Saturday, 14 February 2009

Babies having babies

When I was at secondary school - i.e. 30 years ago which really makes me feel old - there was a lad a few years below me who'd got a girl pregnant when he was still at junior school. He was 11; she was, I think a couple of years older. From what I recall he could in no way have been described as baby-faced or cute, and he didn't improve with age.

Just thought I would mention this in view of the media frenzy that is jumping on one isolated case as an example of 'broken down Britain' and in some cases, trying to pin the blame on sex education in schools. Yes, teenage pregnancies continue to be a problem, and there's something deeply wrong about a boy whose voice hasn't even broken yet, and who doesn't understand what the word 'financially' means, becoming a parent. Yes, it seems that the parents were deeply irresponsible in this case. But sadly, it's not a new phenomenon. I knew another girl who was pregnant four times from the age of 13 - two abortions, two miscarriages and then she had a child at 16 or 17. She was, last time I bumped into her, now married to the same lad, with several children who were all attending private school, living in a nice house.

So when David Cameron says: 'When I saw those pictures, I just thought how worrying that in Britain today children are having children," he ought to be reminded that children in Thatcher's Britain were doing exactly the same.

The girl in the first case I mentioned, of the 11 year old boy, had a termination. Seems to me that was by far the most sensible thing she could have done. IDS - the champion of the 'broken Britain' critique would of course disagree. Nadine Dorries - another anti-abortionist - hasn't commented on the case yet, but I'm sure she will. The cases I cited, incidentally, happened about three miles from her Mid Beds constituency, in Luton, but seeing as she's recently blogged that the mere existence of Luton is responsible for Beds being voted the worst county in Britain, I'm sure she won't be surprised.


Kerry said...

Oops - I seem to have accidentally rejected a comment that was posted on here, but have retrieved it from my email alert:

The Happy Robot has left a new comment on your post "Babies having

"She was, last time I bumped into her, now married to the same lad,
with several children who were all attending private school, living in
a nice house."

Are you suggesting that children who's parents can afford to send them to a private school will benefit from a better education than one sent to a state school? Moreover, that it is an aspiration to move from a state to a private education?

A dangerous suggestion from a member of the ruling party.

Kerry said...

This falls ointo the category of 'things are know are going to provoke a particular response when I post them and will give people an opportunity to completely ignore the actual point I'm making, but I'm in a bit of a rush and can't be bothered to elaborate on the point I'm making'.

The reason I mentioned private school was because in the eyes of the Daily Mail and the like, who are most peddling the line about 'broken Britain', that would be seen as aspirational - and it goes against the Karen Matthews stereotype.

Northern Lights said...

It's interesting that when Do Nowt Dave was 'speaking out' about this on the BBC News website, he talked about it highlighting 'Broken Britain'

Auntie Beeb was then kind enough to point that there were now 1,000 fewer pregnancies of this kind than a decade ago.

I wonder when an 'over eager' Conservative staffer will change the record?

Bristol Dave said...

"Do Nowt Dave"

Oh, please.

I think David Cameron is, for the most part, an odious little turd - but the "Do Nothing" line, apart from being complete rubbish (everything Labour do seems to be ripped off from Tory suggestions) has been already used so much by Gordon he started to look stupid.

And given the effectiveness of everything the Labour party have done (multi-billion pound bank bailouts costing every person in this country hundreds of pounds that has made no difference to anything whatsoever) I think "do nothing" might not have been such a bad option.

If we had done nothing we'd have been in the same situation we are now, after all, nobody is better off, people are still losing their jobs, companies are still going bust - but we'd be a good few billions of pounds up.

Somebody explain to me why "Do Nothing" is bad.