Well, well, well. The electoral genius has struck gold this time, hasn’t he? Not satisfied with demonstrating his toughness on immigrants, he’s turning his attention to those other menaces to society: Teen Mums.
It’s been decreed that should you find yourself with child you’ve got four choices. Make sure you, your boyfriend or your parents are financially able to deal with a baby, have an abortion, give the baby up for adoption or if none of those three options suit you can now go into supervised communal housing for other menaces to society. They’re not Poorhouses, though. They’re New Poorhouses, which will be clean and basically like a giant live-in Sure start centre providing valuable employment opportunities for social workers and lots of other people with ‘outreach’ in their job title.
See, if you’re a teen mum who insists on having a baby AND raising it yourself? Well, you’re basically evil, and the state needs to take a more active role in making sure your children don’t turn out like you. Sorry. You’re on the Government’s shit list and there’s sod all you can do about it.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m hardly a fan of the legal right to a house if you’re pregnant, and I’m well aware that the children of teen mums are extremely lucky if they escape what is a dismal fate for any human being. Yet what I do know is that there’s no evidence that teenagers get pregnant to claim benefits. It’s often said, and it sounds true, but.. sorry, no actual evidence.
These are serious, important issues (despite my flippant tone), but even a mad libertarian like me doesn’t think the solution is to return to the bad old days of making charity as unpleasant as possible to put people off it – there’s no degree of degradation and humiliation people aren’t prepared to suffer if they’re hungry and desperate enough.
Now I’m sure these modern Poorhouses will be bastions of quality childcare, parental advice, wonderful diet and model behaviour of everyone involved, but then that’s exactly how the last ones started. They were too damn popular, and that’s when things turned nasty. The Daily Mail will, eventually, run a story where an entire class ends up leaving school together and moving into the same unit, and then…. well you can imagine the rest.
Labour claims to help the poor and the weak, yet they exclude the poor and weak that ‘the people’ hate, or who they think might actually cost them votes to support. I think, really, if you’re a Labour voter and your head isn’t screaming at you that something is very very very very wrong here then the ‘something wrong’ is you.