Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Marriage, Drug Addiction and Tories

What a revelation - the Tories think that marriage is the route through which we will solve all of society's ills!


I could hardly contain my sarcastic comments as I watched the quiet man himself, Iain Duncan Smith, on TV last night parading the streets of Glasgow pronouncing his master plan to rid society of everything from anti-social behaviour to heroin addiction.

Apparently this social justice policy group he has led for his boss David 'just call me Dave' Cameron outlines some 190 measures - but of course marriage is at the heart of the proposals.

Now, I'm not (or at least I try my best not to be) a hypocrite. So, I will state that I am myself a married woman, and I was brought up by married parents who celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this year (congrats folks!). I had a happy, secure and supportive upbringing from two great parents and I'm extremely grateful for that. My experience of marriage has been great.

But that doesn't mean that marriage is for everyone, and it's not the only good foundation for bringing up children. Unmarried parents or lone parents should never be made to feel like second rate parents to their children - especially not by their government.

And the idea that couples will be more likely to marry or stay married because of some tax break is very unhealthy. If a marriage isn't working, is it healthy for parents to stay together?

The implications in Iain Duncan Smith's arguments last night, as he sat comforting the mother of a heroin addict who had died, is that a tax break on marriage could have prevented this tragedy. That is insulting, and also a disturbing way to look at the world. Marriage breakdown does not cause the problems we are facing in today's society - poverty is the real evil that pervades our country and we all know the role of the Tories in creating a society of desperation and despair.

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