Sunday, September 03, 2006
Tony Benn is absolutely right when he likens these proposed policies with eugenics. It warrants state interference in personal lives to a level almost unknown in this country, which was one of the only ones, in fact, not to pass an eugenics bill prior to Hitler's reign in Germany.
People in 1920s United States, for instance, were coerced into not reproducing by forcible sterilisation. Other times and places there has been bribery in the form of cash. This may become policy in regards to drug addicts in Scotland.
Maybe this ideology may also be rooted in New Labour's roots with Fabianism, with it's middle class base and it's open distrust of both working class self activity and of the class themselves. Hence the patronising attitude. Notable fabians, such as George Bernard Shaw, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Havelock Ellis and H.G Wells were supporters of eugenics.
Couples who do not come from idealic middle class backgrounds nor live in idealic circumstances as did the Webbs and their modern day counterparts must take heed. Any present or past addictions or mental health problems? Troubled childhood? Any contact or usage of the mental health services? Claiming benefit? Working class? Had better watch out if any of the following apply.
It is, however, unlikely that middle to upper class drug users or alcoholics, the idle rich as opposed to the idle poor, or eccentric aristos with mental health difficulties will find themselves the target of these policies. History speaks against this, and so does the class system and the way society is organised. It has always been the working class who are vulnerable to this and it will doubtlessly continue to be so. The rich are immune from this as they tend to have the resources to keep the State out of personal lives. The poor are not so lucky.
Thankfully I have two savoury allies in the form of Benn and Anastasia De Waal. The Tory Party are on my side, but I don't mind that as they object on civil libertarian principles. While I am a small fry in the blogosphere I hope people take heed and oppose any such policies. Again, where will we stop? It is down to 'first they came for.....' again.