Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Minister of Citizen Control

On Sept 1st the Guardian ran a story about Blair's plan to insinuate the state into the lives of pregnant youth and women in order to 'weed out the problem unborn'

Tony Blair has said it is possible to identify problem children who could grow up to be a potential "menace to society" even before they are born.

Setting out plans for state intervention to prevent babies born into high-risk families becoming problem teenagers of the future, the prime minister said teenage mothers could be forced to accept state help before giving birth, as part of a
clampdown on antisocial behaviour.

Mr Blair defended the need for state intervention and said action could even be taken "pre-birth" if necessary as families with drug and alcohol problems were being identified too late.

This approach seems classist, sexist and completely out of touch with the real issues affecting people's lives as voiced later in the article

Norman Lamb, chief of staff to Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, said: "Empty threats to pregnant mothers will do little to restore confidence in a government that has failed to tackle poverty, crime and social exclusion for the last nine years."

Today the Guardian has run another story in connection with this issue.
The prime minister said the links between such social problems and anti-social behaviour and crime were well established and it was possible to predict the families where things might go wrong.

Early intervention would avoid the "colossal expense" later on, he said, pointing to the cost to the state of keeping children in care, of teenage pregnancy and of mental health beds.

So Blair and his ministers can identify who the criminals are going to be and who is going to have mental health issues? WOW and amazingly none of them will come from "good families". You know the good families.. they have money.. live in the right neighbourhoods and of course never deal with teen pregnancies, criminal behaviour or mental health issues. Wonder where Maggie went wrong? But never mind that.

This is very interesting;

Agencies and professionals needed to work in new ways to tackle these problems and should be freed of rules and bureaucracy, he said. A range of new approaches would be tested in areas where critical problems exist.

Mr Blair is expected to join Hilary Armstrong, the minister for social exclusion, next week to launch an 'action plan' thought to include a pilot scheme to deal with the most challenging families.

Freed of rules. Hmm which rules would those be?
According to the article the government is not on track to ending child poverty.

Blair should spend more time on creating policies and plans for lifting people out of poverty instead of punishing them for being poor.

Sounds like state control of the proletariat is the real agenda.


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