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Saturday, 13 December 2008

Labour still nicking all the best ideas

It's actually quite encouraging that Hazel Blears has taken up the concept of Community Settlements floated here; in an interview for the Times she reveals;

Ms Blears believes that cases such as Baby P and Shannon Matthews are rare. But the most dysfunctional families, she says, need round-the-clock support from the State – they should be housed in special centres or given a “muscular social worker” who shadows their every move. “We estimated that each family was costing something like £250,000 a year from public sector interventions that were not changing behaviour. They need a personal worker who helps them to get up in the morning, get breakfast and get the children off to school.”

Teenage mothers, could, she thinks, be housed together in residential units rather than in individual council flats. “If you are a young mum simply left on your own, then it’s hard. Forty years ago we had mother-and-baby homes usually run by nuns . . . now you could do it in a much more modern kind of way.”

You're getting there, Hazel. Yes, wards and dayrooms for single mums and their children, but also wards for unmarried men and unmarried women, and accommodation for married couples. With healthcare, schoolroom and child welfare officers on-site, and daily work either cooking, cleaning, maintaining the settlement, laundry or simple assembly type work for outside firms. The cost would be a fraction of the current costs, and the Settlements, if properly managed, could actually turn a profit from the sale of surplus vegetables, contract work and the like.

Some of you may be surprised that both Hazel Blears and I are advocating what is essentially a modern and humane version of the workhouse - the term has such
negative connotations. But even Labour have done their sums; the increase in bastardy from the late '70s has been exponential. Costs are now unsustainable. Only the most radical ideas such as Community Settlements for the underclass can hope to make any impact.


JuliaM said...

"Some of you may be surprised that both Hazel Blears and I are advocating what is essentially a modern and humane version of the workhouse..."

Why not? It makes sound financial and moral sense.

The Great Simpleton said...

What is the source of the graph? Is it real illegitomacy in the sense that the father has buggered off and isn't contributing or is it just those born out of wedlock?

Anonymous said...

You might have to abolish voting as you are upsetting their 'uman rights to cohabit etc.

Anonymous said...

I see. Pop a sprog with the intention of sponging off the state, and (in addition to your free house, free food, free booze and free drugs) you now get a free domestic servant.

That'll show them!

thefatlady said...

From personal observation, I don't believe that graph. There's statistics and - where did the information come from? If 40% of kids on average are bastards, even in my reasonably well-heeled part of the world, I am sure I would see some evidence, but I don't.
Mind you, both my brother and I were bastards in the 1950s, although my parents did live together.

Raedwald said...

Sorry, folks, that graph is now out of date; from July we passed the 50% mark. Most children in the UK are now born outside marriage. See .

The orginal graph is From Charles Murray's work on the UK Underclass.

Co-habiting relationships are not stable; their average length is just 4 years. Marriage is more than just a legal nicety, it seems. Yes, there will be some cohabiting relationships that last a long time, and many that only last a few months, to both of which children will be born.

And for the dangers and costs of children growing up without their biological fathers, see the dozen or so previous posts here ...