Well, Tom Harris has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.
Yesterday, he posted a blog about the scourge of society, single mothers. Before I go on, I must point out that I think he was targeting teenage single mothers, who get every bit of benefit available and really contribute nothing to society generally, rather than single mothers who try and juggle family life with work (who deserve all the benefits that they get), and it is this that I agree with.
However, there are some people who have taken offence at this, Patrick Harvie MSP, who probably doesn’t come across very many teenage mothers in Kelvinside, and Cllr Terry Kelly amongst others. I think however that we must find the causes before we think about solutions.
A benefits system which is able to be abused is certainly a contributory factor, there are, however certain people deny it, young girls who will get themselves pregnant in order to get a flat. This needs to be looked at. However this is by far not the only factor.
Here in Scotland we have the worst sex education in the world, my recollection of Section 6 in Stanley Green is scarily reminiscent of the Karen Dunbar science teacher character in “Chewin The Fat”. We need to be more open about sex, and not be taught by science teachers, more intent in showing flowers. We also need to keep this part of growing up out of the hands of special interest groups. Like Catholic Priests. In this country there is also a lack of positive female role models, most girls ambitions are to wed a sugar daddy, and the rest will be alright. Bit like the WAG’s.
Teenage mothers are a small part of the wider problem, dubbed “Lazy Poor”. You will see these people up and down the country, in pubs, in Bookmakers, doing anything but contribute to their community or anything useful. Admittedly, these people might have problems, they might have issues, and they are the 3rd generation of victims of Thatchers attempt to create a competitive society. But on the 25th anniversary on the miners strike, we should be looking at healing the wounds, which are still gaping form that conflict. If you need proof of those wounds, look at the “Lazy Poor”, yes Thatch put them on benefits, but they need carrot and stick to get their lives, and more crucially our communities, together.