Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cameron fails his own test

What can we make of British PM David Cameron? First thing to note, of course, is that Cameron identifies as a liberal. He spoke last year of the need for,

a much more active muscular liberalism

He has also urged that the UK participate in the EU as,

a champion of liberal values

So he's not pretending to be a conservative. What he has recognised, though, is that Britain is in many respects a "broken" society. And he has laid the main blame for this on the growth of fatherless families in the UK. After the recent riots he said that he had,

a clear idea about why some of these young people were behaving so terribly.

Either there was no one at home, they didn’t much care or they’d lost control.

Families matter.

I don’t doubt that many of the rioters out last week have no father at home.

Perhaps they come from one of the neighbourhoods where it’s standard for children to have a mum and not a dad…

…where it’s normal for young men to grow up without a male role model, looking to the streets for their father figures, filled up with rage and anger.

So if we want to have any hope of mending our broken society, family and parenting is where we’ve got to start.

I’ve been saying this for years, since before I was Prime Minister, since before I was leader of the Conservative Party.

So: from here on I want a family test applied to all domestic policy.

If it hurts families, if it undermines commitment, if it tramples over the values that keeps people together, or stops families from being together, then we shouldn’t do it.

How seriously should we take a pledge like this coming from the liberal David Cameron? I would suggest the chances of Cameron abiding consistently by his pledge to be very low.

Consider this. It has been reported that Cameron has personally intervened to ensure that gay marriage will become legal in Britain by 2015. What this means is that Cameron is endorsing the idea of lesbians marrying, in other words, a vision of family life in which there is no father.

The message this sends is straightforward: marriage is not a lifelong union of a man and woman after all. It is just people getting together to form a household, whether a biological father is there or not.

Cameron is failing his own test. He pledged that if a measure undermined commitment he wouldn't do it. And yet here he is personally intervening to get a measure passed that sends a message to men that their role within a family is dispensable and that a fatherless form of family life is endorsed by the state.

Cameron is engaging in doublethink. At the very same time that he was declaring a drive to "bring fathers back into the lives of all our children" he was manoeuvring behind the scenes to redefine the nature of marriage to include fatherlessness.

Mr Cameron, do some children not deserve a father?


  1. If Britain's Tory party had not comprised - since at least the 1980s - the most nauseating bunch of sexual degenerates since Caligula's heyday (any Google search under "Michael Portillo" and "Stephen Milligan", to name but two names, will be instructive), it would have thrown Cameron under a London bus by now. De Gaulle knew, as early as 1961, what to do with rioting louts: command that the police shoot to kill.

    Of course it would help matters if the House of Windsor had not made absolute moral gutlessness into an art form, ever since the 1967 abortion bill was signed into law.

    Cameron occupies the position of Tory "leader" only because the campaigning from 2005 onwards by Red Rupert Murdoch the Dirty Digger (now lusted over ad nauseum by the Spectator's pseudo-conservatives) put him there.

  2. Cameron speaking about runaway dads:
    "They need the message rammed home to them, from every part of our culture, that what they're doing is wrong – that leaving single mothers, who do a heroic job against all odds, to fend for themselves simply isn't acceptable."

    However, the message that has led to the plague of single mothers is precisely that women can DO IT ALL and they don't need no stinkin' man.
    So Cameron should either criticize feminism itself or stop sermonizing to runaway dads and tell single women to get on with it.

  3. Davout, agreed.

    What Cameron has to decide is this - is liberalism sufficient as a principle of social order?

    I get the feeling that he is dimly aware that the answer is no.

    So what we'll have to obvserve over coming months is to what extent he is willing to put some other principle ahead of the liberal one (e.g. of maximising female autonomy).

    So far I'm not impressed. It's no use keeping the laws which aim to maximise famale autonomy at the expense of men and family stability - laws which push men out of family life - and then use moral rhetoric to try to get men back in again.

    If Cameron is serious then we need to see a change in the laws and in the culture. We also need to see Cameron move away from the equation of men = bad/guilty, women = good/innocent.

  4. Mr. Cameron sounds very much like liberals here in the U.S. He thinks that the problem, in this case, is the absence of fathers. However, the absence of fathers is only a part of the problems, and might rightly be called a symptom of the real problem, which is the underlying feminism and liberalism, of which Mr. Cameron is a proponent. Not only that, but he says one thing and does the exact opposite (such as, helping homosexuals legalize their behavior).
    As an author and an avid reader, I am faced daily with feminism, even from Christians. In my frustration, I wrote this blog post:

  5. The message this sends is straightforward: marriage is not a lifelong union of a man and woman after all. It is just people getting together to form a household, whether a biological father is there or not.

    Cameron probably thinks that two fathers is an adequate solution. But that creates another problem: motherlessness. Or he believes that two parents are better than one but if the gender of the parent doesn't matter then why on earth should the number matter? And that's just one problem. Cameron will never genuinly say that "a father and a mother (biological parents) should be the standard". He will continually dodge, circle around and create more problems while supposedly claiming he's found the solution.

  6. Mark,

    Right now there is a movement in the US to cut subsidies for big oil, farmers, teachers unions and the like from both democrats and republicans. The subsidies sustaining excessive female employment should be on the table too. I wonder if some movement in this direction could be part of the austerity measures taking hold in GB.

  7. @Davout - the Tory cuts to the public sector disproportionately affect women, yes, since women tend to prefer the cushier life of a public sector employee to the rawness of private sector competition. Also, women tend to be more conformist and not make waves, which suits the bureaucratic nature of public sector organisations. I would expect to see some fall in the ratio of working (employed) to non-working (homemaker) women.

  8. Simon in London,

    "I would expect to see some fall in the ratio of working (employed) to non-working (homemaker) women."

    Unless I am mistaken, even private companies in the UK proudly proclaim on their websites that they are equal opportunity employers. I would suspect that the groundswell in female unemployment will be the next cause celebre for harridans like Katherine Rake to force private companies to hire more women.

    Men will do what they do best which is shut their traps and suck it up and we will see more women creep into the private sector.

  9. The corrupting influence of left wing liberalism on a society