God Save Godsiff

At last, an MP who thinks for himself. Labour Member for Birmingham Hall Green, Roger Godsiff, has offered support to those parents protesting outside the Anderton Park Primary School, over its explicit promotion of non-heterosexual relationships in its Sex and Relationships Curriculum offered to pre-pubescent children. Labour’s top brass are incandescent that one of their own MPs might offer sympathy to these Muslim parents who feel it’s their job to educate their children regarding sexual matters. The BBC reports that

A party spokesman said Mr Godsiff will be "reminded of his responsibilities as an MP".

What, supporting his own constituents in a matter they feel strongly about? He seems to be doing well enough without any reminders. Angela Rayner, Labour’s Education Spokeswoman, described the MP's views as "discriminatory and irresponsible". How dare he break cover and support constituents against the totems of the metropolitan elite? Godsiff is no bigot. He’s on record as saying:

"I have consistently voted for all laws pertaining to equality and to defend the rights of everyone to live the lifestyle they choose”.

But he sees a contradiction between this and the government’s plans for a compulsory sexual education for young children:

"I have concerns about the age appropriateness of children of four and five being introduced to these ideas.”

The whole story interests me for a number of reasons. It demonstrates the British state’s increasing desire to elbow aside the sincerely held beliefs of parents as it seeks to promote its own sexual agenda. It also shows the confusion and perplexity on the British Left which cannot be the undisputed champion of both the Muslim community with its inherent conservatism and the LGBT community with its intrinsic liberalism.

For the record, I believe all children should be taught respect and tolerance- for everyone- regardless of race, gender, religion and sexuality. But tolerance falls short of government promotion. As something of a classic liberal, I shudder at the thought of an over-mighty state lecturing and hectoring any of us about anything. It should leave people’s opinions alone and concentrate on public safety and the wise use of taxed wealth. Political party officials need to understand that MPs are appointed by their constituents, not central offices. Sir Winston Churchill once observed that an MP’s loyalty, in reverse order, is to party, constituents and country. We need more tolerance and mutual respect in this country- for minorities of all types- including MPs who stand against the tide.