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The Blog

Practical policies and racist labelling

14 December 2004

European legislation and judicial rulings that override English law increasingly disable policies that in their intention and application are designed only to address practical problems. If any present or proposed policy can be represented with any trace of plausibility by the now widely state-subsidised pressure groups of self-defined “races” or “ethnic communities” as one that… [Read More]

Blair and Blunkett

11 December 2004

The Prime Minister continues to support the Home Secretary, on the basis that it is Mr Blunkett’s private affair that he has been the lover in an adulterous relationship that (he claims) has resulted in children being conceived and born. There are plenty of people who think that sex, procreation and child rearing should be… [Read More]

What the Butler Saw… and What Should Always Remain Private

10 December 2004

In an interview contained in this week’s issue of the Spectator, former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Butler, delivers a coruscating attack on the style of government of the present administration. Of especial concern to Lord Butler has been the way Prime Minister Blair’s almost Presidential approach towards his job has steadily eroded the sovereignty of Parliament,… [Read More]

When the Nanny State does Not Know Best

9 December 2004

Abigail is mother of two year old, Adam, and also the best friend of her neighbour, Brenda, also the mother of a toddler, Boris. Both mothers have temporarily suspended paid work to stay home to raise a family. Currently, neither receives any government financial help to do so. Under government proposals announced today, both mothers… [Read More]

Let’s hear it for a good dose of imprisonment!

8 December 2004

No one seems to have a good word to say for prison at the moment. The Prison Reform Trust has published a report today criticising the criminal justice system for sending so many parents to prison, which causes problems for their children. In her foreword to the report Cherie Blair says that ‘we should examine… [Read More]

Understanding David Blunkett

7 December 2004

Sociology until the nineteen sixties was greatly interested in “understanding” how people behaved socially. “Understanding”, though he retained much of its ordinary meaning, was defined with painstaking exactness by Max Weber. One of his basic ideas was the common-sense one, that people can’t act on the basis of what all the facts of the situation… [Read More]

Personal family conduct and public family policy

6 December 2004

‘Creating stronger families’ was an explicit objective of the Home Secretary’s recent Five-Year Plan. ‘Families’ were allegedly placed ‘at the heart’ of his policy to combat crime. (Confident Communities, Cm 6287, July 2004.) In the document, however, the word ‘family’ appears only when it means any household arrangement whatsoever. ‘A family’, to the Home Secretary… [Read More]

Window on the BBC’s World

I rarely listen to Radio 5, but I happened to turn it on just before midnight last Saturday (4 December) to see if I could catch the score for the Sunderland v West Ham game. The announcer was just letting people know what the next discussion would be. His exact words were: “Does anybody in… [Read More]

Blunkett and the Milkman Clause

The most important effect of the Blunkett affair could well be the hitherto most neglected, namely, the astonishing twist he has given to the old legal question, Who is a child’s father? From at least as far back as the twelfth century the legal rule has been that if a mother of the child is… [Read More]

David Blunkett and the Family

David Blunkett is daily exhibiting a startling obtuseness about a distinction that lies at the heart of government–that between the public and the private. It is this, more than anything else, that has exposed his incapacity as a senior politician at the heart of national affairs, whatever his past achievements or present merits. Religion and… [Read More]

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