It’s great to hear some good news. Team GB is practically buried under the weight of its gold medals. We at the Maison des Girrafes thrill to the winning smile of Mo Farah. Mrs Crox admires
Cath Jessica Ennis’ abs, while I can’t stop admiring her legs. Even Andy Murray is smiling. And if you think those amazing athletes can throw heavy objects a long way, NASA has just put a rover on Mars. Curiosity has a mass that’s half as much as Caroline the eVolvo. Those who know Caroline will admit that she’s a pretty substantial vehicle, but today she’s only going as far as the garage for her annual service.
But the fingers of Mordor keep picking away at the edges, conspiring to dampen our excitement. People are still being massacred in Syria, and the world, while able to send car-sized lumps to Mars and perform truly amazing feats of athleticism, seems powerless to stop the carnage.
But what moved me sufficiently to write this post was this story.
Regular readers will know that I am a supporter and even a campaigner for the Conservative Party, but that I am increasingly frustrated by those elements in the party that are socially regressive. I guess that whereas I am a fiscal conservative, I am a social liberal. Governments are there to defend the nation and balance the books, irrespective of the gender, ethnicity, country of origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation of its people. Diversity is something that should be celebrated, not feared. The Tories, far more than Labour, have not only championed diversity but achieved it. Margaret Thatcher was the only female Prime Minister we’ve ever had, and came from humble origins, as did her successor, John Major. Opponents would have you believe that the Tories are bad because they are ‘posh’. But why should family background be of any relevance at all? The Tories – as most other political parties – have MPs that are Black, Jewish, Moslem, Asian, from all walks of life, rich and poor, religious or atheist, and of various gender and sexual orientation.
But Tories are — in the main — male, elderly, and rural; are suspicious of social change; and deferential to money and inherited authority. That’s certainly true in places far from the metropolitan orbit, such as the picturesque seaside town of Cromer.
That’s why it’s very sad that Tory MP Louise Mensch, who is young, female, a high-flyer, a social liberal and very rock’n'roll (her husband of a year is the manager of rock band Metallica) has decided to quit politics. Her family is moving to New York, it seems, and she doesn’t feel she can square a full-on political life with marriage and children. Whereas the decision to put heavy metal ahead of politics is in many ways sensible and realistic, it’s very sad indeed to see her go. The Tories need people like her.