He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger”


7:00 pm - September 22nd 2010

by Don Paskini    


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There’s been a fair amount of coverage of Keith Macdonald, the “Sunderland Sh***er” who has fathered ten (or more) children with ten different women, and “outrage” that this will cost the taxpayer more than £1.5 million.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This is a disgusting abuse of a benefits system that is supposed to look after those who have genuinely fallen on hard times. It is shocking that someone can be so indifferent to their responsibilities.”

If you believe the newspaper reports, then Macdonald doesn’t sound like a particularly nice guy. But if you think about it, he also sounds like the worst “benefit scrounger” ever.

Of the £1.5 million (which is the total amount which will be paid out over 16 years), the amount which will go to Macdonald is £0.

Or, rather, because he is getting £5 per week deducted from his benefits, this turns out to be a benefits scam where he actually loses money.

So 100% of taxpayers’ money, plus roughly 7% of Macdonald’s benefits, goes to his children and their mothers, to help feed and clothe them, keep a roof over their head and provide the basics which every child in a civilised society needs when growing up.

The cost to me as an average taxpayer is something in the order of one penny per year per child, possibly a little less. And I’m meant to find this ‘disgusting’.

Macdonald’s oldest child is ten years old and the youngest are babies. What actually is disgusting is that, in their desperation to undermine the welfare state so that their wealthy masters get to pay less taxes, the Taxpayer’s Alliance and journalists for right-wing newspapers are quite prepared to try to ruin the lives of these young children.

Behind the bluster, spin and outrage, the ultimate aim of these right wing groups is to ensure that the government takes money away from children whose parents committed the unforgivable crime of being poor.

That’s far more outrageous than anything that Kevin Macdonald has ever done.

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About the author
Don Paskini is deputy-editor of LC. He also blogs at donpaskini. He is on twitter as @donpaskini
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Reader comments


1. Chris Baldwin

“Behind the bluster, spin and outrage, the ultimate aim of these right wing groups is to ensure that the government takes money away from children whose parents committed the unforgivable crime of being poor.”

And to give it to themselves!

Funny how the RICH taxpayers alliance , always come out in these cases. Yet, after the Channel 4 documentary on the billions wasted by the military industrial complex we hear ………………’crickets.’

Oh silly Sally, the Rich Taxpayers alliance represents the military industrial complex.

The so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (representing less than one tenth of one per cent of all taxpayers, and not publishing full accounts or list of donors) has one purpose, and one alone: to demonise Government – any Government.

Thus it is rabidly anti-EU, as that’s a kind of Government. It’s equally rabidly knocking Local Government. The idea that it’s just after smaller Government is fatuous: if Government were half the size it is now, they’d still be kicking it.

Where it is very successful is in getting its propaganda into the media, especially the print media. The TPA has taken on board what Nick Davies has pointed up in Flat Earth News – that papers have less hacks and more pressure to get stories – and so it presents “stories” packaged up into manageable chunks which the grateful hacks and their editors reprint, often without bothering to check the veracity of the story first.

Much of what the TPA gets into the print media is also tailored to fit the agenda of papers like the Daily Mail, which increases the chance of their propaganda getting printed.

Fortunately, the broadcast media, and some papers, are now calling the TPA for what it is – a malign body which serves no useful purpose, except inasmuch as it does the bidding of its backers. It’s just another Astroturf lobby group.

“The cost to me as an average taxpayer is something in the order of one penny per year per child, possibly a little less.” And I’m meant to find this ‘disgusting’.

I can’t be bothered to check your maths but you seem to be missing the point that he isn’t the only one. And if It’s “only a penny”, why can’t I keep it, rather than give it to him ?

The broader point which you haven’t adressed is that no one is picking on him because he’s “poor” but because he’s feckless, a crap father (I’d bet my house that the majority of his kids will be doing what hes doing now in 16 years), a woman beater (a conviction for attacking one of his kids mothers) and a violent yob (another one for glassing someone. If he was middle class you be baying for his blood, because he’s not, you decide hes’s the victim

5. BoredofLabourrubbish

Well said Matt Munro – I am sure there are many poor people worthy of your patronage, Sunny, but Kevin MacDonald is not one! You may have a point about the kids not being to blame for the actions of their father but please try and make that point rather than some ridiculous tripe about the dad being unfairly picked on. My heart bleeds for him and his incontinent sperm…

£1.5 million over 18 years, it must be added.

Mutt Munro: “The broader point which you haven’t adressed is that no one is picking on him because he’s “poor” but because he’s feckless, a crap father (I’d bet my house that the majority of his kids will be doing what hes doing now in 16 years)”

You appear to be ignoring the main point of the article, which is that the Taxpayers Alliance’s campaign to stop benefits being paid in situations like this is not actually removing benefits from *him*. It is removing benefits that go to his *children*.

Unless you think unauthorised breeding while on benefits should be an actual crime, there’s very little the government can do about him personally.

The entire fact of finding the payment of benefits to his children “disgusting” relies on believing (as you state you do) that the children will pretty much inevitably be feckless and crap too (despite most of them having no contact with him), and apparently this future-crime scrounging is justification for punishment by destitution now. Which is what removal of all benefits from them would mean.

Honestly, I’m starting to wonder which tabloid will be the first to call for the return of workhouses…

8. Dick the Prick

@2 – Sally – re: previous thread, I would never call you silly except to your face yet you have at least 3 times called me a troll.

The article referred to his pulling location being the bus stop. Perhaps the article should read along the lines of this guy is a bullshit merchant.

I don’t think this is a cost issue as fortunately the girls are spared this oxygen thief. The fact that it comes from the TPA is perhaps unfortunate, but, if true; well, this guy needs a kicking not a bloody article about him. I fostered for 7 years and, well, the reaction of ‘something must be done’ is quite strong.

The bottom line is just melencholy.

One of the great defining virtues of the British working class, as was, was the idea of responsibility. Yeah, yeah, we all knew that there weren’t as many virgins at marriage as there were white dresses (and that hasn’t been true of the middle classes for generations either).

But you got the bird up the duff you took responsibility. Marriage, even forced marriage (the force often coming from the soon to be paternal grandfather let us not forget) was the common end of these stories.

Now? We’ve actually got a *defender* of the current welfare state insisting that what Marx would have called the behaviour of the lumpen proletariat is something that we should all righteously subsidise.

Fuck that Bubba.

I think the point is not that Mr MacDonald is not a worthless piece of crap, but that he is actualy not making any money out of his many offspring.

If you want to take benefits away from his kids then either you let them starve or beg in the street or you take them into care. Is either option aceptable in a civilised society?

11. Just Visiting

Maybe ‘worst’ was meant as ‘costing the UK tax payer alot more than your average poor person’.

10 children by 10 mothers is hard to pitch as any kind of life style that will contribute to society. And not an ideal start for the 10 children either…

I wonder whether there are more or less such cases now than say pre-War.

Would women take more care to prevent getting pregnant if there was no realistic chance of family provider and co-parent, if they knew the state would not pick up the bills? Which I guess was indeed the case before the welfare state…

Just asking.

12. Just Visiting

The news today has:
> Teachers today welcomed proposals to set up antenatal clinics in schools to care for pregnant teenagers.

I can’t help thinking that Holland and Germany, with lower teenage pregnancy rates – probably focus more on maintaining a culture that getting pregnant whilst school age is a very sub-optimal thing to do…than catering for it to make it more comfortable.

Could coverage of this story be any more repulsive? I fail to see why the Daily Mail reports the name and age of the mothers and similar information about children. I reckon that the mothers acted irresponsibly but their dirty linen does not need to be aired in public. If the story is really about Macdonald’s stupidity, those details don’t matter.

Tim W – as ever, you’re not reading Don Paskini properly, more just projecting your views on him.

I think we’d all like a world where people take responsibility for their actions. But hey, the world is full of idiots who don’t. Perhaps you can answer a few questions:

1) Would you like a law where people are forced to marry those they get pregnant?

2) Would you rather than the children do not get any support from the government at all?
If not – then stop blustering like a fool.

If right-wingers were a bit more interested in sex and relationship education for youngsters, then I’d take their hysteria a bit more seriously.

Lastly – I didn’t write this article, Don Paskini did, for people who have trouble reading. There’s a name of the author attached to every piece. Pay attention.

15. George W. Potter

@2 Sally, I think that’s the first commentt of yours I completely agree with. You’ve got it spot on.

16. MoreMediaNonsense

Typical piece for this site – attack those you disagree with without facing up to real issues.

This guy having 8 children with 8 mothers is a real problem, I mean do you think all the gals were just swooning maidens overcome by a gallant prince. More likely they were vulnerable girls for whom having a child by this character was a disastrous life changing experience.

Poor and vuilnerable single mothers having children with guys like this is a real problem for society but all you get on here is denial and ranting about “right wing newspapers” and workhouses.

Well here’s something in the Mirror on this as well :

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/09/20/meet-the-man-who-has-10-children-by-10-different-mums-and-is-costing-the-taxpayer-2m-115875-22574209/

This is a difficult issue but one the Left has to face up to and do some thinking about.

17. Just Visiting

Hi Sunny

are those really the only questions to be asked? Sounds like you’ve cherry picked.

> Would you like a law where people are forced to marry those they get pregnant?

A better question might be:
* how do we encourage people not to get pregnant unless they have strong confidence in having a partner to help them in the not trivial task of parenting – a child is not just for Christmas after all.

And instead of:
> Would you rather than the children do not get any support from the government at all?

How about:
* what solid measures (not education) eg financial or otherwise, would encourage young people to think first … the CPA seemed not to have helped, what can be learnt?

> If right-wingers were a bit more interested in sex and relationship education for youngsters

I find it hard to belive that any but a tiniest of tiny % of youngsters get pregnant because they don’t know how it happens – so sex education is not the failing (IMHO).

Quote (anecdotal) froma doctor friend of mine: young female (student) patient: some minor complaint, doctor is obliged to ask contraception questions of such demographic, dialog goes:
Q) are you sexually active (A) yes.
Q) are you taking contraceptive precautions (A) no
Q) do you want to get pregnant (A) No
Q) err….

But ‘relationship education’ – what do you suggest?

My little personal knowledge of Germany, is that young women there think it very uncool to get pregnant too young, before they have got themselves sorted with an education etc and German education is much longer than UK… university courses stretch to 5 or 7 years.

Honestly, I’m starting to wonder which tabloid will be the first to call for the return of workhouses…

It’ll clearly be the Daily Express. Hope this helps.

This article is spot-freakin’-on. Yes this guy is a scumbag who should probably learn the word (and how to use a) “CONDOM” but his children have done nothing wrong, at all. If the benefits system and education etc can help raise them out of poverty and the stigma that they have already been lumbered with by the righties then thank god(s) for that.
And yes, there is a problem with men getting girls pregnant then not worrying about the consequences, and more needs to be done via education etc – the mass media and its overlysexualised content doesn’t exactly help matters, I daresay. Other than sterilisation that some on here seem to be hankering for, what are the solutions? Irresponsibility in sexual matters starts very young, after all.

@Just Visiting

Last time I was in Germany (2004ish) I was struck by the HUGE billboard posters with pictures of CONDOMS on them. Now I’m not too good at German so couldn’t translate, but my sister-in-law assured me that it was a sexual health/education campaign to reduce STDs and unwanted pregnancies. We could do with some of that brave thinking in Blighty, I reckon.

Why is this story being given the oxygen of repeated exposure when it is, frankly, a crock of shit that only the most simple-minded cannot see straight through?

Do you know who would probably like him to “take responsibility” most?

His kids.

But since he doesn’t we as a society feel we have a duty to support them rather than let them starve or prostitute themselves.

Not all societies make that choice. Head to South America and South East Asia to see children living ferral on the streets facing a daily battle to find some one to screw them for enough money to buy some food, or to rob an unprepared passer-by with their crew so the proceeds can be used to feed them all.

And while we as a society choose a more civilised way – it is worth knowing that that doesn’t really make a difference to him.

We don’t give him child benefit. We don’t give him a house big enough to accomodate his children. We don’t do much for him at all. He gets incapacity benefit and that’s it.

Also – and this is worth asking – do any of the mothers work? Millions of mums do work. Millions of mums try very hard to improve the lives of their children.

MMN @ 17

This is a difficult issue but one the Left has to face up to and do some thinking about.

The point is the Daily Hate appears to be attacking the people here though. These children are innocent victims. For this story to filed under ‘benefits scrounger’ crass in the extreme. This is not a ‘benefit’ story, no matter how the stony faced bellowers at the Hate & TPA try to paint it such a way. This is a sociology story and not exactly a new one either.

There are hundreds of notable men throughout history who have fathered multiple children via multiple women, most of whom won considerable kudos in the process. Many of these men did so in the knowledge that there was no welfare state to pick up the damage their shagging had caused. Most of these women were abandoned to their fate once the Lord and Master of the house had had their fun. Many a young girl ended up being whisked from servant’s quarters to the asylum/workhouse.

It also goes without saying that within our lifetimes there have been more than a few celebrated cases of males who have bedded a veritable harem of women.

Is this man’s callous disregard for the consequences of his libido any worse than say, the late Alan Clarke’s for instance? Seriously, AC recounted in great detail his conquests without a sliver of repentance for the damage his actions caused to his wife, his children, his consorts or the humiliated husbands he left in his wake. In what way are his actions better than the actions of this guy? He walked away from the mess to carry on without a care to the World and Alan Clarke simply moved onto the next filly once he had been rumbled. I see no moral distinction between the two.

24. MoreMediaNonsense

Jim – so what ? I think irresponsible scum like Alan Clarke are wrong as well.

Just cos the Daily Mail picks up on this doesn’t mean its not an issue. Note how the Daily Mirror has a similar view on this scumbag.

You guys have no idea how hopeless you appear with your constant denials on complex and difficult issues that the majority of the population have real problems with.

@20 Mr S. Pill:”Now I’m not too good at German so couldn’t translate, but my sister-in-law assured me that it was a sexual health/education campaign to reduce STDs and unwanted pregnancies. We could do with some of that brave thinking in Blighty, I reckon.”

When sober, 99% of the UK adult/teen population know what a condom does. Even the people who are told by religious leaders to not use them understand those basics.

When intoxicated (or perhaps when too horny to think logically), acknowledgement of condom use goes out of the window. In the company of a hunk like Mr Macdonald, I suspect that my judgement might be impaired ;-).

@Charlieman

Yes… the knowledge is there, but there is still a stigma and/or embarrassment factor involved, which is why a hi-vis campaign on the German lines might be a good idea.

27. Just Visiting

Mr S PIll

You think a govt poster campaign will have any effect on young people’s behaviour!

You don’t think the kids get enough sex education in school already?

It sounds like you belong to that worldview that ‘if only people had better education they would behave differently’.

Which is hard to find evidence for, when education levels in this country have risen in the last 50 years, but teenage pregnancy has risen sharply too.

Likewise alcohol abuse – the messages about the risks of drinking are prevelant – but drinking to excess to the point of liver damage is now becoming apparent among women under 30 – which was not the case 30 years ago.

I think we need to look elsewhere.
IMHO There is a _cultural (mis)-understanding_ among some people, we need to overcome – those who think teenage pregnancy is OK, not uncool, acceptable, not bad enough to necessitate being organised about contraception.

But trying to cionciously, centrallly change a culture – that’s hard.
But the smoking culture in this country has changed – not without what some saw as il-liberal actions) so it is not impossible.

But to change a culture – will need both carrots + sticks I guess (judging by what works well with my kids….)

MMN

So what is it you do have a problem with? And what is it that the public has a problem with?

That fact that scum like Alan Clarke and this whatsisface exist and behave in utterly selfish ways to the detriment of others?

I mean – that’s true. But it is hardly a political matter. Some people are scum. Clarke being scum was vaguely political because he was a politician. But actually it was just a callous and souless human being getting cheap thrills from trollops aplenty with complete indifference to consequence.

This is the same.

Or – are you saying you have a problem with the benefits issue? And that the public have that same problem?

Because he isn’t getting any benefits from having these kids. I don’t even know that the mothers are. Some of them may well work for a living.

So are you saying you have a problem with benefits at all – and that the public has the same problem. In which case I refer you to Jakarta and Sao Paulo for an illustration of the suffering those poor innocent kids might face without those benefits.

And if you still object to the benefits aspect – I suspect you may find yourself with somewhat fewer members of the public in agreement.

@22 Margin4eror: “Do you know who would probably like him to “take responsibility” most? His kids.”

This story has been allegedly about Macdonald but the detail has been about the mothers and the children. They can’t escape the irresponsibility of their father for the rest of their lives. They are perpetually labelled by his stupidity.

Let us assume that newspapers act responsibly and remove information about the children from their internet archives. That information will still reside in perpetuity in the archives of the newspaper copy; serious archives cannot redact history.

Ten children have been labelled as the offspring of a dissolute father by UK newspapers. The mothers have been slagged off at the same time.

What a cracking result. Ten children wear marks on their foreheads. Their siblings, too, are untouchable. Untouchable mothers? And what about Macdonald himself? Does this press coverage help him to grow up?

30. Just Visiting

Margin4Error

> And if you still object to the benefits aspect..

Well, I have seen the guy who founded Big Issue on TV, arguing that the benefits system despite good intentions, was BAD in so far as it has encouraged irresponsibly. That the pre-war working class ‘self worth’ was linked to being able to work and to pay your way.

He is no right wing figure (just before Sally leaps in about brown shirts) – and clearly has the interests of the poor at heart.

So the question that this thread may be studiously avoiding so far – is whether the benefits that single mother and the children get, has tended to encourage feckless women to allow feckless men to get them pregnant and to not share ongoing parenthood.

I don’t know the answer.
Is LC able to discuss that question calmly?

31. Just Visiting

<tribute to Just a Minute:

Repetition!

Yup, I repeated ‘feckless’. Great sounding word. Maybe not the best choice here…

MMN @24

I don’t see any ‘denial’ here. Everyone on this blog both contributors and those who use the comments portion all agree that there are deeply ‘complex and difficult’ issues that this story brings up. These issues have been debated on this blog and on other forms of media for years and decades and before the invention of the interweb and no doubt we will still be debating this when we are project thoughts telepathically into each other brains.

At the end of the day, these children have a father who cannot or will not provide for the children he has fathered and so the Welfare State has stepped into to provide these kids with a modicum of support. In short, the Welfare State has saved these children from starving to death and has done exactly as it says on the tin.

The issue of the father and how to deal with him is neither here nor there, this is about the children and how we help them. Is anyone suggesting that if the welfare State never existed that somehow this man would have acted any differently? Any evidence that he would keep his pecker in his pants had there been no welfare to back up his shagging? He doesn’t strike me as being particularly paternal, before the Welfare State these children would have been sent to workhouses or orphanages, which was the usual fate of children born out of wedlock at the time. I cannot see how depriving him or these mothers access to welfare increases the welfare of said children.

@27 Just Visiting

Well I’ll be damned, I’m actually partially in agreement with you for once. I think this issue is something that both left and right can work together on: it’s culture + education + destigmatising condoms etc.
The reason why I mention the poster campaign is because it must have some affect – you yourself pointed out that Germany is a lot better at all this than ourselves. Of course there needs to be more work in all spheres – and again I’d point at the media for encouraging a sexually-permissive, responsibilty-free atmosphere.

The ever so slight problem with the notion that benefits encourage the poor to have children is they had more children before there were any benefits.

Just Visiting @ 30

So the question that this thread may be studiously avoiding so far – is whether the benefits that single mother and the children get, has tended to encourage feckless women to allow feckless men to get them pregnant and to not share ongoing parenthood.

You see the same type of thing in the poorer areas of the World, including (or even especially) Countries where there are no Welfare States. It wasn’t that long ago we were reading about death squads running around South America, killing abandoned children. A fore runner to the ‘Big Society’, perhaps? We see child prostitutes working their way through the cocks of ‘Western business men’ who turn up in the Welfare Stateless Third World’s biggest cities. If a young Thai woman is giving birth to a child that she knows will be giving blow jobs to Western ‘business men’ in ten years time, do we really think cutting welfare will make a difference here?

27 – the rate of teenage pregnancy has been falling since the 1970s, and is currently lower than in the 1950s.

37. MoreMediaNonsense

Margin4Error
“So what is it you do have a problem with”

The issue is young vulnerable single parent mothers bringing up children on the state due (mainly) to the actions of young feckless males.

What can be done ?

Well here’s an idea from the Left :

“Teenage single mothers will be sent to live in supervised homes rather than given council houses, says Gordon Brown.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8285370.stm

Also for discussion off the top of my head :

1. Have a prominent advertising and educational campaign aimed at showing young girls the disadvantages to them and their children of having kids without a father at a young age.

2. Bring in more sanctions against feckless fathers like the above scumbag like taking away their Driving Licenses eg. It might discourage some.

3. Get rid of religious schools that discourage abortion and contraception.

4. Raise the age of consent ?

As ever, this argument has gone straight to “you right wingers would let these children starve”, “well you lefties have created a society where these people are encouraged to breed irresponsibly”.

The central issue is, how do we create a society that cares for innocent victims (i.e. the children who are brought up by parents that cannot afford them) but also ensures that the parents are held responsible for their actions?

This man has had at least 10 children that he cannot afford to provide for. Of course we cannot allow those children to suffer for their father’s behaviour. They are, as I said before, entirely innocent. But how do also ensure the father is responsible for his actions, and therefore discouraged from having another child until he can provide for it?

Just shouting ‘benefits scrounger’ or ‘baby eaters’ isn’t going to solve anything.

39. Just Visiting

Mr S Pill – I’m very happy that we agree in this issue.

Richard W:
>The ever so slight problem with the notion that benefits encourage the poor to have children is they had more children before there were any benefits.

But rich + poor had more children back then too – so your analyse needs to be nuanced than just the baby-count.

Jim:
> If a young Thai woman is giving birth to a child that she knows will be giving blow jobs to Western ‘business men’…

I think that the Thai situation matches Mr S Pill and my view – that _culture_ plays a huge part.

Long _before_ western business men went to Thailand, they ahd a culture where poor rural families would sell their daughters into prostitution. For the money. It was acceptable and normal.
Thats the reason why the Thai sex industry got so big so fast – it started well before othjer countries.

Don:
> the rate of teenage pregnancy has been falling since the 1970s, and is currently lower than in the 1950s.

Interesting. Have you sources for that?

@37

1) Sounds sensible. I think more should be done to stop chaps being stupid, mind.
2) Heh, I wonder if it would work? Maybe some form of ASBO too… (nb I’m joking).
3) Yes this definitely
4) ???? what??

41. Just Visiting

MoreMedianonsense

OK, introducing general religion-bashing into the thread…

> 3. Get rid of religious schools that discourage abortion and contraception.

Have you any sources that show that religious schools correlate with increased teenage pregnancy among their pupils?

Or was this just a knee-jerk thing – give religions a kicking wherever you can!

If anyone really cared about this problem, they would positively talk to Macdonald and the mothers of his children. That is where you might solve stuff.

Instead we have nasty remarks. That is not helpful.

The central issue is, how do we create a society that cares for innocent victims (i.e. the children who are brought up by parents that cannot afford them) but also ensures that the parents are held responsible for their actions?

Isn’t it quite simple? The state writes out cheques for the kids with its right hand, and with its left hand it takes the father for every penny he’s got, until those cheques have been repaid.

I noticed that when the civl list is published the real cost is hidden behind the price of groceries.

The royal scroungers never cost anything more than a ‘packet of biscuits for every person in the country’ or something of that nature.

I wonder why their majesties chav immitators are never given these easy terms?Seems a little undemocratic.

This is a difficult issue but one the Left has to face up to and do some thinking about

Yeah you’re right! Chemical castration! Anything else is POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD!

how do we encourage people not to get pregnant unless they have strong confidence

Sex and relationship education dude. But no, the Tories oppose it. Why not pose some answers for me instead of just asking questions?

Another point – a lot of this is just class hatred really, isn’t it? Poor white guy makes some babies and automatically you think those babies are going to become “welfare scroungers” too.

Go on, admit that class hatred. It might feel good.

I also see that Tim “chemical castration is what’s needed” Worstall hasn’t come back with any solutions either. Shame.

“Another point – a lot of this is just class hatred really, isn’t it? Poor white guy makes some babies and automatically you think those babies are going to become “welfare scroungers” too.”

White welfare scroungers are one thing. At least they’re indigenous.

Immigrant workers whose tax contributions entitle them to child benefits are far, far worse.

Thank goodness we have Ed Balls and his party to thwart their evil foreign schemes!

“Another point – a lot of this is just class hatred really, isn’t it? Poor white guy makes some babies and automatically you think those babies are going to become “welfare scroungers” too.”

It’s not prejudice to recognise that parents have an enormous impact on children. Eg women with an abusive father will tend to seek out abusive males to perpetuate learned behaviours. Males with absent fathers… can you guess the effect? Etc etc we know all this for chrissakes. Why is it that we can look at a family of weasels and understand exactly how they work socially, but when we look at humans… oh, no, mustn’t say, no, how dare you…

Dysfunctional parental conditions have a profound effect on children, the cycles roll on and on… but you can’t judge, and mustn’t mention it.

49. the a&e charge nurse

[48] “Dysfunctional parental conditions have a profound effect on children, the cycles roll on and on…” – and that is the biggest cost of all, especially to children trying to bond with siblings relationships in such a complex network.

A dark and depressing thought occurred to me after the death of baby P (and I dare say one or two others) – what sort of person what he have grown up to be had he survived?

And for the intellectually challenged, no, I am not advocating state state sanctioned child murder – I am thinking about the effects on the child and the wider community for those unlucky enough to be brought up by adult’s with virtually no parenting skills, or worse, sadistic tendencies.

When these women met Keith MacDonald, what made each of them think – wow, wouldn’t he make a smashing Dad – or did KM gave any consideration to the children from previous partners when he finally broke into double figures?

Huffing and puffing about the right wing media is one thing but such commentators are hardly likely change any time soon, are they? – the likes of KM is merely supplying bullets for a fresh onslaught against their favourite objects of derision.

mmn

1 – Not sure a blunt instrument like an advertising campaign would make much difference. But within schools these sorts of projects take place already – especially involving young mothers making the case themselves.

2. Unlikely to enfoceable. The UN affords people the right to a family and the UK is a UN member. W’e are of course less inclined to breach such rules than China. Also, I don’t know if this guy even has a car. £70 a week is unlikely to get him one.

3. The papers and campaigners who hate this guy right now would hate that even more. Besides, most religious schools don’t take such extreme views. Only a handful do. Remember, a third of UK schools are religious schools and almost all teach the curriculum including sex ed.

4. This chap and the women he’s been involved with seem all to be over the age of consent. And frankly, pretending as a society we can stop 15 year olds doing what comes naturaly is a joke. Pretending we could stop 17 year old adults would be beyond satire.

“I also see that Tim “chemical castration is what’s needed” Worstall hasn’t come back with any solutions either. Shame.”

Erm, Sunny, I really do think you might want to stop projecting views onto me that I don’t in fact hold. If you look up you’ll see that I don’t mention castration, chemical or not, at all.

What I do note is that previous versions of British working class cluture would have forced this young man into taking responsibility for his child (yes, child, because the social pressure would have been to marry the first of the young ladies).

I didn’t say anything about the law because it wasn’t the law that did the forcing. It was societal pressure: and not from the middle classes or the Tories or anyone else. It was an assumption deeply rooted in that working class culture. That pregnancy, unplanned though it might be, led to a quick marriage.

It’s all tied in with what used to be called the “shame” of illegitimacy. A child born outside of marriage was marked: it’s one of the ways in which the society enforced the taboo against such behaviour.

There’s lots of other commentators here who are saying that it’s all culture, that there should be social pressure not to sire children left right and centre: all I’m doing is noting that there was indeed a system which did this.

Not one that many of us would like to see come back, to be sure, but there was indeed a system.

Finally, noting that I don’t post in your comments section between 8 pm and 1.35 am is really rather silly. There are other things to do in Portugal of an evening….bars, restaurants, cinemas, friends to talk to in meatspace, that sort of thing.

Just Visiting

It seems unlikely that benefits encourages women to get up the duff.

It seems unlikely for a couple of reasons.

1 – it is more prevelent in the USA and UK with their very low benefits provision than in countries like Germany, France and Holland with their much higher benefits provision. (This suggests that the two things are unrelated, though I suppose you could argue that the negative correlation means better comprehensive benefits might lead to less pregnancy among those unable to provide for their children.

2 – the single biggest correlation in various studies has been found to be aspiration and expectation. Teen pregnancy tends to fall where young women feel they have a future ahead of them to lose. Hence it tends to be lower among middle class young women, and tends to be lower in scandanavian countries where working class young women feel they can achieve something more than just bare motherhood alone.

That second point is worth keeping in mind as teen pregnancy has dropped in this country as spending on education, and as university participation has risen. And teen pregnancy seems a likely representative sample of the kind of pregnancy you are talking about.

The lesson would seem to be that the aspirations of the poor need to be better improved. And that has happened a lot over the last generation. It just needs to go further.

But even though this problem is less common now, it is unlikely we will ever live in a time when the Daily Heil can’t find unique cases like this one to use as a weapon against improving society.

Also – this guy is not “working class”

I just like to point that out as some one who is, and who has worked since the age of 15. There were always feckless layabout all through history. They were never “working class” or in anyway representative of it.

Working class people work. They earn a living, even though often not much of one, and they try to raise their families as best they can.

Pretending that a small number of feckless people who would have been crooks or beggers all through history are some how part of the working class culture is a dispicable slur on the majority culture of this nation and many others.

“Pretending that a small number of feckless people who would have been crooks or beggers all through history are some how part of the working class culture is a dispicable slur on the majority culture of this nation and many others.”

Indeed, which is why I used the Marxist description, “lumpen proletariat”.

BTW, Charles Murray (yes, he of the “Bell Curve” but this is sensible) points out that one of the good things about a citizen’s basic income is that it gives everyone, even this bloke, an income which can be garnisheed to pay child support.

That might change behaviour.

“But what about the children ?” cry all the good people – and they do have a point. Were all benefits to be cut to said chav and his chavettes, the children would be poor.

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 – ‘ …in 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.”

To be fair, given UK wage disparities and house prices, our various Ms Dumpys are probably making a rational choice. Most intelligent career women wouldn’t fancy her lifestyle, but what would a not-very-bright Karen Matthews-alike have to look forward to if she played the game by the old rules, now that house prices are stratospheric? What kind of house would minimum-wage Karen and minimum-wage hubby be able to afford to buy now ? None at all – so in one sense you can’t blame a poor, uneducated girl for taking the offer of house and benefits – and all you have to do is get pregnant.

Tim – a Citizens Basic Income would be the only possible way of ‘fixing’ this.

Otherwise, things would have to get very bad before we stop thinking about those child hostages. Murray’s not optimistic.

Our grandparents’ most basic taken-for-granted understanding, which today’s intellectual and political elites find it hardest to accept, is this: make it easier to behave irresponsibly and more people will behave irresponsibly. The welfare state makes it easier for men to impregnate women without taking responsibility for them, easier for women to raise a baby without the help of a man and easier for men and women to get by without working. There is no changing that situation without reintroducing penalties for irresponsible behaviour.

This is the sticking point for every political figure in Britain, Labour or Tory. Frank Field has been miles ahead of other politicians in recognising the growing problem of the underclass and in speaking out, but last week even he was saying: “Surely we can say that the traditional family unit is the best way to nurture children without making it a campaign to beat up single mums.” With respect: you cannot. If you want to reduce the number of single mums you have to be ready to say that to bring a child into the world without a father committed to its care is wrong.

The government need not sponsor publicity campaigns to beat up single mums. Put the cost of irresponsible behaviour back where it belongs — on the man and the woman, their families and their community — and the recognition that the behaviour is wrong will revive instantly, along with powerful social pressures to make sure it happens as seldom as possible.

Some of those pressures will be positive, celebrating marriage as a uniquely valuable institution and bestowing social approval on the bride and groom. Some of those pressures will be negative, consisting of various forms of stigma. This is good. Stigma is one of society’s most efficient methods for controlling destructive behaviour.

How can the government realise this desirable state of affairs? By ending all government programmes that subsidise having babies. But this moves us into the realm of solutions that haven’t a prayer of becoming reality. They haven’t in the United States, where the total package of benefits for single mothers has not been diminished despite the hoopla about welfare reform, and there is no reason to think Britain will act any differently in the foreseeable future.

The end is nigh!

If we do not begin stigmatising and immiserating single mothers immediately, the country will be ripped apart within days!

If we do not cease all immigration and begin deportations by tomorrow, we will find ourselves living in the Islamic Republic of Great Britain by the end of the week!

Unless we reintroduce the death penalty by 5pm today, by midnight most of will have been murdered!

We are doomed, I tell you, doomed!

I agree with everything the author says, or indeed will ever say. That also goes for anyone else who writes here.

I think we should all be reduced to a crude, yet nutritious protein sludge that can be fed to all these babies, and the offspring of all the irresponsible feckless.

Anything less and you may mistake me for a trolling BNP loving right wing woman hating gay bashing loves going down on nazis tory.

And I will not abide that.

Don Paskini

I think you are somewhat under-estimating how well he’s doing personally out of this.

My bet is that he’s receiving incapacity benefit, housing benefit, council tax benefit etc at the very least. If newspaper reports are to be believed, he has a flatscreen TV, a Wii and obviously has enough disposable income to romance all these babymothers, albeit serially.

Given the taxpayer is shouldering the burden of all his kids and ex-partners, I don’t see why we should be funding his flat and consumer electronics too. He could live in a hostel.

@52 has summed the situation up well, several years ago I read a piece of research which suggested that working-class females actually aspired to motherhood in itself, not for the money benefits but because their situation and prevailing (working-class) culture made motherhood a very desirable role. This has been the same for decades, the only difference being that the high working-class male employment meant that there were few males considered to be worthy of social fatherhood.
Imo the majority of young males (of any class) would find free sex with no responsibilty for consequences quite appealing, what we have is the perfect environment and conditions for MacDonald, who is probably seen as a breed stag, to play-out his own, very limited, aspirations.

Tim @ 51

A couple of points spring to mind.

During the 1980s we saw an active campaign to smash apart these very communities and ‘working class culture’ that you weep for. We saw millions of young and middle aged men thrown out of heavy industry and out of their traditional ‘breadwinning roles’. Instead many of them ended up unemployed or in low paid work. Is it possible that such a move has destroyed the part of the culture that underpinned our allegedly non-existent society?

Where the Tories literally throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Destroying these communities was supposed to save us money, but have cost us far more than Thatcher ever realised.

Given that we are about to see Nick Clegg finish of her work, how much further do you think we will see our communities degraded?

“and ‘working class culture’ that you weep for.”

I’m not sure I’d say I weep for it. Rather, an observation that historically this was so.

Useful background reading on the wider issues raised in this discussion:

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/02/16/whats-the-problem-with-teenage-parents/

@59 – Romancing these woman equates to the cost of half a bottle of lambrini and and the ends on a richmond superking

Dave @ 59

What’s lambrini?

And what’s a richmond superking?

MoreMediaNonsense: “Poor and vuilnerable single mothers having children with guys like this is a real problem for society but all you get on here is denial and ranting about “right wing newspapers” and workhouses.”

To a certain extent there will always be anomalous sociopaths like this guy out there. But there seems to be this crazy assumption that because of a handful of heavily reported cases (the very worst the Taxpayers Alliance can find) that there must be great hordes of such fraudulent/feckless people, and that they represent the reality of pretty much all poorer single parent families and pretty much all benefit claims.

Of course single parent families are a real problem for society. But probably the only sensible way to reduce it would be to try to promote a generally healthier and happier society. It’s a problem the state can’t do much about, at least without resorting to totally disproportionate Victorian-style tactics of monitoring benefit claimants’ sex lives to make sure money only goes to those “of good morals”.

This is not denial, it’s just keeping a sense of proportion.

“Romancing these woman equates to the cost ”

One report says that he does his romacing at bus stops.

So, abolish public transport and the problem’s solved, eh?

On a slightly more serious note, in Darwinian terms this bloke has won the competition of life. Which is, as we know, to produce grandchildren…..producing a quantity of children being the usual intermediate step.

There’s something of a long term problem in there if such winning is best achieved by being a feckless, idle, layabout who can’t keep his dick in his pants.

No, this isn’t about IQ or any of the Social Darwinist stuff. Just that if the incentives mean that you can win by specifically and deliberately doing fuck all (quite literally in fact) then a generation or two down the line there’s going to be quite a few problems.

One other observation:

Based on the newspaper reports, Macdonald does sound pretty repellent. But it is worth remembering that everything that all the people commenting on this thread (including me) know about him comes from reports by tabloid journalists, who are writing stories designed to outrage their readers in the certain knowledge that Macdonald won’t sue for libel no matter what they write about him.

I wonder if any of the people sticking the boot in now might stop for a moment to think about what the tabloids might write about them and their families if they were ever a target of the Fifteen Minute Hate with no ability to respond to libels like Macdonald is at the moment.

Just Visiting: “So the question that this thread may be studiously avoiding so far – is whether the benefits that single mother and the children get, has tended to encourage feckless women to allow feckless men to get them pregnant and to not share ongoing parenthood.”

It’s not at all like that when middle class women get divorced, is it? They have a fantastic whirlwind romance, before you know it they’re settling down, getting engaged, having children. It’s not her fault she didn’t realise Edmund had deeply seated emotional problems (caused by stress at work, they say) which would cause him to have a string of affairs, tearing the whole thing apart at just the wrong moment. It’s true it was hard on the children and the rest of the family, but it just couldn’t be avoided, you know? And as if she’d want Edmund near the children after that – I don’t think so. True, she might have to fall back on the grandparents for a bit of financial support during all the upheaval, but these things happen.

But for that lot of feckless women over there, this single parenting business is obviously all about unrepressed base sexual instinct and hard cash, as this article confirms by giving one isolated example. Maybe if she didn’t think he’d want to live with her forever, she should have thought of what it might cost the taxpayer before having kids by him, eh?

Funny how when it happens to different social classes it looks so different, isn’t it?

@59 – Perhaps one day you’ll be lucky and I’ll show you 😉

71. the a&e charge nurse

[68] “it is worth remembering that everything that all the people commenting on this thread (including me) know about him comes from reports by tabloid journalists” – as far as I know nobody has challenged the central claim that KM fathered 10 children to 10 different mothers – so I’m not exactly sure how any journo (right wing or otherwise) can put a positive spin on the sort of life these children are likely to experience.

Perhaps a corollary to nasty right wing press representations are left wingers who have become overly fond of ‘they are poor, so know not what they do” narrative?
Even if Macca received a rather disappointing education in a North Eastern comp surely he could have worked out (after the 5th or 6th child, say) the causal relationship between sex with each new partner, and babies that mysteriously appeared 9 months later?

If newspaper reports are to be believed

Flowerpower, I think you’ve inadvertently put your finger on it. Checking that the Mail and the Express say the same thing does not count as corroboration out here in the real world.

Just as a random question, why does having a father (absent) who is a total wanker (or possibly not – not enough sperm left over… sorry) necessarily mean a kid will have a bleak future?

Is not one of the common aims (sorry Sally, but if you check the rhetoric you’ll find this is true) of all parties to offer all children the best possible future. And are there not plentiful mothers who have successfully brought up children on their own and watched them become successful. Mr MacDonald is apparently workshy, but he also appears to be charming (insert comments about how easy it is to charm a Maccam girl here…), so his genes may in some ways be an advantage even. So, although these children are not born ahead in the lottery of life, to write them off now seems a bit harsh on them, their mothers (who may get over their mistakes), their teachers and the various governments they will experience growing up.

It says a lot about most commentators that they believe the tabloid narrative of doom and gloom for the children, whilst questioning the bits that are likely to be factually true!

Oh, and for those pushing sex and relationship education, very good. But we already do that, and kids know all the stuff we teach. And many don’t care. I think this is more about aspirations than knowledge – if you have plans and a future, you are less likely to mess it up with children (or STDs) before you want them (and if anyone has STDs in their lifeplan…). Why are rates of pregnancy much lower amongst girls going to university for example, when I have no reason to believe sexual activity is any lower at all?

@73

I think the point about the kids of this feckless buffoon is that they have been stigmatised merely by this story being in the press – which will undoubtably affect their life chances. As for your point @74: I assume you are in favour of more people being university educated, then..? [oh, and a feminist nit-picking point: Women go to university. Girls are female children…] The question is how do you give people’s lives meaning? I think the answer lies in what job options [etc] are open to you, but to question that means questioning the entire class system, something that Conservatives (note capital C, I’m not necessarily saying you think this) are somewhat disinclined to do.

Shouldn’t the idiot take responsibility for looking after his own kids – rather than expecting the tax payer to pick up the tab?!

@76

How do you suggest this should happen?

78. the a&e charge nurse

[73] “Just as a random question, why does having a father (absent) who is a total wanker (or possibly not – not enough sperm left over… sorry) necessarily mean a kid will have a bleak future?”

Well nobody can know for sure but the predictors are unfavourable – they include;
*a father with no work history and one who appears to have no concept of what meaningful fatherhood means.
*women whose choices appear to be so circumscribed that they have entered into a relationship with a man like Macca, AND went on to have a child with him.
*multiple siblings dotted around multiple homes with a likely array of new boyfriends in the background.
*a family lifestyle that is likely to revolve around tans-generational benefits culture.

Needless to say, I hope I’m wrong.

Tim Worstall says:

There’s lots of other commentators here who are saying that it’s all culture, that there should be social pressure not to sire children left right and centre: all I’m doing is noting that there was indeed a system which did this.

Not one that many of us would like to see come back, to be sure, but there was indeed a system.

So in other words – you hark back to a culture when this guy would have been ‘forced’ (only by society, mind) to look after those kids (probably very badly, because he certainly is an irresponsible dimwit) – but then accept that none of us actually want to go back to those ages.

So in other words you don’t have any solutions or ideas other than talk about some time and place wistfully, that you wouldn’t want to live in either.

Feel free to come back to reality at your own time and address the points Don Paskini is making, circa 2010.

I haven’t noted you offering any reasonable solutions either Sunny.

And how about withdrawing that allegation that I was recommending chemical castration?

@76 Billy Blofeld: “Shouldn’t the idiot take responsibility for looking after his own kids – rather than expecting the tax payer to pick up the tab?!”

There is something wonky with your analysis. You have correctly identified Macdonald as an idiot. You then propose that he takes responsibility. That is putting the cart in front of the horse somewhat.

Given that Macdonald is an idiot, the press may have provided a public service to any woman likely to engage with a bit of rumpy pumpy with him. However the press branding of the mothers and children tells us that the public service angle was incidental to a nasty story about chavs.

I haven’t noted you offering any reasonable solutions either Sunny.

The only reasonable solution is the one we already have – society steps in and does its best to provide for the kids. Doesn’t fit with the right’s desire to dismantle the welfare state, but I’m afraid that’s just tough.

There is some merit in looking back at how previous social cultures would have accommodated a man like Macdonald. Every young woman in the community where he lived would have understood that he was a complete shit and would have declined to drop their knickers for him, no matter how charming his wooing might have been. That is more pleasant than slagging him off on Facebook or stigmatising his offspring in a national newspaper.

S.Pill @ 75,

I think the point about the kids of this feckless buffoon is that they have been stigmatised merely by this story being in the press – which will undoubtably affect their life chances. As for your point @74: I assume you are in favour of more people being university educated, then..? [oh, and a feminist nit-picking point: Women go to university. Girls are female children…] The question is how do you give people’s lives meaning? I think the answer lies in what job options [etc] are open to you, but to question that means questioning the entire class system, something that Conservatives (note capital C, I’m not necessarily saying you think this) are somewhat disinclined to do.

I’m not sure about long-term stigma here, which would be needed. Its not as if anyone will remember the dad in a few years, or even if it is likely that the children (who I assume have the mums’ surnames) will be remembered by anyone who doesn’t know them. It may be a small disadvantage, but I doubt that it is major. That said, naming the children is still irresponsible.

As to the nit-picking point, I used girl (which I was taking as a shorthand for female child, so legally under 18) as I was talking about before university. I have done enough work at universities to wish that parents and some staff would remember the bloody students are adults!

As to the class system, I tend not to use it apart from when either citing or mocking the concept of working class solidarity (my working-class ancestors voted Conservative religiously, so I don’t use this politically). I think that most active Conservative politicians probably disregard the concept of the class system however – whether they understand anything about the experiences and need for hope and direction of those in some communities is a different matter (to be fair, I think Iain Duncan-Smith gets this at least). But I sometimes think that issues like class and perceptions of welfare culture (cutters versus spongers) are problems that right and left need to overcome, as in the end what we all want to do is break down barriers, and it is simply a discussion of how we do that.

Incidentally, one thing I would say characterises right-wing thought on improving people’s lot and differentiates it from much left-wing thinking is that the focus on aspiration and ambition is less concerned with identifying the person with the job (although I’m guessing your etc includes education and leisure opportunities). It is wierdly a much more holistic ideal, that people should be able to set their own targets and work to achieve them.

Charlieman,

There is some merit in looking back at how previous social cultures would have accommodated a man like Macdonald. Every young woman in the community where he lived would have understood that he was a complete shit and would have declined to drop their knickers for him, no matter how charming his wooing might have been. That is more pleasant than slagging him off on Facebook or stigmatising his offspring in a national newspaper.

Well, it would have been achieved through gossip, which is effectively what facebook and the tabloid papers are nowadays, and I suspect that Mr MacDonald’s chances of creating more children have been somewhat curtailed by all of this. I would argue that in terms of historical perspective, the same mechanism is in use, just that we have a bigger interconnected field of people partaking in gossip.

“There is some merit in looking back at how previous social cultures would have accommodated a man like Macdonald. Every young woman in the community where he lived would have understood that he was a complete shit and would have declined to drop their knickers for him, no matter how charming his wooing might have been.”

A lot of people on this comments thread have made variations on this assertion, and I just wanted to note that there isn’t really much historical evidence to support this argument. There has never been a social culture, to the best of my knowledge, where every young woman in a community would know that some waster was a wrong ‘un and resist his charms.

In addition, if you look at any of these cultures, the outcomes are clearly and obviously far worse for women and children in particular:

Theocratic cultures – Macdonald might not have as much success with the ladies if the Taliban were in charge, but his daughters wouldn’t be allowed to go to school.

pre-1960s Britain culture – Macdonald would be forced to marry the first girl that he got pregnant, then would have affairs with other women and be legally entitled to beat up or rape his wife.

etc etc.

@85 Watchman: “Well, it would have been achieved through gossip, which is effectively what facebook and the tabloid papers are nowadays…”

I am sure that you understand the huge difference between internet gossip and street gossip. Street gossip persists for years, but it is localised and the victim has the ability to rehabilitate him/herself. Or to move away and rebuild a life (that was my main objection to national ID). Internet gossip lasts forever and is global. Macdonald can reform his ways and move town, but an internet search for “Sunderland Macdonald” will always throw up his name.

@86 Don Paskini: “There has never been a social culture, to the best of my knowledge, where every young woman in a community would know that some waster was a wrong ‘un and resist his charms.”

Isn’t it a constant theme of literature and drama? Kitchen sink realism, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Coronation Street, Catherine Cookson etc. Let’s not forget Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones that was gloriously filmed with a 1960s edge.

@86: A very good point, Don. A lot of people seem to be pining for an entirely imaginary version of the past. No matter where or when you look, “irresponsible” sexual activity has always been fairly common (unsurprisingly enough). The only difference is that most cultures hide it in various ways, usually involving punishing and / or stigmatising the women and children. The men almost always get away more-or-less scot-free. In some cases, they even benefited – there was a time in this country when an effective technique for marrying above your social station was simply to rape someone, as a common outcome was that the victim would be forced to marry the perpetrator, even in cases where social convention would normally forbid the match.

(Fun fact: a common medieval English slang term for getting knocked up out of wedlock was “going to Jerusalem”, on account of the number of illicit sexual liaisons which took place on pilgrimage.)

there was a time in this country when an effective technique for marrying above your social station was simply to rape someone,

A fairly dangerous technique as they were still hanging for rape in Victorian times….

“there was a time in this country when an effective technique for marrying above your social station was simply to rape someone,”

Which is why Conservatives have never taken rape seriously.

@91 Sally: “Which is why Conservatives have never taken rape seriously.”

In an earlier comment, Tim Worstall mentioned that rapists were hanged in previous times. I understand that some of those (reprehensible) hangings were conducted under Conservative governance. Hanging probably didn’t make any difference to crime statistics or social impact. That old stuff never worked.

For the first time in my life, Conservatives are talking about offender rehabilitation and the failure of imprisonment. We should be celebrating that recognition and working with them.

Chairlieman @ 92

But to be fair to Sally, those cases where the sentence for rape was the rope depended on the nature of the victim. I wonder how many husbands were hanged for the rape of their wives? date rape, service girl rape, the rape of streetwalkers or the rape of other lower class women would have been unlikely to find their way to court, never mind see the convict would be hanged. No doubt the lady of the manor’s rapist gardner would find his neck in a noose, but I bet his daughter would have been called a harlot and flogged if caught with the lord between her legs.

@93

I wonder how many husbands were hanged for the rape of their wives?

None, presumably, because until 1991 a husband was perfectly entitled to rape his wife: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spousal_rape#History_of_the_exemption_in_England_and_Wales

Thanks for that, Jim.

There is a bloke who wrote plays that I enjoy. The author was sent to prison when a consensual relationship with another adult man was revealed in court. In 2010, we know that the event should never have occurred.

The author used his wealth to fuck young boys. I ignore the protestations from Stephen Fry et al.

Oscar Wilde fucked young boys.

donP : “There has never been a social culture, to the best of my knowledge, where every young woman in a community would know that some waster was a wrong ‘un and resist his charms.”

From An Economic History of Bastardy in England and Wales

“A remarkable feature of English demographic history is the explosion in childbearing outside marriage during the last quarter of the twentieth century, after 400 years of relative stability. Over the period 1845-1960, the percentage of births outside marriage moved within a small range, averaging about 5% … After 1960, when the contraceptive pill was introduced, childbearing outside marriage began to climb slowly, and it exploded after 1980, reaching 42% in 2004.”

This bloke is an absolute arsehole.

Therefore, let’s fuck up his kids’ futures. For the good of society. Yeah.

Signed,

The TPA

(Although I agree he personally should have his benefit cheques cancelled)

A fairly dangerous technique as they were still hanging for rape in Victorian times

I wasn’t talking about Victorian times.

@96: That’s because, prior to 1960, just about everybody was married to someone (including the gays and lesbians)… But that doesn’t prove that people weren’t putting it about. They didn’t have paternity tests back then. Marriage was simply one more means of putting on a respectable face, whilst all the usual stuff that has always gone on in every human society continued behind closed doors.

Marriage does not prevent promiscuity and infidelity. That’s why the cuckold is one of the staples of drama from ancient times.

100. Just Visiting

Dunc

It’s not just about ‘putting it about’- it’s about being to care and parent any offspring.
Women who were married had a man to (hopefully) stay and help share the burden of time and money when they got pregnant.

You can’t just dismiss the statistical evidence in 96 with a glib “all the usual stuff that has always gone on in every human society continued behind closed doors.”

You need to dig into the facts and come up with some evidence that cases like the Macdonald one were happening in the past.

Start by finding evidence of just one such case would be a start.
It must be a comparable case -10 women unable to bring up their children under their own resources – and all fathered by the one man.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  2. Jonathan Lintern

    RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR < a thought-provoking and reasonable analysis.

  3. Chris D

    He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/723Kya6 via @libcon

  4. Kevin Ward

    Amazing how LibCon can use ANYTHING to bash the right… RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  5. richardbrennan

    RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  6. Don Paskini

    RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  7. winston k moss

    RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  8. fifeman58

    #KevinMacDonald the <<worst>> benefits scrounged ever? http://j.mp/bR89Fp

  9. fifeman58

    #KeithMacDonald the <<worst>> benefits scrounged ever? http://j.mp/bR89Fp

  10. sunny hundal

    He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  11. Benjie Moss

    RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  12. Adam Bienkov

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  13. William Jones

    RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  14. their_vodka

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  15. antonvowl

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  16. Shirley Summers

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  17. Helen Longmire

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  18. Tim Wookie

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  19. Tom King

    The worst “benefit scrounger” ever http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/09/22/he-must-be-the-worlds-worst-benefits-scrounger/

  20. Nathon Raine

    RT @libcon: He must be the world's worst "benefits scrounger" http://bit.ly/auEIoR

  21. Noxi

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  22. Wrestlevania

    He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Jkr59Pn /via @libcon

  23. Antony Johnson

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  24. Ian Adamson

    He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/AyGqBff via @libcon

  25. piombo

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  26. Joe Laking

    Fantastic article by @donpaskini on the world's worst 'benefits scrounger' http://t.co/MDAcRPk

  27. sunny hundal

    @HelenWayte here is the article: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/09/22/he-must-be-the-worlds-worst-benefits-scrounger/

  28. George Allwell

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  29. Hannah M

    He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/fhOzQHk via @libcon

  30. Adam Fish

    I wish the BBC would cover stories like this: http://t.co/fhOzQHk (via @libcon)

  31. Nicholas Stewart

    He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://j.mp/bR89Fp

  32. Rhys Parsons

    RT @sunny_hundal: He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” http://t.co/MDAcRPk – absolutely love this, by @donpaskini

  33. notaxnoclaim

    He must be the world’s worst “benefits scrounger” | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/krzVamJ via @libcon





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