If you ask me, it's a rare day when your prayers are answered, but mine were the other morning when I woke up and thought to myself: "I wish yet another rich Tory would instruct me and other ordinary people on how to live our lives based on no understanding whatsoever", and, blow me, if it wasn't the day Sir Paul Coleridge decided to launch "The Marriage Foundation". Thank you, God! I exclaimed, punching the air jubilantly. I now wish I'd prayed to win the lottery! That said, it does rather feel as if I have done, and one mustn't be greedy.
Sir Paul, a senior judge, who has spoken about how he has kept his own marriage alive – "My wife Lisa and I are holiday junkies... they have become vital in stopping our marriage becoming boring and lifeless" – has launched the foundation to "promote marriage", and, although he doesn't specify how this is to be achieved, I'm hoping that, as someone whose own marriage has limped along boringly and lifelessly for years, it might involve a fully funded two-week cruise of the Caribbean, stopping off at points of interest, and at least one night at the Captain's table. This would certainly perk things up around here!
Anyway, Sir Paul's belief that marriage is "good for society" is based on the work of The Centre for Social Justice, which claims to have shown that the children of parents who stay married have better social outcomes, although, as couples who stay together tend to be higher earners and more highly educated, some might say cause is being confused with correlation, and it's not marriage that's good for society. No, it's decent schools, equality of opportunity and the restitution of, for example, programmes like Sure Start... but that's just silly. After all, it's not as if The Centre for Social Justice can't be trusted, or has a right-wing agenda to push, even if it was founded by Iain Duncan Smith. I'll say it again: silly.
And if heterosexual marriage is good and all else bad, can we look forward to a further slew of stigmatising foundations in the future? I'm hoping so, and would support any of the following: The Single Parents Are Morally Defective Foundation; Bastards Should Be Called As Such Foundation (and should have a "B" after their names in the school register); Wives Whose Husbands Hit Them Should Put Up Or Shut Up Foundation and the Foundation for Keeping The Gays Well Out Of It, as they will only steal your family values (I hope you are still locking your doors).
Is this too much to pray for, do you think? I'm being greedy again, aren't I? Sorry.