Please Don’t Slap the Mummy – Breakdown Britain

One of the reasons that Morag came into existence in the first place was in an effort to find an environment in which it was possible to say whatever she felt on whichever topic she chose. Do not be fooled we may not always have to pay for it but in modern day Britain our speech is not always free.

There are two topics in today’s climate that are no-go conversational areas under any circumstances: one is the importance of marriage; the other is why it is better for children to be born into a two parent family unit.

Feel free to put forth thoughts on everything about family structures from ‘Why little Johnny has two Mummies’, to ‘Having a child on your own, the brave woman’s choice’. But have the temerity to say ‘Well actually that might not be the best idea……………..’ on any of these subjects and there will be a voice whispering down the microphone in your ear, or a radio presenter waving frantically ‘no don’t go there’. If you’re trying to do it in print you will often be told, ‘I’m sorry but this will offend our readers’ or ‘thank you very much but we were unable to use the piece after all’.

Stand up and be counted as one of the few who is willing to say ‘Marriage is a good thing no matter what the stats say’. ‘Children tend to function better in a stable environment with two parents present’. You will look around and find you are pretty much standing alone.

What has happened to our society when standing up for what one believes in has become a badge of disgrace? When saying ‘listen we may not like to hear it but this is what is best for our children’ became something one didn’t do. When did we become so afraid of not ‘hurting people’s feelings’ or ‘stepping on anyone’s toes’ that we kept our mouths shut while all else around us failed?

So today we stand up and be counted. We make it known that as a party we believe that couples should be married, ‘how quaint’, and that it is better for our children. ‘Not true’ will be heard at dinner parties from one end of Islington to the other. Well marriage is not quaint – it’s hard bloody work. And just about every report on the subject will tell you that yes it is better for your children if there is a Mummy and a Daddy who store their shoes peacefully in the same bedroom.

BUTBUTBUTBUTBUT —– WE MUST BE CAREFUL!!!! We must be very, very careful how we approach this octopus of an issue. On one hand we have a deep-rooted belief in the sanctity of marriage. We believe that marriage is the bedrock of society. We believe that people need to know that ‘marriage is for a lifetime not just for a Saturday in June’. We need to do what we can, when we can to reintroduce the idea of marriage as the way forward and in general ‘a good thing’.

However we also need to be realistic and look at the figures. The divorce rate in this country is now heading towards the 50% mark. And this is where the octopus issue comes into play.

We must campaign for marriage but we must be very, very careful not to campaign against mothers on their own.

Yes we should stand tall and be counted and say loudly that we do not believe in women going out and making a conscious decision to have a child on their own because ‘I just want one that’s why’.

But we must also be very, very careful that we don’t ostracize or penalize any further people who by the choice of the other half of their ‘til death us do part’ decided to go walkabout. I hate the thought that through a decision made by someone other than me, that my son and I now be shunted into some sort of oddbin. Destined to be regarded as second-class citizens and him destined for a life of crime and social exclusion.

He isn’t. Not as long as I am his mother and his father makes the effort that he does. My job is difficult enough without being told I won’t succeed because his father occupies a different postcode. That wasn’t my choice and don’t slap me for it life has slapped me enough.

Yes by all means champion the cause of marriage – tell me where to sign up. Despite everything that has happened I would be the first one to say ‘I do’ to the right chap. There is no institution finer than that of marriage.

But at the same time let us also stand up and loudly say we also need to show people how to do well by their children if the ‘I do’ becomes I don’t.

Don’t let Labor beat us on this one if we ignore the facts we’ll end up slapping Mummy and she just doesn’t deserve it.



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6 responses to “Please Don’t Slap the Mummy – Breakdown Britain

  1. One of the problems inherent in this issue is that there are interest groups who have an agenda.

    That two parents is ideal is beyond argument, but will always be spun by various lobbyists as anti gay, anti single parents or whatever else. The media loves to go down this route.

    We need to make sure that the message is, that we care about marriage, because we care about children. Which by extension means that we don’t wish to throw those on the scrap heap for the sin of being in the “wrong” kind of family.

  2. Ian

    Morag, I’m a married father of one. I would agree with you that marriage can be bloody hard work at times, but it’s not clear to me that I’m a better father simply by dint of being married. What have I missed?

    Secondly, and not entirely mischievously, would two same-sex parents who were married in a jurisdiction that recognised such unions prove better parents for their children than two same-sex parents who were not so married? How would they stand in relation to an unmarried heterosexual couple with children?

    Please forgive me if this seems like trolling; I am genuinely curious about the difference you think a marriage makes to the ability to parent.

  3. Ian,
    The report states that cohabiting couples are more likely to split than married couples before the child’s 5th birthday. Cohabiting is 1 in 2 while married couple is 1 in 12.


    What about fathers. Fathers are never mentioned, they are the neglected.

    Most divorces are initiated by the mother, 40% of mothers intentionally cut of the father from the childs life (PAS). Fathers are more than paychecks.

    If you want divorce to decrease and marriage to be taken seriously, a simple solution is the default arrangement of a divorce is 50/50 child custody. You would see divorce rates plummet.

    People no longer try, they expect everything to be just perfect. Ever been in a 3rd world country and seen how couples work their butts off to get a meal a day, yet they do not have our youth social ills (drugs, alcohol, crime, underage sex etc.).

    Not TB

  4. The statistic of cohabiting couples having a 1 in 2 chance of breaking up is interesting to me as I have just married the woman with whom I have co-habited for the last 25 years. Her reasoning was that she didn’t want gay men (gawd luv ’em) to have more rights than her. My six-year-old daughter joined in the chorus. I went along with it for the party (the Manoir aux Quatre Saisons is lovely in autumn), and to make her happy. Has it made any difference to us? Not really. In my opinion, what makes a difference is having children with someone you’ve known for a while, rather than any form of state sponsorship for your relationship.

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