He’s wibbling on about large families:
What is the correct number of children each of us should have? It’s a question to which we urgently need an answer – made all the more necessary by the latest reported figures, which show that Britain now has more families with four or more children than at any time since the 1970s. According to the European statistics agency, Eurostat, there’s a growing trend for large families – even though the average family size is getting smaller.
Should this be celebrated, or condemned? We need some guidance, surely. If not, how are today’s young people of childbearing age ever going to work out what to do?
Yes, these days, we’ve bred a generation unable to decide anything crucial for themselves until they’ve checked out guidance on it, eh, Jonathan?
The idea that they could make that decision themselves, taking into account current financial situation and likely future prospects, must fill one with utter trepidation…
Politically, though, it seems that larger families in particular are in the firing line. All the parties, but the Tories most enthusiastically, have pledged to clamp down on these feckless parents, and these political messages are fed by the scare stories in the press of “benefit scroungers” having endless babies and living luxury lifestyles – paid for by hardworking taxpayers.
True, true. And not before time. What’s your point?
Of course, there is a group of large families whom the media love, whose size is a sign of their drive and ambition. They are the super-rich.“City superwoman” Helena Morrissey is one: she has nine children, earns squillions by day, yet gets home by 6pm every night to do the ironing. Nicola Horlick is another: she raised six children while working in the City. There you are, women, you CAN have it all. Stop your moaning about equal-rights this, maternity that, childcare the other. If you can’t fly as high as they do, there must be something wrong with you! (Of course, the army of nannies, cleaners, cooks, gardeners, etc, who support them is not reported quite so often, but there you go.)
So, these families are a net gain, rather than a net loss, to the taxpayer? Maybe that’s why we are happy to have them breed as much as they wish.
But what’s your angle, Jonathan?
I have a larger than average family (due mainly to a series of accidents – they never taught me sex education at school) .