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Can we expect more social conservatism from the Tories?

11 November 2013

12:26 PM

11 November 2013

12:26 PM

The Telegraph reports that the Relationships Alliance, which is to launch in the House of Commons, warns that the ‘disintegration of romantic, social and family relationships costs the average taxpayer around £1,500 a year’. Apparently this amounts to £50 billion a year.

The story is of course familiar, even if the figures involved are new. Broken relationships can cause immense social and economic damage to the wider community. The Relationships Alliance, which is a union of charities, actions groups, politicians and individuals, has come into being to convince the government to adopt a national strategy to counter these costly ills. Relationships do break down, and some relationships should be dissolved. The question is how to limit the wider impact of their collapse. David Cameron’s central policy plank in this arena, the marriage tax allowance, doesn’t quite address that question.

Perhaps the Relationships Alliance will push the Conservatives to make further pledges in support of relationships. The tactical possibilities of a socially conservative approach are two-fold: it might check the drift of voters to UKIP, and it could attract traditionally-minded people from minority communities. However, I suspect that legalising gay marriage, which Philip Hammond described as ‘damaging’ over the weekend, may have driven those people away from the Tories. On the other hand, it might be time to redefine social conservatism to take account of homosexual unions as well as the nuclear family.

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  • StephanieJCW

    “Perhaps the Relationships Alliance will push the Conservatives to make further pledges in support of relationships”

    The Relationships Alliance? Give me strength. Anyway what exactly can government do in this arena to prevent any type of relationship breaking down and mitigating the harmful impacts?

  • Lady Magdalene

    The Relationship Alliance. I wonder how much taxpayers’ money they already get and how much they hope to get.
    Whatever it is, it’s too much.

  • Lady Magdalene

    “However, I suspect that legalising gay marriage, which Philip Hammond described as ‘damaging’ over the weekend, may have driven those people away from the Tories.”
    SUSPECT! Have you been living on a desert island, cut off from all media contact, for the past year?

  • Curnonsky

    Looking forward to hearing more from Boris on this subject, upon which he has so much to offer.

    • terence patrick hewett

      I think you will find Boris is distancing himself from the condemned.

  • colliemum

    Creating and financially supporting a “Relationships Alliance” is now a sign of ‘social conservatism’?
    Oh dear.
    Just wait for a new NGO to help support the ‘victims of relationship breakdown’ … after all, a new victim group is urgently needed, we do have so much money to spare!

  • Smithersjones2013

    Oh god not another parasite organisation blowing its own trumpet about nothing in particular using dodgy stats in the hope of getting a taxpayer handout whilst no doubt hiding behind charity status.

    There is one thing that needs to be cut back even more than the public sector and that’s the proliferation of think tanks and quasi charities that produce little or nothing of value.

    Tax them into oblivion! Our society needs to stamp out these 21st Century vagrants.

    PS And if the Tories have got any sense they will steer well clear of any social engineering. Cameron has already done enough damage in that area

  • andagain

    Can we expect more social conservatism from the Tories?

    Undoubtedly. How else will they alienate the young?

    • Mike P.

      The young Muslims?

      • andagain

        I can really see their being popular with the existing membership…

  • rtj1211

    Gay marriage is only damaging to those who think that life defined in a book 2000 years ago will never evolve. Unfortunately for those who think that, it HAS evolved. They will say for the worse, but in my view, it has changed for the better.

    Parents who live a happy and stable heterosexual monogamous marriage and who can discuss openly and without prejudice its pros and cons have no fear that their children, if they are truly heterosexual, all remain happily so throughout their lives. I would like to see one piece of simple evidence that according those who are not heterosexual equal rights to live happily on this earth prevents normal heterosexuals from doing the same.

    It seems to me that there must be a profoundly significant population in Britain and maybe in many other countries which is sufficiently insecure in its own personal sexualities, insufficiently secure in the nature of their marriages and completely insecure in their ability to talk successfully with their children that they believe that their children take more notice of aggressive gay propaganda than the sirens of their own hormones, the voices of their own parents and the signals that they get from heir own peer group.

    Happy marriages do not need special tax breaks, however they should not be penalised either.

    I think the fundamental question which needs to be posed is why conservatives feel that lots of young people who are intrinsically heterosexual will feel threatened if those who are not are allowed equal rights to live life according to their own truths.

    • Makroon

      Ha-ha, incoming !!

    • terence patrick hewett

      Homosexual marriage is very old fashioned: they knew all about it in ancient Rome. Simply a symptom of decadence.

    • John Smith

      Next someone will say being gay is innate, rather than fashionable

    • StephanieJCW

      “Gay marriage is only damaging to those who think that life defined in a book 2000 years ago will never evolve”

      Quite. For the life of me, I genuinely cannot see, at all, in the slightest how two men, or women marrying will have any impact on my own heterosexual relationships. Why would it?

  • terence patrick hewett

    This article leaves me practically speechless. Have the Conservative Party any idea what is going to hit them in 2015? If they get 80 seats in the GE they will be lucky. They really seem to think they will just have to whistle and all those who have abandoned the party for UKIP and others will come trotting back. The 2014 Euro elections will be a kick in the butt: the GE in 2015 will be a kick in the nadgers.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “The tactical possibilities of a socially conservative approach are two-fold: it might check the drift of voters to UKIP, and it could attract traditionally-minded people from minority communities.”

    Does every policy proposal have to be assessed on its potential electoral benefits for the Tory party?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …yes, and you’re not the only one to notice that. That’s why such foolishness can’t work. The people they’re trying to bamboozle see through it.

  • jazz606

    What the fcuk is Social Conservatism ?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Not sure, but it doesn’t likely involve government zealotry for homosexual marriage.

  • dalai guevara

    The Social Market Economy, Schengen, a Green future King, British Federalism that includes Scotland, dual hub transportation concepts, competition facilitated by Localism, the ethics of the market.

    It appears we have much more reading to do.

  • Russell

    Is Cameron going to outdo Brown and introduce a divorce allowance to alleviate the stress caused to couples?

  • Colonel Mustard

    Put a price on everything. The “It costs the government/economy x so you should do y” is all part of the “nudge” culture so beloved of the Right Reverend Cameron and his sanctimonious fellow nudgers in their pulpits. No doubt the solutions to this “costed” problem will involve yet more taxing, regulating, licensing, quangos, tsars, fake charities, busybodies, censoring and/or banning.

    How mightily I wish these wonk politicians would keep the f**k out of our houses and our lives and just get on with running the country rather than trying to mould society into a shape that they determine is good for us. Since most of society’s current ills stem from their long catalogue of stupid decisions, bad laws and worse policies anyway the less they do the better. I don’t need some over-privileged, arrogant, blancmange-faced Eton prat to lecture me on how I should live my life.

    • Makroon

      Oh wow, how much I agree with you ! God protect us from the never-ending stunts of these parasites !

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Your Cameroonian buddies are the worst of the parasites.

        • Makroon

          Now don’t be rude laddie, or I’ll stop giving you upticks for dealing with Lindsay ‘n Maris.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Nothing rude about pointing out your hypocrisy, lad.

            • Makroon

              The rude bit was calling me a Cameroonian buddy. Laddie.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Nothing rude about that, lad. It fits well.

                • dalai guevara

                  Tovarishch, you act like a Matryoshka doll. Take the top off and what will we find, yet a smaller tovarishch. Take another top off and what do we then find? A piece of Polonium-210, or just hot air?
                  Topless is more.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Can any of you other socialist nutters translate this guy’s gibberish?

                • dalai guevara

                  Flop….uh, just hot air indeed as now confirmed by you, again.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …still in need of a gibberish translator here…

    • dalai guevara

      Will Nobel Prize laureates attract your attention?
      http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/hss/115663.html

      • Colonel Mustard

        No.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Nobel? When they give Obama the peace prize for little more than farting in their general direction? Nobel is a joke like much of the rest of the Global elitist establishment! Shiny baubles for the boys and girls.

        • dalai guevara

          You are aware of the difference between a Nobel Prize and a Nobel Peace Prize, aren’t you?

          • Smithersjones2013

            There is no difference. Each is awarded by a supposedly relevant peer group. If you think that being part of the economic peer group is any more credible than the political peer group after almost all of them missed the financial crash you are having a laugh!

            Like all these awards these days its as much about popularity, politics, trend and group-think as it is about ability and achievement. Its the nature of society…..

            • dalai guevara

              There is nothing wrong with high level group-think. It’s either relevant or it’s not.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Heh. This socialist nutter is drawing distinctions between strains of socialist nutter.

            That’s funny. 😉

    • Alex

      Spot on; the problem is that modern politicians see every single activity and every single item as something they need to take action on. They need to decide if it’s really bad (make it illegal), a bit bad (tax it), good (subsidise it) or really good (make it legally mandatory). Not to mention the taxpayer-funded lobbyists, academic research and propaganda campaigns required for each one.
      If you listen to the debates in the House of Commons, it’s just an endless depressing litany of “the government must act on…”, “the government will legislate on ….”, “the government will intervene to …”, “the government must educate the public about …..”. To be fair, you do hear pushback on authoritarianism; about once a day from Tories, once a week from LibDems and once a millennium from Labour, but the overwhelming trend is clear; there is nothing that politicians don’t want to control.

  • Daniel Maris

    “Can we expect more social conservatism from the Tories?”

    No. We can expect a move to legalise polygamous marriage in due course.

  • asalord

    “Can we expect more social conservatism from the Tories?”

    Let’s hope so.More reasons for vote Yes in 2014.

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