During the period of the kidnapping of Shannon Matthews there was a definite story which was running under the surface of the main police enquiries to find her, and that was the childs social back ground. Shannon was living with her mother and step father, neither worked. Shannon also had six other brothers and sisters, all off whom had different fathers. Unlike the McCain’s, they weren’t media friendly and they had no PR gurus to fight their case. They were therefore always questioned outside of their council house, looking dishevelled and untidy. One major news paper reported that whilst the child was missing, they actually had the shame to have a Chinese meal delivered.
Many friends of mine held the view that this family should be stripped of any benefits they received, thrown out of their home and all the children taken into care. The word “spayed” was also used by a particular individual.
Nothing surprises me much these days, but I was taken aback by these view points, voiced in some cases by articulate and intelligent people.
This whole issue has been further highlighted by the comments of a Medway Council councillor in Kent. John Ward commented on his own site:
"There is an increasingly strong case for compulsory sterilisation of all those who have had a second child - or third, or whatever - while living off state benefits. It would clearly take a lot of social pressures off all concerned, thus protecting the youngsters themselves to some degree, and remove the incentive to breed for greed, i.e. for more public subsidy."
Clearly, this view point is held by a wider proportion of people than I initially thought. What worries me is that not only does this stance have the stamp of the Nazi regime, but it is an indication that compassion has disappeared from certain elements of society.
My own personal view point is that the system of social payments made to those in need who have support needs root to branch reforming. Money needs to be targeted to those who really need it, and diverted from those who expect it. However, we cannot simply either abandon people or split up their families because we don’t like what they have done or become. The state system created these people, and only by re education can they be removed from the subsistence trap that they find themselves in. If this country can support an influx of nearly ¾ million migrant European workers, then we can retrain and re-educate ¾ million of benefit receivers into worth while employment.
Surely that is a better approach than neutering?