Let’s leave the actual issue of gays for now, let’s not get sucked into this in comments. I’ve run both my own view and those of readers of the Telegraph at my place and that’s best left there. What I’d like to address is the political question of framing questions dishonestly – this has implications for the referendum on the EU.
Here’s how the Telegraph did it initially:
That was a total misrepresentation of the argument. The argument was between a small minority with inordinate influence over the PM forcing its views not only on the majority but on other minorities as well and I thought it was government policy to protect minorities freedom to operate?
Here was one commenter on that:
OK – they were getting stomped on, despite the biased question and so the editor clearly thought hmmm, perhaps there’s a donkey vote operating here. Tell you what, if we reverse the order, putting the “no” at the top and the “yes” below, it will change things:
And it did seem to pull the vote back to about 60% yes. Also, the mobile shills would have been out in force to try to claw that vote back. Why was it important? Because the Telegraph, Mail, Guardian and other papers influence opinion. Sure Yougov and other polls are the trusted ones but for straw polls, the dailies are the thing.
If they can get it back to about 55-45, then they could claim a “near majority” or an “increasing number” support forcing gay marriage on everyone. Unfortunately, this poll and that at the Mail have been a disaster for Cameron:
Why is he doing it? Why does he have his teeth into this minor issue in people’s lives and why is he willing to risk demolition both within his own party and in the Lords? Perhaps this is the answer:
He will allow Conservative MPs a free vote to follow their conscience on the issue, but Labour and the Liberal Democrats are likely to team up with the Government in favour.
Now again, let’s pull back from the actual issue if that is possible and look at his tactics. It may be that the left – Labour, the Lib Dems and the Pink Tories’ unholy alliance is not a traitorous, quisling band in the land. It may be that right is on their side and we are the quislings for supporting our country and its traditions.
The point is that he is meant to be a conservative. You may not like conservatives but he was still meant to be one and he is facing down the actual conservatives in his Conservative Party. What is that – lunacy? Treason? It’s as if Miliband, instead of selling out the country to appease the Labour tribalists decided to support the church establishment – he would be betraying his party, no? And he was put in specifically to tear the country apart so he’d have to go.
WTF does Cameron hope to achieve, except the extinction of traditional voices in the land?
20:04: LOL – the Mail has dropped its poll.