Swinging politics

In a political jungle where Labour can change its spots as often as its cabinet and the Tories have become the kings of the swingers, its good to know that some things never change.

However much Cameron may try to convince us that the New Conservatives are as sweet and cuddly as the Andrex Puppy, far beyond the sprawl of London, the carrion crows of the old-Tories sit picking over the carcass of our ‘broken England’.

And Gerald Warner has a bigger appetite than most. “The Tories,” he says, “are not hungry enough, so power may elude them.”

Unlike the “Prussian discipline of New Labour in the run-up to the 1997 general election” in which “anything and anybody that went ‘off message’ was ruthlessly expunged”, the Tories have dropped the baton by allowing members of the shadow to, shock horror, indulge themselves in civil partnerships.

This week, “rising star” of the Conservatives Nick Herbert married his long-term boyfriend Jason Eades in a low-key ceremony in Lambeth town hall. David Cameron is said to have sent them a congratulatory message.

Last year, Alan Duncan, the first openly gay Conservative MP, married his boyfriend James Dunseath.

This, according to Warner, is “totally out of touch with mainstream Britain” that will leave the Tories open to “bawdy ridicule.” He writes:

“David Cameron should have compelled members of his shadow cabinet to choose between flamboyand self-indulgence and their ministerial careers”

When, exactly, did being gay become “flamboyant self-indulgence”? One in five gay people have been attacked due to their sexuality in the UK in the past three years, with one in six subjected to physical assaults, according to a survey by YouGov.

Of the 1,700 people questioned, one in eight had been subjected to unwanted sexual contact and almost nine in 10 had experienced homophobic insults and harassment.

However, three-quarters did not report the incidents to the police because they did not believe it would be investigated, and only 1% of incidents reported resulted in a conviction.

To put this in perspective, the shockingly-low and much maligned conviction rate for rape cases is 5.7%.

Gerald Warner is nothing more than a dinosaur relic of the late-Conservative era. If the Tories do lose, it will not be because of their attempts to reconcile themselves with the diversity of modern British society, but because of the harpings of Neanderthals like Warner that just re-inforce the worst image of the old-school right.

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