Did Cameron accept cash for gay marriage?
‘Awesome’ = beneficial, cool, great (or the term Americans use to describe everything).
His Grace wouldn’t pay £250k for dinner with the Prime Minister, not merely because his meagre stipend doesn’t quite extend that far, but also because he is more than aware that dinners with politicians are utterly vapid affairs. Paul Goodman has the measure of them (and he should know):
Cameron...asks questions, remembers their children’s names, and listens attentively... When donors thump the table and urge that the Tube drivers all be fired, or that the Dangerous Substances Directive be shredded, or Balmoral be transformed into a tourist attraction, he nods thoughtfully and smiles agreeably.But His Grace digresses. Mr Cruddas went on to suggest that a ‘premier league’ of donors can contribute policy ideas which are ‘fed in’ to Downing Street’s policy process. While Mr Cruddas swiftly resigned and David Cameron has moved to reassure the public that ‘donations to the Conservative party do not buy party or government policy’, it transpires that an anonymous but ‘eminent’ (gay?) male Conservative Party supporter combined a substantial donation to the Party with a report on same-sex marriage, which he ‘fed’ into the No10 Policy Unit.
So what comes of this...? Two things. First, the Prime Minister thanks those present, saying that the evening has been splendid, invaluable – terrific to hear your views. Second, he returns to the bosom of his family, where he reads his wife extracts from Vogue, or plans to bomb Buenos Aires, or plays Angry Birds online, or does whatever else he does in the little private time available to him: at any rate, he immediately forgets about the evening’s dinner.
Peter Cruddas announced: “His voice has been heard”.
Well, hasn’t it just.
Eagle-eyed Roman Catholic Deacon Nick Donnelly (who runs the excellent Protect the Pope blog) spotted an intriguing tweet by the Sunday Times Insight team, which rather suggests that the ‘eminent donor’ was not only donating his eminent wealth, but also being rather free with his views on sexual morality and equality. Did a cash-for-access donor influence David Cameron’s gay marriage policy?
For some reason, the Conservative Party has not disclosed who submitted the ‘gay marriage’ paper to the No10 Policy Unit. Deacon Nick asks: “What are the links between homosexual lobbyists and the government? Have they paid for access to influence the government?” And he speculates (which, he says, is ‘only natural’) over the identity of such an influential anonymous ‘eminent donor’, especially since the Prime Minister appears to have discovered that same-sex marriage is a thoroughly conservative/Conservative pursuit at around the same time as the ‘eminent donor’ made his donation.
Even Tony Blair knew that the appearance of collusion is profoundly damaging for politics and for the democratic process. Back in 1997, just six months into his premiership, it was revealed that Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, had donated £1million to Labour – a donation only made public after the government had announced F1 would be exempt from a ban on tobacco advertising which was a key plank of Labour’s election manifesto. Mr Ecclestone lobbied for the exemption at a meeting at No10 with Mr Blair just a month before the announcement of the exemption. In the political furore and media mayhem that followed, Mr Blair repeatedly downplayed the link between the donation and the decision to exempt Formula One. But the link was exposed and the source of the exemption policy as plain as the proverbial pikestaff.
But that was a superficial matter of business capitalism: gay marriage is a profound shift in culture, tradition and definition. If some ‘eminent donor’ lobbied David Cameron for a change in the law, and ‘his voice has been heard’, as Peter Cruddas said, as a result of this donation, then it is time for the Prime Minister to disclose both the identity of the donor and the contents of his policy paper.
And this is not a question of being pro or anti same-sex marriage; it is a question of honesty, integrity and transparency. For it certainly appears that, while the public are being denied a genuine consultation on the proposal, a rich individual, who is male and probably gay, is able to purchase influence over Government policy in exchange for a hefty donation to the Conservative Party.
Of course, there is no reason to suppose that the anonymous donor is gay, for many heterosexuals support the cause of ‘gay marriage’ (just as many homosexuals oppose it, but they are conveniently marginalised and discriminated against by the more aggressive gay lobby). For what it’s worth, His Grace thinks Deacon Nick’s guess of Sir Elton John is very wide of the mark. It is more likely to be someone very much younger, openly gay, savvy in business, cool and Cameroon, with political ambitions, and (recently back) on the Approved List of Candidates.