Question Time & This Week

FlawlessThaw

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Hitchens is very often right, and demonstrates the difference between real intelligence and the pseudo-intelligence that Will Self emits.
He's often very right to you because he epouses the persecution complex you feel as a conservative in the UK.

Loved the bit where he thought homophobes are now as harshly treated as homosexuals were pre-1967.
 

alastair

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He's often very right to you because he epouses the persecution complex you feel as a conservative in the UK.

Loved the bit where he thought homophobes are now as harshly treated as homosexuals were pre-1967.
He's got a point about liberal bigotry.

Will Self's comments claiming people who weren't in favour of gay marriage to be homophobic were disgraceful, as were his remarks about people who don't like excessive immigration being racists. Hitchens was right to pick him up on it.
 

Dave89

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"Liberal bigotry" is the worst type of bigotry...

So criticising someone for treating black/gay people as an underclass is worse than treating black/white people as an underclass?

Slightly annoying a straight white man is worse than systematically discriminating against a black or gay man?

Seems logical, though only if you view the straight white man as infinitely more important and valuable to begin with.
 

alastair

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"Liberal bigotry" is the worst type of bigotry...

So criticising someone for treating black/gay people as an underclass is worse than treating black/white people as an underclass?

Slightly annoying a straight white man is worse than systematically discriminating against a black or gay man?

Seems logical, though only if you view the straight white man as infinitely more important and valuable to begin with.
It's the worst type of bigotry in the sense that it appears to be most common, not because it's any better or worse than conservative bigotry.

Obviously, most of the Caf is incredibly left-wing so they can't see it.
 

Plechazunga

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It's the worst type of bigotry in the sense that it appears to be most common, not because it's any better or worse than conservative bigotry.

Obviously, most of the Caf is incredibly left-wing so they can't see it.
True - I'm so left-wing I have no idea what you're talking about Al.

What is liberal bigotry?

Liberalism has a few serious flaws - the biggest being that it has no real idea what to do with groups that espouse violently undermining liberal society. Is this what you mean - that it veers towards illiberal policies in the face of extremist nationalists, racists, fascists and the like?
 

alastair

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True - I'm so left-wing I have no idea what you're talking about Al.

What is liberal bigotry?

Liberalism has a few serious flaws - the biggest being that it has no real idea what to do with groups that espouse violently undermining liberal society. Is this what you mean - that it veers towards illiberal policies in the face of extremist nationalists, racists, fascists and the like?
What it means is that people who don't share supposed 'liberal' or 'progressive' values are deemed automatically to be fascists, whereas in reality that's not the case.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, gay marriage is an example of this. If you don't agree with it, as Will Self said on QT, you're a homophobe. This is liberal bigotry.
 

Plechazunga

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I think liberals are as prone as anyone to caricature their enemies. In the same way that to US Republicans, Obamacare - copied from Mitt Romney and conservative think-tanks - is socialism; or to many conservatives here, anyone who sees a value in unions hates capitalism.

With Self is a kind of very bright idiot. But re his marriage equality point, I think it's a question of terminology. If you take 'homophobic' to mean 'hates gay people', then I don't think it's fair: it's possible to be against gay marriage without despising gay people.

If you take it to mean 'discriminates against gay people', then I think it's hard to argue with. Almost by definition, if you allow civil rights to straight people that you deny to gay people, you're discriminating against them.
 

Don't Kill Bill

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He's got a point about liberal bigotry.

Will Self's comments claiming people who weren't in favour of gay marriage to be homophobic were disgraceful, as were his remarks about people who don't like excessive immigration being racists. Hitchens was right to pick him up on it.
I think WS was spot on with those remarks to be honest.

It is obvious that a core of people who are against mass immigration would also be against immigration full stop. I don't know anyone who is against immigration but for mass immigration, do you? You can argue as to how big the subset is but it is there in the conservative rump.

Where did all the people who wanted to ban civil partnerships, stop gay adoption and introduced section 28, go? Do you think they are now on the side of gay marriage?

PH is a cantankerous debater and I quite like that, he isn't thick but he is backward in his thinking. Things moved on and PH can't accept that the rest of society moved on without him. His book about the war on drugs is a classic right wing wish list about how things should have been.
 

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I think liberals are as prone as anyone to caricature their enemies. In the same way that to US Republicans, Obamacare - copied from Mitt Romney and conservative think-tanks - is socialism; or to many conservatives here, anyone who sees a value in unions hates capitalism.

With Self is a kind of very bright idiot. But re his marriage equality point, I think it's a question of terminology. If you take 'homophobic' to mean 'hates gay people', then I don't think it's fair: it's possible to be against gay marriage without despising gay people.

If you take it to mean 'discriminates against gay people', then I think it's hard to argue with. Almost by definition, if you allow civil rights to straight people that you deny to gay people, you're discriminating against them.
Yes, agreed with the opening section of the post. I personally feel there's very much a semantic argument you can have over gay marriage. For example, I am against it in name, but am definitely not against it in terms of allowing gay people to be 'married' in the sense of having the same rights as straight married couples. Marriage is, in the bible, a union between a man and a woman. Now, I don't necessarily agree with that, but the point stands that you can't have gay marriage unless you redefine what marriage is. Therefore, I'm more than happy for gay people to form a union, but I just wouldn't call it marriage.

I think WS was spot on with those remarks to be honest.

It is obvious that a core of people who are against mass immigration would also be against immigration full stop. I don't know anyone who is against immigration but for mass immigration, do you? You can argue as to how big the subset is but it is there in the conservative rump.

Where did all the people who wanted to ban civil partnerships, stop gay adoption and introduced section 28, go? Do you think they are now on the side of gay marriage?

PH is a cantankerous debater and I quite like that, he isn't thick but he is backward in his thinking. Things moved on and PH can't accept that the rest of society moved on without him. His book about the war on drugs is a classic right wing wish list about how things should have been.
I don't really get this post. Yes, of course there are some racists who don't want anyone 'foreign' in the UK. But there are loads of people in favour of immigration to a point, but not to an open door policy. Will Self wasn't accepting that. Hitchens' comments about drugs I agreed with entirely, but I'll leave that one.

:lol:

Name one person who disagrees with gay marriage that isn't a homophobe.
See what I said to Plech. You can be in favour of gay people, gay partnerships, gay everything, just not the name 'gay marriage'.
 

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We're talking about the law, not the fecking bible. The bible also says that we should stone anyone that bums another man, should we also do that?

If you want marriage to be biblical in every sense then surely the only logical solution would be to completely take marriage out of the law. Remove any and all need for any discussion like this one and allow priests to perform ceremonies how they see fit in accordance to how they read scripture.

If, however, you want to have a law in place that makes a distinction between myself and my gay friends then as Plech said you are discriminating against them and you are homophobic, sorry to have to break that to you.
 

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Marriage predates known history, so it's hardly the creation of a few Biblical authors, but yes technically it's a union between male and female, I suspect it was mainly designed to make sure offspring were accounted for. But thankfully society isn't pedantic and as such we've always evolved. And marriage like most things will evolve with society.
 

Plechazunga

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Yes, agreed with the opening section of the post. I personally feel there's very much a semantic argument you can have over gay marriage. For example, I am against it in name, but am definitely not against it in terms of allowing gay people to be 'married' in the sense of having the same rights as straight married couples. Marriage is, in the bible, a union between a man and a woman. Now, I don't necessarily agree with that, but the point stands that you can't have gay marriage unless you redefine what marriage is. Therefore, I'm more than happy for gay people to form a union, but I just wouldn't call it marriage.
This makes no sense at all.

In the bible, the concept of 'sin' includes eating shellfish and failing to wear tassels on your garments. 'Family' includes household slaves. 'Whore' includes any woman who has sex outside wedlock. And even 'marriage' itself is radically different, being conceived as an economic transaction involving one clan taking a virgin from another, being compensated for her upkeep with money; and her becoming the literal possession of her husband and his clan.

These words have been redefined, as society has changed more and more from that of bronze-age sheep-herding communities. In 2012, why can't we continue to redefine what 'marriage' means? Given that there are lots of people who want to live with someone of the same sex and raise a family with them.

If you were a biblical literalist, I could understand your reluctance to yield on this point, even though I'd disagree. But it seems you're happy to see gay people make commitments to each other and be afforded the same rights and legal status as straight married couples. You just won't accept any evolution of the word 'marriage'.

So to sum up, your position is less coherent than that of a religious fundamentalist.
 

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I can see where Alistair is coming from on this one. For example, if there is to be gay marriage then does it not follow that there should be gay divorce? Now given that the simplest cause for divorce is non-consummation then how would that work for gay men or women, what would define non-consummation, lack of penetration, lack of orgasm? We could chunner on about it for a while, but how would it work in the courts? Because in conventional marriage consummation matters, it's part of the contract that says each partner is entitled to both sex and the chance of a family. OK, in a gay marriage there wouldn't be any natural family, but shouldn't the rest be the same?
 

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I can see where Alistair is coming from on this one. For example, if there is to be gay marriage then does it not follow that there should be gay divorce? Now given that the simplest cause for divorce is non-consummation then how would that work for gay men or women, what would define non-consummation, lack of penetration, lack of orgasm? We could chunner on about it for a while, but how would it work in the courts? Because in conventional marriage consummation matters, it's part of the contract that says each partner is entitled to both sex and the chance of a family. OK, in a gay marriage there wouldn't be any natural family, but shouldn't the rest be the same?
First of all, you don't have to call it 'gay marriage' or 'gay divorce', simply marriage or divorce. And no two relationships are the same really, there are big differences in the marriages of heterosexual couples too, should they all be illegal on the basis that they're not all the same? And I would argue that the simplest reason for divorces is unhappiness, I would venture to say gay people can be unhappy in their relationships too. Not to mention that we live in a where the consummation of a relationship generally happens long before marriage.
 

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First of all, you don't have to call it 'gay marriage' or 'gay divorce', simply marriage or divorce. And no two relationships are the same really, there are big differences in the marriages of heterosexual couples too, should they all be illegal on the basis that they're not all the same? And I would argue that the simplest reason for divorces is unhappiness, I would venture to say gay people can be unhappy in their relationships too. Not to mention that we live in a where the consummation of a relationship generally happens long before marriage.
In most cases yes, but by no means all. And being denied sex or children with your spouse is still a major cause for divorce, so you haven't answered my question in any way at all.
 

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In most cases yes, but by no means all. And being denied sex or children with your spouse is still a major cause for divorce, so you haven't answered my question in any way at all.
I don't get your point. What are you trying to say? What difference does it make whether they can or can't have kids, and what bearing does that have on a hypothetical divorce?
 

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I don't get your point. What are you trying to say? What difference does it make whether they can or can't have kids, and what bearing does that have on a hypothetical divorce?
Well my point was about lack of sex rather than lack of kids,that's a consequence. What I want to know is, could a gay marriage partner (sorry if that's not the right terminology) file for divorce, with the subsequent splitting of assets etc, because the other partner denied them 'consummation'?
 

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Well my point was about lack of sex rather than lack of kids,that's a consequence. What I want to know is, could a gay marriage partner (sorry if that's not the right terminology) file for divorce, with the subsequent splitting of assets etc, because the other partner denied them 'consummation'?
Vaginal intercourse isn't the only way to have sex.
 

Dave89

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I'm no expert, but does the reason for divorce even matter these days? Legally at least?
 

Spoony

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Well my point was about lack of sex rather than lack of kids,that's a consequence. What I want to know is, could a gay marriage partner (sorry if that's not the right terminology) file for divorce, with the subsequent splitting of assets etc, because the other partner denied them 'consummation'?
Yes, why not? It's a marriage afterall. Not to sure why you think it'd be any different than a traditional heterosexual marriage.
 

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I don't, I've asked what would define non-consummation.
Not having sex.. It's pretty self explanatory.

Edit: You don't need a rigidly defined set of rules you have follow in order for you and your partner to have sex, society has evolved to the point where people can do whatever floats their boat.
 

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That could be it, the consummation stuff only really works in the Roman Catholic church now as the pope can void any marriage that is yet to be consummated. The law doesn't care.
 

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Christ, I was well-drunk when I proposed, in fact I doubt whether I ever actually did. Oh well, say nothing, sleeping dogs and all that.
 

Liam147

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people who don't share supposed 'liberal' or 'progressive' values are deemed automatically to be fascists
Irritatingly true. As I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with a bit of traditionalism.
It is obvious that a core of people who are against mass immigration would also be against immigration full stop. I don't know anyone who is against immigration but for mass immigration, do you? You can argue as to how big the subset is but it is there in the conservative rump.
I'm against mass immigration, but not immigration full stop. It certainly adds rather than detracts from the country IMO, but uncontrolled immigration, as we saw under Labour did not and will not work. Why bring in people from eastern Europe to do jobs British people can do? And I don't want to hear "They do the jobs we don't want" either. But skilled workers, ie doctors, would be more than welcome, as they're bringing something to the country that we currently lack.
 

Don't Kill Bill

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Irritatingly true. As I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with a bit of traditionalism.


I'm against mass immigration, but not immigration full stop. It certainly adds rather than detracts from the country IMO, but uncontrolled immigration, as we saw under Labour did not and will not work. Why bring in people from eastern Europe to do jobs British people can do? And I don't want to hear "They do the jobs we don't want" either. But skilled workers, ie doctors, would be more than welcome, as they're bringing something to the country that we currently lack.
We were debating something said by Will Self on Question Time. He made the point that in both the gay marriage and immigration debate there is a bigoted faction in the anti campaigns. For them this is just the next barricade to defend.
 

Don't Kill Bill

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Yes, agreed with the opening section of the post. I personally feel there's very much a semantic argument you can have over gay marriage. For example, I am against it in name, but am definitely not against it in terms of allowing gay people to be 'married' in the sense of having the same rights as straight married couples. Marriage is, in the bible, a union between a man and a woman. Now, I don't necessarily agree with that, but the point stands that you can't have gay marriage unless you redefine what marriage is. Therefore, I'm more than happy for gay people to form a union, but I just wouldn't call it marriage.



I don't really get this post. Yes, of course there are some racists who don't want anyone 'foreign' in the UK. But there are loads of people in favour of immigration to a point, but not to an open door policy. Will Self wasn't accepting that. Hitchens' comments about drugs I agreed with entirely, but I'll leave that one.


See what I said to Plech. You can be in favour of gay people, gay partnerships, gay everything, just not the name 'gay marriage'.
Did you agree with him about David Cameron as well?
 

alastair

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This makes no sense at all.

In the bible, the concept of 'sin' includes eating shellfish and failing to wear tassels on your garments. 'Family' includes household slaves. 'Whore' includes any woman who has sex outside wedlock. And even 'marriage' itself is radically different, being conceived as an economic transaction involving one clan taking a virgin from another, being compensated for her upkeep with money; and her becoming the literal possession of her husband and his clan.

These words have been redefined, as society has changed more and more from that of bronze-age sheep-herding communities. In 2012, why can't we continue to redefine what 'marriage' means? Given that there are lots of people who want to live with someone of the same sex and raise a family with them.

If you were a biblical literalist, I could understand your reluctance to yield on this point, even though I'd disagree. But it seems you're happy to see gay people make commitments to each other and be afforded the same rights and legal status as straight married couples. You just won't accept any evolution of the word 'marriage'.

So to sum up, your position is less coherent than that of a religious fundamentalist.
It's clearly not a particularly coherent view, but then this isn't an issue where coherence is necessary.

At the end of the day, people now pick and choose what they want to believe from the Bible, and they act accordingly. For whatever reason, marriage has survived from that in a certain form to run alongside modern society.

The fundamental point here is that there are people who would feel uncomfortable about referring to gay union as marriage, but this does not make them homophobic - it makes them someone who chooses to believe in a certain element of the bible. Their existence has to be accepted.
 

MikeUpNorth

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The fundamental point here is that there are people who would feel uncomfortable about referring to gay union as marriage, but this does not make them homophobic - it makes them someone who chooses to believe in a certain element of the bible. Their existence has to be accepted.
Their existence is accepted. As is their bigotry.

Al, what you're effectively saying is 'separate but equal'. We've been here before.