WOULD former election candidate Ed Fordham, the Lib Dem who went as close as any Lib Dem has ever gone of winning a parliamentary seat in Hampstead, be interested in a crack at the Eastleigh by-election? A man who might just have been fast-tracked through the government ranks if he had managed to edge past Glenda Jackson and the Tories back in 2010, Fordham would surely now only be interested in fresh challenges where the Lib Dems stand at least a chance of winning. There will be a queue around the block from Lib Dems seeking a winnable, but why not Ed?
I’m stirring, let Bridget Fox have a turn. And anyhow, he seems a little busy right now trying to help his colleagues change the law. During his time in these parts, he has made no attempt to hide his relatonship with Camden Lib Dem councillor Russell Eagling. He didn’t feel the need to shout about their personal lives from the rooftops, however, until last week. The old name-dropper drops Nick Clegg’s name into his words, but an article he has posted to Facebook and the Lib Dem Voice blog seems a pretty reasonable, convincing explanation as to why same-sex marriage should be allowed.
“Over the last 15 years, we have attended many weddings, christenings and funerals of friends and family that mark out the great stations of life,” he writes. “Apart from the occasional birthday bash and Eurovision party – we haven’t provided a similar opportunity for our friends and family to celebrate our life together. Russell used to work for MEP Nick Clegg and so we both attended the wedding of Nick and Miriam in Spain – it was a really special and personal event, and we would like to invite them to our wedding too.”
Ed adds: “Civil partnerships have offered one potential route. However, for us all the connotations seemed deeply embedded in the legal conveniences which are bestowed. Even the name seems to emphasise a rather joyless legal contract over anything to do with love. Religion plays a slightly ambiguous part of our lives. But civil partnerships enforce an outright ban of any religious element to the ceremony. Our local council states on its website that ‘readings, vows and music you choose must have no religious connotations’.This again seems like a step away from the tradition of our families. We live together, we go on holiday together, we go home together to our parents on an annual basis. Our Christmas cards are addressed to both of us… and so we are recognised by all, but prevented from partaking in the institution that our parents have always wished for us. We are not seeking to redefine marriage – we want to take part in the same tradition that generations of Fordhams and Eaglings (and Jones and Ralphs) have celebrated their life-long relationships in a marriage ceremony – in which the whole family has celebrated together.”