Mrs. Dromey is actually talking sense!
Miss Harman, who is also Leader of the House of Commons, was interviewed for Second Thoughts on the Family, which is published Monday by Civitas, the think-tank.
The book, which paraphrases her interview at her request, states: "Harman believes higher rates of separation are down to a positive: greater choice.
"Furthermore, she is keen to stress that in her view, no public policy can or should say that every couple whose relationship has broken down must stay together.
"For Harman, there is no \’ideal\’ parenting scenario. Longitudinal social research shows that having two parents produces the best outcomes, she says, but in her view the important thing for Government is to respect choices.
"For Harman, marriage has little relevance in public policy. Moreover, she thinks that marriage has probably got no more public policy bite in it than the Government saying that they would like everybody to be happy.
Most people, Harman believes, aspire to marriage, and want to stay together. She objects strongly, however, to the idea of any politician telling parents that they should stay together for the sake of the children."
It may well be true (it probably is true) that two parents are the best environment for children to grow up in, except when it isn\’t. But what that has to do with either government or the price of tea in China is harder to work out.
Government should indeed be respecting the choices that people make: we do after all, both hire them and pay for them. We should indeed be doing whatever it is that we damn well please as long as we are not interfering with or affecting the rights of others to do the same.
Sure, when we get to the details of policy this might be different, but at its core this is a simple statement of basic liberal (of the classical kind) values. You\’re free, an individual, and the Government\’s job is to protect you from others who would negate your rights and to stop you from doing the same in return.
We do of course have one teenise problem here: apparently this liberality only applies to familial structures. When, of course, it should apply right across the board. Drugs, education, ID cards, car seats, seatbelts….there are so many areas of life where such a similarly liberal attitude should, but does not, prevail.
"the important thing for Government is to respect choices."…..Quite. Now bugger off and do the things that only Government can do and therefore must and leave the rest of us alone would you?