegate marriage to the class of Civil Partnerships, if that’s what makes you happy.

    So-called conservatives have got to get off this thing where they act like socialists and want to control other peoples lives. You say libertarians are like Corbynites; this is garbage, Libertarian principle is to leave people alone. It’s so-called social conservatives who are most like the socialists; you both want to impose your own World view onto others, you only disagree on the view.

    • Flaketime

      ‘Bogbrush’ There are several reasons why it bothers me, and most of them are completely unrelated to the usual Fascist view of that every one who opposes their insanity is a ‘bigot’, a fauxbik, or some other made up meaningless ‘ism’.

      Objection one:
      When Tony B Liar introduced civil partnerships which was never in a Labour manifesto, he made the categorical statement that a civil partnership would not lead to gay marriage, and yet again he lied and it did.

      Objection two
      Knowing it was unpopular Cameron (another liar) omitted from the Tory manifesto

      Objection three
      It isn’t an ‘equal’ parity with marriage as is claimed by several Fascists because several of the marriage vows are omitted because of the Gay lifestyle. Adultery is one example. If marriage is supposed to be a life partnership between two people with an exclusivity between the two then Gay marriage is not marriage at all.

      Objection four
      Too much is never enough for the Fascists and they are using gay ‘marriage’ as a tool to attack Christian institutions who do not believe in it. Note that they don’t attack any other religion they are united in the hatred of their own culture as in so many things. It is inevitable that the C of E will at some point succumb to the bullying making further mockery of their left wing church of socialism.

      Objection five
      Same sex couples are the only group who have the option of a civil partnership AND marriage. This is clearly unfair and yet nothing has been done about it.

      Objection six
      Ties in with your comment “Why does it affect you if someone else calls their arrangement marriage and some other people recognise it as such?” I could ask you the same question, what was so wrong with the civil partnerships which provided exactly the same provision ?

      We should stop pretending that the UK is a democratic country, because it clearly isn’t. It is a plutocratic 5 yearly dictatorship similar to the Soviet arrangement. Elections of approved candidates of the uni party stand and as they all say, there is more which unites them than divides them. We have no real choice, and we have no idea what they are going to do when they get into office. Gay marriage is a perfect illustration of that.

      To be a democracy there needs to be strict legal requirements that Manifestos are binding and anything not in a manifesto cannot be implemented without first asking the people in a referendum.

      For this reason Gay marriage is anti democratic !

      • Kaiser

        no sooner had we got civil partnerships, then we got gay marriage, then we jump on to transgenderism, im just wondering what will be next to be “normalised” and mainstreamed, polygamy or peadophila

      • Superb comment! To quote you, “Too much is never enough for the Fascists and they are using gay ‘marriage’ as a tool to attack Christian institutions…” sums up the whole issue in my view.

        To the “progressive” fascists, Gay Marriage is nothing more than a coercive political tool to outlaw the traditional moral framework (loosely ‘Judeo-Christian’ values) of our country, a social and moral framework that is completely contrary to their own totalitarian and oppressive ambitions for us as a nation. Forget “tolerance and diversity” – they want dissenters criminalized!

        • ale bro

          judeo-christian values are a nonsense. if the UK ever had any christian values, how come it profited on the enslavement of so many people for hundreds of years? is slavery a judeo-christian value?

          • Colonel Mustard

            The UK was not unique in that, either by race or by religion. But you and the rest of the useful idiots should be careful what you wish for.

          • ale bro

            the point is that it’s not possible to claim the moral high ground because of judeo-christian values. history can demonstrate that the british state has never held these dear.

          • Flaketime

            Unfortunately there are texts in the Bible which do talk about slavery without condemnation – but then again so does JK Rowling in Harry Potter!

            But yet again we have this tarring everyone with the same brush attitude, which is apparently unacceptable stereotyping when applied to any other ethnic group.

            The UK did not benefit from the slave trade, a few wealthy merchants did, plus a number of African tribes who sold them in the first place (Odd how that gets missed out isn’t it?)

            Back then there wasn’t the internet or any communication as such and the people didn’t learn about the horrors of the trade for some time. When they did learn of it though they quickly recoiled from it.

            Another victim of revisionism is the starving weavers of Lancashire who chose not to process slave picked cotton. Odd how you don’t hear about them isn’t it? So great was there commitment that Abraham Lincoln sent a message to them in Manchester which was read out at the Free Trade Hall. There is a statue to Lincoln in Brazenose Square commemorating this.

            If you feel that it’s fair to tar the whole UK with the slave trade then it’s every bit as fair to stereotype other ethnic groups the same way too.

          • I’m not going to get into that one with you here since it’s too off topic. I will just say that atheists casting moral judgements against the only concept (God) that makes objective morality logically possible is absolute nonsense and you are full of it!

            Perhaps add a few non-atheist propaganda books to your library!

          • Bik Byro

            Maybe you get off on the objective morality in Exodus where it gives advice on how to sell your daughter as a sex slave.

          • No I absolutely do not, and unsurprisingly you completely misunderstand the Biblical text, its point, historical setting and application. You do not understand the Bible so stop pretending you do!

          • Bik Byro

            Oh dear, triggered by someone pointing out an inconvenient truth. Now either you believe the bible is the word of god and to be taken in its entirety or you don’t.
            ““When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do”

          • Oh my word – all that is “triggering” me is your utter ignorance of the issues involved here which is literally the only reason you think you have a point here. Have you ever heard of the word “hermeneutics”…look it up! Let me give you a clue, not all the things written in the Bible apply in the same way to everybody, and some things no longer apply at all, and yet others only applied to a specific individual in specific circumstances! Your false dichotomy is an embarrassment to reason! I thought Dawkins encouraged his followers to ridicule Christians – it seems you’ve got everything backwards!

          • ale bro

            there’s nothing wrong with being full of nonsense – Edward Lear made a career out of it 😉

          • Bik Byro

            Even the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1980 was called Robert Runcible Spoon.

          • Bik Byro

            Heck yes! The bible is full of passages of how to handle slaves! It even gives advice on how to sell your own daughter as a sex slave.

      • Bogbrush

        Sorry, but I missed the bit where anything they do affects your ability to do what you want to. Exactly how does them calling their relationship “marriage” do anything to you?

        • Flaketime

          Bogbrush, that is not what you originally wrote, and if you are expecting a response based on you changing the question post response then you are being grossly unreasonable.

          If you had wanted an answer to that question then why didn’t you ask it in the first place?

          I notice also that you are unable to counter any of the objection I make so I will infer your acceptance of those points.

          Many things in life do not impinge upon me, yet I have an opinion on them How did Hitlers Nuremberg rallies affect anyone in the UK in their ability to ‘do what they wanted to do,? How did the great purges by Stalin or Mao’s cultural revolution ‘do anything to the vast majority of people in the UK.

          By your argument we should ignore everything going on around us if it doesn’t directly affect us, and the counter to that is why do so many over privilidged white Fascists need to constantly oppress the populace over things which don’t affect them one iota, and when they do affect them go to extraordinary lengths to make sure any effects are minimised.

          • Bogbrush

            That’s really silly, the principle of doing no harm is exactky on point. Them being ‘married’ doesn’t, mass murder does.

    • Simon Platt

      Marriage and the family are the fundamental building blocks of society. They have been or are being done away with. That affects us all.

      • Groan

        I don’t think they’ve been “done away with” because in fact people generally stubbornly carry on marrying and trying to form families and meet their aspirations. Although its not remotely true in law swathes of people also believe in “common law” marriage and actually believe and behave “married”. The most widespread benefit fraud is in fact where there are male partners but for “benefit reasons” the male partner is “invisible”. The truth is that people are busily trying to do “marriage” in the teeth of indifference and now outright hostility from our “leaders”.
        It is a real case of baby and bathwater as the political classes obsess about 2% of the population, which paradoxically they can only do because there is ,apparently, nothing more pressing to worry about.

      • Bogbrush

        I happen to agree that the traditional famiiy unit is the bedrock of well grown children.

        I just don’t see what a couple of queer guys living together with rings on their fingers as opposed to being in a civil partnership or just living together does to that.

        • Groan

          I think you’ve answered your own question here. the problem isn’t so much what people may call it, for Civil Partnerships were often called “gay marriage”. Its the legal institution; as what gets forgotten it that its more than a partnership between two lovers, as you say the legal framework of the “bedrock” of kinship and nurturance. Bizarrely in the actual Act this is still recognised as same sex couples can’t be adulterers.

        • Phil R

          A couple of queer guys with rings on their fingers, is an issue because by recognising the relationship formally the state is agreeing to the principle of I desire it, I want it, so it must be a legitimate desire.

          Now we have this in statute, then other far more off beat desires will be legitimised, as we see every day – on no sounder basis than desire itself and desire it seems alway trumps the impact on society.

          For this reason in the longer term the move to legitimise other relationships outside heterosexual marriage and to thereby change the nature of marriage, will go down in history as a rather foolish and short lived experiment. (As was the case in the USSR in the 1920s.)

          • Bogbrush

            How has it changed your marriage?

          • Phil R

            Oh where to begin. I am taxed more to pay for pensions for new spouses and medical treatment for those that get STDs or want bits of their genitals changed to reflect how they now feel. I will have increasing amounts of tax taken to pay for messed up kids brought up in non standard households. On the flip side my wife is not rewarded financially for bringing up children and her efforts are denigrated by the media and state schools who see her sacrifice in not perusing her career as foolish.

            Shall I go on? How about schools, the media, my passport even the new local toilets have a whoever sign on them

          • Such liberal libertarian island thinking. It’s not his marriage that is the discussion. It’s the institution which belongs to all.

          • Bogbrush

            So it’ll take it that it hasn’t.

            With respect, you can keep your institution to yourself.

        • Sargv

          > I just don’t see what a couple of queer guys living together with rings on their fingers as opposed to being in a civil partnership or just living together does to that.

          So, you are ok with their tantrum “We want to use the word ‘marriage’ for whatever type of relationships we have!”, but for some reason are not ok with the opposite side’s tantrum “we don’t want the word ‘marriage’ to be used in this way!” Why?

          • Bik Byro

            Fundamental christians may feel that a word which they personally defined in a particular way has been “hijacked” and they go rushing to the bible.

            But the bible also says
            (1) Disabled people cannot get into heaven (Leviticus)
            (2) A man who has had an operation for testicular cancer cannot get into heaven (Deuteronomy)
            (3) You should discipline your children by throwing them against a stone wall (Psalms)
            (4) Women cannot pray to god unless they have a hat on (Corinthians)
            (5) If your brother dies you should go round and have sex with his wife (Mark)

          • And here we go…blinded by your hatred of the Christian God! You do not understand the Bible, nor Christianity so stop making “arguments” based on your own flawed understanding of the Christian God. You have bought the Dawkins’ delusion hook, line and sinker and it is corrupting everything you believe.

          • Bik Byro

            Now that would be the christian god that you think is personal, all-compassionate and all-caring. The same one that lets children suffer in pain all day in cancer wards despite the fact that apparently not only does he care, he could do something about it.

          • You think you care more about suffering children than God – YOU ARE WRONG! Why don’t you try reading a book by someone who doesnt hate God as much as you. On the surface of it you ask a very valid question, but guess what, there are many valid answers that you will never know, because you don’t care enough to know!

          • Bogbrush

            Because they’re not trying to impose on you by using it but you are trying to impose on them by wanting them not to.

        • Simon Platt

          Marriage is not a private thing.

          • Bogbrush

            Well other than we told everyone we were doing it, Mrs Bogbrush and I kept the details private.

        • Little Black Censored

          Agreed, let them get on with it. But don’t alter the laws and even our mother-tongue for their convenience.

    • Colkitto03

      It certainly does seem to have become a vast distraction for many conservatives. Its a battle that cant be won and I am sure those who promote it, love the consternation it causes and the diversion of the argument..
      If the same time and thought was put into strengthening marriage (of all types) then that would be a much more powerful for conservative beliefs.
      The focus should be on a really significant married tax allowance but that is hardly discussed.

      • Groan

        This has always been deeply perplexing as in most of our neighbouring countries from the most socially conservative to the most left leaning (even feminist Sweden) marriage is thusly taken seriously and tied to bringing up the next generation. The UK is actually pretty unusual in it’s determination not to recognise marriage as part of family formation and give concessions on the presumption that it materially assists the cohesion and future of their society.
        I myself think on a selfish note marriage is in fact a poor “deal” for men however I can’t deny the huge weight of evidence that the “institution” has much wider benefits for us all and our future.

      • Little Black Censored

        “…strengthening marriage (of all types)…”
        “Of all types” is a strange and perhaps question-begging phrase.

        • Colkitto03

          True. Sometimes in life we have to take the good with the bad.

    • Bik Byro

      Your last paragraph deserves a thousand upticks.

    • Frank

      Given that this govt cannot fight its way out of a paper bag (eg Brexit negotiations), given that virtually all of the normal aspects of Govt appear beyond it (eg control of borders, the right to expel who it wants, an adequately functioning health service, adequate provision of low cost housing, protecting the nation from crime and terrorism, etc, etc, etc) this entire debate is just distraction politics – equivalent to discussing the thread used in the deck-chair coverings on the Titanic. A big part of the problem is that 40+ years of EU membership appears to have atrophied our Govt departments and reduced the quality of our MPs to the level of councillors in some minor council.

      • Bik Byro

        It’s distraction politics – but great clickbait for this site. TCW knows that all it has to do is write an article on same sex marriage and all the colonel blimps will come frothing in.

      • Phil R

        It is not a side issue and a fundamental aspect of our society.

        We can build our lovely house, free of the EU etc but we have decided to dig away at the foundations. So no matter how beautiful the house is, no matter how much money we borrow from our children to pay for it, it will constantly collapse.

        And we will wonder why…..

    • “Why does it affect you if someone else calls their arrangement marriage and some other people recognise it as such? What skin is it off your nose?”

      You answer your own question! As much as I hate socialism, some things are “social” and language by definition is one of these things. Progressives, and leftists in general, use language as a political weapon against opponents and you seem to be in complete denial of this reality.

      Laws (also social) are written in language (unsurprisingly), language that is being deceitfully reshaped by progressives to attack their political enemies. Other obvious cases in point are “diversity”, “equality” and “extremist” which have very serious legal implications. You need only look at the news to see how these words are being redefined to attack dissenters from progressive dogma. You seem to value freedom which I applaud but on this is you need to seriously WAKE UP!

      • Bogbrush

        Oh come on, inverting the meaning of words like equality and tolerance is nothing like this. Like I say below, a couple of queer men or ladies in comfortable shoes wearing rings does nothing to undermine the nuclear traditional family.

        If you want clear water between you and them and you base that view on religion then declare your definition to be “Seriously Christian Marriage” and have it blessed by the Pope or whoever and then you can relegate their version to the 2nd division.

        • Groan

          Actually “their version” is a second division as the Act recognises that there can be no consummation and no “issue” from the union of same sex couples. Though I take the point that the numbers are so small as to be negligible.

          • ale bro

            honestly who cares about the consummation of marriage? what happens in the bedroom of a married couple is a private matter and hardly relevant to prurient voyeurs.

            some people have medical conditions that mean penetrative sex is not possible, but they can still marry no problem.

          • Groan

            Well no one does. The point isn’t the sex but the procreation, as we have a whole set of social institutions, inheritance, parental responsibility, “next of kin” well the ramifications are legion. All built on establishing the genetic kinship. “Consummation” was the best they had though I suppose now DNA testing is more reliable (maybe it should be compulsory to be sure). Its why there is a whole legal process to Adopt, because simply deciding to look after a child isn’t enough to transfer all the roles, responsibilities, etc. There is a huge structure built upon the presumed genetic relationships. It is why for instance all parents don’t have to formally Adopt their genetic children in order to confer on them all the rights or exercise all the parental responsibilities.
            One could take the socialist view that all children belong to society and are the responsibility of all, but that is a whole different society to the one we have.

        • No, I am afraid I cannot just “come on”! Redefintions of equality, diversity, extremism and marriage all are so obviously part of the same totalitarian progressive agenda that to say otherwise is to bury your head in the sand – which is effectively what you are asking me to do!

          Whilst I appreciate the comedic value of “Seriously Christian Marriage” you cannot be serious – yet you suggest, in all seriousness, that the supporters of “non-redefined marriage” must come up with a new name! I suppose you are also happy with the redefinition of woman to include men who dress as women and supporters of non-redefined women must also come up with a new name too? IT IS ALL THE SAME ISSUE!

          Marriage was not redefined by majority vote, it was done by arch-progressive David Cameron totally apart from his election manifesto and popular will. Its establishment as law was political chicanery, fundamentally anti-British and anti-democratic…but who cares I should just “come on”! Please!

          • Bogbrush

            No, you don’t have to come up with a new name. You can carry on calling it marriage. You just seem a bit upset at other people choosing to call their arrangement by the same name, and other people accepting it.

            It’s really none of your business. The Seriously Christian Marriage was just a suggestion to help, feel free not to use it, but feel not free to make everyone else live the life you choose.

        • Tricia

          Myprevious reply to you was blocked presumably because it was too s.xually explicit. Amusing as I was pointing out the repercussions of Same Sex Marriage on our children. These are the radical sex education programmes because “marriage is marriage” and hold the same “rights”. Stonewall is embedded in our Education Department.
          They have not rolled it out quite yet but a look at Canada and the number of parents now home schooling to avoid their children being s.xualised at a young age is instructive. At the moment a school in America has got parents rattled with their fully I strive programme on “how to” enjoy all sorts of perversions. And of course it’s with everyone as you might be a girl or a boy tomorrow.

          • Bogbrush

            None of which has anything to do with the word used to describe the relationship between two adults of the same sex.

          • Tricia

            Marriage accords legitimate status. Gays were never interested in marriage – they said it was for boring people. It was never a grass roots movement. In fact a number of gay men spoke out against.
            Same sex marriage accords the legitimacy for the radical sex education. The sex education follows Same sex marriage as night follows day. Canada allowed same sex marriage in 2005. In Ontario they have a rights activist lesbian mayor and she has put into place a radical sex education programme which was written by someone who has now been charged with paedophilia. No wonder so many parents are now home schooling.

          • Bogbrush

            What, so they all think with one mind?

            You’re conflating non-interference with someone’s life with all this other stuff. Do you suggest that homosexual sex be made illegal? Based on your connecting of marriage to all that other stuff, that would seem logical.

      • Groan

        Quite the point about “marriage” for the cultural Marxists is that to appropriate the term is to assist in the dissolution of the institution. Simply establishing a “civil partnership” to deal with all practical aspects of a partnership was not enough because although it could deal with all practical aspects it would in fact leave untouched the social institution of “marriage”. In a sense the cultural Marxists have a fuller analysis of marriage and their target is the kinship bonds and multigenerational aspects of the institution, the practical aspects are of minor importance to them. So the libertarian conservatives to the work of the cultural Marxists to enable “love” to be recognised. And in doing so they weaken the bonds the cultural Marxists recognise are the “glue” that holds societies together.

    • Sargv

      > I keep on saying that if you don’t like what they’ve done to the word marriage, then develop a new one

      I just gave the name Bogbrush to a new type of nasal polyps I discovered. If you don’t like the association, you are free to change your name.

      • Bogbrush

        None of my business, you use the words you want to as you wish. Why should I care?

        Many marriages are childless and suffer infidelity. That said, set your own expectations.

    • Your last paragraph can be said of libertarians too.

  • Alan Llandrindod Wells

    There are minimal Conservative MP’s of any meaningful description.
    Major and Cameron stuffed the constituencies with wasters like themselves.

    Very few have had a proper job.
    These Blairites have hi-jacked the party.
    Cameron and Osborne worshipped Blair.

    Theresa May is useless.

    “Bilderberg” Clarke is a danger to himself,and everybody around him.
    Even Clegg descibed him as another Lib-Dem in the cabinet.

    Why vote Conservative?

    • grumpyashell

      Correct….the Conservative Party is not conservative,it has been taken over by a Blairite social democratic mob . The Conservative constituencies should take back control of who they choose as an MP, head office has to be reformed and not be so controlling…that would be a start.

      • Shazza

        What a choice of political parties we have to vote for.

        A Party who wishes to overthrow the democratic vote of 52% of the population.
        A Party who wishes to transform the UK into an Islamic Venezuela.
        A Party who will inter you for viewing ‘Far Right’ sites.

        “That’s it Folks”

  • Stinky Britches

    The Great LabLabCon: the illusion of democracy.

  • Jolly Radical

    The Daily Telegraph ran an article last week calling for “the right to sibling marriage.” This was by a single mother whose sister had moved in with her and helped to raise her child for twenty years.

    The argument is that these two women suffer discrimination because, if they were married, their tax affairs would be simpler and inheritance tax could in some circumstances be avoided.

    And so there is an endless permutation of potential marriages which could be entered into, entirely separate from the original function. For example, if a business owner is unmarried and childless, why not marry their business partner to reduce tax complications on death? And so on.

    • Groan

      It is indeed an “unholy” mess in every sense. For as a commenter reminds us “gay” couples can freely be adulterers because they can’t consummate the marriage. Just a reminder that the point that marriage is formed in expectations of family formation, in effect its part of a wider network including “future” junior partners who’ll need nurturance.
      If its just about a partnership, like the aptly named civil partnership, well then it could include two relatives, same sex, multiple partners (I really can’t think of any reason not to recognise polygamous marriages now). If the state had simply decided to provide a legal framework for “friends” to form small legal entities for property, tax and inheritance purposes that’s fine really.
      But that is quite different from a social institution to provide security to kinship and generational structures. Hence in divorce that that “ancillary relief” is separate from the actual “marriage” as its supposed to be about more than just the “dosh” .

    • Bogbrush

      That’s what happens when the State gets involved. I never did understand why marriage got tax breaks.

      • Groan

        The rationale in most European countries is because it presumes married couples may incur additional expense in preparing for and nurturing the next generation. In general brought in and sustained as part of policies to maintain population numbers in societies that attracted few immigrants and often had net emigration. On a practical level only in the mid-nineties did the UK fleetingly project population decline. However most European nations , without any post imperial influx, have had sustained concerns about population decline or stagnation from the mid sixties. It is probably one of the key “incomprehension’s” between ourselves and our EU neighbours most are concerned about population numbers from a completely different perspective. Smaller nations in particular have this as very explicit objective.
        Of course whether its actually effective in encouraging population growth is another issue.

      • Tricia

        It got tax breaks because it is the most cost effective running of a country. My family cost the Government nothing other than the tax allowance. A mother and father caring and paying for the needs of their children is a light footprint on society. A dysfunctional society that we have now with single parent households, absent fathers and the need for housing benefit and all the other benefits had a huge cost on the state.
        Marriage is a natural relationship which acknowledges the importance of the structure of family and genealogical links.

        • Bogbrush

          Those are personal choices and nobody else should pay for them.

          I’m a massive fan of the normal family but I’m not a fan of paying people to do it. It’s their choice.

          • Sargv

            Are you saying that child rearing is purely the personal choice, and have not a hint of civic responsibility?

            Do I understand correctly that you are not planning on ever using universal healthcare service or receiving the state pensions or any other form of state-provided benefits after you retire (as those are paid from taxes collected from someone else’s children)? Because most people would. Effing hypocrites.

          • Bik Byro

            Well, until children are old enough to leave school, Bogbrush, like me and you, will be paying for their education, their healthcare, possibly their school meals, and their parent’s monthly child allowances. So, not a hypocrite at all.

          • Sargv

            Which kinda resonates with my point: raising children is a civic duty, and so is paying taxes.

            Although I’d love a world where both are lifestyle choices!

          • Bik Byro

            Me too.

          • Bogbrush

            Yes, exactly. Bringing up your own child is your primary purpose and entirely for your own self fulfilment. I’m pleased for you but you’re not doing me any favours.

            I have already paid enough tax to fund all my healthcare needs for 20 years. It’s ok, don’t mention it.

          • Phil R

            Already paid enough tax etc.

            Except the reality is….

            All the money in the world is no use to you if there is no one there willing to work for it

          • Bogbrush

            Just correcting the last guy that said I relied on taxes from other people’s children.

          • Phil R

            You do, or will. If you want a functioning society when you are old then you will need younger people.

            Unless you intend to run the who country with over 65s keep ISIS at bay wing mobility scooters.

          • Bogbrush

            There’s always other humans with whom to trade. That’s just a bit different from my being obliged to pay people to reproduce.

          • Phil R

            Always humans with whom to trade…………..

            Right

          • Bogbrush

            You’re suggesting an alternative?

          • Phil R

            If it is in our interest for a particular course of action to be taken

            Then we need to provide incentives

          • Bogbrush

            I don’t think people need incentives to breed, they’ve been hard at it for millions of years.

            As for your idea, very socialist. Very central planning. Tractor quotas next I suppose.

          • Phil R

            State sponsored breeding………

            Perhaps not

            State sponsored murder anyone?

            But we have that already.

            Since 1967 anyway

          • Bogbrush

            Sponsored, or just not prohibited?

            Not a fan of abortion myself, but it’s not really on topic.

          • Probably do better than the police are. But then, I’m reminded of Iowa’s Greybeard regiment in our civil war, whose average age was about 50, old enough that not one of them was born in Iowa, and campaigned all through the south. If memory serves, about half a dozen had had grandsons in other regiments. No mobility scooters needed, they walked like any other infantry, leaning perhaps occasionally on their muskets.

  • Jeremiah Jones

    Sorry, your title is wrong. Social conservatism is under fire from the Left and Left. There is no “Right” wing in politics today, it doesn’t exist. The state may have appropriated words like “marriage” or “woman” so that they become meaningless; in just the same way the “Conservative” party has appropriated a political label so that it, too, has become meaningless, and the Tories can pretend to be “conservative” whilst acting as anything but.

    It’s high time this was recognised and natural social conservatives started acting accordingly. Vote *against* your values and interests ? The only reason natural conservatives continue to vote Tory is that they have been very successfully duped. Want to vote positively *for* something, not against ? Sorry, that option does not exist at present. And whilst the Tory party continues to block the road, no conservative options will be on offer.

  • Excellent article! Thank you for all the work you are doing to preserve this foundational institution of British society!

  • Without good reason did Russell Kirk point out that libertarianism is the Marxism of the Right. They are wedded to ideological utopianism and worship of Ludwig Von Mises mirrors the Lefts worship of Marx.

    • Bik Byro

      Indeed. Without any good reason at all.

  • Bik Byro

    Oh, hullo, I see that tired old same-sex-marriage drum has been wheeled out for its daily banging on the conservative woman website.

    The rest of us are worried out job security, home ownership, prosperity, national security, terrorism, effects on infrastructure by immigration, good health and a robust justice system … but hey, lets get that tired old drum out yet again because we know it’s reliable clickbait for the usual suspects.

    • MrVeryAngry

      Because marriage is fundamental to society. We do not live in a society of individuals we live in a family society. An assault on marriage is an assault on society.

      • rbw152

        Exactly. These things may sound superficial to people who don’t understand their importance but they are often the bedrock of the society which all of us enjoy living in here in this country.

        Those who think themselves ‘liberal’ may not be aware of how they are being co-opted into the agenda of more sinister types from the far left who subscribe to the ‘critical theory’ way of thinking, where everything is challenged, changed or discarded altogether – for the sake of it. Thus our society’s foundations are deliberately undermined, all in the name of ‘progress’.

        The problem with that approach is that the baby is often thrown out with the bath water and the law pf unintended consequences can have very negative effects as the framework of our society is eroded away bit by bit.

        Not that liberals would ever admit to anything like that being their fault though. The first law of being on the left and liberal is: ‘we are never wrong’.

      • Bik Byro

        I know, but reading this site, you’ve got to agree that this particular subject takes up a ridiculously over-proportionate amount of space.

    • Sargv

      > The rest of us are worried out job security, home ownership, prosperity, national security, terrorism, effects on infrastructure by immigration, good health and a robust justice system…

      If you are worried about all those things first, how did you end up on CW’s website? You should try, I don’t know, Financial Times maybe.

      • Little Black Censored

        And “the rest of us” is a rather presumptuous phrase.

      • Bik Byro

        Well, like you, it’s a bit of a pastime. I had hoped for a wider range of discussion topics, but TCW have latched onto what they know is good clickbait, so expect to see a daily vomit of (1) same-sex-marriage, (2) BBC TV licences, (3) transgender kids and (4) someone from the church of England doing something trivial.
        Because according to TCW – these are the FOUR TOP ISSUES in Britain today!!

    • Tricia

      I don’t know if you have any children in your family. If you do not then your laid back attitude to same sex marriage is fine.
      If you do have some children in your family, it maybe an idea to look up Respect and Warwickshire as it will bring up the new SRE programme for schools. The Trojan horse of same sex marriage has enabled this sexualisation of children.

      • Bik Byro

        Why should having children in my family make any difference to my opinion at all? The fact that you think it should speaks volumes about you.

  • Aethelflaed

    Quite frankly I have not interest in what Teresa May says; she is a temporary Prime Minister to whom history will not be kind. Neither do I have any time for her bunch of ‘right on’ wrecking Ministers. The Government do not get to say how we live our lives, or what is in our hearts. Many of us are already standing up for ‘our’ values, and will resist any and all attempts to change them by force. This has never been a successful policy, and the weak and wimpish May will have no more success than others before her. Carry on the good work Mr Pascoe, thousands of us daily live out ground up social conservatism whilst the wittering of the heretics gets less and less audible. If they had sense they see that they push their utopian views, at the same time as it is becoming plain that such ideas are a total disaster – people are not that daft.

  • MrVeryAngry

    The writer has got it wrong about Libertarians. Libertarianism is about self ownership but not selfishness. And property rights and the rule of law and personal responsibility. Marriage is a contract. Libertarians respect private contracts.

  • MikePage

    To understand why one can be both socially conservative and libertarian, one has only to look back to the Epicureans: hedonism has limits. No-one likes hangovers. And to inflict a social hangover on your children by your own actions is indefensible.

  • Matt

    I’ve never understood traditional social conservatism in most regards. What business is it of yours if two men can marry?

    However the latest developments are worrying. The old battle that is is sexist to say “postman” was stupid, but the latest change that treats “gender fluidity” as normal is sinister.

    If you want to wear your wife’s knickers that’s fine. I’ll even call you Doris if you prefer, but you cannot expect society to treat you as a woman.

    • Sargv

      > What business is it of yours if two men can marry?

      What business is it of yours if an established University grants a diploma to a person, who never set foot in it?

      It devalues the institution and your trust in it.

      What is marriage? Does it imply fidelity? No. Does it imply life-long commitment? Does it imply raising children? No. What is it then? A word with no meaning. Why the state mentions it in laws? I assume only to keep gay people happy.

      • Matt

        Marriage isn’t an achievement that stands somebody apart in some regard – it’s a mutual agreement between two individuals. The University parallel does not track.

        I don’t see why children or fidelity come into it. There is no reason why gay marriage cannot have fidelity other than in a bizarre interpretation of the word. Many straight marriages do not have fidelity. Many straight marriages do not have children.

        By your logic, should barren women or seedless men be legally allowed to marry? How about an age limit so you can’t be wed after your child bearing years?

        What’s wrong with making gay people happy if it doesn’t affect anybody else?

        If your marriage less valid because gay marriage is now a thing? Has your wife started getting a portion from the postman because “Hey, why not, if the gays can marry I might as well.”?

        • Tricia

          Marriage is a bond between a man and a woman. There was a an old song “love and marriage goes together like a horse and carriage” – it is a complementary natural union between male and female which produces new life. 2 horses or 2 carriages do not perform the same function. If the union does not function fully and produce a family, it does not negate the union as it is an anomaly.
          The bond is a physical Union as well as an emotional Union and fidelity in that union is about not breaking the bond – committing adultery. A same sex couple cannot consummate and make the union and therefore they cannot commit adultery.
          Same sex marriage is a non marriage and is a political concept.
          I am not opposed to civil partnership, which allows all the legal protections necessary,

          • Matt

            Marriage is a bond between a man and a woman because anything else was unfathomable when the concept was created. As homosexuality is no longer illegal in this country, it is only right that the definition of marriage be corrected to include the (fairly) newly legalised practice.

            So childless straight marriages are fine, but childless gay marriages are not? Bizarre.

            A same sex couple can consummate a marriage. To pretend otherwise is silly.

            If you want to go down that road, straight marriage is a political concept too. Just a bit older.

          • Sargv

            > As homosexuality is no longer illegal in this country, it is only right that the definition of marriage be corrected to include the (fairly) newly legalised practice.

            Sorry, I can’t follow the logic here. So, because we decriminalised sex between men (platonic love was never criminalised in the first way, only sexual intercourse was), we should now allow them to marry? Why? What logical link is there between the sexual intercourse and marriage? Do you consider one to be sinful without another? Should we allow men and women to marry sex toys?

          • Matt

            Being a “practicing homosexual” was illegal. It’s now not.

            As it’s now a legal and accepted part of life and we now accept that some people are that way, then why not. It’s only a logical extension.

            The main question is why do you care? In what way does it affect you if a very small percentage of married couples are gay?

            The answer is it doesn’t. So why not just let it be?

          • Sargv

            > The main question is why do you care?

            I don’t care about homosexual couples a single bit. I care about the state telling me how to call certain things and how to feel about certain events.

            If two gay men or women decide to call their partnership “marriage” between them – and maybe their willing friends – I’d be okay with it. Heck, I can even be among those friends!

            But if it is the state that tells me: “this is how you call that type of contractual obligations between those two people OR ELSE” – well, my lips automatically form to say “f-you” the same instant. What can I say, I am a very disagreeable person.

          • Tricia

            You obviously have not read The Same Sex Marriage Act of Parliament. The Act specifies that a same sex couple cannot consummate but are married, a heterosexual couple must consummate (as has always been the case in English law – or the marriage may be annulled). It also specifies that a same sex couple cannot be accused of adultery (as they have not consummated), but of course a heterosexual couple can use this for grounds of divorce (in fact it used to be the only grounds for divorce).
            Natural marriage is not a political concept as it is a natural function of life and kinship and has been forever.
            The legal gymnastics needed to bring about same sex marriage are clear for all to see in the Act. In fact if divorce had not been made easier, same sex marriage would not have been foisted on us.
            The 1967 Act decriminalised homosexual activity provided it was with a consenting adult, in a private place and the legal age was 21 years. This in no way places the relationship on a par with a heterosexual relationship. In fact the dangers to young men involved in this lifestyle should be taught more openly.

          • Matt

            Of course I haven’t.

            Legal wrangling aside, it makes no difference to you, to me or to any other straight person if two gay men get married.

            That is the basis upon which I have decided that it is immoral to prevent it.

          • Tricia

            Then you made a wrong choice. Because the effects are to be felt on the next generation.
            Is it not immoral for a child to be deprived of a father by 2 women who want to be put on the birth certificate as parents. What about the judge who now has to preside over their split (lesbians don’t seem to have long lasting relationships according to statistics 85 percent divorce rate in Canada). These 2 women have ensured parentage by using an egg from one woman and had it fertilised and implanted in the other woman (true story) – the judge has to decide who is the mother and should have custody.
            Is it not immoral that a child should intentionally be made motherless by 2 men who have decided to have a child by paying a woman to carry a fertilised parcel (not her egg) for them? Dolce and Gabbana, who are gay men, certainly thought it was horrendous to deprive a child of a mother as shown by their public spat with Elton John.
            Every child has the right to know their genealogy and parentage enshrined in The UN rights of the child. This is being flouted by virtue signalling Governments.

          • Groan

            I think what people miss is that it isn’t just “a bond between a man and a woman” it is also a bond between kinship groups and wider society. It is “witnessed” precisely because it isn’t a private affair between just two people. Of course religious people believe it is also witnessed by God. But at a prosaic level it iis more than a simple partnership. An awful lot of our social structure is built around it being far more than “just two people who love each other”.

          • Tricia

            Yes. I think trying to differentiate between religious marriage and civil marriage is not viable. Until 2014 we had Marriage in this country – Christian marriage defined by Jesus in Matt 19 between one man and one woman, the two shall become one flesh and what God has joined together let no one separate. The only case for divorce stated in Matt 19 is adultery (which has been watered down over recent years). So for 1500 years we have had this understanding of marriage in England and most of the western world. Polygamy has not been part of our culture. The western world has thrived under this system. In 2014 Cameron did not bring in equal marriage, he brought about 2 definitions of marriage – in fact he corrupted the word marriage.
            We were told we were horrible unloving people who were preventing 2 people who lived one another to marry. As soon as the ink was dry the wording changed to the rights of the LGBT – I was so dumb I had to look up what it meant! So what was for 2 people is now about the B’s who obviously need more than 2 to tango and the T’s who aren’t sure what they are.
            You can see what it’s really all about if you look up Respect and Warwickshire (sorry I’m not good at links) . It’s about getting to our children and sexualising them at a young age. Look up this SRE for Warwickshire schools and see what they think us appropriate for 7 year olds. Home schooling is going to become the only option.

        • Sargv

          > Marriage isn’t an achievement that stands somebody apart in some regard – it’s a mutual agreement between two individuals.

          Is it? For absolute majority of people, marriage is not a contract (a defined legal document that outlines mutual liabilities and such), but a set of expectations dictated by tradition.

          Fidelity is certainly one of them: if you commit an adultery and try to excuse yourself by stating that it was never directly forbidden anywhere in your marriage certificate, there’s a fat chance you’ll get an instant divorce – and probably a well-deserved slap in the face.

          The potential of having children is another expectation (that it might not be realised due to various factors is another thing) – generally, a woman would assume your volition to raise children with her if you marry her, unless you specifically stated otherwise.

          > There is no reason why gay marriage cannot have fidelity other than in a bizarre interpretation of the word.

          I never said that gay marriage cannot have fidelity. But imagine that it don’t. Would you consider a gay marriage with casual and constant infidelity to still be a normal, proper marriage? Because if you do, than I am right on the point that marriage does no longer imply fidelity.

          > By your logic, should barren women or seedless men be legally allowed to marry?

          That depends on how precise you want to define the word “marriage” and associated words like “family”. If you say that “marriage is what makes family, and family is what raises children” – than yes, we might as well avoid calling childless partnerships “marriages”. But that would be a rather purist definition.

          If, on the other hand, you think that marriage is nothing more than a weird contractual agreement with no expectations besides those on the statues, – nobody should be banned from getting married. But then who would? Marriage without the associated traditions and expectations is absolutely idiotic institutions with a possibility of life-long self-induced financial servitude inflicted by the whim of the opposite party.

          By granting marriage to gay men, you make heterosexual men to be more stubborn about marrying heterosexual women (due to all the implicit traditional benefits of marriage disappearing), hence reducing fertility and increasing anxiety and unhappiness among both genders. What for?

          • Matt

            Why don’t we just pretend that gay men are people just like us, who can love each other in the same way that we can love the opposite sex?

          • Sargv

            > Why don’t we just pretend that gay men are people just like us, who can love each other in the same way that we can love the opposite sex?

            Are you saying there can’t be love without marriage then?

          • Matt

            I’m saying you people are acting like gay people are just getting married for a laugh.

          • Sargv

            For a laugh? Nah. Show the middle finger to “bigots and reactionaries”? That might be a reason.

            What is exactly they are risking with, anyway? Nothing. Because marriage is an empty word.

        • Little Black Censored

          “Is your marriage less valid because gay marriage is now a thing?”
          Obviously not, but the language is debased and the right word emptied of its meaning; that in itself is a sort of crime.

      • Bogbrush

        Exactly, it’s not my business if a Unuversity does this. I am free to tell other people that they have a completely devalued product and never set foot in it, but it’s up to them if that’s what they want to do.

        This freedom thing means minding your own business and taking responsibility for what you do.

    • Royinsouthwest

      What business is it of yours if two men can marry?

      Are you seriously claiming that the overwhelming majority of people who had ever lived since the dawn of civilisation, and probably before, did not regard marriage as a heterosexual union? Do you know better than all of them?

      • Matt

        No. Nowhere in any of what I have written do I even hint at any of what you said.

        The change that has happened is that homosexuality has only relatively recently been legalised.

        • Sargv

          Homosexuality per se was never criminalised. Same sex sexual intercourse was. Which makes “this is love” vector of public campaign for decriminalisation a bit laughable: “guys, a lot of people can experience love without fellàtio and ànal sex. Those are NOT the only ways to show your love, you know.”

  • osho

    How do you destroy a society from within? You must first dismantle the family, the only protection an individual born into the world has against all the forces that threaten his/her existence. This includes destroying the bond between the parents, then the state intruding into child-rearing, then society deciding that other than sperm donation, fatherhood has no meaning, following which everything that individuals learn from fathers: relationship between effort and reward, transgressions and punishment needs to be broken. Once marriage and family become meaningless terms and the institutions just instruments of oppression, you have started the process that will destroy that society. You have changed all that is good and worth conserving

    History will look back in surprise at how conservatives destroyed what they were set out to preserve.

    I am non-White. But I get no pleasure in the death of White culture. Just an immense sadness and a dread of what will follow

    • Colonel Mustard

      To see what will follow watch the film “Alone in Berlin”. The supreme irony is that”anti-fascists” will bring us to that.

      • osho

        I love the book, now will watch the movie.

  • Nockian

    This is pretty good as an article. The author recognises that libertarians are materialist whim worshippers in much the same sense as socialists and that Conservatives are really a quasi religious sect which applies duty and sacrifice to what it considers a far nobler cause than libertarianism/socialism.

    Neither can I argue with a religious sect that disagrees with same sex marriage. That is a wholly appropriate stance to take. Although it should be noted that it is the state which issues the marriage license and not the church.

    Hitchens was indeed right, that Conservatism needs to stand by its principles and those are faith, tradition and Christian family values. That is something long denied by people on here. Hitchens was also right that a Labour Party espousing socialism is a solid position. Let’s get rid of this centrism, pull back the curtains and have honest political parties adhering to the principles they espouse. Then we may have a legitimate case for true alternatives, rather than the weak paucity of choice at present.

  • RationalSpeculation

    I’m not sure that “libertarians support gay marriage” needs to be a given. A libertarian could perfectly validly have objected to the gay marriage vote on the grounds that as a contract between consenting individuals the state has no right to interfere. Equally, one could argue that the vote served to change the meaning of a commonly understood English term which is not the job either of Parliament or the government as they have no right to regulate language.

    • Sargv

      > A libertarian could perfectly validly have objected to the gay marriage vote on the grounds that as a contract between consenting individuals the state has no right to interfere.

      The problem with that point is, while two men may call a certain contract “a marriage”, other people doesn’t have to view it as such, as they are not a party to that contract. By adopting gay marriage, the state harasses all people into accepting a certain name for a certain type of private interaction. State enforces the meta-contract to respect other people’s private contracts on all the population. I hope you will agree that such an action is absolutely opposite to libertarian concepts.

      • RationalSpeculation

        I do agree. I think my use of “interfere” was perhaps open to misconstrual. I meant it in the sense of “give approval to”. If the government has no right to approve of transactions between consenting adults, a forieri, it cannot mandate their approval by others.

      • Bogbrush

        I’m perfectly happy for you to refuse to recognise gay people as being married. It’s entirely up to you.

        This is why I keep asking opponents of it to explain how it has diminished their own lives. Nobody has said how or explained this yet.

        • The Duke of Umberland, England

          We Judaeo-Christians are marginalised on the street corner (arrested); at universities (expelled); in our Bed and Breakfasts (fined); magistrates (sacked); employment(degraded); foster parents’ applications (denied).

          http://www.christian.org.uk/resource/marginalising-christians/

          Over 699,00 signed the petition against homosexual marriage: dismissed, by the Tory.

          Daily, our grievances escalate.

          • Bogbrush

            I agree, Christians should be at liberty to decline to offer services if they so wish.

            But responding by imposing your will onto others doesn’t right that wrong.

        • Revd Robert West

          Holy Wedlock is at the basis of the common good: trying to hallow unnatural relations is not. Recall what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.

    • UKCitizen

      The problem is, like all these issues, it was never about gay marriage.
      Marriage was always a religious concept to create the foundation of biological families which are the bedrock of most stable societies. It also formed a legal framework to protect the offspring of such marriages. It has no real concept in a gay relationship and if they were truly religious they would understand that. Most were perfectly happy with civil partnerships.
      They are just used as cannon fodder by the left in the ongoing battle to destabilise Western society.
      It was a double whammy for the left in that it pushed their sexualisation agenda and attacked the church at the same time mortally wounding social conservatives.

      • RationalSpeculation

        Without getting involved in religious arguments, I think its a good example of the current clash between the conservative, empirical approach and the “liberal” “rational approach”. The former would say, “marriage has always and everywhere been between a man and a woman, and that has worked, so why change it?” while the latter would say” we believe everyone has various rights, one of which is to get married, therefore, since there are gay people, we must allow gay marriage”. It’s a similar phenomenon to the empiricist/idealist divide in philosophy or Common Law versus the continental Roman tradition.

        • UKCitizen

          Is getting married a right?
          Do I have the right to marry my dog if the act of getting married is a right?
          If I am a satanist do I have the right to force the church to marry me?
          The secular, state version of marriage is civil partnerships and it could be argued that this is open to anyone and is therefore a right.
          Religious church marriage has nothing to do with government (okay I know that we have a state religion but this is more of a token than anything else), so why should the state force the church to marry anybody.
          How many Islamic gay marriage ceremonies have we seen in the local Mosques?
          It is a ruse by the left to get you to accept something that will raise objections in there target and to then use political correctness to then destroy the target when they do so.
          Gays are not a big enough demographic and there are a lot of gays on the right so lets expand that to the alphabet community and drive the wedge in further. Next stop normalisation of paedophilia already being prepared in our schools by sexualising children at younger and younger ages introducing them to sex as an entertainment to be enjoyed in whatever way and with whoever you want. And by the way here are some examples and pointers just in case you are only attracted to the opposite sex or have no concept yet of sexuality!

      • Tricia

        So true! Same sex marriage is a vehicle to destroy moral values. It legitimises the horrific sex education they are starting to roll out into school. It is grooming kids and sexualising them. There have already been cases of primary school children “acting out” on other children.

    • Libertarians are of the opinion that the government never had any business telling people who could get married to whom in the first place.

  • Don Benson

    Well said, Thomas Pascoe. I think legislating to change the meaning of words is extremely dangerous: the logical outcome of it is that nothing said or written has any certain and lasting meaning, and the result of that can only be the dilution and ultimate disintegration of rational communication.

    On that note, I was less than impressed that the Coalition for Marriage made the error of campaigning for ‘traditional marriage’. Given that legislators were attempting (and succeeded) to grab the word and subvert it, the use of ‘traditional’ capitulated to that idea by giving the impression that marriage was merely something based on historic human practice – and therefore to be supported as a nostalgic memory for social dinosaurs. In fact real marriage describes the only possible human arrangement based on biological reality. Whether one sees this through the eyes of religious faith or through agnostic acceptance of reality has little affect on the argument that real marriage has a unique role in societies which are stable and able to flourish. Even at this late stage when one cannot pretend that the ‘Equal Marriage’ disaster hasn’t happened, I would substitute the word ‘real’ for ‘traditional’ in any campaign to keep the issue alive.

  • UKCitizen

    Your Title is questionable as it is making the claim that the current conservative party (or at least its leadership) are on the right of politics.
    Evidence would suggest otherwise.

  • UKCitizen

    Redefining words is a general tool to enforce an ideology and to shut down criticism of that ideology. The current ideology that we are having to suffer comes in the form of post-modernist, cultural Marxism and the current conservative leadership have swallowed the dogma hook line and sinker.
    The question is; are they innocently naive, wilfully ignorant or nefariously complicit in promoting ideas that the most ardent Marxists of old could only dream of implementing in a Western society.

  • It’s pretty clear that the author understands almost nothing of Libertarianism, linking it to its absolute antithesis with a weak and tenuous connection about “having stuff”

    Libertarians take the belief in the primacy of the individual over the state (a belief shared by Social Conservatives) to its logical conclusion. There are areas of the philosophy with which I disagree, and I like to think I have one foot in Libertarianism and the other in Social Conservatism, but on the whole, it’s a far more thought through position than just being about “selfishness”

    Corbynism is the polar opposite to Libertarianism. It’s unashamedly Statist, believing in the power of the state, and specifically of its idol Jezza to solve all the world’s ills through coercion. Measures such as suborning private property to house the Grenfell victims, dressed up as an act of kindness to give it a thin veneer of compassion are in fact so shockingly totalitarian that they would actually be in breach of the UN convention on human rights. Libertarians would never support such a position and would fight tooth and nail to keep Corbyn, or anyone else for that matter, from possessing that sort of power.

  • There is no British Dream. The British are awake.

    • Flaketime

      Are you sure about that? With Corbyn doing so well in the polls and May honestly believing she’s a success I believe over half of them are not only asleep but dreaming their rose tinted dreams too !

  • Tricia

    Anyone on this site with children and grandchildren should check out the SRE being rolled out in Warwickshire – it’s called Respect. This is so much like what has been happening in Canada. The sexualisation of our children in school. All because we have equal marriage! That was just a Trojan horse.

  • Billy Lindner

    Pascoe is completely out to lunch about libertarians. We strongly believe that the state has no business getting involved in people’s personal lives. Gay marriage and Greening’s gender legislation are abhorrent to any libertarian. Teresa May’s social activism is not remotely libertarian, but rather the opposite: it’s about social control.

    • Kathy Gyngell

      Why then don’t they see that recent government tax and welfare policies are not neutral and do result in the State getting very involved in people’s lives; that far from there being ‘level playing field’ the State penalises and discriminates against traditional marriage – which is the rock on which independence is founded? Why don’t they understand that social conservatism and economic liberalism go hand in hand?

  • When the word duty comes up, I am always reminded of what the man who was perhaps America’s greatest soldier said about it.

    “Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.”

    And you know, that is the creed I (and many Americans and Britons) were brought up with, because that is what our forebears always believed. It is what made the English speaking world the envy of the world. As we turn away from it, that world is crumbling.

    As far as the government goes, I echo the cry of many of my countrymen, which has echoed down from Boston Common long ago, “Get off my lawn!”

    That soldier? Robert E. Lee, Hero of the Mexican War, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, and President of Washington and Lee University. He also said this,

    “So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.”

    This from the man whose estate became Arlington National Cemetery whose first graves were dug in Mrs Lee’s beloved rose garden. And this,

    “The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”

    Take heart my friends, and do your duty, and eventually all will again be well.

    • Nasty Woman

      Why should we pay any attention to the “wisdom” of a person whose main achievement was ordering one group of people to kill as many as possible of another group of people?

      • The Duke of Umberland, England

        Why should we pay attention when abortion is carried out on the basis of ‘gender’?

    • Kathy Gyngell

      I am re reading Our Mutual Friend the moment – the Boffins’ lives, Dickens says, were guided by their strong sense of moral duty – and no where could you find a more ‘equal’ or more mutually respectful marriage than theirs. An ideal to be re-pursued!

      • Sean Toddington

        Dickens treatment of his own wife was utterly shameful. Don’t confuse literature with life.

  • Nasty Woman

    Britain has changed.

    Deal with it.

    • Revd Robert West

      We are dealing with it: it must change back to what is good, wholesome and righteous by revoking and repealing the wickedness of the ‘sons of evil’. We have had Brexit and Donald Trump: now we need to restore Holy Wedlock too.

      • Tricia

        Agree. I want to see a Repeal of the Act and revert to civil partnership. But that requires a major change in Government and a clear out if the swamp as the Donald calls it.

    • KilowattTyler

      “America has changed. Deal with it” Donald Trump, 21st January 2017
      “Britain has changed. Deal with it” Margaret Thatcher, 5th May 1979
      “Germany has changed. Deal with it” Adolf Hitler, 31st January 1933
      “The USSR has changed. Deal with it” Joseph Stalin, 4th April 1922