31 Aug 2018: Has Scotland Seen the Back of Ruth Davidson?
Ruth Davidson could quit Scottish politics after she has had her baby and become a Cabinet minister in London as a launch pad for a bid to be Tory leader.
She reportedly told friends that she could take up a peerage in the House of Lords so she could be parachuted into the Government.
If she makes the move to Whitehall she would immediately be one of the favourites to succeed Theresa May who announced recently she would stand down as leader of the party before the next General Election.
A spokesman for Ms Davidson would not deny that she has had speculative conversations with friends about her possible future in Westminster. (Daily Mail)
I am wondering if the Tory party is ready to be led by an “unmarried mother !!!! given the historic and current condemnation of such mothers by senior members of the party.
The baby has been named, Finn Paul Davidson, (presumably recognizing the marital status of the birth mother) .
He was conceived following IVF treatment, provided by the NHS. The identity of the sperm donor has not been divulged.
Time for a look back to Tory Party leaders pronouncements against unmarried mothers and Party policies directed at punishing unfortunate young woman who had babies out of wedlock.
The Tory Party and Its Vilification of Unmarried Mothers
Rhodes-Boyson MP, way back in 1986, condemned single parents as ‘evil’ in having made their cases so well they expanded their subsidies from the public purse from some £1.5million in 1960 to £1billion in 1983.
But 1993 was the year in which the Tory Party pathologizing of single mothers reached its peak, strategically exploited to initially usher in the freezing of one-parent benefit by the Tories.
It also paved the way for a proposal to scrap lone parent premium two years later (Conservative Party Budget, November 1996).
By the early 1990s, a frenzy of newspaper reports spread and heightened moral panic over the supposed splitting of our societal seams, and as press headlines asserted ‘Single Parents Cripple Lives’, it was women bringing up children on their own who were seen as culpable.
The then Home Secretary Michael Howard warned that the rise in single parents threatened the ideal of the traditional family, this, despite the fact that in 1993 only 17% of British families with children under 18 were one-parent families.
As “New Right” ideologies of the family started to dominate public discourse, the plan to pave the way for dramatic cuts in welfare benefit meant that more strategic attacks were needed to home in on those lone parents who were receiving most state support.
And so, at the (Conservative Party Conference in 1993 Peter Lilley attacked young never-married mothers as ‘benefits-driven’ and’ undeserving’ compared to those who had experienced a more traditional relationship.
“A year ago I told you my goal was to close down the something-for-nothing society. The third main area of rising spending is on lone parents. There are now 1.3million of them. Since the sixties their numbers have risen seven-fold and throughout that period it has been ‘politically incorrect’ to uphold the traditional family as an ideal. Earlier this year the decision was taken that the party would break that taboo.”
Former Tory Minister, George Young also informed the 1993 Tory Party Conference of new curbs to limit single mothers’ access to decent council accommodation so priority could be given to those in traditional relationships.
“How do we explain to the young couple who want to wait for a home before they start a family that they cannot be rehoused ahead of the unmarried teenager expecting her first, probably unplanned child?”
The Tory dominated media eagerly grabbed hold of the debates around illegitimacy and championed their moral crusade with tales of the supposed sexual promiscuity of single mothers, peppered with accounts of 14 year-old girls becoming pregnant.
But press space wasn’t given over to seeking answers to why adequate and inexpensive child-care wasn’t available. Rather,the tabloids chose to sink into a wave of derogatory condemnation.
Tory politicians also focused their comments on who was fit to parent, and Michael Howard, in his own ‘back-to-basics’ way, seized the moment to argue that:
“it would be a good thing if more unmarried mothers gave up their children for adoption.”
The Tory Secretary of State for Wales, John Redwood said:
“One of the biggest social problems of our day is the surge in single parent families. What is worrying is the trend in some places for young women to have babies with no apparent intention of even trying a marriage or stable relationship with the father of the child. The natural state should be the 2-adult family caring for their children.
Full article: (Happy Families? Single Mothers, the Press and the Politicians by Karen Atkinson, Sarah Oerton and Diane Burns)
7 Nov 2016: Benefits cap a monstrous new assault on single mothers
The Tory Government stands accused of “chilling callousness” over the tougher new benefit cap that comes into force with immediate effect.
The National Secretary of the GMB said:
“This has echoes of the staggering hypocrisy and chilling callousness that saw the victimization of single mothers in the bad old days of the early 1990s. The unfair benefit cap will shatter the life chances of the poorest children. Theresa May once said she would change the ‘nasty party’ but the mask has slipped again.” (The Express)
14 Feb 2018: Tories stigmatize single parent families
According to a government policy report, (signed off by a host of prominent Tory figures) single parent families are costing society £47 billion annually.
During a debate on it in the Commons, Sir Edward Leigh said:
“There is an absolute wealth of evidence on the importance of marriage to the welfare of children, and a wealth of evidence that marriage works, in that couples are much more likely to stay together.” (Grimsby Live)
7 Oct 2018: Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey: Single mums ‘deliberately become pregnant’ for benefits
Single girls in inner cities “deliberately become pregnant” in order to secure homes and benefits from the government, the Conservatives’ London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, wrote in 2006.
Bailey, wrote in the Telegraph that:
“any young girl living in the inner city will be clued up on how the system works. They won’t be too careful about not becoming parents. In some cases, they will deliberately become pregnant – as they know that if they do, they will get a flat. It is the same with benefits. These people are not stupid. If the state offers them money for doing something, they will do it. It is as simple as that.”
Bailey also wrote that the state needed to get away from the idea that it is “acceptable” to be a single mother.
“Many of the first single mums were housed in my part of London, reassuring them that it was acceptable – even desirable – for mothers to have babies on their own. That assumption is flawed because we now know that a child growing up without a father is so much more likely to be disadvantaged.”
In similar comments speaking at the Conservative party conference in 2008, Bailey also said
“There is a cottage industry in young women getting pregnant for state support. Girls getting knocked up to get housing? It’s a cottage industry where I come from.”
Bailey’s comments about single mothers follow his suggestion, in a policy paper he wrote in 2008 suggesting that:
“Hindu and Muslim communities rob Britain of its community, contributing to the UK becoming a crime-riddled cesspool.” (The Business Insider)