Monday, 5 March 2007

Labour 'can relax over marriage'

David Cameron has put the wind up Labour by saying something very simple and highly conservative: marriage is a good thing. He is in favour of traditional family life, would support it even above economic growth, and will not apologise for favouring marriage. If you want a measure of how much Britain has changed, consider that it is now thought to be news, even a bold and dangerous thing, for a Tory leader to back the traditional family.

Why has it shaken Labour? First, because it seems to be a popular thing to say, and second because the government cannot quite echo Cameron. It can't because it is divided. There are some, like Tony Blair and John Hutton, who are unequivocally in favour of sticking up for marriage; and others, like Alan Johnson, who are equally determined that lone parents should not be demonised. At first sight, it looks a bit of a political disaster for Labour. Just as the Tories get into a poll lead, they have a popular message that Labour cannot mimic. Read more

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