Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How the Tories Are Screwing the Pooch — And Screwing Britain

From Melanie Phillips, at London's Daily Mail, "Why failing to stand up for marriage is the reason Tories are always in crisis":
The Tories are in ferment. Plots against David Cameron appear to be seeding like dandelion spores. Rebellion looms in the division lobbies.

The list of Mr Cameron's apparent crimes lengthens by the day.

The threatened triple-dip depression. Gay marriage. Labour's lead in the opinion polls. And the fact that the Prime Minister looks like a loser.

To which one might marvel at just what a shower these Tories are.

For they have behaved mutinously towards every one of their leaders since they toppled Mrs Thatcher in 1990.

The reason for this never-ending uproar surely lies deeper, however, than indiscipline among power-crazed MPs or the deficiencies of individual leaders.

Indeed, it explains why the Tories just can't seem to produce a leader they do support.
It is that conservatism itself is in crisis.

With some honourable exceptions, today's Tories don't appear to know what conservatism is for and what it is against.

In the last century, they all knew they had to defend Britain against socialism.
But when the Berlin Wall fell and Labour started speaking the language of market economics, the Tories seemed to conclude that their fox had been shot.


They could not have been more wrong. The attempt by the Left to undermine and topple Western society had merely shifted from political revolution to social and cultural issues.

And at the very centre of that systematic onslaught lay the intention to destroy the unique importance of the married family and replace it by a lifestyle free-for-all.
Not understanding the full significance of what was happening, the Tories made a total mess of the issue in the 'back to basics' fiasco under John Major, and then staged a full retreat under a barrage of attacks from the Left....

For at the heart of the decades-long onslaught by the Left against the core tenets of Western society lies the doctrine of 'non-judgmentalism', under which it has become forbidden to suggest that anyone's lifestyle is more socially desirable than any other.
Worse still, those whose behaviour lies outside conventional social norms are deemed to be 'victims' and their demands have been relabelled 'rights'.

So views that mothers and fathers are better for children than lone parents or step-parents, or that deliberately having babies outside marriage is selfish and irresponsible, have became unsayable.

The fundamental need children have for their own mother and father has simply been trumped by the selfish desires of adults.


To mask this abandonment of children, their core need was redefined as being 'lifted out of poverty' - which merely made their mothers ever more dependent on state benefits, and thus promoted sexual anarchy even further.

The result has been an unmitigated disaster. In some areas, several generations of family disintegration have resulted in a total breakdown in parenting, so that children are becoming horrifyingly incapable of even basic functions.

According to the Government's adviser on problem families, Louise Casey, some three-year-olds are unable to walk because they are habitually parked in their buggies in front of the TV.

And Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, has spoken of children who, when they come to school, can only grunt as they haven't been taught to speak; and who may also still be in nappies at the age of five.

Ms Casey laments that no official initiatives seem to get through to such families. Of course not - because the one thing that is needed above all, to remove the perverse incentives that have destroyed marriage in such areas, is the one policy that will never be enacted.

The real reason the Tories won't properly address this is not just the inane social nihilism of Nick Clegg. It is surely because the Tory leadership itself has such a shallow and reductive view of marriage - including among its supposed cheerleaders.

Look at the reasons they give for supporting marriage - that it promotes stability, unselfishness and self-sacrifice. That was the substance of Michael Gove's paean of praise for the institution yesterday, as he made the case for extending it to gays.
RTWT at that top link.

And also, "DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Gay marriage and a split no one wanted."