Friday, 23 August 2013

11 August 2013 2:40 AM 

Since when was saving your children a 'lifestyle choice'? 

This is Peter Hitchens's Mail on Sunday column 

There’s something a little jaunty about the expression ‘lifestyle choice’. 
And maybe in the super-rich world of our Chancellor of the Exchequer, this is how full-time motherhood is regarded. 
But actually quite a lot of couples view it as a stern duty. 

They see the terrifying world of bad schools, bullying, drugs, internet filth and peer-pressure to do the wrong thing, which now menaces children, and they resolve to make their homes a fortress against this. Being a full time mother is a lifestyle choice according to the Chancellor 

To do so, they give up many of the pleasures of life. Families with full-time mothers don’t tend to live in big houses, they often go without holidays and the array of shiny consumer goods that two incomes buy. They reckon it is worth the sacrifice. 
They do not expect to be thanked. Far from it. 

But they think it a bit much that their heavy taxes go to pay for nurseries for those who choose to have two incomes rather than one. 

They learned long ago that the state was suspicious of them and hostile to them. The New Labour Commissar Patricia Hewitt said back in June 2003 that mothers who stayed at home were a ‘real problem’. 

The Tories, who largely supported Labour’s Marxist (see below) 

‘Equality’ laws and have their own ‘Equalities’ Minister, have always acted as if they agreed with Ms Hewitt. 

They have subsidised every form of childcare except that done by the child’s own mother. And now the millionaire Chancellor (what is his name? 
I can never remember) has airily dismissed the embattled minority of traditional families as indulging in a ‘lifestyle choice’, like smoking or owning an allotment. He’s just as much an enemy of the strong family as Commissar Hewitt.

The minds of the Tories are so empty that they have been colonised by the ideas of the Left. 

For instance, where do you think the following quotations come from? ‘Complete equal rights for women and men are anchored in the laws .  .  .’ ‘Equal work is obviously rewarded with equal pay, regardless of sex. Women hold many leading positions in society .  .  .’
 ‘The overwhelming majority of women today do not want to be housewives with nothing more to do than wash and cook and run the home .  .  .’ 
‘Fathers pushing prams and husbands who have learned to operate domestic appliances more or less perfectly are no longer a curiosity.’ 

Actually they are in Everyday Life In The GDR, a propaganda booklet published in 1982 by communist East Germany, in praise of itself.

It boasts that the communist state has no need of women’s liberation organisations because their demands have all been met. 

And it quotes Karl Marx’s 1868 words: ‘Social progress can be measured precisely in terms of the social status accorded the fair sex.’ (The hairy-faced old brute added the words ‘The ugly ones included’, which would have got him into trouble with the Guardian and the BBC today, and perhaps also an invitation to join UKIP.) 

Revolutionaries hate the strong family, the fortress of private life, tradition and individuality. 
They believe in the parental state, all-wise and all-powerful. The Tories have taken the wrong side, and betrayed their supporters, on this and on all other issues. No wonder they now have fewer than 100,000 members. 

They should have fewer than 100,000 voters.

I wish we were like the Germans 

In a rare moment of inspiration, the BBC sent Justin and Bee Rowlatt, and two of their children, to live in Germany the way Germans do, for a TV programme. 

It is amazing how little we in Britain know of our great rival, and this was a clever way of opening our eyes. 
I just wish the Rowlatts, especially Bee, had made a bit more of an effort to learn the language and to wonder if the Germans didn’t have something to teach us, especially about raising children. 

Here’s what they found. Germany has schools that teach people the skills of work. 

It has real apprenticeships. 

It has family-owned manufacturing industries in every town, which export around the world on quality as well as price. Work itself remains hard and disciplined, but it is well-paid, and money goes further there than here. 

If you have children, you are subsidised and mothers are not pressured to go out to work – rather the reverse. 

Debt is feared and despised. Thrift is encouraged. 

Millions of Germans belong to clubs and societies. 

Older British people will remember when much of this was also true here. Sunday is a real day of rest. Noisy neighbours get into trouble, and inconsiderate drivers meet with immediate disapproval. 

The beer is quite good and you don’t have to wear leather shorts. I might add that it still has grammar schools and wonderful railways. And that it is the only Western nation with millions of citizens who actually experienced communism, and who were liberated from it. 

Which is perhaps why they value their country more highly than we value ours. 

Here comes the next housing disaster I have yet to come across a serious economist who does not despise the Government’s ludicrous plans to subsidise home buyers, so inflating the housing market. 

I have yet to come across an economist who does not think the current so-called ‘boom’ is credit-based, and no different in principle from New Labour’s rash policy of ten years ago. 

It also involves thieving from savers by imposing comically low interest rates. So why is there so much uncritical boosting in the media of this dangerous, unfair and doomed adventure? 

Why are commentators pretending that the Tories, at 28 per cent in the polls, are set for victory at the next Election? 

Ask them. 

You’d hardly know it, but Turkey last week took another dangerous step towards becoming a nasty Islamic dictatorship. 

After a shameful, unfair, evidence-free show trial, more than 200 soldiers, academics, lawyers and journalists were crammed into jail for their part in a non-existent conspiracy. 

What they actually had in common was they were opponents of Turkey’s bilious Islamic despot, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

This unpleasant government is still absurdly called ‘mild’ by the fawning Economist magazine, and is a member of Nato. 

The migration scandal goes on unchecked. 

This week’s astonishing birth-rate figures, with their frightening implications for schools, housing and public services, are clearly caused by our open borders. 

Then there’s the overpraised Mrs Theresa May’s latest amazing escape from scandal. Her department covered up its feeble treatment of illegal migrants by blacking out chunks of a damning report. 

How does she get away with it? 

And then there’s a ‘Whitehall source’ (in the foreign aid Ministry) quoted as saying: 

‘If there wasn’t a conflict in Somalia, there wouldn’t be 20,000 Somali migrants in Leicester.’ 

Are there? And how does that follow? 

The distance from Mogadishu to Leicester is 4,394 miles. 

This includes Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, the Mediterranean and at least three European countries. 

Refugees flee FROM countries, not TO countries. 

Why are they here?