Monday 21 November 2011

Iain Duncan Smith MP makes spirited defence of marriage

I was encouraged to hear Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and former leader of the Conservative party, speaking up in a spirited manner for marriage and the family on the World at One earlier this month (11th November).

A guest by the name of Sadie King had just said:
"Yeah I think that giving tax breaks to married couples is really out of touch with the way modern families work and are evolving. Forcing people into marriage: it's social engineering, it's not something that's wanted by society. I think it's quite sexist. I think this is a step backwards for women."
And Iain Duncan Smith wiped the floor with her as follows:
"Can I just pick that up actually, ‘cos I don't think this is a choice for women. Quite often it's forced on a lot of women. What kind of a choice is it to live in a community where you are beset and you're trying to bring up kids without being able to pass on any concept of the right way to behave, that you have no man in your life who is responsible for those children that either helps you financially or supports you? That when those boys get to a certain age they no longer respect you, they don't live with you, they don't work with you.
"I mean this is not about choices, I think if you don't mind it's a very middle-class attitude to say this is all about choices. The reality is family break-down has damaged Britain dramatically. We have higher levels of family break-down in this country than other countries in Europe and the idea that they're all equivalent relationships is not true. And the benefits system right now it actually penalises families at lower income levels if they stay together. There's a real incentive under the benefits system right now to split up families and I think that's morally wrong. I think it's ridiculous.
"We're making men and women, who have very little money, have to make a decision that I can't stay with her because frankly she'd be better off without me financially. That's not a balanced choice. This is not about lecturing people, but it's saying 'make sure you understand what this choice does. Cohabitation has a very high level of break-up. Nearly one in two cohabiting families will split before the child is five. Whereas when it comes to marriage it's about one in twelve. Having a child is a massive commitment and a terrible thing just to leave to one other person if you have the responsibility also to support that child. So it's not just about free choices - it's about the outcomes of those choices, which people need to recognise, that child needs the best start in life and all of us owe it. It's difficult enough with two parents to bring it up. We need to support, obviously, the lone parents and give them every support we can, but you do need both parents to step up to the mark."
You might wish to write to Iain Duncan Smith about his comments. Write to him at (his assistant's email address). What a tragedy that this fine politician's leader, David Cameron, is supporting gay "marriage", thus undermining the special place of marriage in society (i.e. faithful and permanent heterosexual unions open to begetting children).

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