Laura Perrins: Why breed in anti-family Britain?

Women of Britain, you must have more babies, Alice Thomson of the Times told us on November 22. A couple of days later she got her reply: Screw you.

Women are having fewer children than ever before and more are staying childless, the Office for National Statistics revealed. Women who turned 45 in 2016 had an average of 1.8 children, down from 2.21 for the generation who turned 45 in 1944.

The same generation also had fewer children by their 30th birthday, suggesting that women are having children later in life. Women who turned 45 last year had 1.06 children by 30 compared with 1.8 for their grandmothers' generation who turned 45. In total, 18 per cent of women who turned 45 last year had no children at all, compared with 11 per cent of women in their mothers’ generation.

The ONS figures show that the average size of families in England and Wales peaked for women born in 1935 and has been falling since.

And it will keep falling. We all know that the only thing that stops it tanking completely is immigrant mothers propping up the fertility rate – for now.



Now, usually I would blame the feminists for this but today I can’t be bothered. The truth is Britain is not very family friendly. (It is true that it has been friendly to my family, for which I am grateful, but one cannot ignore the general for the specific, and say well I’m fine, sod the rest of you.)

The ‘please have a child deal’ seems to go something like this: have a child in one of the most un-family friendly tax systems in Europe; raise it in an overpriced small house (if you are lucky); take maternity leave but after that you are unlikely to be able to stay at home and care for your child even if you want to, because of said punishing tax system and housing costs.

The childcare you will need (because you have to pay the overpriced mortgage on the overpriced house) will be extortionate because the government meddled with the market through subsidies and regulation.

So, you will never see this kid you had. Instead you get to dump it in childcare for 40-50 hours a week while you both work. Congratulations!

Then the school near you might be oversubscribed and in general public services on offer are poor because of the population explosion caused by immigration that you are not allowed to talk about.

Britain has experienced a population increase of more than 5million in a just over a decade, from 2005 to 2016. The previous 5million rise took 35 years to achieve, between 1970 and 2005. We know we are overcrowded, so overcrowded the Tories are going to pave over much of our green and pleasant land to provide the necessary housing.

So, the question is not why don’t these women have children, but why do the ones who do have children, have them?

This is what happens when you squander the inheritance of the next generation. This is what happens when you fail to conserve public services, the landscape and family. This is what happens with you ignore the intergenerational contract. People do not have children if they don’t think there is anything worth passing on.

Concluding, Thomson says it is babies or immigration needed to keep Britain afloat. That choice has already been made.

Laura Perrins

  • Jonathan Tedd

    A long time ago a wise man said this…

    ” We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.”

    …and called a racist.

    If we also consider our looney tunes economic model of debt based pubic spending and consumer shopping, then yes it is not looking very bright.

  • Phil R

    Money is a big issue and the marriage penalty needs to be reversed.

    Those that are raising the next generation should pay less tax not more

    Financially it makes the most sense for the mum to be on benefits or working but single and the dad(s) to keep his own “place” for residential purposes, but to visit the mum 2or 3 nights a week to see the kids and sleep with the mum.

    Women’s utopia obviously, and what feminism has been fighting for……

    • martianonlooker

      Yes, I’ve seen it Phil and it is repeated up and down the land. One wonders how much longer it will last before society breaks down completely.

    • Bik Byro

      I don’t know what rose tinted nostalgic glasses you’ve got today Phil, but when I was a teenager in the 1970’s there was always a mass fight in the town square every Saturday night.

      • Busy Mum

        You always were a trouble-maker, then. Why weren’t you tucked up in bed?

        • Bik Byro

          You do jump to conclusions. And I was often tucked up in bed; sometimes it was my bed, sometimes it was the bed of one the girls I’d been out with. Happy days.

          • Busy Mum

            It was natural to assume that your knowledge of the street fighting was first hand. Mind you, fornicating is no more praiseworthy than fighting.

          • Bik Byro

            I was, though I was not usually involved. A couple of times I had to defend myself, no problem really, I played a lot of rugby in those days and was built to suit.

      • Phil R

        I don’t know about the 1970s but in the 1980s only the largest towns and cities were on the steep downward spiral to Pottersville

        https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=pottersville%20run%20down%20town&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=ba0dWvaxJo398weU_bnoAQ

  • James60498 .

    Whilst as far as it goes, what you write as always makes good sense.

    But there is more to it.

    i expect that one of my children will go along with current insanities for an easy life, whilst I fear the other going to jail for objecting.At the very least the latter will probably be thrown out of university and struggle to find a job with any PC organisation, and that’s LOTS of organisations.

    This is the legacy of Cameron and May.

  • Bik Byro

    And there was me thinking that conservatism was about letting other people make their own choices in life. If people don’t want kids, it’s their free choice and none of anyone else’s business.

    • Groan

      Choices are always in a framework. I’d suggest conservatives also value the learning of the past and the connection between the generations. The idea we are completely autonomous units seems most un conservative. Particularly if the result is the extinction of the society one thinks to conserve.

      • Bik Byro

        On the other side of the coin, the concept of “having children you don’t want for the good of society” sounds like a very communist/marxist kind of idea to me.

        • Groan

          I agree and in fact behind the Iron Curtain they were reduced to precisely this as their populations fell. However given the expressed aspirations of the population it seems logical to look at those arrangements that appear to impede people meeting their rather modest aspirations for family formation. And then consider if there is anything that might be helpfully done to assist. Of course there may not be, but I suspect there must be. As it is there is a quite obviously contradictory set of public policy. On the one hand the poorest are literally paid to have children and we are busily attempting to reverse (well put some limitations to it) this trend through Universal Credit. I think the best plan is to work outward from people’s aspirations and do “our” best to at least do no harm to these if “we” can’t actually help. Of course there is always the risk that still people would not have children in which case, well its curtains and we’d be a failed society. .

      • andyrwebman

        “The idea we are completely autonomous units seems most un conservative”

        This is the difference between community and communism. Community works at a local level and by the passing on of tradition.

    • Jab

      We are increasingly not being allowed to choose , even charities which were supported by individuals are now government supported, home schoolers are to be regulated ( latest private members bill by labour) …

      • Bik Byro

        Exactly. So let’s celebrate and make full use of the choices we have left, not try and interfere and control them even more.

    • No, it isn’t.

    • You don’t understand conservatism then.

      • Bik Byro

        You prefer the mentally ill Hugh Oxford version which is basically Marxism by another name.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Do you think that a society in which s large number of people do not want children is a good or a bad thing?

      • Bik Byro

        I think it’s a shame. But if other people don’t want children then me or anybody else interfering in that choice is definitely a bad thing.

      • CRSM

        It simply goes to show that many of the indigenous people in this country aren’t prepared to bring children into a society that has a very poor quality of life. Mostly caused by alien overcrowding.

    • UKCitizen

      But you are also making the assumption that the opposite decision is a free choice and not a reflection of circumstances which have been forced upon them.

      • Bik Byro

        There may be some people who would love children but feel unable to afford them. On the other hand, there will be people who (1) can afford kids but would rather have that money to spend on extra treats for themselves or (2) Hate the thought of being tied down, taking whiny kids to the supermarket and not being able to dine out at any restaurant that doesn’t have a chicken nuggets option. For these people, we have to respect their choice.

        • UKCitizen

          That is not what I was asking. I am not saying we should force anybody to do anything but is the choice to be a complete narcissist an actual choice or just the easiest option that society has engineered for them. When those people are old will they look back and really remember any of the things they did for themselves or will they look back and realise they achieved nothing and will die alone.

          • andyrwebman

            Isn’t it a bit unfair to call everyone who hasn’t had a child “a complete narcissist?”. It suggests terrible bitterness on your behalf.

            I know there are lots of narcissists around, spoiled by the “I can have everything I want” ethos, but that is not necessarily true of everyone who doesn’t have children.

            Some might just think “If I don’t have kids, I’ll have so much more time. Forget material goods, time is the most valuable thing of all, such a limited precious commodity in this life”.

          • Lytton333

            You forget that they all had parents..

          • CRSM

            I am very likely to die alone, though at least I believe that death is not the end.

    • Sargv

      There is no shaming of childless people in this article though.

      Saying that 20% of women freely chosen to be childless is not much different from saying that those below poverty line deliberately and freely chose to be poor. Maybe there are – oh, I don’t know – some EXTERNAL FACTORS to this? And if there are – what are they might be?

  • Groan

    I don’t know if anyone saw Kate Humble’s programme visiting a matrilineal society in India. Much of it of course focussed on the positives but also observing some of the “challenges”. One of the biggest being a growth in single parents apparently much like our own. It being briefly observed that in a society without social institutions linking a man to his children its all to easy for him to move off. A reminder of our own different but similar problem of women and children “married to the state”. In both societies the message seems clear that simply expecting people to “do the right thing” is not enough if that becomes hard to do.

  • The irony is that Left wing models of the welfare state rely entirely on conservative values of procreation.

    But the Left, the sexual Left especially, have been busy dismantling the moral structures that incentivise and order procreation and therefore make the welfare state sustainable.

    I wonder if, in the end, it will be those people who bore and raised children who will be the only ones looked after in their old age in the years to come.

    In the meantime though, the childless-by-choice brigade will continue to make claims on a society into which they have invested nothing, they will continue to undermine the moral and cultural fabric, and will continue to deny and undermine the basic principle of responsibility between the past, present and future.

    And in doing that, they may make it literally impossible for those of us who want Western civilisation to have a future to create that future.

    • Helen

      I live in Australia. It is single mothers who have more kids than anyone. The single mothers can not be stopped. There are some, not all, who have 10 children with all different fathers. Apparently nothing can be done to stop this. Although the government is trying to get more into work. Usually the children do not turn out well.

      • Busy Mum

        Lack of money and a good dose of shame would do the trick.

      • captainslugwash

        How I miss the days when that too was our problem.
        Now it is families of non productive uneducated immigrants breeding at our expense, whilst adding nothing to the economy, or even integrating.
        They cottoned on to the benefits system quickly enough mind.
        Australia owes a huge debt to PM Abbott, and of course a sensible immigration policy.

        • Helen

          Thank you!

    • Busy Mum

      “I wonder if, in the end, it will be those people who bore and raised children who will be the only ones looked after in their old age in the years to come.”

      I am cynical enough to believe that our children will be looking after the childless, and that we will be left with nothing….

      • andyrwebman

        Having children is no guarantee of any of that these days. Even if they don’t move abroad, there’s a good chance they’ll live elsewhere in the UK.

        I think the elderly – childless or not – will need to club together in their old age and look after each other. With the combined buying power of several people, they can afford self supporting communities that will serve as more autonomous, more independence facilitating versions of old people’s homes.

        I’m not quite speaking of the gated communities found in America, more of communities of mutual support. Staff of working age can be employed to keep an eye on people who are vulnerable.

    • andyrwebman

      “In the meantime though, the childless-by-choice brigade will continue to
      make claims on a society into which they have invested nothing”

      Excuse me – tax? A full time working couple pays as much or more tax than one where one partner is looking after a child.

      I don’t begrudge the expense – of course it is necessary to pay for the education of the next generation – but don’t say the childless have invested nothing. My Aunt – childless for medical reasons – would be terribly upset to hear that.

      Also, please don’t confuse the child free with the Marxists.

      • Full time working couples – where they exist in sufficient numbers – drive up the cost of housing so that ordinary families can’t live and function at the same time. Only men on six figure salaries can afford to support a stay at home mother and a home for his family to live in.

        What was normal and taken for granted a couple of generations ago is now a luxury reserved for the wealthy.

        • andyrwebman

          This driving up of the cost of housing is symptomatic of overcrowding, together with too much cheap credit.

          I appreciate the argument of “we need to people working to buy what one used to” However – in an economy based on saving in a less crowded country, a working childless couple would not be chasing the same housing stock as the families, rather they’d be looking at luxury housing, maybe getting their own “grand design” home built.

          The issue is limited stock combined with a long period of cheap credit driving up the prices.

      • Lytton333

        And who gave birth to these childless working couples? Or did the stork bring them?

  • Timmy

    It’s funny. We are programed to breed, it is in our DNA. I don’t think it is the tax man that stops women.

    Google “mouse utopia” . The UK is small country, over population, etc. It is a perfect match.

    • andyrwebman

      I’ve read this before and I agree.

    • Sargv

      Population density (people per sq km):
      Bangladesh: 1,118
      Israel: 371
      India: 382
      United Kingdom: 255

      Total fertility rate:
      Bangladesh: 2.2
      Israel: 3.1
      India: 2.3
      United Kingdom: 1.8

      • CRSM

        The UK isn’t representative of England, which has a noticeably higher population density.
        And yes, I have seriously considered moving to Wales.

        • captainslugwash

          Dire times indeed 🙂

        • Sargv

          Italy and Germany both more sparsely populated than England. Both have significantly lower fertility rate.

          My point is: fertility rate and population density are not linearly linked. I doubt this factor is even in the top-ten.

  • JabbaPapa

    So, you will never see this kid you had. Instead you get to dump it in childcare for 40-50 hours a week while you both work. Congratulations!

    …. always assuming that your local social workers don’t decide to target your child(ren) for adoption.

    • James60498 .

      My sister is a senior teacher in a primary school.

      She was really concerned when her son injured himself in a particular way because the result of the accident was one that she said is the kind of injuries that Social Workers look for.

      That she should have been worried about something like that is really awful.

      Had she been a (to SS) undesirable, who knows what might have happened.

      By SS, I mean Social Services. Obviously.

      • JabbaPapa

        And guess who’s S(ocial) S(ervices) implemented this sort of systematic theft of children from their parents first ?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_of_children_by_Nazi_Germany

      • Busy Mum

        I know of several instances where children have been taken to A&E and the parents are deliberately ignored.
        One doctor actually asked my husband who he was, very rudely, half an hour after examining my injured daughter.
        An acquaintance took her son to A&E following an incident when he was knocked off his bike. The paramedics told her that it would be quicker for her to take him herself than for him to go in the ambulance – she was outright ignored when she arrived.
        One little girl I know was playing outside with her young brother, pushing each other around in an empty wheelie bin which tipped over…..the little girl was questioned over and over at the hospital – her mother could hear the doctors/nurses saying ‘Are you sure that’s what happened?’

        I would only ever take a child to A&E if I really had to….

  • hereward

    and no mention of the £180 million a year the NHS spends on free abortions !

  • andyrwebman

    We need to take the example of the Japanese to heart.

    Instead of immigration, they sought innovative ways to get past their declining workforce using automation. In Japan, it is quite possible to go into a hotel with only one or two employees – all the rest is automated.

    A declining birth rate needn’t be seen as a problem in the short term – rather a chance for a gentle, voluntary population decline. Within a few decades, the population might well have reached the point where homes are in much greater supply relative to the population and are therefore more affordable.

    In such a situation, having children might well become much more attractive.

    The pro immigration young are ruining their best chances for an easier life in the name of “open mindedness”.

    • Sargv

      Have you ever lived in Japan?

      The problem of low fertility is a senile society. A person with any social stance in Japan is AT LEAST 60 years old by now. No amount of technological modernism – that runs out of steam as we speak will ever compensate for that.

      And guess what? All those people still work! And they hold all the positions of power. Which means no career opportunities for the 20-30-40-somethings. Which means they delay marriage and childbearing.

      Do you want to embrace the Brezhnevism?

      • andyrwebman

        Why “Brezhnevism?”

        How do you think the situation in crowded Japan would have been improved with a higher birth rate? Even fewer career opportunities would be available.

        People work into old age because they have to – because they have bills and mortgages to pay. Why? Because property is expensive – because it is in short supply relative to the population.

        This situation is temporary. The older generation – who are proportionally much larger because of historically higher birth rates – will die off in Japan, jobs will be left vacant, the crowding will be eased and the price of property will drop.

        By the way, unemployment in Japan is around half of ours.

        The Japanese should look to encourage their young people to boost the fertility rate when the population has dropped to a more pleasant level – with the objective of long term stability.

        • CRSM

          Very true, and human nature will mean that the birthrate will pick up once the quality of life improves, due to the benefits of a lower population.

          • Sargv

            Sure. It’s just those might be people of other creeds.

    • ” Within a few decades, the population might well have reached the point where homes are in much greater supply relative to the population and are therefore more affordable.”

      That’s an interesting point that needs discussed.

      • Sargv

        Two trends compensate each other: 1) population is stagnant or declining, and 2) big cities vacuum up the youth from the rest of the country.

        The result will be: big cities will be bigger and more expensive, the rest of the country will be dirt-cheap, senile and destitute.

        There is no shortage of property in the country as a whole. There is a shortage of housing at locations that are desirable. That’s where people buy. Buying prices are market prices. If people do not buy houses in a particular town, this town is off the market. It does not lower the national average. It just does not exist from the market perspective. The average will stay about the same nation-wide, while the pockets of economic activity in the UK will be denser and smaller.

      • CRSM

        It is an interesting point, though to some of us it has been obvious for quite a time.

    • JabbaPapa

      a gentle, voluntary population decline

      What’s “gentle”, exactly, about the forced contraception, sterilisation, and involuntary abortion industries of China and black Africa ?

      As for the rest of your dream-like fantasy utopia scenario, the deadly combination of viagra, contraceptives, and abortifacients freely available just for the asking not only objectifies both sex and the men and women who engage in it, as just another industrialised form of mass-produced empty entertainment, but it quite clearly constitutes yet another full-frontal assault on the Family, all the while as various hypocritical politicians whine about the declining birth rate and massive immigration.

  • Sargv

    Laura, people, are not economic units, no matter what Marxists say. Taxes? Small houses? Maternity leave? If those were the only reasons for suppressed fertility, Africa would be at ZERO.

    I am afraid it is much worse than that. Western culture is in a self-hating suicidal spiral. We embraced social engineering and messed up with the fragile balance of sex relationships.

    Women no longer need men to support them. Which removes the pressure to provide from men. Which makes them unreliable. Which pushes women to be more self-reliant (or state-reliant). Which removes the pressure to provide from men. Which …

    British women are anxious, stressed and unsure about their future. “You can be anyone!” Which means that the usual path “marry up and have children” is no more. Freedom at last? Yes. But the other side of liberty is anxiety.

    And men? Men just want to do manly thing. Now, what is a masculine – as in, considered to be high-status by other men – behaviour in 2017? Is it to start a dynasty with a beautiful young wife and work hard through your life to provide for a big family? Nah. That’s Beta. That’s for henpecked husbands. That’s for neutered men. Or maybe it’s for patriarchal oppressors if you are a feminist. Real Alphas never settle. Viva le hump & dump! Peter Pan, you are my hero!

    • There’s a lot truth in what you say, but I don’t think Laura was saying that people are merely economic units.

      But we do need to relate the sexual economy to the material economy. The sexual economy used to be adumbrated thus: marriage is a price a man pays for sex, sex is a price a woman pays for marriage. Contraception and abortion have destroyed that economy. And the truth is EVERYONE is miserable as a result.

      • Sargv

        Men shouldn’t have had sex “for free”, that’s true. And that includes porn, not just the possibility of a protected sex (at least you have to spend some calories on wooing a woman this way). Our dopamine reward system is not evolved for that, and we dismantled all the limiting social barriers that used to protect the society.

        If you dispense food for free, you’ll eventually have food fights followed by famine.

    • Timmy

      I am very thankful for the sexual liberation of women.

      • Sargv

        I know! It’s even better than eating crisps in from of TV for the rest of your life! And who cares that other people with their outdated morals and rigid stereotypes will call you a fat looser? Isn’t getting your hit the moment you want it is what life is for?

  • Waggler

    Married to the State, mothers are enabled to raise fatherless children.

    According the Relationships Foundation ‘Cost of Family Failure Index’, the economic cost of family breakdown in 2016 was £48bn or £1,820 for every taxpayer.

    https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tle-pick/the-shocking-cost-of-fatherlessness-in-the-uk/09/09/

  • grrlpower

    I have chosen not to have children because overpopulation is one of the biggest causative factors behind global warming, which is destroying the planet.

    • Sargv

      Thank you for saving the place for the children of people who chose otherwise.

    • JabbaPapa

      You have chosen not to have children to satisfy your own selfish desires, you mad, hypocritical bat !!!

    • Lytton333

      Population has been increasing incrementally for centuries. Lucky for you your mother didn’t see the pattern eh?

    • JabbaPapa

      ooooooh OOOOoooOOOOooohhHHHHhhh HHHH come on darling, at least give us a contest to see who gets to sniff your knickers !!!! Global warming ??? I’d settle for pubic warming baby !!!!

      • grrlpower

        You sad little man.

        I probably wear heels bigger than your d*ck.

        • JabbaPapa

          **** oooooOOOOOooooh ****

          yes darrling, oh sweety plum darling, but don’t you think it would be better for your lovely great big fat bottom if you wore flats instead ?

          I mean don’t mind me —- pphhhhhwwwwWWWWWOOOOOOOOAAAAARRRRRRrrrrrr !!!!!! look at them cheap trashy lingerie !!!!

          Give us ur webcam addy sweetest !! Are u still pretending that u can impose any of ur mad crap on anyone ?

          • grrlpower

            I’m not “fat”. I only weigh 160lbs, which is not much for a 5’10 woman like me.

            You wouldn’t like it if I made fun of your scrawny little a*se, you sad little man.

          • grrlpower

            Are u still pretending that u can impose any of ur mad crap on anyone ?

            We progressives are in charge now. We control the institutions. Soon, when this ramshackle government falls and Jeremy Corbyn takes power, we will be in total command.

            We will impose whatever we like.

            Get used to it, my dear.

  • grrlpower

    Why is it considered taboo for women like me to put our own careers first, above family, when men have been doing this for millennia?

    • Sargv

      How is that a taboo if one in five women over 45, and one in two over 30 are already doing that? You go, girl! I need your taxes.

    • JabbaPapa

      ***phwwwWWWWWwwwwoar*** look at those curves, give us a flash of your jubblies sweety grrrrlpowah darling !!!

    • The article is not about you. You have absolute freedom to go out there, live, work and (not) reproduce as you see fit. The point is that “children are our future” and therefore society should support and encourage child-bearing and child-rearing.

      The only relation I can think of to you here is that loud-mouth feminists, who believe they are entitled to state support to give them an unfair advantage in the business world, are all too happy to denigrate motherhood and its value to society in order to divert societal support away from mothers to their own selfish career ambitions. Those women who would like to be full-time mums cannot because women like you believe taxes and government should be supporting women in work rather than women with families.

    • martianonlooker

      Dear grrlpower,

      The highly acclaimed Professor Lobo. T. Omy will chair your parole license.
      Please attend otherwise Gnome Secretary, Ms Amber Dudd will see red and revoke your freedom of association (including loss of social media access privileges).

      Yours’

      Mr B. Ugoff.

    • Putin’s Guardian’s Quitter

      Hi Kate, still a loon then.

  • Dave S

    Too many men and women think they are the last generation . That they are the culmination of our history. That all that remains is to fully express themselves any way they feel fit and then die and leave the world to those who come from other cultures and believe in the unchanging nature of the human condition and life on this earth.

  • Jade Davis France

    I have to laugh at British women claiming it is their “choice” not to have children.

    Britain is not just an enemy of families, it is hateful and oppressive towards men.

    Men don’t want to have anything to do with British women (and the government that supports their hatred of men).

    That is why the birth rate is declining. Men are simply walking away from a system that is rigged against them so that women have no men willing to act as Fathers and Husbands.

    That is why the British elites, desperate for more subjects, are pushing open immigration.

    • JabbaPapa

      Britain is not just an enemy of families, it is hateful and oppressive towards men

      … and towards mothers.

    • Timmy