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« Charles Hawley: The Death of German Conservatism | Main | John Hayes MP: Being Conservative »


henry curteis

It is women who decide to bring up children without men - why? because it seems an easier option to rely on the State for the funds to raise a family than a man. But women who have raised a family alone usually say that it is far harder than raising a family with a male partner. It's not a case of locking people into marriages, or making marriage more attractive financially although that would help. It's a case of educating young women about the decisions they take. The ideal teachers being older women who have experienced raising children alone.

With fathers around criminality would fall.

It seems that young men have a problem of establishing an identity and so they easily fall into negative peer group behaviour. Would it really be impossible to provide national service type discipline to help wayward youth - but this time - not to provide manpower for military organisations, just for the help it gives to educating young men in the ways of discipline.

James Hellyer

The ratio of prisoners to crimes that prevailed when Ronald Reagan took office, applied to the number of crimes reported in 2003, corresponds to a prison population of 490,000. The actual prison population in 2003 was 2,086,000, a difference of 1.6 million.

The point is often raised that we have too many people in prison in ratio to our population (comparisons to lower ratios throughout the EU are often used). Those comparisons are wrong, because they look at the wrong ratio. The correct ratio is the prison population compared to the number of crimes committed. That indicates that we have too few people in prison!

As record numbers are incarcerated that suggests that prison does work, but only by locking up the problem for a while.

That means we need to find a radical new approach to penal policy. If people are reoffending the penal system is failing them and the society it's supposed to protect.

We also need, as Murray suggests, to look at the environments that breed criminality and act to remove them - in a way that a government that pledged to be "tough on the causes of crime" noticeably has not.

Mike Christie

"It is women who decide to bring up children without men... "

Really? Most of the single mothers I know are single because the fathers disappeared in a cloud of dust as soon as they got the 'bad' news. The removal of the social stigma of being a single mother has also removed the social stigma of being an absent father.

There is no social pressure in most communities on the father to live up to his responsibilities. The concept of doing the honourable thing, or of the shotgun wedding is now seen as old-fashioned and almost laughable by a liberal society.

That is not to say that there are not any women who make a decision to raise a child alone, but to suggest that all single mothers make that choice is nothing short of ridiculous.

Tired and emotional


I think the point is that the women choose to bring the children up. As in not abort them in the absence of a father and the ability to provide for them.

Thus whole swathes of the population appear with no experience of a hardworking male figure in their lives and they go on to repeat the same pattern, siring their own kids with no sense of responsibility for them. And many of these kids end up in prison (or not) as criminals...

James Maskell

Just noticed this article and the comments about mothers. I know of one case which might enlighten somewhat.

I knew a woman who had a pair of twins. It wasnt expected and the mother struggled with them. The father was there for the first 3 years but soon after left her with the kids. I dont believe she saw any payments through the CSA. She was living on benefits due to not being able to get a job. Her work life had only consisted of a short stint as a chambermaid (she was around 31 when the twins were born).

Things got so bad when child 3 came along that the twins had to be given up for adoption. It broke her heart to do that because she didnt want to have to put her own children into care with the aim of a different family doing what she couldnt. She was so hurt by it that she became very withdrawn and cut her ties with the children, not leaving any contact details for them when they turned 18.

I have no sympathy for that father. He was a disgrace to abandon her. Single mothers become single mothers often because the father wont hold up to his responsibilities. Adoption did work though, and the twins were given the second chance at life. The third child eventually went into the adoption system too.

Single mothers need the support of the Conservative Party. That means a full overhaul of the disasterous CSA project and a proper system put in place appropriate for today's Britain.

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