David Cameron (Prime Minister of the UK) has written an article saying that runaway dads should be stigmatised, and the full force of shame was heaped upon them. They should be looked at like drunk drivers, people who are beyond the pale, they need it rammed home that what they are doing is wrong - leaving single mothers to fend for themselves simply isn't acceptable.
I think I know who the Prime Minister is getting at. But I'm not sure. I am never keen on "naming and shaming". Partly as many people no longer feel shame and partly because I'm not sure that even if they do, it leads to positive outcomes.
There are so many assumptions behind his article. Are drink drivers really beyond the pale for everyone ? What about runaway mums ? How many runaway dads are there ? Is it really a problem of deliberate fecklessness or is it more complicated ?
Cameron came up with a plan to offer £150 a year tax breaks for marriage - now I can accept that financial pressures put marriages under strain, I can also spot that plenty of very rich people get divorced - so the question is - would £3 a week make a difference to most marriages? I doubt it, so the argument retreats to it being symbolic, to sending out the right message, etc hmmm