David Cameron says policies must pass the ‘family test’. But what does he mean by ‘family’?

A couple of weeks ago, 18 August 2014 to be precise, David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, announced his government’s new family friendly policy. It would be difficult to imagine a more duplicitous and basically deceitful few hundred words, than those that spilled from his lips that morning.

‘What we’re doing today is making it more formal by saying that when a policy comes forward there has to be an actual physical assessment of the impact it will have on families. So we think really carefully to make sure that our benefit system, our tax system, policies for education, for childcare: all of these things are helping families to do the amazing work that they do on our behalf. Because when we ask ourselves the question, ‘Who is it that brings up children, cares for the elderly, helps us when we’re sick, inculcates the right values and teaches people, the family does those things for us?’

Of course, he is right on the last point. It is the family that inculcates the right values when bringing up children. The rhetoric sounds good, but the real question beneath the rhetoric is, what does he mean by ‘families’?

Well, this is what he says:

‘Single families do an absolute brilliant job of bringing up children, and of course we help them through the tax and benefit systems, and in lots of other ways, not least through  children centres, which have now got more people using them than ever before. So, there are lots of ways to help.’

Right. So ‘single families’ do an absolute[ly] brilliant job, do they? OK.  Just take a look at this. Then go here. These tell the real story, which is a depressing litany of serious social problems, all of which are the result of the so-called ‘single family’:

Lone mothers are poorer. Non-resident biological fathers are at risk of losing contact with their children altogether. Children living without their biological fathers are more likely to live in poverty and deprivation.

Teenagers living without their biological fathers:

  • Are more likely to experience problems with sexual health
  • Are more likely to offend
  • Are more likely to smoke
  • Are more likely to drink alcohol
  • Are more likely to take drugs
  • Are more likely to play truant from school
  • Are more likely to leave school at 16

Young adults who grew up not living with their biological fathers:

  • Are less likely to attain qualifications
  • Are more likely to experience unemployment
  • Are more likely to have low incomes
  • Are more likely be on income support
  • Are more likely to offend and go to jail
  • Are more likely to suffer from long term emotional and psychological problems
  • Are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership

This list is much longer than this. But, of course, our prime minister says, ‘Single families’ do an absolute[ly] brilliant job bringing up children…’ Really? Don’t make me laugh!

Notice also the new label ‘single families’. It’s a masterpiece of spin. Does it mean single individual families, or families of single parents? What it really means is families without fathers, of course. The sort of families whose ability to survive depends on the state providing tax relief and benefits that actually encourage single mothers, who have to work, obviously, whilst leaving their children at a ‘children’s centre’ (yes, another new finessed term) during the day. The entire syndrome is now being called ‘bureaugamy‘ – marriage to the state.

And this is the way these ‘single families’ instil ‘the right values’ into children? By putting them into ‘children’s centres’ Really? Not in the real world.

The children who are being caught up in this paradigm, with the encouragement and funding of the state, are being placed into institutions that are largely manned (actually woman-ed) by politically correct state employees who cannot possibly instil the values of the family into the children in their care. How could they?

These children are not being brought up by the family. They are not the heirs of a family culture. They are children of the state – without access to the patrimonial care, protection and provision, which is their rightful inheritance.

The bottom line here is children are having their early formative years shaped by others under the auspices of the state, and facilitated (one might almost say encouraged) by it. They are being socialised into the broad social zeitgeist rather than the inherited values of their blood families. That is an an unmistakeable hint of communist-style collectivism – and a conservative prime minister is supporting it? Amazing!

It gets worse. This is what Cameron, who is far more ‘right on’ than right (in both the ethical sense and the political), went on to say:

I think a lot of politicians have shied away from talking about relationships – not surprisingly, we’re not perfect ourselves. And also because nobody wants to be accused of being judgemental. But when we contemplate the fact that family and relationship breakdown  has enormous consequences for our society , and for our children, I just think it’s worthwhile talking and acting on these things…

He is right again. Family and relationship breakdown does have enormous consequences for society. But, ‘nobody wants to be accused of being judgemental’? This is the slick politician hedging his bets again, and doing anything but lead us. This man really is an arch-exponent of saying nothing of substance, whilst sounding as though he is.

I think most of us would agree, it is worthwhile talking and acting on these things. Everyone knows that family breakdown has enormous consequences for children. But what is Cameron’s answer to it all?

… properly funding relationship support through organisations like Relate, which this government under my leadership has done, and will continue to do. Of course, there are some cases, where it’s better for parents to split up and I wouldn’t for one minute want to stop that, but where you can help people come together, and stay together, then surely the government should play its part in helping.’

In other words, tinker with the symptoms and shy away from addressing the causes, because talking about it will only make waves, and anyway we won’t appear totally ‘right on’. Cameron talks about his leadership.  Margaret Thatcher froze child benefit and criticised women for going out to work and creating a ‘creche’ culture. Now that’s leadership. Real leaders set tone and values. Real leaders do the right thing rather than doing things that are ‘right on’. They don’t compromise on the basics. Cameron is arguably the most unprincipled British political leader in living memory.

He is prime minister at a time when the family courts of this country are destroying children’s lives by depriving them of their fathers and at least condoning the outsourcing of their early years’ care. These are deep structural flaws in our society that need to be attended to, and our present leader is skating over dealing with them. But why?

Cameron is a declared feminist, his wife is a feminist. He is one of three men who hold the reins of power in our land who are also feminists (and their wives too, as was the wife of the most feminist prime minister, Tony Blair, we have ever encountered). You can’t put a cigarette paper between any of them over their feminist family policy. And feminism is an anti-family ideology. Collectively these men are undermining the very nature of what most of us stand for – the conventional family: that cell in the timber that builds the house and makes it strong.

You can understand the leader of the Labour Party toeing feminism’s party line because it is his own party’s line. Milliband is a wholeheartedly declared Marxist. Clegg is from the left too, he is hardly a disciple of real Liberal values. But Cameron? A conservative? Supporting and condoning the destruction of the conventional family? Margaret Thatcher must be heaving and turning in her grave at her successor, her inheritor, practising left-wing, feminist politics that intend to destroy the conventional family and replace it with its own version. (And it is succeeding, it must be said.)

And let nobody be in any doubt about this. The proof is before us. Harriet Harman, that arch-feminist, currently in opposition but waiting, no doubt yearning, for power again in the 2015 general election, made the Marxist agenda about the family abundantly clear in 1990 in the IPPR report “The Family Way”, which she co-authored, and in which she stated

‘It cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life, or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion’. 

In May 2008 she drove this home in an interview she gave to the think-tank Civitas in which she said:

[There is] ‘no ideal type of household in which to bring up children.’

All this is at odds not only with traditional conservative belief, it is at odds with what most people know is sensible and right. Stable families comprising a man and a woman who form a stable social unit in which the next generation can be born, nurtured, brought to maturity, and turned out as fully-formed future citizens, is the basis of our capitalist democracy. Is David Cameron going to factor this into his evaluation of family policy, I wonder?

Our society is in social turmoil because this most basic of truths is being ridden over roughshod by a political class: a feminist elite, that has colonised the highest offices of power in the land, and is relentlessly working out its own agenda, not that of the common man, who is the man (and woman) with common sense.

Baroness Thatcher knew the threat that feminism posed. She detested it, and once contemptuously responded to feminist criticism saying ‘I owe nothing to Women’s Lib’. She was even more trenchant when she said:

‘The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison!’

Margaret Thatcher knew feminism’s Marxist credentials. She knew Marxists are deeply opposed to the patriarchal family and are out to overturn it.  She knew the importance of the real family to democracy and our way of life. Her biographer Penny Junor says ‘She was incredibly powerful outside the home, but within the house she was the wife.’

But her successor, Cameron, is a completely different kettle of fish. He is fiddling whilst Rome burns, paying lip-service to dealing with this most serious social problem of our time, and dressing it up in newspeak. He either doesn’t have a clue, or he is knowingly toe-ing a political line very different from that of his own party and its long and valuable heritage.

The cadre of extremist feminists such as Harriet Harman and Yvette Cooper in Labour, must be quietly laughing their heads off, seeing the leader of the opposing party so compromised in this way. Doing nothing very much to counteract their own family-destroying political agenda.

When is the Tory party going to wake up to this? When is the country going to wake up to this? Perhaps in May 2015?


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  • Groan

    The truth is there isn’t nearly so many actually single parents. From the last census one of the shocks was that there were at least 1million less sigle parents than the benefits system records. In effect the very advantages Cameron lists are an incentive to hide a relationship that make the parenting less “single”. After my father died when I was 7 my mother was undoubtedly a single parent. Then as now this death of a spouse was rare so early. What has become common is fathers either actually ,or for benefit purposes administratively removed or invisible yet still there. Most “single ” parents are not wholly alone, often not even usually alone. They are lone or single parents to fit in with our administration of aid and support, but in fact there is another parent alive and often with parental involvement,of the most basic kind . We incentivise both single parenthood and distant roles for fathers and call single parent when in fact both parents are alive and frequently involved.

    • Herbert Purdy

      It’s a good point. Very interesting take on the situation. I guess I was taking the idea of the ‘single family’ rather that the single parent, head on. Thanks for commenting though. Much appreciated.