Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why were Howard Flight's comments so offensive?

The always sensible Stumbling and Mumbling points out:
For the second time in as many weeks, a Tory has had to apologize for saying something that contains a lot of truth. This time, it's Howard Flight, who said:
"We're going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it's jolly expensive. But for those on benefits, there is every incentive. Well, that's not very sensible."
But the truth - of course - is that people do, at the margin, respond to incentives. If you raise the cost of having children, people will have fewer of them.
Yet while I had some sympathy with David Young, because many people have done well out of the low interest rates of recent years, I found Howard Flight's remarks despicable.

Why the difference?

It was that word "breeding". You talk about animals like that, not people. By speaking as he did Flight gave me the impression that he holds great swathes of his fellow men - those with less money than  H. Flight - in contempt.

For that reason, I do not want to see him given a peerage.

He also makes me feel enthusiastic about an elected upper house. Though, come to think of it, popular election has not kept right-wing nutters out of the lower house.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is all nonsense. What he said was correct.It is wrong to financially encourage one set of the population to have kids over another. If he had used the term having kids instead of breeding , no one should have any problem with his statement. Unless they believe encouraging the poor to breed and discouraging the rich from doing so is right.