PM David Cameron abandons same-sex marriage debate and will not speak in defence of his policy

The sensational news from the same-sex marriage debate is that the PM David Cameron was not sitting on the front bench as the debate began and will not speak during the debate to defend his policy. Apparently he’s got time to give a TV interview on gay marriage, but not give time to listen to his backbenchers. Cameron’s actions show his total contempt for parliamentary democracy.

The Daily Telegraph reports :

Sometimes the most revealing comments are those that remain unspoken. In 2011, David Cameron boldly announced to the Tory conference that he would legalise same-sex marriage “because I am a Conservative”, saying all relationships deserved support.

Today, he is nowhere to be seen or heard on the issue. At no point, as the row over gay marriage reached its height in recent days, has Mr Cameron said anything in public about why he supports the reforms. The Bill, which is being debated in the Commons for the first time today, was not discussed at Cabinet. Even the Prime Minister’s official spokesman would not repeat the reasons why the government believes this reform is necessary.

Mr Cameron will not be on the front bench for the start of the debate and may well not attend at all. He has a “very active day” of meetings and appointments, Downing Street said. But he will vote, we are told.

So why the silence? Either Mr Cameron has got cold feet and no longer believes in the Bill (in which case, stay tuned for the most sensational U-turn of recent years), or he is desperate to dodge what has become a PR disaster for his party.

His bold promise at the Conservative conference in Manchester was seen as a potent sign of his determination to show how far the Tory party had changed. As the anger and division have grown ever since, it seems to have had exactly the opposite effect.

David Hughes has written the following comment on his Daily Telegraph blog:

‘Given the way that the gay marriage row has split the Tories from stem to stern, you’d have expected David Cameron – whose personal crusade this is – to turn up in the Commons for the debate. Not a bit of it. There was no sign of the Prime Minister on the Treasury Bench for the opening speeches today. And what about the holders of the three great offices of state – George Osborne, Theresa May and William Hague – who this morning took the trouble to write to this newspaper proclaiming their support for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, declaring it to be “the right thing to do at the right time”? Nope, no sign of them either.

Why the reticence? There was a time when such a contentious and symbolic piece of legislation would have commanded not only a full Commons Chamber (it’s half empty at the moment) but also a strong turnout of Cabinet heavyweights. Yet when Maria Miller made her opening speech the only other Cabinet ministers I could spot were Andrew Lansley, the Leader of the House (who has to be there) and Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary.

This is the stage of the parliamentary procedure when the real substance of the measure is debated for the first time and the nature of any opposition to the bill is properly aired. This is when Ministers can listen and learn and prepare appropriate amendments if they deem them necessary. But no, the Prime Minister seems to be of the view that the House can like it or lump it. Should we be surprised at such cavalier behaviour? Hardly. This is a measure that was in neither the Tory manifesto nor the Coalition Agreement. If the PM places such little store on the political conventions that normally govern such an important piece of social legislation, he’s unlikely to be much bothered about observing the parliamentary niceties. Anyway, a spot of lunch with Joe Biden is always going to be more diverting than sitting round listening to the views of his backbenchers.

Protect the Pope comment: David Cameron has personally pushed gay marriage onto the political agenda of his government without a electoral mandate, without a green or white paper, without a real consultation, and now he abandons the debate in the House of Commons chamber and will not speak in defence of his legislation. Who’s sorry now? Or if David Hughes is right, and Cameron is expressing contempt for his backbenchers, whose going to be sorry later?

11 comments to PM David Cameron abandons same-sex marriage debate and will not speak in defence of his policy

  • Karla

    Pathetic. Either he knows deep down this is wrong and he is pushing it for other reasons or he doesn’t want to turn off the grassroots even further than he has done by pushing this. Revealing

    • Michael Petek

      Every person of sound mind knows that same sex marriage is impossible and founded upon a lie. Yes, the Prime Minister knows he’s as big a liar as is Chris Huhne. Yes, he knows he’s going to hell if he doesn’t repent. No, he doesn’t care.

      • Deacon Nick Donnelly

        Michael, I think it wise not to speculate on the eternal destiny of others, either heaven or hell. As Our Lady of Fatima instructed that we should rather pray for the souls of sinners, including ourselves. All of us are in danger of making sinful choices that can cut us off from God’s grace. Deacon Nick

        • Michael Petek

          Sorry, Nick, I should have made myself clearer. The words “Yes, he knows he’s going to hell if he doesn’t repent.” should have covered it, because it contains a conditional qualifier.

          The point I would make is that we can’t pass judgement on a person’s culpability in dissenting from truths which are only of faith, but beyond reason because the ability to believe mysteries of faith is a grace given to some, bit not others. But I would submit that we can pass judgement where the truth dissented from is of the natural order. This is true in particular of a man who is married and a father.

          If Mr Cameron is validly married, it can only be because on his wedding day he irrevocably exchanged with his bride the exclusive right to the body for the acts by which they had children. If he honestly believes that a man can be married to a man, or a woman to a woman, then it seems that he has forgotten how to marry and could not consent to another marriage if he were to become a widow tomorrow.

  • ms Catholic state

    He really has contempt for the people of this country doesn’t he! But it was only last week he was telling African children on his visit there how British children ‘just’ want to be footballers and singers.

    He disgusts me.

  • Joseph Matthew

    What hit me about the Radio 4 discussion between the lesbain MP Angela Eagle and Charles Moore was that Ms Eagle did not mention children at all until Charles Moore brought it up.Marriage seems to be a “long-term commitment” between people in love. Not life-long and not sacrificial love. When the romance goes….
    The other argument put forward by Eagle is that we allow infertile couples to marry, so why not homosexuals ? The answer is that infertile couples do nothing to CONTRADICT the marital act.
    And so we come to the difference between NFP and contraception. Elizabeth Anscombe was absolutely right : there is a logical link between contraception and homosexual acts because they both contradict the marital act.

    • Karla

      Infertility is put forward by gay marriage advocates over and over, it is such an overused poor argument that misunderstands the reality of marriage

  • Augustine

    See Damian Thompson’s article ‘The truth about David Cameron’s good manners’ in the Daily Telegraph on November 18, 2011

    “Dave is rude. More specifically, he exhibits the calculated rudeness of people with very nice manners…..Ask anyone who encountered him when he ran PR for Carlton: he was Flashman crossed with Mandelson.”

    It appears that he is not a snob after all: he has contempt for his own MP’s as well as for the electorate.

  • Michael B Rooke

    The debate is still going on and it must be said some of the very best speeches so far have, come from the DUP.  

  • Kinga Grzeczynska LLB

    My comments are just before the vote takes place. The arguments in the House have been cordial, lively, well said and some deeply moving. There are many, many people who advocate that our society will be far better when these changes are implemented. Where is the Prime Minister?
    God help us all. I say.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

    • Karla

      They are very, very wrong who argue society is better off for redefining marriage. I can not believe politicians act as if they have real authority to redefine marriage

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