So those Conservatives more attached to power than principle are willing to get into bed with the dottier type of Liberal Democrat to try to push through a law permitting homosexuals to marry, a law which is of absolutely no relevance to that at least 95% of the country's population which is not homosexual. At a time when we (or more properly our sons) seem to be being dragged into another open-ended military commitment, this time in a part of the world we haven't engaged with since the days of Mungo Park, it's gratifying to see one's conceit that all politics is crap conducted for the gratification of politicians being verified once again. The Blessed John Henry Newman put it rather more elegantly - 'to touch politics is to touch pitch', and he was spot on.
I could not care less whether the law permits homosexuals to marry other homosexuals or not, if only because the state exists to say what is legal and what is not legal. The function of the Catholic Church is to tell people what is moral and what is not moral. In my view, it's what the Catholic Church says about these things that matters, and no Liberal Democrat with too much time on their hands, or no Tory willing to sell the pass for another term of office, is going to change my view on that one way or another. The two of them can legislate to their hearts' contents. It will not change what I think about the nature of marriage, which is that the only valid form of marriage which is capable of existing is that entered into by one man and one woman, preferably for life, and that being able to pass a law saying something else only means that you can pass a law saying something else.
This is an almost heretical thing for a British person to say, so I'm going to thoroughly enjoy saying it - my country now means less to me than my Church. There, I've said it. I couldn't really give a toss either who's on the throne, or who's in Downing Street, or, going from the sublime to the ridiculous, who's in Bute House. In the days when you rendered to Caesar, Caesar's birth name didn't really matter, nor did the faction from which he had sprung; they were just Caesar, identikit powerlings sent to remind the people that God's way is better than Caesar's. It's just the same now, really. The current Caesar is the one who was in the Bullingdon Club, while the next one might be the one who's father was a famous Marxist historian (although we can say with certainty that it's not going to be the one who's married to the Spanish lawyer, that's for sure), but that's all OK. The next Caesar will have a different name and will follow a different faction at the chariot races, but they'll still be Caesar. The only substantive difference between Caesar's ways of doing things then and doing them now is that changes of administration tend to be a bit smoother these days; but that's just about it. They're still Caesar, tediously demanding your gold and the blood of your sons while expecting that you follow their usually defective moral example. The gold is a price worth paying for a quiet life, the blood can be dealt with by just ignoring them and the defective moral example by telling them that we'll make up our own minds about that sort of stuff.
In the matter of gay marriage, the Liberal Democrats are behaving in a manner quite precisely described by Arnold J. Toynbee in 'A Study Of History'. AJT hit the Lib Dems right on the head, by describing how a 'creative minority', usually a very vigourous and praiseworthy force within a civilisation, can decay into a 'dominant minority', one that has a stranglehold on power but which has nothing to offer but the advancement of its own wee pet causes, one of the principal ones of which is always, always the pursuit of its own entertainment. In some respects, being governed by a coalition which includes the Liberal Democrats has been marvellously instructive, in that we have been forced to pay far more attention to their agenda than we would ever have done otherwise, and it's been fascinating to see just how regressive, how backward, they really are. We already knew that they had turned their backs on Edison, preferring windmills and waterwheels to dynamos and reactors, but they just can't stop themselves. Lords reform? Yes, the 1890's really will be an interesting decade, by Jove! Gay marriage? One must find out what Mr. Shaw and Mr. Wells have to say on the subject; I hear they have been discussing it with Sidney and Beatrice.
The Liberal Democrat agenda is dotty bourgeois nonsense, every last word of it, and only goes to show that after 2,000 years of Christianity the human capacity for not merely producing but also following dotty Caesars remains undimmed, and that the conversion of the world remains as urgent a task now as it was in the days of Pilate. Caligula made his horse a senator - it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Liberal Democrats wanted theirs to be able to join the House of Lords.
As for Mali, when the history of the Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition is finally written, it should be called 'The Last Fling of Beau Geste'. If Cameron and Clegg are serious about wanting to fight with the French in North Africa, they should do what generations of disgraced public schoolboys have done before them, and join the Foreign Legion.