Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Asking the Question?

The earlier post, A Time and a Place, appears to have stirred-up quite considerable public debate on whether it is appropriate, or even proper, for Thanet District Council to debate Cllr Ian Driver and John Worrow's motion on gay marriage at the next council meeting in April.

Ian appears quite determined to invite LBGT rights champion, Peter Tatchell, to Thanet in order to give a briefing to the Council, a man he describes as: "One of the world's leading human rights campaigners a modern day Martin Luther King."

Given the large number of visitors and strength of feeling expressed on this weblog since Sunday, I've decided to put-up a quick poll on the sidebar, to better judge public opinion.

Do the people of Thanet, I wonder,  support Ian Driver and 'Diversity Champion' John Worrow in making this issue a business priority for the council or do people believe, as I do, that seeking consultation on the issue through normal channels is fine but our district councillors have rather more important matters to debate and squabble over in the Chamber?

Readers have expressed the view that this is not something which the council has any direct  influence over and simply represents a cheap and opportunistic publicity platform for the personal agendas of the two, now independent councillors Driver and Worrow for which I suspect they may have no mandate from those who elected them in May.

I may be wrong of course and so here's an opportunity to be counted on whatever side of the argument you fall. I would ask of course that readers don't vote twice. I'm sure some will try but I'm likely to spot it.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an insult to Martin Luther King!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well done Simon! Even though you ask readers not to vote twice - I have doubts that Messrs Worrow/Driver will take any notice. They seem to ignore all protocol or courtesy when it suits.

Anonymous said...

From John Kirby - in today's National Press there is a report that the European Court has ruled that to oppose Gay Marriage in Church would not violate the Human Rights of the applicants for such a union - a sensible ruling for once.

Tom Clarke said...

Since none of the parties at the last election included this issue in their manifesto, there can be no mandate for its introduction. It is all very well Ian Driver claiming support but the reality is that the public have simply not been asked the question.

As to the claim it is about civil marriage, as the Strassbourg court have pointed out, if same sex marriage is legalised then it would be a denial of their hunan rights to refuse them religious ceremonies.

Frankly this has the potential to set back the LGBT cause for acceptance because normally reasonable and tolerant people are getting angry on this step too far.

Michael Child said...

Tom I think the point here is that normally reasonable and tolerant people are divided on this issue.

Not sure which of the causes will be set back the most, the religious institutions opposing gay marriage the LGBT cause.

Tom Clarke said...

Well, Michael, at least this seems to be uniting Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, Muslims and Jews.

However, if you want to read the other side of the case to that outlined by Messrs. Worrow and Driver, just put 'Coalition for Marriage' into google.

As to who will be damaged, well since no political party asked the public about this first, but it is a Conservative led government that is proposing to introduce it, I would hazard a guess that the latter could potentially lose a lot of their core vote.

If I was UKIP leader I would come out against strongly now and pick up the religious vote, probably very much bigger than that of the LGBT community.

Anonymous said...

I must be obtuse as I can't see the relevance to a local council of debating gay marriage when they can't even keep their streets clean.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit grandiose to suggest that the readers of this blog in any way represent the general population of Thanet. A few dozen reactionaries and curious onlookers more like.

I'd also like to see some proof that this is somehow a "publicity stunt" or "showboating" by councillors Worrow and Driwer: any proof?

The question of it being debated at a council meeting: how much time will be spent on this and even if this only concerns a minority of local residents, aren't they relevant or is it just the majority that should be considered?

DrM. said...

10:27 I think we may have more than a few dozen reactionaries visiting this blog? The monthly visitor count is shown on the sidebar and I know from my own experience that it is widely read by a broad cross section of local people with an interest in Thanet issues.

On the question of proof, I'll offer you a reverse burden of proof question instead. Given the somewhat colourful record of both councillors why wouldn't this be just another example of 'show-boating?'

Finally, it increasingly looks like a KCC issue and not a TDC issue and the Government's consultation process is quite clear.

I do hope you have added your vote.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Like most things the only way to truly understand what the Thanet populace wants would be via a referendum. You could argue both ways on this issue but after reading parts of the Government consultation documents I'm more in agreement with Moores than Driver/Worrow/Scobie.

I'd rather the time be used to push for changes to Thanet at a much greater level and then, if so required, impelement any outcomes from Central Government as they come to light.

Anonymous said...

Driver and Worrow are right on this issue, but judging by the comments on this site that will notmake the slightest difference because most people posting here are right of Attila the Hun!

By the way Driver is correct about Peter Tatchell. He is without doubt one of the world's leading human rights campaigners. Care to name anyone else who has tried to arrest Robert Mugabe or faced off Russian fascist homophobes. No of course you can't.

You lot should be greatful that you have councillors like Driver and Worrow who are not afraid to raise issue the mainstream parties steer clear of.

Tom Clarke said...

All very well 3:59 but that is not what local councillors are elected to do. They are there to ensure local services and events operate properly.

If they want to pontificate on the big issue stage they should run for parliament assuming any party would endorse them and, even more crucially, whether enough people would vote for them.

I think you will also find that many religious people on all sides of the political spectrum, not just the right, would not agree with Driver & Worrow on this issue.

Indeed, this is an issue of conscience and not political at all.

DrM. said...

Former Birchington councillor and the much respected Margaret Sheldrick, has been reading this blog from her retirement abroad in Cyprus and has asked me to include her comment:

"You may put on you blog that the previous Chairman of Council would not permit such pretention, showboating, time and money wasting by any elected councillor
This debate belongs in parliament and the church NOT at a local council meeting"

Dave in Afghanistan said...

Not something for Thanet Council to debate. This is just an opportune effort by people with their own agenda and not what local councils are about. Stop wasting council time and if the councillors don't like that attitude get out. Pity the people who voted in these idiots.

DrM. said...

Someone is trying very hard to hide his identity with a proxy service 'hidemyass.com' but I really should remind him that this kind of thing is my day job!

Anonymous said...

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/23/kent-mp-if-gays-marry-will-shakespeare-be-in-danger/

Tim Clark said...

I note the sudden upsurge in support for this ludicrous debate. I suppose that's what the hidemyass comment is about.
I'm also somewhat puzzled as to what all the fuss is about. The LGBT community want to use the word "marriage"; is that what this is all about? Good God, have we got nothing better to do?

Anonymous said...

I love Margaret dearly, but she has it wrong. The motion has been accepted by the Council's legal officer Harvey Patterson so it it perfectly legitmate to discuss and vote on, apart from bitter twisted folk being mobilised by Gale and Moore

DrM. said...

This has nothing to do with being bitter or twisted and everything to do with a broad consensus here that this is not council business but soap-boxing by Cllrs Driver and Worrow.

Anonymous said...

Bitter & twisted??
Thats right, slag off anyone who doesn't agree with you.
A big flourescent sign that your "argument" has fallen on its ass!

Anonymous said...

Your tick box doesn't even make sense, like your arguements. You haven't clarified whether agreeing with your comments or not. I haven't bothered to tick anything but it looks to me like the majority disagree with you. I'll be there tonight as I am a member of Thanet community and I am very happy for a human right issue like this to be taken seriously by a council backing equality and Peter Tatchell is a universally applauded human rights supporter.

simon moores said...

Until the pro lobby piled in trying to vote multiple times through a proxy server, the vote was 82% against the matter being debated, 14% in favour and the remainder undecided.

Tom Clarke said...

2:17 I most definitely do not applaud Peter Tatchell and, last time I looked, I was a member of the universe. Strangely enough neither do any of the other four people living in my house applaud Peter Tatchell nor my neighbours on either side or opposite.

Robert Mugabe and the whole of ZANU/PF also don't exactly dig him, so your universally applauded maybe something of an exaggeration. Maybe what you mean is that he has a certain following in the LGBT community who, according to the National Statistics Office, make up about 1.5% of the UK population.

Tim Clark said...

Peter Tatchell originally supported ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe.He has also been accused of anti-Semetism by comparing the Chief Rabbi of the time with Heinrich Himmler and racism during his Rock against Racism campaign, where he managed to offend the Rastafari community.