‘I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same sex partners can’t do.’
David Jones, the Conservative member of parliament for Clwyd West and secretary of state for Wales, steeped himself in controversy by making deeply offensive and pernicious remarks on ITV Wales’ Face to Face programme. Having watched the programme and read the transcript, it is hard not to be struck by the tone in which the statement was delivered, serving to scratch the surface of Jones’ veneer. Revealing a rather unpleasant and obnoxious demeanour and proving his courteous and respectable air to be just an act. His remarks were rightly met with anger and growing calls for him to resign. In response to the outrage he caused, the senior cabinet member was forced to clarify his comments. Not withdraw them. Not apologise for them. But clarify them – implying that we all simply misunderstood him. David Cameron’s task of dragging his party kicking and screaming into the 21st century seems to grow by the day. In Wales there is only one progressive alternative: Welsh Labour.
But there they remain, in black and white. And no matter how hard you try, it cannot be interpreted in any other way.
‘I was asked on the Face to Face programme why I voted against the same sex marriage proposals. I replied that I had done so on the basis that I took the view that marriage is an institution that has developed over the centuries so as to provide a safe and warm environment for the upbringing of children.’
Less a clarifying statement, more obfuscation.
David Cameron should be commended for his leadership and courage on the issue of equal marriage, but in response to Jones’ comments we should not forgive his silence.
So, with Jones’ deeply offensive remarks, his undermining of straight married couples without children and with all Welsh Tory MPs voting against equal marriage, Cameron’s failure to ‘modernise’ the party in Wales is clear.
David Cameron’s task of dragging his party kicking and screaming into the 21st century seems to grow by the day.
In Wales there is only one progressive alternative: Welsh Labour.
If Jones’ comments make you angry or if Cameron’s silence frustrates you, I would encourage you to donate to Clwyd West CLP.
Donate so that the local party can continue to build their ground game and contact the thousands of Labour supporters in Jones’ Clwyd West constituency ahead of the general election.
If Cameron won’t show Jones the door, we must.
Elliot Perkins is a member of Progress based in Wales and tweets @elliott_perkins.
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