With all of the talk about how “Orwellian” Bush is, I was fascinated to see so little press about Tony Blair’s recent revelation that he thinks he can run your life better than you can:
Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Thursday the government should intervene “at a very early stage” to stop the children of problem families growing up into troublemakers themselves.
Blair told the BBC that teenage mothers could be required to accept state assistance with bringing up their children and could face sanctions if they refused.
In his first interview since returning from his summer break, Blair said intervention could even be taken “pre-birth”.
Excuse me? Just exactly what does that mean? Who decides what a “problem family” is, and what sort of “pre-birth” intervention are we talking about? Sterilization? Forced abortions? *shudder* Admittedly there are quite a few people who, in my opinion, just shouldn’t breed. But to somehow take that choice away from the individual and give it to the government scares the daylights out of me. Blair really needs to clarify what he means by “pre-birth intervention.”
When a prime minister openly espouses completely fascist opinions like this:
He (Blair) said the government could say to an unmarried teenager mother who was not in a stable relationship:
“Here is the support we are prepared to offer you, but we do need to keep a careful watch on you and how your situation is developing because all the indicators are that your type of situation can lead to problems in the future.”
I could devolve into a ranting deluge of epithets for the position Blair is taking here, but I’ll refrain. I know the word “Orwellian” is overused to the hilt these days, but for the love of Pete, I think that last paragraph is practically a direct quote from 1984!. And as for his criteria: An (1)unmarried (2)teenager who is (3)not in a stable relationship? By whose measure? What defines a “stable” relationship?
I will grant, willingly, that we need societal change, both in the US and the UK, in order to lower the number of young people who end up in jail. I am well aware that poverty and only having one parent in the home increases the chance of a child growing up to become a criminal. Having seen the abuse of the American welfare system up close, I can honestly say that I understand and agree with the need to make acceptance of government assistance contingent upon certain conditions. But Blair’s poorly worded proposal, if one can call it that, goes beyond that; it goes beyond the pale.
“Government intervention” is significantly different than assistance to those who ask for it. After all, some of our great thinkers and bold leaders were forged in the crucible of adversity. Some parents are capable of raising their children well regardless of finances–they’re good parents.
All of you in the UK who think we Americans don’t stand up to our own leaders need to take a good hard look at the crap Blair himself is trying to dish out. If we’re in a race towards a fascist state like the doomsayers think, then England just took the lead BIG TIME.