Sunday, 5 September 2010

Conflicting tides

David Gordon argues there is a secular tide that Tom Elliott isn't recognising in his comments of the Gay Pride parades.  However, the picture is more complicated than that.

Besides the dumbing down of politics to symbol issues/tests, there are genuine questions how much the issue is a vote shifter and for how many here?  The growth of secularism is not the only social phenomenon going on.  While religious belief and church attendance is declining within those who do hold religious beliefs it is the smaller, evangelical and broadly more conservative churches that are growing.  Simply if people are going to believe they want something to believe in not the intellectual drift of the mainstream churches to offering very little but somewhere to go on a Sunday.  With the additional issue that such people have a good voting record.  Decisions are made by those who turn up.  Also many have chosen the option of silence on such issues but that shouldn't automatically be interpreted as support.

Beyond this electoral push and pull there is the issue of consequences.  This week CSJ produced its Breakthrough Northern Ireland report.  It provides an insight into the social costs of the social liberalism of the last 40-50 years (Note this is not how CSJ would present its work).  Granted many of these costs were unforeseen and unintended by those who proposed them but they have occurred.  So when faced with all this how should someone looking to leading act? Is compliance the only right answer?


Anonymous said...

Some in CSJ would come close to presenting it that way. Former Executive Director Philippa Stroud's own Westminster campaign was undone over her remarks about "curing gays" (albeit most unfairly, since the remarks were made more than 20 years ago).

Certainly the CSJ does challenge some social-liberal views - it notes that family breakdown is a pathway to poverty, and is also fairly ruthless on worklessness (particularly on those who will not work).

Anonymous said...

Good blog.

David Gordon has missed the problem. It is not about secularism, it is about leadership. Elliott wants to follow, not lead.

Dilettante said...

Whilst I understand (although don't concur with) a conservative challenging social liberalism, why do you bring up the Gay Pride march? Are you suggesting the UUP should adopt a position contrary to legal equality for homosexuals? I realise the question might sound like a lefty witch hunt, but I'm honestly just interested.

Lee said...


It was what the issue the original article was based upon.

As far as I know/remember the UUP has by and large voted against measures for legal equality for homosexuals (with Taylor and Hermon the exceptions) and depending on what that means the phrase means I am not aware of the UUP backing gay marriage.

slug said...

It was a stupid thing to say - creates problems more than it might be worth.