Let's do something "unnatural"

Matthew Reeves thinks habit is holding the nation back

You have to value the little things in life, which is the kind of thing people say to kid themselves into thinking that their colourless, passionless, fearful existence is worth something. They might value the refreshing scent of a particular combination of chemicals that's been ground into their subconscious as signifying "freshly washed clothes" through regimented repetition. These people used to be what I thought of as the lowest grade of society. They've accepted that things are probably going to be fine, so long as they don't have to get involved. But I've recently changed my mind.

An activity that I've become very fond of recently is spotting pictures in my local paper of politicians looking glumly at things. Looking glum, pointing at a pothole; looking glum pointing at a parking meter. But now the big guns are out; the glum-looking MPs have lolloped to Westminster. Out of the Gazette and into the limelight.

I love the look on their fat little faces, which look invariably like sock puppets filled with small pebbles and mud and dressed up in hand-me-downs by a child, as they're plopped into that ornate, timber-panelled dolls' house/shouting-arena to wheeze about what's "natural" and what isn't, as if they're Papally-appointed experts in evolution.

I can't even bring myself close to empathising with individuals who are so racked with personal insecurity that the thought of having more people granted an equal status to them causes their minds to fall perilously, like an out of control skydiver, into a spiral of moral questions.

Nor can I understand the fear of legalising gay marriage, for that's what we're talking about, that racks many of the parish churches of this fair isle. I would have thought that, with dwindling sign-up rates and a tightening tax net, there would be no time like the present to shuttle a bearer of legal tender through any ceremony they desire in these brick shithouses with leaky roofs.

With all their years of collective experience and ingenuity, the best reason these MPs and their churches could come up with for not doing so is that "this is how we've always done it". It's a statement that epitomises all of Britain's woes - its bankruptcies, its administrations, its education reform plan, which flaps and splats between being progressive and traditional like a fish out of water.

This is what we get for doing what's "unnatural": a cure for a malaise that it has its cold grip wrapped tightly around the UK's steering wheel of power.