Since David Cameron took over the leadership of the Conservative Party, there has been a concerted effort to "detoxify" the brand. They've been very careful, if not always successful, to present themselves as economically liberal and liberally conservative on social issues (supporting marriage as a social good but for everyone, for example).
However there have been few, recent, clear cut votes in the House of Commons to show just how deep this change goes. With the confirmation (although it was pretty obviously always going to be this way) of a free vote for the Conservatives on civil marriage equality, it's looking like we are going to see a real test of this new "nice party".
Tory MPs are still engaging in spreading falsehoods about marriage equality. Sir Roger Gale thinks the Government will rewrite the works of Shakespeare. Craig Whittaker thinks equal marriage will lead to polygamy. Tim Loughton et al. believes we already have all the rights we need in civil partnerships (a falsehood we know not to be true)
It's going to be interesting to see just how many of their Tory colleagues are as poorly advised. And then we'll know just how detoxified the brand really is!
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist