House Diary, Eviction Looms

My three month countdown to eviction has become a stagger from last this to last that. Last Fisheries debate, last Salvation Army Carol Service, last photo exhibition.

What Happened To Hope

Compared to the surge of enthusiasm and hope which brought Labour to power in 1964 or 1997, our present situation is depressing. Neck and neck in the polls where we should be streets ahead of a shambolic, nasty government. Our leader harassed and not as refreshing we`d hoped. Our Shadow Cabinet is largely unknown. We`re not striking winning chords. On some issues the public is ahead of us.

Time for Devo North

The excitement and the explosion of energy which have gone on in Scotland over the last few weeks are both a joy to behold and something for we poor Northerners, all excluded from the fun, should envy


Austin Mitchell MP visits the Stallingborough site to meet with graduates and apprentices whose careers are supported by historic engineering company

Pfizer needs a dose of ethical tablets

Describing Pfizer’s intentions for AstraZeneca as “rape” has produced a Twitter storm of abuse from Tories anxious to distract attention from the Government’s weakness in the matter

Grimsby Telegraph, 24th Mar 2014


Corporation BridgeThe CenotaphPeoples ParkSt James ChurchWeelsby Woods LionPoppies

From Mess to Success

I agonised over how I was going to vote on Same Sex Marriage (which lead a lot of people to wrongly assume I was voting against) but that process, which has been going on for some weeks and was particularly intense on Tuesday, ended with a decision to vote for the bill. This will be criticised by all of you who took the other point of view but is better than what I proposed to do for most of the day, to abstain. I rejected this idea because it would have satisfied no one and alienated both sides in the argument. After all my deliberations it was time to take a clear decision.


I felt that Cameron's decision to introduce this bill without putting it in his party's manifesto or consulting his party and the nation was both undemocratic and unnecessary and that Civil Partnerships offered a suitable way for gay people to commit to a sustained relationship. It is not a particularly pressing issue so it was wrong for Cameron to bring it forward to deflect attention from the cuts, the weak economy, and the problem of Europe. When I expressed that view on Twitter a tonne of abuse descended on my head. The gay community seems to think that the best way of persuading people of their cause is abuse. It nearly pushed me the other way. Even now one Stu Morris who earlier expressed the hope that one of my grandchildren would choose gay marriage commented, charmingly, that I didn’t even have the strength to stand by my homophobic views. His picture shows him tied up. He should be.


Most of this abuse came from outside Grimsby. Within the constituency most of my correspondents were sincere Christians opposed to a change in the traditional definition of marriage and worried that such a radical change had not been debated either at the election  or in party manifestos.


In the end what weighed was the case for equality. The homosexual community have not been treated fairly and I came to the conclusion that if we can end that in a way which doesn't impinge on the churches and concerned Christians we should try to do so. That's why I think that the bill must maintain a distinction between civil and religious marriage. The bill attempts to do this by prohibiting same sex marriage in the established church and allowing other churches and chapels to decide whether to allow it. If that can be safeguarded by preventing legal action on a rights or any other basis against individual clergy or churches then the rights of Christians and their commitment to marriage between a man and a woman on a traditional basis can be safeguarded. Some pointed out that in Denmark their established churches had been forced to conduct same sex marriages by legal action but in fact that church was not totally excluded in the way the Church of England is. We should never discount the cunning of lawyers but separation is what I voted for and will continue to insist on as the bill goes on to its next stages.


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