Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cameron offers up his Parliamentary Party as a hostage to the Media

Those of us who have, I put it politely, been about for a while, will remember the carnage that followed John Major's 'Back to Basics' campaign in the mid-nineties, as a series of hitherto anonymous Conservative MPs were outed for their less than entirely conventional view of human sexuality.

It demonstrated, beyond any doubt, that politicians are human, like everyone else. Unfortunately, with the media sub-contracted to act as moral arbiters, it was never going to end well, with effects that still impact on our politics today.

I find myself in what seems like a counter-intuitive position. Because, whilst our Conservative dancing partners normally claim to have a jump on issues of personal responsibility and freedom, this is one area where Liberal Democrats seem more comfortable with both. And whilst Liberal Democrats are not immune to personal frailty, the fact that the Party has a generally less prurient view of personal relationships and sexuality means that charges of hypocrisy in this area have been relatively few in number.

And the problem with hypocrisy in human relationships is that you become horribly exposed to a media who will never miss an opportunity to pull down an errant politician or, at least, a politician whose personal life does not meet with their moral approval.

So, David Cameron's talk of 'Christian values' will, I suspect have provoked a few groans at the breakfast tables of Conservative politicians this week, and a little rummaging in the files of our national newspapers. I'm not going to say that I look forward to the results, but I have a nasty feeling in my bones...

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