“When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?’
“It’s like one of my colleagues said: we’ve got to make these same sex marriages available to all.
“It would lift my worries about inheritance tax because maybe I’d be allowed to marry my son. Why not? Why shouldn’t a mother marry her daughter? Why shouldn’t two elderly sisters living together marry each other?”
What would these lesbian queens be like? Well, I don't know if Wonder Woman is officially a lesbian, but she is the queen of an all-female society. Despite her love for impractical clothing made of nasty artificial fibres, I reckon we could all thrive under her enlightened rule:
I'm torn between despair for a country which seems to think that the only problem with the Tory Party's bigotry is that it doesn't hate Europe strongly enough, and hilarity. Cameron's aristocratic Conservatism has come slap bang up against a more visceral, less cosmopolitan one and he clearly has no idea what to do. A while back I wrote about UKIP's fore-runners in various countries: the Poujadists, the Know-Nothings and the Ham and Eggs movements. While reading Starr's excellent Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California, I came across the Townsendites. This mass movement was populist, appealed to poor pensioners by campaigning for decent pensions as a way to kickstart the economy, and tended to be anti-semitic. They were exactly the electorate UKIP is stealing from the Tories:
Urban ethnic blue-collar workers, even farm workers, might go left towards militant trade unionism, Socialism, even the Communist Party. The middle and lower-middle classes, by contrast, would move right. While industrial or agricultural workers felt permanently outside the system, excluded as a matter of enduring socio-economic structure, the middle to lower-middle classes, having once felt themselves to be on the inside, mainstream, then cynically ejected – by Wall Street, by the Ivy League patricians around Roosevelt, by international Jewry – felt betrayed and eager for retribution. Such resentment by the dutiful and the God-fearing, made to feel victims of their social superiors… feeling cheated by the very system they had devoted their lives to, had all the makings of a para-fascist crusade.And so it turned out: the police and the army turned machine guns on striking workers while helping vigilante groups allied to the Townsendites smash workers, unions and minorities across California and the US.
The parallels are striking. UKIP's supporters aren't the very poor: they're the Sun and Mail-reading classes. They resent an Etonian Prime Minister not listening to their reactionary 'common-sense' beliefs on everything from Europe to homosexuality. They're no longer very anti-semitic: just put 'Muslims' or 'immigrants' where the Townsendites talked of Jews. They do distrust international capital - although Farage made millions from currency speculation. Interestingly, Townsend was a hypocrite too: he made a lot of money from whipping up his campaigns, mostly through secretly selling ads in his publicity material.
The Townsendites fell apart fairly quickly, though some of the did end up in the Ham and Eggs movement. What will happen to UKIP once the burdens of office and campaigning start to take off the shine?