Tuesday, 27 January 2009

New Labour declares war on deadbeat dads (again)

I woke up this morning to a no-name New Labour minister promising to crack down on deadbeat dads. On breakfast tv, she outlined the latest strategy for hunting down absent fathers. In future, a government ministry will have to power to confiscate a non-contributing father's passport and driver's licence. Furthermore, government officials will be able to confiscate these documents without having to go to court.

This is classic New Labour; it is both authoritarian and congenitially incapable of understanding the deeper problem. It is the same old legislate, confiscate and imprison strategy that has marked New Labour's approach to most social problems.

Why have men stopped being fathers? The vast majority of absent fathers have disappeared because the state is willing to take over as the primary breadwinner. Rather than recreating a role for fathers, New Labour want to use the heavy hand of the law.

This measure is such a sad indictment of Britain. The government think that preventing men from leaving the country is the only way to ensure that mothers receive their rightful financial support from their children's fathers.

12 comments:

aSteve said...

I thought this was odd too. I woke to the same report... and couldn't help but feel an increased risk I now need to care about. I've no children - let alone any from whom I'm absent... but I now need to worry that my passport and driving licence will be revoked without my even discovering that this has happened. I have scant belief in the efficiency and credibility of the civil service. I'm not reassured even that even not being a father will keep me safe from sanction.

electro-kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
electro-kevin said...

It's not just dead beat dads.

My colleagues balk at the idea of paying maintenance but do so dutifully nonetheless. When we get to the detail I feel rather less sorry for them:

The price of a child according to the CSA ? £200 per month !

From personal experience I know that having children costs a heck of a lot more than this. The state (meaning we) effectively subsidise family breakdown.

Anonymous said...

How about mothers? A marriage is a fair business to both parties. I think some mothers need to pay for the dad with look after the kids. So if the mother runs away, will the government do the same?

mL

John Pickworth said...

Brilliant.

If the loss of their passports and driving licences doesn't immediately put the father out of work, perhaps the CSA could remove a leg too... you know, to make doubly sure they continue not contributing?

Nick von Mises said...

Cue expansion of these powers to all males in 3...2....1....

Anonymous said...

I've seen something of the hardship and humiliation caused by the selfish scum who leave their abandoned children hopeless, poor, and vulnerable. IMO, any attempt to get them to act like men has to be applauded.

AntiCitizenOne said...

We should first allow male abortion i.e. pre birth notification to the mother that "no, I'm not ready for fatherhood, if you want the child you'll have to afford it on your own".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 27 January 2009 18:12

I understand your concerns that there are many irresponsible father out there. However, it is better to let them to solve their own problem. Each family has its own problems and difficulties. No government can make one policy which can solve all their problems. Most of the time, these policies are in fact creating more and more problem themselves.

mL

Anonymous said...

Reminds of the the ever harder penalties on employers for the defaults of the workers, and penalties for the registered keepers of vehicles and not the driver at the time of the offence.

A soundbite a day is the newlabour way...

Anonymous said...

But mL, solving their own problem is exactly what these gits have done by simply abandoning their children. Following your logic, we would give the same permission to anyone else who found themselves inconvenienced by the burdens they have created for themselves. We try not to let others off the hook so easily, why these deadbeats?
DW

Anonymous said...

Bit late to comment on this, but in case anybody reads, a lot of fathers who don't support their families actually do but with cash payments to prevent loss of benefits to the mother.
It makes much more financial sense to just pay cash, a responsible father who took his parenting duties seriously would accordingly be portrayed as a non-payer.