The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Living in Sin

That mediocrity's mediocrity, Iain Duncan Smith, has put forward almost his very own solution to the social instability which results from a shallow celebrity culture in which awards and praise are undeservedly lavished on pop stars, actors and footballers, and sometimes even on libraries, hospitals and charitable institutions. The nation's children, it appears, can survive the damage Michael Gove plans to do to their education and cultural heritage; they can waltz happily through the lack of public play facilities; they will fall on their little knees in gratitude at their prospects for subsequent unemployment and demonisation in the press; but what imposes "incredibly high" financial and social costs on society as a whole is the fact that some of their parents (whisper it) aren't even married.

Launching something called Marriage Week UK with an appropriately Blairite wagging finger, and taking with owlish seriousness Daveybloke's pre-election joke about giving couples a few pounds a week extra to stay together, Duncan Smith defines marriage as "the commitment of two people to put selfish interest to one side for the sake of each other and the children they raise". That will come as a surprise to anyone who knows any non-psychopathic cohabitees, to say nothing of those who got married because they wanted to, without a thought for the welfare or otherwise of their as-yet-nonexistent children. Duncan Smith claimed that marriage is "the most basic institution, which nurtures each generation and from which so many of us draw our strength and purpose"; which will come as a surprise to anyone whose parents stayed together in the sort of mutual contempt and loathing that characterises so many coalitions of convenience. Duncan Smith diagnosed marriage as being "about understanding that our true value is lastingly expressed through the lives of others we commit to"; which explains the Conservative Party's much-noted understanding of the true value of education and health workers, as opposed to tax dodgers and purveyors of tits-and-racism for the masses. Duncan Smith said that the state should not "lecture or push" people into marrying, which explains why he used his lecture on the evils of celebrity-inspired singletonism to offer financial support to those who do.


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