Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Synthetic Sperm

No change there. A father without a patrimony is no father at all. He is merely a sperm bank and a cash machine. He might as well be a ninety-year-old woman who donated a stem cell to someone whom she has never met.

And he conveniently requires no State action in order to secure his position, since he has none. He needs no legal presumption of equal parenting. He needs no restoration of the tax allowance for fathers for so long as Child Benefit is being paid to mothers. He needs no restoration of the requirement that providers of fertility treatment take account of the child’s need for a father, and the repeal of the ludicrous provision for two women to be listed as the parents on a birth certificate. And he needs no paternity leave made available at any time until the child is 18 or leaves school.

That last, in particular, would reassert paternal authority (and thus require paternal responsibility) at key points in childhood and adolescence. That authority and responsibility require an economic basis such as only the State can ever guarantee, and such as only the State can very often deliver. And that basis is high-wage, high-skilled, high-status employment. All aspects of public policy must take account of this urgent social and cultural need.

Not least, that includes energy policy: the energy sources to be preferred by the State are those providing the high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs that secure the economic basis of paternal authority in the family and in the wider community. So, nuclear power. And coal, not dole.

No wonder that the powers that be want to use the stem cells of elderly women, or whoever, instead.


  1. Thank you for this Article. Fathers’ right to be a meaningful part of their children’s lives, have been eroded to the point of non-existence. My research suggests that this is a phenomenon consistent throughout the industrialized nations. Children who are alienated from their fathers are more likely later in life to have emotional/behavioral problems, suffer from depression, drop out of school, fail in their jobs, and suffer from other social problems. I invite you to visit my site devoted to raising awareness on this growing problem:

  2. The word verification I got for this post was pater.

    What were the odds of that?