‘This is obviously a personal tragedy for Mrs Barker and her two children. That is the most important aspect of this news.’
Conservatives have a breathtaking ability to demand privacy when scandal breaks, despite a track record in legislating for others’ lifestyles. That Tory MP and shadow environment secretary Greg Barker has left his wife for another man is indeed a personal tragedy, but more important is Barker’s hypocrisy. As the Mirror pointed out as it broke the news: ‘Barker has voted against gay-friendly legislation’ (though, to be fair, not civil partnerships).
It is a personal tragedy that Greg Barker has taken the line he has against the background of a losing battle with his own sexuality. But more importantly, that his public homophobia may be an extension of this private battle is a civic tragedy.
If Conservatives had to live by the morality they seek to impose on others, there would be far fewer Conservatives.