Family Values

29 Sep

The Conservative Party has, for as long as I can remember, promoted what it regards as ‘Family Values’. Quite what that represents is a bit of a movable feast, but generally it means settled heterosexual relationships with children and the woman taking the lion’s share of responsibility for child care.

In The Sunday Mirror a Conservative junior minister, a Mr Brooks Newman, who I had never heard of, was reported to have sent sexually explicit images of himself to a journalist posing as a female PR person for the Conservative Party. Mr Brooks Newman was, until yesterday, the Minister for Civil Society. He is also the father of several children, (one report said four, another five).

The operation to trap him was a sting, but sending a photo of your aroused member through the gap in your paisley pyjamas to a man posing as a young woman might be thought extremely foolish, as well as obscene. He has not only sinned, he has been exposed as a hypocrite and a fool.

Now the other parties have their fair share of sexual scandal, but they do not preach to me about what my behaviour should be. Frankly, I do not care if a minister has a mistress or lover. It is none of my business. It is positively expected of French politicians, and that seems more grown up to me than the prurient and gloating views of some of the British press.

It was not a good day for the Conservatives on the opening day of their conference. The other story that broke was that one of their MPs has defected to UKIP. This is a man with the perfect surname, Reckless. The Tory hierarchy were incandescent with rage. Reckless had insisted that he was loyal only the day before.

The Conservatives are a right of centre party, and the extreme right is, well, pretty extreme. There have always been raving homophobic racists in the party and they have to go somewhere. That Mr Reckless chooses UKIP goes to show just how far right that party is.

At the very least UKIP – United Kingdom Independence Party – is populated with delusional Little Englanders. They live in some kind of mythical past of English glory. A large number of the members subscribe to a different political philosophy, that of prejudice and racism. Some of the utterances of their version of Il Duce, Nigel Farage, can only be understood as racist.

Politicians from other parties have fallen over themselves to insist that UKIP supporters are not racist. Such an attitude plays into UKIP’s hands. Better to tell it like it is. Let me say this as gently as possible to UKIP supporters. If you believe that the policies espoused by UKIP are reasonable and correct then you should be honest enough to admit that you are a racist. It won’t make be respect your opinions any more than I do, but at least you won’t be a hypocrite as well.

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