Sunday, January 28, 2007

Let's Keep it Within the Family

On the front page of the Sunday Telegraph today, Tombstone Cornerstone Chairman John Hayes MP declares: "I oppose gay adoption on the grounds that a family consists of a man and a woman and children."

I shall now obey Ronald Reagan's eleventh commandment - thou shalt never speak ill of a fellow Tory. And believe me, I'm tempted not to - obey it, that is.

Having said that, he does raise an interesting question: what is a family nowadays? The Oxford English Dictionary confirms John Hayes's view. It defines a family as "a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit." It also gives an alternate definition: "a group united by a significant shared characteristic". Families nowadays come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, the norm is a married couple with children - and that remains the bedrock of our society - but if the Conservative Party is to relate to Britain as it is today it needs to embrace all types of families, not just "the norm". We're not some quasi-religious sect, we're a political party. Indeed, we're a political family. It is such a shame that in our particular family one particular naughty boy deserves a good spanking today. Matron!

UPDATE: Steve Norris weighed into the debate on the GMTV Sunday programme this morning by saying: "This would be just as much an issue if the Conservative Government were in office and my advice to David Cameron would be exactly the same. You know the business of treating every person in our society as deserving of equal merit and having equal responsibility is something that’s absolutely fundamental to a decent liberal society and frankly I don’t think this case is any different from those many others where people no doubt very sincerely believe that they’re entitled to discriminate, I don’t think they are."

65 comments:

Voyager said...

To continue in this vein.

What is a nation nowadays ?

What is a culture ?

What is democracy ?

Why should anyone have any loyalty to the country; it is just a marketplace open to all-comers ?

We can pursue this Deconstructionist Agenda and ask what political parties are for ? Are they simply commercial groups, or organised criminal gangs ?

Deconstruction is very corrosive as NuLabour is finding out. Personally, I don't think politicians will find a narrative to hold this polity together.

machiavelli said...

Can't someone put Hayes out of my misery?

verity said...

Ah yes, the hippie/socialist concept of "different kinds of families". Name one. This was the first time in human history people set about deconstructing the family.

I don't call a single mother with three children by three different men, one of whom is currently bedding down in her council flat "a family". They are a mother, her children and a lodger.

Iain, what you genuinely do not seem to understand is, this isn't about the "rights" of gay people to have everything everyone else has got. It is about giving homeless children a home.

Adoptive children, many of whom have been abused and then have been institutionalised, have a hard enough time adjusting to being in an actual family with a mother and father and possibly a sibling. They often have a terrible time at school at first. To add another layer of problems by putting these vulnerable children in a "family" that is far from the norm is simply wrong. How hard is it going to be for this child to relate to its classmates, who all have mothers and fathers? (Some of their parents may be divorced, but their parents are the human norm: a man and a woman.) And worse, how hard is it going to be for the classmates to relate to a child in this circumstance?

I am pro gay rights and perfectly happy with civil contracts. A gay man holds my power of attorney, and if the day ever comes when someone has to decide to pull the plug, it will be his decision.

But there are some things that cannot be engineered just to give gays what everyone else has. They should learn to live with it, just as straight men have to learn to live with the knowledge that they will never be able to design a dress with the assurance and elegance of Givenchy or Karl Lagerfeld.

Anonymous said...

"...thou shalt never speak ill of a fellow Tory..."

So your old boss Davis will get away with a bit of light queer-bashing as well, presumably.

And the lovely Sister Widdy too.

I bet the born-agains at 18DS are pretty chipper this evening as well.

Nulab set the trap, but did ContinuityIDS really have to RUN into it?

traditional tory said...

Well of course many men would relate to what a good spanking is, and their are a minority of males who wish to hide behind the respectability of the long established norms such as the family.
Marriage is an indissoluble contract between a man and woman and GOD. A Family is the result of such a contract and the children which ensue in a loving and likeable relationship.
A couple of males or females who are together serves no purpose except a friendship and companionship.Nature has no purpose in such relationships except security and companionship.A physical and sexual relationship is tantamount to mutual masturbation which has no productive result in the future of man.
All respected studies of homosexuality points at a deficiency in the personality of the individual.That is in does not fit in with survival of the fittest.
So only the term Family can be attributed to a male and female procreating children who will in turn procreate a continuing family.

straightlaboursupporter said...

If many more of these dinosaurs break cover and your party will be right back in the media crosshairs.

What gives him the right to diss single parents families?

The enormous self-regard in such statements is nauseating.

I love "traditional tory"'s post above. Imagine despising homosexuals, but bothering to put a long post on the blog of someone who happens to be one of Britain' most prominent gay Tories?

I think someone is a little "conflicted" - and probably protests too much. wonder if mr bigot will be willing to post under his real name? thought not.

tom cat said...

The Conservative party is not a Family. It is about in a state of divorce following 15 years of seperation due to strife and torment. It cannot even reproduce itself though daveboy is trying hard to revive it in a changed form.
Tories are a PARTY NOT A FAMILY.

Anonymous said...

even Conservative politicians a have a right to say what they think ,and not follow the PC road that Dave thinks is the way , twice the Cons have totaly screwed up and our I think we are in for a third kickin along with the lot that are in now

ANOTHER TRAD TORY said...

The real insecure Bigots appear to be Homosexuals themselves.Totally intolerant amid crys of Homophobia and insecure in dealing with Real Men and Women in this world. They are clamouring for respect and position with heavy over legislation and are well represented in CCHQ.All this is literally getting the backs up of the silent and tolerant Heterosexuals in Britain and the latest Pantomine with Adoption may have just been a step too far.
Hayes is Right.

bt said...

Nitpicking - I think you'll find that the "group united by a significant shared characteristic" refers to biological taxonomy: phylum-class-order-family-genus. Stretching it a bit to use it in this particular case, since family would then include some very odd looking adoptive parents indeed - shades of Tarzan, in fact.

Personally, I think detailed legislation in this type of matter was a mistake - each side claiming that it's Yuman Rites have been/might be infringed and now digging in for a protracted session of trench warfare. Hardly helps the kids. Better to leave it for the family courts to consider each case on its merits.

verity said...

Traditional Tory: "All respected studies of homosexuality points at a deficiency in the personality of the individual."

That is stark, raving bonkers. There is the same range of qualities and personalities in gays as in the rest of the human race. How are they "deficient"? That is just plain silly!

Homosexuality relates to the hormones the mother produced when she was pregnant. A few women produce an over-supply of oestrogen (or are taking oestrogen medication) and this inhibits the development of the right - male - side of the brain to varying degrees (or it may be the left side; I don't remember). This is the same across all the races.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

And OED defines the verb 'adopt' as:

legally take (another’s child) and bring it up as one’s own.

I didn't see the word 'family' in there. Hayes' statement tries to move the goalposts on adoption.

Unfortunately for John (and all those children needing adoption), his requirements would ensure that many more children would be left without a home than there are at the moment. It's easy for people to leave comments here wagging their fingers about who should and should not adopt, but the world isn't perfect and sometimes that's what we have to settle for.

Dave's already launched many of the values and principles we hold closely as a party- why couldn't he launch the one thing that will forever embarass us and hold us back as a respectable party- the Cornerstone Group. Christ, they- alongside the YBF- are the few people who raise my ire more than Labour can.

Anonymous said...

Oh I would give in to that temptation Iain its better to get it out and slap in on the table , I usually do. “a group united by a significant shared characteristic” ..yes of course the context here is the cladding of biological families usually like monkeys or carnivores. I share a spine for example with the vertebrate family , perhaps we should accord legal recognition to fish ?
The Conservative Party is not a family . It exists to deliver certain Policies on behalf of its supporters. A failure to do so will be met by quitting the Party which I think many are considering .I have no such option with my family , sometimes I wish I did, but it is this indivisible unity that is the key feature of a family as it pertains to the over mighty Gay Lobby .
The Telegraph by the way, also includes a typically meandering exercise in insipidity from D` Anconda and a better Gayite tract from David Self so pink power is still pulling plenty of strings never fear. Part of the force of David Self’s piece is that he admits to certain problems most Gayists to not even appear to notice
We may be allowed I hope to think for ourselves without endless bullying in the form of “Homophobic” allegations , misused exactly as Racism has been for numerous betrayals .
I am not homophobic and have many gay friends I would like to keep. On balance I still think this is a bad law and these are my reasons. Perhaps if gays stopped behaving like an aggressively proselytising religious crusade we might actually get a discussion instead of an accusation.
You feel then it should be illegal for someone with authority in the care of children to have the opinion that “mother and a father” would be a preferable and safer alternative. There is no evidence one way or the other but “caution” is surely not unreasonable with something so unlike what appears the natural structure of a family .You do not speak with a knowledge of all gay men any more than I do for heterosexuals .It is far from impossible that a faddy double daddy household might cause great problems for the child . The only concern here is the child notwithstanding the understandable need of gays for acceptance and validation.
In working class communities across the London Homophobia , the real kind is escalating and rampant. Two daddies might in these circumstances be an appalling weight for the hetro sexual male to carry through adolescence. It is precisely PRECISLEY such concerns that are the focus of the 18month inquisition and the “racist “ classist and other “discriminations “, adopting agencies make. Gays do better than most actually. Such a discrimination is uniquely to be illegal in respect of gays.
I do not feel the special privileges for gay men are justified. Others , , the over 40s , whites , Christians are discriminated against as are we all in some way. The process of adoption is torturous and expensive containing judgements you might call “discrimination” at all points
There can be no question of an exception on religious grounds of course.Next the pagans will want to rape Virgins and the Muslims will be at their stoning antics again.
So ; on democratic and Libertarian and social grounds I am unconvinced and somewhat bridle at the thick fog of thought control that is descending around the whole subject.
Are you thinking of children only and can you really be so sure this prescription is likely to be a good thing for them. How could you possible know ?

As usual the people forcing the pace will be far far away from where I anticipate the problems to arise.

Anonymous said...

Great comment by Matthew Parris on Question Time about gay adoption.

'A gay child would be very fussy about who adopted him...'

Anonymous said...

VERITY said-Homosexuality relates to the hormones the mother produced when she was pregnant.

Not provably so and gays tend to like the idea of the gay gene as it would preclude the possibility of enviromental factors.The possibility of such genetic inheritance is mysterious at this time but not beyond all possibility .
There are Uncle and Aunt altruism based theories and so on but it is likely , I think , that there is cultural component as well.In other words gayness may be self reinforcing and add to sexual confusion at a societal level.


Its a big issue for them , not for me

Anonymous said...

YBF sounds bad but Conservative Future is pretty nasty

Anonymous said...

traditional tory said...
Marriage is an indissoluble contract between a man and woman and GOD

Well, sorry to tell you pal, now the state does it as well.!! And the state says homosexual and lesbian partnerships are ok.

I am straight, what one may consider a normal hetro, and happily married, but I am also an agnostic, I do not follow a faith. I have to declare that I object most strongly that my life should be subject to any impositions and restrictions put upon my free will by those who do (chose a faith to follow).

The key here is choice. discrimination is socially, ethically and now legally, wrong, whereas those who follow a faith do so by choice, even if as trad tory believes it is bigoted.

Homosexuality has been an accepted social norm since time began, by every civilisation that has gone before us. Early Christian states accepted it as a normal part of their societies, the Holy Roman Empire being a good example. Indeed it was not until the advent of puritanical missionaries that it was first touted as being something vile and anti-social. The same is true of pornography, a phenomenon that only entered our society following the discovery of roman art in Pompeii.

I read history, and study the causes and effects of wars, of which there have been many. The majority of all wars have been fought ‘in the name of God’ for one reason or another, but never has one been fought on the basis that God objected to homosexuals.

griswold said...

The only rights to be considered in adoption cases are the rights of the child. For heaven's sake focus on the child and forget the Gay Lobby and so called discrimination against them.

Man in a shed said...

A Hornets nest is being stirred up here. A large part of the problem is that compulsion is being used in the place of reason and open debate.

Reason and facts are the first causality of this type of war. ( This looks like the opening salvo in a cultural war on the lines that the US has going on.) Remember how hard it was just 5 years ago - for political correctness reasons - to say marriage was the best environment for bringing up children ? Political correctness and propaganda are featuring highly in this emotionally charged debate.

I have yet to hear of good evidence for placing heterosexual children with homosexual couples. If anyone knows of any properly formulated studies go ahead and post the reference. A bit of light in this debate wouldn't hurt.

Perhaps the focus here should be on what the children to be adopted want, is best for them, and the tradition they were brought up in. ( For the children too young to express a preference then the average views for their background should be used.)

From my personal view point I will stick with the Christian doctrine on this - but I'll admit my position is faith based, as I know of no conclusive proof either way.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:
'The key here is choice. discrimination is socially, ethically and now legally, wrong...'
On the radio today Peter Hain also said he was against discrimination of any kind whatsoever.

I take it then it would now be perfectly alright for children to be adopted by a heterosexual couple both aged 90+ and also for paedophiles to adopt children. After all we don't want to discriminate against them, do we?

I suppose banks and building societies shouldn't be allowed to discriminate either. Everyone who wants a mortgage or a loan should be allowed to have one, whether they can or intend to pay it back or not!

Does no-one writing in these comments discriminate about who they want as friends? Are you all willing to be friends with absolutely everyone, no matter who they are, what they do or how they treat you?

All discrimination is not wrong, it is a necessary part of our society.

verity said...

I agree with Anonymous 8:43 and with Newmania. I too am fed up with the gay lobby, which becomes ever more fascist and controlling. Gay uncles may be wonderful to have, but two gay daddies - no. It is too far outside the human norm and too big a burden for a child who will already have been maltreated and will probably be very insecure and fragile. Putting the burden of a homosexual experiment on such fragile and young shoulders is wicked.

Gays are not "entitled" to something just because they want it and just becauses other people have it. This is taking on an ugly tone and it is because it is being forced on the 96% or so of the population who are heterosexual.

If Cameron backs this, the Tories have lost my vote for as long as his tenure runs, even if Dave ever formulates any policies I actually agree with. It is wrong to experiment on children.

PJ said...

Unfortunately the answer to the question "What is a family?" is not answered by legislation in Parliament. Neither is it answered on the pages of newspapers, on discussion programs on TV or even on blogs by gay Tory commentators. It's not defined by leaflets distributed by left wing councils. It's not defined by bishops, Roman or Anglican. It's answered by society, not in the collectivist Guardian sense but in the sense once expressed by Margaret Thatcher of a society of distinct individuals who are members of families themselves and a consensus arrived at by personal experience and compassion.

newmania said...

If Cameron backs this, the Tories have lost my vote

His silence is deafening Verity....

TORY BRICKHOUSE said...

So Machiavellis Understudy you appear to be another intolerant bigot whos views should rein alone.

verity said...

Indeed, Newmania. He's frit.

I have been disappointed in Cameron so far, but have been suspending judgement in case he is simply playing his cards close to his chest, and then, when the game's actually on, he can lay a royal flush down on the table.

However, if he backs this legislation, it really won't matter what else he proposes, because I will not vote for him or his party.

A GAY TORY said...

Even one of the top 100 woofters in the country Andrew Pierce Assistant Editor Of The Daily Homograph can sense that this Adoption issue is a step too far for the future comfort of the Gay Community.His article in the Telegraph and blogged and posted on Iains Blog yesterday was excellent.

DALE FAN said...

Well done Iain and full marks for letting this subject have (possibly) a free unmoderated hearing on your Blog.Watch out Guido here comes Iain reaching for the over 100 a time postings.

Voyager said...

If many more of these dinosaurs break cover and your party will be right back in the media crosshairs.

Good. Well if we simply decide as a policy to abolish the TV Licence Fee the media can lick its crosshairs to its heart's content.

It is about time the self-adoring Media were shown the Micawber Calculation for Felicity in a market economy.........and if that isn't sufficient - VAT on newspapers as in the rest of the EU

CONCERNED GAY WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN ADOPTION said...

Can anyone imagine the ribbing that a child would get when their schoolmates discovered that their adopted parents were two sugar Daddies.It would be even worse when they were told they were two Queens.
The fact is legislating in this area is going to create nothing but trouble for the Gay Community.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to drift off the topic here, but I suspect what has alarmed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop Rowan Williams and Archbishop John Sentamu is that the full force of the state and the legal system will be brought to bear against the Christian Church, but without a similar approach being taken against the Moslem faith. There needs to be a level playing field, and we are a long way from the American Constitutional separation of Church and State.

So Sikhs can disrupt a play which offends them with impunity. And radical Moslem clerics can preach, if not with impunity, certainly with more freedom than I think they deserve. This was always going to lead to a backlash.

I am pro-choice, so have no truck with the Catholic prohibition on contraception and abortion. But the current law is tantamount to forcing doctors who don't want to perform an abortion to do one, against their principles, because it discriminates against an individual not to do so.

And that is never sustainable. Just as with the change to the gay age of consent, a compromise is needed.

TORY RIGHT WINGER said...

John Hayes is doing the Country a great service by giving his positive views on this subject.

TREKKER said...

The matter can be resolved by introducing a Law prohibiting Fornication and Masturbation.Frustration and tensions would rise but the issue which is causing the current rumpus would be solved.

verity said...

Concerned Gay Who Does Not Believe in Adoption: D'accord. That has been my point. These children are homeless and familyless. On top of this, they will have lived in institutions and become institutionalised to some extent. It will be dire enough to join a new family, new school, new classes, new children with that background and try to swim, not sink. To tie the weight of "two daddies" or "two mummies" around their ankles is just unthinkable. These are ultra vulnerable children and they need to learn how to fit into the unexceptional norm - which will already be hard enough.

I read an article the other day by an adoptive mother, who wrote that when her adopted child was placed in school, the other children jeered that his parents hadn't wanted him and had dumped him. And that his adoptive parents weren't "real" parents. Children don't cut one another any slack.

Can you imagine such a vulnerable child being jeered at by the other children because he/she has "two daddies"? It is unthinkable to place such a burden on a vulnerable child.

This has nothing, by any stretch, to do with being prejudiced against gays. Most of us commenting here have close gay friends of longstanding.

DESPERATE said...

I dont have Gay Friends but I wish I did.

Anonymous said...

There are limits.

Militant gays are stirring up homophobia where none previously existed.

Chris said...

>if the Conservative Party is to relate to Britain as it is today it needs to embrace all types of families, not just "the norm".

Call me, um, conservative, but I always thought the point of being a conservative, let alone a Conservative, was that one should be, um, conservative about social change. Why don't you and Dave join the 'We want power and we'll say anything to get it Party' and let the few remaining conservatives have the brand?

verity said...

Chris - Well said!

Desperate - There, there. How do you know you don't have any gay friends? They may be in the closet.

dexy said...

verity said...
Can you imagine such a vulnerable child being jeered at by the other children because he/she has "two daddies"? It is unthinkable to place such a burden on a vulnerable child.
9:52 PM

I don't know anything about these matters but wouldn't one, or both, of them be Mummy?

gaytory said...

Mr Hayes seems to take a hell of an interest in all things gay. Doth the lady protest too much, perhaps?

BorisforPM said...

You'll notice that a large number of the people who hold the views propounded by Hayes and his blessed Millstone group are, shall we say, somewhat on the senior side. So we just have to sit tight and their views will shortly die out. Be patient, dear Iain: Darwin works in mysterious ways...!

Incidentally, I must say that I think Chris makes a fundamental misjudgment in identifying the base thread of capital-C Conservatism. Steve Norris had it right: it's about total moral equality. The belief that everyone has equal inherent worth, but that their actions don't necessarily demand equal consequence is what tells us that Government over-extension is likely to be damaging just as it will be immoral. If that is to make any philosophical sense at all, it must apply to the social sphere just as it does to the economic.

To make ours a truly consistent Liberal [that was a capital L] position, we should apply the doctrine of allowing people to act as grown-up human beings, and to control their own lives so far as they do not harm others.

An inate suspicion of anything that appears different to our norm is not Conservatism; it is prejudice. The sooner Hayes and co abandon their prejudice, the better it will be for us all as Conservatives.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Tory Brickhouse,

What I appear to be and what I am could be two completely different things, dear.

You appear to be an irrelevant and illiterate relic, but I don't know for certain that you are, do I?

If opposing one set of idealistic bigots who base some of their forthright opinions on irrational beliefs makes me a 'bigot', then I'm quite happy to run with that tag.

If not wanting to share a platform with them makes me 'intolerant', then that's fine, too.

Having my views 'rein' (I think you meant 'reign') alone, though- where did you pull that one from?

You sound as noisy and as bad as those trying to force this illiberal and morally wrong law upon us all.

Vienna Woods said...

To Newmania and Verity.

Really well reasoned and eloquent postings. I've been accused on the parallel thread in a hysterical attack by Ian, which was quite unwarranted. This, more than anything, proves my point that some of the gay lobby really do not understand the very real anxieties that many people have regarding the proposed laws.

We have gay friends who visited us at lunchtime today and it may surprise you to learn that they are equally horrified that this hornet's nest has been opened. Both cannot imagine adopting a child and would never seek to do so. Neither of them want this debate as it will only attract negative reactions which is certain to make their lives more difficult. Both are due to return to the UK shortly but are now seriously reconsidering the move. There you have it, two decent guys trying to live normally, but an interfering government egged on by the PC crowd are once more putting them under scrutiny for something they didn't want in the first place!

straightlabourvoter said...

what a hornet's nest.

some posters here seem to think that playground bullies, and the fear of what they might say to adopted children, should be a critical factor in determining public policy.

whatever next? playground bullies are also often racist, and probably hassle kids of mixed race marriages too. should they be outlawed? this is what the right never quite gets about equality. it means everyone's equal in the eyes of the state and the law. full stop. no room for nasty little prejudices, whether you cite religion, race, culture or anything else as your excuse.

and whoever tried to equate 90 year old adoptive parents and paedophiles is not worth arguing with. grow up.

this issue started as a problem for labour, but it will blow up in the tories' face. there are plenty more mps where hayes and leigh and the rest come from. then we'll see whether cameron is enough of a leader to stick by what he said in his conference speech.

personally, i think he lacks the balls.

verity said...

borisforpm - You're a lightweight thinker, that's for sure. Just like your avatar. I point at the following to support my case: "An inate suspicion of anything that appears different to our norm is not Conservatism; it is prejudice." Wariness and suspicion of anything that is not the "norm" has enabled the human race to survive for a couple of hundred thousand years. Cats are also suspicious of anythng that is not the "norm" and creep up and either hiss at it or kill it. Dogs growl at it and start circling it with a view to termination with extreme prejudice.

I read this blog for thoughtful comments, not preachy, adolescent thinking.

Machiavelli's Understudy - Good contribution (IMHO).

Vienna Woods thanks and agree. Most gays that I know have absolutely no interest in becoming fathers - although that is not the point. The point is those greedy gays who WANT IT ALL, even at the expense of a vulnerable child who has already gone through experiences that don't bear thinking of. So they can be "daddies".

A further point that has not been mentioned so far in this debate so generously hosted by Iain is, what of the other parents in the school and in the neighbourhood? Are they going to let their children go over to the adopted child's house to play computer games after school? Are they going to let them go away on day trips with this adopted child and its two daddies?

No.

This child, having already been through God knows what, will be isolated by its schoolmates - no matter how clever and giving it is - through no fault of its own, but because of a circumstance forced on it by the law of political correctness and the militant gay lobby. This child will become more and more isolated, no matter how lovely its 'daddies', and will eventually run away. To God knows what.

This is an absolutely horrible concept.

Gays have to rein in their legislative ambitions. People are beginning to get fed up.

Benedict White said...

I'd like to clarify a few things.

Firstly, I am not an old tory, I am 38.

Secondly whilst I hear what Verity and Co have said, the debate is not whether or not gay couples should be able to adopt children, that went trhough a few years ago.

The debate should be, but is not, do we realy need yet anothe bloody equality law? I am so not convinced, but there you go.

Then the debate is, if we do, should the Roman Catholic Church have an opt out. Well, it has been in this country since the 5th Century, continuosly, despite much puritanical fundamentalism (and this is not that much different) andd it will be for years to come.

My position is that those agencies that have a faith position should not be discriminated against because of their religion.

What is more, I have met some gay men who throw their hands up in horror at the antics of the ultra gay rights brigade, because they do not think it helps. I agree.

We need to be allowed to have differing opinions on some things.

Anonymous said...

"My position is that those agencies that have a faith position should not be discriminated against because of their religion."

What about the rest of us who aren't gullible enough to be taken in by such grandiose fiction?

I believe talking rabbits live underneath my floorboards, but I'm not asking for a pick n' mix exemption from the law because of it.

If this law goes through and an exemption is granted, then that's just as bad.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be able to discriminate on the basis of freedom of conscience- I'm saying that it's wrong to discriminate against those who choose not to participate in religion. Where's the equality in the law when that happens?

verity said...

Benedict White, what a startling and telling comment: "We need to be allowed to have differing opinions on some things."

Such has always been in our Common Law. It is only since Tony and the slithy toves slithered into the cabinet office that our traditional free speech has been illegally traduced. It can't be taken away from us, because it is there for all time. But Falconer and Blair don't know our Constitution.

The next Tory who gets in - please God, not Tony Mark II (aka Dave), must write our Constitution into law. The days of trust are well over. Blair, a "barrister" didn't even know we had a Bill of Rights. Such a cheap little ignoramus.

I saw a video, I wish I could remember where and I would post it, of Blair when he was being Mick Jagger. Waggle-arse. But no good. Painful. But tight trousers, longish, Mick Jagger hair at that time. There are thousands of Mick Jagger wannabees every year ... tony and his 'Ugly Rumours' was one more that failed.

So actor, and rather irritating pupil, according to former masters, at school. ("I say, sir, have you noticed ....?) Staggered on to becoming a barrister - apparently always with his teeth clamped round the public tit. Did he ever get a case an individual or corporation paid for, I wonder? My guess ... mmmm, maybe not. So on the tax tit for all his "working" (hahahahaha) life. And the Blairina ... The two of them.

BorisforPM said...

Verity, I'm afraid that you have misunderstood me in part, and the science of human evolution in toto.

Firstly, I should say that my leaning is towards NOT enacting this new legislation in full, possibly by means of an exemption. All I wished to speak out against is the ill-considered philosophical illiteracy of Hayes et al. I detest the reflexive outrage of Hayes and the Cornerstone crew, mostly because there is rarely a coherent, considered argument offered.

They rarely can advance serious points in the way you have been doing here, but simply take refuge in "this is how it has always been." Some of the arguments you have advanced, in contrast, I agree with. Others I do not. This is a tough issue for Conservatives because the Liberal position is not obviously one or the other half of the binary choice that NuLab's legislation offers us.

Incidentally, your comment about suspicion of norms allowing the human race to flourish is, I am afraid, scientific fallacy. It is precisely by developing new sets of "norms," and by having members of our species do something different, that the human race either flourishes or existed in the first place.

There are serious arguments against this bill, with or without its exemption, and people like you need to keep making them. People like Hayes offer nothing to the debate whatsoever, and would do well to leave the rest of us to it.

Anonymous said...

Verity,

As I understand it (and I am definitely not well-versed in law, British political history or constitution, so I am open to correction), Parliament cannot be bound by its predecessors, so regardless of age or significance of a law- common or statute- Blair's government are free to steamroll through anything they want?

I took it that the only thing that really does not necessarily change is Parliamentary convention, which I assume is informal tradition.

As I say, though, I'm open to correction.

verity said...

Machiavelli's Understudy - I am shocked! So we have no constitution? None at all? And this is why vandals got in and scampered all over our laws and traditions? Because none of it belongs to us anyway?

My father said that the British Constitution had to be written down and passed into law. Not taken on trust.

He was right. He foresaw opportunistic garbage like blair slithering in and getting power to overturn our ancient laws that were understood and taken on trust by hundreds of generations.

Chris said...

>Incidentally, I must say that I think Chris makes a fundamental misjudgment in identifying the base thread of capital-C Conservatism. Steve Norris had it right: it's about total moral equality. The belief that everyone has equal inherent worth, but that their actions don't necessarily demand equal consequence is what tells us that Government over-extension is likely to be damaging just as it will be immoral. If that is to make any philosophical sense at all, it must apply to the social sphere just as it does to the economic.

To make ours a truly consistent Liberal [that was a capital L] position, we should apply the doctrine of allowing people to act as grown-up human beings, and to control their own lives so far as they do not harm others.

An inate suspicion of anything that appears different to our norm is not Conservatism; it is prejudice. The sooner Hayes and co abandon their prejudice, the better it will be for us all as Conservatives.

No, I'm sorry, that's not conservatism, i's libertarianism a la John Stuart Mill. Read Burke and get back to me

Voyager said...

and we are a long way from the American Constitutional separation of Church and State.

So are the Americans....the French are way ahead. The Americans have never had what you imagine - maybe you should watch the next Inauguration of a US President and tell me who that man is that holds which book so another man can swear an oath

They might even do it in courtrooms

Learning History is a wise precaution before manufacturing Facts

Anonymous said...

Today programme-more waffle from Dave.
Sitting on the fence will be his death!

Anonymous said...

The problem comes from the culture of non discrimination legislation.

Government services must work under a culture of the same service for all, simply because we all pay for them.

On the other hand, no private individual / company / charity should have to prove their PC credentials in order to go about their daily business.

In this particular case, Gays can adopt from other agencies, so why (apart from a vicious cultural war) should they be concerned about the actions of Catholic agencies.

A true Conservative government would rip up all anti discrimination laws, as they are nothing more than "thought crime laws".

Our society is not so bigoted that we need to be told what to think, and those parts of it that are, are nothing more than the product of decades of state educations and welfare dependency.

Neil Craig said...

A family is an institution for providing care & nurture to children & allowing them to grow up as social beings. All else is superfluous.

Historically & probably most successfully that has been the extended multigenerational family of every rural society. It includes stable caring gay couples, though such relationships tend towards instability. It would include state childrens homes if they were any good at it - which they demonstrably aren't. It may include single mothers, thoughn it particularly if the mother has her own mother's support (lone fathers have a much better record of bringing up children, particularly boys, without them running wild). Most controversially it doesn't include married couples without children.

verity said...

Serf- Thanks for an interesting, thoughtful and sane post.

Dave is no longer sitting on the fence! He has come down on - guess which side!! Oh! You guessed! Dave's backing Tony's law for forcing the RC Church to allow gay couples to further confuse and destabilise very fragile, hostile and sometimes bitter children who have already had way too much reality and adjustments in their young lives.

Not only that, but Dave knows what everyone else thinks because he's ... well, he's Dave! From the Telegraph:

"He said he believed that few people were firmly set against all adoption by gay people in principle."

While I admit that this is a (probably intentionally) cloudy statement, Dave has absolutely no right to assume anything about what is in my head and my reasons for thinking as I do, nor what's in your head or that he has a hotline into 60m other heads. Especially as he had an exclusive upbringing and lives an an exclusive life separated from all the people he has assumed the role of opining for.

David Davis, on the other hand, has said he will "almost certainly vote against the measure".

The wrong man won. Cameron is shedding votes. Mark my words.

Matt Wardman said...

Can anyone give me chapter and verse on why adoptive parents are being treated as "service users" in this legislation, and why are they the focus of the argument?

It seems to me that they, in concert with the agency, are "service providers" to the adopted child (and arguably to the local authority)? The adopted child's wellbeing should be the *only* focus of the argument. I think I smell a Trojan horse.

I am tempted to agree with the statement made by Edward Leigh that the approach being taken by the proponents of the legislation is verging on the fascist ("Oppressive, dictatorial control.") in it's insistence on forcing a boilerplate approach onto every organisation in the field, even though this will at best give no benefit whatsoever to the children concerned, and will quite possibly damage them.

BorisforPM said...

Serf - I quite agree with you. I'm not sure I'd go quite so far as you, but your post is sensible and interesting.

I only wish the Cornerstoners would take *that* sort of line, rather than the tabloid level of thought they subject us to...!

RC CONSERVATIVE said...

Mr Cameron has lost 1 million RC votes plus an unmeasurable number of other Christians- enough to ensure he is not able to have Power.
When the Catholic Press publishes throughout the next period the Conservatives have got a big problem.In addition support will come from The Church of England and Wales and the Methodists and Reformists.
My problem is,as a conservative where to place my vote.

Anonymous said...

Oh, for Bob's sake...

There is precisely one kind of family. It is a set of individuals mutually and permanently bound by ties of love and kinship.

A "family unit" would be the members of a particular family that share living accommodation.

I no longer share a house with my parents. That doesn't mean they are no longer my family.

When I grew up, our family unit consisted of two children, two parents, and Auntie Kate, Mum's spinster sister. There is no meaningful definition of "family" that wouldn't have included her.

Anonymous said...

rc conservative-why not follow the ever deeper and wider path from blue Labour to a Party that says what it thinks and sticks to its basic Conservative beliefs.

Umbongo said...

Verity

Although it's basically a side issue here, I don't agree that putting the constitution in writing in one coherent volume is a panacea. There are very few written constitutions that haven't been completely undermined by the crooks who have to operate within the constraints supposedly imposed by the constitutions. The French, for instance, are on their fifth republic and Stalin's 1936 constitution ticked the box of every civil libertarian you could meet. The nazis came to power under the Weimar constitution and, quite constitutionally, created a dictatorship. Chavez is in the process of setting up a legal and constitutional dictatorship through changes in the Venezuelan constitution.

There's no protection against slime like Blair and Cameron (sorry Iain - I know he's your leader but the truth is the truth) except the willingness of the people to refuse to vote for them. You and I (and a good many others) are the heirs to at least 1,000 years of constitutional developmment and, until about 10 years ago, the constitution as it was handed down to us worked pretty well. The present constitution is either robust enough to deliver liberty under the law or it isn't: if it isn't then writing it down in one volume is no protection. Do you feel more secure because the Human Rights Convention was written into English law? Will you feel more secure if the PR spiv (if he ever gets power) legislates a British Human Rights Act to replace the existing one? I don't and won't.

Anonymous said...

No 10 have now conceded on the gay adoption issue - must be time for Ms Kelly to go.....

No exemption from gay rights law

Helen said...

Am I the only person to wonder why anybody bothers to ask Steve Norris for his opinions on any subject whatsoever. That long quotation is completely meaningless. It could be said about anything at any time on any side of the argument. Is that the best London Tories can do?

DiscoveredJoys said...

I have worked with some openly gay people (and probably some not openly gay). They were decent people and had no more interest in sharing their bedroom activities with children than any other couple.

In my view we should seize any opportunity to get kids out of care homes and into families, whether two dads, smokers, unfit, wrong race etc. There may be some minor risk (no pun intended) but there is a damn near certainty of long term care home residence being harmful.

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned they should be expected to comply with the law (or withdraw their services) otherwise we will get every faith and philosophy claiming exception from the laws of the land.