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The offensive mendacity of Iain Duncan Smith

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 11 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 11 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Iain Duncan SmithToday, new fertility laws are to begin their passage through the House of Commons, with a number of important debates about the current draft text coming up.

Some MPs are unhappy about the lack of a specific mention of fathers in the part of the text regarding suitability for IVF. The current draft has only a provision to ensure that their is an appropriate and stable family environment in which a child can be brought up – the presence of a father-figure is not specified, which is intended to be a correction to a current anomaly.

Currently, fertility legislation states that a father-figure must be identified. However, more recent Equal Rights legislation has superceded this requirement, allowing lesbian couples to have children using bank sperm. It is therefore proposed that the text of the fertility bill should be changed to reflect the reality – failure to correct it would mean that the current state of affairs would be reversed, with lesbian couples unable to have children once again.

Iain Duncan Smith is one of the prime Parliamentary opponents of this amendment. Earlier this week, he told The Observer:

Without fathers, boys join gangs and teenage girls become pregnant

This is obviously something that Mr Duncan Smith believes strongly, as it seems unlikely that he would want to use small-minded, bare-faced mis-truths to offend large swathes of the population who have grown up without fathers unless he had a very good reason to do so.

He surely wouldn’t express such an ignorant view of the causes of teenage pregnancy and urban crime unless his belief was so strong as to think that the end was justified by any means.

And I’m quite sure that he wouldn’t want to leave himself open to accusations of ignorance unless this was a matter which he felt was of critical importance.

Curiously, though, he didn’t believe in the role of fathers strongly enough to support the Employment Bill in 2002 – a Bill which gave fathers far greater entitlement to Paternity Leave.

Nor was his conviction such to compel him to bother to vote on the issue of children conceived through IVF knowing their natural fathers, back in 2004.

And nor did he believe it strongly enough not to vote in favour of the War in Iraq – a war which has left hundreds of British children without fathers, and tens of thousands of Iraqi families fatherless.

If I didn’t know better, I’d suggest this was thinly veiled homophobia from an MP who doesn’t want lesbian couples to be allowed IVF.

Of course, Mr Duncan Smith is far above that, and the fact that he’s voted against Equal Rights legislation time and again lends no weight to the argument: He’s just thinking of the kids.

Of course.

» Image Credit: Original photograph by Steve Punter, modified under licence

This 1,327th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Mort Karman


by Mort Karman

Comment posted at 03:56 on 13th May 2008.

Nice to know you have those kind of idiots on your side of the pond also.
The truth is without fathers boys grow up to be senile old men like me.
With fathers boys grow up to be senile old men like my cousin.
With out both fathers and mothers at at least some point nothing happens. Science still needs both sperm and eggs.
Until they come up with a way to computerize people.


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