Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Cameron seeks to ban gay kissing before 9pm

David Cameron's decision to tell The Sun that he wants to see a change to broadcasting rules to ban the screening of same sex kisses before the 9pm watershed is yet another test of Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems.

It's a dog whistle issue for Conservatives and harks back to the Section 28 agenda of the 1980s. And it is no coincidence that he should choose to have made these remarks to The Sun - a paper not exactly known for its tolerance.

It's a test for Clegg because Cameron has designed it as such. The Lib Dems exist on a platform of tolerance - the preamble of our constitution is written on every membership card and says that nobody should be enslaved by conformity. The most natural reaction of most Lib Dem members would be outrage and I have no reason to think that Nick Clegg's thoughts would be any different.

But his second reaction will be that he shouldn't rise to the bait. Does he really want to pick a fight on this issue just before local election polling day? He knows, after all, that most of the 'modern' Conservative leadership are almost as socially liberal as they are economically so. That is why they have been able to do business with the likes of Clegg, Huhne and Laws. In this respect, Cameron is isolated and a bit of a throwback to Conservatives past.

But on balance this is an issue where Clegg should make known his displeasure with Cameron. It is important in itself, but it is also a debate that is representative of a whole series of other key issues to do with the diversity of the UK. So I hope that Nick decides publicly, as well as in private, that a coalition government can have no truck with the bigotry of the past.


Moderate Fundamentalist said...

Even if he says he wants to ban gay kissing, the only way any legislation could work under the terms of the equalities laws if it covers straight kissing as well.

To be fair, that might not be a bad thing. It should give the writers of Hollyoaks something to think about.

dans_junk10 said...

Ridiculous - where are you getting your sources from???? Where on earth does it say that David Cameron 'spoke' to The Sun. This is really lazy blogging - try READING.