I can no longer pretend that the army of teenage mothers living off the state is anything other than a national catastrophe.
A previous commenter on this site got it spot on: many (though not all) teenage girls do not become pregnant accidentally because of ignorance, because of a lack of understanding of how their bodies work. They become pregnant because they have absolutely no ambition for themselves. They have been indoctrinated with the lie that they’ll never amount to anything, and have fulfilled that prophesy by making no effort to achieve any qualification. Very often they live with parents (or a parent) who have no jobs themselves, who are setting the example of benefit dependency for all their offspring.
Such young women see parenthood as one way of achieving a level of independence and self-worth. And they’re right, because that’s more or less what they get: a flat and therefore some privacy, an income for the first time in their lives. And in fact, many of them make a decent job of parenthood despite the awful circumstances. But even they are nevertheless rearing the next generation in an environment where the main adult isn’t working, but claiming...
Teenage girls shouldn’t be having underage sex. Why? Because it’s wrong.
Teenage girls shouldn’t choose to have babies as an alternative to getting an education and a career. Why? Because it’s wrong.
Parents shouldn’t teach their children that a lifetime on benefits is attractive or even acceptable. Why? Because it’s wrong.Being accused of agreeing with the Daily Mail’s agenda is not the worst thing my critics can say about me. Being accused of accepting the current appalling state of affairs, of pretending that the concepts of right and wrong are meaningless - that is far worse than being accused of pandering to the right.
And, of course, it is a complete load of bollocks to suggest that the ordinary working class people of Glasgow South and in hundreds of other constituencies throughout the country don’t agree with me. The most vociferous critics of the dependancy culture and of deliberate worklessness have always been those who live in the same communities, those who resent paying their taxes to help other people waste their lives.
Don’t interpret this as any kind of “back to basics” crusade; I’m not remotely interested in what adults do in the privacy of their own homes, and I’m not sounding the rallying cry for Christian or religious morality. But when the actions of others has such a debilitating effect on the rest of society, it’s time to stop being polite. It’s time to stop worrying about how people’s feelings might be hurt if we question the choices they’ve made.
Because very often, those choices are wrong. And it’s about time we said so.
Well, hear hear. Of course, this is something many on the right have been saying for some time (IDS, Nadine etc), but the liberal media treats them as being slightly deranged for holding such views. If Tom Harris can provoke a real debate in the Labour movement and get people to wake up about what's right and wrong, then that can only be a good thing.