Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Mind your blood pressure

Go and read this post from Constantly Furious. Now.

Justmake sure you're sitting down first.


  1. I saw this in yesterday's copy of The Evening Standard (2nd March 2010). Unbelievable. It made me smile to see that even Boris had been cornered into expressing his concern. Alistair Darling made this banal comment about how much had been done but how much still needed to be done.

    The children in the photograph are all well dressed and look well fed. There was NO mention of support the five (yes, five) fathers might be providing in the article.

    I don't want people to starve, but I piped up that I resented my taxes supporting this family, however wicked that is. I only have two children. I also feel more sympathy for carers, the old and the sick in society to be honest. Despite the worthy comments of breaking the cycle with this generation, it would only take two out of the eleven to copy their mother for a further 22 children to be born and so on. No politician is brave enough to introduce population control, especially when it will be compared to the demographics of China.

    Basically my manifesto would read that every woman is entitled to bear up to two children and all the necessary assistance should be afforded to her and her chosen partner to achieve this goal, but after two children, having further children should be actively discouraged. Exceptions should be made for the death of an infant, possibly second marriages and other complications.

    This would be an expectation rather than a law, but certainly the benefits system could reflect this ethos. The benefits outweigh fears about a decline in the size of the workforce. After all we can boost immigration again if we require workers.

  2. Quite.

    We don't need to positively discourage more than two children, though. And I suspect that creating a fair system that catered for the various possible complications would be a nightmare.

    The irritation arises due to the series of children that continued to be born despite the fact that the mother knew she had no means of supporting them. So why not both cater for caring parents who have more than two but fall on hard times, and also avoid complexity, by simply retaining support for children via the benefits system, except for any child born more than 10* months after the parent began claiming.

    So, work hard, start a family, then fall on hard times, and the benefits system will support you.

    Leave school at 16, never work, always just claim benefits, produce an offspring, and the system will explain that you knew damn well what your income was and you still decided to produce offspring, therefore it is your responsibility to support them.

    *i.e. 9 +/- a margin of error...

  3. You have to avoid introducing a workhouse mentality as those places were awful. People's aspirations must be encouraged or the underclass will grow. You mustn't label a child either as it is not their fault where they are in the pecking order. It is so tricky. Social expectations and education must be key drivers, P.

    Btw split infinitive to positively discourage You may be able to justify it actually but Tsk Tsk. ;-)

  4. "You have to avoid introducing a workhouse mentality as those places were awful. "

    Good. They weren't supposed to be holiday camps.

    If there's no element of punishment, there's no deterrent.

    "People's aspirations must be encouraged or the underclass will grow. "

    How about the aspiration to avoid that awful place, the workhouse?

  5. @JuliaM

    You may feel I am being rude not replying but I should explain it is a moot point that you raised. We are entitled to our views. I do not have such strong opinions that I want to dissuade you from your view, but I think people at the bottom of society, powerless as they are, should be treated humanely. Sometimes a stick can work better than the carrot, particularly I suspect if you have suffered rejection and hardship, and aren't well educated.