Social and political commentary from a conservative perspective

Labour’s U-turn on marriage

So the Government now recognises that there is a ‘moral case’ for promoting the traditional family through the tax system?

Never mind that the Conservative Party has been saying this for a long time, and being accused by Labour of being ‘nasty’ and judgmental.

I am yet to be convinced that Labour actually recognise that marriage is actually the best state in which to bring up children. Of course not. This latest about-face is down to nothing more than political expediency.

And they have the cheek to accuse other people of ‘flip-flopping’.

And speaking of Labour’s U-turn, please remind me: who was it abolished the Married Couples’ Allowance for under 65s, in the first place?

Step forward, Mr G. Brown.

15 Responses to “Labour’s U-turn on marriage”

  1. cityunslicker Says:

    They do seem to have run out of rabbits at last?

  2. Mountjoy Says:

    The hilarious thing is that Brown tried to be preacher-like at the Labour Party conference and talked about, “Suffer the little children,” and “not just some of the children”, and now he accepts that children are best brought up in a stable married environment.

    Admittedly, some men are not fit to be dads, as anyone who watched the film “Dear Frankie” starring Emily Mortimer the other evening. Some mothers have to escape from abusive relationships, and some men are nothing more than Tom cats looking for their next conquest…

    … but that is only a small part of the equation. Most mums and dads would stay together if they made the commitment to get married before starting a family - and they would think about the consequences.

    Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘Breakdown Britain’ report has changed the political consensus on family as sure as the Taxpayers’ Alliance and George Osborne have on the consensus on tax cuts.

  3. newmania Says:

    “Suffer the little children

    Yes I found those stirring biblical words rining in my ears when I saw they had change their mind …they are all over the place aren`t they.

  4. Bob Piper Says:

    I agree that this is a piece of shameless political opportunism. The snooty and snobby pseudo-christian radio 4 concept of ‘family’ is total and utter crap and Brown should be ashamed of himself for pursuing this ridiculous notion.

    It is blatant discrimination against perfectly happy gay and heterosexual relationships and both the Labour and Conservative Party leaderships should roast in whatever hell they imagine exists for this. Why should people expect their taxes to be wasted on people who do no more than take some hollow vows in a place of worship or registry office?

    I am not the slightest bit surprised that the Tory MPs persist with this fancy whilst screwing their mistresses and rent boys on the side… but for LABOUR MPs to do so is beyond reproach. One of Brown’s more positive taxation measures was to end this ridiculous subsidy given by taxpayers to people who chose to wed… now…hang your head!

  5. Bel Says:

    Hello Bob,

    I hope you had a good holiday. Welcome back. :)

    You said:

    I am not the slightest bit surprised that the Tory MPs persist with this fancy whilst screwing their mistresses and rent boys on the side… but for LABOUR MPs to do so is beyond reproach.

    Why do you say this? Are Labour MPs not human like the rest of us? Are they made of some divine DNA, and therefore immune from hypocrisy?

    Nothing a human being does should surprise you, whether they are Labour or Tory. Mankind is flawed, after all.

    I think that may be the fundamental difference between conservatives and people on the Left. We conservatives recognise the limits of mankind. We know our faults, and that we cannot, on our own, change the world. The Left, on the other hand, seems to claim for itself a peculiar righteousness.

  6. Praguetory Says:

    What a bizarre twisted rant from Mr Piper. It rather confirms your view, Bel, that (in the face of overwhelming evidence) Labour don’t really believe that marriage provides the best environment for kids to grow up in.

    When you consider all the ways that marriage is discriminated against by the state at present, even Cameron’s small moves to support marriage remain just that - small moves. A friend of mine with a wife and young child opined that it might be financially beneficial for his family to stop working. It would probably be even better if he moved out, too.

  7. Bob Piper Says:

    Nothing twisted about it Dominic. I don’t think it is for the Government, Labour or Conservative, to take a view on what relationships people enter into. At least Labour have done something for those gay and lesbian people who wanted the same protection under the law, but why they should adopt simpering moralistic attitudes such as those you opine as to whether or not people choose to marry or not is beyond me.

    I appreciate you Tories feel it is necessary for the State to interfere in the minutiae of people’s daily lives, as sadly does Labour, but personally I adopt a much more liberal attitude.

    Bel, unlike Mr Fisher, you make a good point…. and yes, the holiday was terrific!

  8. Praguetory Says:

    A Labour politician complaining about Tories interfering in the minutiaie of people’s lives - now I’ve heard it all.

    New Labour’s legislative frenzy comprises over 3,000 new crimes, more criminal justice laws than in the previous century and ban after ban.

    Back to the argument at hand. Seventy per cent of young offenders come from lone-parent families; children from broken homes are 70 per cent more likely to become drug addicts. Some studies estimate the social costs of a single delinquent to run into millions.

    Like driving tests or training doctors, the popularity of marriage has a positive effect on society at large and that is why I support it.

    Therefore, for me advocating policies that promote marriage is not about sticking a moral oar into people lives. I support marriage in the same way as I support speed limiters on cars. When everyone but Labour politicians can see that family breakdown is a problem, your attempt to hamstring politicians by observing hypocrisy is wearing very thin.

    Nice of you to mention my name. Normally, you and Tom Watson use my name after you’ve been fully beaten in our online arguments. Pre-emptive strike?

  9. Bob Piper Says:

    Dominic, you have used your own name, stop being a prima donna about it. Bloody hell, speed limiters on cars, laws on marriage… 3001,…3002, keep going you busy body.

  10. newmania Says:

    whilst screwing their mistresses and rent boys on the side

    I detect that Mr. Piper is not quiet as nonjudgemental as he claims to be. Yes , it is clearly a social good not to actually discriminate against marriage as the tax and benfit system currently does. The evidence for the solial goods accruing are overwhelming and endlessly repeated.

    The Labour government does not just want to interfere with the minutiae but the gross amounts of your own money and choice you retain .

    I think “Hollow vows in a registry office” is not a fair description of marriage . I take it you are single Bob and at your age that must mean you are a friend of Dorothy. No problem of course but I `m a bit suprised .

    PS Praguetory- You can sod off with your speed limiters , what a vile idea

  11. Ian Appleby Says:

    Praguetory, what is this overwhelming evidence in favour of marriage you mention? I note that, in contrast to what you say about the financial costs of delinquency, the assertions you have made concerning single-parent families are unsourced.

    Further, there’s an obvious omission, which could be interpreted as a deliberate distortion: you don’t appear to distinguish between single-parent households and long-term couples (of whatever orientation) who are not married.

    The last time I remember this coming up at Bel’s, I don’t recall that anyone could satisfactorily answer what concrete difference a marriage certificate made to a stable couple’s parenting abilities, and I remain genuinely curious as to why some people believe it might.

  12. Praguetory Says:

    The source for the outcomes of children not brought up by two parents are in section C2 of the faliy section of IDS’s Breakdown Britain report. See here.

    http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/client/downloads/BB_family_breakdown.pdf

    Probably the most important difference is that a married couple is more likely to remain a stable couple than an unmarried couple is.

    A study of Millennium Cohort Study data on
    15,000 mothers with young children found that cohabiting couples are more than twice as likely as married couples to split up, even when accounting for income and other socio-economic factors.

    See - Benson, H., 2006, The conflation of marriage and cohabitation in government statistics - a denial of difference rendered untenable by an analysis of outcomes. Bristol Community Family Trust,

    So to summarise the full argument runs like this.

    Children brought up by two parents in a stable home environment are less likely to be delinquent. The commitment of marriage improves the likelihood of a couple with kids staying together. Supporting the institution of marriage is likely to lead to better social outcomes for society.

    I hoep this helps.

  13. Ian Appleby Says:

    Thanks, PT. I’ll try and engage with this more fully soon but I’m busy this week.

  14. newmania Says:

    Has bel stopped thinking then ?

  15. Bel Says:

    Hi Newmania,

    Bel is still thinking. :)

    Only a little bit disillusioned with ‘democracy’ in this country, and the general cynicism in politics.

    Be back soon.

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