Tuesday 27 December 2011

Nice Kid You Have There, Got A Licence For It?

I've seen some daft proposals in my time, but this has raised the bar by a considerable degree.

The state should require parents to be licensed. That is, there is no moral right to raise a child, and we would do well to think of it as a privilege that the state grants and can refrain from granting to certain individuals. If you don’t like that way of putting it, I am comfortable with a weaker claim: whatever moral right to raise a child there might be is defeated when the parent-to-be is significantly likely to cause the child substantial and avoidable harm, or, of course, if the parent does cause the child such harm. Those that should be refused a license to parent a child are those who are likely, in parenting, to harm the child. Those that should have a parenting license revoked are those who do harm the child.
A government-approved licence for being allowed to raise kids? What kind of statist nutter thought that one up? Well, actually, it's someone claiming to be some kind of libertarian!

Now, you can decide for yourselves if this is a wind-up or not - though the author insists in the comments that it isn't - but regardless of that, just imagine the disastrous implications of such an idea.

Quite apart from standing in direct opposition to nature and the principles of evolution, anyone who could possibly suggest that any state would be capable enough to be trusted with such crucial decisions is arguably insane.

How do we know this? Quite simply because we already have a long-running control group to test their hypothesis.

Just 60 newborns were adopted in Britain last year in a new low – at a time when the number of children now in care is at its highest since 1987.

The drop in numbers is down to delays in putting children with families willing to adopt, campaigners say – the average wait now drags on for two years and seven months.

Official figures released on Wednesday show that 60 newborns were adopted in the 12 months to March this year, down from 70 in 2010, 150 in 2007 – and 4,000 in 1976.

Some 2,450 children were placed for adoption, down by two per cent on the 2010 figures and ten per cent since 2007. Meanwhile, the number of children in care rose by two per cent to 65,520 – its highest level since 1987.

And one in three leaving care when old enough are not in education, employment or training, the Department for Education admitted.
It's incredible that some still can't recognise a perpetually-repeated theme here. That once government are delegated ultimate authority in any area - contrary to naturally occurring markets, the human condition, or plain nigh extinct common sense - they always, but always, fuck it up.

What's more, with every tweak as illustrated by the adoption example, they just make matters worse. In fact, here's the customary state approach to every issue they decide to take control of, expressed via the medium of one of their intellectual equals.

The concept of mission creep dictates that, in no short space of time, the worthy goal of harm prevention will morph into yet another tool of micro-management, dogmatic intervention, and self-preservatory job creation, while simultaneously resulting in a huge increase in deeply destructive human misery.

No, no. This is a crashingly stupid idea, and one which anyone even remotely 'libertarian' should be appalled by.

But that's the really scary part, y'see? If someone who claims to be suspicious of the state can suggest this, you can bet the contents of your granny's will that others with an overwhelming ideological trust in the competence of the state - despite all evidence to the contrary - wouldn't bat an eyelid in proposing state licensing of children as a workable policy.

Well. If risk can't be reduced to zero, it's the 'next logical step', isn't it?


Rob F said...

Stop the world. I want to get off..

Woman on a Raft said...

whatever moral right to raise a child there might be is defeated when the parent-to-be is significantly likely to cause the child substantial and avoidable harm, or, of course, if the parent does cause the child such harm.

This is broadly the formulation of our current child protection laws. As John Hemming points out, nobody can define 'likely' and it is left up to the quirks of judges - people who generally don't do childcare - to make call not just about the fact of what has happened but to guess what might happen.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but they have to be the 'right sort' of parents to adopt - don't they?

My brother, a reasonably well off professional, is married to a lady with a severe, incurable, degenerative disease. She can barely manage with substantial care assistance (and I mean substantial! All paid for by us despite their relative wealth) and constant help from him.

They applied to adopt and withing four months were given a newborn to adopt, all paperwork and hurdles completed in record time.

How? Well, the lady in question is a social worker (one of their own, so therefore a perfect parent whether or not she can even care for herself let alone a child)!

Their hypocrisy holds no bounds. As I've said before, it's never about the childrens welfare, it's the power, political correctness and blatant bias. They should change the 'Family' court and 'Childrens' services to 'Wimmins' - at least that would be honest (sorry naive of me I know, honesty is one of the things they just don't do isn't it?)

Zaphod Camden said...

One of my favourite quotes when discussing the stupidity of people today is "You need a licence to watch a bloody television, but they'll let any idiot breed"…

…never in my life did I think anyone would actually take that sentence seriously. Not from that angle anyway.

Licences for children. Bloody hell.

Rob F said...

I'm adopted myself and would love to adopt or foster a child.

I don't think there's much chance of that, though. Too much risk of second - hand smoke from my smoking at the front door or outside in the garden.

Don't you know that it seeps through doors and walls, rots your teeth, and gives you brain damage?

Or something like that, anyway.

westcoast2 said...

There is something more insidious here the pattern:
There is no right to X
So an authority can do Y.

There is no right to raise a child
So the Government can license.

There is no right to park a car on the road.
So the council (e.g. Westminster) can restrict and charge for parking as it wishes.

There is no right smoke
So A....Z!

It is this general principle that needs to be assessed. Do we only have a right to do something if it is written (or 'moral') down in para 3 ss 4 part A(1)? As amended?

I thought the basis of English law was that you could do something unless there was a good reason (good law?) that prevented you. Is this not so?

Is the premise, 'there is no right', valid?

just thinking...

Anonymous said...

I'm getting a bit wary of these
so called "Libertarians",plenty of
pretty banners ,screens full of
free societies, but what freedoms and for whom. We have seen the brave new world spouted by the
"Liberals",enlightened tyranny ,
no less. Could the freedom these two groups speak of,be just for the weird and perverted elite,
the soft handed devious Pied Pipers.
Cull time is well nigh,time to
check out the Lord Haw Haws.

A Commoner

Dick Puddlecote said...

westcoast2: You have isolated a very important aspect there, that being of the difference between 'rights' and 'liberties'. Government will point to there not being a laid-down 'right' in many areas, and legislate on the back of it, as you have noted.

Every time, though, there is a presumption that there is no concept of your 'liberty' to be able to do so if you choose.

It's very subtle, but a crucial difference in approach.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so the state says "no breeding you naughty plebs" and they do anyway. Then what? State child-snatching because nothing bad ever happens in children's homes.

And what if you live abroad for a few years then move back, do you need to apply for a retrospective licence?

john miller said...

Hey, this guy is on the right track!

Let the State clone Mr Cohen, so the whole world can be full of fat, balding, Jewish assistant professors who drive smart cars and wear socks with their sandals.

The only snag is, sonny, I'm applying for the civil service job that gives me the right to choose the girl to be cloned...

May you both rot in your own hell.

Oh, and I was just thinking... A bit disturbing for all of us that someone called Cohen is advocating an 80 year old Nazi policy, no?

Anonymous said...

I think Communist Mainland Red China already implements a similar policy, no more than one or two children allowed per commoner, meanwhile the ruling elite behind their walled-in enclosed mansions are having eight or more children at a time. Might have to do with presumed no right to bear a child as opposed to adoption, but same issue. No right to breath, eat, drink, smoke, exist, unless the state says so. And any so-called libertarian pronouncing such a thing is probably an agent provocateur implanted by higher ups to put an end to this silly true libertarian idea of all rights, freedoms and liberties belong of the people and none to very little with the state. Really, it will come down to a final moment, where either one cedes it all to the state or else one uses piano wire and lamp-posts and anyone in opposition to the real people ends up hung. It may be a while coming, but it's the general direction it will have to take.

Anonymous said...

This is just brilliant ! Do read and marvel at (if we are to believe the Torygraph exclusive [and why not the Daily Wail - isn't that any longer the preferred outlet for "good news" of this sort?]that splendid PR wonk Lyin' Dave "You can trust me, I am going to put an end to this nanny state nonsense you've endured for the last 13 years" 'the Mighty Ding' Cameron's great new plan ! There are so many if, buts and maybe's littering the piece that one might almost think "they haven't got any idea over and above grabbing some tacky "we are the banstabators now - and it's for your own good" publicity ..


Leg-iron said...

Bloody hell. You don't need a licence for a dog, even if it's vicious. Is this why all those kids have been allowed to turn feral? So there's a case for licencing?

Next we'll all have to get tested for fecundity and those who pass will have a British Standard Number tattooed on the end.

One more thing for prospective girlfriends to check, right after they've had us CRB-checked.

Anonymous said...

“ … they always, but always, fuck it up.”

Precisely. Which is one reason why my heart sinks into my boots whenever the Government, of any persuasion, starts to talk about what they “are going” to do, or what they “are doing,” or what they “should do” about anything at all. Even if it’s something I genuinely believe should be done (which in this case I don’t), I don’t want them doing it, because I know that it will always end up as a scheme which sounds good on paper, but which is designed, as Able points out above, purely to work to the advantage of their own favoured people, whilst offering the rest of us not a jot of protection or benefit.

Budvar said...

Is it just me, or have I lost the plot a tad? Is or is not one of the cornerstones of "Libertarianism" the least amount of government as is possible?

All I can say is as I cue up a voice over of the prescient Mr Roy Chubby Brown with "CUNTS!!".

SorenK said...

I've come across this 'Bleeding Heart Libertarian' before. He's not a libertarian. He writes this sort of bollocks frequently. Best ignored.

Mr A said...


Yes, I too have noticed this slide. From "there is no right to smoke" to "there is no right to eat burgers" we are now moving rapidly towards a world where you only have the right to do things that are defined, in writing, as rights. Very scary - as this means we have no "right to read books," no "right to a uncontrolled Internet", and so on. Very scary development and, surprise surprise, public health are at the forefront of this push against civil liberties.

I saw this once at the University where I work where I had to attend an Equal Opportunities day on discrimination and tolerance; I though this would be the perfect place to bring up the University's draconian attitudes and, in some cases downright discrimination, against smokers. But, as is the case here, despite my being at such an event there was no forum to air my grievance, because every pre-planned event was about a "named group" - it wasn't about tolerance, as a concept or an approach, at all. It was about tolerance to pre-defined and labelled groups - women, those of other races, the disabled. If you don't fit into one of those labels then fuck you! You can be treated like scum as far as they are concerned.

This sadly is the danger of having all this stuff written down rather than being accepted as concepts - as the brilliant "South Park" once pointed out when the kids spent several minutes in "The Museum of Tolerance" only to have the touchy-feely guide explode at a smoker outside, some people, especially lefties I have found, seem incapable of absorbing abstract concepts like "tolerance" or "freedom" and so only fight for these thing if written down, in black and white, like an instruction manual. If something is not in their manual then usually their Statist little inner Dictator normally comes rushing out....

On a separate note, I heard a few days ago that fostering numbers were down 25%. Nothing to do with denying the smoking 25% of the population the right to foster by any chance? The evil, evil bastards....

Dr Evil said...

A licence to breed was a status symbol used by science fiction writers like Larry Niven in his Known Space series. This was due to severe population pressure. With a licence you could not only have one child, but farther several depending on your status.

Mind you, after the Oxford street business maybe it's not such a bad idea?

Anonymous said...

Of course, we have the technology to implement this. Merely dissolve the contraceptive pill in all public water supplies.
Then, any aspiring breeder would need to apply (pay) for the antidote pill to enable conception.

OK, the chaps might grow tits and their goolies might shrivel, but we'd all develop great interpersonal skills and wonderful taste in soft furnishings. But no more feral rug-rats or ankle-biters........worth considering.

Heresiarch said...

I once wrote a post making this suggestion. It was a wind-up, though.

Anonymous said...

Let's take it further. Once it's been decided a person/couple have no right to breed (which in the majority of cases means they're also unproductive & welfare recipients), why keep them at all? They're just a burden on the state, so eliminate them. And their parents too, as they're responsible for the scum in the first place.

Ed P said...

State-controlled chastity belts for all! Pass the good-breeding test and you might be allowed to get your end away!

Dr Evil said...

And finally we end on Logan's Run! Or is that rather carousel?