15 August 2011

Do we need daddies?

In the aftermath of these riots-cum-looting, or general thuggishness, whichever you prefer, much has predictably been made of fatherless families

For example IDS has just said:

“We’ve been ambivalent about family structure in Britain for far too long.”

Of course, we all know this means single-parent families, predominantly single mothers, but are they really to blame?

Well, yes and no, I think

Undoubtedly the rise of the Vicky Pollard style teenage mother with her feckless brood is a problem - arguably if there were good hard-working fathers in those lives those children would be much better off (or alternate partner if you wish, I don't necessarily think it has to be a male, although generally it's going to be)

But this does not simply mean a single parent is worse, or a problem in itself

I come from a single parent family, did I go and out and rampage through the streets? I can't prove this here of course, but I'd like to think you believe me

You see it's all well and good to bang on about families and how bad people like me are, how I'm so much less likely to have a degree (masters) or a job (I do) or have a family (married), but the real issue is hidden in what I said earlier - 'good' and 'hard-working' - it is the stable environment that is vastly more important

I bet you we all know a single parent, and I bet, unless you roam around inner city ghettos that the kids are fairly standard, and likewise you may have right terrors born to 'proper' families

The statistics bear out of course, but they also bear out for black people - anybody want to suggest that's inherent to what they are rather than where they are?

You live in a place where young women are poorly educated, have little respect for themselves and are treated like dirt by feckless young men, who also have no respect for themselves or anything, then you are going to get social problems and out of control kids - even if you were to force marriage, and even fidelity, upon them, you are not addressing the root of the problem - the single mothers in question are a symptom, not the cause

So there's no need to worry about young Mrs Smith down the road, whose husband just buggered off with his secretary, producing the next gun-toting hoodlum

I do think welfare is misguided - we effectively encourage people to breed and be irresponsible, because we won't let anyone starve, but this just encourages dependency, ironically my mother never did, and never would, claim welfare

Ultimately this is about those willing, or able, to engage with society and play by the rules, and those who can't, or won't - a breakdown of respect, particularly for themselves, the individual family structure has little to do with that

So how could I ever say single parent families are to blame? I couldn't, and frankly anyone who says that is a dimwit, or just hateful

What I do say is a lot of these problems do happen to come from single-parent families, but what is needed is a stable and loving home, the culture that happens to create single mothers in deprived, inner-city areas rife with gangs is to blame - attacking the notion of single parenthood itself is, at best, just plain daft

1 comment:

  1. Kids are usually better with Dads, but not always. Some evil Dads are best kept well away from their children...