Thursday, July 09, 2009

Nick Clegg thinks marriage is just a piece of paper

Cranmer has no idea why anyone would vote LibDem.

He has tried for years to grasp their underlying philosophy, to appreciate their concerns, to discern their political priorities. But, try as he may, he cannot. They pontificate on a myriad of issues, but say different things in different councils. And when they attain power, as they did in the Scottish Parliament, they jettison everything their councillors and members profess in order to govern in accordance with their need to be seen to govern.

Their leader, Nick Clegg, is an embittered soul. There was a time when he appeared to be a man with whom the Conservatives could do business. But now he simply berates them at every turn. This has been evidenced most recently after David Cameron’s publicised support for marriage. Faithful communicant Nick Gulliford has sent in Mr Clegg’s response, given (ironically) to the 3rd Relate Annual Conference on 8th July:

“The fact that some relationships will fail doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can to make other relationships succeed.”

He trumpeted, “David Cameron’s social policy is focused almost obsessively on marriage, cajoling people to conform to a single view of what a happy couple should look like... it’s relationships that matter, not signatures on a piece of paper.”

He went on:

“But the Labour party is wrong, too, when it ignores interpersonal relationships. When it pretends that family circumstances don’t make a difference to children’s lives. All the evidence shows that it’s better for children to have two parents who get on well together looking after them.”

So he reads some research when it suits him.

Like other Liberal Democrats, he ‘attaches real value to relationships, to commitment and to love, but does not seek to limit or prescribe what makes for a strong relationship’.

But did he not just say that it is wrong to pretend ‘that family circumstances don’t make a difference to children’s lives’?

Family circumstances – including marital status – do make a difference to children's lives. Harry Benson of Bristol Community Family Trust has updated his earlier research with Back off or Fire back? Negative relationship behaviours amongst postnatal married and cohabiting couples, in which he says:

'Analysis of marital outcomes amongst 15,000 mothers from the Millennium Cohort Study (Benson, 2006) showed that 6% of married parents had split up by their child’s third birthday compared with 20% of cohabiting parents and 32% of all unmarried couple parents (combining parents who describe themselves as either “cohabiting” or “closely involved").'

Benson’s analysis also found that marital status was the single most important factor in predicting break-up. Demographic factors such as age, income, education, ethnic group and receipt of welfare payments each independently influence the risk of family breakdown amongst new parents. Yet after controlling for these factors, unmarried parents were still more than twice as likely to split up compared to similar married couples.

Analysis of the most recent wave of Millennium Cohort Study data for this paper showed that the risk of breakdown by a child’s fifth birthday had risen to 9% for married parents, 26% for cohabiting parents and 35% for all unmarried couples. The risk of family breakdown amongst unmarried couples with children under five years old is thus four times higher than for equivalent married couples.

So if clever Nick Clegg is right to complain the Labour party's ‘wish not to stigmatise single parents has led them to minimise the importance of couples in family life’, he is wrong by the same token to ignore the evidence of the significance of marriage in providing more stability in the family life of couples – four times as much for couples with children under five.

Marriage might just be a piece of paper to Nick Clegg. But, to Cranmer, no Liberal Democrat policy is worth the paper it is written on.


Anonymous Joan The Nark said...

I can't give you any argument here. I have daqbbled with these alien creatures myself and have found them everyway.

I read their blogs and listen to their speeches, but i find no common ground even amongst themselves, excepting that they all seem to share the same reading list. You would expect this to produce some form of common theory, or ideology....but nay, it's all a washed out shambles of a very queer nature.

9 July 2009 at 11:22  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

What a shallow and naive man Mr Clegg is. Money too is "just a piece of paper". It is the promises that they attest to which are the important thing.

The lack of understanding of the nature, meaning & purpose of marriage is astounding. How Hollywood and the media have debased it to simply a romantic gesture for people to "declare their love" is truly scandalous.

9 July 2009 at 11:23  
Blogger Gnostic said...

The LibDims are a pointless bunch. Neither use nor ornament. The don't even feature on my political radar.

9 July 2009 at 11:33  
Anonymous Thick aussie said...

Gooday! Good carve up job on the Clegg Cramsie.

9 July 2009 at 12:01  
Blogger Theo said...

Q. Who was the first liberal Democrat?

A. Christopher Columbus. He left not knowing where he was going, got there not knowing where he was, left not knowing where he'd been and did it all on borrowed money.

Q. How many liberals does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. One liberal and twenty eight delegates representing all the social, economic, and ethnic communities.

Q. How many liberals does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. None: They can't remove the old ones since they are already part of the environment.

9 July 2009 at 12:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The liberals , whomn I have no time for whatsoever, basically do say all things to all men because in the North (where clegg represents ) they fight the labour so have to be left wing and in the South the tories so have to appear centre right.

If they got half the attention the other parties did then their policies just would not stack up.

The truth is that the liberals are the protest vote for wavering labour people in the north and wavering tories in the south.

9 July 2009 at 12:11  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

I think the purpose of the Lib Dems is twofold, firstly to undermine Western society by offering an alternative lifestyle, especially to our children, got to get them young.

Secondly to try to soak up anyone else who doesn't Vote Labour or Conservative so that the Lib Lab Con Establishment then has virtually everyone in its Nets.

That's why they appear to be all things to all minority groups.

The 'Establishment' is behind the Lib Lab Cons and so long as the Majortiy or people are caught in the nets of these three parties then the Establishment is safe.

It's the Same in the US.

Media Lies on Ron Paul

9 July 2009 at 12:20  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Love, romance, fidelity & responsibility have been sacrificed on the alter of hedonistic pleasure, love now equates to sex, and the current government has encouraged & promoted a do as you like lifestyle while it has attempted to gag the voice of reason. this has led to the present state that society finds itself in with primary school children being groomed to grow up with no moral compass to guide them.
If Nick Clegg can offer no improvement, then he should go out & get himself a real job.

9 July 2009 at 12:27  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

So this is where the liberalism of the 60s’ university undergraduates have brought us (many of whom are now in senior positions in the public sector): the unmarried walking away from their responsibilities, divorce; children traumatised needing psychiatric help; teenagers emulating their parents’ irresponsibility and to conceal that fact aborting their children all in the name of ‘free love’.

It was a lie; it is a lie and will continue to be a lie: free love. It did not produce social harmony only discord and dysfunctionality; single mothers and absent fathers: feral youth.

Had the post-1960s’ generations been taught the Bible at school – they may have discovered that love is not free but costly.

The Liberal Democrats – why they are like a whistling in the wind, empty vessels tossed about on the sea of humanity, clanging cymbals; a stream of endless words, devoid of meaning, poureth forth from their mouths.

Malcolm Muggerridge was right: liberalism has a Death Wish.

9 July 2009 at 12:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cleggers is the young stud who boasted he'd bedded 30 or more girls at university, so why should he care about little things like fidelity and sexual responsibility, let alone Christian morality? He's a typical modern atheist sucking at the public teat.

9 July 2009 at 13:22  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Weel, our Prime Minister doesn't appear to have much time for them either. He keeps referring to them as "The Lubberaulls"!

9 July 2009 at 13:23  
Anonymous len said...

Marriage is a covenant between two parties which relies on a moral code to be binding.
If you have no moral code a covenant will just be a piece of paper.
" In the last days people will be filled with all unrighteousness, fornication,wickedness,covetousness,maliciousness,full envy,murder,debate,deceit,malignity, whispers, backbiters,haters of God,despiteful, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedience to parents,without understanding, COVENANT BREAKERS,, without natural affection,implacable, unmerciful.
( Romans 1)

9 July 2009 at 13:31  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

I learned all I needed to know about them when I worked in SW England , while spending 1/3 of the year back in Scotland .

In Scotland , the LibDems kept the Lanarkshire Labour sleaze-machine in (what they hoped would be) perpetual government ,while whining about how the "evil English" kept Scotland's rightful resources from us .

In the SW (kept out in the cold despite Ashdown's hopes) they whined on about how the "thieving Jocks" had stolen all the money and how voting LibDem would get it back .

One Party , Many Cultures .

9 July 2009 at 13:39  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

The Liberal Democrats: useless. To be fair, though, the Tories and Labour are just as bad. Three in One and One in Three—the LibLabCon Party, whose sole purpose is to fool the people into thinking that they live in a democracy. Vote Labour, get Brussels; vote Tory, get Brussels; vote LibDem, get Brussels.

9 July 2009 at 13:55  
Blogger OldSouth said...

'’s relationships that matter, not signatures on a piece of paper.'

Which signatures, which pieces of paper?

For starters, how about my signature on my cheque written to the local grocer? Because I'm a swell guy, he should't be irked if the bank refuses to pay?

How about treaties between nations?

Or a mortgage?

Or a piece of legislation?

Or a legal ruling?

Or a Constitution?

All just words on paper, that can be disavowed when convenient?

Words must have meaning, if daily life is to function.

9 July 2009 at 14:00  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Your Grace
It is with the deepest regret that
I must now withdraw from this site
as my position as prime Antipodean communicant has been usurped by
Thick Aussie.It is my understanding
that he is an Islamic homosexual
keen to convert to Catholicism and
furthermore is the paramour of both John Doe and Anonymous.The suitability of this communicant is
therefore very much in question
and I'm calling upon Sister Mary McKillop, following her most almost recent beatification to sanctify this unholy site.

9 July 2009 at 14:24  
Blogger Demetrius said...

There has been confusion and muddled thinking ever since the secular state got involved in managing marriages. In the old days two separate things went on, one the religious bonding by the laws of the relevant faith. The other was the legal marriage contract, a great deal of which was to do with any issue, and any contingent matters of property and upkeep. The states involvement and the imposition of confusing and complex rules has destroyed the old basis of conducting this essential part of human relationships.

9 July 2009 at 14:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

There will be many around the globe who will be reading your article today.

Many will be divorced and in some ‘agony’ about whether or not they can get married again. There will be some Christian wives who will be at the end of their tether.

I am not by any stretch of the imagination a liberal; but my heart this afternoon is disturbed over the issue about whether once you are divorced you can remarry. May I point them, with your kindness, to a brilliant theologian whose research may assist?

Dr David Instone-Brewer [my note: his book Divorce and Remarriage] interprets the words of Jesus and Paul through the eyes of first century readers who knew about the ‘Any Cause’ divorce which Jesus was asked about ("Is it lawful to divorce for ‘Any Cause’" – Mt.19.3). Christians in following generations forgot about the ‘Any Cause’ divorce and misunderstood Jesus.

The 'Any Cause' divorce was invented by some Pharisees who divided up the phrase "a cause of indecency" (Dt.24.1) into two grounds for divorce: "indecency" (porneia which they interpreted as ‘Adultery’) and "a cause" (ie ‘Any Cause’). Jesus said the phrase could not be split up and that it meant "nothing except porneia". Although almost everyone was using this new type of divorce [my note: divorce on demand], Jesus told them that it was invalid, so remarriage was adulterous because they were still married.

The Old Testament allowed divorce for the breaking of marriage vows, including neglect and abuse, based on Exod.21.10f. Jesus was not asked about these biblical grounds for divorce, though Paul alluded to them in 1Cor.7 as the basis of marriage obligations. This book argues that God never repealed these biblical grounds for divorce based on broken marriage vows. They were exemplified by Christ (according to Eph.5.28f) and they became the basis of Christian marriage vows (love, honour, and keep).

9 July 2009 at 14:53  
Blogger John Doe said...


Please do not withdraw. I just wanted to see your head on a platter also. It's not a pretty sight so I will pull down the naughty blog. It was a deeply regretful act. I thought perhaps you would see the crockodile dundee side of it.

9 July 2009 at 15:16  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Sydneysider,

You are not remotely compelled by any to withdraw, and, should you be so, His Grace will deal with them summarily.

9 July 2009 at 15:51  
Blogger John Doe said...

Formal apology

I have hugely underestimated my innate abilities to irritate. In fairness to everyone, I have updated the about me part of my profile so as to be clear (somewhat) about myself. I am a pseudo internet character...pixels on an LCD screen; emotional reactions are futile. I do not, generally apologize for my existence. I am arrogant and determined, but acknowledge the need for humility, and will attempt to absorb some. Make it personal if you wish, but do cry if you get slapped back. I will use a spell checker so as not to offend the sensibilities of the pedantic (there may be the odd z instead of an s).

Back to the topic. The Lindens are everything His Grace describes...and more worse besides. They seem to have no structure or foundation which can be used to support their policies. Everything about them just seems arbitrary and indiscriminate. They are always quick o point the finger as though they have some kind of divine right to the moral high ground, when in truth they are the most foul and immoral crowd of foot loose and fancy free dick heads I have ever come across.

9 July 2009 at 16:09  
Blogger John Doe said...

LibDems (even spell checkers hate me)

9 July 2009 at 16:10  
Anonymous Orwellian Prophet said...

Captain Clegg at the helm, his barque battered by waves of criticism and his sails unfurled for any favourable wind of opportunism. He is between a rock and a hard place; NuLabour to the left and BluLabour to the right and not much navigable between.

What can he do but shore up everything Labour undermines and undermine that which Tories build? What else but say different things to different audiences when there is little chance of having to do any of it and every need for maximum voter appeal in a first past the post electoral system? Well he could tell the truth, but that would require a career change for he is after all a politician.

No need for a cogent manifesto Cleggers you'll never be held to account. Just keep hoping for enough seats in a Hung Parliament.

9 July 2009 at 16:39  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Never quite trusted the liberals myself, they say one thing and do another . At least with the socialists you know what they believe and they are prepared to stick to it .

9 July 2009 at 17:29  
Anonymous bot a machine said...

The liberal democrats offer little more than day out to the euro theme park at our lifelong expense .

They should have honoured there promise for referendum on Lisbon and not , wavered on the deciet of labour.

how can they stand for liberal politics when they dont even defend a basic fundamental promise they made to the people in there manfesto .

As for marriage , i have been down the road of this argument and observed its wishy washy endings on numerous couples , who end up insecure as there lives turn into micro deals and not loving acts on the foundation of commitment .

removing the honour and intrinsic will of marraige , leads to devalued relationships.

the free for all is based on lusts and so order is lost, the corporate marketing men love it though, as the insecurities create desires for beauty to obligate any feelings of loss .

9 July 2009 at 18:38  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

This is the man who claims to have slept with 35 (or was it 36) different women. Who would want to marry a man who keeps notches on his bedpost?

Liberals are the most disgusting creatures on the planet; worse than slugs.

9 July 2009 at 19:32  
Anonymous Peter Thomas said...

But you must agree that Lib Dems do have a propensity to cause laughter in those of other political persuasions. Laughter, I understand, is good for the body and the soul; so they do serve a useful function.

9 July 2009 at 22:50  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Cramer hates the Free Church!
(Non-Comformists as he would refer to them)
So what is new?

10 July 2009 at 04:19  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Lord Lavendon
"Socialists stick to what they believe"
Nu Labour in Britain?
Where have you been living for the past 20 years? The Philippines?

10 July 2009 at 04:29  
Anonymous Rosaria said...

Manfarangnito we have been to looking for you such too long time. Please return to your wives and children.Phillipines need you!
I kneel to kiss the ring of His Excellency the High Priest of Graciousness Archbisop Kramer for helping me to find you,

10 July 2009 at 05:55  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The political class sends these messages to its activist base not the electorate.

The political parties are funded by City hedge funds and staffed by people from advertising agencies and PR/Media is to their value system that politicians pay homage. The electorate is viewed simply as a field of hay to be mown

10 July 2009 at 08:12  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Meet you at the Aglipayan Church there!

10 July 2009 at 12:29  
Anonymous Nick Berry said...

The trouble is that so very few people understand what it is like to be a true Liberal these days. There is no inconsistency in believing in the importance of family and also believing that it is not for a governing party to enforce it. I believe that it would be better for society if every family were to attend church on Sunday but it would be grossly wrong for the government to enforce such a thing. You are quite right to make the argument for traditional marriage on your blog but as a Liberal I think you're wrong to expect a political party to make policy out of it.

10 July 2009 at 23:06  

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