Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Gift of Children

Please bear with me; this has a substantive political point and it only looks like a random, recreational fisking…

As a social conservative my chief concern is about homosexuals and homosexuality and so I spend a great deal of my time researching into the homosexual lifestyle in libraries, bookshops and online. I also put a lot of work into reading their in-house literature: websites and newspapers and other, less readily accessible publications for hours on end. I frequent their gathering places and engage some of them in conversation.

It’s all very tiresome but someone has to do it. Someone must stand tall and proud against the Pink Terror that threatens to engulf our fair country under a tide of lightly-tanned, firmly-muscled young men; the prows of whose impeccably tight leather trousers resemble nothing so much as shrink-wrapped aubergines and leave nothing and I mean nothing, to the imagination…

Imagine how disappointed I am, therefore, when I read someone such as Ben Summerskill here from the Guardian missing the point about what, exactly, it is that we rampant homophobes are on about.

The dogma that denigrates compassion

Peter Hitchens's vitriolic outburst in the Mail on Sunday about a gay couple adopting two children insults their public-spiritedness

"If I never again had to read or write a word about homosexuals," spluttered Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday this week, "I would be very happy". "We cringe to the new thought police," he added, just in case slower readers hadn't caught his drift, "like the subjects of some insane, sex-obsessed Stalinist state, compelled to wave our little rainbow flags as the 'gay pride' parade passes by".

Hitchens effortlessly gives the appearance of someone who believes that all homosexuals belong in prison, just as all women belong in the home.

Nice touch that: hinting that someone believes some outrageous X, whilst stating unlibellously that you don’t necessarily think that he does believe in outrageous X.

Does it work with anyone, I wonder?..

“Summerskill effortlessly gives the appearance of someone who believes that all homosexuals should expand into erotic specialisations involving vibrating studded attachments and cavity inserts, and possibly panicked rodents in plastic tubes; rather than the plain, boring old fashioned man-love that was good enough for the Spartans and King James The First (and Sixth of Scotland).”


But his latest eruption is of unprecedented unpleasantness, particularly given the targets of his vitriol. Its cause? Last week's report that two Edinburgh children had been placed for their welfare in the care of a loving gay couple in a stable, long-term relationship. The alternative, already tested, was to stay with their heroin addict mother in her parents' household.

So, that whole mothers-are-best line Labour has been pushing with its feminised agenda these past eleven years stops at heroin addicts?

Good. That might be wise, Baby P and all that, lessons apparently learned, but the grandparents want to give it a go, as grandparents tend to do, on the grounds that families can work well – and usually do.

And if they are always at hand to help her recover but empowered to make all the important decisions to look after the child, isn’t that, well, kind of socially inclusive?

Or shall we just lock all the junkies up in cold-turkey cages till they sweat the poison out?

I’m for it if you are, Benny-boy.

I must declare an interest. Like a curious alignment of the planets that only happens once every three centuries, I once worked alongside Hitchens. What I learned from that encounter was that his views – even if Private Eye naughtily

…more plausible deniability Ben

…but accurately…

…no: a bit of honesty there instead lad, and damn the defamation suit that’ll never, ever come. I’m almost proud of you.

… describes him as "bonkers" – are at least genuinely held, with the rabidity you'd expect of a former Socialist Worker.

Which part? The ‘former’ or the ‘Socialist Worker?’ Let’s see shall we…

Google doesn’t exactly find you railing against the Socialist Workers or any other Marxist group. Hmm. Is it Marxian apostasy that makes him rabid or some invisible anti-communism on your part?

Just asking.

But while they may be genuinely held, that doesn't, of course, make them genuinely grounded. While Hitchens has barked – and his Associated Newspapers colleagues have had a good growl too – his analysis turns out, quite by chance and just like theirs, to be rather selective.

Each froths angrily that what children really deserve is a mother and father, oblivious to the unhelpful truth that more than three million children of heterosexual parents are currently growing up in Britain in one-parent households.

You know, I rather suspect that the Daily Mail does have some vague notion that single motherhood is a problem here in Britain. How does page 1 of 214 sound?

Meanwhile, today's Daily Mail reports another case of a woman, like the celebrated Mail pin-up Diane Blood, who has won the right to have her dead husband's child using sperm taken from his body. Her children will grow up without a father too. But curiously the paper contains not a whisper of complaint from Peter or his fellow attack dogs. She is, after all, heterosexual.

Well, she might be irresponsible going beyond the grave for fatherhood, but she is definitely the children’s mother. And their little friends aren’t very likely to chant ‘Liam and Joel’s dads are zombies’ every chance they get for the rest of their childhood.

Speaking during the last week to the Edinburgh couple who have taken responsibility for the children at the centre of this storm, one thing struck me above all else. It's not just that they're thoughtful, generous, sensible and calm.

‘Say, Angus, why don’t we adopt a couple of children and give them all the advantages of living with two loving gay men: excellent dress sense, natural flair and sensitivity, grace and charm and likely enough artistic or intellectual achievement. Chop the basil next.’’

‘Och, I don’t know, Ross. This is Edinburg, after a’. Wouldnae the other wains be a wee bit sharp wi’ such a child? Would they no’ be better off with their kin, even if they eat ketchup an’ smell o’ tobacco? I grew up in Govan. Bein’ called Pansy-boy’s bad enough if ye buy the Take That 2009 calendar for your ainself, but if it’s your daddies’…’

‘Now you’re being trite, Angus. Garlic, please. We can give the children much better lives than council house types who let their daughter get pregnant and then addicted to heroin. A life with sun-dried tomatoes never killed anyone-.’

‘Except for Soft Tony, Ross -.’

‘Soft Tony was an exception, Angus dear: a one in a million fluke that could happen to anyone. No; never mind what other wains’d say – we can give these ones a good life. Pass the ricotta.’’

It's that, should they have wished, they could easily have arranged to have a "designer baby" through a fertility clinic rather than be persuaded to adopt children whose lives have been left traumatised by the irresponsibility of others.

Bless them, but what if they chose not to have a designer baby either; for reasons not obvious to the chief executive of Stonewall? Might they so choose for what a Scottish philosopher christened ‘common sense’ reasons?

If Hitchens had half an ounce of the Christian compassion whose absence he frequently bemoans in others, he would lionise public-spirited people like these, not demonise them.

Here’s what Hitchens wrote and his argument is largely about the bigotry from gay activists. Note that he does go on to say after that excitingly-controversial strong opening sentence:

‘I really don't want to know what other people do in their bedrooms. But these days they really, really want us all to know. And, more important, they insist that we approve. No longer are we allowed to keep our thoughts to ourselves, while being polite and kind.

He has no problems, it seems, with the politeness and kindness (and quite rightly too) – just the fear that he perceives in politically-correct authorities pushing a gay agenda to absurd limits.

It seems that there were heterosexual couples available but the hectoring social workers pushed the gay couple to the head of the queue for no apparent reason – and threatened them if they complained publicly - so it looks like PC box-ticking.

Hitchens is against that.

So, Hitchens and I both object to politically-motivated adoptions outside the norm on the grounds that children may be hurt (by third parties such as cruel kids who’d make life difficult because of the unusual status of gay parenthood, I stress) if put into unusual or inappropriate backgrounds, but Summerskill thinks it’s hunky-dory to do so.

And if you compare that with cases of the Left not approving adoption of black children by white people…

Let’s look at the charity the British Association for Adoption & Fostering

and its offshoot Be My Parent

BAAF believes:

•Each child has a right to loving and secure family relationships, a right to be heard and rights as a citizen.

•Secure attachments to carers are essential to children’s mental health and psychological development.

•Every effort should be made to enable children to live in their own birth families and kinship network, providing this is consistent with the child’s welfare.

•Where it is not in the best interests of children to live within their family of origin, an alternative family should be found which can provide continuous care, stability and life-long commitment.

•Children have a right to have their needs understood, assessed and reviewed so that, where it is necessary for them to live away from home, their placements can be planned and their needs met.

•Adoption and fostering should meet the emotional, developmental and spiritual needs of children, including needs relating to their religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background and any special needs.

Which is clarified as follows:

Black and minority ethnic children.

A child’s well-being is linked to who they are, and feeling comfortable with their identity. This is built up through their ethnicity, religious, cultural and linguistic background, community, relationship with their birth family, and current and past experiences.

Ideally, a child’s new family should meet all their emotional, identity, health and development needs. In BAAF’s view, practice experience indicates that children do best when brought up in a family that reflects their ethnic and racial identity as closely as possible. In part, this is informed by reports from black and minority ethnic adopted adults who grew up with families who did not match their ethnic and racial identity, describing difficulties in belonging to any community outside of their immediate family.

What this means in practice is that vigorous efforts are made to find a family that matches the child’s individual identity. Given the profile of prospective adopters, this is not always achievable. In these instances, social workers will have to make a decision about when to consider alternative families in order to minimise delay for the child. Children would then be placed with families that best match most of their needs, even if this means they are of a different ethnic group.

Children who are black Caribbean or black African, Asian (particularly Asian Muslim), and of mixed ethnicity (black African and white, black Caribbean and white, or Asian and white) wait much longer for an adoptive family in comparison to white children.

(The BAAF’s Chief Executive and Senior Management are almost all long-time social workers or social care administrators so what you have is a charity pretty much recruited out of local and national government and so any hopes you might have for advantages in recruiting for experience must be tempered with fears that the political monoculture they come from is going to be inescapably Left-wing and I think that their policies reflect this.)

Thus the BAAF will only place a child outside its originator grouping only as a last resort. In terms of ethnicity, at least, family and kinship group first and, barring that, the same or similar racial group so they can grow up in as normal a background for their family as possible.

I wonder what was wrong with the heterosexual couples that were queue-jumped for the gay couple? Outsiders beyond the immediate ‘family’ are, people being only human and all, very likely to taunt and tease these two children, and probably do worse.

When it suits the Left, therefore, children can be treated as ideological spot prizes to be aimed at favoured minorities from which their own ancestors didn’t – couldn’t – belong. So that’s the children of heterosexuals to be exposed on purpose to all kinds of taunts and awkwardness to do their bit for gay…What? Integration? Pride? Being treated equally to all the rest – unless the rest are not gay and therefore less rewarding for our political class to place them with?

But when the trump card of race comes along, the United Left will hold that staying near your roots; being brought up amongst kinsfolk first or the same racial group even if they are strangers, would be better than, say, adopting black orphans into a middle-class white family. So; no comfortable home in the suburbs for black kids if a nice inner-city block of flats with authentically racial adoptive parents are available.

So little Hamish and Fiona are going to grow up knowing that their grandparents could not adopt them as children because the authorities instead thought it would be a hoot to place the in an arrangement in which they experienced difficulties in belonging to any community outside of their immediate family.

The dogma that denigrates compassion indeed.

At least it's unlikely that anyone will so anything as career-destroyingly cruel as calling them 'golliwogs.’


PS – protest campaign resources here.


Sue said...

North Northwester said...

Thanks Sue: both for submitting my site and for letting me know.

I noticed that since you were TP registered, you've been blogging like a demon!

Don't think it'll happen to these old bones though; not with my trouble...



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