Tories target single parents
By Julia Perkins
LONDON — With the British economy failing to show any consistent signs of recovery, the quest for scapegoats continues: the accusing finger of blame having stabbed at immigrants, the unemployed and "non-productive" workers is now pointed at single parents.
After a visit to a Cardiff housing estate, Secretary of State for Wales John Redwood claimed: "One of the biggest social problems of our day is the surge in single parent families." Other extremist Tory MP's argue that lone parent allowances should be be cut and that this can be done without any electoral damage.
Single parent families in Britain are already some 20% worse off than two parent families, with a typical mother of two subsisting on only $140 per week — the greatest percentage of women offenders are single parents, convicted for poverty related crimes (drug abuse, petty theft and/or social security fraud).
The Tory campaign is designed to both cut costs and to enforce the moral right's political agenda. Thatcherite Redwood, condemns young women who choose to have children "with no apparent intention of trying marriage of a stable relationship with the father", and suggested single mothers should be denied benefits until absent fathers have been hunted down and forced to return home to support them.
Recently, MPs, doctors and psychotherapists, voicing support during "National Fertility Week" for state-funded in vitro fertilisation procedures, made an abrupt about face when Jean Gibbons, mother of sextuplets, was found to be a single mum. Gibbons' case is now being used to advocate the restricting of National Health Service resources for "deserving" cases, that is, those who "exhibit a way of life worthy of public support".