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Laurence Inman’s Blog

FAMILIES AT WAR

10-09-2009

The Sun

Barnardo’s boss Martin Narey has argued that many more children should be taken from “problem families” at birth. Who could possibly object wonders Laurence Inman.

Hats off to that bloke from Barbados who suggested that kids from problem families should be taken away and put into care at birth.

It would, he said, save the state billions later on, when they’d ruined the education system, the social care system and then the prison system with their horrible behaviour.

I’ve been saying this for decades. My Mom still regales people with tales of me at the age of three, insisting that ‘you lot aren’t good enough for me, and you don’t deserve to have kids, so kindly find me a better family.’

I wasn’t the first, of course.

2500 years ago Plato was banging on about the same idea. Kids should be taken from their parents at birth, he insisted, and brought up collectively by the state. They would naturally find their true natures in one of three groups, the gold, the silver and the iron.

Gold people were leaders and thinkers.

Silver types were clever, courageous and resourceful.

The rest were fit only to be slaves.

For centuries the English public schools have been run wholly on this basic premise.

Of course, some bleeding heart liberals, like Karl Popper in his 1945 book The Open Society and its Enemies thought it was all dangerous twaddle, comparing the Athenian genius to Hitler and Stalin.

Of course, Popper lived in a nice big house in Hampstead (probably) and didn’t have neighbours who put three fridges in the front garden.

We should burn that book of his.

I suggest running the whole enterprise on a points basis, as follows:

One or more members of your family read The Sun. 100 points.

Your kids are called names ending in –ene or –yler. 200 points.

You buy pies at Iceland. 200 points.

You have been heard shouting in the street: ‘Kylie! Gerreeeeeer!!!’ 300 points.

You couldn’t name five Shakespearian tragedies. 600 points.

You don’t know the date of the Great Reform Bill. 1000 points.

Now, if your overall score is more than 3, your progeny, past present and future, will be shipped off to a huge central warehouse, where they will be allocated to a team of carers. They will decide into which class each kid should belong, following a series of tests. It can’t fail.

We’d all be much happier, and better off in the long run.

The beauty of it will be that it could all be administered in complete secrecy. Even the numbers of children will be kept deliberately vague. That way, if the irresponsible procreativity of the lower classes periodically surges out of control, we can simply dispose of excess numbers by – oh, I don’t know – mashing them all up in a big machine and making burgers out of them.

Who would know ?

Yes, I realise Jonathan Swift had a similar idea, but this would be on a proper 21st Century industrial scale.

I mean, who could possibly object ?

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