The British Family

The British Family – is it irredeemably broken ? (Sept 18th 2010)

“The British Family” was a four part TV series launched in Jan 2010 and narrated by Kirsty Young. The series was described by the BBC’s publicity machine as:

“a powerful and moving account of an experience that frames all of our lives.”

Irrespective of whether a child is born into a proper ‘traditional family’ or into a non-family unit (today usually titled ‘alternative life styles’), it is tempting to describe the above as trite and only stating the obvious.

If the stated aim of the mini TV series was to “tells the story of the British family from the end of the World War II to the present day”, then in the eyes of many who witnessed those changes it missed by a country mile in  key passages.

Those of us who are old enough to actually recall the 1950s and 1960s see the untruths in such programmes as plainly as carbuncles on a nose. The false impressions and wrong assumptions conveyed by the modern commentator immediately jump out at those that lived through the changes.

In true George Orwell tradition, this new truth is paraded as solid historical facts to a gullible younger generation who have no reference points. Modern commentator are not value free – they come with an agenda. Indeed, they want to set the agenda and if that means rewriting past agendas that’s no problem either.

When the ordinary lives of ordinary people are patronisingly shown as irrational, absurd and even bigoted, how can a contemporary audience is in the 21st century to make sense of it ? Each generation gets by the best way it can and evolves as the times change. To insinuate that 20th century society should have been as smart, switched-on and savvy as 21st century society is ridiculous.

The narrator herself was born in 1968 and could not be said to be truly au fait with the workings of the world until she was 20, i.e. in 1988. It therefore calls into to question the validity of her perspective. The supremely confident attitude of the narration left no room for doubt in the mind of the ordinary viewer. The handicap of patronisingly looking backwards into very recent history could, however, have been neutralised by balanced and competent research.

Ms. Young therefore stumbled into all sort of problems because the researchers she depended upon were probably younger than she was (if they are anything like the TV researchers that contact me for programme material they are definitely fresh faced interns just out from university).

As tends to be the case in public life today, much of the programme was ‘almost right’ but ‘almost’ is never quite right enough and certianly not good enough for a historical document. For one thing its analysis superficial.  One very soon learns when dealing with TV programme makers is that regardless of the seriousness of the subject, it still has to make “good television.”

As if it was a fact, Ms. Young declared Britain, “has a problem with marriage”, and to paraphrase her other remarks, Britain fails in the marriages stakes and Britain is incapable of holding marriages together; we are the worst inEurope and apparently have been for decades.

But do the numbers bear that out ?  And if they do, whathas been changed to make marriage inBritain so uncomfortable a yoke to bear ? As will be shown later, ONS states “The 2008 divorce rate is the lowest since 1979.” 

It also supposes that marriage traditions and profiles are the same across Europe when we know from experience they are not (for example, politicians aren’t permitted to have mistresses in Britain but in France arguably it is the expected norm).[1]

One can expect TV programme and documentariy makers to get a few of the basic facts wrong, a few events wrongly interpreted or key individuals overlooked. However, when all the people interviewed were women one has to ask what definition of marriage and family is Kirsty Young working to ?

Is the female viewpoint the only one that counts ? The programme’s credits would certainly indicate a female bias; Director – Helen Nixon; Producer -Helen Nixon; Executive Producer – Louise Norman; Assistant Producer -Mora McLagan.

But over and above this the substantive failing – and this is all too common of TV programmes and modern academic papers alike – is in the numbers cited.

For instance, in the first 30 minutes of the hour long programme the audience was told that, “in 1946 alone” there were nearly 30,000 divorces which was “nearly 5 times” the pre-war figures.”

This is a factoid, i.e. a deception/misrepresentation enveloping a grain of truth. What was omitted was that:-

  1. The high number of divorces in 1946 was due to special temporary legislation being passed allowing for “quickie divorces” (see Fig 1). Statistically, high divorce numbers were a blip, an anomaly due to legislation enacted to meet a post-war demand.    
  2. That regime lasted until 1949 to allow for a backlog of marriages wrecked by infidelity and illegitimate children not fathered by the husband. In the Table below note the quantity of petitions based on Adultery for the war years. The ‘special measures’ were meant to be a ‘one off’ to clear the decks and allows for fresh starts to be made. Note the surge in numbers from 1946 to 1948 before falling back to its pre-war level. The most common reason at this time was “adultery” indicating that one of the partners had found ‘comfort’ somewhere else. Note too the equality between the sexes as to who brings the divorce petition.

A ‘fairer to the viewer’ use of numbers would have cited years such as 1938 and 1950. In 1938, after a small amendment to the divorce laws, marriage dissolutions increased marginally to 9,970. After the tumult of World War II divorces first shot up but then began to decline as society regained it equilibrium (see Fig 2 below).

How many of the audience would have known that during the last years of the war, and prior to demobilisation, the military authorities actively encouraged quick divorces (for troop morale purposes). In 1946 a goodly part of the wartime army was still either East of Suez or in Palestine.[2]  What today are called Dear John letters would have terminated any chance of matrimonial bliss and perhaps the military took it upon themselves as a social duty to maintain troop morale.

The alert reader will have noticed in Fig 1 that men and women before the war, e.g. 1938, and immediately afterwards applied for divorces in almost equal numbers. The pattern of modern divorces, however, sees 70% of divorces applied for by women.

The key facts and figures exclided by “The British Family” was the decline in divorce to 29,000 by 1950. It also omitted to mention the continuing decline to around 23,000 by the end of the 1950s.  [ As an aside, the comprehensive government publication “Abrstract of Statisitcs” did not include divorce data until the early 1950s ].

Fig 2, above, shows that the number of divorces actually continued to fall throughout the 1950s. Incidentally, these are the same statistics offered up to MPs for their consideration during the progress through parliament of the Family Law Bill of 1995. But Member of Parliament were given totals of 15,634 and 60,254 for 1946 and 1947 respectively (see House of Commons Research Paper 96/42).

Arguably these war-times differences, especially for 1947, threw a different complexion on divorcing numbers in the post war years and could have affected the judgment of MPs in 1995 (see Fig 2). It leaves the public asking which set of figures should we believe – the ONS or the House of Commons Research Paper data ?

Given that the Conservative Party’s planned policies for the British Family have been some years in the making and well publicised, the producers of Kirsty Young’s programme hardly touched on the cost of broken families or the historic context. The financial cost of broken families has been apparent to both Labour and Conservative Party but only the latter seems to have any appetite to deal with the issue.

The omission by the TV producers of divorce number gradually being cut by more than  half – from 60,000 pa (in 1947) to 25,000 pa, suggests they had more important items on their agenda. What didn’t qualify as a ‘more important item’ worthy of mention was the minor change in 1962 to divorce ‘lump sum’ payments which, some believe, allowed divorce numbers to begin creeping upwards again.

Déjà Vu

In the programme Kirsty Young looks back to enforced loveless marriages and then forwards to its modern replacement, ‘companionship’, as replacing the institution of marriage. This is sheer delusion. Loveless marriages exist now and they will continue to exist in the future. It doesn’t mean they are worthless and shoud be discarded – many couples rub along quite happily without being ecstatically in love all the time. How this desire to destroy marriages at the drop of a hat squares with putting children’s interests first, i.e. paramount, is not explained.

Ms. Young who at the age of 42, has already been both a wife and mother, been married again and become a step-mum, will doubtless find she will ruin along eventually.

Ms. Young was herself the daughter of divorcing parents and so must see herself as something of an authority on such matters. But there does seem to be an unwritten law that stipulates that; divorce begets divorce, and single motherhood begets  single motherhood.

Is she the first person in 2,000 years to identify the flaws and realise what needs to be done to shore up the weakness ? Has she forgetton the generation before her, the ‘hippies’, who confidentaly believed that they too had the panacea for society’s ills ?  Their ‘new age’ culture of radicalism was absorbed into politics – and arguably we have tossed out workeable mechanisms and replaced them with alternatives that barely function.

To arrive so confidently yet so unknowingly at this already passé situation is testament to the modern politically correct education with its selective hearing and selective views of history. It is the embodiment of a rampant disregard for numbers and empirical study.

We are lacking a rigorous resurgence of political thought and we badly need icons like Stephen Baskerville. We need the likes of philosophers Roger Scruton and John Gray to be active in this field to illuminate the social way forward and not leave it just to Prof Robert Rowthorn whose speciality is economic growth, structural change and employment.

Missing Statistics

Domestic violence, as we are forever being told affects all women equally regardless of class or category, Yet as can be so easily proven DV, assaults and sex offences affect women in the lower orders (single, poor, rented accommodation, low income/achievers, etc) in far greater numbers / proportion than the upper orders in society.

Divorce is no different (see Fig 3). ‘The poor’ divorce in greater numbers and the manner of divorce retribution, i.e. money transfers, ensures they remain the poorest in society.

No mention was made of any potential linkage between these sobering facts and child poverty.  It is no surprise that UNICEF found that despite child-poverty focused polices, more children in Britain were living in poverty in 2009 than 10 years earlier; and is it any surprise that the gap between rich and poor families has increased, not closed. This is a phenomenon that must not be mentioned except in whispered tones.

The ‘Standardised Divorce Rate’ allows us to compare ‘like with like’ and to compensate for the in-built bias caused by ther numerically larger unskilled or low-skilled ‘working class’ vis-à-vis the smaller in number higher skilled middle and upper income groups.

 Fig 3 shows us that the divorce rate is lowest among the “professional” class and highest among the ‘unskilled’. As the varying degrees of skill increase so the rate of divorce falls – unskilled (220); partly skilled (111); skilled manual (97); skilled non-manual (103); intermediate (83).

The only exception to this rule appears to be the figure for the unemployed at an envious ‘25’. Is the suggestion that unemployment is the antidote to being divorced ? Depending on how the data was collected unemployment could relate to those who have always been out of work or it could relate to those who lost their jobs before divorce proceeding s were begun.

The figure for the Armed Forces is not truly comparable as their lifestyle and pressures are not replicated in of “Civvie Street”.

Readers may have noticed that the data for Fig 3 relates to publication in 1984 and so was collected in the year(s) up to that date. The explanation why such out of date information is cited is because it is the last known data set that divided divorce by income and/or class. For over 20 years there has simply no comparable data collected and it was an omission I raised in a phone conversation with John Haskey several years ago. In the subsequent years we have no idea whether the pattern/distribution has remainsed the same or whether divorce have standardised as more women have entered the labour force (which is one therory).

The only thing British statistics (ONS) will tell the public is that:

  • “In 2008, the divorce rate in England & Wales decreased by 5.1% to 11.2 divorcing people per 1,000 married population, compared with 11.8 in 2007. The 2008 divorce rate is the lowest since 1979, when there were also 11.2 divorces per 1,000 married people.” (See http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/div0110.pdf ).

 What are we to make from this amorphous figure ? Instead of structure and disciplined figures we get aggregation and obfuscation simply everywhere.

Singapore

If Britain “has a problem with marriage”, what is marriage and divorce like on the other side of the world ?

In 1987 – roughly comparable with data in Fig 3 – there were 23,404 marriages in Singapore and 2,708 divorces, i.e. 115 divorces for every 1,000 marriages. This figure included 4,465 marriages under the Muslim Law Act, which regulated the marriage, divorce, and inheritance of Muslims, and 796 divorces under the same act, for a ‘Muslim divorce rate’ of 178 divorces for every 1,000 marriages.

Marriages and divorces by non-Muslims are regulated under the Women’s Charter; these marriages totalled 18,939 and divorces under the same law were 1,912, i.e. a divorce rate of 100 per 1,000 marriages (http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-11817.html Dec 1989).

The non-Muslim community in Singapore, therefore, had a lower divorce rate in 1989. Apparently, for all ethnic groups the most common source of marital breakdown was the inability or unwillingness of the husband to contribute to maintaining the household. This sometimes led to desertion, which was the most common ground for divorce (Cf. adultery in the UK in the 1950 and irretrievable breakdown in the 1990s).

The suggestion is that the different ethnic groups react to divorce differently; the article believes Malay families would seek a prompt, legal divorce whereas the average Chinese or Indian family, for whom the social stigma of divorce was greater (and the barriers to legal separation higher), would seek to handle it informally or simply tolerate the status quo.

This attitude of Chinese or Indian families in handling divorce is reminiscent of that found in Britain prior to 1969, but for a programme already value-laden with a packed agenda there was no time to squeeze in a contrary perspective.

Also in 1987, Mr. Goh Chok Tong, the then First Deputy Prime Minister ofSingapore, announced incentives for couples to have more children. The pension panic thathitBritainless than a decade ago was already realised as a threat in Singapore (March 1987).

While Britain spent the years before 1987 and all the years thereafter unpicking the traditional family structure, Singapore went in a reverse direction and bolstered the family unit. The official UK claims that government of itself cannot influence family formation or age of child bearing is laid bare as a lie. Whereas, for instance, priority in the allocation of housing and primary school places in Britain is given to single mothers the priority in Singapore goes to couples. One reason why immigration to Australia and New Zealand was the success it was, is due in no small measure to the ‘family friendly measure’ introduced after 1945 and to the house deposit that each government offered new arrivals.

All the characteristics found in western democracies, e.g.  low birth rates, delaying family creation, limiting family size, a disproportionate older generation etc, were all identified in Singapore in 1986, and by late in 1987 incentives and measures to counter them were put in place (for more details see Annex A).

The Cost of Marriage

A very bleak picture of marriage can, and was, painted by Kirsty Young.  The numbers marrying are declining; the numbers cohabiting increasing and the numbers divorcing at a high level (circa 141,000 pa). But in reality we have been here before in the grinding poverty of the Industrial Revolution, and again in 1905 to 1912, when numbers marrying were depressed and cohabiting seen as a cheaper option. The allegation today that ‘cohabitation is increasing’ is only partly true. Cohabiting is a “flow variable” meaning that as one couple temporarily enters the status anther leaves (as opposed to marriage where one couple enters the status and stays there for a period of time).

If one approaches marriage as if it was flawless, pristine and the answer to all one’s prayers it is automatically being set-up to disappoint and be toppled. Marriage isn’t the best solution but the world has been waiting for thousands of years for a better, workable alternative without success, so it is the best that has been found to date.

No where is the aspiration to be married more debilitated than by the reality of having a limited disposable income. The average costs of an American wedding costs $22,360 and has 168 guests, who give 100 gifts that cost an average of $85 each, meaning the net loss to the couple is $13,860. An increase of $1 per hour in a man’s wages increases the odds he will marry by 5%. (Would an abolition of Equal Pay, one idly muses, remedy atleast in part, the inability of more young people to marry and relieve women of the fear of being left on the shelf ?).

A similar story can be told of wedding costs in Britain. The average wedding in 2002 cost £11,000 (an analysis for the US can be found at http://motherjones.com/politics/2005/01/richer-or-poorer and for Britain at  http://www.howtobooks.co.uk/family/weddings/costs.asp).

Companionship versus Matrimony

If we have entered a new epoch of companionship rather than matrimony it has come at a huge price. The trend in wealth generation of the 1950s and 1960s has been frittered away in the same way North Sea oil have been squandered. We have witnessed the creation of the Underclass – a 3 million strong army; over 4 million divorces; over 8 million people made unhappy, the transfer of millions of homes and centres of wealth.

If we have entered an epoch of companionship rather than matrimony, is that a result of freely availalble sex bought for a few drinks or a meal out one night and sold to us on a daily basis ?

John Haskey, who for many years produced social statistics for the population Trends (ONS) wrote in a Foreword [3] that:

  •  “For the best part of thirty years we have been conducting a vast experiment with the family, and now theresults arein: the decline of the two-parent, married-couple family hasresulted in poverty, ill-health, educational failure, unhappiness, anti-social behaviour, isolation and social exclusion for thousands of women, men and children.”

The standardised rate of divorce, as shown in Fig 3, hits mainly the lower orders and the lower income groups adding to the poverty and misery that lax divorce laws engender (in theory, all groupings should equal 100).

In 1984 the ONS ceased data collection relating to the classes /occupations of couples who applied for divorces. Since that date there has been no further analysis. The table shown in Fig 3, above, published in “Population Trends” (1984), is therefore the most up to date available. [4]

In an attempt to get slightly more recent data we have to turn to Fig 4. This depicts occupation class, by martial status, i.e. lone mother and lone father compared with their married contemporaries. Significantly, fathers are more likely than women to be in the professional occupation class with its associated higher incomes than lone parents (mothers). In comparative and absolute terms they are on lower than average incomes, but there are variation within each grouping, e.g. lone mothers v married mothers v lone fathers etc. This creates “intermediate” socio-economic grouping (Fig 4). Although not directly comparable it gives us a glimpse of the dynamics at work.

Returning for a moment to the question / claim that Britain ‘has a problem with marriage’ we have only to look westwards to the US to see that it has had far more divorces even when its population was much smaller than today’s 300 million and before enabling legislation (Fig 5). [5]

The programme also spoke of  an increasing number of ‘shotgun weddings’ in the post war era, illegitimate births and unmarried mothers. By the late 1950 the audience was given to understand there were 70,000 illegitimate births per annum – not far short of the present day figure of 100,000+ per annum (a figure now disguised by the number of abortions conducted yearly, eg 185,000 per annun in 2004). [6]   

However, as Fig 6 shows, the ‘total live births outside marriage’ numbered only 63,000 by 1964 (not 70,000) and actually fell in 1973. It was only with the advent of the Finer Report, which increased single mother incomes, that illegitimacy began to increase again (see 1977 – 1982). [years of interest are shown in Red]. By 1976 the number of illegitimate births had fallen to approx.53,800. It was the post 1979 years that saw the greatest increases (Fig  6).

The actual number of lone parents in thousands and by category is shown below (Fig 7). Of the 5 categories (SM, divorcee, separated, widowed, lone father), it was never-wed and divorced women who topped the chart as Lone Parents from 1971 to 1997.

It is not true for the programme to state that children forget what their fathers looked like after having been away from home for so many years (implying that therefore it doesn’t matter if fathers are excluded).

The ‘dark little secrets’ which all normal families have, have always been existed and in themselves provide no good reason for change. Attempting to criticise  how society worked 50 years ago and deridingly question and mock its value system is a pointless excercise. Society was a lot more reserved then than it is now, and to judge it by today’s moral standard is narrow mindedness.   The expressing of personal freedom and fulfilment over collective duty and responsibility and the wearing of one’s emotions on one’s sleeve is positively a new development. Thinking of self first and “putting number 1 first” to the exclusion of all others is a modern phenomenon.

Millions of people were not ‘suffocating’ in loveless marriages prior to the 1969 reforms. If there had been, the figures for divorces in 1971 would have reflected this pent up demand – but only took advantage 74,437 (Fig 2), and of thee we can imagine that a goodly number / proportion deferred their divorce from 1969 and 1970 until the changes took place in 1971.

Arguably, prior to the 1969 reforms escapism was not an option. Couples could not run away from reality. Instead, couples either reconciled themselves or worked through their problems – and in so doing, inadvertently, put their children’s happiness first. In an era of dysfunctional and often a violent young people, especially girls, this reconciliation is an old truth being rediscovered.

At one point Ms Young is discursively dismissive of John Newsom’s “The Education of Girls” simply because it advises that a girl should have knowledge of nutrition values for her family, understand simple household accounts and live within the household income. Yet Ms Young forgets we now have a High Street bank advertising on TV that they go into schools to do that very thing.

We have Gov’t frantically working to get young people to understand dietary needs and the avoidance of fatty food or are laden with salt and which lead to obesity. Yet Ms Young’s considered opinion was that the advice from John Newsom is a “load of cobblers.”

Then take the bland assertion that marriage is today “complex” in a way it was not in the immediate post-war years. How was post-war Britain less complex ? Yes, the hot button issues may be different but that is not to concede that post-war life was not difficult (with rationing) and complex.

Being married to a millionaire (as Ms Young is), can ease many of those complexities that burden the less exalted mortals but it should not impact on accurate reporting.

The trend in Lone Parenthood is now ingrained and cumulatively rises at an almost constant pace (see Fig 7 above). To illustrate this, Fig 8 below, is a graphical represntation of the trend Illegitimate births from 1961 to 2007.

Fig 8. Illegitimate births (Eng & Wales)

An all-female production team should be professional enough to assemble for Kirsty Young a seamless, non- gender specific programmes free of fem-centric biases – but they failed. As a consequence the viewer received only one view of marriage, the woman’s.

All third parties, who could have been key people to understanding the changes, were missing from the line-up. The viewer was supposed not to notice that all the contributors interviewed were, in fact, women.

END


Annex A

So seriously did Singapore take the issue of declining births that incentives were introduced in the 1980s and increased in 1990 when couples were offered a tax rebate worth £15,000 for their 2nd child and if aged under 28 (part of the early child bearing programme). To underline their commitment to the family Singapore offers housing grant worth S$40,000 to young couples and this figure increases to  S$50,000 if they live close to their parents’ home.

Smallness has its advantages. Policies which a larger country would fight to get inplimented are facilitated in a smaller one. By the 1980s, the government of this small island had become concerned with the low rate of population growth and with the relative failure of the most highly educated citizens to have children. The failure of female university graduates to marry and bear children, attributed in part to the apparent preference of male university graduates for less highly educated wives – a characteristic singled out by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1983 as a serious social problem. In 1984 the government acted to give preferential school admission to children whose mothers were university graduates.

Source : http://www.un.org/Depts/escap/pop/journal/v10n4a3.htm 

” . . .  A series of policy measures or incentives have been introduced to support the “three or more” policy  [ referring to ministerial urging to couples to have 3 or more children].

These policy measures may be classified as follows:

  1. incentives to ease the financial burden of child-rearing (tax rebates for third and fourth children, and income tax relief for up to four children),
  2. incentives to ease the conflict between women’s work and child-rearing roles (child-care subsidy, rebates on maid levies; child-care leave, no-pay leave and part-time work in the public sector) and
  3. modification of the earlier, two-child incentives in line with the new policy (priority in allocation of housing and primary school registration for families with three instead of two children).

However, the sterilization cash grant scheme, an incentive for low-income low-educated women to permanently limit their family sizes to two or fewer children, was retained. [Appendix I lists measures introduced at the time of the announcement of the new population policy in 1987].

In 1990, an incentive for earlier child-bearing, i.e. a tax rebate of S$20,000 (US$1 = currently S$1.40) for mothers giving birth to their second child before age 28, was also introduced. The purpose was to counter the trend towards later ages at child-bearing which, in the long run, would slow the rate of population growth.

The sterilization cash grant scheme was enhanced in 1993 by requiring only that the women agree to accept reversible contraceptive methods (instead of sterilization), and by the addition of educational bursaries for their children.

To date, there have not been any direct incentives for marriage. In 1995, however, the Government introduced measures to enable young couples to rent or purchase their own public housing flats and start their families earlier. These measures include lower rental and shorter waiting time for first-time applicants (who are mostly young couples) to rent a flatwhile waiting for their purchase units to be ready, and a housing grant worth S$40,000 to be put into the provident fund account of such couples to help them purchase a flaton the re-sale market (the sum is increased to S$50,000 if they chose a flatclose to their parents’ home, the higher incentive being in line with another government objective, namely, promoting inter-generational togetherness).”

Source: http://www.un.org/Depts/escap/pop/journal/v10n4a3.htm 

Appendix I

 The push for more babies [a summary ]

  •  Tax incentives – No increase in child relief for first and second child but third child relief raised to S$750 effective Fiscal Year 1988. Mother needs only three General Certificate of Education “O” level passes taken in one sitting, instead of five, to qualify for enhanced child relief. Fourth child also qualifies for enhanced child relief, which is S$750 plus 15 per cent of mothers earned income up to a maximum of S$10,000. Special tax rebate of S$20,000 to be off-set against either or both the husbands and wife’s income tax liabilities for newborn third child. Another rebate – only for the working wife – equal to 15% of her earned income. Any excess of both rebates can be carried forward for up to four years.
  • School registration – All disincentives against the third child will be removed. Children from three-child families will have the same priority as those from one and two-child families. Where there is competition for admission, priority will be given to children from three-child families.
  • Child-care centres – The Government will pay a S$100 subsidy on all children, regardless of parents income, in government-run or government-approved centres, including those privately operated.
  • Medisave – ‘Medisave3’ can be used, with immediate effect, for the hospital costs of a third child, whether delivered in a government or private hospital. But no overdraft of Medisave account is allowed.
  • Accouchement fees [ confinement ] – No change in the fee for the first, second and third child. Fee for fourth child raised, from 1 January 1988, to S$1,000 for all ward classes, and to S$1,300 for fifth and other children. But delivery and hospital costs for fourth child, with a S$3,000 maximum, can be offset against parents earned income.
  • Housing allocation – Families in three-room or larger (public) flats who want to up-grade their flats on the birth of their third child will get priority allocation.
  • Employers attitudes to working mothers – Employers to be asked to be more understanding and flexible towards working mothers with young children. They should offer part-time and flexi-time work, extended no-pay maternity leave, and retrain women who rejoin the workforce. The civil service will lead the way.
  • Abortion and sterilization counseling – There will be compulsory counseling before and after abortions to discourage abortions of convenience, and women with fewer than three children will be counselled before sterilization.
  • Getting singles to mingle – The infrastructure of the Social Development Unit and the Social Development Section4 will be strengthened, and their activities and programmes widened.

Source: Business Times, 2nd and 5th March 1987

Footnotes:

—————————————

[1] Tory MP James Gray facing calls to go after marrying mistress (10th Aug 2009). The Tory MP James Gray, who abandoned his wife – while she was fighting cancer – for another woman, is facing new calls to stand down after marrying his mistress. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/6005681/Tory-MP-James-Gray-facing-calls-to-go-after-marrying-mistress.html. Cf ,Pres. Francois Mitterand’s mistress Anne Pingeot.

[2] InPalestine there were 100,000 British troops dealing with Zionist terrorists. InEurope alone, 8 million German soldiers captured by the Allies had to be guarded, fed and clothed and then re-integrated to their home plus all the Displaced Person duties of the Allies. The military wind down would therefore take several years.

[3]Experiments in Living: the Fatherless Family”. Civitas.

[4] I asked Haskey some years ago why he had not done an update on the 1984 data say for 2004, and he replied the did not know why he had not.

[5] See also “100 Year of Marriage and Divorce Statistics United States, 1867-1967”. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_21/sr21_024.pdf

Advertisements

Comments are closed.