The Thinking 

Post-Marital Britain

April 27, 2010


BRITAIN’S ILLEGITIMACY RATE is expected to exceed 50 percent within the next five years. In some towns, two out of three births are out of wedlock, as reported in The Daily Mail.The overall figure for native-born whites exceeds 50 percent. In Knowsley, near Liverpool, 68 percent of births were out of wedlock in 2007. The figure in Knowsley is expected to reach 75 percent by 2014. So great is public alarm that a former Home  Minister expressed her dismay. She called the high illegitimacy rate “tremendously worrying,” the sort of descriptive phrase one might apply to an excess of ivy in the rose beds.

For a glimpse into Britain’s post-marital culture, see the comments after the Daily Mail article, in which some readers acknowledge the role of government welfare in encouraging single motherhood. Others aggressively assert that marriage isn’t necessary for children and anybody who thinks so is a bigot. Marriage is something posh people do. Here are the first ten comments:

Who cares?

– Flame, UK, 18/4/2010 7:13

I’m not against single mums, many people never end up meeting “the one” but they would still love to have kids. The nuclear family unit was always the norm in the past, but there were many cracks in this family model. In reality many people ended up pressured into marriage and trapped in marriage with a partner they didn’t like or found undesirable. It’s easy to look back with rose colored glasses. I used to think badly of the ‘break down’ of the family, but now I realise family comes in many forms. Your family is not broken just because you’re not in a nuclear family.

– Aimee, Australia, 18/4/2010 7:16

Hardly surprising, when “celebrities” such as Charlotte Church has recently become engaged to the father of her two children, and at the other end of the social scale youngsters are having babies as an alternative to paid work as a means of obtaining homes, social benefits and tax breaks. I’m no Christian moralist, but as long as the State continues to subsidise out-of-wedlock births and potential role models provide such examples to their admirers children will continue to be brought into the world without the stable family environment that is needed for their mental well-being.

– Stuart, Palma Spain, 18/4/2010 7:30

I care. I like to think that I live in a country that has morals.

– Someone, England, 18/4/2010 7:34

My husband and I have two kids. One born 11 years before we married the second born a year after. I fail to see what difference being married has made.

We will raise our second child exactly the same way we raised our first as seeing as she has gone on to become a young woman I can be proud off I don’t think the fact we were single has had any negitive impact on her.

Good parenting is whats important where children are concerned, not the presence of a ring on your finger.

– maggie, dublin ireland, 18/4/2010 7:34

It’s all about getting a council flat & benefits..

– felix, east uk, 18/4/2010 7:35

That is up to the mothers and their choice, they have the right to remain single and be open for better offers.

Perhaps it’s financial reasons, anything other than romance.

I am married to a woman and will probably be joining a minority and outdated group of people, it suits me and providing it isn’t a requirement to be single I’m OK.

– Arkley Barnet, Still here, 18/4/2010 7:36

wow amazing…is this really important?

In a country where kids of both singles and marrieds are becoming homeless, they have no access to proper healthcare or eduation, where they will have no real job prospects the only thing people seem worried about is marriage!!

Priorities anyone?

– todd, cork, 18/4/2010 7:41

My parents were married.

Mind you my dad spent the best part of my childhood having affair after affair. We all knew it, we all suffered because of it but I guess thats okay seeing as to the outside world we were the perfect example of what a family should be

Marriage can be wonderful but for a lot of people its only a front and the reality is a lot more disgusting than the life of a single parent. And possibly a lot more harmful to the children involved.

– caitlin, out there in the real world, 18/4/2010 7:50


                                   — Comments —

Jake Jacobsen writes:

Britain has been a Socialist wonderland for so long it’s sometimes hard to remember. The long train of depredations that have been visited on the British people all share a single wellspring, again, Socialism. I talk to a lot of people here who just can’t accept this but once you introduce actual Socialism this is the end result. We certainly see some precursor symptoms here from our Socialism-light experiment begun on the forties and increased massively in the sixties.

Its important to remember that Brits and Aussies once felt just as strongly about bearing arms as we do here in the States. What changed: Socialism! Yay! This is what Obama and his merry henchmen have planned for us, to make us grubby serfs of the state begging for crumbs from Uncle Sugar.

I also hear many now talking up the supposedly superior Swedish or Scandinavian model, you know, the same model that is trying desperately to erase gender distinctions, has criminalized free speech and thought and freedom. Socialism is slavery. Socialism produces slaves. This is the truth. We need to understand this before we can do anything about white birthrates in Merry Old or anywhere else suffering under the lash of tyranny, whether self-imposed or not.

These low birthrates are simply a symptom of the disease. And the name of the disease is Socialism.

Laura writes:

Like feminism, Marxism, homosexualism, Darwinism, socialism is an ersatz relgion, what Eric Voegelin called a “gnostic” creed. The gnostic views the cause of this family collapse as social injustice and economic hardship. In his Science, Politics and Gnosticism, Voegelin gives six characteristics of the gnostic. In summary, these are:    

  • The gnostic is dissatisfied.
  • The cause of his dissatisfaction is ”the wickedness of the world.’
  • He believes salvation from this wickedness is possible.
  • In order to achieve salvation, ”the order of being will have to be changed in an historical process.”
  • This change is possible through human effort.
  • The gnostic possesses a formula or knowledge as to how to bring about this salvation.

To the socialist or the feminist, this “tremendously worrying” illegitimacy rate is either a sign of new and liberating freedoms or of the wickedness of the world. The cure is in social change, not in the  soul of man. 

Jim B. writes:

I’d have to disagree with your characterization that “the gnostic views the cause of this family collapse as social injustice.”  Family collapse to a socialist is, as we say in the computer business, a feature not a bug.  Since the family is viewed as an oppressive institution (indeed, as the base of all oppressive institutions) it has always been a main goal of all socialist regimes to destroy it. Once the family is gone, there is nothing between the individual and the State.

Laura writes:

What I meant was that if you expressed alarm to a socialist about the high illegitimacy rates, he would point to the relatively high marriage rates among the affluent and say illegitimacy is caused by social injustice. Of course, he is not a defender of the family to begin with and he seeks to destroy it. He would never admit that government assistance has encouraged illegitimacy and would only want more aid to families. He will hide his real intentions behind this phony concern for children and women. 

The family will never offer him the possibilities for radically overcoming the “wickedness of the world” that laws and government oversight do. He doesn’t just prefer the State because he blindly hates the family but because the family cannot on its own, no matter how much it is changed, offer the illusion of progress that socialist reform can.

Karen I. writes:

Our local paper publishes birth announcements every weekend. This weekend, six out of eight announcements featured different last names for mother and father. Usually it is something like five out of ten, sometimes with just a mother’s name and no father mentioned at all. Parents are not required to put the announcement in the paper, it is done by choice. Clearly, they are proud of what was considered a complete disgrace just a few decades ago. I wonder how the grandparents and great-grandparents named in the out-of-wedlock birth announcements really feel about having their names dragged into what was, and perhaps still is, considered a terrible shame by their generation. 

I know several mothers who were not married when their child was born. Many of the mothers in this situation are not nearly as fine with single motherhood as they pretend to be. The men have the upper hand once the baby arrives and the mothers think they have no choice but to sit by pretending they are happy and hope he sees the light as the years pass. The mother’s prospects dwindle when she has a baby in tow, because decent men usually don’t want to raise someone else’s child. The unwed fathers know this and the situation only gets worse for the mother as the years pass and her already slim prospects dwindle further. I don’t know of one single mother that has had a marriage proposal and turned it down. It is funny in a way. As soon as a man proposes, these mothers often throw the biggest wedding they can, wearing white as their children serving as ring-bearer or flower girl. The proud announcement of an out of wedlock birth is often followed a few years later by an equally glowing wedding announcement.

Laura writes:

Very few women want to be single mothers. Who wants to come home from the hospital with a newborn and no husband? Most end up in this situation because they never imagined it or because they had no adults to guide them. The years add up in uncertain relationships. It can be bitterly disappointing. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, harmful to children, to women and to men.

Brittany writes:

I wonder if we can break this down even more? How many parents had illegitimate children but are now married? How many parents are living together? How many are not married but spend equal time with the kid? How many are just in a single parent household? My point is that we need to know how many illegitimate children are still being raised by a mom and dad to know how big the problem really is?

To Karen I, I think that most older people wouldn’t be as bothered with it as they used to be because a lot of people change with the times. One shocking example is nursing home sex.

Laura writes:

In Britain, about 30 percent of births are to cohabiting couples and 15 percent to single mothers living on their own.

Studies show that cohabiting couples have a higher incidence of break-up than married couples and couples who live together before marrying, a higher incidence of divorce. A woman who has a child before she is married is much more likely to raise children without their father.

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