UK Politics

Tom Harris Goes Back to Basics

Tom Harris MP has this to say:

I’m a Labour MP, so some will undoubtedly be surprised, and shocked that I’m writing this. But I can no longer pretend that the army of teenage mothers living off the state is anything other than a national catastrophe.

This is the crux of his argument:

Many (though not all) teenage girls do not become pregnant accidentally because of ignorance, because of a lack of understanding of how their bodies work. They become pregnant because they have absolutely no ambition for themselves. They have been indoctrinated with the lie that they’ll never amount to anything, and have fulfilled that prophesy by making no effort to achieve any qualification. Very often they live with parents (or a parent) who have no jobs themselves, who are setting the example of benefit dependency for all their offspring.

And, of course, it is a complete load of bollocks to suggest that the ordinary working class people of Glasgow South and in hundreds of other constituencies throughout the country don’t agree with me. The most vociferous critics of the dependancy culture and of deliberate worklessness have always been those who live in the same communities, those who resent paying their taxes to help other people waste their lives.

The challenge is to change a culture in which people are satisfied with a desperate and precarious life, barely subsisting on benefits, in a manner which does not have the effect of pauperising those children brought up on welfare.

PS: to be fair, Tom does say:

Don’t interpret this as any kind of “back to basics” crusade; I’m not remotely interested in what adults do in the privacy of their own homes, and I’m not sounding the rallying cry for Christian or religious morality.

So apologies for the headline, Tom.