As the next round of local elections draws closer, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have been poring over the less fortunate comments of some of the candidates who have put themselves forward for election. But thus far none of those featured are Tories. I’m sure that this is no more than an oversight, and not just partisan bias (ho ho ho), so to ensure some balance, here’s one of The Blue Team.
Meet Matthew Clarke. He’s standing for a council seat in Stevenage. He’s a fairly mainstream sort of politician: anti-racist, pro-NATO, pro Immigration and pro-EU. For a Tory, he ticks all the small-l liberal boxes. Until it comes to the influence of religion; Clarke is an “orthodox Roman Catholic” and is therefore “pro-life”.
But, so what? That’s an issue of principle for many practising Christians, and fair play to him for standing firm on an issue that he clearly cares about. But then it comes to the H-word, as in homosexuality, and he’s not at all keen on that.
Indeed, not so long ago, as Jo Phillips discovered, Clarke, calling himself “Matthew Celestine” (his Twitter handle is @celestialhost), had passed severely adverse comment on the news that Civil Partnerships had become legal in Britain.
Here’s his screed: “From today, same-sex couples can now register to form civil partnerships in Britain … When such behaviour is tolerated in a land it can only expect to see God’s judgment. I really must hurry up with my PhD course and get out of here”.
There was more. “In my experience, most people believe that such behaviour is wrong and disgusting. They would be ashamed for their children to behave in that way, but they would never admit it for fear of being accused of bigotry”. Then he goes totally gaga.
“Why should we tolerate such behaviour? If these people think that what they do is decent and good, they are either insane or utterly corrupt morally. If a man would do the awful things that homosexuals do, we can only expect that he would steal, take drugs or murder people … There is only one penalty in the Bible for such deeds. Death”.
Correct me if I missed something, but The Great Guido has not yet found a Labour candidate with a history of calling for significant parts of the population to be put to death on the flimsy pretext of being gay. Nor, I suspect, will the Fawkes massive or anyone else on the Tory side be calling for Matthew “Celestine” Clarke to step down.
So perhaps it will have to be left to the voters of Manor Ward in Stevenage to ensure they place their X opposite a candidate who is not him. Just a thought.