Marriage

The real turn-off is a lack of marriageable men

The other day, I was giving a lift to a group of 14-year-old girls and, as we waited at the traffic lights, I became dimly aware of something remarkable about their conversation. They were all bright sparks, in the process of being coached up by their schools to become captains of industry, Members of Parliament and all the rest of it.

But as I inclined my ear, I realised that they weren’t discussing their dotcoms; they weren’t preparing for the time when they would be joining each other on the pages of Fortune magazine or Business Week.

No, they were discussing marriage. They were planning their wedding days, down to the last sugared almond and the exact cut of their dresses. Not only were they consulting a magazine called Brides, these 14-year-olds, but they had a special supplement of Brides, featuring a hunk in morning dress.

The name of the supplement was Groom, and as I looked at Groom magazine, I noticed a key but symbolic detail: it was considerably thinner than Brides. Brides was massive – about 250 glossy pages, dripping with advertisements and panting with advice – whereas Groom was a thoroughly laconic affair about 10 pages long; and, as I listened to their chatter, I suddenly became all sentimental, and thought how touching it was that young girls should care so deeply about their distant nuptials; and I tried to remember whether I, as a 14-year-old, had given the slightest thought to marriage, or what kind of pearl tie-pin I would use on the great day, and of course the answer is no.


I think of those girls, and their sense of expectancy, and I defy anyone to say that people don’t want to get married these days. Of course they do, and that is one reason why everyone gets so terribly cross when politicians start promising money to those who achieve it. What about Bridget Jones, they cry? What about people who are never going to get married because they are gay? What about people who just aren’t lucky in love? What about people who get junked by their spouse? How dare the state reward the winners? And that is the argument that will be used against the Tory proposal to encourage marriage with a transferable tax allowance.

Some people will say that it is just not right for the taxpayer to cough up for a married couple, while doing nothing for a widow; and then there are the myriad couples who bring up their children to behave impeccably in every way, but who see no reason to consecrate their love for each other in a marriage ceremony, and who frankly get very shirty when told that a bunch of politicians seems implicitly to disapprove of their arrangements.

Why should they face some kind of financial discrimination? And what about the poor girls who want to get married, who have been nurtured on the pages of Brides, but who are simply left on the shelf? Is it right that they should sit it out, and watch their more confident and more nubile friends get an additional reward, in the first week of marriage, in the form of £20 from the government?

For a moment, I toyed with proposing some kind of marriage seekers’ allowance, to give succour and encouragement to those girls who were finding it hard to find any man at all, let alone the cover model of Groom magazine. I postulated a new form of benefit for all those who are genuinely deemed to have been desirous of marriage, but who have found it impossible to pull off: provided they could show the relevant bureaucrat that they had made every effort to go on dates and look their best; provided they were turning down offers of matrimony only from out-and-out losers and psychopaths, then maybe their plight and their effort should be recognised by the state. Of course, there are flaws in the idea. It is clearly open to fraud, and, like all such fiscal twiddling, it is hard to believe that it will really deal with the underlying problem.

David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith are plainly right to extol the benefits of marriage, and, if a £20 tax credit would really begin to bubblegum together our broken society, then that would clearly be a price worth paying. The Tory Social Justice Policy Group is bang on in its analysis of the damage done by family breakdown, and it is certainly right to think that it is outrageous that the benefit system should be so heavily skewed in favour of single parent families. Recipients of tax credits face clear disincentives to find a partner or form a two-parent family, and those need to be removed.

But before we go any further down the fiscal route, I think we need to look at the real problem, the underlying problem – the problem expressed by the relative dimensions of Bride and Groom magazines.

The single most important thing we can do to encourage marriage is to increase the supply of marriageable men. The real challenge facing our society is the shocking growth in the number of underachieving white working-class boys.

We now have an educational system in which girls are powering ahead of boys in every department, and in which disadvantaged white working-class boys are increasingly turned off academic competition. They have no male teachers in the classroom to inspire them and interest them and, for all their braggadocio they are, of course, lacking in intellectual confidence. They are the ones who get loaded, and wasted, and who turn into the Asbos and the hoodies; and they are frankly not good marriage prospects.

The crisis in the family has many causes: selfishness, atomism, changes in housing. But the root cause is the change in the respective role and accomplishments of the sexes. We won’t begin to reverse the decline in marriage unless we address the crisis in masculinity. We have would-be brides aplenty – but where are the grooms?

74 thoughts on “Marriage”

  1. Its no surprise that marriage is shunned by many when I heard only last week that an average wedding in the UK is £18,000. With house prices the way they are and interest rates galloping upwards most couples opt for a stab at the housing market rather than £18k to feed long lost reletives and book over priced wedding venues ala Posh and Becks.

  2. Yes, but what about all the young women [despite protestations of only requiring someone with a ‘good sense of humour’], who appear to ignore the more ‘sensible’ man [too boring an option], and indulge their fancy for attractive-looking wastrels.

  3. Interesting take Boris. Does this mean that all the single-parent mothers just opted for a good-looking, well-heeled and well-groomed sperm donor because all of the decent blokes have already got hitched to middle-class totty and as such make marriage a practical impossibility?

    If that was the case, it would seem appropriate for New Labour to have positivley discriminated in state handouts to single mums, as the politicians feel a natural empathy towards a group with a burgeoning inferiority complex about the class structure just like themselves.

    So, following on from your piece, does this mean that you are now advocating a change in Policy which will actively encourage human cloning?

  4. Boris, as you well know, 14 year old boys are thinking about sex, not marriage. In the UK male teenagers, unlike in most other European countries, don’t even consider stable relationships, which is one reason why our teenage pregnancy rate is so high.

  5. “The single most important thing we can do to encourage marriage is to increase the supply of marriageable men.” – well yes Boris, absolutely! But you are wrong when you say “Recipients of tax credits face clear disincentives to find a partner or form a two-parent family, and those need to be removed”. So wrong. Speaking from my own experience and seeing/hearing the experience of other women I can tell you that tax credits made no difference to us. I keep banging on about this all over the internet and I trust someone here will believe that all single mums are not teenage benefit jockeys. Perhaps it matters to some but not all and I object to tarring us all with the same brush. Some of us left relationships because it better/safer to do so.

    However, let’s leave the shadow cabinet’s electioneering based on mass prejudice aside (they’re advocating polygamy on Conservative Home – I’ll have Boris please) I agree with your general point Boris and if you are going to have an ill educated underclass with nothing to do then of course they are going to fornicate and get drunk and take drugs. Give then something to do!!

    The problem is employment and housing. I understand from Newmania that the birth rate of white British is actually in decline and the increase in our population is from immigration and the offspring of immigrants. With a clash of cultures, no police on the beat and money in peoples pockets, what do you expect but chaos? Give them something to do – that means manufacturing, farming, fishing, building… mining???

  6. How is £20 an incentive to stay or get married? Surely this is just an unnecessary add to the already bulging tax burden. From the party of lower taxes too…

    The real reason is that the institution of marriage is not what it used be. We’ve grown up, we’ve become more independent and most importantly we’ve become more confident in ourselves – particularly women. Times are just moving on Boris, you can’t blame “hoodies” for the breakdown of the old fashioned institution. http://www.pickinglosers.co.uk/

  7. jaq said:

    I keep banging on about this all over the internet and I trust someone here will believe that all single mums are not teenage benefit jockeys. Perhaps it matters to some but not all and I object to tarring us all with the same brush. Some of us left relationships because it better/safer to do so.

    You are so right, jaq! I was a self supporting single parent for some years – my youngest has just flown the nest to share a flat with a friend – and I totally agree with you, it is most unfair to tar us all with the same brush. I’ve worked very hard to support my daughter and myself without any help from either the state or my feckless ex-husband.

    However, I do know of single parents who are claiming benefits while cohabiting. Though I’m too soft hearted to report them, I do greatly resent that. So there are two sides to the single parenthood coin.

  8. So can IDS and DC reform our ‘broken society’ as Thatcher reformed our broken economy? Well, put it this way if they can it will take a majority of about 150 seats and a lot more pain than the miners endured in the eighties.

    In the canteen at work Sky News rolls on with it’s news ticker whilst a selection of tabloid newspapers adorn the rows of tables. Tucking into their lunches are the new Northern working classes, they have call centre and office jobs in the privatised utilities sector, they work on a business park partly paid for by the EU rebate. Their jobs were created by Thatchers program of privatisation, their workplace subsidised with the Thatcher negotiated rebate. However, most of them would still never dream of voting Tory, in fact you could probably offer them taxpayer funded four-figure Christmas bonuses and most would still blindly vote Labour, like they were brought up to.

    Just the other day the Sky News ticker annouced the tax-break for married couples, one of my colleagues remarked something along the lines of ‘I was reading in the paper it’s all scam and they’re up to their old tricks, just making the rich richer.’ The conversation continued a bit like this:

    Me: ‘Where’d you read that?’

    Colleague 1: ‘On the bus this morning in the Mirror.’

    Me: ‘What’d it say?’

    Colleague 1: ‘Just that they’re up their old trick with this £20 for married couples, that it’s all about making the rich richer, that it’s only rich people will get it.’

    < At this point I scour the canteen for a Daily Mirror, find one and bring it back to the table.<

    Me: ‘Come on then, let’s have a look (as I start flicking through the pages), this bit? (Now pointing to the headline ‘For Richer For Richer’.

    Colleague 1: ‘Yeah that’s it, you see, it’s all about making the rich richer.’

    < At this point I say ‘Hang on a sec’ and read the short article.<

    Me: ‘They’re talking nonsense (well I didn’t use the wrod nonsense, but I’ve taken all the swearing out) it’s a tax break for anyone who is married, everyone will get it, as long as their married.’

    Colleague 2: ‘Well I think that’s wrong, I don’t think married people should get any extra money, why give them money for just being married.’

    Colleague 1: ‘Aye, exactly.’

    Me: ‘It promotes good family values and gives them more money to start a family with, generally married people start families.’

    Colleague 2: ‘Well I agree with the family values bit, but I don’t think they should get extra money’

    Me: ‘They’re not, it’s a tax break, there used to be a good tax allowance for married couples when you and I were kids, it’s basically bringing that bacl.’

    Colleague 1: ‘Nah, it’s all about making the rich richer, look, read it, it say’s so (pointing at the headline)’

    Me: ‘So that proves it to you?, The Daily Mirror write four words then a load of nonsense and that proves it to you, you aren’t going to give the idea any more thought?’

    Colleague 1: ‘Well, yeah, look what it say’s.’

    Me: ‘I have, and I’ve read what Cameron said, the Mirror’s just twisting it, it’s not about helping rich people, it’s about helping poor married couples stay together and promoting family values.’

    Colleague 2: ‘Well I think it’s nonsense, they shouldn’t just give you money for being married.’

    Me: ‘It’s better than tax credits, at the moment they tax you two and hand it all over to anyone that’s started breeding, regardless of whether they work or not.’

    Colleague 2: ‘Well I agree with tax credits, single mothers need it more than married people do, tax credits are ‘fair’.’

    < ‘At this point my ‘nasty’ right wing side comes out and I start lecturing them.<

    Me: Fair? What’s fair about redistributing money from your paypacket, that you’ve worked for, to give to the feckless and irresponsible? A lot of these people on tax credits just say that their single, live with their boyfriends in houses that you are helping pay the rent or mortgage on, and spend the extra money you give them on designer shoes and the latest games consoles. You’re already paying for their brood to be educated, and their healthcare, and their child benefits, and a lot of the time their council house. Now you’re paying for their designer clothes. No wonder 15 years old girls are queuing up to get pregnant if we just pay them to do so.’

    Colleague 2: ‘No, no, actually Steve, you’re wrong, I can come back on that one, my sister got pregnant at 15 and she gets tax credits, but she’s still struggling.’

    Me: ‘Well how many hours does she work.’

    Colleague 2: ‘None, she’s worked out she’ll lose money if she works.’

    Me: ‘Well there you go, so policies that encourage single motherhood and a life on benefits are good for society, is that what you are saying?’

    Colleague 2: ‘No, but these thing happen Steve, my sister doesn’t agree with abortion.’

    Me: ‘Neither do I, but I agree with marriage and family values.’

    Colleague 2: ‘Yes, but Steve, what you don’t understand, well, my sister had her kid at 15 because she was raped.’

    Me: ‘Well that’s not a normal situation, that’s not how most young single women get pregnant, anyway, come on that’s enough politics, coming for a fag.’

    Colleague 2: ‘Aye come on then.’

    Coming back to what I said about our broken society taking pain to fix, it will, and girls like this guys sister will have to bear trhe brunt of that pain.

    You can’t just say that all rape victims jump the housing queue and get extra benefits, they’ll all be screaming it.

    What you can do is force accused Fathers to take DNA tests, remove their passports and deduct child support directly through PAYE, unless they were married to the Mother when the child was born.

  9. The letter from D.M. Turner in today’s Times explained succinctly why the focus on marriage rather than parenthood is a mistake. Boris’s argument for supporting IDS’s proposal despite this incoherence seems to be that he would target all the deserving losers from this policy with additional measures if he could, but he can’t, so we should just let them hang.

    It doesn’t smack of heartfelt support. His analysis of the underlying causes is much stronger. But it only scratches the surface. Why are boys underperforming at school? Is it just the absence of male teachers, or are there other issues (e.g. feminization of the curriculum)? Why are there so few male teachers, and how can you reverse that? And is this true for secondary as well as primary education? (Not as much) Is school the only cause of a sense of inadequacy amongst young men? Is it only amongst the working class that there is a decline in marriage and an increase in divorce? (No) If women are so much keener than men to get married, what does that say about the feminist twaddle about marriage being a patriarchal institution? Do decisions in divorce courts on alimony, division of assets, and guardianship discourage men from getting married? (Yes) Will the Tories have the courage to confront the worst excesses of feminism in our system, which are causing men to feel like losers in the gender war, and consequently that marriage/commitment is not in their interests? (No)

  10. < ‘We won’t begin to reverse the decline in marriage unless we address the crisis in masculinity.’ (Boris)<

    Sorry, I’m going to have to get stuck in on this one. There are some pretty big changes to ‘femininity’ besides greater academic achievement and better jobs you know Boris.

    For a start have you seen what they read? Now that women are better educated and more confident they spend less time listening to men (well all except the homosexuals that write the drivel that’s increasingly responsible for rotting their brains). Better educational attainment hasn’t improved their reading habits in most cases.

    Working class men shudder at the thought of 250 page wedding advertisments with pull out ‘Groom’ suppliments. Add to this the made-up problem pages, the self-help guides, the ‘become size 10 in 3 weeks’ fad diets, the fact most deisrable working class women can’t be trusted with credit cards and will go out on a Saturady night twice wearing the same dress or shoes and ‘femininity’ has changed for the worse if you ask me.

    Most working class women have no interest in politics or the economy despite their 9 A-C grades at GCSE. They obsess about fashion and celebrity and are now attracted to men who spend more time in the bathroom than they do, willingly pay £50 for a hair cut and who have their pubic hair waxed. This is not masculinity, this is gay men driving fashion, and likewise what is deemed attractive.

  11. < ‘..the fact most deisrable working class women can’t be trusted with credit cards and will go out on a Saturady night twice wearing the same dress or shoes and ‘femininity’…<

    Sorry that should have read ‘will NOT go out on a Saturday night….’

  12. The other day, I was giving a lift to a group of 14-year-old girls and, as we waited at the traffic lights, …..
    Boris: I do hope your CRB check is up to date.

  13. We won’t begin to reverse the decline in marriage unless we address the crisis in masculinity. We have would-be brides aplenty – but where are the grooms? (Boris)

    I can tell you where some of these grooms are, Boris.

    A few months ago I was in the company of a few hundred of them when I attended the funeral of Adam, a 27 year old former employee of mine who had been tragically killed in a road accident.

    Everything went pink as I got out of my car at the crematorium that day, since hundreds of Adam’s young friends had dressed in shocking pink, Aaron’s favourite shirt colour, in honour and memory of him. As I made my way up the drive to the chapel, I had to walk the gauntlet of a squadron of motorbikes, festooned in pink bows and ribbons, their bikers similarly adorned, which screeched past me on either side.

    Goodness, I thought, what have I got myself into here? Then from all around me I heard,

    “Blimey, look oo it aint!…Hiya, Lib, how ya doin’!…gonna gi’s a job, libee…Nah, got one…guess where I’m working now?”

    Among the crowd of mourners outside the chapel were scores of former temporary staff of mine (I’m a recruitment agent) most had worked for me on part-time basis at 16 years old and upwards after they’d left school.

    Every one of them was now in full-time employment. There were roofers, builders (two had set up a business partnership), one is a plumber, some were professional staff. I left there feeling quite proud that I’d helped these young people into long term employment by giving them their first jobs and references.

    For many of them, getting a job immediately on leaving school, even quite mundane work, provided an important platform of confidence and experience which acted as a springboard to better employment later on.

    But they were the class of 1996-7 before Blair came to power. The situation of young people is very different now.

  14. Sadly, it’s so much harder for young people now.

    Every time I forward a 16 year old’s CV to a prospective employer, I know they’re almost certainly inundated with applications from older and much more experienced staff – many of them new arrivals to UK. I know too that many of the more experienced job seekers from overseas will grab even the most mundane jobs, what used to be thought of as less well paid, trainee positions for young people, and these mature workers will outshine anything that even the most hard working 16 year old can do.

    It’s nothing short of insanity that many of the 16 – 18 year olds, and there are far too many of them, who cannot compete with mature and experienced overseas workers and who cannot find employment on leaving school will end up languishing on the dole for many years, at huge cost to themselves and society.

    I think that’s where your lost grooms end up, Boris, among a lost generation of young people who’ve been failed by our government’s mass migration policies.

    It’s no good keeping many of them on at school until they’re 18 years old, since, many of the boys in particular, are miserable at school and have been itching to leave since they were 13 or so – and they will truant if they’re forced to stay on for 2 more miserable years.

    The outlook for a whole generation of these 16-18 year olds who are not as academic as some of their fellows, yet very talented in other ways, is pretty grim at present.

  15. < …’he would target all the deserving losers from this policy with additional measures if he could, but he can’t, so we should just let them hang’ (bjp)…<

    Deserving losers? They aren’t queuing up and knocking on my door to demand my hand in marriage, but I would never class myself as a ‘deserving loser’. It is up to me to make more effort if I am to marry. Marriage, the occasion of wedlock, the changing of the couples names to ‘Mr and Mrs X’, the giving of household goods to the happy couple, this all bestows social status and respect. If most people respect marriage, and they do, why should the government, the respresentatives of the people, not regognise the unions with a transferable tax allowance. Names and bank accounts converge after marriage, assets are put into joint names (unless you are a politican with an accountant who rigs up some kind of marital tax-haven for you) and two become one. A sacred union is formed that all ordinary people, rich and poor, look up to and respect.

    I think the point Boris gets at here, and it is a good one, is that whilst most ideally wants to get into the position of being a respected married couple, not everyone makes the necessary effort, concessions and sacrifice to achieve married status. The current benefits system just acts as a deterent. Once marriage is officially sanctioned as the desirable lifestyle choice people may once again work harder to get into a position where marriage is possible, those in society that have more luck with the opposite sex will try harder to matchmake good marriages for their ‘less fortunate’ friends with a view to helping those around them form stable relationships and marriages. Marriage will be encouraged by society as what everyone knows it really is, a passport to respect and social status, rather than everyone pretending that all families are equal, including tow gay blokes bringing up an adopted fashion accessory.

    Remember, this government has decreed that two gay blokes is no different than man and wife when it comes to family. Does the avergae member of the public really believe the same thing? Would they want this for their kids? I know one thing for sure, I would never marry a woman that thought so.

  16. Oh, and another thing, most of these degree educated women are covered in very un-feminine tattoos, not just the odd little strawberry or dolphin on their shoulder, huge great big ugly things that cover half of their backs.

    If you want men to be men (and stop waxing their pubes) women should at least be women and stop getting tattooed!

  17. Why are boys underperforming at school and why do we have this crisis of masculinity Boris writes of?

    I think part of the answer to those questions lies in the culture of demoralisation that has taken root in many of our young men, far too many of whom have far too little to hope for or to look forward to.

    And why should that surprise us when the trainee jobs in unskilled or semi-skilled occupations which for centuries have traditionally been the province of young men who are not academically minded are now monopolised by an older generation of hard working and experienced migrant workers? I’m not criticising migrant workers here, they are good people with an exemplary work ethic. My criticism is of a government which is stupidly allowing and even encouraging far to many unskilled migrant workers to displace young unskilled workers from their traditional jobs.

    Day after day, my recruitment business, located in a one horse town in the back of beyond, receives numerous applications from unskilled job seekers who have just arrived in UK. Despite the fact that few of them speak more than a few sentences of English…’want work…good, hard worker…will do anything’. They have become renowned for their exemplary work ethic, enthusiasm and commitment. They’re in hot demand by UK employers – and young school leavers are not in demand any longer.

    Who can blame the many young male adolescents who want to do unskilled or semi-skilled jobs, yet know that young male workers are not in demand for such jobs in today’s UK, for feeling demoralised well before they leave school?

    If we were in that position, wouldn’t we feel demoralised and emasculated and perhaps hang out with gangs of, equally lost and resentful, peers in order to find some other way of defining ourselves and of asserting our masculinity?

  18. Steven_L said:

    If you want men to be men (and stop waxing their pubes) women should at least be women and stop getting tattooed!

    Hilarious, you had me in fits of laughter. Are you on the p*ss, Steven?

    Men with waxed pubes…and women with tattooed backs…but why?

    What a crazy world 🙂

  19. And you’re not the only one who’s a bit pie eyed, Steven, I’ve disguised my former staff member who’s funeral I attended as both Alan and Aaron 🙂

  20. Steven_L,

    Deserving losers?

    I was only trying to paraphrase Boris’s argument (the Bridget Joneses, divorcees, widows, potential recipients of “marriage seekers’ allowance”, etc), not endorsing it. I wish the politicians could resist picking winners and losers altogether.

    I agree that benefits are currently weighted too heavily in favour of single-adult households, which disadvantages the “winners” (e.g. high marginal rates of effective taxation because of withdrawal of means-tested benefits, minimising the reward for working) as well as the “losers”. But the way to correct this is not to provide a tax credit to married couples.

    Remove or reduce the rotten intervention, don’t try to balance it with another rotten intervention. It’s like trying to even up a table by continually cutting a bit off first one leg then another. It never works and always ends up producing “unintended” consequences, which produce calls for yet further interventions (as Boris himself demonstrates), and so on. It is fairly obvious what those would be in this case. The letter in The Times illustrated it perfectly.

  21. In this whole debate everybody talks as if the £20 is the government’s to “give to married couples”. Somehow over the last few years we have managed to see our money as the government’s. We need to keep in mind that the government does not make money, it spends our money. When the Tories propose a tax reduction, this is not the government paying us (in this case married couples). It is the government “graciously” allowing a group of people to keep more of their own money.

    Only when we are able to see our money as ours, not the government’s, can we start looking critically at why a vast share (40ish %?) of our money is spent by the government. Perhaps we should trust ourselves more and start taking responsibility for our own money?

    Thank you and good night!

  22. Excellent post.

    In response to your crisis in masculinity and the lack of eligible men… well, we try, Boris, we try! Yes, some of us are not hoodies, ASBOs or people who get wasted on a nightly basis – but still we must make that effort. 🙂

  23. I could be wrong, but I think those magazines encourage girls to all clamour for the superficial, attractive, hunky ones. Brains are not the issue any more. It’s the girls who are unsuitable, on account of their arrogance, and it’s the men who get left on the shelf! Imagine – girl A fancies boy A, but girl A’s girlfriends B, C and D all agree that boy A is rubbish. So they earnestly advise girl A that she should ditch him and aim higher – such as, just for example you understand, a hunk that they’ve seen and brooded over every week throughout their formative years. And in any case, who wants to marry a man whose parents can’t afford the £18k necessary for all of those pearl insets and lace napkins? Most boys are hopeless these days – just not good enough, see? Not hunky enough, good lookinhg enough, or wealthy enough. …I’m not sure if I can afford it, but that’s just my 2p worth. At least I don’t have a wife to tell me she needs the money herself towards her pearl necklace.

  24. Following the Ray Parlour divorce ruling, any man on a greater than median wage who gets married in the UK without a cast-iron pre-nup needs his head examining.

    Do something useful Boris, stand against Ken Livingstone!

  25. What rubbish Boris!
    What about the lack of marriageable women?

    Have you ever seen English girls (from whatever social class) going out for and evening drink? Will you marry me is not a word that immediately springs to mind when one encounters them. By the end of the night they’re usually half soused and propped up in a shop doorway vomiting on their Jimmy Choos.

    As a young English man who is always on the lookout for a decent girl all I can say is thank god for the influx of eastern European girls. They are putting our so-called “English Roses” to shame.

  26. Boris you loveable old fraud admit that you reheated some old stuff which I remember well and bunged down any old thing having more on your mind .Specifically The Mayorality
    great news . I would love to help is there anywhere to contact the workers . I `m an Islignton Conservative .
    MEL MEL when does the Boris campaign start . Such thrilling news . Confusion to rancid moonbat Livingstone [Ed: watch this space..]

  27. £20.00 tax credit to get married! That barley goes towards a tank of petrol. I think it is naive to believe that this will encourage people to get married.

    People now get married because they want the big white wedding not because they have found their perfect partner or because they have been offered a cash incentive.

    Marriage is outdated, surely if a credit is going to be provided, it should be made available to couples who have spent a long time together, not towards couples who will marry and divorce in the space of a few short years.

    Also, the lack of decent men in England is astonishing, you need to have at least three seperate men to make up one good one.

  28. Assuming that any civil or religious partnership would be considered as ‘married’ for the purposes of this tax cut I would agree with its aims, however I would have to say that a similar cut should be given in cases where the partnership has broken down and there is perceived to be a clear victim (i.e there has been some form of abuse or an extra-marital relationship) in which case this person alone would get the tax-cut.

    Furthermore I would like to see some way in which couples looking to get married/partnered but who are saving up for the event (because it should only happen once so it should be perfect) should get a cut too, because everyone knows when you’ve just started earning and suddenly you need to buy a house and pay for a wedding it isnt going to be easy… perhaps a government funded newly-weds mortgage? it would certainly help alot of people to consider marriage if they were going to be given help to get a foot on the housing ladder afterwards. Of course you can make rules so that this would only apply to certain people, like assets/means restrictions or something to that effect so that the Chantelles and Jade Goodys of the country (by which I mean people with far too much money in proportion to talent) dont get unnecessary and wasteful help. Thats probably the best way of promoting marriage.

    As for “poor White-boys”, I have to say that the majority of educational establishments dont seem to give a monkey’s about educating them anymore, the government’s policy on education combined with the nature of teenage boys brought this about.
    When Labour decided that it wanted everybody to have A-levels and degrees it made parents of children that really should waste time or money in “higher education” think that their child might become some fantabulous lawyer and then the most famous prime-minister in history. Ok i exaggerate, but the point is they wanted to steer their kids into a future they didnt belong in. What infact occured is that A-levels became farcically easy to allow so many people to pass them, meaning the better Universities spend at least 1 year teaching you what you actually should have learnt, but those that got these A-levels (where they wouldnt have in the past) end up going to Shlopp-in-the-Slyme Polytechnic to do degrees on David Beckham and “Media Studies”. Alot of these people should have just dropped out of College after their GCSE’s and become plumbers, mechanics, caterers, florists, soldiers or whatever, but NOT wasted everyones time and money going to university and then filling the pool of job applications with meaningless CV’s (yes you got a first from Scunthorpe but thats about as good as a 2nd year drop-out from Oxbridge). This should never have happened. I say we let the poor white-boys choose for themselves where they want to be, if they dont want to be in school because the teachers cant be bothered to motivate them for their future, then let them go into the services. the ones who actually try or want to will get the marks. We arent supposed to be a nation full of degree qualified people. It isnt a sensible model. All this rubbish which is set up to promote peoples self-esteem in things they shouldnt be doing, 1 month with “computeach” and suddenly you are a computer ENGINEER. Its a joke.

    In short, there are 2 ways to sort out the society, promote people into meaningful stable relationships and sort out this farcical education system. The tax reduction scheme is a good way to promote the relationships, but I think that total educational reform needs to be made, with equal stress on people who go through technical schools to become carpenters and mechanics instead of GCSE’s A-levels and Degrees. Perhaps to promote the employment the government could give firms that employ British, not just white, children born in the UK some financial incentives to ‘apprentice’ them?

    Boris no mention of your Mayoral candidacy here. If you do decide to stand you have my unswerving support!

  29. Boz said “I postulated a new form of benefit for all those who are genuinely deemed to have been desirous of marriage, but who have found it impossible to pull off: provided they could show the relevant bureaucrat that they had made every effort to go on dates and look their best; provided they were turning down offers of matrimony only from out-and-out losers and psychopaths, then maybe their plight and their effort should be recognised by the state”

    Absolutely and a superb article, I’ve just read it again. Compared to the usual holier-than-thou moralising Boris actually notices the society he lives in and recognises that part of the problem is the education and attitude of males. I completely agree that there should be more male teachers but also more boys clubs and apprenticeships and WORK as these boys grow up.

    BTW: Where do I sign for this new benefit then?

  30. £18,000 for a wedding??? It only costs that much because people want to be seen as they got class/money. There is no need to spend so much money on one day. When my wife and I got married (albeit nealy 20 years ago), with around 40 guests, we spend just over £900. We explained to everyone – family and friends – that we didnt feel the neccesity to spend money on a wedding when there where more important things to worry about – mainly getting onto the housing market. These days, its all about appearance and no substance

  31. Being married, I’d happily support a 20 quid tax credit. Speaking selfishly, and being childless too, I’m all the more for it.

    Unfortunately for people who say that marriage should be supported in order to support children, there are some flaws with the logic of the argument.

    The facts are that children from a stable married couple do better than children from a non-married couple, and better still than children of single parents. (In general, of course, there will be notable exceptions)

    If it could be shown that it is the marriage which produces these results, then the 20 quid per month incentive is absolutely the way to go. HOWEVER, could it be that people who are more predisposed to getting and staying married are also more likely to be good at raising children? The problem with the argument for the 20 quid is that it assumes correlation is the same as causation. Correlation, I’ll accept, but the jury is out on causation. I don’t think it’ll come back in unless we do some very unethical experimentation by randomly breaking up a large number of families to see how the kids subsequently perform…. 🙂

    As for the young girls reading ‘Bride’ that Boris mentions – these girls don’t want a *marriage*, they want a *wedding*. The two are worlds apart. I hear of couples who spend so much on a wedding that they start their marriage with debt problems. This isn’t a good plan.

    With my wedding, we decided to get wed in the spring, and got wed that summer. We got a cancellation, (who are these people who book 24 months ahead?) had a meal, lots of people around, even had a string quartet, and it cost a fraction of the quoted £18000. We paid for it ourselves.

    Thinking of recent weeks: grammar schools, or not grammar schools; tax break or no tax break and so on, do the Tory High Command actually think through what the reasonable counter arguments might be, and think about the replies which they might offer?… or are they just making it up as they go along?

  32. Boris, I think this is a wonderful idea, anything that can give rise to more stable families is better for the children, and ultimately better for the entire country! Of course, it is a difficult decision to discriminate against those who perhaps aren’t married, but in the end, £20 is unlikely to be something they will miss!

    In response to Agent Provocateur, as a 19 year old student, I can still easily remember when I was 14 years old, and of course, for any fourteen year old male, physical contact is quite high on his to-do list, but these aren’t the only things! Most 14 year olds I know (I went to a grammar school in Essex, but this is including the myriad of friends I had from other backgrounds) were aiming for some sort of semi-stable relationship (as stable as it can be for a 14 year old!) rather than going for some sort of wham-bam-thank you ma’am situation, which is just highly unlikely for many people at that age. Yes, perhaps young people are having sex, but it is not all they want, and I think you’ll find that it is still only a minority group of those that are people wanting to have unprotected sex at that age, causing teenage pregnancy.

  33. Murk, See some of the comments that came before you. This has nothing to do with reason, and everything to do with appealing to the gut instincts of a certain type of Tory. It’s all part of trying to triangulate between incompatible philosophies within the party – appeal to the social-democrats with the grammar-schools proposal, and then appeal to the conservatives with the marriage tax-credit proposal. It leads to exactly what you identify – incoherent and unprincipled policy.

    It won’t work, because it is impossible to hold together such a broad church in the long-run. They pissed off the conservatives and libertarians with the grammar-schools proposal, and the libertarians and social-democrats with the marriage tax-credit proposal. That’s two steps backwards for each step forward.

    And notice which group are being particularly shafted. We need a proper classical-liberal (i.e. broadly libertarian) party to absorb the classical liberals from all of the parties and to represent that perspective properly, as it has little representation at present. That would let the Tories go back to their traditional, One-Nation compromise between conservatives and social-democrats, and in all likelihood die slowly of irrelevance to the modern world.

  34. newmania said:

    …The Mayorality
    great news . I would love to help is there anywhere to contact the workers. I `m an Islignton Conservative .
    MEL MEL when does the Boris campaign start . Such thrilling news . Confusion to rancid moonbat Livingstone

    Well said, newmania. I’d love to help too, Boris.

  35. Errrrr, Newmania, I hate to have to point this out amongst all the ‘Mayorus Interruptus’ furore, but I think the Red Newt also stands a chance of winning. While Boris is certainly popular enough, we must ask whether he is populist enough to win. Especially in a campaign that would be bound to attract massive publicity and thus probably motivate a much higher turn-out than usual. It will be a fun contest if Boris does run (no reference to French jogging intended.)

    But what’s going on? I find myself in general agreement with Jaq and Liberty as regards employment and training.

    JayC: Your views sound elitist and protectionist to me [Interestingly, as skill training was introduced into higher education some years ago, Oxford and Cambridge were the only two universities not to adopt it. The elite don’t have to produce technocrat servitors, so Greek and Latin is just as good as in the days of Empire, they employ the skilled personnel they need for tasks they are incapable of performing themselves]. Please analyse and critique Freud, the Frankfurt School, and Post Modernism, then we can discuss Media Studies (and it sure ain’t my discipline). If you direct your criticisms at the colleges of further education and the shoddy way they sell their suspect product you may well have a point. We need a highly skilled work force, including more graduates, if we are to compete on world markets. It has often been stated that the high percentage of graduates is one of the reasons for the financial advantage the USA displays. Could someone please remind me which political party encouraged the abolition of apprenticeships as ‘not cost effective’?

    Steve, I’m not too sure about the propriety of references to ‘pearl necklaces’. I think there may be other sites that cater to that sort of thing.

    Whilst I wouldn’t express it in quite the way SteveL has, I think he does have a point where gays are concerned. It seems to me that it has moved on from gay rights to gay privilege. If we ‘straights’ were to talk of gays in the way Graham Norton describes us on mass media there would be uproar from the gay lobby.

    Darren, the important point, and the issue that needs to be tackled, is the fact that we have a much higher incidence of teenage pregnancy than the rest of Europe. We also have much less stable families. But along with bgp, I can’t see a bung of twenty quid changing that.

  36. I’m sorry if I come across as arrogant or aloof. I’m not an Oxbridge graduate, in fact I’m a student in my final year at Imperial, something that wasn’t easy to get, and indeed I nearly didn’t get it. However I am here and I am proud of it. My writing and view just reflect the observations I have made during my ongoing education having been to a variety of schools both in the UK and abroad. Having been to school in Paris and the glorious Stoke-on-Trent amongst others, what I’ve seen is that at the age of 14 boys largely seemed to be interested in showing off and trying to pull, but the girls seemed to really be proud of the achievement to get damned good grades. This might actually stem from something deeper in the psyche of the genders. Women generally seem to want everybody to see them as good people, whereas Men just want to be seen as successful, and at the age of 14 the easiest way to seem successful is to be seen to be ‘cool’ and this continues until they actually get a job and some money.
    As for directing my arguments at the educational establishments, I do indeed feel that they are partly to blame, since throughout my education only one school, including Imperial has ever actually seemed interested in educating me (or anyone else) and that was my school in Paris. Thats an education system worth following, the French really have good schools. I know they are horrendously stressful at times but you really ,really learn. I still remember facts from that time (in French) when things I should remember from my English education which were taught more recently I can’t.

    I’m sorry but its my personal belief that this country is a mess. You might well ask me where is better and honestly I’m not experienced enough to tell you (though if i had to pick I’d say Spain but I’m naturally biased towards that and I know its by no means perfect), but whats more important is that this country could be so very much better and its not outside our means either and that really annoys me.

    Oh and by the way it is possible to do a degree on David Beckham which says it all really.

  37. AP said:

    Errrrr, Newmania, I hate to have to point this out amongst all the ‘Mayorus Interruptus’ furore, but I think the Red Newt also stands a chance of winning. While Boris is certainly popular enough, we must ask whether he is populist enough to win.

    Trust me, AP, if Boris stands, red d***f is toast.

    Why? Because Boris’s self deprecating humour and humanity, his authenticity and incomparable style – and his love of London’s and Londoners’ proud history – will win all sections of the populist vote in London.

    Boris is the male, blonde Maya Angelou – everyone loves him.

    ‘You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.’

    That’s Maya, Boris and Londoners.

    Ken is humourless, colourless and arrogant, a miserable geezer and a whining bureaucrat in the depths of his being.

    Then there’s that magic ingredient – charisma and sex appeal. Boris has it in buckets. Ken had a tiny scrap of it once, but he’s lost it. He’s over the hill and miserable as sin. Londoners are sick to the back teeth of miserable gits like Ken and nulab banning this and banning that, they want to celebrate life again.

    Once Boris dons his Pearly King’s waistcoat and red costermonger’s neckerchief, red d***f’s hopes of another term as Mayor are as dead as Monty Python’s parrot.

  38. < ‘Whilst I wouldn’t express it in quite the way SteveL has, I think he does have a point where gays are concerned. It seems to me that it has moved on from gay rights to gay privilege.’ (AP)<

    Women love the buggers (no pun intended, well actually, yes, pun intended) and seem to want us all to act the same way by becoming ‘metrosexual’!

    Just what is ‘metrosexual’? I have a few pink shirts, and wear them, but I draw the line at spending £50 on a haircut and having my body hair waxed off.

    In private women will quite happily admit they find the idea of gay sex repulsive, but they are being brainwashed to look up to gay fashion.

    There’s nothing wrong with being homosexuality, but if British homosexuals care about the future of our society they should kepp their sordid ideas and fetished behind closed doors, where they belong, that’s my view!

  39. JayC … French sink secondary schools are every bit as bad, and possibly worse, than their equivalents here. Adopting a Francophile system won’t solve anything, nor will further simplistic tinkering with the educational system, though since it’s easy political capital that’s all we’re likely to get. The problem is a deep-rooted social one, and only social engineering can begin to solve it. As has been stated previously, the dependency culture needs to be broken, incentives need to be given, training and education must be seen to carry remuneration and status, we must tackle issues like the absence of deferred gratification in working class youth, we must give young people a sense of having an investment in society, and the list goes on and on. Americans expect to receive on-the-job training which will lead to career advancement, that isn’t the case in far too many jobs here.

    I hope there’s no innuendo in this ‘degree on David Beckham’, or is it a reference to his tattoos? Again I need reminding, just which political party was it that turned higher education into a market place thus ushering in these subjects that only exist to create coin for the teaching establishment? By the way, I’m ex-Wolstanton from back in the days when it was still a grammar school.

    Liberty … you may well be right, Ken may well be past his sell by date. I organised security for him once years ago, and he was damned good in action then, but I too suspect that his shine has faded. However, I don’t think it’s wise to count these chickens too quick, he’s got a very able political machine at his disposal, as can be seen by the way he dismissed Bliar. I hope that you’re right, but I advise caution, this is going to be a war not a walk-over, if it happens. I’ve seen groups, who mainly talk to each other or others of like mind, assume that the mass of the people is with them too often before to be over-confident.

  40. Oh dear … so you didn’t pull again tonight SteveL. Women like controlled psychopaths with a sense of humour. Blokes that make them feel safe and excited at the same time. Pink just attracts the wrong sort of dame, the kind that likes having gay friends. Invest in black.

  41. Didn’t pull? No I didn’t, but since the smkoing ban kicked in I have hardly been out either, and certainly wans’t tonight. I have plenty of black clothes too.

    Let’s face it, women are socialists.

  42. AP said:
    Oh dear … so you didn’t pull again tonight SteveL. Women like controlled psychopaths with a sense of humour…Invest in black.

    Steven_L said:
    It’s the girls who are unsuitable, on account of their arrogance…most of these degree educated women are covered in very un-feminine tattoos…£18k necessary for all of those pearl insets and lace napkins?…women are socialists….Just what is ‘metrosexual’?

    ‘Pulled ~ ‘girls’ ~ ‘arrogant’? Have you just emerged from a cave?

    Don’t you see, that’s the problem, Steven? Until you stop talking as though you’re still trapped in one and treat women more respectfully and as individuals, instead of as commodities in a sex supermarket, the sort of women you will attract you most definitely would not want to marry. I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t cringe with embarrassment and anger at the dehumanising expression ‘pulled’. Many hate being called ‘girls’ for the same reason. Women who are attracted to men who talk about pulling you will not like.

    I know you’re young and fed up at present and you’re indulging in a form of black humour, but you do need to gain a more positive view of women because your negative one is affecting your love life.

    Do you know women can tell a person’s life history by the way they wear their hat?

    As you know, we all constantly transmit an unspoken language, a million nuances of body language and facial expressions which amount to silent signalling of our innermost thoughts, intentions, loves and prejudices. Many women, though, sadly, far too few men, can read those signals like a book.

    As long as you have such negative thoughts about women you will transmit unspoken, negative signals, and the antenna of the sort of woman you’re looking for will pick those signals up and distrust your intentions.

    I think you need to think more positively about women and to transmit more positive signals. It will transform your love life. Two means I can think of for achieving that.

    1. Join a transactional analysis group and learn the hard way as I did.

    2. Take yourself off to your nearest Gay pub, explain that you’re not attracting the right sort of women and ask Gay men to give you a crash course.

    Gay men have an excellent understanding of women (that’s why women like them) they understand the power of positive thought – and they’re ace at unspoken signalling.

  43. Oh no … not TA Lib, more pop Penguine psychology out of adult ed. But then I’m a ‘don’t give a brass **** parent’. Now please explain why it’s the women I’ve heard use the expression ‘on the pull’ more than the men.

    Steve … be careful where you put that handkerchief. “Women are socialtwits” … that’s not a very nice thing to say, is it?

    Saw this great sign outside a pub yesterday:

    WARNING
    Our staff may become stroppy and violent due to the absence of passive smoking.

  44. Murk said “The facts are that children from a stable married couple do better than children from a non-married couple” and everyone seems to be ignoring why marriages break down and expecting those reasons not to be significant to children but the ONLY significant factor being the marital status of the parents. The term ‘single mother’ is a broad term that includes; unmarried children/women who have sex and get pregnant and remain single as a lifestyle choice, women who have co-habited because their man wouldn’t commit (and some would say who can blame the men nowadays), divorced people who have been abandoned by their spouse, widows, widowers, women who have been lied to and abandoned after being coerced into sex but who choose not to abort, and parents who have had to leave a relationship through fear either for themselves or their children. When a relationship breaks down, for whatever reason, everyone in the household becomes affected. The government simply cannot legislate against domestic trouble. It cannot. Staying in an abusive or miserable relationship ‘for the sake of the children’ often does not help them at all.

    The underclass of people who wantonly procreate to achieve State housing and then ignore their offspring such that they grow up feral animals are a completely different kettle of fish to those in different circumstances. But whilst it is usual for arguers to throw a bone to good single parents (there are always noteable exceptions) the fact is that pedaling this old-fashioned witch hunt will simply re-introduce the prejudices and pressures that we fought so hard to rid society of. You don’t need to knee-jerk back to yesterday. You can learn and keep the progress whilst ridding society of the social frameworks that cause problems, without making everyone, guilty or innocent, who happens to match the description, suffer.

  45. AP said:

    Now please explain why it’s the women I’ve heard use the expression ‘on the pull’ more than the men.

    For the same reason that some Gay Liberationalists joke among themselves about ‘Q****s’ and some ethnic minorities use N****, AP. Largely in an attempt to fight back and take control of these dehumanising terms through ridicule. Though a significant section of women are daft enough to dehumanise themselves and men with these expressions.

    I’ve not claimed that women do not use the expression ‘on the pull’. What I have said is that I don’t know of any who do. My friends and I have more respect for ourselves and men to use it. What I did say was:

    “Women who are attracted to men who talk about pulling, you will not like.”

    I should perhaps have said that Steven might like them for a time, but would not want to marry them, because they’re the magazine culture women he rejects as potential marriage partners. Anyway, I don’t think Steven has spoken of pulling – it’s you, AP, who uses that expression.

    I’m not objecting to the criticism of negative cultures among some women, what I’m objecting to is the suggestion that all women are of this ilk, which is clearly nonsense.

  46. Liberty, your misquoting me, I didn’t say half of those things. Anyway, AP was the first to use the word ‘pull’. What’s this about joining ‘transactional analysis’ groups or trapsing into a gay bar to ask advice on women? You see? This is what I mean, where on Earth are you getting these ridiculous ideas from? Your womens magazines? They’re written by feminist man-haters and gays!

    Anyway, can we please get back on-topic.

    We’re moving towards an unholy consensus in this country, fuelled by screams of ‘child poverty’ and ‘domestic violence’ whereby we are headed for a situation where single men will never even be able to afford an engagement ring, as all their spare cash will have been confiscated to dish out to teenaged single mothers in the form of tax credits.

    The feminists love this idea I bet, the state becomes the father figure, the man has nothing to do with the child.

    We need social reforms that makes being a single mother hard work, and being an unmarried single father even harder. There should be no wealth redistribution through ‘tax credits’, if HMRC are able to redistribute our wealth through PAYE why not do this with child support, so that all the single fathers spare cash is taken by the taxman and handed to the single mother.

    Marriage would form a barrier to this, seperation and divorce would still be dealt with by the family courts, whereas in the case of unmarried couples, the father would be obliged to trake a DNA test, would have his passport removed, and would be have child support deducted from his wage slip.

    At present, his child support is deducted from my wages slip and given to his kids in the form of tax credits. Why?

  47. AP said:

    Oh no … not TA Lib, more pop Penguine psychology out of adult ed.

    Why do you feel so threatened by psychology, AP?

    Apparently charismatic leaders who are masters of political manipulation, such as Clinton and Blair, are so impressed with the power of subliminal signalling, and quasi-religious symbolism in particular, that they’ve trained themselves, or been trained, to use it all the time. That’s what the Clinton thumb is all about – and Blair’s, admittedly miserable, attempt to copy it.

    As tapestry once pointed out, Clinton spent years in front of a mirror practicing his body language and subliminal signalling – I bet Blair has too. Though both Clinton and Blair use it in a subverted form – and were ultimately caught out – and Brown’s attempt to use is risible and keeps going horribly wrong, it’s an extremely useful life skill when used properly.

    There are those fortunate beggars of course, such as Boris, who don’t have to try to learn how to emulate positive signalling or symbolism because it’s their natural way of being in the world. But that’s all too rare.

    That’s why Boris will one day be PM.

  48. Steven_L said:

    “Liberty, your misquoting me, I didn’t say half of those things.”

    I cut and pasted them from your postings, Steven, read them again.

    “Anyway, AP was the first to use the word ‘pull’.”

    I’ve already said this.

    “What’s this about joining ‘transactional analysis’ groups or trapsing into a gay bar to ask advice on women?”

    Take a friend with you, it will be a revelation and transform your love life 🙂

    “You see? This is what I mean, where on Earth are you getting these ridiculous ideas from? Your womens magazines?”

    I haven’t read a woman’s mag since I ready Roxy when I was aged about 16 and I am not a feminist, for want of a better word, I’m a humanist.

    “They’re written by feminist man-haters and gays!”

    You’re a great bloke, Steven, because like so many young men these days you really do want to understand what women are all about. Yet, like so many of us, someone has saddled you with some horribly negative viewpoints. They belong to another generation, most of it long dead.

    “We need social reforms that makes being a single mother hard work, and being an unmarried single father even harder.”

    Decent women will run a mile from such prejudiced views and the body language which goes with them. For goodness sake, read what Jaq has said so well about the different types of single parents.

    You will never win the woman of your dreams until you ditch these jaundiced views. It’s within your grasp if you want to make the effort.

  49. Bah, well we should at least ditch tax credits.

    Why not just take the money directly from the fathers PAYE and give it to the mother? Why does my pay cheque have to get involved?

    < ‘…someone has saddled you with some horribly negative viewpoints’ (Liberty)<

    Look, I grew up in an area that silly politicans class as having a high rate of ‘child poverty’, and ‘single parent families’. I remember all to and well at school that many of the girls from the rougher parts of town simply wanted to leave school and get up the duff, so they could get a ‘cooncil hoose’.

    Now all I see are a load of poncy Southerners starting to agree with these horrible Scottish socialists that people like me have to be taxed more in order to save all these kids from ‘poverty’.

    It’s rot, they define poverty as 60% or less of median earnings. Guess what, up here in South-East Northumberland most people do earn 60% of less of what you Southerners earn. We still have deisgner clothes, nintendos, still get plastered on a Saturday night and still have a roof over our heads. There are considerably less Mercedes and Jaguars on the drives, but that is not poverty. You can still buy a three bedroom house up here, in these areas where there is vast ‘child poverty’ for £70k, a few years ago these hopuses were £20-30k. This child poverty measure is just another way to screw the South for the sake of the Labour voting North, and you’re all falling for it you dimwits.

    My arguement is that the policies of handing out condoms to school kids and drenching teenage mothers with state handouts is what is causing the massive social welfare bill we now have. It never used to be like this, so what if my attitudes are ‘outdated’? I think the attitudes of older generations towards family were better than ours are at present.

    You’re wrong that all women disagree with me, I used to live with an Irish Catholic girls that made me look left wing of social issues.

  50. Steven_L said:

    Look, I grew up in an area that silly politicans class as having a high rate of ‘child poverty’, and ‘single parent families’.

    And where do you think I grew up? Tinsel town? My town in the South East is a deprivation area with above national levels of unmarried, teenage pregancies. Though I’m fortunate to live in a village on the outskirts of it now.

    And I’ll tell you a secret, thanks to coming from a highly disfunctional family, I was one of those pregnant young girls many years ago. I had a shot gun marriage – which was designed to fail, and it did – married at the age of 16. We lived in dire poverty for some years. I often didn’t eat, yet my child always did. There wasn’t even Child benefit for a first child in those days. And if that hasn’t by now told you that I’m really Auntie Flo’, using another blog name to deter a persistent troll, nothing will 🙂

  51. Liberty, you accuse me of saying:

    < ‘Steven_L said:
    It’s the girls who are unsuitable, on account of their arrogance…most of these degree educated women are covered in very un-feminine tattoos…£18k necessary for all of those pearl insets and lace napkins?…women are socialists….Just what is ‘metrosexual’?<

    I think if you look again you will see it was not me that said:

    < ‘It’s the girls who are unsuitable, on account of their arrogance..or..£18k necessary for all of those pearl insets and lace napkins?’<

    I never said girls were arrogant at all. I said they were covered in filthy tattoos.

  52. Steven_L, You may not believe that such experience can be character forming, but it was. It gave me the tenacity and gumption not just to survive but to learn to survive quite well.

    Put myself through a degree course as a mature student and three years of transactional analysis and group therapy to sort out the negative life patterns my highly disturbed family had bequeathed me. Also renewed my rather shaky relationship with God.

    I am so glad I did all of that, it’s transformed my life. The child I had all those years ago and I now own a reasonably successful business partnership.

    So I would agree with modified versions of some of your views. Life is not meant to be easy, good character is formed through struggle. That struggle and the initiative to improve our lives and our environment are the essence of our humanity. Take those away, as this controlling state has done, and you dehumanise and brutalise people and social groups. Little wonder then that violent crime rates and social problems go sky high.

    What I will never agree with, Steven, is your stereotyping of all women, all Gay people and all single parents, all southerners etc, because that’s damn lies and stupidity. Wake up and recognise that we’re all individuals.

  53. < ‘We lived in dire poverty for some years. I often didn’t eat, yet my child always did. There wasn’t even Child benefit for a first child in those days.’ (Liberty)<

    My grandparents grew up in poverty. My Grandad was one of seven, two of who dies in childhood. We are a much more prosperous society now. I have nothing against child benefit, just tax credits. The absent father should be the one who has part of his income deducted through PAYE and handed to the mother. People should be responsible for their own actions. You can claim these tax credits even when you’re earning a lot more than the median household income. It has nothing to do with poverty and everything to do with socialism. Brown wants to create an unholy situation of welfare dependency across the board. He wants the state to play a bigger role in all of our lives.

    These ‘depriavation area’s’ are a nonsense. All they need to clean them up is better schooling and better policing. They might have low paid jobs in a lot of these areas, but up here a lot of them only paid about £20k for their house, so their income goes a lot further.

    Browns mass welath redistribution takes to account of the cost of living in your region or whether you bought your house before or after the recent period of hyperinflation.

    It is all about taking money from Tory areas and Tory voters to give to Labour voters in Labour areas. Believe me, a lot of people up my neck of the woods think you lot down there owe them a living on a silver platter. They quite happily defraud the local authority or the ‘government’ without making the connection that they are really defrauding their fellow countrymen. They need a kick up the backside, a load of Southerners demanding that Gordon Brown does something about ‘child poverty’ just makes him smile. He will, he’ll tax you even more and hand it over to his client voters, whilst simutaneiously creating an even larger bureaucracy or client voters to manage and market his schemes.

  54. Sorry,

    < ‘Browns mass welath redistribution takes to account of the cost of living in your region or whether you bought your house before or after the recent period of hyperinflation.’<

    Should have read

    < ‘Browns mass wealth redistribution makes no account of the cost of living in your region or whether you bought your house before or after the recent period of hyperinflation.<

  55. Oh, and another thing, does ‘child poverty’ stop vast swaiths of council tenants up here from mowing their lawns or keeping their gardens tidy? No, it doesn’t!

    A lot of these people are authors of their own misfortune, and unfortunately the future misfortune of their children. There’s nothing you can do about it, but paying them to breed even more is a bad idea.

  56. Steven_L said:

    Liberty…I think if you look again you will see it was not me that said: ‘It’s the girls who are unsuitable, on account of their arrogance..or..£18k necessary for all of those pearl insets and lace napkins?’ I never said girls were arrogant at all. I said they were covered in filthy tattoos.

    You’re right, Steven_L, I’ve confused you with your alter ego, Steve in respect of this quote and I do apologise for that. That was most unfair of me.

    However, let’s not split hairs, you and Steve are two peas in a pod, you both have absurdly stereotyped and obnoxious views about women. So perhaps you should both go and have TA or visit a Gay bar for advice.

  57. Well, I disgaree. I think the ‘crisis in masculinity’ Boris talks of is highlighted perfectly well by men spending £50 on a haircut and having their pubic hair waxed.

    It is true that most single, childless, working class women cannot be trusted with credit cards. It is true that they are becoming more and more celebrity obessed and shallow.

    I think there is a ‘crisis’ in femininity in this respect. All this ‘size 0’ stuff sums it up nicely. Kelly Brook has been the most popular lads pin up for donkeys, a nice curvy girl. Women spend too much time gazing at clothes adverts and worrying about peer approval of other women. Women are increasingly bitchy about what other women wear, and how other women look. The very magazines that push images of stick-thin catwalk models down their throats then have the nerve to ask why more young women suffer from anorexia.

    Men don’t like stick-thin women covered from head to toe in hideous tattoos who do nothing but worry about David Beckham moving house.

    It’s women that need to change and become more feminine, women doing well at school is irrelevant.

  58. Liberty … I said it as a joke to SteveL after reading what he’d posted late at night. There are vast differences in age and social class where linguistic usage is concerned, before gender differences are even considered. I did love the reversal some years ago when I first heard one of the girls describe a lad as a ‘tart’ … it took the lads by surprise.

    As far as psychology goes, I prefer my Freud, Jung, and Adler in its original form rather than warmed up and rehashed for the consumption of those that can’t digest the unsimplified versions. I’m not too keen on the whole self-righteous industry that’s grown up around purveying it, especially when the standard response from its paid advocates tends to be “Oh, you’re too intelligent for it” when they’re challenged. TA is one of the better bits of the current trend, but it’s still the rehashing of earlier Freudian material … a bit like one of those movies they make based on 1960s TV series. But a Tory advocating TA? Now I know the situation really is hopeless. I better learn to whistle and hum ‘The Red Flag’ so that I can fit in with McBroon and the Gordstapo before I begin to weep into my beer, if I let them know that I know the words I’ll stand out far too much from that socialite throng. [That’s ‘throng’ Steve, not ‘thong’]

    The girls are right about single parents SteveL. Try taking the propagandistic spectacles, that came free with the Daily Mail, off. If not, hey, let’s blame the Jews for all our problems, it worked for Adolf. In other words, it’s a far too simplistic and prejudiced an outlook.

  59. PS: Liberty … South East? It sounds like we’re neighbours, or fairly close to it. Those bikers wouldn’t happen to be ‘Rejects’, would they?

    I’m in Tracey Emin territory.

  60. Steven_L said:

    These ‘depriavation area’s’ are a nonsense…Browns mass welath redistribution takes no account of the cost of living in your region …It is all about taking money from Tory areas and Tory voters to give to Labour voters in Labour areas.

    Good points here, not least because instead of spouting a lot of meaningless stereotypes you just state the facts.

  61. One of the many absurdities of the deprivation area classification which supports your point to a certain extent, Steven_L, is that skilled people from deprivation areas in the North East commute to my deprivation area in the South East for work. I employ some of them.

    In three days work here, they earn sufficient to pay their mortgages, their travel and accommodation costs and to have a good standard of living in the North East.

  62. AP said:

    As far as psychology goes, I prefer my Freud, Jung, and Adler in its original form rather than warmed up and rehashed for the consumption of those that can’t digest the unsimplified versions.

    The key difference between Transactional and Freudian Analysis is that Freudian analysis is unnecessarily long winded. If I’d had Freudian instead of Transactional analysis I’d still be doing it now and I might never finish.

    I’m not criticising Freud, he was a genius. Humanity can never view itself or consciousness in the same way again thanks to Freud’s theory of the subconscious. However his analytical methods needed refinement and TA has achieved that.

    I don’t believe that TA is a simplification of Freud. TA achieves the same aims as Freudianism, just sooner, thanks to TA’s use of group work and very clever participatory exercises – and by empowering the person undergoing analysis rather than the therapist.

    Freud would spend weeks analysing a dream which, in TA the dreamer themselves would analyse just as effectively, with the help of the analyst and/or group, in, say, half an hour.

    I’m not near Emmin country, I’m closer to London

  63. Lib: Try replacing the categories with ‘Id’, ‘Ego’ and ‘Super-ego’ and then subdividing. The group therapy probably comes from Perls work at Esalen.

  64. Well I think all this psychology is de-humanising. Who cares if someone is scared stiff of spiders, doesn’t like the French and won’t get on an aeroplane. We’ve all got our little quirks, none of us are perfect. All these talking therapies are largely a waste of time in my view. Unless someone is suffering from an actual illness, that is having a really detrimental effect on them getting on with their lives, we should just live and let live and accept each other with out little quirks and imperfections.

    What a boring world it would be if we were all ‘perfect’. In any case, who’s idea of ‘perfect’ would we subscribe to? I’m a bit scared of wasps myself, in one respect it’s a bit silly for a grown man to be afraid of an insect, on the other hand it hurts when the little blighters sting you! Maybe I should invest a few hundred quid with my local psycho-therapist to cure my fear of wasps?

    On second thoughts it’s just a waste of time.

  65. < ‘In three days work here, they earn sufficient to pay their mortgages, their travel and accommodation costs and to have a good standard of living in the North East.’ (Liberty)<

    Yeah? What sort of jobs you got going?

  66. Boris, if the dear old Church of E-verything gets its way, the problem will be a lack of marriagable labradors, spaniels and whippets. Aye and there’s the rub..

  67. Well at least we have the blog back which gives me a chance to say to y’all a fond farewell xxx

    Boris for PM!
    (if you have to be Mayor of London first then so be it 🙂

  68. Mr. Candy– You raise a good point about the marriageability of modern English women. I’m not entirely sure if the Polish women in my part of London are very different. Tattoos and beer drinking play a very visible role in their lifestyle choices.

    I do not intend any arrogance towards you when I say that it’s a pity you’re not a Muslim. Despite the immense moral challenges that all youth inevitably face in the urban British context, there are a lot of religiously-inclined Muslim females that are `making it through’ system and who have little or no hang-ups about getting married, having kids, etc. The supposedly `backwards’ and `inferior’ ideology of Islam is, so far, still managing to successfully do its part in encouraging and nurturing the settled family life.

    Liberal ideologies, on the other hand, have brought western Europe to the crossroads at which we are now at, and people are voicing the need for a counter-movement which will, if not reward married couples, at least remove financial impediments which would deter young couples from marrying and taking responsibility for each other and their children.

    I suspect, however, that it will ultimately take more than just material incentives to turn around our present moral predicament; it will rather require a moral and spiritual transformation of the masses on the grassroots level.

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