There’s only so much fiasco juice to go round at the best of times, and with Theresa May hogging the entire barrel at the Conservative Party Conference, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith’s personal crusade against logic this week went largely unnoticed.
At a fringe meeting called Britain leads the world in family breakdown: Why it matters and what we can do about it, the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, presumably addressing the “Why it matters” part of the rubric, claimed unmarried men are a “problem” for society.
By “unmarried” he was not referring to the vain and frothy bachelor, free to boulevard hither and thither, but men who had entered into relationships, fathered children and buggered off to spread mayhem.
To be clear, that’s men in “low income groups.” (Breathes out solemnly).
“They are out, no longer having to bring something in for their family, so they can be released to do all the things they wouldn’t normally do and shouldn’t do, so levels of addiction, levels of high criminal activity, issues around dysfunctional behaviour, multiple parenting – all those things are as a result of the un-anchoring of the young man to a responsibility that keeps them stable and eventually makes them more happy,” said the Rt Hon.
With regard to the “What we can do about it” bit, then, presumably the solution is compel these problem altar dodgers to “put a ring on it.”
Is a shortage of marriage in certain economic classes really responsible for social chaos?
Can crime, drug addiction, unwanted pregnancies and the playing of thunderous music at anti-social hours really be significantly reduced by the taking of a vow, the signing of a register and the doing of married things? Like staying in? Or reading Trollope?
Saint Peacock is all for original thinking and is currently trying to get its hands on the transcript of the speech in order to follow the journey of Mr Duncan Smith’s thinking more confidently.
Without the supporting literature it’s hard to fully catch the updraft of such radical proposals.
Do you have the transcript? Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org