Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Equality at last, but at what cost for the PM?

Tuesday February 5 2013 could go down as one of the most historic days in British history when genuine equality began to really emerge from the shadows.

Legislation to permit gay men and women to marry was passed overwhelmingly in the House of Commons, meaning marriage truly now is open to all.

Churches can be exempt and in some cases will be. It won’t please many but surely we in Britain in 2013 really ought to recognise people from all walks of life?

However, despite getting the bill through, the Prime Minister has lots of negative headlines to deal with. More Conservatives voted against the motion than for it and it would not have passed had Labour not voted for it – not a good sign for a PM trailing in the opinion polls.

In truth, February 5 could also be the Cameron’s ‘Maastricht Moment’ where he pressed on regardless of what his party thought. John Major did the same over the EU and, although he was not removed by a subsequent leadership challenge, he was fatally wounded.

The list of ‘no’ voters on gay marriage include all the usual suspects; Carswell, Redwood, Pritchard and Bone but also many who had not rebelled before, including some elected in 2010.

Also featured in the no list was Adam Afriyie, Cameron’s alleged potential leadership challenger according to the Mail on Sunday.

Now a leadership challenge is a flight of fancy but imagine if the Tories are still behind in the polls this time next year and the economy is still in the toilet? Conditions ripe for a traditional Tory bun-fight!

Conservative commentators will point to the Labour and Lib Dem rebels but 20 Labour MPs and a smattering of Lib Dems hardly compares to almost half of the Conservative intake at Westminster.

Those that voted against need to state their reasons to their voters, maybe some have a case and we as the electorate should certainly listen.

It should also be mentioned that six Muslim Labour MPs and Conservative MP Sajid Javid were among those backing the motion. A nice kicking to those neanderthals who continually try to whip up anti-Muslim feelings in a modern, multi-cultural Britain.

Even more reason for Britain to be proud of February 5 and have some respect for the Prime Minister who, whether politically-motivated or not, pressed ahead with something that has been rather divisive.

Whether the Conservative Party will dump him at the altar remains to be seen....

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