Has Cameron accepted cash to dilute commitment to gay marriage?
The ‘eagle-eyed’ Roman Catholic Deacon Nick Donnelly (who runs the not-so-excellent Protect the Pope blog) did indeed spot an intriguing tweet by the Sunday Times Insight team, but got completely the wrong end of the crozier. His Grace was sufficiently trusting to believe the contents of the Pope blog (yes, he should have learned centuries ago...) and wrote his own article before checking sources. He apologises. To be fair to Deacon Nick, he did send His Grace the new evidence the moment he discoverd it. And it transpires that the 'eminent donor’ mentioned by Peter Cruddas was actually lobbying the Conservative Party against gay marriage.
But His Grace isn’t going to hastily redact his earlier post or surreptitiously delete it before it is embedded irrevocably and forever in the search engines of the world. No, he will not do that, not least because he said: “...this is not a question of being pro or anti same-sex marriage; it is a question of honesty, integrity and transparency”. And that remains absolutely the case.
The revelation that a wealthy ‘eminent donor’ has lobbied the Conservative Party to change its policy on gay marriage is actually rather more seismic. For Peter Cruddas is quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying: “We’ve fed that (the donor’s anti-gay marriage paper) back into the party and there are some brilliant points in it and his voice has been heard.”
Brilliant points? His voice has been heard?
In the context of the apparently inexorable drive for same-sex marriage, this statement appears to make no sense at all. Unless...
...the ‘consultation’ presently being undertaken were suddenly to include the question which both David Cameron and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone have hitherto maintained would not be included because it simply isn’t on the agenda. The position has consistently been that same-sex marriage is equal, fair, just, and the right thing to do, so the Government is going to legislate for it. Indeed, for the Prime Minister it is the Conservative (if not the conservative) thing to do, and for all Liberal Democrats it is self-evidently the liberal (if not the democratic) thing to do. The ‘consultation’ has been concerned exclusively with the staggeringly narrow but politically expedient ‘how’, rather than the socially responsible and morally imperative ‘if’.
Has this ‘eminent donor’ (male, heterosexual?) just used his considerable wealth to shift the policy? Are we about to see the re-engagement of David Cameron’s political antennae, along with a subtle acknowledgement that ‘gay marriage’ is oxymoronically incomprehensible if not naturally offensive to many faith groups (including target Muslim and Sikh voters); that it would create apparently insurmountable problems for the Established Church; and that it is actually not a human right recognised by the ECtHR? However the policy is amended, diluted, or re-presented, Peter Cruddas has basically assured us that the Coalition 4 Marriage voice ‘has been heard’, which is bound to upset the Coalition 4 Equal Marriage. And rightly so.
His Grace asks again (this time in the hope of being joined by #Gays4Cranmer), is it not right, just and proper for the identity of this ‘eminent donor’ to be disclosed, along with the contents of his paper?