Saturday, 13 October 2007

Andy Burnham: twat?

Another cabinet minister has identified himself as a moron - this is unsurprising, and has been mentioned around the blogosphere a bit already, but I'll throw my two bits in.

Leave aside any party-political clothes-stealing for a minute and instead think about the content of Andy Burnham's comments on marriage. He claims that "there is a 'moral case' for promoting the traditional family through the tax system".

Unfortunately, he doesn't actually make this case, because, well, heaven forbid that any serving ministers would have anything approaching an actual ideology or political philosophy. His other comments seem to be hinting back to that good old chestnut "kids that are raised by two married parents are more likely to do better than kids raised in other circumstances". This is another one of those indicator problems: married couples are far more likely to be committed to each other because - duh - they chose to get married. Marriage is the signal. Increasing tax incentives for married couples will probably raise the number of people getting married, sure. But it's the people who are less committed and less in love than the ones that already got married (broadly speaking). So in time, the child-outcome stats for married couples would get worse as those that would previously have been registered in the "cohabiting and beating our kids" bracket move into the "married and beating our kids" bracket.

Also, today getting married is expensive. I bet that the average married couple (of a given age) is hella lot better off than the average unmarried couple of the same age. Wealth correlates well with child success, because the wealthy can provide for their children better in terms of toys, education and so on, and are likely to be brighter and marry later, both of which themselves correlate well with child success.

But no-one wants to talk about this shit in the mainstream media. Where are the journalists hanging politicians out to dry for stuff like this? It's not rocket science. Hell, it's not even "dual award" science, and that's saying something.

ps: "There’s sometimes a metropolitan myth that Labour people are all a bit liberal" oh fuck off, Andy. No-one in their right mind thinks Labour are liberal. Hello? ID cards? Detention without trial? Not ringing any bells yet? Tosser.