Writing in The Daily Mail today, Jill Kirby exposes David Cameron’s new and so-called family friendly initiative for what it is – one that rewards (but far from helps) feckless families, but punishes responsible ones.
Hugo Rifkind by contrast, in the once conservative thinking Times, praises Cameron for his modernity in matters of the family – for winning his culture war against his party’s right wing – which by young Hugo’s definition is narrow and reactionary and to be equated with the mean and nasty Dursley family of Harry Potter fame. I wonder what the nation’s sixty plus per cent of married families think of that characterisation of themselves. A good vote winner for Dave. Well done Hugo.
Yes, this is what Rifkind thinks Cameron should do – trumpet his conquest over the traditional family more loudly, be more like Gordon Brown and proudly assert his barely disguised Labour policy that embraces and rewards families that come in all shape and sizes, whether they will ever be socially and economically viable or not.
The trouble is with Rifkind’s attack on social conservative values, apart from its inherent nastiness and unpleasantness, is that he misses the fundamental economic and social hole that such a policy makes deeper and bigger.
Yes, of course, it would be nice to embrace all behaviour and family choices if they came at equal cost. But they don’t. And the Government is kidding itself if it really believes that its low threshold for turning round troubled families means anything at all.
As Jill Kirby says, “I fear that his (David Cameron’s) Government is still failing to address the root of the problem. All that is being provided is a sticking plaster on a gaping wound that is in danger of turning septic”.
For a coherent analysis of the inherent weaknesses of the Conservative’s family policy, it is Jill Kirby you should read today.
Rifkind’s immature comments are not worth the print devoted to them, more shame The Times.