Absent fathers should be stigmatised by society

  Forum Editor 17:30 19 Jun 2011

in the same way as drink-drivers, the Prime Minister has said.

Are drink-drivers stigmatised by society?

Sometimes I wonder if David Cameron is living in the same society as me. He seems fond of making these 'should' remarks, saying this should happen and that should come about, as if merely saying it is going to make it so.

I imagine that fathers who abandon the women they got pregnant, and subsequently want nothing to do with the child they fathered are not really capable of feeling stigmatised by much at all - I certainly don't think that saying "They should be looked at like drink-drivers, people who are beyond the pale." is likely to resolve the problem.

What might be a great deal more effective is legislation to stop society having to fund the results of irresponsible behaviour. Perhaps society should direct a bit of stigmatising at the girls who indulge in unprotected sex, safe in the knowledge that they'll be provided with a free flat and plenty of benefits, so they can join their mates as they all push their babies up and down to McDonalds in expensive buggies.

David Cameron knows little of such things, and perhaps that's not his fault - he is comfortably off - but the least he, as Prime Minister, could do is take some time to get some 'horse's mouth' briefing on the problem from the social welfare people who face it every day of their lives. I bet he hasn't asked one of them what they think.

I'm sorry David, but you're completely failing to inspire me with any confidence in your ability to understand our current society, never mind the big one that you trumpeted so loudly such a short while ago.

  woodchip 17:37 19 Jun 2011

FE You cannot change use living in an Immoral World no matter what legislation and ideas you or I have. Peoples attitudes as got to change just s a Drink Driver or come to that Smoking where a smoker thinks they have the right to smoke and none smokers have no rights, and to put up with it come what may

  Proclaimer 17:37 19 Jun 2011

well so long as he thinks single Mothers that have children and don't want the Fathers around Should be stigmatised as well, then its all fair to me.

  Strawballs 17:47 19 Jun 2011

Proclaimer I'm with you on this one especially the ones that complain about the ones that won't stump up any cash but insist they can't see their children or in fact have nothing to do with them!!

  Forum Editor 17:58 19 Jun 2011


I think it's worth making the point that a mother might have a very good reason for not wanting the father of her child around. Perhaps he was violent, or drank too much, or took drugs, etc. That doesn't mean he shouldn't ever have any access to his child, and it certainly doesn't mean he shouldn't be held partially responsible for the cost of supporting his family.

It complicates the situation considerably, and collecting child maintenance payments is fraught with problems - it's been tried before, and proved virtually impossible.

The point that really needs to be tackled is whether or not we as a society feel we want to pay out very large amounts of money to support the children that these fathers abandon, and the mothers who are bringing them up. Perhaps we do, in which case there's no argument, but I strongly suspect that large numbers of us don't. We see these fathers and mothers as feckless and a drain on the economy, and we want our government to do something because we're not sure what we can do ourselves.

We could try bringing up our children to act responsibly of course, but maybe that would be asking too much.

  john 52 18:01 19 Jun 2011


want nothing to do with the child they fathered are not really capable of feeling stigmatised by much at all

Does he really think that these people are concerned about how they are viewed by society its more a badge of honour to them. In reality it was just another sound bite from the prime minister for the press from a supposedly tough prime minister but talk is cheap

  woodchip 18:17 19 Jun 2011

badge of honour, I think you mean Notch on the gun, and must agree there that's how society is today. No responsibility to anyone other than themselves

  robgf 19:34 19 Jun 2011

By the comments I somehow doubt that anyone on this thread has spent much time with the Darren & Tracy brigade. I used to work with them, before they were replaced with the more sensible Poles, etc.

They swap partners at the rate that most people swap their socks. And asking where the latest boyfriend is, usually results in the comment "he was boring". Two days later a new bloke is moved in. Most of the "fathers" probably weren't even responsible for the child, you would need widespread DNA testing to be sure. Judging by the number of times I was asked for time off, by both sexes, to visit the "clinic" (conveniently located a few hundred yards down the road), I wouldn't want to touch any of them with a gloved hand, let alone anything else!

The free flats and benefits seems to be mostly myth, as most of the girls struggle, living with parents, or by moving in a succession of blokes to pay the bills. A couple of the girls would give a BJ for a packet of cigarettes (I overheard the bartering in progress).

Cameron should watch the TV series Shameless, for a watered down version of how they behave.

  Strawballs 00:51 20 Jun 2011

FE I agree with the examples you have given but there are instances that are the other way around, the mother just uses the children as a stick to hit the fathers with and get money out of them.

  interzone55 09:44 20 Jun 2011


All, sadly, very true.

From working with Darrens (mostly male work place) the attitude is usually contraception is the job of the girl if she doesn't want a kid, totally forgetting that half the job of a condom is to protect both partners form the diseases of previous partners.

One lad in my office even has his clinic card in his desk drawer for quick trips for anti-biotics at lunch time. Last week he was in Magaluf for a stag-do, and he woke with a very sore rear-end and he had no idea why. Whilst he was completely plastered the night before he'd had a tattoo done on his bottom. Anyone who regularly gets so drunk they can't remember having a tattoo done on their arse the night before is incapable of acknowledging they're stigmatised by society...

  Joseph Kerr 11:26 20 Jun 2011

"What might be a great deal more effective is legislation to stop society having to fund the results of irresponsible behaviour."

Meaning? How might that work?

"Perhaps society should direct a bit of stigmatising at the girls..."

Yes of course, turn it all around on the girls because that will work. They are of course much brighter and capable of feeling stigmatized and knowing what this means, because they are cunning enough to get pregnant in order to get a free house and lots of benefits.

Lets look at that shall we? Girls who want a home and a baby or just a baby as a means to getting a home are obviously not happy, and obviously not overly bright. They will essentially end up with a free roof over their heads, but will have little money for luxuries and will be eeking out their funds.

And I usually enjoy a good Tory bashing.

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