PETER HITCHENS: Making women wage slaves suits everyone well – except women and children, of course
How bizarre that the keystone of a supposedly conservative budget is a plan to help women abandon their children and go out to work. Anti-family socialists and dogmatic hard-line feminists – often the same people – have long sought to turn women into wage-slaves.
The old Communist East Germany managed to cram 90 per cent of its women into factories and offices in the 1980s, and counted it a great triumph. Some modern feminists admire this to this day.
For them, the only good life is the life of paid work. The only ‘working women’ are those who work outside the home. The huge, responsible, future-defining task of raising the next generation as good women and men is dismissed as servitude, and farmed out to paid strangers.
Big business has felt the same way, seeing the new untapped female workforce as much preferable to the old male working class, most of which was chucked on the national scrapheap during the Thatcher years, along with the blast furnaces, pithead winding gear, rolling mills and greasy, noisy old-style car production lines where such people used to toil. Yet in those days most families could manage on one wage, whereas now it takes two, plus a lot of tax breaks (and who pays for those in the end?).
So what did we gain? The only form of childcare which the state does not help or subsidise is the sort where a mother brings up her own sons and daughters.
How bizarre that the keystone of a supposedly conservative budget is a plan to help women abandon their children and go out to work
In our new age of service industries, call centres, vast windowless warehouses, and of course the enormous empires of the NHS, care homes and social work, a female workforce suits everyone very well. Except the women. And above all, except their children, who in their hundreds of thousands are denied the presence of a full-time parent.
No doubt superwomen such as Nicola Horlick and Cherie Blair have always longed to sit on boards or be judges, on giant salaries.
Women such as these can afford superb nannies to do the work of a full-time mother. But for most wage-slave women, the work is drudgery and the wages poor, and it takes them away from children.
As American conservative thinker Helen Andrews has said of the post-60s feminist generation: ‘Boomers promised that employment was the only way for women to be fulfilled and independent [but] any socialist could have told them that there is no one more dependent than a wage worker… The net effect has been to restrict the choices of typical women, taking the choice that was making most of them happy and removing it from the set of options.’
In the new British Democratic Republic, where most of what normal people used to think has now been ruled unacceptable and evil, Ms Andrews can say this (but only just) as she is a woman and lives in the US, where speech is still in many ways more free than it is here.
I, of course, have no opinions on this, being male. Soon, now all the political parties are in agreement, nobody will be able to dissent.
If war is hell, why demand it in Ukraine?
TRENCH WARFARE: All Quiet On The Western Front tries too hard to be clever
Erich Maria Remarque’s book on the First World War, All Quiet On The Western Front, was hated by Hitler as nobody who read it could ever again be seduced by the supposed glories of war.
Remarque had been a real fighting soldier so could not be ignored. In fact, the Nazis loathed him so much that, unable to get their hands on him, they murdered his sister instead.
The book is still powerful (I have been rereading it this week). But the new film of it, despite its Oscars, tries too hard to be clever and stylish.
The raw story of a group of friends, deceived by blowhards then exposed to the horrible truth of trench warfare, would have been better.
Those now demanding war without end in Ukraine need to realise what it is they are asking for.
BBC’s one-sided stagnation is a disaster
Gary Lineker made his return to Match of the Day on Saturday, a week after the show aired with no presenters following an impartiality row
If there were a Right-wing Gary Lineker, we wouldn’t be having all these problems.
Imagine if a figure of similar fame and clout, but in favour of migration controls, could confront Mr Lineker on Twitter or on a public debate programme. Then it wouldn’t matter that either of them used their BBC positions to push one side.
But only the BBC could create such a figure. The national broadcaster is the only body which can lift people to such prominence. Mr Lineker’s huge Twitter following – which makes his opinions important – is the result of his broadcasting fame.
It is true the BBC occasionally gives modest platforms to a few nominal Tories, or to confused, politically incoherent crowd-pleasers such as Jeremy Clarkson. But the one opinion it veers violently away from is social, moral and political conservatism. Dominated as it is by urban radicals, it simply cannot bear to have such opinions around, nor the people who hold them. This is where BBC impartiality has gone wrong.
For decades now, the BBC has recruited from people who actively like mass immigration because it makes the country more multicultural, and who are embarrassed and baffled by conservative Christianity or by people who believe in the punishment of crime.
How would it now redress this balance? Parliament works, or used to work, because it was balanced between two genuinely opposing parties. Fleet Street was the same, as is our court system. Tough public debate is a good way of getting at the truth.
The BBC’s collapse into one-sided stagnation is a national disaster. If it won’t reform, close it down and start again. Yes, let’s have a national broadcaster, just not this one. When the BBC Charter next comes up, make it plain it will be awarded only to a body ready to allow voices from both sides of our society.
For the past week I have been fending off a Twitter mob raging over my point last week that the Nazis were Left-wing racists. One moron even claimed (thinking that ‘Left-wing’ means ‘good’) that I was excusing the Holocaust.
Look, the line between the Nazis and their opponents was not as rigid and uncrossable as the Left like to think. Large numbers of Social Democrats and Communists joined the Nazi Brownshirts after Hitler took power. The German Left-wing historian Konrad Heiden noted it in his 1938 biography of Hitler.
The main entrance to Dachau concentration camp on July 29, 1945, the day prisoners were liberated. The motto on the fence reads ‘Arbeit macht frei’ – ‘Work brings freedom’
The Nazis, with their huge social programmes, tight control over every aspect of society and loathing of Christianity and private life, have lots in common with the programmes of the Left. Stalin and Hitler got on surprisingly well. Left-wingers simply don’t believe they and their movement can do or think or say anything bad.
Well, they’re wrong. Let’s rejoice that the people screaming at me, and demanding I confess my evil deeds, recant or simply shut up, do not (yet) have any political power.