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Grimsby Telegraph, 24th Mar 2014


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Grimsby Telegraph, 6th Feb 2014

HOW HEALTHY IS THE HEALTH SERVICE?
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Grimsby Telegraph, 7th March 2014

GEORGE`S BUDGET
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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.
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Same Sex Mess

Iím in an agony of indecision over same sex marriage. On the one hand Iím not illiberal or homophobic. On the other I am not particularly bothered about this, think civil partnership is enough, and have concerns about the legal repercussions.
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Blog from the Dead

Cameronís revival of the Conservativeís poll ratings through his EU con has encouraged me to revive my blog. Firstly let me apologise for neglecting it so much. The truth is it had become too easy to criticise the shambolic Government and was becoming repetitive.
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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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