A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It Says Nothing To Me About My Life

Here we go again ... obscure Tory frontbencher Dominic Grieve has called for a return to Victorian values.

Are we the only country that has politicians who seriously look at society 100 to 150 years ago for moral and policy guidance?

Do the German CDU say "let's get back to Wilhelmine values" or French conservatives say "let's get back to 3rd Republic values".

I don't want to go back to Victorian values - private repression and hypocrisy, gross inequality and exploitation, public moralising and espousals of religiosity by people with lifestyles funded by the systematic ripping off of the British working classes and the colonies.

Grieve's core argument seems to be that all the ills of society are created by people not getting married. As someone who has been with the same partner for 8 years, has a child with them, and has no intention of getting married, I feel personally insulted by Mr Grieve's insinuation that I am the root cause of, according to the Observer, " poverty, school failure and crime."

The reality is that people's lives don't all fit into a neat pattern of marry, have 2.4 kids and live happily ever after. Attempts by the Tories to assert that that's how everyone should live just remind people that they are offering 19th century solutions to 21st century problems.


Anonymous Alex Sobel, Leeds said...

I agree with your post, I do object to him being called obscure. I stood against him in last year's general election and when I told people round and about I was standing against him they seemed to know who he was, although they may have just been humouring me.

He is a devout churchgoer and is church warden where he lives in Fulham (or somewhere in West London), in the hustings debate he made a point of his devout christianity, there was a bit of a contest between the Lib Dem, Dominic and the UKIP guy about who was the most devout. Not the only thing they had in common, they had all been members of the Tory Party. It made me the sole Jewish, Left person on the platform feel a little isolated and made clear where the political divide in that room was.

10:29 pm, December 10, 2006

Anonymous ocanuk said...

Check this out - go to today's Comment is Free section of the Guardian website in which Martin Kettle discusses the 'Victorian Values' issue and says actually the Tories can be compassionate and Thatcher not caring about the poor was an aberration!

5:14 pm, December 11, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is quite clearly wrong.

8:33 pm, December 11, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say his statement was a generalisation.

He didn't say that unmarried couples were the route of all the ills of society, merely that as a binding contract people with children who are married tend to see their relationship lasting longer.

It wasn't a pop at people who aren't married, after all (as LA points out) huge numbers of families in Britain may not be married.

It was however an investigation into the root causes of family breakdown and the consequences that can often result from that.

11:27 am, December 15, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition, French Presidential hopefull Nicolas Sarkozy has called for the 'return' of the Third Republic parliamentary system. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/6bef03d2-c50a

We can all call for a return to selected principles of days gone by without embracing them absolutely.

11:39 am, December 15, 2006


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