Ignorant tosser

A Labour MP described yesterday the government’s proposal to limit child tax credits to the first two children as reminiscent of Nazi-style ‘eugenics’.
Stephen Kinnock

The Nazis paid bonuses for extra children and awarded a gold medal for 7 of them.

And it was the Fabians more than anyone else who were into eugenics in the UK.

39 comments on “Ignorant tosser

  1. Was hoping it was Denmark which already limits child benefit to 2 children.

    But it is Italy.

  2. And it was the Fabians more than anyone else who were into eugenics in the UK.

    Zero Population Growth is a pressure group founded by Paul Ehrlich of Population Bomb infamy. It is supported by the Great and the Good. It is overwhelmingly a Left Wing cause.

    Admittedly some of them are a little bit on the Right – people who object to too many Tinted People tend to support it. George H. W. Bush, very quietly, was a long term supporter of abortion – presumably for people not like him given he had six children.

  3. I think you’ll find he’s referring to the Celtic Nazis who visited Hitler in their droves in 1938 to 1940.

  4. Ironically, Beveridge explained to the British Eugenics Society that child benefit was intended to reduce the fecundity of the lower orders.

  5. Ian B – “Ironically, Beveridge explained to the British Eugenics Society that child benefit was intended to reduce the fecundity of the lower orders.”

    Why is that ironic? Social Democrats had a problem with free riders who were feckless and fecund. That is why the Fabians were into eugenics. They had a problem and they needed to do something about it. Beveridge grew up in that world, knew the arguments and so produced a mildly eugenic welfare state.

    Better than the Swedes who went for full sterilisation.

  6. It’s ironic because Beveridge, like most eugenicists of his time, thought that paying people money would reduce the number of children they had. Nowadays people think that paying people money from the State causes them to have more children. So which measure is “eugenic” has reversed. Hence the likening of reducing child benefit to eugenics, when it was itself a eugenic measure, is ironic.

  7. After seven kids I would have thought the woman would have deserved more than a gold medal.

  8. Surreptitious Evil – “This is only a sample of one, but adding endless anecdote, tosserdom does appear to be strongly inheritable. Nature or nurture, I am less sure.”

    I am not sure. I tend to think that it is worse than inherited. Given the modern Labour Party seems to exist to prove that the older Labour Party wasn’t so bad after all. What is clearly heritable is working at the British Council. You would never guess where little Stephen was working while his father was head of the British Council up to 2009?

    In 2009 little Stephen had to leave as well. Get a job with a Green Business consultancy. Had he worked a single day in the real economy before this? Not that I can see. His advice was on how business would be more Green. So I would like to see someone ask him how many children each Sierra Leone woman would have in an ideal world. Six? Four? Two? You know, from a Green point of view.

  9. Ian B – “It’s ironic because Beveridge, like most eugenicists of his time, thought that paying people money would reduce the number of children they had.”

    Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t the aim of the Beveridge reforms to make having children more financially rewarding for the rich and less financially attractive for the poor? He certainly wanted it to be but he doesn’t seem to have got his way:

    Dennis Sewell states that “On the day the House of Commons met to debate the Beveridge Report in 1943, its author slipped out of the gallery early in the evening to address a meeting of the Eugenics Society at the Mansion House. … His report he was keen to reassure them, was eugenic in intent and would prove so in effect. … The idea of child allowances had been developed within the society with the twin aims of encouraging the educated professional classes to have more children than they currently did and, at the same time, to limit the number of children born to poor households. For both effects to be properly stimulated, the allowance needed to be graded: middle-class parents receiving more generous payments than working-class parents. … The Home Secretary had that very day signalled that the government planned a flat rate of child allowance. But Beveridge alluding to the problem of an overall declining birth rate, argued that even the flat rate would be eugenic. Nevertheless, he held out hope for the purists. ‘Sir William made it clear that it was in his view not only possible but desirable that graded family allowance schemes, applicable to families in the higher income brackets, be administered concurrently with his flat rate scheme,’ reported the Eugenics Review

    salamander – “After seven kids I would have thought the woman would have deserved more than a gold medal.”

    I believe they got to shake Hitler’s hand too. Which, for many, was, no doubt, reward enough. Even though I expect a disproportionate number of them were observant Catholics and hence anti-Nazis.

  10. SMFS,

    Unless George H W Bush was a supporter of forced abortion, I fail to see any contradiction between supporting a woman’s right to an abortion if she so chooses and having a large family.

  11. Essentially, Pillock junior is concerned that Labour might have insufficient voters unless the lower orders have financial incentives to breed.

  12. The period Tim means is roughly 1910-1940.

    George Bernard Shaw, Marie Stopes, Sydney and Beatrice Webb, they were all keen.

    John Maynard Keynes was Chairman of the Eugenics Society.

    ” It was not poverty that had to be reduced or even eliminated: it was the poor.

    Hence the enthusiasm of John Maynard Keynes, director of the Eugenics Society from 1937 to 1944, for contraception, essential because the working class was too “drunken and ignorant” to keep its numbers down.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/feb/17/eugenics-skeleton-rattles-loudest-closet-left

  13. “It’s ironic because Beveridge, like most eugenicists of his time, thought that paying people money would reduce the number of children they had. ”

    What was the logic behind that reasoning? I’m genuinely baffled.

  14. Matt W
    I broadly agree with Keynes there, though I would replace ‘working class’ with ‘underclass’. Today in the UK, generally only the very poor or very rich have large families, and I see no reason why the taxpayer should incentivise the underclass to breed disproportionately. So limiting financial incentives to the first two children and targetting contraceptive provision at problem families would be sensible. This is not a matter of eugenics, but of helping to break the cycle of poverty in which people can get trapped, while also reducing anti-social behaviour and reducing long-term welfare expenditure.

  15. I hate it when people bandy the e word about. All social engineering is eugenic. It’s just a question of whose ‘eu’.

  16. I think we need to draw a distinction between those cases where the tax credits exceed the tax liability and those where they don’t. In the latter cases (which I believe are the majority), no, the state is not paying anyone to have children. Politicians like to claim that taxing you less is the same as giving you something, but it isn’t. Reducing petrol duty by a penny isn’t a gift either.

  17. “Hence the enthusiasm of John Maynard Keynes, director of the Eugenics Society from 1937 to 1944, for contraception, essential because the working class was too “drunken and ignorant” to keep its numbers down.”

    “keep its numbers down” has to be a euphemism.

  18. “Reducing petrol duty by a penny isn’t a gift either”

    Of course not. It’s a subsidy to Big Oil.

    As is not adding an extra pound a litre in petrol tax. Just ask Lord Stern.

  19. “the higher the Catholic population, the lower the Nazi vote”: ah, but were they “observant”?

    I’m guessing that Protestants in highly Roman Catholic areas were disproportionally likely to vote anti-Nazi as the Nazis reminded them of Papal triumphalism, priestly bullying, heretic-burning and so forth. Anyway Hitler had started life as an Austrian Roman Catholic.

  20. To return to the point: I suggest to TW that he gather the wit and wisdom of Kinnock minor, and his like, under the rubric Red Princes.

  21. Sq2

    “Politicians like to claim that taxing you less is the same as giving you something, but it isn’t. Reducing petrol duty by a penny isn’t a gift either.”

    True; but a tax reduction can still be an incentive.

  22. Richard>

    Presumably because ‘good Catholics’ felt the Nazis were too soft, and wanted someone who’d really take care of the ‘Jewish problem’.

  23. @ dearieme
    The Confessing Church was outspokenly (and, hence, fatally) anti-Nazi. The established churches less so because Hitler appeared to be the alternative to the atheist, church-derstroying, murderous communists (and, by the time Hitler came to power Stalin had already killed more than the 7 million subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust) and theNazis applied their propaganda machine to fool them. Bonhoeffer and his friends saw through the propaganda to the intrinsic evil of Nazism and split off from the state-approved churches: for avoidance of doubt – the description “mainstream” should only be applied to The Confessing Church

  24. Theo,

    > a tax reduction can still be an incentive

    Of course. But let’s have less of this nonsense about “paying for other people’s kids”. In most cases, you’re not.

    A few years back, when the Government were talking about introducing the universal non-means-tested pension (did they go ahead with that? I don’t keep up with pension news), I saw some fuckwit of a newscaster in a TV debate asking whether it was right that we pay a state pension to, for instance, Mick Jagger. I thought, Fucking hell, just how big is the state pension these days? The Treasury’s going to be giving more to Mick Jagger than it gets from him?

  25. It hasn’t been going too well lately for Kinnock fils. There’s of course the recent drubbing his party took at the election, with Miliband’s performance being compared inevitably to his windbag father’s (which comparison I am not sure is more insulting to whom) but let’s not forget that the Danes turfed his missus out on her ear at their last set of elections, too. One must have a heart of stone etc. etc..

  26. Ah yes, his missus. Is that a marriage blanche, do you suppose?

    @john77: thank you for that – it was more than my crude teasing merited.

  27. Sq2

    ‘Of course. But let’s have less of this nonsense about “paying for other people’s kids”. In most cases, you’re not.’

    Granted, in most cases, I am not ‘paying’ for other people’s sprogs. But when the state provides the underclass with incentives to breed, the rest of us end up paying for their obesity, poor health, social workers, benefits, anti-social behaviour (eg classroom disruption, noise, domestic violence) counselling, criminality, incarceration….

    So we are talking about words here, the meaning of ‘paying’ in this context. You are right on your narrow definition of ‘paying’, and I am right on my wide definition. I prefer the wider definition because it takes all costs into account. And so I’d like to see all incentives to the underclass lifestyle eliminated.

  28. I like Theo’s note about SKinnock worried about a future world of lower state dependency. Currently 60% of parenting of under 16s occurs on welfare defined as a means tested benefit excluding child benefit ), and I’d like this to be the minority not the default position.
    At the GE labour won in areas with high levels of public sector workers and welfare claimants. They failed to register in England’s lowest income county which is Cornwall according to the EU.
    So SKinnock really should worry who will breed his voters.

  29. dearieme – ““observant Catholics and hence anti-Nazis”: a lovely “no true Scotsman” argument.”

    Well no. “Observant” has a technical meaning. It is not the same as “real”. The Catholic Church excommunicated Nazis. There was real, but mainly passive, resistance from Catholic areas. Observant, ie Church-going believers, were noted for their problems with the regime. Werner Mölders is a good example. Frido von Senger und Etterlin never got the recognition he deserved partly because he was a lay member of the Dominicans.

    dearieme – “I’m guessing that Protestants in highly Roman Catholic areas were disproportionally likely to vote anti-Nazi as the Nazis reminded them of Papal triumphalism, priestly bullying, heretic-burning and so forth. Anyway Hitler had started life as an Austrian Roman Catholic.”

    They might. But I doubt it. The Nazis did poorly among Church going Catholics. It is not as if Heretic burning is alien to the Protestant tradition. Hitler started life as a Catholic. And many lapsed Catholics were hard core Nazis. Sepp Dietrich for instance. Albert Kesselring for another. But so what? The Duke of Wellington was born in a barn but that does not make him an Irish horse.

    Dave – “Presumably because ‘good Catholics’ felt the Nazis were too soft, and wanted someone who’d really take care of the ‘Jewish problem’.”

    There are some forms of bigotry that never go out of style. The Pope made his views on anti-semitism clear at the time. You are perfectly capable of looking them up.

  30. Theophrastus – “But when the state provides the underclass with incentives to breed, the rest of us end up paying for their obesity, poor health, social workers, benefits, anti-social behaviour (eg classroom disruption, noise, domestic violence) counselling, criminality, incarceration….”

    Gee. Wow. If only there was, you know, an alternative to vote for in the General Election? You know, perhaps a conservative party or something. Naaah, That would be too wild. Much better that we all vote for the same three Lib-Dem parties and get the same three Lib-Dem policies, right?

  31. Theo,

    > So we are talking about words here, the meaning of ‘paying’ in this context. You are right on your narrow definition of ‘paying’, and I am right on my wide definition.

    I agree with the point you’re making about incentives, which is why I didn’t make my first comment in reply to yours, or to anything said in this thread (yet).

    But this point is made again and again by libertarians and small-government conservatives (even if not on this thread yet today): that child benefit and child tax credits involve people with children being “paid” an actual sum of money to raise their kids, and that that sum of money is “paid” by people without kids, which is unfair (“Why should I be forced to pay for your lifestyle choice?” is said so much it’s a clichee). In most cases, that is exactly the same argument as claiming that a company is being subsidised by the government every time it keeps some of its own money instead of paying it in tax.

    So I thought it was in context and worth bringing up.

  32. SMFS:

    I see you are still wedded to the equivalence hypothesis, even when the latest Budget undermines it.

    Sq2: Fair enough.

    dearieme: Yes, I’d like to see a ‘Red Princes’ tag. And also ‘Woolly Willy’ for Mr Hutton.

  33. Theophrastus – “I see you are still wedded to the equivalence hypothesis, even when the latest Budget undermines it.”

    The latest budget which raises the minimum wage, increases government spending and the debt, and puts off a return to a surplus to the indefinite future?

    Blair brought in more conservative budgets than this.

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