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Marriage: David Cameron’s Lame Duck Industry

From The London Times

David Cameron has propelled marriage to the centre of the election campaign after surprising the Tory party faithful with a promise to spell out his flagship policy before polling day.

Rallying the troops after a narrowing of the poll lead, the Conservative leader said that he would announce details of tax breaks for married couples in the manifesto.

Whatever happened to the days when the Tories were the party that refused to use taxpayer’s money to prop up failing, outdated industries making things that people didn’t want?  That told us sternly that ‘the market must decide’.  Well, it turns out the Tories aren’t happy with what the market has decided in this instance, and instead want to effectiviely nationalise marriage – to take it into public ownership.  British Layland.

Obviously this isn’t going to do marriage much good.  Aside from celeb photo opps and immigration fiddles it was already hideously out of fashion.  But the Tories want to turn it into an Austin Allegro.

It’s nice that Dave has figured out a way to buy off the Ian Duncan Smith/Terry & June tendency of his party – with your tax money – but I wonder if he’s thought it through.  Will he be handing out tax breaks to civil partnerships as well?  If he does the IDS tendency won’t be very happy about subsidised sodomy.  If he doesn’t then, well, his enthusiastic support for Section 28 will come back to haunt him.

Of course, he could save everyone a lot of time and trouble if he just gave the tax bonus money directly to the divorce lawyers.

10 thoughts on “Marriage: David Cameron’s Lame Duck Industry”

  1. The cold calculation by David C.seems to be a more direct payment to a specific group than the pseudo-moral sequestering that goes on with American conservatives especially. It was my thought that something of that kind was happening. I tend to be exceptionally dense about how British politics works. Here, politicians,(and almost everyone gets paid off by private industry.). But Conservatives , for lack of much of any real base who care about thier economic priorities, twist religious masses with “moral” bait.
    We don’t do anything that subtle anymore; neither one is lauable but just different.

  2. Mark,

    was trying to work out what I had said that made you agree it was a cold calculation I had made, then realised you were talking about Dave C!

    Think you´re hoping if any of the big political parties are doing anything than cold calculations rather than policy making on the basis of what they think would be best.

    What a way to ru(i)n a country.

  3. With ‘Dave’ it’s a very cold calculation: buy off the ageing Tory Party members who can’t live with the world their 1980s market-led reforms ushered in, and maybe also snaffle a few votes from people who think they deserve State sponsorship because they got married (several times).

  4. Consider how much this looks like Geo. Bush’s conservative economic priorities. The U.S. went into debt 9 trillion dollars fighting the “holy war.” Like you say Mark, someone gets wealthy in the end.

  5. Looks as if the Brits are sleepwalking to the same tune as their American equivalents. Realizing that the public is too dense to vote on the real concerns, which are about larger issues of economics and policy, conservatives have turned to giving elections the appearance ‘really’ of moral & social playgrounds chasing red herring. The fact has become that if they ran honestly on the issues they really intend, the common man would tell them to piss off. Most people will as has so pathetically happened in the U.S. rally to a cause which is in fact totally contrary to their own critical needs, as long as it looks like they care about something.

  6. Blimey, don´t take much to impress you!

    Remembered I´d blogged about it when the document came out 🙂

    I won´t ask about the memories.

  7. Dave: Yes, that was a deliberate misspelling. For once. Thanks for the impressively researched info on partnerships. Nice to know that single people will be subsidising the smugness of married and civilly partnered couples.

    That map is rather wonderful. Brings back happy memories of ‘Adult Entertainment’ when I lived just down the road in Highgate.

  8. Great linkage, Mark – but then politicians aren´t known for consistency. Someone should work out how much will go to bankers and the Ws in the WAGs .

    Was British LAyland a deliberate mis-spelling?

    It took David Cameron talking to Channel 4 for the Mail to realise that IDS´proposed tax breaks for married couples would also apply to civil partners:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-468078/Camerons-tax-breaks-gay-partners.html

    But you´d have to look hard for the fact in the IDS policy document:

    references to marriage are to be taken as including civil partnerships footnote 94 to Volume 1 of Breakthrough Britain (aren´t search functions useful!)

    Thought you might like to see this as well, antidote to thinking about gay marriage – one (straight?) Londoner´s hand drawn map of Hampstead Heath?

    http://londonist.com/2010/02/wanted_hand-drawn_maps_of_london.php

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