Last week I was asked to take part in Newsnight’s ‘debate on gay marriage’.
Well, it wasn’t a ‘debate’ as I know one – very hard to debate when you’re sitting on a high bar stool, placed at the back of ten people, and looking at people’s heads.
It was very difficult for any of us to engage with each other – to dialogue – whichever side we were on.
And, a week after all the great stuff for International Women’s Day (esp this, A Thousand Reasons, the compilation from Linda Grant‘s twitter feed), while taking our seats for the not-debate, the (perfectly nice) floor manager said “Mr Bone? You’re over here. Stella? You’re over here.” Unpick that one folks, for the age/status/gender problems of our society in 9 simple words.
I would actually have liked to have a conversation with some of these people, but telly prefers shouting matches to rational discussion of differing viewpoints and we all realised, the moment we walked into the studio, that we’d been set up to be shouting.
Still, in a 20-min slot, I got my 35 seconds-worth in. And, well-trained Catholic girl that I was, I didn’t even need to look up my gospel reference (Matthew 22:21) – though it didn’t occur to me until later that I was saying this, not only on the ides of March, but also to a whole lot of people’s backs! I do like an unintentional Shakespearian reference in my political agitation.
Here’s the half-minute :
nb – thanks too, to my many faith-full friends, among them Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, all of whom are entirely in favour of equal marriage, very happy to say so, and a little tired of the established/big boy churches saying they speak for them.