So, to bring you up to date: yesterday I had various discussions with colleagues, mainly on abortion (where my mind is made up) but also on the “need for a father” clause. I’ve changed my mind on this at least three times already and by the time I went home I had pretty much – 75 per cent – made up my mind to support the government.
Then I spoke to Carolyn, who isn’t remotely political but is my touchstone to reality when it comes to this sort of question. What message does it send out, she asked, to society as a whole about the importance placed by the government on the role of the father? And what message does it send out to teenage men and women when we are (or should be) trying to persuade them that they shouldn’t enter parenthood unless they’re in a stable relationship?
Chris (Bryant) reminded me yesterday that “the only thing remotely left wing about you” is that I have always voted for gay rights (I paraphrase, but I’m not sure Chris’s original phraseology, though funny, would be appreciated by everyone). Well, it looks like after tonight, that small vestige of left wing credibility will have disappeared.