Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Laura Perrins: May should fix the family if she wants to fix society


Listen, overall I quite like the Theresa May woman. I mean, apart from her messing up immigration while she was at the Home Office, not getting a grip on the police, setting up the mammoth, explosively expensive Child Abuse inquiry, and opposing Brexit – apart from all that she is fine. A bit like chicken, I guess – she just is. And she is better than Call-Me-What’s-His-Face-Dave and Boris. So chicken it is.

But I am looking forward to her assault on the libertarians. That should be fun. I am plumping up my cushions for that one. I really feel obligated to send out a big hug to my libertarian cousins because the social conservatives have taken it in the face for years and now the party is coming for you.

There will be workers on the boards, a curb on executive pay, firms will have to list foreign workers (perhaps those foreign workers will have to wear a badge, or some such thing). There might even be Ed Miliband style price controls. Workers of the world unite!

This is all because after years of welfarism and social liberalism that encouraged unsustainable family forms and punished marriage we now have significant levels of ‘inequality’. Theresa May cannot be bothered to turn any of that around, so she just says, screw it, I will manipulate the markets instead to try to even things out. So good luck with that one.

I mean if the Conservative Party is not socially conservative nor economically conservative, then what the hell are they?

Finally, a word on that speech. Theresa May actually said, she actually said, “It should not matter who your parents are because all that should matter is the talent you have and how hard you are prepared to work.”

Personally, I find this quite chilling. The fact is we know the biggest indicator of life chances (as the parlance goes) is whether your parents are married and how involved they are in your life/education.

Never mind the Department of Hard-work and Talent. She will be setting up the Department of the Abolition of Parents so the State can prevent parents doing any extra-curricular activities with their children at all – such as bedtime reading.

You think that is farfetched? British academic Adam Swift once told ABC that parents should be mindful of the advantage provided by bedtime reading. “I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said. Gotcha.

Confusingly, May then told the story about the athlete brother who helped is other very tired bother over the finishing line in a race. But surely on her ‘Theory of Hard Work and Talent’, he should have left his lazy-ass brother there, as “all that should matter is the talent you have and how hard you are prepared to work.”

That runner was obviously not that talented or hardworking enough to finish the race on his own, so his brother should have just left him there instead of giving him an unfair advantage by exploiting familial bonds of love and loyalty.

So do you want to live in a society like that? I do not. I like families, bedtime stories, communities and little platoons. And so should you.

(Image: Chatham House)

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