People have always been cynical and somewhat dismissive about the promises of politicians – sometimes with good reason. Such cynicism however creates real problems in a democracy and opens the door to the kind of disillusionment that feeds more extreme forces.
But there is one area where politicians in the UK government and the Scottish government (and also the US and Australian governments). Whenever a social change is suggested the same pattern is followed.
- Campaigners argue for a ‘permissive’ change which is passed in the name of ‘tolerance and diversity’.
- After the law is passed within a few years it becomes a declarative change – showing what a tolerant and diverse nation we are.
- To criticise the new law itself becomes illegal (still done in the name of tolerance and diversity)
One example of this came this week from the Coalition for Marriage
David Cameron made the following promise during the SSM debate.
“You raise particular concerns about the role of teachers. Teachers will continue to have the clear right to express their own beliefs, or that of their faith, in a professional way. This includes the belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman. No teacher will be required to promote or endorse views which go against their beliefs.”
Last week we heard that an independent school is to be failed if its curriculum “suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law”.
I don’t think that David Cameron lied….I generally think that most politicians don’t lie- at least deliberately in this way. But they make promises in ignorance – they don’t really know what they are promising or how that promise can be kept.
That is the case with this promise from David Cameron. It was inevitable that the acceptance of SSM would become the compulsory view for all who wish to be involved in public life – including education. Contrary to what David Cameron promised teachers and schools will be required to promote or endorse views which go against their beliefs. Its what happens when you make the State, God. Farewell to freedom of belief, speech and action.