Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And another thing...

As you wil know, one of my bugbears is that we who work should have to support the lifestyle choices of those who don't. Regular readers will also note that I regard having children as a lifestyle choice. That may seem harsh, but fuck it, frankly.

So, here is a nice short post from Snafu (sorry for quoting in full) that sums up my feelings (and if anyone has the answers to Snafu's questions, do feel free to let me know).
How many of the 5.5m children "living in, or on the brink of poverty" have parents who can afford to drink and smoke!?!

Who is responsible for "lifting" Karen Matthews' family out of poverty when she has had seven children by five different fathers.

Government targets for reducing child poverty should focus on discouraging the feckless and work shy from having more and more children rather than paying them more and more.

Although I sympathise with the children, they are seeing little benefit anyway: it is far better to stop people viewing children as an economic asset rather than... y'know... a human being, than to keep on paying people to procreate. It's not helping the children, amongst other things.

Let's set a date, nine months from now, from which point there will be no child benefit. At all. No preferential place on the housing list, no Child Benefits, nothing.

Give people the information and watch the pregnancy rate fall like a fucking stone.

128 comments:

Tim said...

I too think its a lifestyle choice. However, according to NICE guidelines, you should be able to get three free cycles of IVF on the NHS (though not all areas do it for free) - isn't the service there to help you get better/stop you dying?

Harsh as it may sound, you don't have some God-given right to have children at other people's expence, particularly when plenty of people aren't getting life saving treatments due to lack of funds, despite paying all the taxes.

Tim said...

On a note more relevant to the post, how can people moan about low benefit rates and how hard it is to be healthy when they spend all the fucking money on fastfood (as well as booze and fags) instead of doing it themselves?

Viewers of Channel 4 tonight will have noticed the impact of their programming on the topics raised.

DC said...

Just asking - with an ageing population should we not be encouraging people to have children? I know assumption is the mother of all fuck ups but surely we should assume that more children will eventually work and therefore provide a positive benefit to the economy. Like I said - I don't know - just asking.

Fuckedoffwithfatties said...

How about the 30 stone gargantuan behemoths who undergo gastric bypass surgery despite the fact their is a very high risk of them dieing during or immiediatly post op? How about making the fat fuckers do some excercise before paying the £30,000 it costs? Why are we paying for this? shouldn't the money be speant on looking after the elderly rather than forcing them to sell their own homes to pay for nursing care?

Old Holborn said...

Finally crawled out of your pit have you?

Poverty in the rest of the world means your child dies in your arms from malnutrition.

Poverty in the UK means your kids have to borrow someone elses hair straighteners.

Real poverty courtesy of Pravda

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7643250.stm

Beeboid:"Where does your money go?"
Fat, thick Brummie:" TV, er..food"

Fat, thick Brummies wife: "Yeah, I'm obese, but we only eat one meal a day"

Bring back the gas chambers

Anonymous said...

You can't "lift" people out of poverty. You can only provide meritocratic opportunities which individuals either take or do not. You can fund an education system but, if people choose not to engage with it, choose not to take the opportunity and choose not to lift themselves out of the mire, then there is nothing more that the state or anyone else can do.

Throwing endless sums of cash at sink estates in ex-industrial regions achieves nothing but to subsidise the drinking, smoking and drug-taking of the underclass- at the expense of both the middle and working classes who, under this government, are worse off and have fewer opportunities than at any time in recent history.

What I do not understand, and probably never will, is why so many people still believe that poverty can be solved simply by turning all the fools with jobs into the slaves of the lumpenproles.

Anonymous said...

Child benefit is not there for the benefit of the child. It is there to persuade the middle classes, who do claim it, that they derive some advantage from the welfare state. Prior to Brown's enlargement and complication of the system through tax credits, child benefit was about the only tangible upside from the welfare state that the people paying for it could see. It was therefore important to ensuring political support for the continuation of the welfare state.

Of course, it's illogical of the middle classes to think like this, since their payments are much higher than the benefit. But, I guess we're still grateful for the baubles in the form of development grants etc that Brussels occasionally sends our way aren't we?

Anonymous said...

"Government targets for reducing child poverty should focus on discouraging the feckless and work shy from having more and more children rather than paying them more and more."

Always nice to see a libertarian blog approvingly quoting someone advocating negative eugenics.

Maybe if you ask Old Holborn nicely he'll let you take turns throwing in canisters of Zyclon B.

The idea that idea that people have kids to get cash is shite. You get £12.55 a week for an additional child on Child Benefit. How are you supposed to run a profit on that?

The birth rate in the UK is only 1.90 children per woman (Scotland is only 1.73) and is rising fastest in women in the late thirties. How would cutting benefits push this down?

Alan Douglas said...

Look up the meaning of "Proletarian":

Roughly, the lowest of the nine classes in ancient Rome, defined as those whose only value to the state was the children they produced.

I assume that those children then did something useful ? In the UK, that is certainly no longer the case. So WHY are we paying for even more to be produced.

Maybe limit child benefit to the first 2 children only ? Then the incentive to go into mass production will be removed.

Alan Douglas

Call me Infidel said...

The birth rate in the UK is only 1.90 children per woman (Scotland is only 1.73) and is rising fastest in women in the late thirties. How would cutting benefits push this down?

Sounds like creative use of statistics. You don't happen to work for the Home Office do you? Perhaps if you were to break that overall figure down into births to welfare recipients it might have some credibility. Just throwing out general figures is as meaningless as the governments claims that crime is going down. You probably believe that horse shit as well.

Diogenes said...

Anon @1:11 "Always nice to see a libertarian blog approvingly quoting someone advocating negative eugenics."

A policy where you can never be too poor or too inept or too lazy to have kids is the very definition of 'negative eugenics'.

Mr the Devil is railing against it. You however seem to be in favour.

The whole concept of child poverty is a giant eugenic experiment in which the only people who can afford to have children at will, can do so specifically because they cannot afford to raise them. Where as anyone committed to funding their own offspring has to limit their fecundity according to their finances.

Roger Thornhill said...

My biggest unanswered question is of all the children 'in poverty", how many were born into it?

As for Shannon Matthews, the answer is all 5 of the fathers.

If we had the rules I propose - no increased resources (money, housing, whatever) - that family would probably never have grown as it did, if at all beyond the first sprog if Mrs Matthews knew she would not get any housing beyond her room at her mums.


word verification: ffive, I kid you not.

BristolDave said...

Anonymous @ 1:11 "The idea that idea that people have kids to get cash is shite. You get £12.55 a week for an additional child on Child Benefit. How are you supposed to run a profit on that?"

It's not just that though, it can give you higher priority in the council flat/house queue and depending on numbers of kids, make you eligible for a proper house rather than a pokey flat. These chavs who have kids for profit are stupid, but they're not that stupid.

Dave said...

So much for the theory of evolution through natural selection eh?

Anonymous said...

Always nice to see a libertarian blog approvingly quoting someone advocating negative eugenics.

There's no need for eugenics. Just abolish child benefit and the NHS, and plenty of working class kids will just die off naturally. Eugenics is only needed to counteract the damage caused by things which shouldn't exist in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Not only child benefit, child tax credit is worth a healthy sum

Tim said...

Anon, 9.28: you call them 'working class' - i think the point is that they aren't working at all.

ChrisM said...

"The idea that idea that people have kids to get cash is shite. You get £12.55 a week for an additional child on Child Benefit. How are you supposed to run a profit on that?"

Don't be crass, these things always operate at the margins. If the benefit was 0GBP per week no one would have kids for money. If it was 1000GBP a week most would. For every value in between that value will represent a threshold value for some group of people. The higher the value, the bigger the group.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Devil - if your hypothesis is correct [and I suspect it is] would you also put a limitation on the number of state funded abortions ?

As you know we already have a nice little production line accounting for some 200,000 terminations each year - this number keeps going up and up [since 1967].
Unsurprisingly some people have begun to feel uncomfortable with this casual form of contraception, although I'm not sure what Dame Warnocks views are on this matter.

Once baby cash is withdrawn then it is likely the abortionists can expect longer, and perhaps slightly more chav orientated queues ?

Leaving aside the ethics of terminating thousands and thousands of healthy foetuses, if wage earners are to be exempt from paying for the progeny of the unemployed, then why should we have to pay for a medical procedure that we may not agree with [on religious grounds, say] ?

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why people that have kids automatically receive state funds. If you can't afford children, don't have 'em. Simple.

It's not a 'right' to have children. It may be natural desire but so what. I have a natural desire to spend lazy days on a yacht in the West Indies but I don't suppose that's going to get me state funding is it. Is it?

So I say take some bloody responsibility for your own lives and budget accordingly!

Of course, where the family breaks down there is a problem. What if a mother is left er.. holding the baby so to speak?

I don't have my own kids. I do, however, live with a very responsible, hard working, industrious, mother of three who supports 3 lovely kids, all three abandoned by a philandering twat who used to be the mother's husband. He earns over a hundred grand a year, sees them every fortnight, enjoys holidays on his family's yacht in Antibes every six months and doesn't pay a penny towards their upkeep (despite two court orders).

If you are going to bring in gas chambers Old Holborn, can we please add that cunt to the list..

ChrisM said...

An interesting one A&E nurse. I guess though its cheaper to pay for one abortion than potentially a lifetime of benefits.

And as for paying for things we may not agree with through taxes, we all have to do that, its the very nature of taxation. Thus if you want to argue against a particular use of tax payers money, its best to do it from the point of view that it is a bad use, rather than a use you don't like.

Anonymous said...

A&E Nurse..

"Devil - if your hypothesis is correct [and I suspect it is] would you also put a limitation on the number of state funded abortions ?"..

Of course, other than abortion there is always contraception or voluntary sterilisation. Then, there's the last resort of adoption if one's morals will not allow an abortion.

Of course, if one is so devout that contraception and abortion are non-starters, presumably abstention is not going to be a problem either..

Anonymous said...

What Labour is doing is rebuilding the proletarian electorate they lost to economic prosperity.





AsYouLikeIt

john steed said...

Devil,

Having children is not a lifestyle choice, it is a natural part of life. Getting married, having a family and supporting that family is what we do as men (go fuck yourselves with a turkey baster feminazis), unless ones sole contribution to the procreation cycle is having a wank and soaking up the spunk stains with a crusty sock, or fucking every little council estate tart that will drop her drawers for a slug of white lightning cider.

A lifestyle choice (to my mind) is shopping at Ikea, spunking your dosh on 50 inch tellies on the credit card, lounging in the boozer watching overpaid ponces playing football on Sky, or dossing on the fucking dole while the oft quoted 'hard pressed, hard working families' support your choice not to fucking work and sup lager, smoke weed and spunk out some more laqunichias or Sharons via our taxes.

ChrisM said...

John, you sound like one of the good guys, but having children is still very much a lifestyle choice. Ie it is a choice, (you can chose to have them, or chose not to), and it imposes a lifestyle. If it is a choice (ie not just good/bad luck), and the choice affects lifestyle, it's a lifestyle choice.

Anyway it seems you are taking issue with the terminology rather than the broader point about not expecting other people to pay for choices that an individual makes.

Anonymous said...

Hey John Steed:

"Having children is not a lifestyle choice, it is a natural part of life. Getting married, having a family and supporting that family is what we do as men (go fuck yourselves with a turkey baster feminazis).."

It might be a natural part of your life Johnny-boy but it ain't part of mine.

I'll tell you what, I'll pay for my TV and you pay for your fucking ankle biters.. deal?

Oh yeah, there's another thing. You seem to be suggesting that you have to have kids if you have sex.. I think you must have missed that class at school huh..?

backandtotheleft said...

but dk come on.....

THINK OF THE CHILDREN, PLEASE, SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLDDDDDRRRRRRREEEEEEENNNNNNN!!!!!!!

Totally agree, if your attitude of having kids is 'well, the government will help' then you should really take a good look at yourself.

What irritates me to is how they're seen as the best thing since sliced bread and an automatic +10 points for any politician. Your super amazing ability to have kids doesn't qualify you for office, asshole. Maybe I'm just bitter cause I like lie ins and video games and kids just fuck those things up!

the a&e charge nurse said...

Oh dear, anonymous isn't it slightly reductionist to view life as being no more, and no less than the sum of our economic transactions [the book keepers school of philosophy].

Dawkins tells us that our genes are hard wired to replicate, and that humans are little more than sophisticated gene machines - in this respect we are, at the very least, locked in a titanic struggle with the ancient purpose of our genes, especially when it comes to procreation [ask any broody woman].

Eric Fromm poses an interesting question: is our more developed frontal cortex sufficient to compensate for the existential dilemmas that arise, [such as language and self awareness], once we move beyond an animal state of instinct determinism.

Judging by the general state of the world the answer is clearly, no ?

john steed said...

Anon,

Be happy to let you pay for what you want mate and me to pay for mine. However, in the current system that aint how it works. So, presuming you live long enough to claim your pension it is my kids who having been to college and got a decent job who will be funding it. Enjoyed the old sex ed class as well mate and also learned that a packet of three (as they were quaintly called then) stopped you having unwanted kids while still getting your end away. It is called repsonsibility for your actions, something that was drummed into me from an early age and is drummed into my kids now.

I use the term 'natural' as procreation is a natural part of life. If it is not part of yours, either through choice or because you are an arse bandit, that is fine by me.

Anonymous said...

A&E ; "Oh dear, anonymous isn't it slightly reductionist to view life as being no more, and no less than the sum of our economic transactions [the book keepers school of philosophy]."

If I was viewing life to be no more or no less than the sum... etc then perhaps it would be. But I'm not and I don't, so it isn't.

Anonymous said...

A&E: Although there is always the remotest of possibilities that you were responding to another 'anonymous'... Oops

haddock said...

DK, I hope when you are senile and unable to do anything for yourself, one of my grandchildren ( or someone else's, I'm not fussy )tells you to clean up your own shit and piss using your fucking Apple share certificates.
Children are an investment in the future, if you don't want to contribute to the future of the country, then be honest enough to not expect anyone to look after you in that future.

ChrisM said...

"Oh dear, anonymous isn't it slightly reductionist to view life as being no more, and no less than the sum of our economic transactions [the book keepers school of philosophy]."

It seems a bit much if A doesn't want to pay for B's choice for B to then turn round to A and say "all you care about is money".

"If it is not part of yours, either through choice or because you are an arse bandit, that is fine by me."

You seem to have a fixation on wanking and bumming.

"Children are an investment in the future, if you don't want to contribute to the future of the country, then be honest enough to not expect anyone to look after you in that future."

Bollocks. If someone has kids it is their own genes they are passing on, not anyone elses. If that is truly what you beleive then you are a lefty parasite. Pay your own fucking way.

Anonymous said...

Haddock:

"DK, I hope when you are senile and unable to do anything for yourself, one of my grandchildren ( or someone else's, I'm not fussy )tells you to clean up your own shit and piss.."

Hmm. Interesting viewpoint. Presumably you intend your children to be unpaid guardians of the elderly.. Or perhaps they (or someone elses) will be professionals, paid for the service they render?

If that's the case, what's your fucking point caller?'

We all 'invest' in the chiiiiiiiiillldren' through our taxes. We pay for the birth, we pay for the education, we pay for the health care and we pay for the social services that support them (and us) if we need support.

All DK is saying is why the fuck are we also expected to subsidise your choice to have them?

Pay for your own kids. If you can't afford them, don't have them. If you can, good luck to you. But don't use ridiculous arguments about your children wiping our arses for free coz we 'invested in them' by paying you child benefit, etc. Because if you do - you my friend, are a cock.

ChrisM said...

"Or perhaps they (or someone elses) will be professionals, paid for the service they render?"

An excellent point; and amusingly enough, if he pays for the care using his Apple shares, he will - in a manner of speaking - be wiping his arse with his share certificates.

john steed said...

Haddock,
Avast there laddie, indeed children raised properly and by that I mean children who get support from their parents (man and woman, not two poofs or trasngedered co-habiting couples or lesbians) get an education,learn the history of their country and culture (especailly if they have immigrated here), work for their money and thus contribute to their families and to the future of the country are to be welcomed.

These future adults will be the bedrock of our country and to anyone bringing up a family in these fucking hard times good luck to them.

I pay for my kid's upbringing. Where I able to stop paying for every chav and chavettes sprogs (not to mention Achmed and his breeding stock of bin bagged bitches, future suicide bombers) I would.

Anonymous said...

John Steed - read my comment again. You agree that I can pay for my choices and you will pay for yours... and then you say, but pay for my choices because my kids will fund your pension..Huh?

Of course they will. In return I am funding their education, healthcare and trips to the theatre. Seems fair to me.

All I'm saying, is if you can't afford to feed them and cloth them then don't fucking have them.. If you can and you do, good luck to you.

And by the way, I do (contrary to your assumption) still manage to have sex and I'm not an 'arse bandit' as you so quaintly put it, although I fail to see why either circumstance invalidates my argument or makes yours make sense.

ChrisM said...

"(man and woman, not two poofs or trasngedered co-habiting couples or lesbians) "

That's right because all these feral kids are being looked after by gay people. And of course my hard earned dosh is paying for gay people's kids.

the a&e charge nurse said...

chrism - wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said, some people know the cost of everything but the value of nothing [or words to that effect].

Yes, we could all zealously guard our own little stash but this mindset puts me in mind of Harry Enfield's, "Oi'ym conseederably reecher then yow" character.

Any nurse will tell you that as people dement a certain percentage become paranoid, convinced that others are trying to rob money off them.
Admittedly, they probably ARE being robbed in one or two cases, but most of the time it is an unpleasant aspect of their personality, liberated by neural destruction.

Now I'm not suggesting that you are a demented oldie but one or two spheres such as health and law and order require mutual cooperation because murder inquiries or HIV treatment cost a few bob, and if you are a waiter, or lab technician.....well I'm sure you get my point.

john steed said...

Chrism,

'Feral kids' oh dear you resort to the langauge of the gutter press. Are you a sun reader by any chance or can't you think of a description of wayward 'yoof' that is not fed to you be the 'press?'

I suspect you are an easily offended closet lefty.

Old Holborn said...

To anyone thinking of having children, don't.

I have six and they are utter, utter cunts of the highest order.

Anonymous said...

A&E: Oooh aren't you well read. We are all very very impressed..

ChrisM said...

Actually A&E, that quote has been attributed to several different people and said of several different groups of people including cycnics, and economists.

You are equivocating on the term mutual cooperation. You seem to think it means the same as state provision. The only two spheres which REQUIRE state provision are law and order, and national defence. Everything else that involves mutual co-operation does not NEED state intervention. Try building a new computer from scratch without mutual co-operation. It don't mean that the tax payer needs to fund it.

BTW, I am 34, married and soon to start a family myself. I don't see why I should be hitting DK or others for the cash to do it though. And my brother is a reasearcher for Cancer Research UK, I don't see why he should pay for my kids either.

People who want to extract money out of other people have no business calling them mean if they decline to do so. Its not that difficult.

ChrisM said...

"'Feral kids' oh dear you resort to the langauge of the gutter press. "

From someone who bandies about terms like poofs and arse bandits!! For fucks sake its not the langauge of the gutter press, it is the English langauge and I don't see why I should avoid every word that the sun uses just because the sun uses it. Feral is a convenient shorthand, most people know what it means. But hey if you really need it spelling out, kids who commit crime, steal, assault, ponce off the taxpayer, etc. Better? As for being a closet lefty, I'm not the one defending being a parasite, you are. I am easily offended though whenever I hear people like you asking to suckle the tax payers teat. When I become a parent I really hope I don't turn into a sanctimonious knob who thinks that having kids makes me the most special fucking person ever and the rest of the world must revolve round me, and pay for my choice.

Anonymous said...

A&E "..a certain percentage become paranoid, convinced that others are trying to rob money off them. Admittedly, they probably ARE being robbed in one or two cases, but most of the time it is an unpleasant aspect of their personality, liberated by neural destruction..."

I'm sure you're right. Of course, it could also be that they are lonely, old, confused & frightened people, living in a public environment full of strangers, scared that if they lose what little money they may have they will lose any chance of future independence?

And I fail to see why, if I decide I don't want to subsidise the housing, feeding and clothing of someone else's children, I am being mean?

Pay for your own or don't have them. I already pay for their delivery, education and healthcare.

Next thing you know I'll be expected to buy the brats a new PC and send them on freebies to the theatre.... Oh hang on, that's right, I already do.

Anonymous said...

ChrisM - I salute you.

ChrisM said...

" Are you a sun reader by any chance or can't you think of a description of wayward 'yoof' that is not fed to you be the 'press?'"

I think the OR above should be AND. Are you not aware of the differences between those two conjuctions?

And yes, I could come up with any number of fun and original words. However, when communicating with other people I find it handy to use words that everyone knows rather than make up ones myself which only I know. Perhaps like you I could have put it in ironic quotes and then it would have been OK.

ChrisM said...

Cheers anonymous. And FWIW, whilst you will be paying for the delivery of my off-spring because you have no choice, I certainly don't think you OUGHT to be paying for said delivery. With regard to the education, I also sympathise with you, but also with me, because I will be paying twice; once for the state "education" through taxes, and then again for an actual education via fees. And I already pay twice for healthcare. BAH!

Menelaus said...

(Universal) child benefit is a complete fucking madness. I don't even know ho much it is they send us.

We have so far harvested 28 child-years of said benefit and have never spent a penny of it. Thanks very much all of you. It is the bank. (Yes, I know, I know.) Child benefit should be paid to truly poor people. And that's whether they are "the deserving poor" or not, DK. It is not the kids' fault that some of their parents are vile, Buckie-soaked wastrels.

ChrisM said...

"Child benefit should be paid to truly poor people. "

That depends. Two big problems with means tested benefits is they can be expensive to administer compared to non-means tested benefits, and also the moral hazzard involved. Even if (from your point about it not being the kids fault), you don't deem the second problem to be a big problem, the first is.

Menelaus said...

I take your point about means testing. But it has to be cheaper than just throwing the cash out the window to everyone. Honestly, I have no idea how many thou they have given to us. In cashflow terms, it is completely insignificant to us. It is tax money just wasted. It is bunce, ta and all that, but it wouldn't pay my beer bill.

Why not add up the number and add it to the lowest tax threshold. You'd take millions of the poorest out of tax completely. Course, you'd actually have to earn money to get the tax break but, hey, I never said life was fair.

ChrisM said...

"And that's whether they are "the deserving poor" or not, DK. It is not the kids' fault that some of their parents are vile, Buckie-soaked wastrels."

OK, thought experiment here, with totally made up numbers plucked from my arse. But, if the current system of benefits results in (say) 3 million kids being born into low-life families, and a more austere system results in 300K children being born into low-life families, which system would you prefer?

RobertD said...

The problem is not the support of children. It is in the communiy's interest to have a steady stream of new citizens to replace those of us about to drop off the other end of the convery belt.

The problem is providing that support in ways which can be misappropriated by adults (actually overgrown children) who are not doing an adequate parenting job in return.

The short term answer is to eliminate cash benefits. If support is needed it should go through channels like better school meals, clothing vouchers, quality education, and inextremis, alternative places to bring up those children whose parent(s) are incapable or unwilling to do the parenting required.

I hate the thought of increasing state involvement but since marriage has become too flexible and unfashionable there is need to consider some form of parenting contract that requires BOTH parents to sign up to the physical, finainical, emotional and social support of each child.

What would be the libertarian alternative to ensure that parents take real responsibility for the children they create. Would a return to the old shame and shun of feckless parents approach deter, or is there a better option?

ChrisM said...

" But it has to be cheaper than just throwing the cash out the window to everyone."

Ah, well the devil is in the details. I hold my hands up and admit, I don't know in this case. But don't underestimate the cost of paying full time officials (with state pensions!) to do the testing. It may or may not still be cheaper to do the means testing, but can no way be taken for granted.

My folks were in the same position as you BTW and also thought it madness they received child benefit. I think it very generous of you to be prepared to forgo it, but just want to make the point that your generosity may in fact not actually save all that much money, or indeed may even end up costing money. So enjoy the money in good conscience, you paid for it in the first place.

ChrisM said...

"t is in the communiy's interest to have a steady stream of new citizens to replace those of us about to drop off the other end of the convery belt. "

Every other species manages it without state involvement. Having gonads pretty much ensures the steady supply of replacements.

" Would a return to the old shame and shun of feckless parents approach deter, or is there a better option?"

Prosecution for child neglect.

Anonymous said...

ChrisM - Good luck with impending tribe. I don't envy you the sleepless night but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.

As for me being forced to contribute towards their first pair of shoes through an inequitable benefits system... I think we agree that the principle is wrong-headed but in your case if you buy me a few beers, we'll call it quits.

PS I can't wait to see the faces of Haddock's grandchildren when I turn up in 2035 with a smelly arse and some wet wipes..

ChrisM said...

I'm hoping it won't get as far as a tribe. I put an upper limit of two.
I don't like kids, the missus doesn't like cats. When we have a kid, I get a cat. Oh well, marriage is an institute based on compromise.

Menelaus said...

chrism... "...and a more austere system results in 300K children being born into low-life families, which system would you prefer?"

Chris, well, obviously the latter but where is the mechanism? The mechanism that sees withdrawn dosh keeping knickers on and babies unmade? Feckless shagging will still occur. Whether less of it will occur is an interesting question. "No, Wayne, we aven't got enough money for a shag. You done spent it on ciggies." Can't see it, can you?

The Remittance Man said...

I couldn't agree with you more about the removal of benefits, but as a keen student of military history I've always favoured the two pronged approach over the simple frontal attack (the Battle of Cannae and von rundstedt's encirclment of Kiev in 1941 spring to mind).

A distressing number of these multi-moms appear to start their careers well before they reach the age of sixteen. I can't help thinking a concerted campaign to identify and prosecute those who knock up school children (a crime already on the statute books) would reinforce your efforts.

ChrisM said...

No its not obvious that one would chose the latter. Because those 300K children would presumably be even poorer than the 3 million who exist under the more generous system. There are always trade-offs to be made. Do you want 3million kids in lowlife families, or 300k in lowlife families, but who are even poorer?

""No, Wayne, we aven't got enough money for a shag. You done spent it on ciggies." Can't see it, can you?"

You bet I can see it.

The mechanism is incentives. If people know they will pay the price for their decisions, they will make better decisions.

For example, as a bloke I pay a much higher price for siring an unwanted child than a woman. A woman can chose to have it or not, if she chooses to have it, she can chose to put it up for adoption or keep it, if she keeps it she can hit the taxpayer and me for its up keep. Knowing all this, I have been pretty careful about not siring children with someone until I am sure that is the person I want to sire kids with. And no, that does not mean forgoing shags, it means contraception. Because if I fuck up, I pay the price.

And of course not many decades ago it was the woman who bore the lion share of the cost of unwise parent hood decisions.

As a certain blogger likes to say "incentives matter". This is not airy fairy theory, the evidence is present in the way people act.

ChrisM said...

The trouble is RM, what if it is another school child who has done the knocking up. It hardly seems fair when two 13 year olds fuck, to pick on one of them and hold them to blame.

Anonymous said...

Menelaus: "..but where is the mechanism? The mechanism that sees withdrawn dosh keeping knickers on and babies unmade?"

I'm not sure I understand the point you're making? Are you saying the money saved is ploughed into a government-funded anti-shagging campaign? I do hope you're not.

Or, are you saying that you don't see how a punitive system that does not pay for the mistakes of the feckless fuckers will not be effective as a deterent to the unwanted, irresponsible parent?

I think many would think twice if their behaviour resulted in no state handouts. Then, of course, there are the children that have been produced. Well, I suppose they will, to a large part, experience a harsh, brutal and poverty-stricken childhood, for which I am most sincerely sorry, but the alternative is a system that produces hundreds of thousands of scumbags with the same mindset as their parents.

Of course, some oustanding individuals will rise above their grim start and make a life for themselves. I take my hat off to them. I'm not sure whether I would be strong enough in the same circumstances.

So, it's a tough situation but surely its wrong for the responsible to continually bail out and encourage the irresponsible?

Menelaus said...

Chris, firstly, I don't see this in relative terms. All of this about there being 5 million children living "on the brink of poverty" is just bollocks. Complete claptrap. You can't be on the brink of poverty and have a telly, food and some nice trainers you got "off the Social".

Incentives? Incentives only work if you have the wit to recognise them. A silly cow with seven kids from five fathers? And the five sad numpties who knocked her up? Please! The only incentive that would work is the flat edge of a shovel.

As to the perils, pleasures and penalties of fatherhood... Well, Sir, you are about to discover them. Bon chance!

Anonymous said...

Menelaus, I take your point on incentives but I don't think you give enough credit to the non-working, baby-producing chavs and chavettes of this country.

Most of them know all too well what rights they have and what benefits they're due. If they saw for themselves the results of a policy that stopped supporting the parents of unwanted children we'd soon see a reduction in unwanted (or at least un-supported) children!

Of course, we'd also need to invest in a well-run, well-funded adoption service and perhaps even some good quality state-funded orphanages as a safety net, although the state do nothing well, especially raising children!

In a generation or so we would see the figures dropping and the money saved could, if spent wisely, help the unwanted/unsupported child to receive a good education and a decent start in life.

Doling out cash to spendthrift parents to blow on fags, booze and the lottery is not helping the children, it's encouraging another generation of the same.

pagar said...

We are not living in the middle of the 19th century- this country is rich enough that there should be no child poverty. The reason it exists is because of the distortions in society caused by Government attempts to redistribute wealth through the benefits sytem over the last seventy years.

Rather than help people in need, this has created an underclass in our society content for generations to live in social housing and claim benefits. There are plenty of jobs to be done and we have had wave after wave of immigrants eager to find work here while we pay a rump of people born in this country to do nothing constructive (apart from breed).

My solution to breaking this cycle and ending child poverty would be for the state to guarantee everyone a job through various schemes but to stop all means tested benefits. Provision would be made for the children of those unable to look after them.

Undoubtedly this would cause some short term pain for some but, in the medium term, it would benefit both the country and the individuals concerned.

ChrisM said...

"Chris, firstly, I don't see this in relative terms. All of this about there being 5 million children living "on the brink of poverty" is just bollocks. Complete claptrap. You can't be on the brink of poverty and have a telly, food and some nice trainers you got "off the Social""

Hey, no arguments here. I was being unclear if I gave the impression I thought relative poverty is a big problem - I don't. I am not asking for the tax payer to keep giving money to people for having kids. I am not sure what point you are making here. Have you confused me with another commenter?



"Incentives? Incentives only work if you have the wit to recognise them. A silly cow with seven kids from five fathers? And the five sad numpties who knocked her up? Please! The only incentive that would work is the flat edge of a shovel."

She had the wit to know she wasn't going to pay the price of having the 5 kids.

ChrisM said...

"My solution to breaking this cycle and ending child poverty would be for the state to guarantee everyone a job through various schemes but to stop all means tested benefits"

That is almost a Citizens Basic Income you are suggesting; the only difference being they would have to do some pointless job the state contrived to get it. (Digging holes and filling them back in). Far preferable to the current system for sure. However it does mean we are paying a lot of people to do things of dubious value. With a CBI, we pay them for doing nothing BUT free up their time to go do something productive in the private sector (ie stuff that people value enough to part with their OWN money to pay for) if they so desire. (And why wouldn't they given they don't lose the incentive by losing their CBI).

I prefer the CBI, but your proposal ain't bad and is better than most other suggestions.

pagar said...

On a couple of occasions I underwent brief spells of unemployment and there is nothing, in my experience, more debilitating to the spirit. The millions rotting away on our sink estates are not, by and large, happy with their lot. Most lead their lives in a state of empty despair and that is the legacy of our benefits system.

When I talk about "various schemes" above, these should be private sector led though centrally coordinated and subsidised and should include elements of training. It may be that some will end up doing work of dubious value but the purpose of the schemes would be to enthuse these people by giving purpose to their lives and those that were positive would be incentivised.

Now that would be a 'new deal'.

Anonymous said...

@ Dave 09:14:00 AM

So much for the theory of evolution through natural selection eh?


That is because the natural selection process does not include MacDonalds or chip butties.

ChrisM said...

There is much to recommend your scheme, and I would take it over many others. I like "these should be private sector led". At least you are not suggesting public public servants. I would pay more money to have fewer of these! However I don't like "centrally coordinated and subsidised and should include elements of training." This situation still involves other people spending others peoples money on things for other people. With CBI, there is no need to have people doing non-wealth creating work. Therefore we have fewer people doing something they dislike at no cost to anyone else. Society as a whole is richer.

"On a couple of occasions I underwent brief spells of unemployment and there is nothing, in my experience, more debilitating to the spirit".

Maybe, but doing a shit job one hates must come pretty close. Fair enough, people should work to support themselves. But if that job is of dubious/no value I don't begrudge the CBI to someone so much I want to see them "pay" to receive it, even if their payment is time spent doing a pointless job. I would expect to see most people who wanted work, to be able to find it given society would have more money in its pocket to be able to pay for people to do things that they cannot currently afford.

Anonymous said...

Pagar & ChrisM

I just spent 10 minutes crafting the must erodite critique of why the 'guaranteed job' and 'CBI' were both totally ridiculous ideas without moral or financial justification.. and then somehow I deleted it. Bugger. You will just have to consider yourselves wrong as I can't be arsed to write it all down again!

Anyway, needless to say, I can't agree with either option although I do agree with Pagar that unemployment is extremely corrosive to the spirit and self-esteem and so the idea of getting people back to work is certainly a critical key to re-building some semblance of a civilised society.

I don't think the state can do it. Beaurocrats working for incompetents with a short term, self-serving political agenda cannot be the solution.

No. Instead, cut massive chunks off the bearocracy of government, pump the savings into tax cuts (primarily through raising the basic tax threshold and reducing the basic rate) and invest in education. If people see that it pays to work and they can keep a large part of what they earn, they will, by and large, do it.

The trouble is, before you invest in education you need to allow teachers to impliment and enforce a meaningful code of discipline, otherwise its all wasted just paying zoo keepers to keep the trogs off the streets.

Menelaus said...

Chris, I was just having a general rant. No offence intended. I don't think that there is an incentive answer. Wayne and Shazza are done for.

The answer for their bundles of joy is education, education, education. A few kids will succeed despite their Darwinian disadvantage.

Anonymous said...

By the way, if we all acknowledge that unemployment on poor inner city estates is a problem, how come the government reckon there isn't a problem?

Funny that - I know its hard to believe, but me thinks the government might be telling porky-pies.

ChrisM said...

Anonymous
"I don't think the state can do it. Beaurocrats working for incompetents with a short term, self-serving political agenda cannot be the solution."

Exactly why I favour the CBI, the minimum amount of state interference whilst still maintaining a safety net.

Now if you want to argue against any sort of state support whatsoever, then that is a perfectly reasonable opinion to have. I can't really give an intellectual or even moral rebuttal to that. Forcing other people to pay for one's own charitable instincts is not charity. I just don't like the idea of no safty net at all. It is an inconsistent postition I accept and not one I am able to justify. If however that is not your position and you want to see some sort of safty net I see the CBI giving the state the least possible chance to fuck things up.

And from a pragmatic standpoint, even if one was happy for no state handouts whatever, most people aren't likely to accept that, so it ain't going to happen. A CBI is a far more sellable solution. And I'd prefer an implemented improved system, than an -in-theory-better-one that is not going to be implemented.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Don't worry, chrism - few people would like to see the socialist ideal of a "safety net" withdrawn [if they are honest].

Perhaps because ordinary people realise that they are potentially vunerable enough to need it if they became sick, lost their job or home, or developed an uncontrolled addiction, unless, of course you are buffered by oodles of cash.

Surely it's a question of striking the right balance ?

Anonymous said...

ChrisM..

Hmmm. Fair comment. Very pragmatic as you say.

I too believe in a safety net but I don't see how a CBI could work. I'm not an economist but I suspect adding say £120 a week to everyone's wage packet,for example, whether they work or not, would simply inflate the economy and effectively negate the extra income in real terms.

A bit like lending someone £300k to buy a house. If he could only borrow £200K and so could everyone else, then the house is worth £200K (plus whatever savings the successful buyer had to chuck in the pot). Make £300K available to everyone and (as long as they can afford the repayments - we hope) the house is suddenly worth £300k.

Adding money universally doesn't make everyone wealthier it just makes everything else more expensive.

I think each individual should have a virtual fund at birth, perhaps administered by HMRC. That fund has several accounts for education, health and social security, etc. The social security fund pays you a decent wage when you are unable to work (effectively the National Insurance based 'dole'). Once it runs out, you're on your own, so it incentivises you to work or re-train.

Obviously, if you cannot work through ill health then there should be some support though whether that is best funded through the private or public sector I'm not sure.

However, I do think that if we expect everyone to work if they are capable then low earners MUST be taxed much less if they are to be rewarded properly to do what are boring and menial jobs.

Anyway, that's my view.

judith said...

I think you will find that some years ago, in the USA, they changed the system so that mothers were only given benefits for the first child.

Quite astonishingly, the number of illegitimate births to mothers on welfare dropped markedly.

There should be tax allowances that recognise where one person in work is supporting a partner and - let's be generous - two offspring who are not in salaried employment.

The 'non-working' partner (see how PC I'm being!) is caring for the home and family, and possibly making a voluntary contribution to the community, thus saving further State expenditure.

Stands back, waits for incoming fire.....

ChrisM said...

" Perhaps because ordinary people realise that they are potentially vunerable enough to need it if they became sick, lost their job or home, or developed an uncontrolled addiction, unless, of course you are buffered by oodles of cash."

This is true, and I agree with every word. BUT it doesn't actually provide a justification. That a lot of people want something isn't necessarily a reason to impose that view on everyone. I am nonetheless firmly on the side of supporting a saftey net.(Does it count as hypocrisy if I acknowledge the inconsistency?).

"Surely it's a question of striking the right balance ?"

For me the right balance is going to be firmly towards the state not doing anything as everything it does necessarily involves coercion. Each and every extra task given the state is an extra bit of coercion. Justice and defence are the only absolutely necessary tasks for the state. Everything else is up for negotiation. I'm prepared to accept some form of safety net, but have t admit that I cannot defend my position to someone who does not.

Anonymous said...

That makes sense to me Judith.

Earlier, I was simply arguing against the principle that I, as a tax payer with no children, was required to subsidise other people's lifestyle choices (i.e. having children) even when they knew they could not afford them.

Take less tax off the 'working partner' and allow it to be spent in support of the family and I'm fine with that as a principle. You earn the money - you spend it on what you like. I'm not so keen on specific, family-targeted tax incentives just because they punish those that don't have a family. How can that be fair?

Although, I might be persuaded that tax incentives that encourage parents to spend more of their own time bringing up their own children is a benefit to society that I, as a tax payer, am prepared to fund.

Murky waters though. It's giving me a headache.

ChrisM said...

"I'm not an economist "
Neither am I, so lets not let that stop either of us.

"but I suspect adding say £120 a week to everyone's wage packet,for example, whether they work or not, would simply inflate the economy and effectively negate the extra income in real terms."
You seem to be mixing up wage earners, and welfare recpiants, and people who are neither. You would for example be paying less to people who already took more than the CBI (say 120quid) out. You would be paying less out on officials to administer a complex benefit system. Less out on fraud. etc

"Adding money universally doesn't make everyone wealthier it just makes everything else more expensive."
Indeed, but we are not adding money univesally, we are "redistibuting" some of it from those who currently claim more than the CBI in benefits to those who claim less than the CBI in benefits. Hey! It involves redistribution, maybe we could sell this idea to the left afterall.

"I think each individual should have a virtual fund at birth, perhaps administered by HMRC. That fund has several accounts for education, health and social security, etc. The social security fund pays you a decent wage when you are unable to work (effectively the National Insurance based 'dole'). Once it runs out, you're on your own, so it incentivises you to work or re-train."

GGAAAAAHHHHH. More public servants on the public purse controlling how the public lives. No thanks!!

"However, I do think that if we expect everyone to work if they are capable then low earners MUST be taxed much less if they are to be rewarded properly to do what are boring and menial jobs. Anyway, that's my view."
And mine two. I'd be happy to not tax them at all.

Devil's Kitchen said...

When I did the sums for a CBI, it came out as being astonishingly expensive. Even for a relatively low amount (I think that I worked on £100 per week) it came out at £250 billion (and that was only paying out to those over 16).

"I think each individual should have a virtual fund at birth, perhaps administered by HMRC."

Um, no. Never in a million years. We are meant to have a National Insurance fund, but that has never, ever existed.

May I suggest something else? You will find that private unemployment insurance, which pays out far more than the dole (it is related to how much you earn) costs, IIRC, about £25 per month.

DK

P.S. Hands up all those who knew that you could even get private unemployment insurance...

Anonymous said...

Chris M.

"You would for example be paying less to people who already took more than the CBI (say 120quid) out. You would be paying less out on officials to administer a complex benefit system. Less out on fraud. etc.."

OK, I see what you are trying to achive; smaller government. That I like.

"..we are "redistibuting" some of it from those who currently claim more than the CBI in benefits to those who claim less than the CBI in benefits"

But, to use a very over-used term at the moment, doesn't that cause moral hazard? How is a minimum wage paid to anyone who does not work justified? Why would someone work, when earning say £150 a week if they can get £120 a week for doing nothing? I think a much higher tax threshold would be fairer.

Anyway, the idea of just paying anyone money as a matter of course just for doing nothing, ever, is unacceptable to me. Even if administering a more equitable system means it is more expensive, I'd rather have that than set the principle that we all get a basic wage for doing nothing.

I am prepared to be convinced if I am misunderstanding your proposal but I don't see how it would work in practice.

".GGAAAAAHHHHH. More public servants on the public purse controlling how the public lives. No thanks!!"

Yes OK. I take your point completely. I did suggest HMRC though. That means all the Social Security departments can be chopped at a stroke! If we have to administer collection of taxes why not also make them responsible for distributing benefits? That would (or should) cut down on fraud too.

In fact, if we all had individual 'accounts' for education, social security, etc then why can't HMRC also take over from the Dept of Education too? There's another few billions saved..

I presume there still is a department of education?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Anon,

"How is a minimum wage paid to anyone who does not work justified? Why would someone work, when earning say £150 a week if they can get £120 a week for doing nothing?"

The point of the CBI is that you receive it whether you are working or not. So, if you get a job paying £150 per week and a CBI of £120 per week, you actually have an income of £270.

That way, you don't get people caught in the Benefits trap, you see: there is no disincentive to get a job as you will always be better off.

DK

Anonymous said...

DK:

"I think each individual should have a virtual fund at birth, perhaps administered by HMRC".

'Um, no. Never in a million years. We are meant to have a National Insurance fund, but that has never, ever existed'.

OK, in practice you are almost certainly right I suppose. Government would hijack it or fudge it or somehow bugger it. I was letting myself get carried away with what, in principle, might be an equitable solution to distributing a benefit.

The Remittance Man said...

Chris M

Don't matter, 13 or 30, nail the buggers. I'm guessing a few salutary examples will persuade the rest to at least wear condoms before committing statutory rape.

ChrisM said...

Using http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_welfare_spending_40.html we apparently currently only spend 90 bln so that is a big jump. Then again we get rid of 100bln on health (that is what a cbi is for amongst other things) meaning it would cost 90 bln. Still bloody expensive I agree. But perhaps more doable.

Anonymous said...

DK:

"The point of the CBI is that you receive it whether you are working or not. So, if you get a job paying £150 per week and a CBI of £120 per week, you actually have an income of £270."

I get it. Sorry, being dim.

Surely though, even if the savings in admin costs justified a CBI the inflationary effect would all but negate its value in real terms?

I'm all for a safety net but I can't see how that would work.

ChrisM said...

"Don't matter, 13 or 30, nail the buggers. I'm guessing a few salutary examples will persuade the rest to at least wear condoms before committing statutory rape."

LOL, a very apt turn of phrase. The point I am making though is I don't see how if two 13 year olds fuck, it is fair to say to the boy he is guilty of rape, but not to the girl. So either you make them both guilty of rape (sounds a bit extreme to me, but at least fair), or neither of them. Anything else is monstrous sexism of the worst kind.

ChrisM said...

"I presume there still is a department of education?"

Not a 76bln one that's for sure.

"Surely though, even if the savings in admin costs justified a CBI the inflationary effect would all but negate its value in real terms?"

Maybe. In fact it may even cost a bit more. But it removes perverse incentives, and cuts back on public workers. And if those were the only two benefits going for it, I reckon they would suffice.

Menelaus said...

Is it not illegal for whatever-year-old girls to shag the under-age boys?

Anonymous said...

ChrisM

I just unravelled what you meant about re-distributing benefits and hence not actually adding any extra money to gross earnings. I get it.

I suppose that's where it all started in the first place before people recognised that the NEED of an unemployed 19 year old living at home with mum and dad was less than the needs of a young mother with two kids.

Tricky ain't it.

ChrisM said...

"Is it not illegal for whatever-year-old girls to shag the under-age boys?"

I must admit, I don't know. But the important situation is when underage girls and underage boy fuck each other with mutual conscent. (ie, not actual rape). Why should one gender be singled out as the perpetrator and one the victim under those circumstances?

pagar said...

OK Chris, you seem to have got the bit between your teeth so let's go.

1) We seem agreed that the current means tested benefits system is iniquitous and counter productive.

2) We are unwilling to scrap it without putting something in it's place. We don't really want people to starve to death, riot etc.

3)If we accept that getting the unemployed back into work is valuable on many levels how do we do it?

. I would expect to see most people who wanted work, to be able to find it given society would have more money in its pocket to be able to pay for people to do things that they cannot currently afford.

You are correct but there would be a period of restructuring before this came about. In the interim period, we would need to incentivise the private sector to help produce the necessary jobs. In principle, I deplore this kind of state intervention in the market, but, in the short term, it would be necessary to divert some of the money saved by stopping social benefits for this purpose.That is the 'safety net'.

The funds for training should also go to the private sector as part of the job creation package and should be diverted from the public sector training quangos that currently absorb so much of public funds to so little effect.

Tim said...

DK: "The point of the CBI is that you receive it whether you are working or not. So, if you get a job paying £150 per week and a CBI of £120 per week, you actually have an income of £270.

That way, you don't get people caught in the Benefits trap, you see: there is no disincentive to get a job as you will always be better off"

There is still a disincentive - someone might well rather receive £120 a week than work and receive £270. For example, a lazy young person such as myself might get the cash, and stay at home with his parents, so he has few housing costs to himself, and then use the £120 to still be lazy.

Nonetheless, I see how it reduces incentives to unemployment, even if I'd rather the benefit wasn't there at all.

Anonymous said...

You're meant to be a libertarian but you seem to have some way to go.
Almost all government policy and action are bad, some may be
unavoidable (hmm...) but certainly its very far from a strong
libertarian position to argue that:

"Government targets for reducing child poverty should focus on ..."

No. There should be no government targets on this or any other economic matter and certainly not in and around human breeding and procreation. All humans should make free choice within free markets, for good or ill. The state should have NO view whatever on what is or is not a desirable choice in respect of reproduction. States with strong views on such matters have tended to use Zyklon B, or dying rooms or child benefit or whatever is you horror of choice to enforce their views.

State should (at most) confine their views and actions to the area of defence of their citizens from internal and external aggression. Nothing more.

ChrisM said...

"There is still a disincentive - someone might well rather receive £120 a week than work and receive £270. For example, a lazy young person such as myself might get the cash, and stay at home with his parents, so he has few housing costs to himself, and then use the £120 to still be lazy."

But that lazy sod may well be getting close that sort of sum in sundry benefits anyway, so he is costing us either way.


"Nonetheless, I see how it reduces incentives to unemployment, even if I'd rather the benefit wasn't there at all."

Well I can't offer you a good reason why you should be forced to pay for such a person. But its not one of those things I could actually bring myself to oppose even if I fully agree that it is unfair to force people to pay for things they don't want.

ChrisM said...

"No. There should be no government targets on this or any other economic matter and certainly not in and around human breeding and procreation."

Salami slicing. Lets get there in managable steps rather than an impossible bound.

The Remittance Man said...

ChrisM

Ever heard of "conspiracy" or "aiding and abetting"?

I believe the cops used that one on a bunch of S&M devotees a few years back. They'd made a video of themselves spanking each other which somehow got into the hands of the vice squad. Plod charged the spankers with assault and the spankees with A&A before during and after.

On a more serious note perhaps some leniency could be shown to teenies bonking teenies, but the men over 16?

Menelaus said...

"(1) A person under 18 commits an offence if he does anything which would be an offence under any of sections 9 to 12 if he were aged 18."

So under age sex is a crime even if you are under age yourself. The Act makes no mention of gender. So boys and girls alike are guilty. I agree that it is unfair that boys appear to take the rap.

ChrisM said...

"Ever heard of "conspiracy" or "aiding and abetting"?"

I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying that regardless of whether it can or can't it is totally wrong to convict someone of something by virtue of their gender.

"On a more serious note perhaps some leniency could be shown to teenies bonking teenies, but the men over 16?"

Quite, although even then 16 and 15? Basically there are four possibilites.

1) Underage Boy and Underage Girl
2) Overerage Boy and Underage Girl
3) Underage Boy and Overage Girl
4) Overage Boy and Overerage Girl

4 is not a crime anyway. 2 and 3 are. And 1 should not be if it is.

Furthermore within 2 and 3, some account ought to be taken of the age differential. 15 and 16 for example. I do not see using the justice system in this manner to do social engineering as in anyway a good thing, even if it did lead to lower numbers of underage pregnencies. The cure is worse than the disease.

Its one thing to remove incentives from people to have kids they can't afford, its quite another to hijack the functions of the court system to criminalise people in order to achieve some social end. The courts should dispense justice, no more, no less.

Anonymous said...

Menelaus:

"..So under age sex is a crime even if you are under age yourself. The Act makes no mention of gender. So boys and girls alike are guilty. I agree that it is unfair that boys appear to take the rap."

I'm sure I saw a news story a few years back where a man in his early twenties was required to be on the sex offences register for life, for having sex with a minor, even though at the time he was 16 and his girlfriend was 15. Apparently the girl's parents reported them, presumably out of spite..

Surely a travesty of justice?

As for men (or women) having sex with children... I guess we're all clear on that one..

Menelaus said...

Yes, just because soemthing is against the law doesn't make it morally wrong. Teenagers shagging each other isn't going away anytime soon. And, true, even eighteen-year-old shags 15-year-and-eleven-month-year-old girl/boyfriend isn't the same as monster rapes little child. For proper adults who abuse proper children, we need short ropes and tall trees.

Anonymous said...

ChrisM

"Salami slicing. Lets get there in managable steps rather than an impossible bound."

Bollocks. I know what the goals are. Your still lost...

quote marks ChrisM utterances.

"Now if you want to argue against any sort of state support whatsoever, then that is a perfectly reasonable opinion to have. I can't really give an intellectual or even moral rebuttal to that."

That's cos there isn't one as I suspect you know.

"Forcing other people to pay for one's own charitable instincts is not charity"

Quite right.

"I just don't like the idea of no safty net at all."

So fuck the morality I just want your money. Stand and deliver?

"I just don't like the idea of no safty net at all. It is an inconsistent postition I accept and not one I am able to justify"

Buy some insurance and stop defending theft.

"And from a pragmatic standpoint, even if one was happy for no state handouts whatever, most people aren't likely to accept that, so it ain't going to happen."

You're part of the problem space. You already have acknowledge that you don't believe you position regarding a safety net is invalid and indefensible. Please move on.

"Does it count as hypocrisy if I acknowledge the inconsistency?"

Yes you fucking hypocrite. You know better but too cowardly to follow your own thoughts all the way through.

"but have t admit that I cannot defend my position to someone who does not."

For fuck sake then move your position.

Anonymous said...

I wish one could edit comments. Anyway ChrisM don't take it too personally. It's just teh interwebs.

fewqwer said...

I thought it might be a good idea if income tax was calculated on your *lifetime* rate of earning.

So, for example, if you spent a year out of work, your average rate of earning, calculated over your life to date, would steadily decrease, so you would get a tax rebate accordingly. The rate of rebate would work out to something like TaxRate * LevelOfFreePay, which could easily be made comparable to unemployment benefit.

Or if you had a good job that paid 50k for a few years, but then got made redundant and had to settle for a pay cut, you would enjoy a continual rebate until your lifetime earning rate levelled off.

AFAICT this would be a good system for those with an irregular income, like temps, the self employed, etc.

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell anonymous - Calm down man.. You'll blow a gasket.

FrankFisher said...

I can't be arsed going through this again for the billionth time in my life, so I'll just say, the welfare state ws intended to provide a safety net, not a fucking hammock.

nightjack said...

Or as somebody else put it "A safety net not a fishing net."

john steed said...

Chrism,

I have thoroughly enjoyed this little debate and your hilarious comments. I love a good wind up when I have the time to indulge in such prattish pastimes.

This forum reminds me of the sixth form debating society, where cunts like you get to spout off and feel 'ooh, ever so clever,' before running off to try and finish the Guardian crossword and fit in time for the Rock against Racism 'gig.'

Anyway, I'm off to do some constructive work to keep my kids in their private education, so won't be posting here again. Seems like you have plenty of time to post here, so do carry on - perhaps you are not working, or daytime telly is a tad boring to someone of your undoubted intellect?

PS, when you do have kids drop a post here I might lower myself to advise you on a few good schools. Doubt if you could afford them though.

Old Holborn said...

If you pay people to sit on the sofa all day, drinking Stella and woofing down Pringles, guess what they'll do?

Millions of the cunts

Old Holborn said...

another thing

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1757267.ece

"
The trainee nurse and a pal plumped for FOURTEEN chicken pieces, SIX bags of fries and large COKES after driving to their local branch.


They spent an hour and a half scoffing the 5,456-calorie feast. Days later regular customer Natalie got the fine in the post for breaking the restaurant car park’s 75-minute limit"

ChrisM said...

"You're part of the problem space."

Well then mate, you have a big problem, because I am more libertarian than probably 90+% of people, so being in the correct 1% which you may well be is a bit fucking pointless when you are so fucking principled you won't ever achieve anything. In the real world, compromise is necessary unless you are omnipotent, and you are not.

" ever so clever,' before running off to try and finish the Guardian crossword and fit in time for the Rock against Racism 'gig."

Wow, so I'm a sun reader and a guardian reader. Oh well I'm nothing if not eclectic.

"Anyway, I'm off to do some constructive work "
Oh so anyone else who comments is on the dole, but not you of course. What a prick you are.

"to keep my kids in their private education, "
Good for you.

"so won't be posting here again."
Oh dear, what a shame, you added so much.

"Seems like you have plenty of time to post here, so do carry on - "
Indeed, I was off work with a cold.

"perhaps you are not working, "
a bit of work, a bit of recovering from a cold.
"or daytime telly is a tad boring to someone of your undoubted intellect?"
Yes, it is very dull.

You are clearly a very confused person who is incapable of nuanced thought. Now fuck off, there's a good chap.

The Remittance Man said...

I think we're losing the track here. It's not the bonking per se that we're hoping to eliminate (though adults bonking children isn't something to encourage). The objective is to reduce the number of children born to become burdens on the rest of us.

DK suggests cutting child benefits and I happen to think this is a good start. But effectively it only punishes the mother (the fathers having buggered off to impregnate yet more women).

I think that a two pronged approach that also goes after profligate fathers would be a better idea. Make profligacy unappealling to both bonker and bonkee and the beneficial results (less kids needing taxpayer support) are multiplied.

Seeing as the law already makes it a crime to bonk girls under 16 (whatever age the bonker may be), this would appear to be a good place to start. Besides if more teenagers can be kept from motherhood while they are young there's a chance a few might refrain from irresponsible fucking in later life too.

Old Holborn said...

Let's cut this argument short

Shannon Matthews. Do we want more or less of them?

End of debate

chav the lad said...

Shnnan is a great shag mte u shld try it ut. Me n al my mates have.

ChrisM said...

RM the mother has all the options, abortion, adoption etc.

But if we also need to go after the bloke, beef up the CSA. The justice system has already been way too politicised by this shower of shits. Justice is to important to be used for social engineering.

"Seeing as the law already makes it a crime to bonk girls under 16 (whatever age the bonker may be), this would appear to be a good place to start. "

A good place to start would be to repeal such a repugnant and blatently discriminatory law.

"Let's cut this argument short
Shannon Matthews. Do we want more or less of them?
End of debate"

Actually that is not the argument. We want less of them. How to achieve that is the argument. Start of debate.

Anonymous said...

Chrism,

I have enjoyed your little ruck with Mr Steed. I have to say he has become incredibly less polite since his days in the Avengers; perhaps as he must be about 80 now he is just pissed off with the state of the country and not being able to drive his classic Bentley at 31 mph wihtout being nicked by a speed camera.

Sorry to hear about your cold, but obviously as you are on some kind of medication that goes to explain the shite you have been posting.

ChrisM said...

"but obviously as you are on some kind of medication that goes to explain the shite you have been posting."

Its really irritating when people say someone is talking shite, but don't bother to explain why. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. Unless you are prepared to explain why though, just saying that I am is rather pointless don't you think? I mean I guess for some people, being insulting is an end in itself, but don't delude yourself that you have actually made a worthwhile attack on what I have said, because all you have done is said it was shite.

Now if you want to explain what I said that was shite, and why it was shite I'm all ears. I may end up somewhat the wiser - or you might. If not, then your comment was not worth the few seconds it took to read.

Anonymous said...

Chrism,

Why do you flatter yourself that I should waste my time explaining why I felt your writing was shite?

I am expressing my opinion on views you put forward, sparing as much time as I feel it is worth to do so.

Maybe some feel you are a font of great knowledge, in which case let them have their say and devote the time they feel worthwhile to discussing, or contesting your comments.

ChrisM said...

I wasn't flattering myself. I just didn't want to insult you by assuming that you like righting pointless comments. It seems I shouldn't have bothered because you do like writing silly comments.

It seems we both have time to spare commenting on a blog, but I value my time enough to at least make my comments have a point. (Accusing other people who comment on a blog of not valuing their time is both hypocritical and very unoriginal).

FWIW its worth I feel your writing is shite too, and I'll even supply a reason. You make assertions without in anyway backing them up. A childish comment from a silly person.

Anonymous said...

Chrism,

Please do not accuse me of being 'silly' it really hurts me to my soul when someone whose opinion I value less than the shit on my shoes makes such a comment.

Now fuck off back to your lemsip and daytime telly where you belong.

ChrisM said...

Actually I'm back at work today anonymous. But its been a real pleasure talking with you. Your sparkling wit and worthwhile comments have lifted my spirits.

And I am pleased that you value my comments enough to respond to them at least 4 times today.

curly15 said...

Seems I was describing the same sort of people in a totally separate and unrelated post yesterday. (See how they live on Tyneside), and wtf is a Labour Leader doing twining on my blog?

xelent said...

Well when I saw the amount of comments on this post I thought no way am I gonna try...

But try I will... DK, your idea of getting rid of Child benefit as noble as it is... You forget the fundamental reason why the govt hands out so much free cash to les enfants... They are the future tax base of course... Govt has realised that for the less well off for whom are STILL taxed heavily, cannot begin to afford having children...

They also know that they can garner considerable voter appeal with such schemes... We will never see an end to poverty because poverty is now a govt industry that is almost as big as defense... That employs more people than it helps...

The welfare state is a means by which govt makes us dependent on them and inadequate as parents... Regrettably we have to wait for the feeding frenzy to collapse into a heap of debt and malfunction before real freedom can take hold... This and only then will the general populace realise how corrupted they were by such monumental theft...

Miss Snuffleupagus said...

DK
Will you never have children?

Neil Harding said...

"No preferential place on the housing list, no Child Benefits, nothing. Give people the information and watch the pregnancy rate fall like a fucking stone".

You mean abolish the welfare state, like in poorest Asia and Africa where the birth rate is FIVE times ours. DK, wake up from your fantasy world!

Devil's Kitchen said...

Snuffy,

If I can find someone who can stand me for long enough! But I still won't ask the state to pay for them.

Neil,

Do you seriously think that, if we abolished Child Benefit, we would suddenly get Third World levels of birth, you dipstick?

There are a colossal number of other factors, including but not limited to the mortality rate in Britain as compared to developing countries.

Actually, I am staggered that you could actually take the time to write and post that astoundingly silly comment.

DK

francis said...

hi, long time reader, first time poster, (hope ive not missed any thing while trying to post this).

Another, possibly better method, may be to make the state the employer of last resort, ie, if you cant find a private job, the government will pay you minimum wage, to sit in a big labour exchange for 8 hours a day.
(so no loafing around on the sofa, watching tv, and indulging in petty theft from the local supermarket.)

While there, the government could arrange private/public training agencies to give them basic health and safety training, work skills, etc, then after a few months mandatory 8 hours a day, 5 days a week training, they can be set to work as jobbing builders, or on big government make-work projects, like extending a rail road across the local moors, or upgrading the main rail lines, building a new series of super-modern prisons. This would have the side effect, of removing the illegal immigrants, who work as jobbing builders for cash, as their employers can be encouraged to get the workers they need from the labor-exchanges. It would also encourage big once-public companies to invest in large projects, like upgrading sewers, maintaining roads, and rail links, as there would be a large body of now trained, and experienced laboures. who as there being paid minimum wages, are paying back into the system etc. this also encourages them to find a private job, that does not entail 8 hours a day of hard labour.

of course this would need a large workforce of administers, or office types, who could also be recruited from the long term sick, if they cant dig trenches all day, they can work in the office, or drive a bus.