Marrieds with Children
Wait for the explosion of synthetic rage. Purple-faced outrage against 'Same old Tories'. Much talk of 'unreconstructed bigots' and 'cruel attacks on single mothers'. None of it justified of course. But I still think that David Cameron is taking a massive risk by making the case for marriage - even if he has sent IDS out into the war zone to test for land mines. Its a big risk and I agree with him absolutely.
Lets get our defense in first. Of course there are many wonderful single parents, bringing up very successful well-balanced children. And this debate shouldn't be anything to do with morality, sexual exclusivity, homosexuality, etc.. Live and let live I say. The debate is about averages, and facts that have to be faced - and about how we tackle the social breakdown that causes such a swathe of destruction across our country.
On average, children are much less likely to become criminals or drug addicts if they are brought up by two parents living together. And the two parents are much more likely to carry on living together if they are married. The children are much less likely to fail at school. And much less likely to become parents themselves whilst they are still children. That's not to say etc.......
The anyone who can operate an abacus can work out that our tax system (and every other Government system) should be geared towards encouraging parents to get married if they have children - and encouraging them to make the accommodations needed to stay married when things get a bit rocky. It certainly shouldn't be encouraging the opposite. This all seems very logical and uncontroversial to me. But I find myself in total agreement with Janet Daley in today's Telegraph and with the Cornerstone Group in general. Maybe there is a right wing butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. At least, I have the comfort of knowing that David Cameron seems to be thinking the same way.