April 8, 2012 Leave a comment
A sure sign of escapism from political realities is the resolute misnaming of a crisis. This year will be the fourth since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Two years have already passed since the situation in Greece progressed from dire to critical. We are approaching the anniversaries of the infamous dates on which governments in Greece and Italy were deposed at the behest of Brussels in favour of administrations comprised largely by technocrats. The labels blaming capitalism for this crisis morph, but if there were honesty amongst statesmen and electorates we would speak, as we should, of the terminal crisis of late European social democracy. That is the cause of the crisis correctly named, both of the crushing debts under which Europe is sinking and of political infantilisation across the continent, rendering voters unable and unwilling to take a responsible stance towards their own unaffordable entitlements.
In considering gay marriage, it is essential to see treating different situations differently in no way constitutes discrimination.
What is more fundamental here is the co-option of human rights language by an increasingly hegemonic strain of intolerant liberalism. Whereas the “right to marriage” as pertaining to couples of the same sex is a recent invention, the right of a child to both a mother and a father where possible is not. The reason for opposing the unnecessary elevation of civil partnerships to the notional status of marriage is that marriage then loses its nature as the one institution supported by society because it is the family form which on average gives a child the most advantageous upbringing. It is agreed by most that civil partnerships mostly suffice in practical terms for same-sex couples. Altering the focus of marriage from children to relationships disadvantages future generations to no more necessary end than the further march of an increasingly cavalier and triumphalist liberalism.
Marine Le Pen remains, among an imperfect choice in urgent times, the only candidate capable of saving France’s control over her finances, borders, and identity. She is the only candidate available to conservative voters advancing the case for an exit from the Euro, the one measure which if executed carefully might yet save France from being swamped by foreign debts amassed elsewhere in a European project largely of its own making. France next elects a president to the Élysée Palace in 2017. The most urgent question in this election ought to have been whether the next will matter much. There is no good reason as things stand to believe that France will escape the impotent slide into the morass of multiculturalism and bankrupt late European social democracy.
I am not a big believer in people making arguments on the back of who or what they happen to be. When I last made the case against gay marriage, about a year ago, I didn’t feel the need to mention that I am gay myself, but I am concerned enough about the way things are going to make an exception.
Explaining that you oppose gay marriage as a gay man tends to get a baffled response at first. This is understandable given how quickly the debate on gay marriage can collapse into allegations of homophobia. The message, explicit or implicit, is often that being anti-gay marriage means being in some way anti-gay.
Although Ireland’s citizenry scarcely number that of a largish but not particularly populous European city, the election is nonetheless an extraordinary and revelatory event. Irish voters went to the polls only four months after the abject humiliation of being forced to accept around €100billion in new debt at the behest of its EU creditors, a so-called bail-out that burdens Irish taxpayers with impossible obligations to foreign bondholders who gambled unsuccessfully on their stricken banks. Rarely do Western democracies vote while quite so close to the abyss as Ireland just has; stripped of her fiscal sovereignty by the IMF, indebted far beyond hope of eventual repayment, and hobbled by a political culture soft on cronyism, corruption, and the extremist pasts of prominent public figures.