Priligy Y Cialis Juntos Buy Diclofenac Sodium Online Revues Sp Cialis Es En Informatique Coreg Cr 10mg Price Viagra For Sale In Boots

Right wing confusion & bile over Baby P


1:19 pm - November 16th 2008

by Claude Carpentieri    


      Share on Tumblr

More nanny state, less nanny state. From castration to welfare layabouts, how the depressing tragedy that took place behind close doors is fuelling the tabloids’ rage and anti-working class bias

In Haringey, North London, a 2-year-old child died after being tortured by his scummy parents.

The resulting blaze of finger-pointing is reminiscent of an incoherent pub talk amongst pissed-up geezers. “This beer’s fookin shite, ennit?”, says one. And the other slurs “Yeah mate, ‘know what you mean, it’s ace, love it“.

Look at this. David Cameron, the man who suckled his political milk from the tits of there-is-no-such-thing-as-society, now is making the government accountable for anything dysfunctional that may go on in our society, even if it’s behind closed doors. The high ranks of the anti-“nanny state” brigade are asking angrily where nanny was. At a guess, the implication is, if the Tories were in power, no family violence, no barbaric cruelty, would take place.

But Richard Littlejohn, in his Daily Mail bilefeast, decides instead that nanny is too overbearing. There are too many social workers, “legions” in fact. Not to mention “welfare layabouts”. And of course the next step is that, with all those benefits, some scumbag may feel encouraged to kill their 2-year-old kid. Logical, isn’t it?

Suspended radio presenter Jon Gaunt, from the Sun, slams the “elected and unelected metropolitan elite [who] impose their warped views and social engineering on our country”. Perhaps he was referring to his colleague Patrick O’Flynn from the Daily Express, who calls for the state to “take action now” and “curtail the rights of everyone to have children”, while pointing the finger at the “skewed benefits system in this country [that] provides massive incentives for the most dysfunctional people to have loads of children they cannot care for”.

Likewise, Kelvin Mackenzie in the Sun is indignant at the authorities who allowed the child’s mother, “this disgusting piece of humanity […] to have the child in the first place”.

Needless to say, nobody explains how such vetting would work exactly. Do these people think at all before spitting rage and writing such shite? Still, they all pontificate, they all know better, they all have a solution – they love playing their who-shouts-it-louder little game. Even if it’s in total contradiction with one another, or even with themselves – within the same piece. As long as they rant against liberals, ‘PC’ councils and the “benefits system”.

In the excellent words of Simon Jenkins in The Guardian, suddenly “we want nannies galore. We want nannies with whips, nannies with locks, keys and public inquiries”. Like he puts it, “the response to the case of 17-month-old Baby P has been a classic of incoherent social comment”.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Claude is a regular contributor, and blogs more regularly at: Hagley Road to Ladywood
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Media ,Our democracy

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


It’s yet another case of Why The Bombings Mean That We Must Support My Politics syndrome, isn’t it?

While I am hardly going to defend the positions quoted, it is worth pointing out that it is at least coherent to say that you would like a social service which did intervene in the case of a child being systematically abused before they had their spine broken, but one that didn’t ban smokers from EVER fostering children. All it would require is a service with just a little more common sense than right now (i.e. smoking = nasty habit/NOT abuse, kid being knocked around, broken bones=abuse). I am not sure that common sense of that sort is possible within a statutory system, unfortunately.

The Labour Party made the truly random Bulger case a plank of its General Election campaign, It was an ongoing theme and the general line was that in some indefinable way a random act of violence was a metaphor for something or other. The very same Gordon Brown who was whining about David Cameron`s questions was the Campaign manager ( he also had no idea where the money came from ….arf arf).
In this case baby P is part of pattern and it is not confined to Haringey . You have perhaps forgotten , or don’t care , about the endless suffering over the border in Islington’s child welfare services under Enver Hodge . In that case bureaucracy actually became infested with drug dealers child abusers and so on. Both of these Boroughs are citadels of socialism

This post is of course witless nonsense . It makes the death defying point that different people have said different things and then assigning them proxy membership of a spectral Party concludes they have fudged the Party line .
The broad right wing case would be lifestyles that need s targeted benefits causes people to choose needy lifestyles creating demand more social workers who feasts on perpetual misery. The most obvious example is in the case of women having children in order to obtain accommodation/. Additionally it would argue that the bureaucracies created to replace organic community are doomed to incompetence and inhumanity because no-one has any stake in them. Typically this will result in forms being filled while tragedies unfold . Baby P was killed by welfare , bureaucracy and by the near bestialised people who had her were her guardians .

There is no contradiction , everyone knows New Labour have allowed the inner-cities to fester. Without them what would be the point of Labour ?

Newmania “This post is of course witless nonsense ……ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

Shorter newmainia ……………………………. “I got nothing.”

5. douglas clark

Newmania,

This post is of course witless nonsense .

Such self awareness sits at odds with the rest of the drivel you wrote.

It is not at all clear from your post how, or exactly why, we should trust the ‘right’ with anything. You say, without any evidence whatsoever, that:

Additionally it would argue that the bureaucracies created to replace organic community are doomed to incompetence and inhumanity because no-one has any stake in them. Typically this will result in forms being filled while tragedies unfold .

What organic community? I don’t think there ever was one. Still, right wing theorists such as your good self invent ‘times past’ that are so much sweeter than they really were, don’t you?

Frankly, if the child had been removed from it’s mother, as it ought to have been, I could write the right wing case for that being wrong with just as much conviction and as little sense as you make here.

Which, sir, is the issue.

This is not about politics. It is about what is best for the child.

Claude Carpentieri indirectly makes the entirely valid point that the commentariat, such as those he listed above are making money, another right wing favourite, out of a tragedy.

Where we ought to agree, is that the childs’ parents were failures. They should never be allowed to have children again. Surgically, if necessary.

For it is on them them that the blame lies.

Richard LittleJohn , John Gaunt, Oh please. They are nothing better than a tired vaudeville act. It is right wing commentators like these who have argued for years that children should be kept with their natural parents. If social workers remove children from a family morons like these two clowns will scream “political correctness gone mad.” No doubt Little John would like to return to the 18th and 19 century’s when inner cities were such lovely places to live.

Most children who are killed each year are killed by their own family. But you would not know it to read the rants of rightwing press.

As for the Tories and Cammeron, he is the new G W Bush. Pretend to be compassionate to get elected, and then govern from the far right.

Newmania:

“Both of these Boroughs are citadels of socialism”

Exactly. Hence why the left is closing ranks, and hence this post.

“Most children who are killed each year are killed by their own family. But you would not know it to read the rants of rightwing press.”

That would be because a large majority of children live with their own family. That is a very tendentious argument, exactly the sort deployed to expand state control over civil society.

9. douglas clark

Nick,

So, what is the solution? It is kind of obvious that most children live with their own family. It is also kind of obvious that that doesn’t give their parents a right to kill them. So, what’s to be done? Society doesn’t seem, to me at least, to be quite as civil as you make it out to be.

ac256, newmania: Exactly. Hence why the left is closing ranks, and hence this post.

Good to see both of you are as incoherent and lame as ever, going along with the general theme of this post.

So a Labour-run council fails to protect a child and this makes you furious with the Conservative Party and the press?

This is pretty desperate stuff.

Douglas – there isn’t necessarily a solution. You punish people to the fullest extent of the law when genuine abuse is discovered.

So a Labour-run council fails to protect a child and this makes you furious with the Conservative Party and the press?

I have to say I see no point to this post other than lazy attacks on easy targets.

And of course Baby P’s door was not “closed” – he had 60 visits including one from a doctor who failed to spot very serious injuries. This is surely worthy of the fullest condemnation, is it not?

And what this has to do with anti-working class bias I have no idea.

These parents have nothing to do with the working class.

Well, have a look at Melanie Phillips today in…guess where…the Daily Mail.
What is quite disturbing is the hysterical tone, I’ll say it again, HYSTERICAL.

Granted, a tragedy happen. Baby P’s household seemed completely fucked up, borderline Texas Chainsaw Massacre sub-human scum. Granted, 60 inspections and nothing done about it smells funny. Something didn’t quite work, to say the least. Who would disagree with that?

But the point of the post isn’t that anyone disagrees with that.
Remember Fred West? He came from a traditional family background, didn’t he?
He then proceeded to get married himself. Look what he did.

The guy who set fire to his mansion and killed his wife and daugher cos the bailiffs were coming round. Married, upper-middle class, look what he did? Evil, selfish or what?

Ian Huntley and his girlfriend? Heterosexual couple, they were going to get married. Was that the fault of socialist councils too?

What I mean is that evil, monstrous, fucked up behaviour, ALAS, exists. Always have. Always will. Unfortunately, some human beings (luckily a minority) are able to carry out heinous acts. And that’s irrespective of left-wing councils, right-wing councils, married families, homosexuals and single parents.

Society’s duty is to keep an eye out and minimise the chances of such acts happening again. But what i find intolerable is this political scoring. That’s really low. Melanie Phillips’ article ends with :

“But the people who really have blood on their hands are the progressive intelligentsia who have simply written orderly, married, normative family life out of the script, enforced the doctrines of multi-culturalism and nonjudgmentalism with the zealotry of the fanatic, and caused Britain to descend into an age of barbarism”.

What I will say is that the comment policy of Liberal Conspiracy doesn’t allow swearing.

On the subject of Melanie Phillips, have a look at this post if you have time:

http://mymarilyn.blogspot.com/2008/11/melanie-phillips-on-baby-p.html

The lady is really full of hatred. Littlejohn is like a meek lamb by comparison.

Jonathan,

Yes it does beacause it is that party which is using the issue to put points on its opinion poll ratings which have been sliding desperately due to having nothing of sense to say on the economy…not that it worked looking over them this weekend I am glad to say. Cameron, in whipping up this issue, has shown himself clearly unfit to be leader of anything substantial I am afraid; it was deeply reckless.

The thrust of the article is basically right…the right-wing have jumped on this issue relentlessly and it has become about alot more than this case purely down to their endeavours…

cjcjc,
you say this has nothing to do with the working class.

I couldn’t agree more.
So why does Littlejohn (and not just him) then writes an endless piece about welfare layabouts as the root cause behind Baby P’s killing?

cj,

Lynne didnt descend into a histrionic temper-tantrum at PMQ’s; Cameron did. Also on this…Brown made several references to the entire House, Cameron never did and clearly raised this in an attempt to get at Brown….

Meanwhile, how about this idea?

Dutch socialist politician, Marjo Van Dijken of the PvDA party (the social democratic Labour party), is putting a draft bill before the Dutch parliament recommending that unfit mothers should be forced by law into two years of contraception. Any babies wilfully conceived in that period should be confiscated at birth. Unfit mothers would mean those who have already been in serious trouble because of their bad parenting.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/minette_marrin/article5114514.ece

Sunny perhaps you could explain the coherence of using the Bulger case against the Conservative Party. If the language of poltical discourse has been degraded the blame for that lies with New Labour . There is a pattern of mistreatment of children in the context of chaotic families , welfare wastelands and uncaring services that cannot replace responsible families. This case has a resosnance with long term worries expressed by the Conservative Party and shared by many people ouitside it .
It would be shocking if such an event were not put in its context by the people paid to do so.

And this, as I’m sure you probably don’t know, is the Thatcher quote in full.

“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.

Does anyone disagree with that?

cjcjc, yes I object to what Thatcher said on metaphysical grounds. If her point is that the only autonomous moral agents are individuals, and that “society” is not a moral agent, then that’s fine by me. But what she says is “And, you know, there is no such thing as society.” It should also follow that “there are no such thing as families”, but this is the opposite of what she says. If families exist (and this is one of the rare things I agree with Margaret Thatcher) then it seems inevitable to say that families are the smallest units of “society”, and that societies as a whole must exits.

whoops – must exist!

cjcjc,

“People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

what’s it got to do with poor Baby P, exactly?

I was just responding to your glib “suckled his political milk from the tits of there-is-no-such-thing-as-society” line.

cjcjc

Thanks .I was thinking of getting that out when I saw the traditional reference to “No such thing as society ”

Claude – You appear to be under the impression that welfare layabouts and the working class are the same thing . You have missed the point .It is precisely the working class communities and values that have been destroyed by the welfare sumps of the inner cities .The effects of mass immigration disproportionately into these areas has also been difficult to cope with and I can promise you that such opinions are commonly held and expressed without any prompting by the dastardly Conservative Party.
The Liberal party is exclusively middleclass and has a tin ear to the concerns of those who have to live in the mess their misguided demolition of traditional values has created .After years of attacking New Labour from the left Liberals have finally caught up on the error of taxing jobs freedom and aspiration . They are now clinging to their luxury agenda of misguided baby boomer failed experiments all the more tenaciously despite mounting evidence of the social catastrophe for which they are responsible.

Instead of quibbling about the right wing Press how about some humble examination of where Liberalism has been wrong and where it should re examine its contempt for the values that sustained those under pressure . the debate here is the same one that arose over the Karen Mathews and will keep returning until the elite listen .

This where your ideas have got us .Children now are three times more likely to live in a one parent household than in 1972 ,and Britain now has 1.9 million lone parent households, an increase of 200,000 since Labour came to Power.. Marriage has slumped to its lowest level for 150 year and married couples as proportion in the adult population being 53.3%. They were about 2/3 in the 70s.Married women are out numbered by single and divorced women for the fist time this year. One in three children will experience divorce or separation before the age of sixteen and UNICEF.. yes even that left wing collection of whiners, say that Britain’s position as having the least happy children in the developed world is due to the high level of family breakdown.
ONS showed that children of single parent families are about twice as likely to have mental health problems .Children from Lone Parent Families are 2,.4 times as likely to smoke ,1.6 times as likely to drink alcohol .In the US 63% of teenage suicides , 90 % of homeless and 85% of juvenile prisoners are form Fatherless homes ( 70 % of UK young offenders coke from fatherless homes and again in the UK about the same proportion of young drug abusers . Don’t say marriage is just incidental to the single parent story either .Only one in twelve married couples par within five years of the child’s birth for unmarried couples that number is ONE IN TWO.
Marriages decline has been disguised by immigration . It has had a disproportionate effect on the white working class. This was one of the conclusion of Iain Duncan Smiths report and it has not been refuted. How could it be ? Two out of five children are born to unmarried parents that figure was one in eight in 1980 so it is all getting worse.The Institute of fiscal studies shows that if a couple are earning £5000 and £15000 a year respectively they will lose £5400 in benefits if they continue to share a home .Care have shown that many couples are £50 per week worse of f they stay together rising to £100. A Couple on £18000 who live in the same house pay a penalty of £8588 per year or 40% of their pre-tax income .A couple on £50,000 per year would be £7000 worse off . Shortfalls then are throughout the population . No wonder 200,000 cohabiting couples are pretending to live apart Priority in the housing queue is routinely given to single mothers ,encouragement of the use of abortion as a contraceptive technique , the absurd myth of the girl who does not know she is pregnant or how it happened .

So it is entirely obvious why baby P seems to sum up so much that has gone badly wrong . It looks like Labour’s Britain. A vicious feral life lived on benefits in social housing . Meanwhile who pays ….Ordinary working families struggling to live decent lives with no help from the state whatsoever .

Fair enough, cjcjc.

But in which case, what’s all this furore about social workers, left wing intelligentsia, welfare layabouts, loony lefties, corrupted academics, political correctness gone mad, etc???

If Thatcher’s words were to be endorsed then, in the specific case of Baby P, the fault would lay with the mother, her lover, her relatives and maybe a little with the neighbours. Why would we expect the state and its “agencies” to have an obligation?

And earlier on I made a point. Which is roughly. Why all this onslaught against “the-liberal-left-that-destroyed-traditional-values” when a child dies under the watch of an unmarried woman? What about all the Fred Wests of Britain?

Can you see how political point scoring makes no sense on this subject?

One could argue that “traditional” family started going tits up since the 1980s. Its collapse began under Thatcher first and John Major second. Unless you tell me that every kid born before May 1997 was in a traditional married family background. Are you saying that?

One could argue that this may be the product of what Margaret Thatcher did to communities and society back then…

And also can’t you see the link between poverty and th ebreakdown of families? DO you really think that of we scrapped the welfare system altogether parents would stop splitting up? Do you think that £60.50 a week is what makes partners separate and shag other people?

Can’t you see that kids from wealthy “broken families” don’t do as bas as kids from poor “broken families”? And I could continue.

The primary fault of course does lie there.

But there also happens to be a social services department which visited Baby P 60 times in 9 months (what is that – twice a week?) and a doctor – whom I hope we all agree should be struck off – who failed to diagnose a broken back on the grounds that a proper exam could not be carried out because the baby was “miserable”. Right.

Now if the narrow issue of bureaucratic negligence and the wider issue of exactly what we should expect such bureaucracies to undertake, and the framework in which they operate, are not “political” issues, I’m not sure what are.

I’m just not sure what easy attacks on Phillips or Littlejohn contribute.

Needless to say, nobody explains how such vetting would work exactly. Do these people think at all before spitting rage and writing such shite?

Well, as I linked to earlier, a Dutch – socialist – politician is proposing precisely this kind of vetting.

What about all the Fred Wests…

How many of them are there? How does the data actually look?
I think you know the answer…

You are arguing against someone that does not exist. At the moment the tax system actually discriminates heavily against stable marriages and welfare is multigenerational life style choice. The Conservative Party are developing policies to try and change this . Surely you agree this would be good thing ?

“Do you think that £60.50 a week is what makes partners separate and shag other people?”

That is not the whole problem just a small part of it . See Tax /benfits figures I have supplied . The dislocation of the 80s did not help but that was caused by succesive post war governments managing decline in the context of a planned economy . Labour and Liberal have acceptted this implicitly by their shift to the economic right . Or would you return to Callaghan. If so I `d suggest the SWP and certainly not the newly tax cutting Liberals.

Can’t you see that kids from wealthy “broken families” don’t do as bas as kids from poor “broken families”? And I could continue.

Of course, but unless you intend to make everyone wealthy that is utterly irrelevant.

“One could argue that “traditional” family started going tits up since the 1980s. Its collapse began under Thatcher first and John Major second. Unless you tell me that every kid born before May 1997 was in a traditional married family background. Are you saying that?

“One could argue that this may be the product of what Margaret Thatcher did to communities and society back then…”

I assume you say this with the caveat of “one could argue” because you know it to be absolute pony.

I’d argue working-class communities and the system of family support and personal responsibility, in London at least, were effectively destroyed by a combination of socialist housing, expanding State welfare and de-industrialisation (which in London occurrred long before 1979).

See, this is the problem trying to argue with right-wingers: they make shit up and they’re stark raving mad.

I think people have been a little unfair on Cameron. His first question at PMQs was entirely reasonable. Where he went wrong was not being the bigger man about Brown’s responses.

Now, I get a sense from these cases that there are lots of people and bodies with various responsibilities, policies and targets, but in attempting to fulfil those objectives (sometimes of course they do not) they sometimes fail to fulfil the real needs of their clients.

There are systems and databases and forms for everything – everything must be measured and accounted for – turfing out professional, client-centered judgement, and mechanising compassion.

Its an ongoing theme with all arms of the state – that they have done their jobs if they have systematised them, ticked their boxes, and met their targets. There is an underlying and more subtle problem here than the death of one child.

…a problem to which your response is what? While introducing targets and procedures obviously means that people manage to the targets and procedures, not having them at all (outside very small organisations) rapidly results in nobody doing anything much of any use.

“Can’t you see that kids from wealthy “broken families” don’t do as bad as kids from poor “broken families”? And I could continue.”

And don’t you think that sociologist and psychologist control for such class/income effects in their research ??? (I know they do because I’ve read reams of it – only an amatuer would ignore such an obvious variable)
The problem is that the liberal middle classes imagine a broken family to be just like theirs – articulate, educated, intelligent, stable, people who do their best to ensure some sort of stability for thier children after daddy was caught shagging his secretary. As you can see from the baby P case a more typical broken “family” is just a random collection of individuals living in squalor who happen to be shagging each other this week/month. It’s not a family in any sense I would recognise. You can argue for ever about the relative importance of socio-economic structures, but the fact that many poor people manage to bring up children reasonably well indicates it is not income per se that is not the biggest problem. With free education, healthcare and housing and generous benefits, no one in this country is poor in relative global terms anyway.

I think beneath all the bile there are some uncomfortable truths that the left do not like being aired

Child abuse is overwhemingly a problem of the “underclass” – this does not mean that abuse doesn’t go on in the leafy suburbs, but it does mean that scarce resources should be targeted where they are most likely to have effect (e.g not arresting middle class parents for keeping their children “grounded” when they have misbehaved, calling cross country running “child abuse” or telling parents not to put crisps in their childrems lunch boxes).

Child neglect and abuse (and juvenile criminality, poor school acheivment, unemployment, propenisty to being imprisoned, suffering from addictions, mental health problems and a whole host of other negative outcomes) strongly correlates with single parenthood. Yes the nuclear family is’t perfect, but it is, by any measure a better environment *for the child*. It makes no social or economic sense to reward the creation of more single parent families. My fear is that we will have to wait for the disproportinately influential boomer generation who sowed the seeds of this mess back in the permissive society of the 1960s to retire/die before there is a sea change in attitudes.

Being long term electively unemployed has negative impacts beyond the uneployed individual. It cannot be a good thing for whole communities to have no apparent social or productive purposes. The more astute children will realise, when older, that to some degree their existence came about as a means of increasing benefit eligibiliy. How do you think that might make them feel ? You can argue the benefits paradox all you like, but countries with less generous welfare for single parents have fewer of the social problems assoiciated with them. In this country the benefits sytem, perversely, encourages families to split up.

And Claude, to some people an extra £60.50 a week, for ever,is quite a lot of money………….

Don’t stop telling the truth Newmania – I know it feels like nobody’s listening but they need to hear it at least. They can’t play dumb forever.

introducing targets and procedures obviously means that people manage to the targets and procedures, not having them at all (outside very small organisations) rapidly results in nobody doing anything much of any use.

True but real life systems have to be adapted and reformed daily . Private Companies exist in a market which provides a constant pressure to creatively re think how the organisation works and the feedback into the system is immediate gives the organisation information no one individual knows via pricing profits etc.. The solutions may well be beyond the ken of any planner . Families or SME`s are as John admits the teeny exemplars of perfection( shame then that they have been under attack from this idiot government but I digress)

I think we all accept that there has to be a functioning public safety net and accept it is not going to work perfectly , part of that imperfection is the need for heads to roll ‘pour enourager les autres’ .Clearly it would be vastly better not to have to rely on such an intrinsically inefficient organisation and as far as possible our efforts should be to replace public sector behemoths with self motivating intelligent units like companies or families .The market is not the only sort of organisation that informs systems. It could be the development of a coherent culture or a family model with institutions that support it , such evolved systems have a value as they have to succeed enough .

Targets in themselves are a lazy useless servant whose backside needs to be kicked twice a day. In socialist social services of the Inner City they have become master of the house with predictable results . With the Labour Party now almost entirely funded by Public Sector Unions no change and more tragedies

@Matt Munro,

Some good points about reliance on welfare (which, as a liberal more than a lefty, I’m broadly sympathetic to), but I think you undermine your case by the following:

“As you can see from the baby P case a more typical broken “family” is just a random collection of individuals living in squalor who happen to be shagging each other this week/month.”

So far as I can see this description just proves what a truly exceptional case Baby P is. And you surely know this, really. Very, very few families are actually broken in this sense (otherwise there’d be a Baby P every week). At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the vast majority of single parents have support networks and views on the upbringing of their children, and they turn out functional, healthy adults.

“Child neglect and abuse … strongly correlates with single parenthood.”

Exactly, it correlates. It’s not caused by it. I would surmise (on the basis of no more than common sense) that the kind of disfunction that gives rise to child abuse can also give rise to broken relationships. But it’s manifestly untrue (again, you know this) that broken relationships are any sort of meaningful indicator for child abuse by themselves. In which case legislating to force those relationships to remain intact is nothing more than papering over the cracks. This is what always rings false to me about the Conservative position on family and social problems. It reminds me of the Cargo Cults – trying to reproduce underlying factors by artificially inducing some of the outcomes. It won’t work.

“My fear is that we will have to wait for the disproportinately influential boomer generation who sowed the seeds of this mess back in the permissive society of the 1960s to retire/die before there is a sea change in attitudes.”

You may be right for reasons of historical averages alone – things have a tendency to swing and it doesn’t mean either position (in this case permissiveness or social conservatism) is the “right” one for all time. Both the left and the right get it wrong here, in my view. Both essentially believe that they are the guardians of the “correct” moral attitude. Permissiveness came out of an age of greater economic freedom. Social conservatism may well be the hallmark of an age of austerity.

Unfortunately as I’m at work I cannot follow this ‘debate’ as much as I’d like. Also replying to 13 people in one go is objectively difficult.
Very quickly though, a few points.

to chavscum
“I assume you say this with the caveat of “one could argue” because you know it to be absolute pony.”
Don’t be nasty. It’s just an expression.

You have your own view. I have my own. Am I allowed? Shall I ask for your permission? I said “one could argue”, so what? Don’t do a straw man on me cos that won’t wash.

I believe Britain started going to the dogs thanks (not totally, obviously, but mainly) due to the Tory policies of the 1980s/1990s. It’s a massive, complex topic, which ranges from the right to buy to the frontal attack against our manifacturing, To entire communities being disrupted, to the emphasis on extreme individualism, to the demonisation of homosexuals (section 28 would have looked extreme in the Vatican), to the liberalisation of shopping licences and hours; to the liberalisation of credit; to the selling off (totally underpriced) of utility companies and the railways.

There are thousands of factors, often ambiguous, practically none of them with an easy solution of root problem.

Matt Munro.
“Child abuse is overwhemingly a problem of the “underclass”
Obviously. But why is the underclass increasing in number and its standard of living degenerating so much?

I will say, and you’ll probably agree, that 11 years of Labour have totally failed to solve the problem. They set out with ambitious plans. Education, education, education; reducing child poverty; tough on the causes of crime; wealth creators and all those stupid soundbites.
They failed. Miserably. But if you really think that a party called “Tory” would fare any better then you are delusional. Britain at the end of 18 years of the Tories was in tatters. Unless, of course, you worked for the City or the financial sector.

cjcjcj.
You cite the Dutch politician. The socilaist guy. Well, the fact he suggests that doesn’t mean it isn’t bonkers. Enforced sterilisation? That’s what the guy from The Sun and that from the Express were arguing. Does it remind you of something? China-style? Like communist China? What do you do, do you send the police knocking on each door taking the women away to sterilise them?
Do you shove a pill down their throat every day? What do you do? In Britain? Obviously not even YOU believe in it. You just like to talk tough cos it makes you feel more right-wing a-la Clarkson. 😉

Newmania.
You can cut and paste all the statistics that you want. Statistics exist to be read in whichever way you want. Like I said above I’m at work now, otherwise, I would list a boring endless stream of data which would suggest the opposite of what you say. Broadly speaking, you believe it’s the problem of broken families and the underclass.
I believe it’s mainly the problem of broken families and the underclass made worse by a system that doesn’t allow them out of a circle of deprivation. Note I say a “system”, not just the “government”. Any government who’s aiming to fix today’s Britain has a hell of a task ahead of them. And there are no easy solution.

Now I have to go. Sorry and thanks for the debate. I like the fact this site is very civilised!!!

What Alix says, plus:

Child abuse is overwhemingly a problem of the “underclass”

…I think conflates two separate issues. Baby P-style long-term sadistic abuse is extremely rare, so making class judgements is pretty much missing the point (‘being a dangerous psychopath who should be in Broadmoor’ is a more important indicator, and if Baby P’s stepdad doesn’t end up there forever I’ll be extremely surprised). I’d accept that extreme physical neglect, which would likely have been Baby P’s fate if he hadn’t had a Nazi stepdad, is somewhat ‘underclass’-related.

But that isn’t the case for sexual abuse, or for excessive-but-non-fatal violent abuse. (I know and know of a lot of middle/upper-middle class people whose parents used to beat them up – and I don’t mean smack them, ground them or feed them crisps – or who were molested by relatives/family friends).

See, this is the problem trying to argue with right-wingers: they make shit up and they’re stark raving mad.

Hehe. Generally they’re ok, but when we get the likes of newmania and chavscum trying to ‘discuss’ then it really doesn’t help their case does it.

Indeed. Of course, it was fairly inevitable that Matt M would turn up at that point and say things that were right-wing, sane and not made-up…

Claude – the amateur psychology isn’t very helpful – or accurate!
I absolutely do not support the Dutch idea.
As you know there has always been a strong eugenicist strain in socialism/communism…
I do wonder what he has in mind in terms of enforcement.

But then what do you do in the cases of (as described on Woman’s Hour this morning) women who have children in care who continue to produce more?

John B,

…a problem to which your response is what? While introducing targets and procedures obviously means that people manage to the targets and procedures, not having them at all (outside very small organisations) rapidly results in nobody doing anything much of any use.

Why introduce a false dilemma? Is there nothing in between “client centred services” and “targets”? Can no improvement be made on “let’s have a form to fill in”?

I find that hard to believe. But perhaps you are more interested in telling people they are wrong rather than reasonable discussion and refinement of responses.

Of course we need targets and procedures, but my concern is that forms, procedures and databases seem to become the be-all and end-all. I have seen this in the private sector, where surprise surprise things go wrong despite there being a multi-page form to fill in.

But such things don’t necessarily mean people have done their jobs – indeed there may even be perverse incentives. The forms and databases may have been incompetently designed and deployed. There may be too many for people to cope with. Managers may not be reviewing them and following up on them – Lord Laming found of Brent Council’s handling of Victoria Climbié’s case that there was “a complete absence of any proper reflection or analysis of the information available”. In Haringey they produced lots of “action points” but then failed to discuss what progress had been made of them. There was “inadequate understanding” of discussions with various parties, including Victoria; there was no critical analysis applied to the claims made by her great aunt of how Victoria came by her injuries. There are lots of concerns in his report that are about things that should be self-evident, as he says, not about form filling.

I am also concerned about accountability and training. In Haringey, there was frequent restructuring in order to get rid of the incompetent. Why a restructure rather than train the incompetent followed by getting rid of them should there be no improvement? What disincentives are there for getting something wrong? (Haringey lost staff because they were fed up with restructures, not because they were disciplined.)

Haringey managers claimed there was adequate training – Lord Laming said there were obvious reasons why that was incorrect. Why did they say there was adequate training? There was a lack of clarity as to who was responsible for what. There was no evidence managers established that social workers were capable of handling the cases they’d been assigned.

Well, I could bang on, but it’s all in his report, and I suspect his report on Baby P will be similar.

There is little about having more forms to fill in and more procedures and another database (that’s my case of “Why The Bombings Mean That We Must Support My Politics syndrome”, I’ll give you that) – we can interpret what he said to mean that, or we can interpret it to mean more accountability, more training, more client-centred effort, more effort to discuss progress and analyse claims, and of course we must be wary of knee-jerk responses (something governments seem rubbish at avoiding).

I see the trolls are following in the footsteps of their moronic leaders, and hero’s LittleJohn and Phillips.

A nice juicy bandwagon to jump on, to bash the left. Trouble is , this baby died because of the policy of the said right wing. Ie keeping children with one or both their natural parents att all costs. I have no doubt that if the child had been removed, the right wing pundits would scream “social engineering , political correctness gone mad et etc. “ I can just imagine the kind of hysterical Phillips column……..”HOW THE LEFT WANTS TO KIDNAPP YOUR CHILD……

And that is the position social workers are put in every day.

But then Phillips and Littejohn don’t have to make such life or death decisions. They are nothing more than overpaid motor mouths who just write bollocks , and rant away, and pick up hundred of thousands of pounds criticizing other people. Easy money, and with no responsibility. Sums up the right wing press to a tee.

I

“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’

Yea, we can’t have to many people living off the state can we Maggie. I mean, just look at those bastions of Conservatism . Farmers, land owners , arms traders, judges, policeman, The military, The Royal family, Oxbridge, I mean , poor little Tory ducks ,they need their state funded handouts just as much as everyone else.

Spot on, Sally.
Right leaning people are inclined to believe that a Conservative government would truly and coherently slash public spending and handouts.
Except, not many know that Maggie gave farmers enormous subsidies. They’re the good ones. Miners and steelworkers were bad.

“As you know there has always been a strong eugenicist strain in socialism/communism…”

Oh look, our resident Brown shirt fuck forgot to mention that the eugenicist strain has always been strong on the Right. No surprise there then. He just pulls shit out of his ass.

Claude

“Right leaning people are inclined to believe that a Conservative government would truly and coherently slash public spending and handouts.”

Actually, Right wing leaning people are sanctimonious hypocrites when it comes to state handouts. Farmers are the biggest hypocrites of all. Everytime they fuck up their own industry we all have to pay for it. And yet they cheered her on as she took subsidies from left leaning industries.

Also , the first thing she did in 1979 was give the police a huge pay rise. Handouts for her so called people , was always just fine.

Ah Sally – the voice of reason as usual.

our resident brown shirt – genius

Any chance of even vaguely trying to stick to the comments policy and cutting back on the personal abuse?

If you had bothered to read the comments you would have spotted that the person we were discussing on this occasion was a Dutch socialist MP.
I could have added “as well as on the extreme right” but thought it otiose.

America is notoriously so much stingier on welfare than any EU country. Look how fucked up the American underclass is. Millions don’t even live in flats. They live in trailers

18 years of Tories and 11 of New Labour have given us the worst social indicators in Western Europe in terms of housing, education and healthcare.

We have BY FAR the biggest levels of household debt in the EU. We have the biggest gap in wealth distribution. Our labour market is the most ‘flexible’, which means the highest rates of casualisation. Union membership is one of the lowest on the continet. Britain has also the highest paid corporate exacutives. Social mobility is grinding to a halt as report after report is showing. We have incredibly high (and growing) levels of apathy. The 2005 general elections turnout was the lowest recorded in Europe since WWII.

To me, all those factors have a MUCH bigger relevance on the breakdown of society, crime and behavioural dysfunctionality than, say, tax credit for single mothers.

Can I make a few random points to random commentators

Gays were not demonised in the 1980s. They were extremely fashionable with influences in popular music (FGTH at al), cinema and a massive presence on the club scene (yes I was young in the 1980s) this idea that they were demonised because some on the largely christian right objected to literature “promoting” homosexuality in schools is absurd.

Eugenics – that well known bastion of right wing extremism, Sweden, was for a long time the most enthusiastic proponent of Eugenics in Europe (they only stopped in the 1960s). And what were Stalins purges or Pol Pots disappearances if not left wing attempts to prevent the troublesome from breeding ?

Farmers get state handouts because of the (massively right wing again) common agricultural policy – fore runner of the EEC and the EU. The last person to try any serious reform was Maggie Thatcher. The rest of the groups in your rant list (with the exception of the Royal Family) provide something tradeable. A chav in a council flat watching trisha doesn’t.

And while we’re on the subject of subsidies for favoured groups – John Redwood was pilloried for suggesting that banks be forced to deal with their own mess or go bust. It was Gordon Brown with his “keynsian economics for beginners” handbook who bailed them out to the tune of god knows how many billions which we’ll all be paying for decades to come.

Finally – Keeping children with their parent(s) is not right wing (or left wing) IMHO. It’s based on evidence of the poor outcomes that result from a childhood in care. Among other depressing statistics is the fact that one third of the prison population have spent time in care. There may be other factors at play here – meeting targets,under resourcing and plain incompetence – but I can’t see how keeping children out of care is a right/left wing policy.

Troll

“Any chance of even vaguely trying to stick to the comments policy and cutting back on the personal abuse?”

Ah, classic brown shirt behaviour, comes on a liberal political site that he does not agree with, mocks and ridicules its beliefs, but then demands to be treated like royalty. Go back to your swamp troll.

[troll]
Hey Sally, you must be line for the Guardian’s blogger of the year award!

Any chance of even vaguely trying to stick to the comments policy and cutting back on the personal abuse?

cjcjc – you always started on this website making fun of ‘liberal conspiracy’ as if that was somehow a comeback to your lack of intellect.

Now, you a few new dimwits such as chavscum and newmania are here forever harping on about how lefties are evil scum, while pretending that you’re actually trying to have an intelligent conversation. And then you cry about comments policy. Frankly, I would have deleted you long ago if I was strictly adhering to the comments policy.

I think I will from now. Any stupid sarcastic comments from yourself and fellow travellers will be disemvoweled.

Fair enough – now that you are breaking your own policy!!

cjcjc, Newman, Matt Munro.
Anything to say about my 6:05pm comment, instead of arguing the toss about comment policies?
Perhaps no, because deep down you know it’s the truth…

Matt Munro about homosexuals in the 80s.
You mention Frankie Goes to Hollywood but you choose to totally gloss over Section 28. Do you even know what it did and what it said?
And did you know that at the 1985 Tory Conference one of the official slogans was “If you want a queer for neighbour vote Labour”. Seriously. In 1985, that was the Conservatives. The government. The people you want back in power.

When I remember that I actually think we’ve come a long way and we’re a more civilised society, in spite of what Melanie Phillips may think.

And did you know that at the 1985 Tory Conference one of the official slogans was “If you want a queer for neighbour vote Labour”.

Was it really an “official slogan” or something some moron on a conference stage said?

Seriously. In 1985, that was the Conservatives. The government. The people you want back in power.

It was 23 years ago, too.

Sounds like it was a platform speaker, so still pretty atrocious. But I don’t think the decades or the change of Government have actually made people more accepting, just shifted the individual victims around a bit. After all, with new and more intrusive relationship between the state and citizen and each party competing to be tougher on the newly targeted crop of ne’er-do-wells, Labour might as well make an election slogan ‘If you want a fatty on your storey, vote Tory’. They are all as bad as each other, and have been for some time.

I agree Nick. I’m not a big fan at all of New Labour and it’s government.
But sometimes some positives can be acknowledged and the fact that none of the main parties -at least in rhetoric- are no longer opposed to sexual equality is a step forward. The same way we no longer have football “fans” throwing bananas at black players is a massive step forward.

Then yes, there are other witch hunts, like you say.

I don’t think sexual equality is accounted for merely through acknowledging homosexuality though. Much of the bigotry previously aimed at gays now gets channeled towards those who are transgendered, or people who engage in BDSM (reflected in recent government legislation).

At the bottom of the pile is the persecution of those who suffer from peadophilia (as opposed to those who actually go on commit acts of violence and abuse towards children). Egalitarians have a long long way to go before those with aberrant sexualities are given the same status as everyone. I have a slightly easier goal, of trying to ensure mere sexual liberty rather than equality of status. That would be a significant improvement on the situation as it stands. Perhaps things have improved in some dimensions in some substantial ways, but I have a feeling that situation might be quite fleeting.

I’m getting away from the party politics her I know but in my humble opinion, the problems in society at the moment must be confronted through education, whoever is in power. Our schools are failing our young people by not preparing them for real life. I think that the time has come to make a lot more less time for geography and other pretty pointless subjects in the curriculum, and devote at least 1 day a week to social education in different forms. Not just sex education, although that needs to be covered far more widely in the context of relationships, but also looking after a baby and then obviously a growing child and the responsibilities that that brings, household budgeting, cooking, community projects (working with the elderly, toddlers, creating youth centres, gardens etc) and for boys, the role of the father in a houshold (as so many of them wouldn’t have a clue as they wouldn’t have a role model – and before anyone has a go at me for that, I won’t apologise for believing that good fathers are just as important as good mothers and are far too easily dispensed with by far too many people). This should be a modular program that must be passed by attendance and contribution before a child can move up a year. It is that important – far more important than maths or history. It might make the difference between someone learning how to look after a baby from their own mother, who may have had no clue either, or from a professional or volunteer mother in the community, who can stop the cycle of teenage parenting. Someone I used to work with, who got pregnant in order to keep her boyfriend (honestly! it really does happen – and no it didn’t work) said to me that all a child needs is love. I disagreed then, and still do. The first thing they need is love, but also they need a mentor, a guide through life to show them how to be a good person and to get the most out of the precious gift they have been given, life. We need to equip our young people far better.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs




Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.