Who would be a politician?
The world economy appears to be no further on from where it was at its nadir five years ago and the Middle East is as fractious as it has been in recent years yet our parliamentarians are getting themselves in a right old muddle about gay marriages.
In fairness the not so honourable members who are getting themselves worked up into a (purely heterosexual) lather are almost exclusively Conservative - the party which always manages to leg itself up over the things that matter the least to the man and woman in the street.
Hand on your heart, how many of you have discussed with your pals the thorny topic of whether or not Peter and Paul should be legally allowed to skip down the aisle, while supping your pint of Fusty Ferret and munching on your pork scratchings? I thought not.
So, for the majority of us, the unedifying sight of Parliament’s leading party quite literally tearing itself apart last night over an issue which the vast majority of us think should feature as highly on the priority list as what should be served in the Westminster canteen.
The fact is, the horse has already bolted - for the past few years tens of thousands of gay couples have happily posed for the cameras in their smartest gear, exchanged rings and stuffed their faces at the buffet after being joined together in a civil partnership.
To most sensible people this sounds just like a wedding, except for the fact they don’t take place in a church and these unions don’t afford civil partners the same legal protection as married couples.
To most of us the debate was won or lost (depending on your point of view) over the past decade yet here we have what used to be known as the Nasty Party threatening to surpass that reputation by working itself into a frenzy over an unimportant issue.
What did it for me was the sight on Sunday of a group of local Conservative party chairmen from across the country delivering petitions to Number 10 Downing Street signed by like minded members who were calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to delay this week’s vote on whether or not to introduce gay marriages to British life.
What struck me was how very Conservative they looked - grey, well dressed and, to a man (they were all men of course) middle aged.
This is exactly the image which Cameron has tried to steer his party away from during his seven-and-a-half years at the helm and some of his opponents have argued is the reason why he is pressing ahead with his support for gay marriage.
Unfortunately for him it doesn’t appear that some of his MPs share his vision of a softer, cuddlier Conservative party.
Who would be a politician indeed?
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Weather for Preston
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west