An Inexcusable Absence

Ladies and gentleman, it has been too long. Over two weeks since the last piece but in current affairs terms it may as well have been a lifetime ago. My apologies, as no doubt this house of reasoned comment has become part of your many dependencies and I dread to think of your sweaty convulsions of withdrawal.

It might have been a touch of writer’s block, or perhaps real world concerns took precedence for a time… but not wanting to appear anything but committed to this project, with a natural flair that excludes any possibility of a creative deficit, I shall say it was for this reason: sometimes there just isn’t anything worth writing about.

Events continued to simmer away. Simon Jenkins, Mark Mardell and many others continued to offer their own works for us to indulge in, but I have found little to really sink my teeth into. Bits and bobs at best. Domestically, our primary concerns are Europe, the gay marriage issue and a limited affray into Mali in support of the French. Abroad, the issues are still largely attached to events I’ve given temporarily appropriate attention to.

In my humble opinion these are all issues that just need sitting on for a while. The best I could offer at present is a rewrite of any respectable news source, or much worse, wild speculation or soapbox ranting. The gay marriage question is a particular risk for the latter concern but I’d rather save the best of my indignation for the possibility that the legislation will be defeated by that reprehensible Tory-right faction.

Even though I have criticised the legislation in previous articles, notably for its ratification of CofE canon with regards to homosexual union that further closes the debate within that church, it is just about a step in the right direction. To listen to many a socially backwards individual detail their homophobic concerns over the proposed laws is hugely disappointing, but my outrage is wasted until we have a result.

I may profoundly disagree with the MP who would fight equal rights and opportunities, but to get a little Voltaire on you, that MP has every right to maintain his position. I have every right to maintain mine, and if I really believe in the idea, should bear some responsibility to make it the majority one. I don’t terribly care about distasteful minority views providing they remain the minority view.

Of course, should the vote be lost from my perspective, I would technically be in the minority, but an ever-so morally justified and outraged one. It seems that despite the political division appearing scarily even, the public sentiment is broadly more progressive and should the legislation not pass it would be an indictment of the traditional element of the Conservative party’s disconnection.

As far as I can fathom, there is no logical or rational reason to oppose homosexuality, much less homosexual marriage. The often seen pained confusion and dissonance written on the face of someone trying to explain their objections to these things, says a great deal. Whether founded in religious or closed societal influences, it just boils down to a lack of understanding and a primitive fear of “otherness”.

I will say this much more for the time being. These are not difficult objections to circumvent or preferably overturn, and all the supporters of the legislation should be out in force making the best and most clear cases possible. Another notably inexcusable absence was that of David Cameron from today’s Commons debate. I’m sure Joe Biden was thrilling company but I fear that was rather a convenient excuse for once again not facing up to the right wing of his party.

I’ve said before that his balancing act between moderates and hard conservatives is unenviable to say the least. But I won’t reserve my criticism for him should his timidity here result in the wrong outcome on this matter.

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2 Comments

Filed under Current Affairs, Politics

2 responses to “An Inexcusable Absence

  1. Anon

    I wonder, is public opinion as broadly behind the vote as it seems to a young educated middle class liberal newspaper reader? or are the conservatives threatening the bill actually representing those who elected them and their views?
    Personally i would say it is the duty of said backbenchers to ignore their constituents in the name of progress, but that inevitably makes me ahypocrite, as i would expect my own local officials to defend the values upon which i base my own vote…

  2. polls show there is broad support for gay marriage, most samples showing healthy majorities in favour of it. opponents in government to the leglislation do indeed belong to a vocal minority!

    i would agree that backbenchers should certainly ignore the more bigotted hopes of their less enlightened constituents, unless faced with a clear majority, in which case they may have to reluctantly comply. they can’t always save the people from themselves as such, unless our system is actually just the democratic appointment of autocrats.

    but it’s probably also a bit naive to expect your local MP be the extension of your personal views. in this case i’m delighted to say our government did heed the mood of the people, or at least accurately represent it, as the second reading passed with a very strong majority.

    congratulations to the nation’s homosexuals! as long as you don’t try the church of england, you’re good to go. see if you can’t make marriage a more successful institution than it has been for the “heteros”.

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