Wednesday 20 April 2011

Children as Human Shields

Many years ago, before the birth of the first of the Drew offspring, an earnest member of the midwifery service announced at an ante-natal class that her department "would be responsible for your child until the age of 2". She copped a curt correction from yours truly, which made for a frosty evening as you can imagine.

It's all too easy in our 'civilised society' to take the view that nothing trumps the well-being of innocent children. A colourful example comes in today's news of a super-injunction that is to spare the blushes of we-all-know-who-anyway, on account of his kids who might be bullied at school if word of his marital infidelity were to be published. No, Lord 'Justice' Ward, responsibility for protecting his children lies with the miscreant lui-même: if they can't take the joking, don't do the poking.

This matters a lot more than just gossip about TV personalities: more, even, than the obvious logical extension of this daft ruling which would protect the names of criminals if they had school-age children. Because it lies behind the utterly ruinous policies whose guiding principle is - it doesn't matter how irresponsibly and willfully an adult has behaved: if there are children involved the state must step in and see everyone alright.
It certainly costs us untold amounts in welfare benefits. And I expect it speaks well for us as a nation.

Except that, naturally enough, just as women who anticipated being under sentence of death used to get pregnant, so the reckless and the feckless make damned sure they have some children with which to share any misery that might be the outcome of their behaviour.

Reductio ad absurdum. There should be no reward for using children as human shields, because (a) it's rather easy to come by children and (b) it's the height of wickedness.

As ever, how we are to get back to universal parental responsibility from the depths to which we have now sunk is a very difficult question. If we are relying solely on Iain Duncan Smith and Frank Field to solve it for us, I fear we may have several generations to wait, and many more millions of little hostages to be taken.

For all that we can't do much about it, it's wicked nonetheless.



Old BE said...

"an earnest member of the midwifery service"

What do midwives use for contraception? Their personality.

Laban said...

The Old Labour sociologist Norman Dennis, in his 'Families Without Fatherhood', commented on the cultural change which elevated the freedom to have relationships as and when you chose, regardless of the damage to third parties (for example children or an abandoned spouse) to an absolute right. Already, he wrote, the the classic phrases of rampant capitalism come to mind as the number of fatherless families mount - "Cannot a man do what he likes with his own ? As for the other party, caveat emptor - let her take the consequences of her bad bargain !"

The only difference, he continued, was that now the State, through taxation, would take the consequences of a wrong choice of partner - ' sexual conduct the cast of mind is that I please myself, but if anything goes wrong, you must be responsible that my children come to no harm. In effect such a biological father is saying, "You must be a socialist so that I can be an egoist. My baby is the hostage through which I, who will not do my duty, will hold you to your duty."

Laban said...

Forgot to ask - Nick, given that physical silver is subject to 20% VAT, what's the best way to invest? I'm told that shares like Fresnillo are already pretty highly priced.

Nick Drew said...

cruel, BE, cruel

thanks for those great quotations Laban, I shall look 'im up

on the other point: there is no VAT to pay unless you actually withdraw your silver from the vault - and (IMHO) things haven't got (quite) that bad yet !

I use BullionVault but, as stated before, (a) that is not a recommendation & (b) they don't advertise on C@W !

Budgie said...

Laban said: "The Old Labour sociologist Norman Dennis, in his 'Families Without Fatherhood', commented on the cultural change which elevated the freedom to have relationships as and when you chose, ...." "Already, he wrote, the the classic phrases of rampant capitalism come to mind ..."

Actually the concept of absent fathers is nothing to do with "rampant capitalism" and everything to with rampant feminists of the 1950s like Simone de Beauvoir, subsequently popularised by the likes of Germaine Greer.

Part of this 'feminism', especially later in the 1960s with the advent of the pill, was to encourage women to fuck around to (somehow) prove to men that women were independent of them.

The consequences have been bad for society, bad for children and even bad for women. And the reason is clear: it gives men the possibility of copious sex with no responsibility.

Many men have taken advantage of this reversal of women's age old attitude to sex: that material responsibility (for the subsequent upkeep of the mother and children) should pre-date sex. What amazes me is how few men do this, not how many, considering the inducements.

Steven_L said...

Remember the VAT registration limit!

If you set up as a trader buying silver from consumers (at these prices door knocking is becoming viable) as long as you don't make a profit over the VAT threshold you are fine.

If you do, HMRC take 20% of your gross profits.

Remember to get a set of Class II stamped scales, you don't want to get into trouble.

Steven_L said...

Sorry - turnover over the VAT limit.

A point of view said...

Budgie - I recall reading somewhere or other that the feminism movement was planned and financed by the [banking?] "elites" who realised that half the population were not working - and were therefore not being taxed. So they set out to push/induce/flatter women out of the homemaker role into employment and thus become taxable. This led to the population having more cash to spend, coupled with ever increasing prices in order to relieve the earners of their income, until it reached where we are at present whereby it usually takes two full time incomes to be able to raise and sustain a family. 40 years ago, the male was the breadwinner and his (paltry) income was usually enough to get by on.

Many people have now been priced out of the rat race and are up to their ears in unrepayable debt, but still need cash for daily survival; all of which has brought about over-borrowing (and disgracefully irresponsible lending) of sums completely out of reach of the borrowers ever being able to repay them at current or indeed falling or frozen levels of salaries etc.

I don't know if that is true, but as a potted history of the past 40 years or so it does seem at least "plausible" as the Mythbusters would say.

Nick Drew said...

point of view - if this theory is correct, I could direct the attention of the "elite" to a couple of other sectors of the population who are not working or paying tax ...

Bill Quango MP said...


If we were smart we'd be setting this up now.

Anonymous said...

Budgie - the point of the Dennis quote was not that 'free love' is capitalist, but that in Victorian times a person could dispose of property more or less as he wished, whereas sexuality was subject to many legal and social restrictions.

Now the situation's been more or less reversed. The libertine is in many ways more free than a Victorian capitlist, who for example couldn't send the mill-girls up the chimney on a Sunday.

Nick Drew said...

Mr Q - ah, but silver is a lot less dense than gold ...

anon - sound point

(but around here we don't encourage talk of getting the mill-girls up the chimney thank you)

Anonymous said...

ok, let's say they couldn't make them go down the pit-shaft on a Sunday...

Budgie said...

Society changes when two conditions are met: philosophical "permission" and material practicality.

The permission was granted by feminist popularists like Greer, in a philosophical line going back all the way from the existentialists, to Marx, Kierkegaard ("leap of faith" to synthesis), Hegel (originated the idea of "synthesis") and Kant.

The practicality was post-WW2 prosperity, peace and the pill.

Steven_L said...

BQ, there was serious money in the gold buying a couple of years back.

I heard of two guys making £30k a week just from setting up stalls in village halls and mailboxing leaflets.

Bit more competitive these days.