Thursday, 25 March 2010


Rachel Williams is no doubt right when she suggests that social workers are often unjustly maligned.

But there really is no denying the highly organised kidnap of children from what may be called Old Labour homes in order to place them, via family courts whose secrecy is incompatible with the rule of law even if it is not always as bad as it once was, in what may be called New Labour homes. And the old line from Yes, Minister, that social problems increase in order to occupy the time of the number of social workers employed to deal with them, springs horribly to mind. Those who do the dreadful things that keep appearing in the media are their client class. The working class, properly so called, is not.

But they are not the only people who deserve excoriation, nor do they deserve anything like the most. How dare the Tories, of all people, preach about these matters? Not only, though certainly, because they brought in Thatcher's Children Act. And not only, though certainly, because the economic basis of paternal authority was destroyed - initially in working-class families and communities, but then very rapidly throughout society as a whole - by their heroine, who had left her own small children to hired help while she pursued first her legal and then her political ambitions.

There are many ways in which the Tories have long, or even always, been actively hostile to the views and values of those on whose votes they depend. Support for the anti-national, anti-farming, anti-manufacturing, anti-shopkeeping, anti-local, anti-family “free” market is one. Their actual record in office on the EU and on Northern Ireland is another. And there are plenty more.

But there is none more flagrant or more fatal than the fact that they are not just largely products (which they cannot help), but also almost invariably users and stalwart defenders, of just about the most anti-family institutions imaginable, founded on the premise that children should be brought up with as little parental contact as possible except when it comes to paying the bills, and organised towards the acting out of adolescence in single-sex residential environments.

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