Today Members of Parliament will vote on the matter of whether same sex couples should be able to marry.
Wars are declared righteous, welfare reforms are presented as fair and legal changes are called abhorrent, but many politicians still claim their job has nothing to do with morality. It is bizarre that although politics and its language is value laden, some politicians seem to think ethics is relegated to the world of churchmen and philosophers.
In 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry faced a maelstrom of negative campaigning, smears and attack ads. One of the main charges against Kerry was that he was a smug and detached member of the ‘liberal elite’.
Every four years the world waits and worries as the most powerful nation on earth votes to decide who will be the most powerful person on the planet. It is almost certain Ed Miliband privately wants Obama to win and columnists insist David Cameron is eager to see Obama stay at the Oval Office.
A lot has been written about the Liberal Democrat councillors cast out of office in northern cities like Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle, but the Conservatives waning attempts at gaining a footing in the urban north is arguably more significant. It demonstrates that for hugely important parts of the country the Tories remain a toxic proposition.
It is always easier to criticise and condemn rather than paint a picture of how to do things differently. In my previous post I argued that Britain needs a new long term plan for our economy and at this moment in time the population are more likely to be seeking one.
Reading Steve Richards’ Whatever it takes: the real story of Gordon Brown and New Labour I was struck by the extent to which New Labour felt constrained by British political culture.
For some, the outbreak of vocal patriotism that has met the colour, splendour and British success at the 2012 London Olympics has been a nauseating and worrying phenomenon. Those on the left have always struggled with patriotism.
If I had to be a Conservative (I’m imagining Tory HQ has my family hostage) I would be a One Nation Conservative. One Nation Conservatism began with Benjamin Disraeli and was in the ascendancy during the post-World War II governments of Churchill, Eden, Macmillan and Heath.
When a crisis rips through an economic system, questioning whether that system is fair becomes more frequent and urgent. The sight of tents pitched by a Cathedral that had once been the towering symbol of London, but now dwarfed by the temples of the City, seemed to evoke, in one curious image, the changing and uncertain nature of our times.
It is understandable that democratic politics interests itself with the majority. From Ed Miliband’s ‘the squeezed middle’ to Nick Clegg’s ‘alarm clock Britain’, politicians of red, blue and yellow stripes aim to identify themselves – often with ever sillier catchphrases – as the representatives of the majority.
The last Labour government’s treatment of asylum seekers left a lot to be desired.
It’s not surprising when a certain section of the media cast the most vulnerable in society as good-for-nothing scroungers.
Last week’s news that, in one Edinburgh ward, the Lib Dems received fewer votes than a candidate dressed as a penguin probably best illustrates the extent of their local election defeat.
Eleven of the fifteen teenagers who were murdered in London last year were stabbed. One of those was only fourteen years old. If this doesn’t provide testament to the fact that youth violence is still a problem in this country then it is unclear what ever could.