Sunday, 19 December 2010

Are the Young, Free and Ugly the new oppressed?

Listening to Stasi Radio is a useful way of gaining an insight into how the other lot think and hey I pay the compulsory licence fee so why not while it's there? A fascinating conversation broke out 2 weeks ago on the airwaves between a man who wanted to force marriage upon everybody (presumably by drawing lots amongst us singletons) and a cohabitee with kids who seemed nice enough and saw tying the knot as a lifestyle choice she had chosen not to make.

"Marriage is best" apparently - people whose parents stay married regardless of whether they can still stand each other do better in education and thus have better employment prospects. What the Tory/religious/busybody tendency invariably neglect to mention is that teenage pregnancies, addiction problems and their social side effects (i.e. single parenthood and broken homes) tend to spike in areas with failing comprehensive schools and subsequently low aspiration.

These houses of broken dreams have made a niche of unleashing illiterate and innumerate young men into a society where work is scarce in a failing economy but welfare is everywhere you look. The reality is it is the social ills and the lack of opportunity that are feeding single parenthood and broken marriages, not, as the Tories would have you believe, the other way round.

But Iain Duncan Smith, a good man who is right every now and then, has decided that the real issue is that not enough of us are getting hitched, or into a civil partnership if you're that way out, and I thought, "it didn't take the Tories long did it?."

In the past, their pet hate was gay people, most clearly illustrated by the introduction of the repulsive Section 28 in 1986. So last year, in his attempt to convince us all he was some sort of 'liberal', Dave turned up at Mardi Gras and Pride, apologising for the law and promising any new tax break or benefit for marriage would apply to civil partnerships too.

However, nobody becomes and stays a Conservative for no good reason. As a breed, they are a judgemental lot (I'd know from being in CF for two years) and I always got the impression that they had a league table of 'ways of life' that they kept in their pocket or at least mentally. "Married, two kids, churchgoer, captain of local cricket team" was at the top, while "gay, single, no ties" was rock bottom. Now in a marriage of convenience between Cameron and the 'pink and proud' community, it is the unmarried hetrosexual who finds himself as the scum of the Tory earth.

When people talk about giving a handout to someone, I never hear it asked, "ah yes but who is paying for it?. Who is putting the money in the pot and walking away so someone else can take it?" Personally, I find it obscene that a single person on a modest income should subsidse the lifestyle choice of a couple who may be on thrice the takehome pay of the individual funding the largesse. It has already been accepted that the money is highly unlikely to steer a couple one way or the other, so it can only be a highly expensive gesture that does marginal damage to some and no good to anybody.

Once we get to work on the real issues, these questions tend to take care of themselves - personally the idea of getting married doesn't interest me at this point in time, and when IDS and his friends act like the street pushers of the tied knot, its appeal becomes even less.


J A Y B said...

I agree. Choices are absolute, however without the means to make them, legal or otherwise choice becomes meaningless. The same as if policy is stacked in favour of one group or another, so choice is no choice really :(

There will always be a scapegoat to blame societies ills on.

Like your blog, just found it by searching BNP and Libertarians; not connecting the two :)

I try to be devils advocate sometimes on my blog to see how it goes.

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog