Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Progressives In The Firing Line Again

Melanie Philips gives the progressives an impressive broadside in the ‘Mail’ over the Edlington savages:
We are all born with the capacity for both good and bad.
Everything depends on whether the immature child is raised in a way that develops the good and discourages the bad, or whether something goes wrong with that process.

To label these boys 'evil' is to let the real villains off the hook. These children are the product of evil attitudes within the adult world.
Which is not to excuse their actions, but to examine how they came about.
Their personalities have been warped and their ability to feel for others blocked off because they have been deprived of the essential condition for developing into normally functioning human beings: a secure and loving family in which the basics of civilised life are programmed into children's characters.

Instead, they were abandoned to fend for themselves in a pit of absolute degradation, cruelty and inhumanity.
"She makes it sound as though it needed an illustration from Hogarth...", will no doubt be the sniping from the progressives.

But, she’s not wrong. Is she?
Their mother, who has seven sons by three fathers, is an alcoholic and drug addict who left them to forage from rubbish bins and fed them cannabis to keep them quiet; their father is a drunken brute, who regularly beat them and forced them to watch violent horror films.
How can anyone, even the dimmest, most starry-eyed social worker, claim that leaving these children with such a ‘family’ was in their best interests?

And if this wasn’t considered a ‘high-risk’ family, or even unusual, how many more are there out there in the UK?
Children are being born to lone mothers who were themselves raised in shattered homes by mothers who in turn came from identical backgrounds. The outcome is households in which children are neglected and maltreated, subjected to drug and alcohol abuse, violence and emotional chaos; and where the cruelty and indifference they endure is often translated into the sadistic way they treat others.
Which, one would think, would be exactly the sort of households that should attract SS attention.

Instead of households where they seem to have been concentrating all their fire
For the past three decades, warnings that the disintegration of the family would result in social catastrophe were brushed aside. What was deemed more important was never to hurt the feelings of those living in fragmented households and to throw welfare benefits at them instead.
I think the inclusion of welfare benefits into this is a bit of a red herring, to be honest. Does anyone think that, should the Edlington family have won the lotto, they’d have smartened up their act?

No. Their poverty is of the spirit, not the welfare cheque.
When Iain Duncan Smith's Social Justice Commission refers to 'broken Britain', it is not exaggerating.

Mr Duncan Smith himself suggests various imaginative schemes to repair such families, such as ones where both mother and child are taken into care. But such projects are too expensive and intensive to be applied to all the shattered lives which are growing so exponentially.

The problem has to be tackled at source. That's why the head of Barnardo's, Martin Narey, has now said babies born to such mothers should be removed from them at birth and adopted.
Which sounds, superficially, to be the answer.

But I have the same concerns over this as Ranting Stan, and for the same reasons.
Whatever needs to be done to address the weakness in social work, surely what is necessary is not just to try to pick up the pieces of shattered family life but to prevent it from breaking in the first place.

The key is to switch off the motor behind this catastrophe: the prevailing attitudes of a ruling elite which, pretending to be non-judgmental about family background, has actually smashed the traditional family to smithereens.

Far from alleviating poverty, distress and misery, these self-regarding 'progressives' instead created and perpetuated these ills. Holding that the real crime was not to produce neglected or emotionally disturbed children but to ' stigmatise' those who raised them in such a way, they incentivised family breakdown by handing out welfare benefits with no conditions attached to behaviour.
And, in doing so, they ensured that ‘single parent families’ were all lumped in together – the feckless, breeding without conscience or care, along with the families riven by divorce or abandonment and doing their best for their children on limited budgets.

All became tarred with the brush of ‘benefit claimants’ and lumped in with the savage, the helpless, the hopeless and the just plain uncaring as if they were all equal.
Accordingly, a more humane response to unmarried motherhood is to treat it for what it really is - a potential disaster for both mother and baby.

Both should be looked after in mother-and-baby units with specialised help.

Turning off the benefits spigot would also remove the financial incentives that have made such disasters a commonplace - as indeed was intended by the well-heeled intelligentsia, who set out to make unmarried motherhood 'normal' but whose own income cushioned themselves against the worst of the damage that the removal of such constraints on behaviour inflicted upon the poor.
The problem being, ‘turning off the benefit spigot’ would not stop families such as this one existing. They’d find the money to amuse themselves elsewhere – probably by crime.
Hurling accusations of 'heartlessness' against their opponents concealed the fact that these 'progressives' were themselves causing unlimited damage and misery - not to mention a steady supply of jobs for themselves in interventionist programmes to 'rescue' the lives they were so cavalierly continuing to destroy.

It is those people who made morality into a dirty word. Since the essence of morality is feeling for others, and since the essence of psychopathy is the absence of any such feeling, is it any wonder that the result of the doctrines imposed by these 'progressives' has been the creation of psychopathic children?
It’s no surprise, no.

But I can’t help but feel that the answers still aren’t within our grasp, even if Melanie’s and Martin’s plans were to come to fruition.


Letters From A Tory said...

Excellent post. If this family were not high risk, I cannot imagine the scale of depravity across the UK that social workers don't even acknowledge.

Mike said...

Julia you really have attracted a good group of commentators here. With different opinions sometimes but well informed, open and honest. It is a pleasure and for me anyway a real life line in a prejudice and cruel world. Many thanks for your efforts and generally sensible droogs.
It's also good that we all still have space for a little humour and don't get too serious for our own good.

Anonymous said...

This will be controversial, I know, but there is an interesting angle on these issues in Levitt and Dubner's 'Freakonomics'.

The authors describe how a predicted juvenile crime wave in the US failed to materialise as a direct result of Roe vs Wade. The relatively free availability of abortion drastically reduced the number of children born into circumstances deemed likely to lead to a life of crime.

For the US women involved, the costs (financial, personal and social) of raising a child outweighed the benefits and they acted accordingly.

Here, it would appear that the converse applies, with predictable results.

sobers said...

Benefits are what have allowed these situations to arise in the first place. Remove the cash, and the bad behaviour will reduce. It will take years to reach a new equilibrium, but then its been decades in the creation.

You cannot micro manage the lives of 10% of the population. Just remove the incentives for bad behaviour, or penalise it.

Basically bring back judgementalism.

Eckersalld said...

In defence of Social Workers, the reason they tend to be so damned useless is that there are very few experienced ones.

People go into it, and get disillusioned by the management, how their hands are tied and how sneaky parents are.

Eventually they find jobs with less interference, and leave Social Work.

If you want to find where the buck stops for a lot of the problems with Social Work currently, you can start with Ed Balls.

Anonymous said...

Julia, I don't think you can remove the beneits angle.

Why did the Doncaster kids mum have seven kids if not for benefits and housing?

One of the things that is making these problems exponentially worse is that it's only this bitch, and Karen Matthews who can "afford" to have seven kids; most working and middle class families have two, three at the most.

Ultimately what are we going to do with the other 5 potential Doncaster psychopaths? And why isn't the mother in prison?

JuliaM said...

"If this family were not high risk..."

That's the ghastly thought, isn't it?

"It's also good that we all still have space for a little humour and don't get too serious for our own good."

Indeed. Hence the need for some musical appreciation occasionally.. ;)

"Here, it would appear that the converse applies..."

I wonder if that can be just laid to the difference in the welfare system? It'd be interesting to see the authors take a look at the UK in depth.

"Remove the cash, and the bad behaviour will reduce."

I think it would, but not quickly, and maybe not as much as we'd all hope.

"If you want to find where the buck stops for a lot of the problems with Social Work currently, you can start with Ed Balls."

Yep, he's been a disaster, no doubt. But I'm not sure any minister from Dave's mob would have the stomach for facing down the interested parties in the SS high command...

"Why did the Doncaster kids mum have seven kids if not for benefits and housing?"

I suppose it depends on whether she made a calculated decision to have them for those benefits alone, or whether she had such a chaotic lifestyle that she'd have had them anyway, regardless of the benefirs being there to cushion the blow.

Certainly, the decision to adopt the 'family must stay together at all cost' approach hasn't done anyone any favours...

Tomrat said...


Posted on this here.

North Northwester said...

"The problem being, ‘turning off the benefit spigot’ would not stop families such as this one existing. They’d find the money to amuse themselves elsewhere – probably by crime."

Some would - but others might shift for themselves - their grandparents did.

I hope you won't underestimate the power of not giving people free money any more - it's a doozy.

Anonymous said...

There is a perfectly clear route for ratbags (I won't dignify them with the term Mothers) who turn out a steady stream of beaten, abused, neglected and brutalised kids. They are using those bairns as hostages. It's a case of "give me the money and the council house, or the kid will suffer."

Those children are going to suffer anyway.

I do think that we need to make some radical changes to the welfare system, and the sensible response to a flooded kitchen is to first turn off the tap.

Our first priority should be the best interests of the baby. If a single mother, or a two parent family, has no record of self sufficiency, and no realistic prospects of providing a loving and stable home, the baby should be put up for adoption. Exceptions could easily be made for people who are registered disabled, or those recently widowed. And a humane policy could include arrangements for Grandparents to be given priority to adopt if they can demonstrate the necessary financial capacity and track record.

It is only by stopping the replenishment of this problem that society will be able to start addressing the toddlers, young children and teenagers who are already on course for disaster. They are already with us, and we need to start doing right by them.