Saturday, May 05, 2012

Anyone who watched the BBC's election coverage could well be left with the impression that David Cameron's intention to alter marriage legislation was a significant factor in the poor Tory results. Early on Friday morning Nick Robinson referred to Gerald Howarth's remarks - not once but several times.

At about the same time Robinson tweeted: "Gerald Howarth, defence minister, adds voice to those calling for change on gay marriage [and] Lords reform."

For those who don't know much about Gerald Howarth, he was once a prominent member of the far right Monday Club which supported the racist apartheid regime in South Africa. I don't recall Nick reminding viewers about Gerald Howarth's unsavoury past.

Nick did, however express surprise at a remark by Baroness Warsi, comparing UKIP to the BNP. Sayeeda Warsi is wrong about many things, but this time she was spot on. Prejudice against LGBT people is seen, in some circles, as acceptable today as racism was thirty years ago. When a picture of gay mayoral candidate Brian Paddick was set alight in Soho just before election day, in a UKIP publicity stunt, the BBC barely gave it a mention.

Nick Robinson seemed to have set the mood for the rest of the day, putting 'gay marriage' as a recurring theme in the poor Tory performance.

Gerald Howarth, was briefly given time to air his views on Friday's Newsnight:-

Gerald Howarth MP on Newsnight 4th May 2012

Allegra Stratton (Political Editor): Discontented Tories appear to agree, though probably for different reasons, that the Government have been spending time on the wrong things.

Gerald Howarth: The proposal for gay marriage. A lot of Conservatives have written to me saying "I'm a lifelong Conservative, there's no mandate for this. Why is this being proceeded with?" There's the business of the House of Lords - trying to change the House of Lords. Do we need to do this?

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