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Thursday 15 March 2012

Verity Murphy | 18:34 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2012

Tonight we have an in-depth look at the gay marriage debate as the government begins a 12-week consultation on allowing gay couples in England and Wales to marry.

Jeremy Paxman has an interview with the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols and in the studio we will be joined by supporters and critics of the plan including
Nick Herbert from the government, the former canon of St Paul's Giles Fraser, comedian Rhona Cameron, writer Stella Duffy, Peter Bone MP and the bishop of Willesden, Peter Broadbent.

Also an independent review into police pay and recruitment commissioned by Home Secretary Theresa May has recommended that police officers' fitness be checked annually with disciplinary procedures facing any officer who fails the test three times.

Is this a good plan, or is there more to being a good police officer in the 21st Century than being able to chase down a criminal on foot?


  • Comment number 1.

    This looks all too familiarly like a ploy by the government to take pressure off them on potential human rights abuses to groups like the chronically sick and disabled now theoretically forced to do indefinite " workfare ". Its likely to significantly increase number of homophobic related attacks on openly gay people, and whats wrong with the current civil partnerships anyway apart from the need to formally designate your partner as " next of kin " ?

  • Comment number 2.


    The similarity lies here: IF EITHER WERE MOOTED, FOR THE FIRST TIME, TODAY, THEY WOULD BE OUTLAWED – BANNED – PROHIBITED. But they both go way back. Houston – we have a problem.

    This is the Pachyderm in the Cathedral. Much is said of the equivalence of heterosexual and homosexual LOVE; nothing is said of their associated LUSTS.
    Oscar said it all; but still no one dare speak ‘its’ name. Until they do . . .

    Ponder the legitimacy that the word ‘MARRIAGE’ confers.

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 3.


    Of all the aspects of homosexual bonding, I know the one that most concerns the Church. Jeremy knows. The Blogdog knows.

    But no one will mention it. (Moral Maze did 3/4 hour stint, with HARDLY A HINT.)

    This debate is sterile. Pathetic.

  • Comment number 4.


    As I have previously posted: school distils a 'mash' of individuals. Spirit comes out the top and sludge from the bottom; some driven mad (R D Laing) and some with no option but to go the 'bad' route. They then 'interface' with relevant services.

    What motivates a therapist? What motivates a police officer? Jung was insistent that therapists should complete 'Depth Analysis' to be (so far as is possible) in charge of their own psyche - vital to avoid doing harm to the client/patient.

    I repeat: "What motivates a police officer?" Why did the numbers fall a decade or two ago? What was the effect of changing recruitment parameters and pay? Does the Age of Perversity impinge - at all?

  • Comment number 5.

  • Comment number 6.

  • Comment number 7.


    I question his judgement.

  • Comment number 8.

    It would appear that it is officially respectable for nationwide individual religious groups to be indoctrinated with all the theoretical aspects in ideology which stems from alleged C02 driven global warming ?

    Greg Barker‏@GregBarkerMPReply

    Glad 2 drop in + support the Rabbi Relay Ride, highlighting dangers of Climate Change, taking the message from Lands End to John o Groats!

  • Comment number 9.

  • Comment number 10.

    Should there be same sex marriage:

    No there should'nt ..unless they can produce children...some fella did have a child the other week..but he wern't gay, so that don't count.

    Looking forward to Peter Thatchell and other Gay activists coming around to kick my back down in over my stance on that sticky issue.

    Janet street nightmare porter is on question time, so I'm gonna watch Newsnight instead. That should put your viewing figures into the tens. Hold on a minute..Frank Field is on as well..sorry newsnight, I'm gonna watch question time after all.

  • Comment number 11.

    Respect to Nick Herbert. Bone should move into the 21st century :p
    The Catholic Archbishop is just a bigot.....pathetic.

  • Comment number 12.

    is there more to being a good police officer in the 21st Century than being able to chase down a criminal on foot?

    Yes. But for most, if not all, it doesn't seem like a bad start, crime-fighting-wise.

    Like those from top to bottom in the nursing profession being aware, without extensive further training, that a patient who is dehydrated needs water and if you can't walk unaided getting to the loo my be a bit of an issue.

    Too many Chiefs (of police), and all that...

    '5. At 20:57 15th Mar 2012, NollyPrott wrote:

    Worked well last time, as I recall..

    Maybe getting to mile high in AF1 is not such an exclusive club after all?

    Mnnn, donuts.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    how can the catholics be upset about gay marriage with there record on molestatation of young boys?? when are we going to make all religions illegall, then maybe we can all move foreward

  • Comment number 15.

    religion -- a surefire way to divide people. LOL

    (and why did the debate not touch upon the economic benefits conferred by marriage?)

  • Comment number 16.

    Lets extend the argument... why stop at a couple... A love's B&C... B love's A&C... C loves A&B... we're all happy families... lets tie the knot!... its my/our human right to marry!! blah blah blah... why not?... who is to say otherwise?... how dare they....

  • Comment number 17.

    Okay I’m a 20 year old straight girl, growing I have always been taught that marriage is about finding that someone that you are willing to spend the rest of your life with, who are going to love, protect and cherish, it’s about celebrating the union of two PEOPLE in the present of GOD (who is meant to love everyone equally). I do not see the problem with ANYONE (straight, gay, whatever) getting married. Maybe the "church" needs to think about this, have a look at the values they already have as there is now more devoice, child abuse and adultery in today’s world then ever maybe they need to have a rethink what the true meaning of marriage means and not what they think it should be.

  • Comment number 18.


    What an EDGY media circus, NewsyNighty! You excelled in your chosen milieu.
    I am wondering if I should invoke Human Rights regarding being assigned the appellation: "straight", by one of the participants? After all, it is a strangely DERIVED term, while I am not referenced to anything but archetypal WOMAN. I stand 100% male.

    With reference to the participant who had no doubt that male-male love was different from male-female (and drew flak): might all this vehemence on the part of 'pro-marriage gays' be fuelled by THAT suppressed truth? A pity Outstanding Jeremy did not see the value in pursuing that obvious, possibility. As it was, all we got was figure skating round the damned Elephant.

  • Comment number 19.

    I have no objection to homosexuals at all, and agree with civil partnerships.

    Why do homosexuals insist on pushing the envelope, why do they demand so much, is something lacking in their lives? They are roughly 2per cent of the population and yet make more demands than the majority, why? Do they fill up parliament and the media disproportionally? Why wasn't this proposal in any election manifesto? Why do politicians take us all as ignorant and fools, I know I will not be voting for any of the "big 3" next time for sure.

    And a question what will they call themselves, will they be husband and wife, or what?

    And another point why don't homosexuals accept that they are barren, infertile, they just cannot produce a child from each other. Why don't they just face up to that fact and again accept they must have some sort of relationship with the opposite sex to produce a baby, and then let that mother or father join in with their infertile family.

    How come they make so many demands for themselves but ignore the rights of the child to know it's real father or mother?

  • Comment number 20.

    Oh dear this will push the unemployment figures up by around a million...

    I wonder who long before the government realise their mistake, and make them incapcititated again, just like labour did.

    Pity the poor sods who are genuinely ill.

  • Comment number 21.

  • Comment number 22.

    Paxman said the charge of 'bigot' could be levelled at the woman, who was a traditionalist, on the same sex marriage issue you discussed this evening. Some of the most bigoted people I've ever met were gays and lesbians. I've sat and endured the men-hating-straight- couple jokes from Rhona Cameron's comic material more than once. I've occasionally worked in gay bars and provided material suited to that kinda audience me on this, there is a lot of hard core bigotry from those audiences..but to be fair, there's also a lot of nice friendly folk as well...but thats because I'm handsome and a says the wife, the mistress and the woman from Greggs the bakers..oh and the sister in law.

    You get rid of Michael - the Marxist - Crick..and who do you replace him with?! Allegro, she who has fallen straight out of the Guardian, and it shows..will you ever learn newsnight?

  • Comment number 23.


    Hi Lizzy. As always - a wise contribution.

    Have you ever quizzed a man, whom you regard as 'all man', on his attitude to "receiving"? Think Corporal Jones.

    I think you will find the answer to one or two of your questions in my post 2.

    Over earlier decades, the discussion regarding telling kids the "Facts of Life" was never-ending. What 'facts' do the couple who featured on the programme subscribe to? Surely some confusion must accrue?

    In the broadest sense (Blogdog) THIS IS THE AGE OF PERVERSITY.

  • Comment number 24.


    I was hardly gravitas at work was it Kev. But Mr P is accruing form in this regard.

  • Comment number 25.

    Well, that was a well conducted debate, not. The panel was weighted in favour of those on the side of 'gay marriage' for starters. And every time someone on the side of traditional marriage tried to make a point, Jeremy Paxman allowed either one half of the two men who were in a civil partnership, or a very loud Rhona Cameron to interrupt and shout them down. Even handed I don't think.
    Basic concept. God created the world. God created man and woman. God created marriage. The Coalition Government did not.

  • Comment number 26.

    if anyone wants to see the chinese internet warfare team at work one only needs to read the comments to this article

  • Comment number 27.

    Ah, my question answered

    So for 2 percent of the population, our whole way of life and history must be changed, well done conservatives, please change your name, you don't conserve anything these days, especially not the english way of life.

  • Comment number 28.

    Just reviewed the 'Telegraph' link posted earlier.. oh my... yes 'husband and wife' terminology must surely disappear - it will cause confusion !*%? or if not confusion then offence ... and again, could someone remind me how the Mother & Father thing goes... meet my two men parents A&B... A is my biological Dad, and my Mother C whom kindly brought me into the world promptly gave me away... how selfish of my men parents.

  • Comment number 29.

    Isn't it strange that there is never a comment posted here from those who appear on NN?!

    Are they advised not to, or even not told about this blog. As last night appeared to have ordinary members of the public, even the odd MP and Vicar, why don't they ever add their views here, it would be very interesting.

    #28 Agreed Paul, why can't homosexuals accept that a natural life for them wouldn't involve children. Why is artifice their aim?

  • Comment number 30.

    It is only today, upon reading The Times, that this blogger realised that Tom Winsors review review into police pay and recruitment applies to England and Wales only.

    The review itself was commissioned by 'Home' Secretary Theresa May leads which naturally leads one to ask - which 'home'?

    That is, does the 'Home' Secretary's remit only extend to England and Wales?

    We English should try to nail the lie that this is in any meaningful political way a 'United Kingdom' because it is detrimental to England and its people.

    PS. To be fair to NN, the previous evenings piece on Wilshaw's education report did make clear that it applied to England only.

  • Comment number 31.

    In many contexts, "We don't do God", seems like very good advice to this blogger,.

    God is a bloke, which should immediately ring alarm bells in what is still a very male orientated world and was even more so 'in the beginning'.

    Mother Earth sounds a better idea and if you insist - 'Father' Sky (heavens above).

  • Comment number 32.


    To me, a science-trained, religion-free, pragmatist: this globe feels as if it is in the grip of a psychologically malign Force (The Dark Side?) that drives the Confused Ape inexorably towards a life of nihilism and suffering. If I wanted to be dramatic (perish the thought) I might declare: "We are all Jesus-Crossed" (and God has forsaken us). No wonder there are a range of Evil Entities to choose from; ranging from C S Lewis's "Screwtape" (proxy Devil) to Eick's lizards. It appears other minds than mine are desperately trying to delineate THE AGE OF PERVERSITY.

    But is it not more likely that WE (collectively, as Jung proposed for the Unconscious) are 'going perverse', and are now into the End Time? Indeed: IS THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS MENTALLY ILL AND HOMICIDAL?

    Perhaps we are witnessing the ultimate, negative consequence of language acquisition? The inevitable low point of OUR branch of the Tree of Life; the branch I have named: "THE APE CONFUSED BY LANGUAGE"!


  • Comment number 33.

    '29. At 10:03 16th Mar 2012, ecolizzy -
    Isn't it strange that there is never a comment posted here from those who appear on NN?! Are they advised not to, or even not told about this blog.'

    As with the medium, the messenger, and hence the invited guest, when the phrase 'questions are being asked' only applies one way, hence answers, if ever, are also solely to be passed through the edit suite.

    Ain't broadcast (only) grand?

    You want moooooore? Be grateful what your betters serve you.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    grow some balls will yer moderator!

  • Comment number 36.


    And when all is unsaid and avoided: the problem for society, Church, and media, really comes down to JUXTAPOSITION does it not? The juxtaposition that dare not speak its name. Holding hands in Tesco, by comparison, does not register.

  • Comment number 37.

    in this Daily Mail piece, a Tory MP gets death threats from the same sex mob:

    A senior Tory MP who defended the institution of marriage has received death threats and hate mail, it emerged last nigh

    I would like to scan the Guardian for similiar articals but the nurse hasn't come around with the meds yet.

  • Comment number 38.

    More Newsdaytime than Newsnight?

    More Jeremy Kyle than Jeremy Paxman?

    its a trend that has been going on for a while.

    Police pay

    democracy is a system of soft corruption. we bribe people to enforce or obey the law. So its not about doing the right thing but negotiating a price which means haggling.

    However the warning from Afghanistan and iraq shows its not easy to make a police force.

  • Comment number 39.


    Once again I feel moved to list: virtue, integrity, altruism, honour, humility and dignity (not exhaustive). We have now lived a number of generations in this wisdom vacuum. Those born into it, EXPERIENCE IT AS THE NORM. Truman (The Truman Show) was tipped off, and had the wit to be suspicious. Lessons have been learned - the illusion WE live in is close to absolute, and our young have been given "EDUCATION FOR DUMMIES" (i.e. education to YIELD dummies.)


  • Comment number 40.

    One wonders who tonight's 'expert' guest might be? A suggestion:

    Though to be kind, this may be something not to dwell upon.

    Have to say that has to be the most polite and helpful ushering along in interview I have heard in a while.

    Maybe the no sneer, arch eyebrow running mime narrative achieves less than simply handing over the shovel and failing to telegraph holes enough.

    How'd her boss do today, viable alternative-wise?

    The production meeting choices will be looking sparse, but One is sure a decent something juicy to 'analyse' will present if sought far and wide enough.


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